5 Ways To Spot Future Leaders Amongst a Crowd

future-leaders

Five Ways To Spot Future Leaders

Amongst a Crowd

When the business world moves at a fast pace, particularly during the turbulent times we are currently experiencing, taking the time to identify future leaders can prove difficult. In a large organization with a rich pool of potential candidates, pinpointing the individuals with leadership potential is especially difficult.

But devoting time to both identifying and nurturing future leaders is crucial. Fostering the talent within your own organization is both more cost-effective and less time-consuming in the long run than recruiting from outside the organization. You cannot risk losing your talent pool to competitors.

So, how do you spot those with leadership potential efficiently? Of course, those looking to progress in their career will need to demonstrate measurable skills like qualifications, knowledge and experience. On the other hand, those three qualities do not necessarily make for a good leader. You cannot focus on these alone.

5 soft skills you should be looking out for

Aside from measurable qualities, there are certain soft skills that will alert you to those who may become excellent leaders in the future.

Soft skills are those skills that are non technical but affect the way in which a person works. Soft skills make someone efficient, effective and productive in their work. Different roles require different soft skills.

To identify tomorrow’s efficient, effective and productive managers, you can be looking out for people in junior positions demonstrating the right soft skills right now.

Here are some behaviors that will help you find the talent you need to start nurturing now.

future-leaders

1. They demonstrate a natural rapport with colleagues.

Leaders should be likable, friendly and approachable. They should demonstrate a consistently positive attitude. Therefore, look out for junior colleagues who are universally liked and respected in the office. Their ability to gain rapport with almost anyone will make them an excellent candidate.

Remember to look at the most outgoing, confident people; but also look beyond the extroverts in the office. There may be others out there who are gaining the trust and admiration of others without shouting it out. These quieter people can hold just as much sway and influence as their noisier colleagues, perhaps more so. They may be perceived to be more approachable too, should times get tough.

2.  They show conviction.

A strong set of core values and a sense of purpose are more soft skills to look out for.

Seek out people working with confidence and purpose, no matter what role they currently fill. They make sure their work has meaning and that they actively seek to contribute to the community within your organization. They focus their energy and attention on tasks that matter.

Conviction and purpose help a leader overcome resistance or obstacles. They can help an organization through tough and uncertain times.

3. Future leaders are lifelong learners.

Those with potential leadership qualities are always looking to invest in themselves and learn new skills. They are not afraid to admit when there is a gap in their knowledge or skill set. They will also take time to bridge this gap.

Future leaders seek opportunities to learn. Their personal development is important to them, both in their career and outside of it. They dedicate time to learning new hard skills, seek out the right professional development workshops, and aspire to gain qualifications. They show an awareness of their own soft skills and look to develop those, too.

4. Future leaders are not afraid to show vulnerability.

Unfortunately, vulnerability can seem like a negative, and not all team members will want to admit to it. However, vulnerability is something we all possess and it can be a really positive thing.

When a person acknowledges and accepts their vulnerability, they are demonstrating self-awareness. This is a good trait that helps people develop honesty, openness and empathy with others. A person who attempts to maintain a facade of perfection and invincibility cannot expect to gain the trust of others.

A person who acknowledges their own vulnerability can accept it in their colleagues, too. They know that no human is perfect. This makes an ideal person to establish and inspire a culture of honesty and respect. This is certainly a leadership quality you’ll want to nurture.

5. They communicate well.

It almost goes without saying that a leader must be an effective communicator. They must inspire confidence in their team, their superiors and the organization’s stakeholders. Being able to communicate clearly is a huge part of this.

Communication is definitely a skill that can be polished through excellent training and more experience. However, look out for the people in your organization who show signs of talent in this area. They can initiate conversations, hold other people’s attention and express their thoughts clearly. It is also important to pay attention to the ability to communicate through the written word.

The action plan on finding future leaders

future-leaders

Spotting potential leaders isn’t a quick and easy formulaic activity. Subtle observation, and lots of it over time, is key here. Above are some easy-to-spot qualities that should help reveal the talent to focus on.

Remember that this is a hugely advantageous use of your time. The time you invest in nurturing the leadership abilities of junior colleagues will be repaid down the line and reap countless rewards.

By starting now, you can maximize potential and minimize the risk of losing great people to other organizations.

The next step is to consider how you will nurture the talent you find. This is something that business coaching services can help with.

They will help you:

  • Identify a colleague’s leadership strengths and their areas for development.
  • Develop a personalized leadership development plan for each person in the program.
  • Coach that person to ensure they realize their potential.
  • Improve their knowledge of leadership, their ability to lead, and hone their leadership style, too.
  • Help identify the right position for the right person within your organization.

Professional coaches are ideally placed to boost your organization’s productivity and positivity by improving the quality of leadership. They can help you build a positive, organized, collaborative and driven team with the next generation of excellent leaders at the helm.

AUTHOR BIO

Salma El-Shurafa is an experienced Executive Coach and founder of The Pathway Project. She is a Professional Certified Coach by the International Coaching Federation (ICF), a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach from The Coaches Training Institute (CTI) and a graduate of CTI’s Co-Active Leadership program.

 

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5 Tips For An Effective Digital Campaign

digital-campaign

Five Tips For An Effective

Digital Campaign

There’s no doubt that digital marketing has been getting plenty of attention recently, particularly when the pandemic hit the world. Regardless of industry or type of business, this marketing method has proven to be successful in reaching the right audience and drawing more revenues. That is if the digital campaign is compelling enough. That’s why it’s crucial that, as a business, you know how to create a solid digital marketing strategy that can help you achieve your organization’s objectives. 

As more consumers shift to digital marketplaces, now might be the time to consider investing in various online marketing techniques. It may take a few hits and misses before you can build an effective digital campaign that you can stick to moving forward. Still, it wouldn’t hurt to try and try until you find your match.

That said, take a look at the following tips that might help you in carrying out your marketing goals.

  • Target The Right Audience

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A digital campaign is only effective if it impacts the right audience. That said, it’s essential that you’re able to identify who your potential customers are. Only then will you be able to target them efficiently. Targeting the right market starts with creating buyer profiles that can potentially be your ideal customers.

In most business-to-business (B2B) organizations, one challenge is to go beyond the typical characteristics of a target audience. It’ll be more helpful to identify a customer persona or a fictional character that represents your ideal consumer. Certain factors come into play when you think of B2B buyer persona examples, including their lifestyle, purchasing power, social network engagement, and interests. As you can see, a buyer persona involves more than just a customer’s name, age, and location.

Buyer personas are more specific, data-driven, and valuable so that you can target the right consumers. The distinction makes it more efficient to know which personas are more likely to pay attention to your marketing efforts. In that sense, your digital campaigns can be as effective as you’d hope for them to be.

  • Make It Mobile-Friendly

It’s no secret that more and more consumers rely on their handheld devices when accessing information or buying anything online. The convenience that mobile gadgets offer is often unmatched, particularly among people who are always on the go. So, it’s only clever to ensure your digital campaign is compatible with mobile devices.

Having a website is no longer enough if your goal is to make your campaigns effective in more ways than one. No matter how optimized your platform may be, if most of your audience can’t view it using their smartphones or tablets, you can’t deem it effective or impactful.

Aside from making sure your digital marketing strategy is mobile-friendly, you shouldn’t also forget to consider your site’s responsiveness, simplicity, and functionality. When online visitors are impressed with your website, they’re more likely to stay longer and hopefully click on your calls to action.

  • Constantly Boost Your Social Media Presence 

It’s a no-brainer that having a social media presence is critical in digital marketing. The challenge lies in how you can boost and maintain that presence to keep your audience engaged and connected to your brand. With so many tasks and responsibilities you need to juggle as a business owner, it’s easy to get lost in the midst of it all and overlook the significance of social media in the effectiveness of your digital campaign.

digital-campaign

Updating your social media pages is a good start. If customers can see you’re consistent in posting content, they’ll know that you’re active on your accounts. Viewers and potential customers will feel more connected with your business. The posts don’t always need to be long or full of effort. Simple memes with engaging captions can already make a difference in boosting your social media presence. You can also consider automating your chat responses so inquiries will always be attended to no matter what time of the day it may be.

Social media platforms are also good for measuring the effectiveness of an ad or campaign. The different tools and features you can use can give you analytics and measurable data that can help gauge how many people were reached by your campaign. You can also get data on where those people are located, their shopping patterns, and their interests.

  • Create Valuable Content

Digital consumers will always appreciate valuable content. If you want your campaign to be effective, create content that can offer something of value to your customers. Provide solutions to their daily predicaments and let them know your brand is there to help them out. Aside from being useful, your content should also be entertaining and empathetic if you want to reach more people and create an impact.

Also, keep in mind that search engines always favor original content. Repurposing your materials may be acceptable at some point, but make sure you reproduce them so that the content won’t get flagged as a duplicate copy. This is one way you can use content marketing for your digital campaign.

  • Use Engaging Visuals

With so many campaigns, products, and services being offered online, consumers know that they have many options. So, their attention span is getting shorter and shorter. As a result, drawing their curiosity can prove to be quite tricky. If you want to keep them engaged and have them keep reading or viewing your campaign, make sure your visuals are appealing enough. Be it photos, videos, or text, they won’t keep reading unless it’s something that piques their interest. 

Photos and images should be high-resolution, while video content can include product reviews, product launches, tutorials, interviews with experts and actual customers, or press releases. Customers like campaigns that tell a story. You can also think of a particular advocacy that they can relate to or that they can connect to your brand.

The Bottom Line on Making a Digital Campaign

Creating an effective digital campaign is not an easy task to begin with. However, that doesn’t mean you should give up and make do with what you have concerning your marketing and advertising efforts.

You might want to take note of the tips above if you need help figuring out how your digital campaign can reach more audiences, engage buyer personas, and prompt customers to click on your calls to action. With the right strategy, you can develop a digital campaign that represents your brand and that can help convert leads into sales.

 

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7 Strategies to Increase Your Employee Wellness Within Your Company

business owners

7 strategies to increase your employee wellness 

Employee wellness is the key to having a successful business. If you don’t take care of your employees, then it is for sure that they won’t take care of you either. 

According to a late study done by IBM in late 2020, only 46% of employees claimed that the company they work at supported them physically and emotionally. At the same time, 80% of executives claimed that they are supportive, but employees didn’t always state the same! 

It isn’t a good idea to leave your employee’s wellness behind, and that is why in this article, we will show you seven strategies to increase your employee’s wellness. 

employee-wellness

  1. Recognize your employees 

By recognizing your employees, we mean recognizing all of their efforts and achievements made daily at the workplace. 37% of employees claimed that recognition was very important to their emotional state at the workplace. Let’s not forget that employee recognition is considered the most important driver of great work out of all! 

You may have thought it was the salary, but only 7% of employees stated that salary was their most important driver at work. Once employees feel like they are not being recognized at the workplace, they may start not operating at their maximum capacity. 

We can take an example as if you were going out with a bunch of friends, and many of them weren’t appreciating you. Once you feel unappreciated, you will look for new friends. The same case is with employee recognition. 

  1. Set up an employee giving campaign to assist employee wellness

Setting up an employee giving campaign is an excellent way of making your employees feel proud of the company they work at. Some of the greatest companies worldwide create employee giving programs. By doing this, you are an excellent example for other employers to look at. 

Employee giving come in different types, which are

  • Employee donation matching: when the employer is matching cash donations with the contribution of the employee. When the employer provides a matching gift, it makes a bigger difference for non-profit organizations or even recipients who donated. 
  • In-kind donations: donations made through material possessions such as food, medical supplies, and clothing. Usually, employees who don’t have money to do any donation matching may turn to in-kind donations. 
  • Employee do-good grants: Employee grants are when a company rewards its employees as donors. Instead of the employee receiving financial rewards, they transfer these rewards to a non-profit organization. Of course, employee do-good grants are given as a choice if they want to participate in it or not. 

  • Employee volunteer grants: something your employees need to apply to. There are two different types of volunteer grants: Grants for volunteering expenses and dollars for doers. 
  • Grants for volunteering expenses: employees apply for any grants to support their volunteering opportunities. Most companies will cover travel expenses, food expenses, and some other costs. 
  • Dollars for doers: a financial grant is rewarded to employees depending on their committed hours- whether it be for a local community or non-profit organization. 
  1. Communicate with your employees 

Don’t be that person who only comes into the office and talks about your employee’s daily duties. We know you are at the workplace, but let’s try to make it more interesting. Try to connect with your employees by asking exciting questions such as how their day is going? What plans do they have? And some other questions you may think of. 

According to a study done by the Harvard Business Review, it was shown that 23% of employees claimed that their manager isn’t good at communicating and that it is more likely to impact their mental health. 

Additionally, about 33% of employees also claimed that they don’t trust their employers. This all comes from a lack of communication with employees. When a company conducts excellent communication with its team, employees will feel more informed, motivated, and secure. Whereas this directly affects contribution levels towards the company’s goals. 

  1. Don’t burn your employees out 

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No, it isn’t smart to overload your employees with work and think they will be productive all the time. This is just you planning for failure in your company. 86% of employees claimed they need to work really hard to prove to their bosses that they are hard workers and deserve their job. You don’t want to be that person who is expecting too much from employees.  

Rest is just as important as hard work is too. Sadly, 45% of employees claim that they are burned out at the workplace. You can’t work hard and never rest, it just doesn’t go that way. Promoting wellness at the workplace also means encouraging rest too. Especially if your team is working remotely, you don’t want to make them have sleepless nights because of the overloaded work you are asking them to do.

Try planning out your activities or setting up daily tasks that need to get done. Each employee has their own pace at which they get work done, so try to see what works for you and them. 

  1. Allow employees to discover themselves to promote employee wellness

Nothing can be better than being an influence on your team that will directly impact how they feel. You can’t motivate anybody enough until they motivate themselves, although you can be a good influence. When you are helping employees find their purpose, that self-drive will start to kick in by itself. 

According to research done by Delivering Happiness, they found out that there are three levels of happiness: 

  • Pleasure: the fleeting form of happiness 
  • Passion: happiness that continues as long as you are performing the activities that are fulfilling your passion. 
  • Purpose: the highest level of happiness that fuels your daily life with energy and joy. 

The best thing you can do for your employees’ well-being is empower them to have passion and purpose. Here is what you can do to help them find their purpose:

  • Find their intrinsic motivation (goals, what drives them.) 
  • Try implementing a set of activities that will lead them to work on what impacts their well-being as part of your wellness activities. 
  • Be a motivation coach to your employees. Empower them as human beings, and allow them to act as champions. 

You would be surprised that 85% of employees are not engaged at the workplace. Different factors affect this, although the leading cause is the lack of motivation. 

  1. Promote flexibility for employee wellness

Technological innovations have greatly impacted the way we work and significantly have affected how employees feel. Since the pandemic’s beginning, even the way we work has changed and how employees want to work. According to a survey, 73% of employees stated that they were more efficient when working remotely. 

After the release of the COVID-19 vaccine, many employers urged employees to return back to the office, although this wasn’t pleasant for the majority of them. Roughly one in three employees claimed that returning to the office negatively impacted their well-being. At the same time, workers who experienced a decline in their mental health were also five times less likely to be productive! 

  1. Encourage financial well-being to improve employee wellness

Financial well-being has negatively affected a vast percentage of people across the globe after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many have had a cut in their salary or even have been temporarily laid off; what seemed to be going well turned into a nightmare in a short period of time. 

According to a financial wellness survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), it claimed that most employees had to engage heavily on their emergency funds from the start of the pandemic. Nothing gets more stressful than that and negatively has impacted the emotional and physical well-being of employees across the globe.  

Many employees got comfortable working from home and even left their job when asked to return to the office. This was all because they felt that their well-being was being affected negatively and just wasn’t worth it. Moreover, it was a wrong move from employers as they didn’t seek to do what was best for employees but only for themselves. 

Wrapping up your 7 strategies

employee-wellness

That’s about it for this article. These are the seven strategies you can use in order to promote employee well-being and a culture that is firmly focused on employee well-being. 

From the beginning of the pandemic, we know that everything has gotten more difficult for employees and employers. For that reason, employee well-being has become just as hard as it was to keep up with. Although, in turbulent times also lies opportunity. And without a doubt, these seven strategies will be your aid to making your employees happier than ever! 

 

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The Zoom Boom – How to Manage at a Distance

zoom

How to Manage from

a Distance – Zoom

It’s no secret that the world is changing. With more and more companies making the move to remote working, Zoom and other digital means of communication have skyrocketed in popularity. While lots of businesses have taken this in their stride, others are finding it more difficult to manage their workforces effectively. If you’ve been struggling to apply in-person management techniques to your remote employees, you’re not alone. There’s definitely something of an adjustment period, but sometimes there are small creases you can’t seem to iron out.

Fortunately, there are many ways to overcome the challenges you’re facing due to physical distance. These aren’t always easy to figure out on your own, which is why this blog is here to give you some important tips and tricks to help you out. Discover how to manage more efficiently at a distance and watch your business flourish as a result.

Finding the right tools

The first step to effectively managing your remote workforce is by finding the right tools for the job. Without these, staying in touch and collaborating with members of your team will be more difficult than it needs to be. Just because the whole world is using Zoom doesn’t mean that you have to as well. Once the initial shock has died down, think carefully about the types of tools that would serve your business the best. For example, if you’re already using Gmail, perhaps Google Meet is the next logical step to take when it comes to weekly meetings. Alternatively, you might decide that Slack’s clean interface and simple messaging system suit your business needs even more.

But it’s not just communication-specific tools you need to think about. When businesses were based in a physical office, it was easy enough to collaborate simply by sitting at the same table. But now that teams are spread around the world, it’s important to find software that allows you to collaborate online. This includes things like Google Docs, cloud accounting software, and image libraries, all of which allow team members to work together and make changes to ongoing projects.

Check-in regularly, but avoid micromanagement while utilizing Zoom

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As a manager, it can be disconcerting not knowing what your team is doing all day long. You might be worried that they’re focusing on the wrong tasks, not prioritizing correctly, or interpreting briefs in an unusual way. Things are likely running smoothly, but to avoid crossed wires, try to make meetings a daily practice. These meetings don’t have to be long, in fact, they can even be under 10 minutes, but they give everyone a chance to clarify what they’re working on and ask any questions.

But these regular check-ins have led many managers to fall into the trap of micromanagement. The morning meeting quickly becomes countless messages and requests for updates throughout the day, leaving employees to feel like they can’t leave their desks to stretch their legs. If you’ve been feeling a sense of anxiety around leaving people to their own devices, it’s time to recognize that these worries are coming from within you and have nothing to do with your staff. Trust your team to do the job they’ve always done well.

Listen and offer support via Zoom meetings

Have you stopped to wonder whether your team is finding it just as hard as you to communicate effectively? While you might be feeling like staff are willfully out of reach, they might see you as distant and unapproachable. Working from home has been difficult for lots of people, so it’s important to ask about any concerns staff might be having and listen closely to their answers. If people are struggling, these are some ways you can work to improve communication and replicate an in-person work environment:

  •       Hold drop-ins: Sometimes employees don’t want to send you a message because they don’t want to disturb you. By holding drop-ins, you give your team the confidence to come forward. These drop-in calls don’t have to take a long time, and you don’t actively need to be speaking for the whole time period. Many managers open a video or voice call and work while they’re online and available to talk. Sometimes nobody will drop in, but at least everyone knew you were available.
  •       Have a ticketing system: An efficient ticketing system allows employees to make requests and submit tasks without jumping on a call or starting a new chat. This can sometimes remove the hesitancy some team members might have over opening discussions virtually for the smallest of things.
  •       Don’t forget about socializing: While some team members will be content to have lunch by themselves, others will feel a disconnection from office life. Setting up optional lunchtime events or after-work drinks can give people a chance to bond with their co-workers. Don’t forget, there would be plenty of chances in the office for people to chat about the weekend or their holiday plans, so give them the same opportunities when they’re remote as well.

Track progress and celebrate wins with Zoom

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It can be easy to forget how far you’ve come when working remotely, as every day will blend into the next more easily. Equally, it’s all too easy to slip up and forget how close a looming deadline is if you haven’t got it blocked out on your calendar. Tracking how far along projects are is key to managing your workload when working remotely.

But it’s important to make sure you’re tracking the good things as well. Keep a close eye on both individual progress and your team’s achievements as a whole – and don’t forget to acknowledge successes. Remote working can be demotivating for some, as they might not have a real, tangible picture of the impact of their work. Celebrating projects that went well can rekindle a sense of team spirit and boost morale.

And finally… Don’t panic

Thousands of businesses across the world have started working remotely, putting them all in the same boat as you. Remote working has its ups and downs, but as a manager, it’s your job to help your team make the best of them. Stay level-headed and meet the challenges that come with a well-thought-out plan of action.

 

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9 ways you can Speed Up your WordPress website

wordpress

Time is money, and with the growing digitalization, people have grown more and more restless. If a WordPress website takes longer than 3 Seconds to load that means it is slow. And a slow website means users will potentially leave the website before it even loads.

Even Google admits that while ranking websites, it takes into consideration the website loading time, SEO configurations and present backlinks. Most of these can be checked by opting for relevant plugins like backlink checker, or other SEO tools.

With the growing competition, a website owner has very little time to show users it’s content and also convince users to stay on the website. So, it becomes imperative for website owners to make sure that their website loads quickly. 

Nine Ways to Boost the Speed of Your WordPress Website

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Here are some ways one can speed up WordPress: 

  • Install a WordPress Caching Plugin

Caching can make your WordPress site anywhere from 2x to 5x faster. WordPress pages are “dynamic.” This means they’re built on the fly every time someone visits a post or page on the website. To build the pages, WordPress has to run a process to find the required information, put it all together, and then display it to the user.

This process involves a lot of steps, and it can really slow down a website when multiple people are visiting it at once.

That’s why a caching plugin will help. By enabling caching on the website, the site data can be stored locally in temporary storage spaces, called caches. 

Instead of going through the whole page generation process every time, a caching plugin makes a copy of the page after the first load, and then serves that cached version to every subsequent user.

This means that browsers can load the site files more easily and don’t have to re-download everything from the server every time the site is needed.

Caching thus makes the page loading speeds much faster especially for recurrent users. 

  • Optimize Images for Speed

Images bring important visual aid to a content and help boost engagement. An illustration catches the eye quickly and helps build interest. So, adding images to  content is an important step. 

However, beginners forget to optimize these images before uploading them on the website, which results in slower speed. As, uploading the image directly from the camera roll means the size of the image is way larger than it needs to be. 

In their original formats, these photos can have huge file sizes and will be a major contributor to the size increment of a given webpage. The larger the picture files on the website, the longer a site takes to load.

Hence, it’s recommended that hosts use photo editing software to optimize images for the web. Plugins can be easily used to resize, compress and retrieve these files.

  • Clean-up your database

The more a WordPress site is used, the more it’s database becomes clogged-up. These old and unnecessary files slow down it’s performance. Cleaning up the  database therefore speeds everything up by removing the items that aren’t needed.

Deleting unwanted data from the database will keep its size to a minimum and also helps in reducing the size of its backups. 

It is also necessary to delete spam comments, fake users, old drafts of the content and maybe even unwanted plugins as well as themes. All of this will reduce the size of the databases and web files, and thus speed up WordPress

  • Choose faster plugins for the website

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Poorly coded WordPress plugins often load too much bloat whether the site needs it or not. This increases the page load speed and slows down the website.

It’s not the quantity of plugins that generally causes a speed problem. In general, it’s the quality and usefulness of plugins that affect page speed.

Poorly designed plugins, plugins with outdated software, or surplus/duplicate plugins can all contribute to slow website loading.

It’s a good idea to run a Google PageSpeed test both before and after installing any plugin. This helps show the impact of the plugin on the website’s speed and allows the host to make an informed decision about whether the plugin’s functionality is worth slowing the site down.

  • Use a lightweight WordPress theme or framework

Sometimes less is more. 

Sure, WordPress themes come with a lot of dynamic elements, sliders, widgets, social icons and many more shiny elements. But, too many elements result in higher page sizes which immensely increases the website load time.

The best option is to use lightweight themes. And make sure to think about the website visibility on the smaller screen. As, mobile friendly website configuration helps in choosing the best themes.

“My coach has been working with me to set and meet aggressive goals for my company. He’s even gotten my employees on board with my vision, and I’ve had problems with them in the past. After several “false starts,” I’m finally taking my business to its potential, and I would like to see my clients do the same. He helped me identify $20,000 in unmade sales (services people wanted but we didn’t offer to them and they didn’t know we could provide) and another $25,000 in missed revenues due to under pricing certain services. We also found a way to change our process for preparing returns that cut the turnaround time by 30%.” Dan, Owner, CPA Firm
  • Minify CSS, HTML & JS files

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), HTML and JavaScript (JS) files are used to add comments to the website code, for example to clarify formatting or style. 

Simply reducing the size of these files and deleting unnecessary code will help improve the site’s Google PageSpeed. 

It enables the site to load more rapidly, whilst retaining the key information needed in order for the site to display correctly. 

  • Don’t upload audio or video files directly to WordPress

Hosting audio and videos costs bandwidth. It increases the backup sizes tremendously, and makes it difficult to restore WordPress from backup in the future. 

Let SoundCloud, YouTube, Spotify and other such platforms to host these when required. They have the bandwidth to handle it. 

WordPress has a built-in video embed feature, so a website owner can simply copy and paste the video’s URL directly into the post and it will be embedded automatically.

  • Keep the WordPress Site Updated

WordPress is an open source project and is therefore updated frequently. Each update helps fix security issues and brings new offers to the table. 

A website owner should always use the latest WordPress version. And ensure fully updated latest versions for all of the page’s features. Make sure to update plugins as and when new software becomes available. 

Updates are always highlighted on the WordPress dashboard and a website owner can simply check regularly and click on any update messages to action them.

Not doing so may make the website slow and unreliable, and make the page vulnerable to security threats.

  • Use a Content Delivery Network

Distance can mean lag in content delivery, which is where a CDN becomes handy. No matter a user’s location, the content on the website should be delivered blazing fast. Sometimes this isn’t always feasible, if the website isn’t on an infrastructure that contains data centers in other parts of the world. 

A CDN keeps a copy of the website in various data centers located in different places. The primary function of a CDN is to serve a visitor from the nearest possible location.

It helps in faster page load time because when configured, the website will use an optimized server that’s closest to the site visitor. The data center will store static content and files, and then deliver them to users based on their location. 

Conclusion on WordPress: 

With the online community today, in a state of  growing impatience it is imperative that website owners speed up WordPress. 

small business coach

 

4 Negotiation Tactics that Every Business Can Use

negotiation

Four Negotiation Tactics That Any Business Can Employ

Whether it’s asking your boss to assign you a two-day off or establishing a B2B trade, it is never easy to negotiate as one does not know the intentions of the person sitting on the other side of the table. Knowing how to negotiate is a skill that one develops from knowledge and information about both the trader and the traded. Every business needs negotiation tactics that can help direct their actions in the right direction to achieve the desired results. So, we are going over the 4 best negotiation tips to help you win your business deal. 

Let’s take a look.

  1.     Ask open-ended questions

To know your counterpart’s threshold, you must ask them open-ended questions. Allow them to speak more so that you can understand what they want. 

Let’s say that you are sitting on the table for a factory equipment deal. You can ask questions like:

  • How about we buy 12 instead of 10 pieces of factory equipment  from you, will you offer any discounts then?
  • Will you provide after-sales support if need be?

Such questions will give you an idea about how much extra your counterpart is willing to offer. 

  1.     Figure out their vulnerabilities

Your counterpart will try to get the better end of the deal. To counter that, you must know where their pain points are. Think like your counterpart, what they do or don’t want. Robust analysis of your counterpart will help you know more about their capabilities and pain points. So, if they try to take advantage of your vulnerabilities, you know where to hit. 

negotiation

  1.     Give them a number

Another strategy is called the bogey strategy. In this tactic, you give a budget to the counterpart, which is a touch lower than your actual budget. You tell them that you cannot afford anything above a certain price. Coming back to the ship example, you tell your counterpart that you can only afford to spend $1million for the ship, of which your actual budget is $1.5 million. Through this tactic, negotiation slightly bends in your favor. Even if your counterpart wants to negotiate further, they can only ask you to increase your budget a bit. In other words, you may end up buying the ship for approximately $1.1 million. 

  1.     Always have your deadlines in place.

Deadlines force people to take action. However, in negotiations, deadlines are often not honored because of the lack of mutual consent between the two parties. But that does not mean that talks should go on endlessly. You must set your deadlines as your time and effort are precious. If the deal is eating up a lot of your time, try changing the mediator, manager, or the deal itself. At last, if it still does not work out then, it might be time to call it quite. 

Final Thoughts on Negotiation

Negotiations are a part of daily business life. They can happen internally between an employee and their boss or externally between the two businesses. To be a perfect negotiator, you must know what you and your counterpart expect from the deal. Ask them open-ended questions to figure out what they want from your business and how far they are willing to go for the deal. Also, it would help if you spent ample time researching their vulnerabilities. Use the bogey technique to play safe and keep your deadlines intact. You must know the last date until which you are willing to negotiate. By using these techniques, you will always have the upper hand. 

 

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How to Create the Ideal Company Wiki in 5 Simple Steps

company-wiki

In Five Simple Steps, Create the Ideal Company Wiki

Want to keep your knowledge and content private yet accessible to only your associates? Then a company wiki is your best bet—it’s a wiki you don’t have to share with the public.

A company wiki is a perfect solution for teams working within a company on projects together. Only those can access the company wiki you allow, and all your content is private and secure. So it’s perfect for storing sensitive data or work methods.

A company wiki can help in numerous ways; some significant ones are as under:

  • It helps make a new hire’s onboarding process easier
  • It Ignites your team’s productivity by saving the time they search for information
  • It helps tackle errors in documentation, as it can be a collaborative process
  • It stores the vision, goals, and style of your company to communicate will all
  • It helps answer technical questions to avoid being asked over and over again

A company wiki is an essential asset for any company, big or small. Hence, this article will teach you how to create the ideal company wiki in 5 simple steps:

  1. Select a wiki software that caters to your company needs
  2. Structure your company’s wiki
  3. Create and upload the information
  4. Circulate the company’s wiki within the company
  5. Keep adding the new information

Five steps to an ideal company wiki:

  1. Select a wiki software that caters to your company needs

For an ideal company wiki, you need an ideal wiki software that runs it. With a multitude of options to choose from, it can be challenging to find the gem. However, we have done the research and found the best for you.

If you want to use a company wiki to help your team stay organized and keep the content up-to-date, Slite is the ideal software to create a wiki. It is a company wiki software that is easy to use and set up. With its clutter-free interface, you’ll have an excellent company wiki that everyone will use.

  1. Structure your company’s wiki

Once you have chosen the right company wiki software, you are ready to populate it with the information. However, you will first need to structure it.

If you’ve got a lot of information to share, make sure to categorize and sub-categorize it in order to make the platform more user-friendly and easy to navigate. The idea is to create a hierarchy of information. For instance, think of the three main sections as Tiers.

  • In Tier 1, you should have the departments
  • In Tier 2, you should have the functions of those departments
  • In Tier 3, you should have the different tasks those functions do

To Elucidate, the HR department’s function to onboard new hires should be structured as a subcategory of the main HR category. In this subcategory, you can place the documents, guides, or tutorials for the newly-in employees.

Similarly, you should structure the information on your company’s wiki by dividing it into the functions of central departments so that it remains clutter-free. However, this structure is not the thumb rule but an example. Since you know your company well, you should structure your company’s wiki in an easy-to-use way for everyone in your company.

Having done with structuring your company’s wiki leads you to the next step that is to populate it with the information.

  1. Create and upload the information for your company wiki

company-wiki

Once you have structured the wiki, it’s time to put some flesh on it. At this stage, you will need the help of the heads of each department of your company.

Since the heads are the ones dealing with the technical things of their departments, they can tell what things are to be incorporated in the company’s new wiki. For instance, the head of HR must have the knowledge of frequently asked queries of the employees. Hence, you must have them create an HR FAQs page under the HR main category.

Similarly, the marketing head may know more about your company’s style; hence, you can request them to help communicate the style effectively. Also, they can have templates such as marketing plans uploaded on the company’s wiki.

Besides domain-related knowledge, there are certain things such as a company’s vision, mission statement, expectations from employees, general guidelines that need to be circulated within everyone. For that, your company wiki should also have a dedicated general page.

At this stage, you should create and upload all of the general information. Then, as the wiki goes live, you can allow the desired employees to edit or add new information.

In the beginning, your company’s wiki may look like a newborn having little knowledge or information. However, it will mature as more employees will be allowed to edit or add the information over time.

  1. Circulate the company’s wiki within the company

Voila, it’s time to invite your employees to the hub of information they need within the company. Your company’s wiki is ready to go live after you have structured and added the pre-existing information.

The company’s wiki will let your employees collaborate without having to use other applications. Here, they can share every form of information, such as audio, video, image, text, etc., with each other. Furthermore, since it is a collaborative platform, it makes it easier for the employees to have feedback, direction, and brief on the projects they are working on.

By contributing new information, the wiki will mature over time and become the go-to resource for any employee that needs clarification or a solution to a problem.

  1. Keep adding the new information

Since the company’s wiki is created to save employees’ time who seek clarifications to their queries, you must keep it up-to-date.

Whenever an employee’s mind lights up with a question, the answer should already exist in the company’s wiki. If it doesn’t exist, it should then be added in case the same question pinches another employee someday later.

It will save everyone’s time; hence, keeping the wiki up-to-date will contribute to the company’s overall productivity.

Conclusion on creating a company wiki

If you do steps one through five, you’ll have an ideal company wiki that your employees will turn to when they need information.

By setting up a wiki, you’re increasing your company’s overall productivity because your employees will be able to find the information they need quickly and use that time to work on something else.

Also, It’s crucial to make your wiki as easy to use as possible. It should also be easy to add, edit, and update.

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6 Ways to Bring Remote Teams Together to Bond

remote-teams

Six Ways to Bond Remote Teams

One of the many revealing truths that have been unearthed by the pandemic is the importance of keeping good team morale. It can be a challenge to develop and maintain good team morale when you have remote teams.

The pandemic has presented many challenges for workers, and adjusting to the demands of remote working is often a steep ask for employees who are accustomed to the office lifestyle.

With many teams separated by distance and still unable to deal with internal issues face to face, it’s critical that we’re able to maintain strong bonds and keep our employees smiling in order to adjust to the new normal.

For business leaders looking to support morale, keep their teams working collaboratively, and maintain their company culture, communication and social activities are key. So, here are six ways that you can bring your team together.

remote-teams

1 – Zoom Yoga
Yoga for team building is not a new concept. Teaching your team simple yoga moves like the downward dog, and child’s pose can be highly beneficial for stress management, and overall health. In fact, YogaJournal.com lists as many as 38 benefits. So, go ahead and choose a small break in the day to hold an optional yoga class via Zoom or Teams and allow your team the chance to take a deep breath.

2 – Coffee Breaks for your remote teams
A common complaint among remote workers is one of a blurry work-life balance. It’s easy to become distracted and end up working late into the evening, or eating into days off to meet your demands. For workers with children or other responsibilities, this can be even more pronounced. One way to combat this is through good diary management, but also by encouraging regular coffee breaks. Scheduled coffee breaks can also be a perfect moment for an informal catch-up call where you can cut the work chat and strengthen bonds.

3 – Team games
Along with coffee breaks, employees often miss some impromptu fun with their team. You can replace Friday bar drinks with a virtual quiz, or test your best poker face with a Zoom version of online poker. For added incentive, you could play for money or prizes, but as explained by Poker.org, you don’t always have to play with real money.

4 – Playlists
We know that music is pleasurable, but it may also be a way to enhance our social connections. According to research by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), when we try to synch with others musically (even when that person is not visible to us) we tend to feel positive social feelings towards them. As a business leader, you can capitalize on this by creating a collaborative Spotify playlist. Employees can add their favorite tracks, share new discoveries and ultimately march to the same tune as their colleagues.

5 – Pet Pics
Another popular endorphin booster is our pets. VeryWellMind.com explains how scientific evidence from psychological research proves that viewing certain animal pictures can combat stress and make us happier. While a bring your pet to work day may be off the cards, you can still encourage employees to include their pets on team calls, and in group chats.

6 – Group Chats with your remote teams
In the past, some business owners have been skeptical about encouraging online communications between colleagues. Fears over distracting email threads, and the potential for arguments have slowed down what should be a natural evolution of our work communications.

Yet, group chats are becoming more popular in the age of remote work. While WhatsApp and Facebook chat groups may press a little too close to home for most workers, tools like Slack can prove to be the perfect fit.

With Slack, you can create channels such as #memetime and #recipes where employees can test their gif game, and share their favorite meal-time treats, alongside project focused channels for more regular work discussion.

Maintaining employee morale during a global crisis is challenging, but it’s not impossible. By employing your efforts to improve communication, strengthen bonds, and allow your employees to be themselves you can prove to them that you care. Unlock your team’s potential with these six tips, or read Small Business Coach‘s advice on further remote work solutions.

 

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Factors to Consider When Writing a Great Business Plan

business-plan

A business plan sounds so strict, serious, and a little intimidating. It’s a particularly scary word for young entrepreneurs who have never drafted a business plan before. However, as long as you have a winning business idea, you should not be afraid to implement it in life. Thus, at some point, you’ll need to start working on that business plan. Don’t fall in despair, though. It’s not as difficult as it sounds. You can simply follow the common steps of writing such a plan. To do so, just follow the five main factors we mention in the article.

 

Consider the Following When Writing a Strong Business Plan

 

What is a business plan?

A business plan is a breaking point in your pursuit. This concept turns your vision and dreams into reality. Thus, it turns your idea into something tangible. You should be able to put your idea on paper, plan it out, and decide on every needed step. Your business idea should look like a concrete strategy for turning your dream into reality by the time you finish your plan.

Of course, you don’t write such a plan only for yourself. This document is for your future sponsors, partners and employees. Hence, your plan should be professional, clear, and convincing. Don’t worry. You can always ask writers from study bay for professional writing tips or help with composition and edition. Overall, your business plan should always consider all necessary steps for making your idea work. Thus, it should include around five factors. These are the future strategy, people involved, finances, marketing, and operation. Let’s have a closer look at all five of them.

Strategy

business-plan

The first stage of your plan should always be an introduction. Thus, you get to explain your idea. Write why you think it is a good one. Start with factors that make it special so others will get invested in further reading. Here, you write what you plan to do with this idea. Hence, you briefly draft the strategy and outcomes you expect. Outline the purpose of it all. Explain what niche it is going to take and what goals it pursues. End with explaining how you are going to gain profits. This part is everything your future investors or partners are interested in, so make it count.

Execution while writing your business plan

At this stage, you explain all the operational elements of your business. Hence, this step answers all the ‘how’ in your plan. You should write down how you will run your business including the type of the organization you want to have and how you will implement it. Detail all the technical and operational issues. Thus, here, you show the upwards of your business. Start with the leadership team, explaining how the system of hierarchy works in your business. Next, move to the predicted point of your first profits. Then, show how you expect to achieve it. Overall, explain every little build of how your idea can work as a business.

Marketing

In our modern world of tight competition, marketing can make or break a new business. Explain to the people your marketing approach. Find the right ways to get noticed by the public. Show several marketing strategies that aim to attract, win over, and gain customers’ loyalty. Don’t forget to stress out your online marketing strategy, as this is where the real game happens. You may even seek out some unemployed professors who can explain marketing strategies in great detail if you want.

Finances

Here, everything is rather simple. You should write down your predictions, or better calculations, on how much money your business needs. Thus, you get to outline all your expenses. See what type of working space you need and how much that is going to cost you. Perhaps, you just need a website and social media presence. See how you plan to advertise your product. Plan how many people you need on your team to start off with your plan. Try to predict how many employees you may need if the business takes off. Overall, the financial factor is often the hardest one to predict and implement into life. However, this step is crucial for a reliable and good business plan.

Team

A good business plan will mention the people needed for the work. Overall, here you state what professionals you need to run your business. The people on your team play an essential role in your future success. So, already having good specialists on the team will help convince investors to believe in your idea. Overall, the people factor in a business plan is often among the most influential ones. Make sure you pay enough attention here.

The bottom line of your business plan

business-plan

These five factors should serve you as the crux of your future work. However, it’s not enough to learn only about your future enterprise. Remember to make adjustments to all plans and presentations depending on the audience. The people you present this plan for play a huge role in your future success. After all, your main goal here is to make people believe in yourself. Sometimes, you can achieve it with pure facts, numbers and graphs. Sometimes, though, you get to win people over with passion and ambitions.

 

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4 Best Solutions You Can Tailor for Your Remote Workers

remote-workers

Four Best Remote Worker Solutions You Can Implement

Remote workers can be an essential aspect of your business. Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic began and spread, companies underwent forced lockdowns, thus increasing the number of remote working employees. A survey states that 88% of businesses worldwide directed and encouraged their employees to work from home. This unexpected change in circumstances forced many companies to search for ways to work with their remote employees. Thanks to advancements in technology and software, employers progressively find it easier to work productively with their off-site staff. Reports show that several companies are changing some job positions to allow their workers to work full-time or partial hours from home.

However, shifting to a remote work setup has a fair share of challenges for employers. How can you manage the attendance and performance of your employees in a remote setup? What are the best strategies to secure business data with distributed teams? Business communications, people management, time management, customer service, and IT security are common topics of concern for many employers planning to embrace remote and hybrid (combination of in-house and remote employees) workplaces.

Now, companies can tap into several solutions to meet their productivity quota with remote working staff. As an employer, what are some of the best solutions you can tailor for your remote workers? 

Human Resource Onboarding Software

Various digital human resource (HR) platforms ease the time-consuming process of hiring and integrating new staff into an organization. These HR digital packages assist in the reduction of time taken between searching for capable employees to hiring them. These platforms aid you in reducing the amount of paperwork needed for hiring staff, processing employee benefits, and simplifies the set-up of payroll.

  • GoCo Onboarding platform

GoCo blog points out companies can customize HR platforms to meet the needs of their business. The value of these platforms affects your business’s bottom line by reducing the cost of having a well-streamlined HR structure. 

Communication Platforms for Your Remote Workers

remote-workers

Ongoing and clear communication is essential to the success of any business project and venture. Your remote workers face isolation and non-face-to-face immediate interaction. Team meetings, coffee and lunch breaks, chats with colleagues made it easier to access direct information between in-house co-workers. Employees working in remote locations do not have the same access to these informal chats. To reduce this lack of immediate communication, you can invest in internal communication customizable software and platforms to include remote workers. 

  •  Zoom Video Conferencing

The Zoom platform enables businesses and individuals to conduct group meetings, one-to-one meetings, and host events and webinars. During these events, Zoom video conferencing allows you to present your PowerPoint presentations, the use of whiteboards, and other software that engages your employees or clients. It allows for the set-up of different breakout rooms for more in-depth team discussions or social chats. You can record a meeting or webinar to have it accessible during offline hours to your employees, clients, or as a marketing tool for your website.

  • Microsoft Teams to Help Your Remote Workers

Microsoft Teams offers a virtual office for team discussions, meetings, social chats, and team document collaboration. This virtual office makes it easier for remote workers to fit into an organization or company. Microsoft Teams allows room for file sharing, basic video calls, integrating different applications, and other features. A feature within Microsoft Teams is its digital working space under its ‘Together mode’ that allows both in-house and remote teams to work in the same workspace or ‘sit together’ as a team.

Remote IT Support and Support for Remote Workers

In-house office setting, getting the IT staff to check on your computer or failing software is not a hustle. How about when you are working remotely? Platforms such as TeamViewer make it easier for the IT guy to help you fix your computer problem.

With TeamViewer installed on your computer, the IT staff can remotely and securely access it. You provide the IT person with the login details and the security number generated when you access the TeamViewer, thus allowing the IT staff to access your computer and help you fix the computer issue. Team viewer gives remote access to any device across various platforms.

Because remote and hybrid workers are at a high risk of cybersecurity vulnerabilities, companies and organizations must take more stringent security measures. Phishing, ransomware, and data leakage are just a few of the many IT problems remote workplaces may encounter. A minor IT problem can become a disaster, compromising the entire business. Hence, remote workplaces have several options:

  • Hiring an in-house IT expert.
  • Taking advantage of managed IT support Melbourne services.
  • Self-managing your IT security.
Conclusion

Remote work settings are increasingly growing, even after the peak rates of the pandemic, because of their cost-effectiveness. The recommended solutions above can help you manage your remote workers without compromising your business data, employees’ performance, and output quality. Having the right tools and strategies for remote work management can help make your company more successful.

 

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