Employee health and safety is a serious concern, from both a legal and ethical standpoint. Health and safety legislation has come a long way since its first real introduction to UK law in the 1970s – but for many starting out their own new business venture, the essential routes to ensuring staff safety are ill-defined. How can you ensure your staff remains safe in the workplace?
Employee safety and health measures are underpinned by the risk assessment, which seeks to comprehensively identify and engage with the various risks and hazards presented by a given workplace or site. A risk assessment not only recognizes a given risk, but identifies manners in which it can be reduced and grants responsibility for these measures to an individual – establishing accountability.
Hand-in-hand with recognising the various risks present in your workplace is the provision of equipment to protect against them. Where a safety officer has recognised the serious risk of hearing damage from loud or sustained volume of tools or industrial equipment, hearing protection in the form of ear defenders or plugs must be supplied. Likewise, crush risks from heavy or falling objects should be met with hard hats and steel toe-capped boots.
This is not just an ethical or morale-based standpoint. Health and safety legislation is unequivocal on a business’ health and safety responsibilities to its staff, with the provision of adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) a legal requirement.
Signage and Procedure
But PPE is regarded as a ‘last resort’ in terms of workplace health and safety. It is often the last barrier between a potential hazard and a member of staff; more effective forms of health and safety intervention occur earlier in the chain, mitigating exposure to risk or even eliminating risk altogether.
These kinds of interventions can be achieved in a number of ways. Signage is the most obvious way in which hazards are outlined and risks mitigated; with proper signage, workers and visitors can understand any present dangers, and take steps to avoid them. The robust procedure, enshrined by company policy, is key to aligning staff on the importance of safety.
The above provisions are absolutely crucial to promoting a safe working environment for your employees. However, their impact can be negligible if not shored up with arguably the most important piece of the puzzle: training.
Without a comprehensive approach to staff training, not all employees will have the same understanding of your business’ safety expectations. On a simple level, if an employee has not been trained in the proper use of certain apparatus, the likelihood that they will injure themselves with it is heightened. This extends to the wearing of PPE, and the following of strict health and safety procedures.
By regularly and repeatedly training staff members in the correct conduct and practice from a health and safety standpoint, you can ensure all employees are upskilled to the same level. Employees will be on the same page, and no one weak link can inadvertently cause a preventable incident.
No matter how trained and honest your customer service reps are, there are instances where some customers may feel dissatisfied with your product or services. No matter the cause of the dissatisfaction, you have to take steps to remedy the situation to gain the loyalty of the clients who feel dissatisfied. The process of doing this may not be easy and, to some extent, embarrassing, but remember that one dissatisfied client can bring your company down.
Here are the five steps you can take to transform dissatisfied customers into priceless assets.
1. Build a Strong Reputation
When one of your customers is unhappy with your service, the first step is to find out the cause and extent of the dissatisfaction through a DSAT analysis. Once you get your facts right, invite the offended clients for a one-on-one discussion. If they can’t come physically, you can organize a phone conversation.
Tell them how sorry you are and the steps you have taken to remedy the situation. You can offer to replace the product or offer the service without charging them. When they agree to come for the product or service, let them get the best. This will instantly convert them into your loyal customers.
2. Listen to the Customers
Dismissing a disgruntled client or failing to hear their side of the story can hurt your business. The customers will get more outraged and frustrated. Offering a listening ear to your clients makes them feel valued and respected. Sitting an angry client down and listening to them gives them a sense of satisfaction.
Remember that an unhappy client is always very honest. They’ll tell you everything they feel about your company and products. So don’t stop at listening. Let them know the steps you plan to take to prevent the recurrence of whatever they experienced.
3. Damage Control
Today, people have access to several communication channels. Once a customer is dissatisfied, they can instantly post the incident on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter. And within no time, hundreds, if not thousands of people, will be sharing and discussing the issue. This can hurt your company’s reputation. When faced with such a situation, make sure you take damage control measures.
Have your customer representatives respond to the sentiments expressed on social media professionally and, if possible, explain the situation and offer apologies. You can also publish an official statement about the incident and the remedial measures taken on your company’s website. Try as much as possible to protect your company from negative comments.
4. Seize the Opportunity for Improvement
You and your employees should learn from unhappy customers. Once you listen to them, try to improve on the areas they mention. If it’s about customer service, you can invite an expert to train your team. If it’s about the product, make sure the customers’ suggestions are incorporated into your future production.
Once you make the changes, let the angry customers know what you’ve done.
5. Do Everything Possible to Please Angry Customers
Whatever happens, don’t let a customer leave your premises when they are still unhappy. Try as much as you can to make the customer feel special, even if it means giving them more than they asked for. By going above and beyond what they expected, you can win them back.
Let them know how much you value and respect them before they leave your premises.
Converting an unsatisfied customer into a company asset can positively impact your business. Some customers may indeed overreact, but it’s upon you to cool things down and let the customer feel like they’ve won. When you handle an angry customer well until they agree to work with you again, you will have found a loyal partner.
The people you hire to work for your business can be your biggest assets and your biggest headaches; finding and training great employees can be a challenge. They can support and help you to achieve the vision you have for your company – but they can also prevent you from reaching that vision.
Finding and Training Great Employees
Too manybusinesses overlook the role of employee recruitment and retention when planning for the success of theirorganization. Staffing is an important exercise that needs to be purpose-driven and strategic, just like marketing.
Employees Think: What’s in it for Me?
It is vital to understand in today’s market that the relationship between employee and employer is a two-way street. Now, more than ever, employees have a “what’s in it for me?” attitude that extends beyond salary and benefits expectations into incentive and rewards programs. The days of simple compensation structures are over.
Now, this may sound like a big headache, but it’s actually a good thing! With some simple systems and open dialogue, you will be able to effectively create – and keep – your dream team.
The Power of Your Dream Team
How much of your own personal time has human resources – staffhiring, firing, issues management, etc. – taken this year? No doubt staff recruitment and retention is one of the biggest challenges facing anybusiness owner today.
The truth is, if you spent half as much time on human resources as you do on marketing, I guarantee your sales would increase dramatically.
Employees Treat Customers Exactly the Way You Treat Them
Customers know the difference between happy employees and disgruntled ones, and it makes a difference when it comes to purchasing decisions. I’ve heard it said that youremployees will treat your customers exactly the same way that you treat them. Would you rather have your car serviced by a grumpy mechanic who doesn’t feel his good work is rewarded or a pleasant one who just stepped out of a weeklyteam meeting?
Asuccessful business owner has confidence in the people who work for him because he believes they are the best people for the job.Employees who know their employer believes in their skills and abilities will go over and above to get the job done, to make the sale.
Successful Business Owner Invest Time and Money in Employees
Successful business owners invest time and money in finding, keeping and training great employees. These are the people who share and support the collective vision of the company.
I’m not talking about a complicated formula or magic concoction. I’m talking about some careful thought and a proactive strategy that will make your business shine from the inside out.
Finding Your Dream Employees
Building a dream team starts by finding and hiring the right people for the job. Sounds simple enough. You post an ad, find someone who has the necessary qualifications and hire them on.
Not so fast. Recruitment is a complex process that can dramatically impact your business operations. Just like finding and securing the right customers, finding and hiring the right candidates requires pro-active planning and careful evaluation.
Create an Internal Recruitment System
If you currently work with a recruiting agency to build your team, now may be a good time to stop and evaluate the effectiveness of their service. While a recruiting agency can save you the time and hassle of working through the hiring process, it can also cost more money in the long run.
I always recommend creating an internal recruitment system, not because recruiting agencies do a bad job, but because no one knows yourbusiness like you do.
Create an Attractive Business Culture
If you want to attract and retain the highest quality clients, you must have a culture that is attractive and a future that is compelling. Developing an effective strategic plan and including your employees in the process is a good place to start. Determine where you are going, what your mission is and how your organization will treat others. Once you have established your vision, mission, and values, then you must deploy them throughout your organization to ensure that you “practice what you preach.”
An internal recruitment system ensures that the true essence of your business culture is communicated – from advertisement to interview. You also have the opportunity to communicate expectations from the outset, instead of relying on the recruiter to relay this information. The middleman’s thoughts and impressions are eliminated, leaving you to make decisions based on your impression of the candidate and no one else’s.
Step One: Advertise the Opportunity
The first step in recruiting candidates is obviously letting potential candidates know about the opportunity with your company.
But before you pick up the phone to place a classified ad, remember that advertising for potential employees requires just as much consideration and planning as general advertising for your business.
Before You Place an ad ask yourself:
Who is your ideal candidate?
What are their skills and qualifications?
What is their personality or demeanor?
What are they passionate about?
What are they looking for in a job?
Once you have a mental picture of your candidate, then you can begin to write an ad that will not only reach them but also inspire them to act (and submit an application).
When writing this ad, be as specific as possible and focus on the benefits of the job. Remember that potential candidates screen job postings with an eye for “what’s in it for me.” Tell them exactly that.
Here are a few sample job postings:
Are you the Marketing Assistant we need?
You’re fun, friendly and have a keen eye for detail. You’re always two steps ahead of your colleagues, and eager to take on new and exciting challenges.
You’ll be in charge of website updates, copywriting, event planning, and customer relations, and you’ll be the glue that keeps the marketing team functioning smoothly. You’ll be reliable, trustworthy, and well-dressed.
You’ll ideally have an undergraduate degree in marketing or English, and some previous office experience, but a fast learner with a great attitude will also get our attention.
We are a collaborative team of young professionals. We offer a competitive salary, great benefits andperformance incentives.
Think you fit the bill? Email your resume and cover letter to John Jones at [email protected] business.com by Friday at 5 pm.
Are Computers Your Life?
You are smart, outgoing, and a wiz when it comes to computer programming. You’re on your friend’s speed dial for computer emergencies, large and small. Helping people understand the complex digital world is your passion.
You’ll be our Lead Computer Technician, managing our computer repair counter and five Junior Technicians. You’ll have great people skills, mounds of patience, and enjoy working as part of a dynamic team.
We operate Anytown’s leading computer repair store and are known across the region for our customer service. We work hard, play hard, and offer a competitive benefits package to our employees.
Tell us why this job is for you. Email your resume and cover letter to [email protected] by Thursday, September 23.
Both of these job postings speak directly to a very targeted audience. They’re friendly, colloquial, and communicate the job requirements in an informal way.
Every job posting should:
Be written in the way that you talk
Include skills, qualifications, duties and job title
Be written in the present tense
Have a great headline
Call the reader to action
Be simple – in word choice and sentence structure
Be more exciting than the competition
Now that you have a great ad to post, you need to decide where you are going to publish it. This depends on the level of the job (junior to management) and on the specific type of candidate you are looking to recruit.
Here are the five major places to advertise your opportunity:
Government Employment Center
These are great places to find blue-collar or junior level employees. Candidates register with the center, which keeps their resumes on file. Be cautious with this route – it can produce a wide variety of candidates who are not qualified.
Indeed, Ziprecruiter, Etc
This is a great place to post junior to mid-level employment opportunities. You’re looking for basic qualifications from local applicants, perhaps even for part-time positions, with minimal cost.
Senior employment opportunities that require specific high-level qualifications are best advertised with a broad scope. This incurs a greater cost but will return a greater variety of candidates.
This is a cheap way to tap into a massive database of job seekers. Post your ad online on sites like www.monster.com or www.workopolis.com and watch the resumes come flooding in. A large number of highly qualified job seekers who do not wish to register with a recruitment agency will use these services.
The most ideal way to find candidates is through your existing network – including associates, colleagues, employees, friends and family. These candidates come to you already vetted by a trusted source. You may also wish to consider giving your staff an incentive to refer their qualified friends and associates to you.
Other Niche Areas
You should also brainstorm a list of any other niche areas that your target market may look for a job. Consider vocational schools, colleges, industry publications, industry associations, small publications, etc.
Once you’ve posted your ad, your next step is to manage the inquiries that come flooding in. These are just a few steps in the process of finding and training great employees.
Screen and Interview Candidates
One of the most time-consuming parts of the hiring process is screening and interviewing prospects, so you’ll need to develop a system to handle the response to your job posting.
Screen and interview candidates is a system that will also ensure you ask all potential candidates the same questions, and provide them with the same information about the role as well as about your company.
1. Decide whether all inquiries will be handled by one person or several.
To screen and interview employees whether it will be handled by one person or several, depends on your staff resources and capacity. A system will allow multiple employees to assist in the process.
For example, if your candidates have been instructed to submit their resume and cover letter to you through email, designate a single email address and inbox to receiving and responding. This way you or another staff member will not be bombarded by emails and can designate an hour oftime each day to managing the inquiries. If your candidates are calling in, designate a unique phone number or answering machine for this purpose.
2. Decide how inquiries will be responded to.
This can be as simple as an email acknowledging receipt of the resume, or specific instructions on an answering machine. Ensure everyone receives the same information, and that you receive the same level of information from all candidates (resume, cover letter, portfolio, references, and other relevant information.).
If you have asked candidates to call you instead of submitting their resumes through email, create a standard checklist of questions to ask them, as well as of information to provide them with. You may wish to create a script. Some questions might include:
What kind of job are you looking for?
Why do you think you would be well suited to this position?
Tell me a bit about yourself.
What makes you interested in our company?
Use this opportunity to get a feel for the applicant’s personality, and trust your initial impression. Create a form on which to record this information, and file it with their resume when you receive it.
3. Devise a process for reviewing resumes or applications.
The easiest and most time-efficient way to do this is in a single session, after the stated deadline, and not as you receive them. You may wish to enlist the assistance of a senior colleague to provide a second opinion.
Review the resumes and application materials, and divide the applications into three piles: interview, no interview, and maybe. From here you can begin to call candidates and set up the first interview.
It is also a good idea to be in touch with unsuccessful candidates, and politely let them know that you will not be asking them in for an interview. If you anticipate your response rate will be overwhelming, you may wish to consider stating in your advertisement that only successful applicants will be called.
Step Three: First Interview
The first interview is also a screening interview; your objective is to develop a first impression of the candidate as a person and to determine if they are qualified for the position. If you feel you have found an ideal candidate, this is also your opportunity to convince them to choose your company over any others they may be considering. Good people don’t stay in the market long.
Interview Candidate Structure
You will need to decide on a structure, or system, for the interview process as well. Will you be conducting the first interviews, or will another manager? Will the interviews be conducted one-on-one, or will several employees participate? If you are replacing an employee, you may want to consider inviting that employee into the interview to provide insight into the role.
Interview Candidate Materials
Just as you are asking the potential candidate to come prepared to the interview, you must be as well.
Have an outline prepared for what you would like to cover? Topics include company history, job description, interview questions, compensation structure, availability, and room for advancement.
Bring two copies of a typed job description. Include all tasks the candidate will be responsible for completing or assisting with.
A company profile or overview document (other marketing collateral will also work here).
Interview Candidate Attitude
Begin to build a relationship with each applicant. The purpose of the interview is not just to discuss the job description, or for the applicant to get all the interview questions “right.” It is to determine if this person has the right attitude for the job, and whether or not they will fit in with the company’s culture and its employees.
Keep the interview professional, but make sure the applicant is comfortable. Interviews test our ability to perform under pressure, but you will want to gain an understanding of the applicant’s true nature. Remember that even if the applicant is not well suited to the role they have applied for, they may be suited to a future opportunity with the company.
Interview Candidate Questions
The questions you decide to ask the candidate are highly specific to your company and the role you arehiring for. Take some time to brainstorm what you really need to know about each person, and what questions you can ask to get that information.
Keep in mind that part of the objective of the first interview is to get a sense of the candidate’s personality. You will want to ask questions about their responses and begin to establish a real relationship with them.
Here are some starter interview questions to get you going:
Tell me a little bit about your background.
What has been your first impression of our company/product/services?
Tell me about a time when…[insert a likely scenario they will encounter in the position]. How did it make you feel? How did you handle the situation?
What advantages do you feel you have over the other candidates?
What are your strengths? Weaknesses?
Tell me about an achievement you’re proud of.
Why did you leave your last position?
Where do you see yourself in five years?
…and so on.
Make sure you take good notes or ask a junior member of your team to take notes for you. Also, record your impression of the candidate after each interview. You will want to be able to reflect on each interview before inviting the candidate to the next phase of the selection process.
When the first interviews have been completed, review your notes and discuss your first impressions with other employees involved in the process. Then, decide who you would like to invite back for a second interview, and let the unsuccessful candidates know they are not right for this particular role.
Step Four: Second Interview + Reference Check
The second interview is used to confirm your impressions of the applicants you believe are well suited to the job. It can also be used to get more information, or to more closely compare two solid candidates.
Make sure you only offer a second interview to those you are considering hiring. If you are on the fence about a candidate, chances are your instincts are right, and bringing them in for a second interview is a waste of their time and yours.
When you call a candidate to invite them to come in for a second interview, remain professional and don’t make any allusions to a job offer. If your impression of the candidate changes during the second interview, you do not want to have to go back on something you said. Let them know what you thought of them based on the first interview, and ask if they would be interested in meeting with you a second time.
Give yourself and the candidate at day or two between interviews to reflect on the first interview and prepare for the second.
Interviewers Can Change
You may wish to change the person or team of people who conducted the first interview. Usually, the second interview is conducted with more senior team members at the table.
Interview Candidates Questions
While the second interview is often less structured than the first – a relationship has already begun to be established – you should still prepare a list of questions for the candidate.
These questions should focus on the specific tasks related to the job, and on providing more information about the culture, systems, and values of the company. You can also use the second interview to ask questions you may not have had the chance to in the first interview.
Office Tour + Introductions
Once you have determined that you have found the candidate for the job, take them on a tour of your office or business, and introduce them to your staff members. This is a good way of gaining an initial understanding of how the candidate might interact with your existing staff members.
This is the final – arguably most important – step to make before offering the job to the candidate. You should ask your candidate for at least three employment references, and perhaps one character reference.
Call each reference contact, and explain who you are and why you are calling. Then ask if they have a few moments to answer some questions about the candidate. You will want to find out information about punctuality, professionalism, skills, and their reason for leaving. Cross-reference this information with your interview notes to ensure consistency between the candidate and their reference.
Step Five: Hire Your Employee
Provided their references are solid, now is the time to make them an offer of employment.
Call the candidate personally to offer them the job. Make sure you congratulate them and express your enthusiasm in welcoming them into your team. You will also need to follow up your conversation with a letter or email that includes the job offer document or contract.
In the case a candidate declines the job offer, you may wish to do a reference check on your second pick candidate and make them an offer.
Training Your Dream Employees
Once you have landed your dream employees through a rigorous recruitment process, it is essential that you continue to invest in your decision by putting them through a thorough training process. Training great employees makes them a great asset and grow professionally, and this makes them stay in your company.
Training is Important for Employee Retention
It is an element of recruitment. A new employee’s orientation and training set the tone for their entire employment; this includes their impression of your business, its systems, and respect for its leaders. This has an impact on your ability to retain good people and avoid unnecessary or redundant recruitment processes.
Too often, businesses rely on junior employees to train new ones without any guidelines or ‘curriculum.’ New employees are thrown into the deep end without clear expectations or an understanding of ‘how things are done around here.’
Your Leaders’ Involvement in the Training Process
These elements affect how an employee perceives their own required level of effort or performance. Abusiness that doesn’t give much thought to planning, expectations, and preparation will end up showing a new employee that the same lack of attention is expected from them.
Here are some things to ensure you implement when you create your comprehensive training system:
Prior Learning / Existing Knowledge
Acknowledge your new employee’s prior learning, and don’t overestimate or underestimate their existing knowledge.
Choice of Trainer
Investing time and effort in training employees, make sure the person or people who will betraining the new employee are sufficiently qualified and experienced. If an administrator is leading a salesperson’s training and orientation, consider asking another salesperson or more senior team member to assist on specific days or sessions.
Have all the required training materials handy. This includes company manuals, industry guidebooks, common reference materials, work samples and anything else that will aid in the training efforts.
Also, ensure you have the tools available to train your new recruit. Will the training be held at their workstation or another workstation? Do you have all the software you need? All the equipment required? Doing so will ensure the training runs smoothly and the time provided will be used effectively.
Time for Training
Provide more than ample time for training – including time for questions and elaboration. Rushing training benefits no one, including your profits.
Testing to Ensure Mastery
Consider including some ‘tests’ or checks to ensure the new recruit understands each component of the training. Ask the trainer and the trainee to sign-off on each section.
Employees’ Part in the Big Picture
Each team member’s role is part of a larger picture: the company as a whole. Ensure that the trainee understands how their role contributes to the big picture on each level. If they are a junior member of a department, they should understand how their job contributes to the department, as well as how the department contributes to the entire company.
Encourage Employee Feedback
The trainee should be able to ask questions and review information at any time – including after the training process. Create an environment that encourages open dialogue and encourages employees to ask questions when they are unsure of a task.
The other common mistake that many companies make is ending training after the first few weeks of a new recruit’s employment.
Ongoing Employee Training
Training our employees is an ongoing process for every single member of your team, and there should be a system or structure in place to ensure that staff training and development happens on a regular basis. This can include cross-training, employee development, and new systems orientation.
Benefits of Regular Training
Regular training not only benefits your staff and improves their performance, but it allows you – thebusiness owner – to:
Implement new policies + procedures
Invest in your staff, thereby improving confidence and morale
Evaluate staff performance at an individual and team level
Reward staff based on performance improvements
Provide a regular arena for feedback and discussion, including positive and negative experiences and issues
One-on-One Training + Evaluation
An effective system of ongoing training for employees is by weekly, monthly, or quarterly staff reviews. When conducted one-on-one, this provides a forum for regular communication with employees to review performance and identify areas for improvement. A one-on-one environment will encourage more open and honest dialogue than if the session were conducted as part of a team.
As a business owner, these sessions are valuable sources of information and insight into the strengths, weaknesses, and motivations of your team.
Senior Staff Mentoring Junior Staff
If you have a large staff, consider pairing junior staff with senior staff and establishing mentorship relationships. This is a powerful way tobuild the synergy of your team and frees you up from weekly meetings with each staff member. Instead, each senior staff member can report back to you on the results of their regular training sessions, and you only need to conduct these sessions with your senior staff.
Team Training Events
Training events are great networking opportunities. By bringing together people with diverse backgrounds and skill sets, training events provide a unique opportunity for professionals to connect and learn from one another. In addition, training for networking offer a chance to learn about new methods and approaches to work. As a result, training events can be extremely valuable for both individual professionals and teams as a whole. However, it is important to choose the right training event for your team. If the event is too social, it may not provide the desired opportunity for networking and learning. Conversely, if the event is too formal, it may not create the desired sense of camaraderie and collaboration. The key is to strike the right balance between networking and learning. With careful planning, training events can be an excellent way to build strong teams.
Team training exercises will shed light on the leaders and followers in anorganization and bring together employees who may work outside of the office. These can be especially helpful if you and your senior staff do not see the team ‘in action’ on a daily basis.
I suppose you’ve done what you’ve set out to do: get the right people working for you. But what happens when those people get bored? Or stolen by another company? Or feel they’ve “done all they can do” at your company?
The environment you create for your staff has a huge impact on your employee retention rates. This includes the interior design and layout of your office or business, the lighting, plants, and kitchen amenities available. It also includes the culture of the company – what is the general working atmosphere? Are most people loud? Quiet? Is there a buzz or hum to the office space?
The bottom line is that employees should enjoy and feel comfortable coming to their workplace – they do spend most of their waking hours there.
Spending a little more on comfortable office furniture and amenities like coffee, tea, snacks, and social spaces will go a longway toward keeping your employees happy at work.
Recognition, Rewards, and Incentive Programs
Did you know that many employees place more value on positive public recognition for a job well done than they do on salary?
Recognition andrewards are powerful tools when it comes to keeping employees happy. Positive feedback from those in more senior positions has a higher perceived value than a 3-5% salary increase – and it costs the business little to nothing to implement.
Retaining Your Employees
Incentive programs are a formalized way of rewarding employees for their achievements and successes. Clear targets and milestones are identified, and when an individual or team reach those milestones they are rewarded with bonuses or prizes.
Recognition, rewards, and incentive programs are an important part of employee retention, as well asteam building. They will be discussed in further detail in the Team Building chapter.
Professional Development Programs
Another common reason employees choose to leave their positions isprofessional development. Many feel they need to move to another company in order to develop their careers or gain more responsibility. They may not necessarily dislike their current role, but become bored or stagnated and believe they have ‘done all they can do’ at that particular company.
Keeping good people means providingopportunities for growth and advancement within your company. This benefits the company because you can hire from within, and save money and time on recruiting and training new staff. It also benefits your employee and increases their loyalty toward your business.
Professional development programs are an important part of staff retention – but they are also an important part ofbusiness growth and development. A company with staff who are always increasing their knowledge and improving their skills will stay on the ‘cutting edge’ of their industry and have an advantage over the competition.
Ongoing training and development should be a primaryfocus for any growing business. Here’s why:
Increases staff retention
Increases workplace safety and morale
Increases customer service
Professional development programs typically focus on the big picture ambitions of the company and its staff members. The longer-term goals and career ambitions are recorded and taken into consideration.
Professional development can be easily worked into your ongoing one-on-one training systems. Keep a folder or binder for each staff member that outlines current role responsibilities, short and long term goals, and areas for improvement, and review it during your weekly or monthly meetings. Identify specific areas for growth, and develop plans of action for that growth.
For example, if your marketing assistant wants to grow into a marketing coordinator or manager role, and needs to improve her people management skills, consider putting her through a management course.
Simple System Tools for Employee Retention
Maintaining this program doesn’t have to be a time-consuming task. With some simplesystem tools and a commitment to regularly scheduled meetings, you can have a clear and effective program for your staff.
Evolving job description documents to monitor roles, responsibilities, and tasks
Today, the internet plays a crucial role in almost every aspect of our lives. The internet has information on everything, whether it’s choosing the most suitable road to your destination or doing the research before making a purchase. There is no disputing that we are edging closer and closer to a digital future and eCommerce. In fact, some would say that it’s already here.
Another proof of the same is the eCommerce space. If you wish to sell a product or a range of products, you don’t need to pay for setting up a physical store anymore, However, when looking forward to starting your own company or boosting your digital sales reach, the appropriate eCommerce software can make or break your online business.
Choosing the best one might seem overwhelming, with so many options available for different sorts and sizes of businesses. Each eCommerce platform is unique, and you can absolutely choose one that is ideal for your company.
This article outlines the top 5 eCommerce platforms and the important features of each platform, rather than leaving you to wander around and struggle to get all the facts.
Top 5 eCommerce Platforms for your Small Business in 2023:
Choosing the ideal eCommerce platform for your company can be challenging.
An exhaustive list of the top 5 eCommerce platforms for small enterprises like yours is provided below. The list includes inexpensive eCommerce options that address all the urgent requirements of a small business owner wishing to launch an online store and sell goods online.
If you want to grow your small business, Dukaan is the perfect platform. It is a powerful player in the eCommerce sphere and provides enormous benefits to business owners and small eCommerce organizations. You can design a completely functional internet store even if you have no technical expertise. The user-interface is simple to use and incredibly intuitive.
With the wide range of options available on the Dukaan platform, you can quickly and easily build your online store, customise it, and optimise it to enhance your company’s revenue and growth.
Dukaan platform with its distinct themes enables you to make your store exceptional by selecting eye-catching designs and layouts from a variety of attractive choices.
It also helps you get your own unique, simple-to-remember domain name to give your e-store a distinctive identity.
Additionally, it enables you to publish customised pages using easily available, simplified layouts, to expand your online store. You can also create eye-catching marketing materials using simple themes within the Dukaan platform to boost the popularity of your store.
Finally, it also enables you to select from a variety of pre-built components, which gives your store special abilities and features.
You can choose a package for your company on the dukaan platform starting at just Rs11/day. The platform also offers three price tiers based on the specifics of your organization.
The Silver package option is offered to new companies and influencers for Rs 333 per month and Rs 3,999 per year.
For agencies, D2C brands, and developing organisations, there are two package options: the Gold package, which costs Rs 700 per month and billed annually at Rs 8,999, and the Platinum package, which costs Rs 2,500 per month and is billed annually, at Rs 29,999.
Before paying any of this, you may use the seven day free trial to decide if Dukaan is truly the right platform for you.
Shopify is an eCommerce platform that is exclusively intended to help you in establishing an online storefront. Shopify is a perfect option for companies with limited in-house technical assistance as it is a feature-rich online marketplace that is simple to set up and operate. Consequently, Shopify includes all of the features you’ll need if you’re serious about marketing and want to grow your small business.
Shopify has some of the most sophisticated inventory management options. It enables you to simply construct extensive product pages with unique descriptions, graphics, billing guidelines, and more, as well as view inventory levels and bookings at a glance. However, these may be challenging and complex for those with little technical expertise.
The fact that Shopify has integrated dropship services is an outstanding bonus. Therefore, Shopify can be your ideal choice if you’re a small firm seeking to locate space for your inventory. Remember that this advantage is only applicable if you are focusing on a dropshipping business model.
Critical eCommerce metrics like store traffic, transaction records, responsive design, and more are enabled through Shopify’s insights.
Shopify subscription packages start at roughly $29 per month. There are three monthly plans available: Basic Plan ($29), Shopify Plan ($79), and Advanced Plan ($299). However, you can save money by opting for an annual plan as opposed to a monthly one. Still, Shopify is one of the most pricey options on our list.
The Square Online Store is ideal for launching an online business or upgrading your retail outlet digitally. Even if you have no little technological or web programming experience, you’ll have the tools to set up an internet store with its simple site builder layout and necessary eCommerce features.
Square Online creates a store for you that is customized to your needs using Ai Designs
Last but not least, it offers a free eCommerce plan that is ideal for a small firm that is just getting started.
Tracking client behavior and creating personalized invoices are two of the most important features of Square Online.
Like many other eCommerce platforms, Square Online also offers pre-built templates that you can customize to fit your branding, including adding your emblem and altering the styles, colours, and icons.
You can quickly and simply keep the track of the products in your online marketplace using Square Ecommerce Site. You just need to input the total amount of inventory stock for each website, even if you function from multiple sites. Your inventory automatically reduces as a result of your client’s transactions and upgrades to your Square Online Marketplace Product Repository. Your list gets updated, so you don’t oversell.
Square Online offers four different plans, with prices ranging from $14 per month for the Personal Plan to $49 per month for the Advanced Commerce Plan. The Business Plan is billed at $23 per month and the Basic Commerce plan at $27 per month. All Plans are billed annually and help you take your small business to the next level.
BigCommerce is yet another integrated and comprehensive platform. It is a very effective and feature-rich eCommerce platform. Both small and large enterprises can build successful eCommerce websites using this platform.
To assist you in creating your website, BigCommerce offers a wide-ranging collection of eCommerce tools. It is the market’s most versatile eCommerce platform. For a small startup, it can be intimidating, but if you have growth targets and expansion plans, this is the perfect option for you.
To aid in the development of your website, BigCommerce provides a comprehensive selection of eCommerce features. Additionally, you have the option to include digital platforms like Facebook and Instagram on your site and advertise your products there.
Analytics and Search engine Optimization are two more significant aspects of Big Commerce. In addition to allowing users to alter page headers, descriptions, and product URLs to enhance the probability that their products will appear in search engine results, BigCommerce’s SEO accelerates download speeds for better customer engagements.
You can manage payments and delivery for your purchases with BigCommerce. Generally speaking, the platform’s flexibility makes it simple to design and administer your website.
BigCommerce offers 24/7 customer support for all of your needs. They also provide you with knowledgeable assistance as you create your website.
There are three eCommerce options available for BigCommerce, the least expensive of which starts at $29.95 a month. To try it out before committing to a plan, it offers a 15-day free trial. The three subscription plans are, the Pro Plan is $299.95 per month, the Enterprise Plan, which is customizable based on your needs, and the Plus Plan costs $79.95 per month.
Due to its user-friendly layout, not only is Squarespace a great website builder overall, but it’s also one of the finest eCommerce website builders for small enterprises. You can create an online store utilising Squarespace’s templates, drag-and-drop capabilities, and dependable functioning even if you have little to no technical knowledge.
The well-known website builder makes it comparatively simple to establish your internet presence, manage your website, and even set up an eCommerce storefront thanks to its appealing responsive websites. Squarespace provides a fantastic solution for new business owners because of its affordable pricing and consumer friendly layout.
Taking an in-depth look at Squarespace’s chic design templates, as well as its blogging and eCommerce options is necessary if you’re thinking about launching a website for your business.
Squarespace makes it simple to create premiums and subscription programs, sell products and discount coupons, and allow your users to book reservations online.
By providing promotions and incentives, its integrated email marketing features allow users to increase brand loyalty.
Additionally, Squarespace makes it easy for customers to pay by processing money through Paytm, Paypal, Google Wallet, and other payment modes. For rapid purchases, checkout is simplified and quick.
Top features include social network partnerships, digital marketing, strict programming, inbuilt graphics to assist customers find your current location, and email campaigns implementations.
Additionally, Squarespace provides tools for payment gateways for businesses that depend on subscription services.
If you choose a yearlong subscription, the basic Squarespace eCommerce plan costs just $23 per month, or $33 per month if you choose for a month-to-month option.
Pricing options include Personal plan and business plan for $16 per month, and $26 per month respectively and $12 and $18 when paid annually.
The ideal eCommerce platform varies depending on the type of business. There is no “one size fits all” solution. The size of the company and your particular objectives will influence many business decisions significantly.
Having said that, there is an eCommerce platform out there for every business, regardless of whether budget or features are the primary consideration. Finding a platform that is simple to use and prepared to evolve with you is eventually what counts.
it is a superb idea to try out a variety before picking on the greatest one. Customer Surveys, Free trials, such as the 14-day free samples offered by the Dukaan platform, can provide you an insight into which platform is best for your business.
Piyush Shah is a 6 figure affiliate marketer and has helped grow multiple businesses from nothing to making insane business figures. He is currently working as Head of SEO at Dukaan.
The Ultimate Guide to Daily Planning and Using A Daily Planning Template
Most of us recognize the importance of daily planning and preparedness. A great business idea without a game plan results in blunders on the field. A large event without all of the details in place results in pandemonium.
Despite this awareness, we frequently fail to prioritize planning where it is most important: in our daily lives. Starting the day without a clear plan sets us up for failure.
We make objectives based on seasons and years, but it’s what we do every day — the habits we form, the tasks we complete, and the things we prioritize — that add up to success or failure over time. Every month, a few aimless days might help us reboot and find balance.
A good offense in the form of a daily planning process is the best defense against hectic and unproductive days.
There are a variety of daily planning tools you can choose from, ranging from traditional to-do lists, to digital lists, and even calendars.
But thinking outside the box, you can hire a daily planner professional to guide you through the creation of a daily plan that suits your preferred needs as a business owner or a business coach. This person can be a business consultant or business coach who creates business plans for clients. And the daily planner professional can also stick around to ensure you follow through with your goals.
In this article we go over some essential tips on how to implement daily planning as a small business owner and business coach, to get the most out of your day for the betterment of your business and business coaching gig. Plus, we’ll also go over key steps in filling out a daily template, as well as the various productivity and planning tools you can use to achieve your set goals. So, keep reading.
Daily planning definition
The act of charting out one’s daily tasks is known as daily planning.
Daily planning can include making a timetable, making a to-do list, determining what meals to eat or how much money to spend, and other day-to-day concerns. A daily planner template is frequently used for daily planning.
If you are the type of person who generally has hectic days and needs to carefully manage their time (such as a teacher, parent/caregiver, or student), daily planning can be a lifesaver.
When our days are hectic and multi-faceted, it is easy to become distracted, disorganized, or overwhelmed. This can lead to a decrease in productivity and what appears to be unending sessions of “playing catch-up.”
Keeping and keeping up a daily planner is one established method for people to better manage their time. It is significantly less likfely that these jobs and appointments will be forgotten if you have a place to put down the day’s plan and all of the critical things that need to be completed. Having a daily planner on hand also helps to avoid becoming sidetracked or overwhelmed.
Using a daily planner template, in summary, is a sure-fire approach to streamline and simplify your life. It takes some time and effort to become used to utilizing a daily planner template, but once you do, it may make a big difference in providing busy individuals more control over their lives.
What is a daily planner template?
A daily planner template is essentially a piece of paper divided into sections, with each section used to make note of various components in the user’s life that need to be planned for or kept track of.
A daily planner template may have the following sections:
Daily Goal: This could be anything, but it is normally intended to be something that the daily planner template user would be proud or happy to complete. Daily goals can include things like, “send out 20 flyer ads about your business,” “place 2 calls to potential clients” etc.
To-do List: This is a list of tasks that must be accomplished on that particular day. This section will frequently contain small check boxes next to each item so that they can be checked off.
Schedule/Appointments: This is where you can record any meetings, client appointments, or other scheduled events. This section may be formatted in such a way that each line represents one hour of the day.
Urgent/Priority: This is comparable to a to-do list, except the tasks in this category are more pressing.
Gratitude: Here, the user can record one or more aspects of their day for which they are grateful. This may say anything like “I met my estimated sales target today,” “I added a new customer” etc. When it comes to expressions of gratitude, anything goes.
Notes: This is a nice extra part where the user can scribble down anything else they’ve been educated about or want to keep track of.
All of these sections should ideally be organized in such a way that there is enough room for the user to write down all of the necessary information while still fitting on the same page so that the user does not risk missing anything as a result of forgetting to check multiple pages in their planners.
Daily planner templates have become a commonplace in the lives of business owners who desire a certain degree of efficiency and productivity in their day, to maximize profits and outputs. When utilized correctly, they may be a valuable organizational aid in people’s life.
Importance of daily planning
The power of daily planning can help you develop vital abilities while also creating a sense of serenity and productivity when you begin your day each morning. Here are five notable benefits of using a planner.
Daily planning improves time management abilities.
Daily planning allows you to think more realistically about your time and see it as a finite resource. It equips people with the ability to prioritize and scope their assignments appropriately. Time tracking can also help those of us who tend to bite off more than we can chew recognize what we can and cannot do. As you practice this ability, you’ll learn to say “no” or assign a specific task more frequently, allowing you to make better use of your precious time.
Daily planning improves concentration and productivity.
Planning daily chores allows you to cut through the noise and focus on a few critical tasks each day. It provides a sense of purpose and accomplishment (when you cross items off your list), which is motivating.
Maintain your organization, accountability, and sanity.
Being a better daily planner will help you stay on top of everything. It makes large tasks and intimidating workloads seem more achievable by breaking them down into smaller task lists. Starting each day with a planning exercise also helps to document your process, making it easier to track your progress and report upward on your job. Because you’re reporting on progress and checking in on goals every day, daily planning makes you accountable (even more so if you share with your team). It also aids in the completion of assignments on schedule because you will become more adept at scoping and managing your workload.
Daily planning is beneficial to your health and well-being.
Daily planning relieves stress and can assist to create a sense of peace in the midst of chaos. When you have less on your plate, you are more likely to be able to focus and do more in-depth work. You can also use daily planning to prioritize things outside of work that are vital to your general well-being, such as refueling with a healthy lunch, reenergizing with a 30-minute exercise, or just carving out time each afternoon to reset in your own way. Because our brains cannot focus at full capacity without pauses, prioritizing these things is not only beneficial for your health, but it will also help you accomplish more at work each day.
It enables you to keep a record in order to grow and learn from
Daily planning can teach you a lot about yourself, and these lessons will help you work more efficiently in the long run. We’re not very good at anticipating how long things will take us as humans – don’t take it personally, this applies to the majority of us. With daily planning, you’ll have a record of what you planned to do and what you actually accomplished. It’s fine if you don’t complete everything every time. As you progress, you’ll learn to accurately scope tasks and build work schedules for yourself that promote productivity and well-being.
How to use a daily planner template
As previously said, getting used to utilizing a daily planner template might take some time, especially if you do not regularly plan out your day.
There are a few things to consider if you are contemplating or have begun using a daily planner template.
Check your planner every day. The purpose of a daily planner is to be used on a daily basis. It is best to get into the habit of checking your daily planner at least every day and night. The morning check might be spent creating a fresh daily planner template, and the evening check could be spent going through the daily planner template and making sure everything is in order.
Prioritize tasks: As you go through your day and use your filled-in daily planner template, get into the habit of completing the activities in your planner in the order of priority. The simplest method to achieve this is to make sure that when you fill out your daily planner template, you start with the most important chores and work your way down. That way, all you have to do to ensure proper prioritization is to execute the tasks in the exact order.
Be flexible: Remember to be flexible with your daily planner template and to be able to make changes to your schedule as needed. This can include deferring less important chores to another day or deleting them entirely from the list. It could also entail rearranging your schedule or adjusting the amount of time required to perform specific chores.
When first starting to utilize daily planner templates, it is normal to have to make revisions like this rather frequently. However, as you use them and figure out what kind of daily planner template works best for you, these changes should become less frequent.
How to use a daily planning template to achieve your goals
Making a practice of everyday planning is one thing. To ensure that your plan is genuinely moving you toward your larger goals is quite another. Make use of your daily planning session to ensure that your daily duties are in line with your long-term goals. Here are a few steps to get you there:
Step #1: Break down your big goals
Divide your goals into daily tasks. You can’t put “expand the business” on your daily to-do list, but you can put “request a referral from one customer today” or “call a potential customer” on there. When you sit down to plan your day, go over your personal and professional goals and add things that will help you get closer to both.
You may have too many goals if you’re having trouble creating realistic daily to-do lists that represent all of your goals. Overextending yourself is not just exhausting; it also makes it unlikely that you will achieve substantial progress in all of these areas. Complete a commitment inventory to focus on the goals that are most important to you. As a general guideline, avoid having more than five major goals at the same time, and consider a combination of short-term and long-term objectives..
Step #2: Look at your week as a whole
Planning your day begins with planning the entire week. You most certainly have several goals, a variety of potential tasks to achieve them, and only so many hours in the day. That’s OK. While some goals benefit from everyday activity, others can gain momentum by working on them a few times per week. Perhaps you work out on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. On other days, you may want to batch tasks and concentrate just on tasks connected to a single professional aim. You might also stack your personal goal tasks on the weekend. Spend some time on Sunday evening or Monday morning zooming out and sketching out your week into time blocks so you know which goals you’ll focus on and when. Keep the specifics for your daily planning appointments.
Step #3: Add your have-to-do tasks last
When most people organize their day, they begin with this step. They start with their scheduled appointments, necessary meetings, and pressing deadlines, and then try to fit goal-oriented work around them. Consider deferring this step until the conclusion. This forces you to prioritize your must-do tasks around your goal tasks rather than the other way around.
In an ideal world, we would concentrate solely on everyday actions that advance us toward our long-term objectives. In reality, we have responsibilities and obligations to meet, some of which have little bearing on our personal or professional development. Reduce your commitments and obligations as much as possible: reconsider recurrent meetings, think about distributing responsibilities, and get comfortable saying “no.” It is, nevertheless, acceptable to have items on your to-do list that just must be completed. Just make sure they’re not consuming too much of your time and energy.
Productivity methods applicable in daily planning
A productivity approach is both an efficient way to do tasks and a strategy for planning your day. Find a productivity approach that works for you, even if it involves modifying an existing one or inventing one from scratch. To get started, here are some typical strategies for daily planning:
1. Eat the Frog
The Eat the Frog productivity approach requires you to identify and complete one key activity for the day first. This is an excellent approach for putting your highlight into action as soon as possible. Sometimes it’s the task we’d rather avoid (hence, eating the frog). This could be a chore that seems too difficult to complete or one that makes us feel uneasy. Attack it right away, before you have a chance to put it off.
Put your “frog” activity at the top of your to-do list and set a time for it during your daily planning session. Then, list your remaining tasks afterwards.
2. Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique is ideal for those who prefer to work in short, focused bursts with frequent breaks. Francesco Cirillo, a struggling student at the time, devised this strategy in the late 1980s by committing to just 10 minutes of intense study using a tomato-shaped kitchen timer (pomodoro in Italian). The steps in this procedure are as follows:
Purchase a timer.
Set a timer for 25 minutes and concentrate on a single task until the timer goes off.
When your session is finished, mark off one pomodoro and write down what you accomplished.
Take a 5-minute break.
Take a lengthier, 20- to 30-minute pause after four intervals, or “pomodori.”
Estimate how many pomodoros (25-minute work sessions) you’ll need to finish each activity on your list to plan your day using the Pomodoro technique. Take note of the number in front of each activity, which is either a tomato emoji or the number itself in brackets. This strategy pushes you to assess the length of your job and plan accordingly. You can employ pomodoros throughout the day or only for your most important task.
3. Time Blocking
Divide your day into different blocks of time using the Time Blocking productivity strategy. Depending on how long a task may take, this could be as explicit as 9:30AM-11:30AM or just “Morning.” Then, work without interruptions and devote each block of time to finishing a single task or set of chores.
This strategy, like the Pomodoro technique, will help you estimate and understand how long your tasks will take. To ensure accuracy, include blocks for things like lunch, breaks, and commuting. A task will frequently take longer or shorter than you think. That’s OK. As you go through the day, make quick changes to your list. You’ll gain a better sense of how long tasks take over time. Meanwhile, a decent rule of thumb is to double the time you expect anything to take.
4. Eisenhower Matrix
The Eisenhower Matrix productivity approach requires you to analyze the urgency and importance of each work, rather than just performing what’s most urgent – vital or not. This strategy divides tasks into four quadrants and specifies how we should approach activities in each one:
“Urgent and Important” tasks must be completed right away.
Tasks that are “Not Urgent and Important” should be planned on your to-do list or calendar.
Tasks that are “Urgent and Unimportant” should be delegated to someone else.
The section “Not Urgent and Unimportant Tasks” should be removed.
5. The Freight Train
This is an approach that I frequently use with very large, seemingly insurmountable goals. I will break the large goal into small, easy tasks, medium sized tasks and then larger, harder tasks. Like the freight train which starts out slow, I attack the small, easy tasks. As I knock them out quickly I will gain momentum, similar to the freight train which is gaining speed. Then I will attack the medium sized tasks and by the time I get to the large tasks I become unstoppable, just like the freight train that is powering down the track. I won’t quit because I have invested so much time that I can’t bear to think about the time that would be wasted if I gave up.
Whatever your favorite approach to planning, select the one that works best for you and go after it!
To begin, make a regular to-do list that includes all of your daily responsibilities. Next, categorize them as “Urgent and Important,” “Non-Urgent and Important,” “Urgent and Unimportant,” and “Not Urgent and Unimportant.” Once you’ve identified these categories, act on your to-do list accordingly: do, schedule, delegate, and eliminate things as you organize your day.
With time, this method will become second nature, and you’ll naturally create a single to-do list that includes only “Urgent and Important” and “Non-Urgent and Important” items.
Choose your planning tool
You’ve decided on a method for daily planning; now it’s time to choose your tools. Here are some of the most common solutions, ranging from productivity software to paper & pen:
1. A to-do list app
A digital task manager is an excellent solution for folks who are tech-savvy and have become accustomed to using their phone or tablet instead of a notepad. To-do list applications have the advantage of centralizing everything and making it accessible from anywhere. As your plans change, you can effortlessly transfer activities from day to day, organize important papers and links alongside your tasks, and keep an automatic, searchable record of everything you’ve done.
2. A digital list
If you don’t want a full-fledged task manager but still want a digital solution, look into less-specialized solutions that you presumably already use at work and at home.
A note-taking or word-processing program. To keep track of your daily tasks, use a simple notes software like Bear (iOS and MacOS only), Apple Notes, or Google Keep. Simply mark items off with checkboxes or strikethrough formatting. Consider Google Docs or Microsoft Word for additional flexibility and customization possibilities in a “notes” software.
Excel or Google Sheets. Make a spreadsheet to plan your day. This allows you to add additional context and annotations to specific cells. Methods such as time-blocking are also beneficial when working in a digital grid.
3. A digital calendar
Many people choose a daily planning tool that they are already familiar with: the calendar. Apple Calendar, Google Calendar, Fantastical, and Woven are all popular calendar apps for planning your day and adding tasks in addition to appointments, meetings, and activities. This is also an excellent tool to complement a productivity approach such as time blocking. Furthermore, digital calendars offer the advantage of being accessible on the go, often via online and mobile.
4. A paper planner
Paper and pen are the go-to tools for the tactile among us when it comes to planning our days. This can take several forms, like as notebooks, agendas, or specialized planners. We would simply advise against using post-it notes or loose paper. Ad hoc scraps of paper, while basic and scrappy, prohibit you from looking back at old activities and evaluating on the effectiveness of your daily planning.
Notepad — For a simple pen and paper planning technique, a simple lined or unlined notebook would suffice. Create a new page for each day and write the date at the top. If necessary, use gridded notebooks to help you create divisions.
Agendas or planners are notebooks with space to plan each day of the year from January 1 to December 31. This provides a separate space for daily planning as well as the opportunity to easily return to past and upcoming entries.
Specialist Planners — The popularity of specialized planners or paper and pen planning systems such as the Passion Planner or Bullet Journal is growing. These systems are frequently complex, yet they can be quite effective in the hands of skilled practitioners.
5. A digital and paper hybrid
When it comes to daily planning, you don’t have to pick between pen and paper and digital tools; you can use either or both. Here are a few different applications for a hybrid system:
Separation between personal and professional lives. For business duties, use a digital system, while for personal tasks, use a planner. This strategy can be beneficial if you devote your working hours to achieving professional goals and your evenings to personal duties and self-development. Similarly, you may use a task manager during the week and a notebook on weekends.
Paper comes first, followed by digital. You may prefer the tactical aspect of planning your day on paper, but you value the searchability and durability of digital tools. Use a schedule or daily planner to plan your day, but make time at the conclusion of each day to transfer your to-dos and progress to a digital task manager for simple reference. To avoid distraction, this is also a wonderful strategy if you use paper notes. For example, you may bring a notebook to a meeting and depart with action items and requests scribbled in it. You may then move these tasks to your digital to-do list, adding due dates and priority levels to keep them from falling through the gaps.
Pen and paper brainstorming, digital execution Some people find that having a blank page and a pen in hand allows them to be more creative and think more clearly. Make a list of your daily plans, including any additional notes and thoughts. Then, to make your chores more actionable, add them to your digital to-do list.
12 Pro Tips for effective daily planning for planning your day
Here are some daily planning tips to ensure you get the best out of your daily planning template.
#1. Get clear on your priorities
You must learn how to prioritize in order to focus on what is genuinely important.
You must organize yourself on a daily basis and work on the most important chores one at a time. Knowing your daily priorities will assist you avoid being sidetracked by other people’s priorities.
But how do you determine your priorities?
It all begins with delving deep to discover your basic beliefs – learning who you are and what matters to you. These are the fundamental pillars of any meaningful long-term objective.
This daily planning procedure will be simple if you’ve already defined your goals and dreams. You will be able to easily distinguish which chores and actions will move you closer to your goals, and which will not.
With your basic values in mind, you can begin to cross off items on your to-do list that are out of sync. These are the tasks that leave you depleted and stressed, rather than motivated and empowered.
#2. Have one daily priority
Many of us start our days with a laundry list of tasks to complete, only to realize at the end of the day that we haven’t completed any of them. We accomplished some things, but not all of them. The unconventional approach to getting more done? Choose only one major assignment per day.
If we’re being honest, finishing the day with at least one major work completed is a significant improvement over what many of us are doing currently. On a larger scale, finishing 5-7 major projects per week is noteworthy. Does this imply that you will only do one assignment every day? In general, no. Choosing and finishing a single big to-do, on the other hand, gives us a sense of accomplishment, and that sets you up with the motivation to take on other tasks.
#3. Make daily priorities actionable and achievable
That feeling you get when you cross a task off your to-do list. Is there anything more satisfying?
You can give yourself more of that sensation every day by making an actionable strategy and setting attainable goals. The more actionable your plan, the easier it is to move forward with it. The more attainable your goals, the more momentum you’ll be able to generate around knocking chores off your list and getting work done.
Keep it manageable: Your daily plan should focus on a few important tasks – we recommend focusing on two or three daily goals to get the most done. You won’t get anything done if you try to accomplish too much and constantly saying yes to new projects. If you’re having trouble meeting a goal or making progress on a difficult activity, try creating a “half-sized” version of that task in your plan instead. Divide large undertakings into smaller tasks.
#4. Find a planning workflow that’s easy to stick to
When things get chaotic, daily planning might help. But first, you must establish the habit and experiment with several planning tools.
Make a morning ritual for yourself: Making daily planning a habit requires some effort and intentionality. Begin by scheduling a 15-minute time window on your Google Calendar or in your daily planner each morning and setting a daily reminder around it. Then, use this time to make your strategy and create an environment that encourages a sense of calm and attention – perhaps you pour a cup of coffee in your favorite mug or play some of your favorite morning tracks before sitting down to plan.
Consider using a planner app: A daily planner app can help you stay sane by putting everything in one place and tracking progress across longer projects over time. Consider the technologies your team already uses and, whenever possible, integrate planning with your existing workflow to make it easier for people to accept. For example, if your team regularly utilizes Slack, you may develop and share your plan there. If you use a task management tool suite like JIRA, Asana, and Google Docs to get work done during the week, consider a planner app with more advanced features to bring it all together in one location.
To make things easier, use prompts: It’s the start of your workday. How do you create a strategic plan in 15 minutes when your coffee hasn’t yet arrived? We enjoy utilizing prompts. They provide structure and direction, making it simple to know exactly what to include in your daily routine. Throughout the week, you might experiment with different prompts to bring different ideas to the forefront.
#5. Break apart your week into different focus areas
When you first begin with daily planning, it can be beneficial to look at your week as a whole and break it down so you don’t try to tackle everything at once. This helps you to set realistic goals at the start of the week, reflect at the end, and get the most work done when you’re at your most productive.
#6. Think about the bigger picture
Connecting your daily job to the larger goals you’re attempting to attain will help you develop a stronger sense of purpose in your work. It can also help you prioritize tasks, focusing on those with the biggest impact, and promote accountability by linking individual goals to team-level OKRs and projects.
#7. Schedule uninterrupted time for deep focus
Focus is one of the most important traits of successful people.
The ability to focus your attention on one object solely is referred to as focus.
You do better at each task when you learn how to improve focus. You focus on one subject while ignoring everything else, such as your phone, email, or social media. Your brain will be able to focus better and think more clearly on the topic at hand. Finally, you produce higher-quality work.
Indeed, some people believe that the capacity to focus is more vital to success than education or IQ. According to studies, interruptions and multitasking contribute to a more stressful work environment. Brains work best when they can focus on one job at a time, and we must give time for recovery before proceeding.
#8. Prioritize well-being just as much as productivity
Planning is about prioritizing your health and well-being as well as pushing for productivity. Planning allows you to check in with your energy levels and how you feel each morning in order to develop work habits that care for yourself.
Check in with yourself every morning: Take some time to absorb how you’re feeling before you go to work – daily life has its ups and downs, and it’s acceptable to not feel productive every day. Numerous studies have demonstrated that emotions such as tension and tranquillity influence your ability to get things done. Knowing this from the start can assist you level set. Be gentle with yourself as well. Don’t berate yourself if you’ve had an “off” day. Be willing to share with those you work with so that they can assist you if necessary.
Include “un-focus” moments: Because our brains can only focus for so long, taking breaks to recharge throughout the day is just as vital as scheduling protected work time. Allow yourself 5-10 minutes at the end of each hour to step away and relax. Another effective method is to block off time on your calendar for unfocus activities, such as a dedicated time block for lunch (away from your computer), an afternoon meditation, or a 30-minute exercise around the neighborhood.
#9. Plan time for creativity-boosting daydreaming
Daydreaming isn’t necessarily harmful.
Back in school, you may have heard negative things about daydreaming. While I would not propose taking a break during an essential meeting or class, I would encourage making time for Positive Constructive Feedback. Daydreaming is beneficial to brain function.
Productivity does not imply cramming as many tasks as possible into each day. Leisure time is just as crucial as concentrated work time. When your mind is free to daydream, you are more likely to come up with innovative ideas.
Choose a low-key, pleasurable pastime such as gardening, crocheting, or strolling. Allow your thoughts to roam. This will stimulate your creativity and assist you in coming up with new alternatives.
#10. End your week with reflection
A daily plan won’t get you very far if you don’t take the time to reflect on how you did and iterate.
Spend some time at the conclusion of each week reflecting on your time management, mood, and productivity. You may compare how long it took you to complete a task to how long you expected it to take. Over time, you’ll become an expert at scoping your work, allocating adequate time, and working independently. You’ll have a better understanding of how you work best and be able to plan a more productive, balanced, and healthy work week for yourself.
#11. Allow time to “unfocus” between tasks
To function optimally, your brain requires time to rest and calibrate. When you unfocus, you engage the brain’s default mode network (DMN).
This section of the brain controls memories and connects the past, present, and future. It mixes old and modern ideas, boosting creativity and problem-solving skills.
Set aside 20 minutes to an hour during the day to simply relax and unwind. In between tasks, this could entail sitting on the couch or going for a walk. When you return to work, you’ll approach each task with a new perspective and new solutions.
#12. Keep it simple
Keep in mind that everyday planning is a talent. And, like any other ability, it improves with practice. The basic approach outlined in the steps below is all you need to begin a daily planning practice that will keep you on track toward your objectives.
To perform at your best, choose the most important tasks for the day and then focus on them one at a time. Take a break after completing one task to enable your brain to recover before going on to the next.
Begin by organizing your to-do list. Then, in order of priority, devote your attention to those duties. As you maintain your daily planning, you will achieve more of your goals, waste less time on distractions, and produce higher-quality work.
So, there you have it. We trust you found this article helpful.
Do employees get better with age, or do they wear out?
The general workplace environment comprises old and new employees, and keeping them motivated can be tricky. Unmotivated workers cost the US economy about $550 billion each year.
As employees get older, their priorities change, and what may have worked in motivating them last year may not work so well the following year. Employers and managers are responsible for finding what works in keeping both their old and new employees motivated.
In this article, we help you uncover the best ways to make your old and new employees feel motivated. We examine the best strategies you can employ to excite your old and new employees for the best performance.
Before we get into that, let’s quickly divert to explain why you need to make both your old and new employees feel motivated.
Why is employee motivation important to your business?
Positive employee testimonials for career pages.
Most candidates view your career page before applying for your job openings. This is the best place to grab their interest.
A typical career page content example is employee testimonials.
When your employees are motivated and active, they give great testimonials and are more valid as they’re delivered on-screen.
You can easily pull the positive quotes of your employees and paste them on your career page.
Retaining employees is very important for every company; as your employees continue to work for your company, they gain more business experience, improve efficiency, and cut recruitment and training expenses.
Improved relationship between management and staff.
Don’t be the cranky boss. Build great relationships with your staff.
The most motivated staff have great relationships with their leaders or managers. They are always willing to work, make improvements and
accept modifications without debate. Happy employees’ work makes the work easier for their managers.
Enhanced worker performance.
You motivate your employees; they get the job done. Motivation stimulates engagement, and a highly engaged workforce increases profitability by 21%.
When you keep your workers motivated, not only do they get the job done, they do so effectively and efficiently and are more committed to their jobs. Companies with motivated workers are more productive and increase the overall output of the business.
Exceptional quality and improved customer service
A motivated employee is more inclined to work to provide high-standard services and put extra effort into producing quality products. Those in service-related enterprises are also more committed to providing excellent customer service and are more excited about their job.
Find their Commonalities
Every employee needs motivation. Old and new employees may have shared things that make them feel motivated. You can take out time to find those commonalities. Motivating old and new employees aren’t so different from each other. However, we individuals examine the ways of motivating old and new employees.
Finding commonalities and similar interests is a significant part of the social bonding process, and it is always profitable for managers to form bonds between their old and new employees.
Ways to make old employees feel motivated
It is important to note what perks are not.
Perks don’t include health care, dental, or vision packages.
Employee perks don’t include factors like mission, vision, values, fair play, or a strong/ethical team.
Perks are not the same as company culture but are a component.
A good employee perk is providing travel management services for older employees. Small business travel management companies can help to manage all aspects of business travel for the company’s staff, from signing contracts with airlines and car rental companies to arranging other services. Save your employees the stress involved with business travels and make business travels easier.
Communicate your expectations to them.
Generally, people have misconceptions regarding older employees’ willingness to learn new things. Most old workers are quite teachable and ready to learn new skills, software, and equipment. It’s best to communicate your goals, mission, and expectations to all your employees, both old and new, and have an open mind to avoid the thought that your more senior employees are already burnt out and can’t do much for your company.
Value their experience
Older employees, in most cases, have more experience than new employees. Encourage your new workers to learn from them. Experience is valuable to every business. You should value and encourage your employer more as they stay longer on the job. You can consider making productive ones the head of their various departments.
Take the Time to Understand Their Motivations
It’s essential to find what motivates your older workers. Their motivation might differ from fresher employees, although that isn’t always the care. It is important that you do your research and discover what works. Build a relationship with them and know their personal goals, ambitions, and desires.
Be Open to Feedback
As a good manager or business owner, it’s important to accept older employees’ feedback. Ask your senior employees about your performance, what can be done better and how to make better decisions. Remember, you are dealing with experienced individuals. Listening to their opinions and feedback helps you understand how to motivate them and make them feel important and appreciated. Asking for feedback makes them see you as a leader and not some boss.
Focus on Results
Focus on results rather than their methods of doing things. Older employees usually have a different approach to things. Considering they have been working on a job for several years, they tend to create unique work techniques. Instead of forcing older employees to adopt a new method, focus on the results. The most important thing is to focus on whatever gets the job done, regardless of the techniques adopted.
Ways to make new employees feel motivated
Express trust for new employees
It’s normal to see new employees lack confidence in performing their jobs. It can result from the new environment, new job description, or fear of poor performance. You can avoid this and boost their confidence by expressing trust in them. Show them you expect them to do great in executing tasks, just like older employees. Encouraging them to be the best of themselves is an excellent way to go.
Track their productivity
Set targets and goals for each employee to measure how productive they are. We get motivated when we hit targets, no matter how little. You can employ these tactics for your employees.
It’s important to reward employees that steadily hit their targets. This will encourage them to achieve more and work to develop themselves and improve their efficiency.
Give specific roles to your employees.
Employees are more productive when they have specific tasks assigned to them. It also shows their efficiency and value to the business. As your employees perform their duties, they get motivated to achieve greater heights.
You should make your new employees recognize their role in the business vision and goals and how their performance affects the company. This gives your employees a sense of responsibility.
As a manager, maintain a positive atmosphere. Your employees must see you full of enthusiasm and motivation. Regardless of your feelings, always stay positive and transmit the same to your workers.
Always see the possibility of success in every project.
Create a good work relationship with your new staff
Paying particular attention to your new employees helps them adjust to their new work environment and boosts their performance.
Ask about their challenges and how they are coping with their work. It is also important to get feedback. Their opinions will help you know how to motivate them.
When you succeed in creating a good relationship with your new employees, you’d know their weaknesses and strengths better and how to motivate them. Plus, they will trust you more and be more excited to work for you.
Reward your new employees when they perform well
Rewards best-performing employees to keep them motivated and encourage other employees to put in more work. Create a system that rewards jobs well done. Two-thirds of employees are motivated to stay at their job with the presence of a motivational scheme for employees.
Rewards like extra stipends, movie tickets, and paid days off. You can also ask your employees what they’d love as a good reward. This will help you provide the most motivational incentives.
Wrapping Up the ways to make your old and new employees feel motivated.
We all need inspiration and encouragement to give our best. This is necessary for optimum productivity and profit in the work environment. Companies with highly motivated employees make up to 27% higher profits— this is some high profit, and you can get in on it.
You can keep your employees motivated and active at all times. These simplified strategies can be adapted to help motivate and keep your old and new employees inspired to give in their best.
Your employees are your asset. Keep them motivated.
Author Bio Martins Favour is a creative content writer with over five years of experience writing SEO content for various brands. She finds a home in weaving worlds out of words. Stories are her life and LinkedIn is her favourite tool.
Leveraging the power of information technology (IT) is a must if you want to run a successful business. It enables you to simplify business processes to enhance efficiency. As a result, you’ll likely reduce costs, improve productivity and save time in your business.
While that’s true, IT can also expose your business to risks. For instance, it increases the chances of your data getting accessed by unauthorized people and online attackers. And when that happens, you can lose vital information and money for your small business. Therefore, it’s necessary to protect your company data.
There are various ways to protect data for small businesses. These include:
1. Working With Online Security Professionals
Cybersecurity is one of the most sensitive functions of any business. Therefore, it should be handled with much due care and diligence.
You can develop and manage your business cybersecurity strategy if you’ve got the knowledge and believe that you can. However, sometimes you may lack adequate time to monitor business networks continuously. This exposes your company’s data to cybersecurity threats. For that, you can consider hiring online security professionals to resolve IT issueslike online attacks in your firm.
The security company hired will take care of your business systems 24/7. And because they’re professionals in cybersecurity, they can help implement the most suitable strategies to secure your data. Ensure you hire one of the best partners in the market.
2. Developing Strong Passwords
Passwords are essential in running a successful business. They ensure only the right people can access specific business systems and data. This is true since no one should access your company’s networks without passwords. Therefore, you’re exposing your business data if you haven’t developed passwords to gain access to systems.
Shaving passwords is the most basic step to protecting business data. However, these passwords must be solid. This ensures no unauthorized person can correctly guess them, thus securing your business data.
You might think that developing strong passwords is an overwhelming task. But that isn’t true. You only need to build passwords of a reasonable length. The most recommended being between 8 and 12 characters.
Besides the length, you must include alphabets and numeral digits in your passwords. And to make them even more robust, include a few non-standard characters such as #? ! @ % &, among others. As a result, no one will likely correctly guess your passwords to access business information.
After building strong passwords, it’d be a good idea to change them regularly.
In addition to that, you can consider purchasing specific software to help manage your passwords. This enables you to know who is using them and for what purpose.
Also, such software can consistently remind you about the right time to change passwords. All these helps enhance your business’s cybersecurity strategy.
3. Adapting A Two-Factor Authentication Strategy
Today, technology is moving at a higher speed than in the past. Some cybersecurity strategies and tactics that may have worked in the past might not be good enough to protect your data.
For instance, you can build very strong passwords. However, more often than not, still, such passwords can be compromised by online attackers. That’s to say, passwords alone aren’t effective enough to secure your business data. For that reason, it’s advisable to take advantage of two-factor authentication.
Also known as two-step verification, two-factor authentication is a practice where system users provide two different authentication factors to prove or verify themselves. In simple terms, it involves adding an extra layer of security to online accounts. Therefore, no user will access your business data with passwords only. They must take the extra step of verifying themselves through two-factor authentication.
You can consider adopting various ways to help create an effective two-factor authentication strategy. These include adding security questions and biometric login details like using face or fingerprints to unlock systems. This helps protect your data from unauthorized access.
4. Encrypting Files
Running an online business involves sharing documents or files with workers, customers, and other stakeholders. However, in some cases, unintended people may receive these files. And it becomes worse if they fall into the hands of individuals with bad intentions. That’s why you need to encrypt files before sending them to users.
The encryption strategy enables you to encode data. As a result, no one will get their true meaning. Therefore, even if hackers or other unauthorized people receive your documents by mistake, they can’t use them to their advantage. This also boosts your business’s cybersecurity to protect your data.
But, how will the intended users read and understand your files? They can achieve that by using binary digits provided to decode the data. As a result, they’ll read them in their original language. Make sure you select encryption software from a reputable vendor.
5. Setting Up Automatic Software Updates
Various types of software are essential in your business. They enable you to streamline specific operations. As a result, you’ll likely grow your firm faster.
Despite the crucial role software plays, sometimes it can expose your business to online attacks. This is true, especially if you are using outdated systems.
Hackers like to scan older versions of software to determine their vulnerability. Therefore, outdated tools increase the chances of your business getting accessed by online attackers. That’s why you need to set up automatic software updates.
You can decide to update your business software manually. But sometimes, you might be too busy or forget to update them. This exposes your business to online threats.
On the other hand, installing automatic software updates helps simplify the process. It ensures your systems always remain updated to the latest version.
6. Educating Employees On Cybersecurity Best Practices
Lastly, consider educating your workers on cybersecurity best practices to help protect your business data. This is important since some online business attacks occur due to workers’ negligence or ignorance.
For instance, some workers might not know the danger of sharing the company’s information with third parties. Besides, others may not know that sharing passwords at the workplace is a crime. Therefore, educating employees on such matters helps protect or secure your data from unauthorized people.
Protecting business data isn’t always easy as you think. This is true, especially for new business owners. But with the tips in this article, you can be guaranteed to enhance your business cybersecurity strategy to protect your data from unauthorized access.
There are several liabilities when starting a business, and a lot of young and enthusiastic entrepreneurs are facing challenge after challenge. With continual failures, from getting the appropriate resources to operate to make a reputation for yourself to branding and marketing, a true breakthrough may take years. This makes having insurance a very important factor. Some estimates suggest the first real profits might come after the second year, while this can vary depending on your initial capital investment.
With all this said, the chances of getting sued or facing damage is more than real and should be taken into account while planning the future of the company. Over 30 million small businesses are currently operating in the States alone, with the number increasing each year.
Now imagine the scope of accidents that might occur, and the range of different professions, from employer injuries to equipment damage, and potential lawsuits by customers – the final number to which it can all amount can be staggering. With all this said, the need for reliable insurance is more than obvious to the cunning eye, and if you are not convinced yet, we’ll sum up some reasons why you might need it.
Protection for you and the business with insurance
As previously said, the range of various occupations can vary, and the type of insurance you require will depend on the precise work you do. Not all businesses need vehicle insurance (as a freelance writer at home, you do not need insurance on transportation), because you might go under the category of low-risk. However, certain insurance policies cover most typical injuries, losses, and legal expenses if they occur, regardless of what you do, and provide protection in the event of several incidents. We are referring to general liability insurance plans, as they are the most common and often required depending on the specific profession.
Firstly, it is great for the people working for you, as it often is regarded as one of the many perks and benefits of a job. Secondly, you’ll be on the safe side no matter what happens and how it might occur, as you’ll protect your workers in case of damage, bodily injury, or potential lawsuits. You don’t have to worry about such things once you get it all covered by an insurance plan. To that end, you can find out more aboutbusiness insurance in Edmonton and you’ll find everything you need in one place. Even if you happen to be in a profession not directly related to any risk factors that might induce body injuries, you can always protect yourself with an advertisement insurance plan, in case someone suits you for alleged false advertising.
You can protect yourself in case of a customer lawsuit, as certain customers are more than eager to find any justification or product liability that often occurs after someone fails a lawsuit after supposed malfunctions or defective design. Now, the range is wide, and generally, if you happen to be a small business reaching for the stars, all these scenarios are more than possible to occur. Other lawsuits can be absurd as it gets, such as the “slip and fall” if you happen to own a restaurant and someone sustains injuries due to the accident. If not insured properly, you’ll have to pay for medical bills, sustained emotional trauma, and other damages done.
Lawsuits and bad insurance plans without proper coverage of a wide number of accidents are often the reasons why small businesses shut down and never properly recover from the accident. To prevent this from happening, contact an agency right away. It also attracts new workers, as is an assurance of the company’s professionalism.
Insurance can be a requirement
Now, this can depend on whether you are renting a facility or not. In the case of renting a building, you can always go for an insurance plan covering any damage that might be done to the facility, due to natural disasters or human negligence. Everything can be taken into account, from plumbing issues to fires or electrical malfunctions of the installation. Now, whatever the case, it is better to have some coverage if it comes to such scenarios rather than not.
Also, sometimes if you happen to beborrowing the money for the business, the other party might require some insurance plan as part of the deal, just to be sure you have some form of protection. Or one (we hope unlikely scenario) is property protection in case of theft or any form of vandalism. This can occur no matter the political stability of a country, it might happen during the night or time of the day when the store is closed. Under vandalism, we refer to any property damage done to the facility, from graffiti to breaks, and theft is also a quite common occurrence and might cost you a lot.
Another reason to have an insurance plan for a small business is to safeguard your tools or equipment, thereby staying protected in case something happens. Equipment malfunctions can setback the business for days if the whole business is dependent on it.
Giving workers repayments
Now, imagine something were to happen to some of the workers in case of an accident which by all accounts is your fault; the whole weight of the accident falls on the business. Any form of worker compensation, without any insurance plan, will be paid by you if you want to prevent any potential lawsuits filed by the worker.
This means you’ll be paying for medical bills, treatments, and even compensating for wages lost due to the accident. This, with all other hidden expenses, can amount to a staggering number and can cost your company.
A proper insurance plan covers all this, assuring the worker gets his legal rights and everything he is owned while protecting you from going bankrupt.
With all the above stated, it is more than obvious why insurance plans are a must in most cases, and how things can easily turn against you if you happen to miss on getting a plan. Of course, there is a chance of everything going perfectly fine without any incidents, but in the case of some of the above-mentioned scenarios, the costs are extremely high and the money would be better off invested in the business.
Nowadays, running a successful business in an ever-changing market can truly be challenging. Once you have put in a great effort, time, and funds to start a business, you surely want to secure it from all various risks that could threaten its growth. As such, securing your business is vital to its success.
As a business owner, you must take care of records, legal documents, data breaches and cyberattacks at all times, while making sure that your employees are well-taken care of, and that they’re happy and healthy.
Below, we highlight 4 crucial steps you need to take to secure your business and provide it with a chance to achieve long-term success and growth.
Obtain Business Insurance for Securing Your Business
If you have recently opened a startup or a small business, you’ve probably made huge investments with your hard-earned savings and managed to raise capital to secure a funding stream for your operation. This is why you must protect your business venture against any possible claims and liabilities.
For this reason, we advise you to look into a goodE&O policy for your small business and get covered with professional liability insurance. This is an excellent way of protecting your business from lawsuits and claims of inadequate or negligent work and business errors. Do your research and get your business insurance from a policy provider that specializes in small businesses so it can be customized to your specific industry needs.
Look at the possibility of getting other useful insurances like commercial proper insurance to protect the building, premises and equipment you may have bought or rented. In addition, getting worker’s compensation insurance is also a clever move so your workforce can get benefits, as well as data breach or cyber insurance to help you respond if any data is lost or stolen.
Enhance IT Security
Data breaches and cyber-attacks are among the biggest risks for a business these days. In fact, in a recently published report, cyber risks topped the list of what made the surveyed business leaders most worried. The pandemic we recently went through also led to a direct increase in cyber attacks. With a security situation that reinforces the fear of cyber threats, many people are wondering how their organization is doing.
If you’re thinking about how protected you are, it can be nice to take concrete measures and invest in reliable systems with high security that protect a business’s data and information.
Something that most companies have unfortunately experienced is important files or data disappearing which is a loss that can be difficult to recover from. To avoid losing information, it is, therefore, advantageous to use a backup solution that securely saves your data. There are different variants of backup solutions, but the most common is to use cloud storage or internal servers that are dedicated to just this.
Toincrease your IT security, it’s wise for your company to segment the wireless network with at least two networks, and it’s especially important to distinguish between the network used by those who work at the company and what guests use. The users of the guest network would be customers, partners and everyone else who doesn’t work at your company.
Maintain Good Hygiene
Expectations of good hygiene andsafety in the workplace have increased and new effective routines are now needed for people to be able to work safely. By encouraging good hand hygiene and regular cleaning routines, businesses together can prevent the further spread of infection and your business can reduce the cost of sick leave.
Implement thorough and good cleaning routines so that surfaces and premises are cleaned regularly. Ensure that touch surfaces such as handles, switches, keyboards, handrails, sinks, water taps and other surfaces that many people touch are cleaned thoroughly and regularly. Remember to also do a risk assessment for the employee who performs the cleaning, so that risks are minimized and the right preventive measures are taken.
Dirt, dust and messy spaces create stress, in addition to allergies, asthma and infections. A dirty environment affects employees both physically and mentally, causing them to lose concentration and perform worse. Therefore, a clean workplace is a very important part of the general work environment.
Develop a Social Media Policy
Social networks and emails have become a huge security concern for companies as they make it easy to disseminate information. Once the information leaves your company, it is difficult to be recalled. For this reason, to make sure things remain private, your email policy should address appropriate content for social media and emails.
Final Thoughts on Securing Your Business
As a business owner, it’s your job to secure your business and prevent threats to your business systems and work processes. Protecting your employees and safeguarding their health is also a prerequisite for a thriving working environment and business success.
The OKR model is a powerful tool for expressing a company’s ambitions and achievements.
It may help with purpose and vision development, staff engagement, and bringing to the surface the ultimate OKR: a company’s top objectives.
Many large corporations, like Adobe, Google, and Netflix, have already used OKRs with outstanding success.
So, what makes OKRs so effective? Continue reading to find out. In this blog article, we’ll go through eight benefits of establishing an OKR system in your company.
Let’s get started.
What does OKR mean?
OKR is an acronym that stands for “Objectives and Key Results.” It is a goal-setting process that is used collaboratively by teams and individuals to establish demanding, ambitious objectives with quantifiable outcomes.
To put it simply, OKRs are used to measure progress, promote alignment, and inspire participation in the pursuit of quantifiable objectives.
Components of OKR system
An OKR system includes objectives and key results. Let’s see in detail what they are.
The company’s objectives outline significant aims that will propel it toward its mission. They can, however, also be represented by enhancements that the firm would want to adopt in order to improve specific aspects of the organization.
The objectives should be:
Challenging but realistic
Clear and concise
Following the establishment of an objective, the standard requires that the organization maintain track of the outcomes got in order to identify whether or not the aim has been reached, as well as the metrics to use to determine this.
When defining key results, keep into consideration the following characteristics and tips:
Relevant and focused
Three or four key results per objective
After identifying the objectives and key results, you must specify how you intend to achieve the objectives you set. For example, if the goal is to improve the customer experience, the initiative may be to introduce in-app live chat.
8 Benefits of implementing OKR system in your business
There are many benefits that explain why you should implement an OKR system in your business. Here are listed the eight most relevant ones.
1. Give a clear direction to your team and company in general
One of the initial benefits of creating targets and defining important results is that you are effectively giving your firm a direction with which to move forward.
It’s like charting a course that will lead you and your team to the objectives you want to achieve in terms of sales, visibility, or any other goal.
As you may expect, this may enable you to avoid a potentially confusing situations in which no one knows what to do.
2. Increase productivity by focusing on goals
As previously mentioned, OKR entails the formulation of particular objectives and critical outcomes.
This means you’ll be constructing a step-by-step plan to guide you and your team to the desired outcome.
The establishment of particular targets and important outcomes will undoubtedly aid you and your team in concentrating on a single activity at a time.
As a result, all energy, time, and efforts will be directed appropriately and to their maximum potential in order to complete that assignment, and so on for future ones.
This prevents you from focusing on several activities without getting a good outcome.
3. Align and connect your employees to your corporate goals
Employees may get disoriented and unsure of what their job’s mission is if precise goals aren’t defined that help the organization achieve its main mission.
An OKR system, on the other hand, enables workers, both new and old, to grasp what your firm does, why it does it, how it does it, and what it intends to achieve.
This clarity in mission, objectives, and outcomes will help your staff connect to your company’s goals, making them more engaged and likely to achieve them.
4. Promote innovation
The defining of objectives and outcomes not only aids in the achievement of your company’s business goals but also in the facilitation of the inventive process.
There will be greater room for innovative ideas and thinking if there is a defined route to follow in terms of activities to complete, processes to follow, and results to attain.
Indeed, when you go through objectives and achieve results over time, you may discover alternative approaches to complete a task, speed up a process, increase productivity, and so on.
As you can expect, this will boost your company’s innovation, vision, and performance.
5. Achieve measurement, accountability, and transparency
Aside from commercial objectives, establishing an OKR system in your organization will enable you to meet additional objectives such as measurement, accountability, and transparency.
This is especially important from an analytics standpoint, as it will allow you to get a true picture of your company’s goals, employee engagement, and data transparency, among other things.
6. Make more informed decisions
The description of objectives and key results will assist you in gaining an understanding of what your company’s goals are, the activities and procedures involved, and the expected outcomes.
With everything in order and understanding, owing to the monitoring of prior important outcomes, you and your team will be able to make better-informed decisions about the future stages, activities, and procedures on its pipeline.
Make informed decisions for future initiatives in order to attain more quick and secure results.
7. Analyze root causes of why objectives are not achieved
When it comes to analyzing the important outcomes, it becomes clear how a certain result became achievable, or what transpired that prevented the results from being reached.
In these terms, you and your team will be able to pinpoint what went wrong and what not to do in the future. You’ll also be able to devise tactics that will prevent you from making the same mistakes you’ve made in the past.
In this approach, you’ll be able to identify emerging difficulties or challenges and develop new solutions or methods to avoid them in the future.
8. Track regular progress towards goals
Key outcomes provide a summary of the goals you achieved and the statistics used to attain them.
You can monitor them if you keep track of them. This allows you to see the pattern of your company’s successes.
By tracking your progress on a regular basis, you’ll be able to see problems early on and take corrective action to avoid costly blunders.
In addition, it would be great for generating reports to display to investors, potential business partners, or prospects to convince them to work with you.
How to create a winning OKR system in three steps
Now that you know what OKR systems are and what benefits they provide, you may be wondering how you can effectively adopt them in your company.
If that’s the case, we’ve included some considerations in this section to help you get it done as fast and easily as possible.
1. Run a meeting with your team
One of the first steps in creating and implementing a winning OKR system within your organization is running a meeting with your team.
It is essential that you and your team decide what are the company’s pain points that need to be treated, what innovative solutions need to be implemented in order to ensure greater efficiency, and so on.
The meeting should also be used to establish how and who will carry out specific duties in order to reach the common, end goal. In this case, it may be necessary to give distinct responsibilities to your employees.
This initial phase should also assist in identifying the key results and, as a result, the metrics to consider when assessing accomplishment.
2. Use a Google sheets based OKR template
Setting up an OKR system from the ground up can be time-consuming and difficult for you and your team, especially if you have more urgent tasks to complete.
Fortunately, there are alternative, pre-compiled solutions that allow you to start from a great spot and simply need to enter information specific to your organization.