Business

How to Hang Onto Your Staff

Having strong staff retention figures is one of the most important areas of any business. Your staff are the bread and butter of your company so investing in keeping them happy, productive and motivated within their roles is essential to keep your business efficient, lucrative and moving in the right direction.

By investing in our workforce and creating the right work environment we can learn how to better hold onto our staff and prevent people from getting itchy feet and want to jump ship to competitors.

Here are our top strategies specifically focused on ways to make sure you keep your employment retention rates high and ensure your workforce are happy and content within your company.

It all starts with the Hiring Process

Before you can even think about how to make sure your staff stay put you need to learn how to make sure you’re bringing the correct people in in the first place. The interview process in companies is an imperative part of making sure you are building a homogenous and conscientious work force. Not only are you looking for the best that you can find, but you’re also looking for the best placements and most importantly the best fit for your company.

It’s all very well being wowed by shining CV’s and seeing impressive brands under a candidate’s belt, but it’s more important to look for individuals who fit well into the culture of your company. When going through the hiring process think about the candidates who best reflect the values of your company. The people that seem to understand the direction your company is going in and the individuals who seem genuinely excited to be a part of the future growth and development of your firm.

Choosing the ‘shinier’ and more impressive candidates is always the temptation. But think about whether your company is going to be the right environment for them, or whether perhaps they will jump ship later on down the road if the partnership is lacking what they’re looking for in their career. You’re looking for a natural fit, that is going to lead to a mutually beneficial and fruitful working relationship.

Power to the People

Empowering your staff is one of the best ways you can make your team feel both challenged and valued. Allowing staff to feel like a pioneer in their field and an expert in their area will make them feel that they have autonomy in their role and the opportunity to make a difference in the company. Giving them ownership of their part of the company rather than nervously micro-managing them will make them feel like an important and integral part of the team, thus keeping them motivated.

Effective Training

Investing in internal, and if necessary, external training is key to ensuring your staff is on top of their game and allowing them to feel that the company supports their career development and skill set.

Structuring training programmes with individuals and collective teams will bring staff satisfaction due to the fact that they are being invested in and will keep your business fresh, responsive and competent.

Treat your Team

Regularly rewarding your staff is an important strategy to remind staff that they are in a supportive and satisfying work environment. This can be everything from promoting wellness in your company with daily fresh fruit or free yoga classes or gym tickets. Or maybe small business can take their teams out the last friday of the month for a slap-up pub lunch. Little perks like this can make a big difference to morale and the general atmosphere in your office.

Thinking a little bigger, team-building outings and activities are a great way to bring teams together to get to know each other, let their hair down and do something a little different. Organising team-building exercises such as an escape room activity or maybe an evenings cookery class or cocktail making workshop will gently nudge your teams to get to know each other better and build closer working relationships.

Encourage Communication

Encouraging employees to communicate with you is an important method in understanding internal perspective on the state of your business. However building an environment where staff feel safe to offer their honest opinion, the good the bad and the ugly, has to feel safe and confidential, for obvious reasons. Therefore creating an anonymous communication outlet where employees can communicate any manner of concerns, is the best way to go about this. Negative feedback must be viewed as constructive criticism and important food for thought when considering how to improve and develop your company.

Cross Your I’s and Dot your T’s

Making sure you’re doing everything properly and getting things right can be a complicated and time consuming road for any company. But it’s essential to make sure you’re creating a safe and protected environment for your staff. As they can soon disappear if they don’t feel like their wellbeing and interests are being properly looked after. Protecting your business and team, should anything go wrong, makes sure you and your staff are covered and looked after.

This can be a headache however, particularly for many small business owners that perhaps don’t have their own HR department. In cases where you’re unsure or a little lost in areas such as health and safety, legal areas or occupational health and wellbeing make sure you look around for a specialised firm to help you. Shop around for companies, such as Ellis Whittam, that specialise in the ‘in’s and out’s’ of companies to make sure everything is legally compliant and you and your staff are protected.

Offer Support Wherever Possible

 

Projecting an environment where employees can come to you and talk through anything from their day to day frustrations through to their career aspirations is key to creating a caring and understanding work culture. If staff feel like you are addressing their concerns, building on their strengths and pushing growth within their department they will feel both committed to your company and satisfied in their role.

Be Transparent

The term transparency can bring up feelings of nervousness as many business owners feel that part of being a boss is to protect the staff from anything that’s going wrong within a company. This couldn’t be further from the truth however as transparency offers the opportunity to be frank about any issues and therefore opens up strategies on how to improve them. Being transparent with your staff not only can increase employee loyalty it can also allow you to throw issues out to your team so you don’t need to deal with them on your own.

Resist the Urge to Micro-Manage

This is not always easy as it’s natural to want to know what everyone is up to and how everything’s going. But there are ways and means of doing this, and constantly looking over people’s shoulders is not the way to go about it. Going back to the first point, if you’ve hired bright and motivated individuals they shouldn’t need to be chased and hounded in order to do their jobs properly.

Teams that are micromanaged will eventually be afraid to take risks or try anything new within their role which is not in the interest of your business at all. You want to encourage staff to think innovatively and be bold in proposing courageous new strategies. Some will work, some won’t. But we all know that we often learn more from our mistakes that from our victories so it’s an important process for your business and for your employees.

Finding ways to increase employment retention is a continual process. Valuing staff and offering a supportive and challenging environment takes time. However when it’s done right it will be one of the most important things you can do for the strength and growth of your business.

Read More...

Business

Out Of Site: Why Customers Aren’t Coming Back To Your Website

The need for your business to have a website is something that most people just take as a given at this point. It’s actually kind of amazing how much we take for granted something that only the biggest and most advanced businesses were using even a decade ago. Thanks to the rise of services that allow you to create a website without knowing even the slightest bit of code, any small business owner is now in a position to get a website up and running in less than a single evening.

This is useful because without a website your business is likely to be pretty much doomed. What might have been a neat optional extra not that long ago is now one of the central aspects of your marketing, promotion, and commerce. Without a website, it’s hard for customers to even find your business, not only that but there’s a pretty common perception that without a website your business isn’t worth taking seriously.

So every business owner is aware of the importance of having a website in the first place, but it’s surprisingly common for them to drop the ball when it comes to thinking any further ahead than that. It’s not just about having a website; it’s about creating a website that customers are actually going to be interested in visiting time and time again. This is one of the most common problems that many small businesses have. They might have decent traffic to their website, but it’s rare that customers are actually returning to it. As important as new customers are, you should never neglect the need to for customers to keep coming back over and over. With that in mind, here are a few surprisingly simple reasons why customers aren’t coming back to your website.

Bad design

It might sound shallow, but it’s human nature to be interested in things that are visually engaging. After all, the design of your website is always going to be the first thing that customers see. They’ll have taken in the overall visual aesthetic well before reading and engaging with any of the content on it. Because of this, it really can’t be overstated how important the design of your website is. Think about some of the most successful companies in the world. A company like Apple has thrived almost entirely based on its design alone. Everything from its products to its website has a consistently sleek, elegant design that customers love. It’s an unfortunate fact that if your website is badly designed, hard to navigate, or just plain ugly, customers are going to lose interest in it. Not only that but a bad website reflects really poorly back on your business as a whole. The best thing to do is to hire a professional web designer to help you create a visually engaging and attractive site.

Poor functionality

Of course, even the more beautiful website in the world isn’t going to get much repeat traffic is it’s practically unusable. We live in an incredibly fast-paced world, and customers simply don’t have the patience to sit around waiting for web pages to load anymore. You need to make sure that your site runs quickly and smoothly, even during high traffic periods. Whether you’re implementing some performance tools for Java or optimizing CSS delivery, there are plenty of things that you can do to make your website run more quickly and smoothly. Don’t let your site get bogged down in flashy gimmicks and graphics either. Not only do they look incredibly dated but they often make your website far more difficult to navigate. Keep it simple and make sure that customers have access to all of the areas of the site that they really need.

Lack of content

Your customers are pretty unlikely to keep coming back to a totally static web page that never gets updated. Of course, if you’re running an ecommerce store from your website then they’re more likely to come back, but it’s still important to keep your site constantly updated with fresh content. For one thing, the more new content that you upload to your website, the better your SEO is going to be. If you leave it too long without adding anything to it, then you’re going to see your site slipping down the rankings. But content isn’t just a matter of search engine rankings; it’s a matter of customer engagement. You’ve got to be able to write meaningful and interesting content that your customers actually want to read. If you can provide them with that, they’re going to keep coming back time and time again.

Read More...

Business

No New Tech. No New Customers.

Every small retailer faces a huge uphill battle, one that requires them to understand what opportunities look like and how to seize these opportunities. There is a simple formula to success; it is just a matter of increasing your sales and outdoing your competitors.

Of course, this used to cost a lot in terms of money, resource and energy. But that is not so much the case these days because, well, we live in a technological age where a few gadgets and some specialist software can help you get the most out of your core business functions. What’s more, you won’t have to spend a lot either.

But what tech are we talking about? What tech could possibly be cost-effective, profit-boosting and competition-beating? Well, read on and find out.

Marketing

It is time you invested in marketing automation software and found out how effectively it can save you time and money while also increasing sales. We’re talking about emails and how to utilise your email marketing in a way that encourages potential and existing customers to buy from you using targeted content and offers. The hardest part is getting into the habit, but if you invest in software like AutoPilot, everything will be taken care for you, and for only $4 a month. It will do all the marketing, all the analytics and integrate with your website. Now that is good value.

Sales

One of the most effective ways to free up time and resource is to invest in a decent mobile point of sale system, something that will allow your staff to spend much more time assisting your customers and whole lot less time waiting for a sale to be processed and closed. It may only be a small change to you and your customers, but upgrading to a credit card scanner, you will increase efficiency and thus increase your profits. But isn’t just about how quick you can process a payment. No. By having a mobile POS system, you can maximise the space of your retail outlet, and more space can either mean more choice of things to buy or more space for customers to browse. Accessibility can make a huge difference to a customer’s experience and how quickly your staff can get there to assist them. Double-whammy.

Avenues

Don’t just rely on your physical space to bring in customers and bolster sales. Now, more than ever, people are choosing to go online to do their shopping, and that means you need to integrate an ecommerce store into your current arsenal. It could be that you have a website that acts as a landing page. But just think how much more effectively you could operate if your website had the ability to close sales. As such, why not invest in a cheap website design company, like Squarespace or WordPress, and take control of your online space. To ensure this operates as best as possible, make sure you also have a good returns policy, a reliable sizing guide and even a few tablets dotted around in store; that way customers will be able to browse efficiently.

Read More...

Business

Why All Your Best Employees Are Leaving You

Do you ever get that sinking feeling on your way to work? It’s that feeling you get when you never quite know when your next employee resignation letter is going to land on your desk. And it’s not a nice feeling to have: employee turnover is one of the highest costs your business faces.

The problem, though, is that many companies misdiagnose the problems. They think that there’s something wrong with their hiring process and for some reason, they’re attracting the wrong people. But more often than not, it’s a problem with the company itself. It’s not the hiring process that’s bad, it’s the culture that’s toxic.

Managers

Curt Coffman famously said in his book, First Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently, that people don’t actually leave their jobs, they leave their managers. When you think about it, this is kind of absurd. The whole purpose of having a manager is to facilitate work and to make sure that teams are organized. Workers should be better off with managers, not the precise opposite. But all too often in business, economic logic gives way to personalities, and those personalities wind up wreaking havoc.

It’s no surprise that managers who don’t communicate with their employees, don’t appreciate them and don’t look after them, suffer from high turnover rates. So instead of looking at your employees or your hiring practices, ask whether your managers could be doing a better job.

Lack Of Support

One of the reasons employers find themselves managing sick leave and employee absences with shocking regularity is because their employees have a lack of support. Ask yourself the following questions: have you sat down with each employee and discussed an action plan for their future? Have you had follow-ups to make sure that that action plan has been carried out? Do the people that work at your organization feel appreciated for all the hard work that they do?

Everyone wants to be appreciated, says Mary Kay Ash, the founder of her eponymous cosmetics brand. She says that if you appreciate someone, don’t keep it all to yourself: let them know how you feel. Her company incentivises its salesforce with glamorous events, gifts, and public recognition. Kay reminds her fellow entrepreneurs that people are a company’s greatest assets, and they should be treated as such.

Negative Competition

Some companies think that adding competition to the job is a good way to motivate people and drive up standards. But it turns out that most people aren’t wired up for heavy competition, and they don’t enjoy it. If a job is making a person feel ill from stress, then they are much more likely to leave.

Endless Reorganization

If you’re going to reorganize your company, do it once and be done with it. The problem with reorganization is that it creates uncertainty. With every shuffle, people are lost and the people that remain fear for their jobs. All this uncertainty means that the people in the firm start looking for more secure work elsewhere. Not good, if you’re trying to build a cohesive team.

Read More...

Business

How to Give Your Conversion Rate a Boost

An online portal is a great way of generating sales for your business. After all, it gives you access to an audience of billions and new digital tools and marketing techniques give you more ways than ever to direct this audience to your products and services. So why is your web conversion rate lower than expected?

There are a number of reasons why your conversion rate isn’t as high as you would like, but whatever the  root cause is it’s important you put a stop to it as soon as you can. Missed revenue can significantly damage a company’s chances of success, and it is all the more galling when you’ve actually got a customer to visit your website. So, if you want to convert interest into sales, then here are a few tips.

Customers aren’t sure what you’re selling

One of the main reasons why conversion rates are low is that customers simply aren’t sure what your business does. The issue could be the result of a badly chosen domain name or a cluttered design, but clarity is key when it comes to selling.

Make your home page simple and bold to ensure it makes an immediate impression and have a clearly displayed “About Us” link to direct customers to more information. You only have a few seconds in which to cement the initial interest so make clear what your business does!

Call in the professionals

If you’re completely at a loss when it comes to improving your conversion rate, then it may be time for some professional help. CandidSky is one of many web agencies that specialise in Conversion Rate Optimisation, or CRO.

CRO works by testing a wide range of features on your website to identify any obstacles on the visitor’s journey to the checkout. By utilising vast quantities of data and implementing A/B testing on a variety of features, Conversation Rate Optimisation can show which web elements convert and which don’t. Most importantly, CRO will look at all of the design features on your site, even those that are seemingly insignificant. It’s easy for you to miss something that may be hindering your conversion rate, but a professional agency will check every detail.

Your site doesn’t have focus

Believe it or not, but there is such a thing as offering too much choice. Customers can be bamboozled by businesses that provide too much and find it hard to commit to a decision. Furthermore, offering a broad choice may also mean that you are targeting a broader audience, which makes targeted marketing much more difficult. Although you shouldn’t give your customers a “take it or leave it” offer, a more limited choice can actually give sales an uplift.

Persuade and ask

Perhaps the biggest mistake that online stores make when it comes to converting is not being persuasive enough. Use language to convince customers that they need a particular product or service and crucially, include a call-to-action that actually directs them to the payment page. It may sound obvious, but one of the best ways of boosting your conversion rate is by actually asking customers to buy from your business!

Read More...

Business

Is Your Tech A Liability To Your Growing Business?

Most businesses nowadays have a lot of use of a strong tech presence. Which means that as they grow, that need is likely to grow as well. However, it’s not as simple as getting yourself a few new computers in the office. You need to cope with a broadening diversity as well as a broadening range of demands. If you’re not taking your tech seriously as you get more of it in, then it could be the weak link that breaks all your efforts to scale.

Leaving holes in your training

As your business’s reliance on tech expands, it’s likely you’re going to be introducing new processes. Whether that’s using specific new software or implementing new security practices. You have knowledge that you’re going to have to train to all your staff. However, this isn’t training that just needs to be done once then forgotten about. If you make that mistake, you will have a harder time bringing people who missed the training or new employees up to speed. Instead, make sure you document everything and systemize your new processes as a part of the business’s core knowledge. Otherwise, you will be letting skill gaps grow to the point that employees are significantly less productive and efficient.

Not backing yourself up

Speaking of inefficiency, let’s take a look at how you’re using all the data that your business relies on. Whether it’s important documents on plans and finances or data you could use like customer metrics, you need to be careful with it. This means not keeping it only on one device in one location, but taking the time to back it all up on a regular basis. It doesn’t just go for your data, either. It also goes for the tech you use and even your internet connections. If it goes down, you should have a replacement in the wings to cut down the level of work interruption it’s causing. For your internet, you should consider using backup connections like dongles when your router or main service provider goes down. It might be more expensive than usual, but will most likely not be as expensive as losing all those working hours.

You don’t need a computer for every single person

There are times when you could stand to be a little more cost-effective, however. New tech in the business costs money. Not just through the initial purchase, but through software licensing and future maintenance costs, too. So, consider offering employees the option to work using their own devices. They could even work remotely from home. Just make sure that they’re following proper protocol and security measures with those devices. You don’t need external sources proving a vulnerability to the business. You could even go as far as offering that option primarily to those with lower levels of access.

Expanding your security efforts

The idea of offering different levels of access is just one of the ways you could take the security of the business tech a bit more seriously. If someone doesn’t ever need access to certain kinds of data, then allowing them to access it makes them nothing but a potential liability. Even so, no-one should be lax with password security of leaving their devices logged in when they shouldn’t be. But teaching appropriate use of tech and data isn’t the only way to protect the business. You should be investing in more thorough security measures, from software that blocks malware to even hiring teams like ethical hackers who find vulnerabilities in your network with the express purpose of helping you seal them up.

Know your limits

When your reliance on tech gets to the point where you are using networks and taking security more seriously, you need to think about how much responsibility you’re able to take on them. Go too far and you could be spending more time running your IT systems as opposed to running your business. That does not make for a very productive company. If you’re not at the stage where you can justify hiring a full-time IT team, that doesn’t mean you should try handling it all yourself. Instead, you should look into outsourcing options like technology consulting. You need to know your own capacity to deal with the administration and fixes of your IT system.

Get serious about energy costs

Back to cost effectiveness, it’s not just the hardware and software costs that are going to build up if you’re not careful. An extensive tech system is going to be a particularly large source of cost for the business. Particularly when it comes to energy bills. But you can let your business really run off the leash with said bills if you’re not careful. Make sure that you are teaching your employees to properly consider how much energy they’re using, ensuring they don’t leave their workstations turned on for too long when they’re not there. You should make sure all devices have automatic sleep mode at the ready, but even that isn’t enough. People have to be responsible for their machines.

Finding new revenue sources

Expanding your tech also offers more opportunity to make revenue, too. For instance, we’re going to assume that part of your tech expansion includes a bigger presence online. But you shouldn’t just be spending money to make sure that said presence is a lot more visible. You should also be using it as a platform to make more money and open new revenue streams. We’re not just talking about going into ecommerce, either. You can just as easily make a new revenue stream by monetizing a blog connected to the website or even using your brand to sell eBooks and webinars from your site.

Adding to your workload instead of reducing it

As we’ve said, taking on a lot more tech could easily shut down the productivity of the business if you’re not aware of how to properly allocate your efforts. But that could go as far as the work that you’re able to do on the computer, as well. If your business is scaling, you’re going to have a lot more administrative work to do. A lot more human resources records to look over and correct, a lot more financial expenditures and income to properly file. More payroll to get moving. Instead of doing it all yourself, you should into software that can automate more of your business processes. Otherwise, what’s the point of having a bigger IT section if it isn’t making it easier for everyone to do their jobs?

Not upgrading your means of communication

As a business gets bigger, it’s also going to have the need for a lot more communication Internally and externally. But relying on old methods that might have seemed okay in the past will no long be good enough. You might have been able to rely on instant messaging when it was just a team of three using their devices to stay in touch. However, when you’re upgrading to a team of ten, fifteen, or more, then a lot more time that could be wasted in IMs. Instead, you should be using more direct contact, like video conferencing, or an organized email or notes system if you don’t want to interrupt someone in the middle of their workload. You need to find the communication methods that are most efficient for your business in particular.

Letting the tech take care of itself

One of the mistakes that a lot of business owners make is underestimating the needs of the tech after their initial purpose and install. Like all devices and hardware, they are susceptible to issues down the line. So you need to create a full maintenance and improvement schedule to keep them as reliable as possible. Have someone in the now keeping an eye out for hardware drivers that the devices in the office need to stay most effective. Take the time every now and then to clear temporary and unnecessary data. Check your backups and make sure they’re consistent with all the data you need. You should even schedule simple things like cleaning dust from the hardware itself.

Diving too deep into the Cloud

Cloud software has had a large impact on business. It can be very useful as a way of temporarily storing and sharing data of all kinds. However, you should never make it the permanent home of the business. Nothing is 100% reliable. If your Cloud provider’s server goes down you could lose access to important data just when you need it the most. Even worse, you could potentially lose it forever. Use the Cloud as a helpful tool, but not as one of your main methods of storing or backing up your essential data.

The proper use of resources, the right hardware choices, the allocation of effort, and the availability of knowledge are essential to running a professional operation with the right tech. Miss of any of them through making the mistakes above, your tech will be a liability, not the boon that it should be.

Read More...

Business

The Tech Used to Make the Products You Use All the Time

There is so much work that goes into creating the products that we all use every day. You might not know about this or even think about it, but the technology that is used is pretty interesting too. Any tech nerd should be interested in what machinery and equipment is used to make the things that we take advantage of. Of course, there is too much used to list every example, but here are a few of the interesting examples of technology used in manufacturing.

Automated Systems

Automation in the manufacturing industry is growing at quite an alarming rate. It’s something that you should definitely be aware of if you’re interested in the industry or technology generally. The benefit of this kind of technology is that it increases efficiency and gets things done much quicker. Some examples of automated systems include assembly systems, transfer machines and flexible manufacturing systems. They operate repetitively, and they do things that humans would not be able to do as fast or as consistently. It saves time and money for many manufacturing businesses.

Powder Coating Equipment

If the aim is to make a product more resilient so that it lasts for longer, powder coating equipment tends to be used. This is a process that blasts metal objects and makes them able to resist damage in the future. At its core, it’s a finishing technique, but it’s more than your ordinary varnishing job. Reliant Finishing Systems are often purchased by companies that need to carry out this kind of quoting on a regular basis. Booths are used and this is where the coating happens. It takes training to be able to do the job properly, though. It’s an important part of many manufacturing processes, even if you don’t know much about it.

Laser Technology

Lasers can be used for all kinds of things in manufacturing. When products are being made, certain kinds of lasers can cut materials. And then there are the lasers that are used to make computer chips and other advanced technologies. It’s not just in the making side of things where lasers can be used, though. They can also be used when items are being packaged up and processed. For example, laser sensors can be used to monitor the number of products that are going through the production line. And barcodes can be read as they roll off the end of the line too.

3D Printing

3D printing seemed like a futuristic and strange idea just a couple of years ago. But now it’s one of those things that many companies are taking advantage of. Being able to print items using 3D printing methods is revolutionising many manufacturing sectors. It’s no longer necessary to go through long processes to get parts made if they can just be printed quickly. Of course, they have to be designed before they can be printed. But this method still speeds up the entire process a lot. Major car companies even use 3D printing to create some of their parts nowadays.

Read More...

Business

Green Lights: Signs That Your Blog Could Start Making Money

Anyone who starts a blog probably does so with the knowledge that it could turn into a money spinning opportunity. Online advertising, ecommerce opportunities, and a lot more besides are all common knowledge these days.

That said, the first few months of starting a blog are always a little difficult, and making a dime or two can seem a long way off. And, despite what you hear, there are no quick fixes for getting rich with a blog, especially when it’s new. The big question for bloggers is; when is a blog ready to make money?

The good news is there are clear green lights that will arise once your blog is finally in a place where you can start earning – and we’re going to go through some of them with you today.

There is a genuine interest in what your blog is about

The golden rule of blogging is to write about your audience’s interests. Sure, you need to love what you are doing, too, but if your speciality is too niche, you will struggle to get visitors – therefore things like Google’s Adsense or Amazon affiliation will earn you next to nothing. So, make sure that your chosen topic has some popularity, but also offers something interesting and original to say.

You have a substantial amount of visitors

If you are struggling to get traffic, your blog will not be an attractive proposition to anyone, and it will be difficult to attract advertising prospects. So, until your blog has excellent ‘viewing figures’ – including thing as like bounce rate and time spent on page – you probably aren’t going to earn anything like real money.

You have a good email list

Building an email list is the single most important thing you can do when it comes to blogging. It gives you instant access to people that are already interested in what you have to say – all you need to focus on is giving them more of what they want. With your email list, you can encourage people to visit your site, introduce them to products or services, and even use it to help you sell more affiliate products.

You have a high-quality website

Be careful to ensure your blog is hosted on an excellent website. User experience is becoming more important than ever these days, and a poor quality site that looks dated and is hard to use won’t do you any favors. These days, it’s possible to create a marketplace website without coding at all. Drag and drop templates seem to be becoming more popular as times go by, and services are certainly far better than they used to be – so take a look around and see what you can find, to give your blog the home it deserves.

You promote your content (with success)

Even the best bloggers in the world need to promote their content, so unless you are doing so – and having success – you won’t be able to give up the day job just yet. Spreading the word on social media, and creating shareable posts and interesting info will help your blog grow.

Read More...

Business

They Took Our Jobs! The Rise Of The Machines Is Finally Here

Almost every science fiction movie of the last ten years has referenced or focused on the concept of labor becoming obsolete. Instead, jobs and activities that used to be controlled and completed by humans will be passed onto software, machinery, and robotics. There was a time when we believed that this future would never come to pass. Yet, it’s becoming clear we are moving slowly towards it. Indeed, Elon Musk has suggested that the labor market as we know it could come to an end by 2030. It seems that we may well be at the beginning of the end for job security. Many people have even suggested that due to this shift we are going to need a permanent income for everyone. It might seem like the rise of the machines is still quite some years away but are there already signs of this now. And, what impact has it had on the workplace?

Automation Everywhere

The first sign of this new future is the rise of automation. It’s everywhere you look, present in most industries. It’s become particularly important in the role of customers service. These days it’s quite rare for businesses to hire a full team of staff to answer the calls. Instead, they use a telephone answering service. It’s cheaper and cuts the overhead costs for the company right down without the business owner even having to try. If you ring up a customer service hotline this year, it’s likely that you will be greeted with a form of software such as this. You might speak to an employee eventually, but you’ll pass through a string of automated processes first. Is it the only area where automation has become more relevant?

No, automation has even entered creative industries too. Developers have quietly been shopping around software that can write screenplays, songs, and music from scratch. It does this by running millions of different piece of popular media, analyzing them and then printing out what will be successful and popular. It’s quite possible that the next mega-blockbuster won’t have a writer behind it but a single piece of software.

Lost Jobs

There has certainly been evidence of machines replacing employees, and this has been happening for quite some time. The most recent report of this emerged from the fast food and restaurant industry. It emerged that many popular food services in America are now using robotics to make and cook the food. It was also widely reported that several fast food outlets were considering introducing robotics to service it. It is unclear how far away this development is. But anyone who has ever worked in Mcdonalds will tell you it’s not as crazy as it sounds.

Clear Benefits

Of course, the major benefit here will be for business owners. A business world without labor costs would be a remarkable place. One that would make it even easier for new company owners to start up their business. Arguably this will be beneficial as it’s clear that won’t be as many options working for someone else in the future.

Read More...

Business

Costly HR Mistakes It’s Best To Avoid

Your staff members are your company’s most valuable asset. Failure to see them that way can be a costly mistake, with regular hiring and training costing company resources, and even the legal fees that can be resultant of poor human resources. It’s critical for the success of any business to treat staff well, and failure to do so can put your business in dire straits. Here are some common mistakes you could be making with your company’s human resources.

Expecting too much

Your staff are human beings, they have good days and bad days, and they have strengths and weaknesses, just like everyone else. Treating them as machines with constant high expectations can put unnecessary stress on your employees, leading to poor staff satisfaction, low efficiency, and even valued members of the team moving on to new employment. Remember your staff members are only human, they make mistakes, and be sympathetic to their difficulties – you were in their position once after all.

Not having an employee handbook

An employee handbook is a crucial part of any employee/employer relationship. It should lay out the expectations on both sides in more detail than a contract of employment. This means that a worker has their standards and expectations laid out of them. It also enables them to find out information about holiday leave, grievance policies, and notice periods, so you’re all on the same page. Not having an employee handbook is doing a huge disservice to your staff, but also making your life as an employer more difficult too.

Not giving feedback enough

Your staff are living organisms – they grow with their environment, take on criticisms and thanks, and adjust accordingly. Failing to give constructive feedback is not only unfair on the staff, but it also means you’re not getting the most out of your employee. Most staff want to be great at their job, either for general satisfaction or for the hope of promotion. Feedback allows them to improve on their shortcomings, and feel pride in what they’re doing well.

Ignoring employment laws

All employment laws are relevant to you, and ignoring them can lead to legal trouble of varying degrees of severity. Seek out HR consultants near you to ensure you’re complying with employment law to the letter – ignorance as an employer can be a very costly mistake. And remember that laws differ for companies of different sizes, so it’s important you’re well read on the subject and have a competent advisor.

Keeping poor records

Employment records are crucial if any problems come to light, and well-kept records can keep your company from getting in serious trouble if someone has a case against you. It’s also crucial for taxation, immigration control, and leave of absence records. Failure to keep your company records up to date can result in large fines, so it’s worth spending a bit of time on it.

Avoiding costly human resource mistakes is just about being prepared and treating your staff well. They’re a costly asset for your business, but when treated properly they can become your best asset too.

Read More...