How to Become a Better CEO: 5 Helpful Tips

How to Become a Better CEO: 5 Helpful Tips

Figuring out how to become a better CEO is important both for entrepreneurs who didn’t start out as managers and who took on the role of the leader of a startup and for established company heads who want to make a bigger impact on their organisation.

For companies like Huge Supplements who want to back up their product with stellar leadership practices, it’s crucial to know the key things that impact your company and how to invest your attention in improving the big picture a priority.

These 5 tips will help you become a more effective CEO by encouraging you to think deeper about your company’s goals and direction by focusing on stakeholder values, crafting a quarterly game plan, and taking actionable steps to ensure that your teams’ contribution is using every day to act on communicated vision, steps, and goals.

1. Focus on What’s Important for Your Company’s Vision

The first thing to do when you’re trying to become a better CEO is to nail down the things that matter the most to your company.

This means solidifying your mission or your why as a leader and as an organization. It can be hard to define your purpose. Think back to what you wanted to achieve when you started your company. Your purpose or mission statement should be a powerful reason why your company exists in the first place.

Ask yourself, what’s the reason that you’re in business? What (including and beside financial success) are you trying to achieve? Ask yourself what your mission is to your customers, your team, and the world.

What ways can you engage your team and inspire them to get passionate about this mission so that they believe in your company rather than just watching the clock for a pay check?

Having a strong sense of purpose and learning how to embody and communicate it so that you inspire those who work for you and those who buy your service or product is foundational to becoming a great CEO. In fact, companies who demonstrate a clear social initiative have outstandingly outperformed the S;P 500 during the past two decades.

Once you know your powerful purpose, it’s your job to focus on that vision, lead with purpose, and let that inspire your employees’ wellbeing, and build brand loyalty. Use your purpose to develop your strategy to focus on areas of your company where you want to improve and make your purpose shine clearly. This can include company culture, customer service, and shareholder expectations.

2. Cultivate Intentional Company Culture

Your company culture is the invisible force that informs your team’s decisions and behaviour when no one is overseeing them. Team culture is crucial to attracting and keeping great talent that is an asset to your company. Your team culture can either leverage or limit your capacity to produce successful results.

You can’t do amazing things if your company has a poor team culture. One of the most important ways to invest your time is to intentionally build the kind of culture that you want for your company.

This means using the right people to build and develop your leadership team. Think about the kinds of people that you will eventually need to manage and lead and start grooming them for the role. Check for any gaps, issues, people, or behaviours that fracture your team and work to upgrade it.

3. Don’t Forget Stakeholder Value

It’s all too easy to immerse yourself in your passion for what your company does and lose sight of the people that you serve. A great CEO knows that an organisation’s drive comes from the value that it provides to stakeholders, whether that’s for customers, investors, or your team.

As you solidify your goals and work to hit them each quarter and year, it’s important to recognise that your job as a CEO is not about getting as much as you can from people. Instead, it’s about asking them what they need from you and serving them more than they serve you.

Tap into feedback about customers’ needs, what your shareholders are looking for, and what your team needs to do their job effectively. Once you get the facts about how your service process can improve, take concrete steps to make things happen.

4. Create a Quarterly Action Plan

Many companies think about what they want to accomplish in a year. The problem is that this is too broad a goal. If you want to become a better CEO and help your company flourish, you’ll need to draw up a quarterly plan of action and go over this every quarter.

A quarterly action plan can help your company define its priorities and develop an actionable strategy to propel the business forward towards its goal. A simple one-page action plan delivered every quarter helps keep everyone on track. It also breaks down big goals into smaller, actionable steps which are crucial for a small or midsize company.

After you draw up your plan and work towards meeting those goals for several quarters, it’s a good idea to gather your top department leaders and ask them to craft a one-page quarterly action plan for their own department as well.

This step has two major benefits. First, it breaks down the actions that will make a big difference for the company at a departmental level. It also creates an accountability blueprint to check in on how their department is carrying out your company’s vision and goals.

5. Set the Standard for Accountability

A good CEO knows how to delegate, but he or she also knows how to set the ultimate standard for your organisation.

Stay true to yourself and your defined goals. This doesn’t mean that you stick inflexibly with old techniques. Instead, listen to the feedback from your managers, employees, and customers. Get multiple perspectives, but invest the company’s time, money, and energy in the right places that will make the most impact or achieve the most results.

At the end of the day, a CEO is the gatekeeper for a company’s goals, priorities, and values. Hold yourself, your leadership, and teams accountable to use every day to act in accordance with these stated goals.

Conclusion

This list of best practices is just a start when it comes to becoming a better CEO. Great leadership starts with honing in on your mission and how you can best accomplish it for all involved. Your financial performance flows from your company’s vision and mission and that comes down from you to your team.

It takes self-reflection and confidence to lead a company successfully. It means looking inside, connecting with your customers, stakeholders, and team, and acting from there. Most CEOs want to avoid major mistakes and may not stretch themselves or their team as a result.

If you want to become a better CEO and see greater returns, then you will need to step you, manage yourself and others, and avoid becoming stagnant. Work to fulfil your vision and seize the best opportunities that will drive strategic growth.

While it’s important to break down big goals into small, actionable steps, your company goals shouldn’t stay small. Set big and bold goals that will challenge yourself and your team to reach your highest potential.

Is Mining Crypto Profitable And How Will It Impact Tech CEOs In 2023

Is Mining Crypto Profitable And How Will It Impact Tech CEOs In 2023

Within a decade of their emergence, cryptocurrencies have taken the world by storm. The value of Bitcoin, the first-ever cryptocurrency, currently sits at over 20,000 USD.

However, crypto is not immune to the highs and lows of the market. In recent times, the value of cryptocurrencies has been tumultuous, prompting experts to wonder if mining crypto is profitable anymore. It has also impacted tech companies in major ways.

Is Mining Crypto profitable and how will it impact tech CEOs in 2023

Cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin, have always enjoyed high value in the market. But in recent times, their values have been extremely unstable. This, coupled with the rising prices of energy has made it very difficult to mine crypto and turn a profit from it.

Crypto tracking website Bitinfocharts.com reported that the profitability of Bitcoin sank to the lowest in months in July 2022. As there are various factors that determine the profitability of crypto, there isn’t a simple answer to whether mining crypto is profitable or not for tech CEOs in 2023.

Understanding crypto mining

In simple words, crypto mining refers to the process by which a cryptocurrency is verified as well as recorded in the blockchain. It is mined on a custom-built complex computing system. Miners earn the crypto by validating it and solving a hash.

There are a variety of factors that affect the profitability of a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin. However, not everyone has to mine to earn cryptocurrency. You can simply purchase one without getting involved in the complex logistics of mining cryptocurrency.

Buy Bitcoin with PayPal to invest in the biggest cryptocurrency and boost your portfolio. You’ll be able to hold, sell, send or spend your Bitcoin as you please. You might even swap or donate it, making it a multiple-use currency.

Whether you mine cryptos or invest in them, you want them to be a profitable venture, especially if you are a tech company. Cryptos are majorly impacting the tech world and you need to be knowledgeable about their mining and profitability to extract profits in the market.

When it comes to mining a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, there are some crucial elements involved:

Hash rate — It is the speed of processing transactions on a blockchain. The more miners enter the market, the more difficult it becomes to ensure the quantity produced remains the same.

ASIC — Application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC) are the system on which crypto is mined. They’re the single most important elements in crypto mining. Your ASIC determines the profitability you’ll achieve by mining.

Difficulty rate — An automatic system is in place to adjust the difficulty of mining based on how many miners are in the market at the moment. The higher the difficulty rate, the more difficult it becomes for individual miners to succeed in mining.

Profitability of crypto mining

At its core, mining a cryptocurrency can be profitable. Many people as well as corporations are profiting off mining Bitcoin as of now. The profitability of mining crypto majorly depends on the equipment used for the process.

After that, you take into account other components such as hash rates and networking. The equipment itself can help you adjust the costs as many equipment and computing systems used to mine Bitcoin over the years have adapted themselves to lower mining costs.

In simple words, crypto mining is similar to the mining of physical assets such as gold, silver, and diamond. The higher the price of the asset is, the more profitable it becomes to mine it. Moreover, miners don’t even need to be as efficient to make a profit.

Consider the following the major contributors to the profitability of a cryptocurrency: Mining Equipment

Mining Equipment You’ll need to assemble a system made up of various equipment to mine crypto. The price of the systems often varies greatly. However, their prices suffered an all-time low in 2022 when the high and mid-tier ASIC dropped their price to 70%.

The drop in price has allowed smaller miners to get their hands on a good quality ASIC and turn profits. This drop in price and newer minors joining in with vigour have bolstered blockchain production.

The price of crypto

The price of many cryptocurrencies has been extremely volatile, especially in recent times. This has led too many established and efficient miners to leave production.

This is timed with the drop in equipment prices, leading to many small miners jumping into the arena and mining crypto. This has ensured that the crypto mining business is well and running, regardless of who comes and goes.

Crypto mining’s impact on tech CEOs

Crypto mining has a positive impact on tech CEOs. More and more CEOs are coming forward with their companies to be a part of the crypto revolution and crypto mining gives them an opportunity to get involved.

Crypto mining gives you an opportunity to find success for your company as crypto becomes more and more mainstream. An example of that could be seen when the crypto exchange platform FTX’s CEO promoted crypto in front of the massive audience of the Super Bowl.

Mining Crypto as a tech CEO in 2023

Cryptocurrencies have been a sensation in the market ever since their inception and continue to rule it today.

Even though their values have seen highs and lows, mining crypto remains a profitable venture if you do it right. As a tech CEO in 2023, you can gain majorly from both mining crypto such as Bitcoin and investing in it.

Invest well in the equipment you use to mine crypto as it plays the most crucial role in deciding your profitability. It can tremendously help you in your tech endeavours as well.

The 5 Biggest Employee Perks for 2023 After Demand Reaches All-Time High

2023 is set to be the biggest year yet for employee perks, after new research from Seniorcare by Lottie (an eldercare benefits solution) has predicted the best benefits for workplaces to invest in.

From childcare to support for caregivers in the workplace, Seniorcare by Lottie’s experts have analysed our online searching habits over the last 12 months to predict the best perks to offer your employees.

“As we start the new year, it is clear that more people are prioritising their wellbeing and a healthy work-life balance, so there’s no surprise that more businesses than ever before are attracting new team members through offering the best perks,” shares Seniorcare by Lottie Lead Ronan Harvey-Kelly.

“By analysing the UK’s online searching habits, our team of experts have predicted the most valuable and trending employee benefits to adopt this year.

Benefits offered in the workplace are at the forefront of people’s minds, with a 75% increase in online searches over the last 12 months for ‘top employee benefits’*. During the same time period, we’ve seen a huge surge in online searches for childcare support, flexible financial benefits, and many more.

“More business owners are investing in unique perks that genuinely support employees in need. In doing so, they’re attracting the best talent and lowering their employee turnover. From coping with the rising cost of living to juggling work commitments and caregiving responsibilities, the UK workforce are coping with a wealth of added stress, anxiety, and worry,” concludes Ronan Harvey-Kelly.

 

Revealed: The 5 Biggest Employee Perks For 2023

  • Flexible financial support
  • Invest in physical and mental wellbeing
  • Childcare benefits
  • Support for caregivers
  • Green initiatives

Flexible financial support

  • 39% increase in online searches for ‘financial wellbeing’*
  • 22% increase in online searches for ‘employee financial wellbeing’

As the cost of living continues to rise, employers should raise awareness of the importance of being financially healthy. Financial wellbeing isn’t about the money you have, it’s more about how secure you feel about your financial situation, and whether you feel you have enough money to fulfil your needs.

Employers have the power to build financial resilience by creating a culture of support, sharing useful resources, and providing essential help when needed.

Offering staff training about how to talk openly about financial wellbeing can help, too. Another great way to reduce any financial pressure for your employees is by providing financial perks, including access to special discounts, and budgets for expenses like transport or lunches.

Samuel Lathey, CEO from Financial Wellbeing provider Bippit, adds, “The truth is that financial matters are the ‘elephant in the room’. Something that’s affecting all of us, but something that very few of us are comfortable talking about, and that’s why it’s so important for employees to have a safe, confidential space where they can access support and have an expert to talk to.”

Invest in physical and mental wellbeing

  • 33% increase in online searches for ‘physical wellbeing at work’
  • 23% increase in online searches for ‘employee healthcare’

Your team’s physical and mental health is hugely affected by their workload and work environment. As we begin the new year, businesses must step up and be a positive influence on employee health.

Many workplaces are a major contributor to sedentary behaviour. Previous research by The Workplace Movement has found that physically inactive workers lose up to 4 and a half working days per year, compared to those who are active, through absence and presenteeism.

From providing mental health support to offering discounted gym memberships, you’ll reap the rewards as a business owner if you prioritise your employee’s health. They’ll likely be happier and more productive, and you’ll retain top talent.

Sançar Sahin, Oliva’s Co-founder & CMO, says, “We spend at least 8 hours of our lives at work each day. So to say that us employers have a responsibility to support our team’s mental wellbeing is an understatement.

How many times have we taken a day off because we lack the mental energy to turn up? And how many times have we turned up but had our minds somewhere else; thinking about a sick relative, a recent breakup, or something more debilitating like depression, OCD, or trauma. Healthy people = healthy business.”

Childcare benefits

  • 27% increase in online searches for ‘workplace nursery benefits’
  • 22% increase in online searches for ‘shared parental leave’

Childcare benefits are becoming a huge factor for many working parents when deciding on their next job. Over the last 12 months, there has been a 600% increase in online searches for ‘childcare issues and work’, with many parents struggling to open up to their workplace about their struggles.

Jobs that provide support for parents and parents-to-be are at a huge advantage of retaining staff, raising morale, and improving attendance. More parents are also keen to share parental leave, which is a huge trend for employers to focus on.

Some businesses have set up on-site nurseries for employees or offer greater flexibility through remote working and flexible hours for parents. What’s more, companies could focus on helping parents with back-up childcare, for when their children are unwell or off nursery.

 

Support for caregivers

  • 75% increase in online searches for ‘being a carer and working full-time’
  • 50% increase in online searches for ‘trapped caring for elderly parent’
  • 40% increase in online searches for ‘giving up work to be a carer’

An ageing population means more people are living longer, and many employees are finding themselves caring for older, disabled or seriously ill relatives. This means more employees than ever before are caring for an elderly loved one in the UK and beyond – whilst working full-time – leaving them at risk of mental health struggles and financial worry.

Employees who are juggling the additional demands of caregiving are more likely to experience stress, absences from work and health problems.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to raising awareness and sharing support for caregivers in the workplace. As a leader in your workplace, take the time to listen, understand and empathise with caregivers in your organisations. Simply being aware of caregiver needs is a huge step that bridges the gap between caregivers and their employers.

One of the best ways to support a caregiver at work is to provide practical support. You can offer support in several ways, including offering advice from experts on finding suitable care for your elderly loved one, whether that’s home-care or in a care home setting.

Giving employees access to expert care and impartial advice will enable them to be more productive, whilst providing their elderly loved ones with the care they deserve.

Green initiatives

  • 86% increase in online searches for ‘sustainability in the workplace’
  • 25% increase in online searches for ‘best cycle to work scheme’

Your benefits aren’t just how you attract and retain talent – they’re how you demonstrate your company values. Businesses who are genuinely investing in a more sustainable workplace are offering their employees an opportunity to make a positive impact.

From using only electric vehicles as company cars to adopting a new tree planting initiative, there’s lots of ways businesses can quickly become more environmentally conscious.

Redesign your Office as a ‘Third Place’

By Jeff Dewing CEO of Cloudfm

As a young lad I was fortunate enough to always feel a sense of community and belonging everywhere I went, whether this was seeing my local neighbour at the youth centre or my parents’ friends at the library, there were communal spaces available.

Unfortunately, due to austerity and budget cuts, physical community spaces have been lost and digital communities have taken precedence. Nevertheless, physical spaces will always be necessary, as preserving communities can improve people’s lives.

Given only 21% of employees are engaged at work and the increasing levels of stress among staff, I decided to revamp my office space into a collaborative hub that could be used whenever necessary by my team. I think that business leaders have a responsibility to rebuild community hubs where they can, and this is why:

We are losing our ‘third places’

Through the years, I’ve witnessed the steady deterioration of the so-called ‘third places.’ These are spaces where people go to unwind, different from their homes (referred to as first places) or their workplaces (second places). Third places provide a space to connect with the local community, often at no personal cost.

The defunding of places like youth centres by the government has had a damaging effect on our communities and we shouldn’t underestimate its repercussions. With the rising cost of living and the ongoing aftershocks of the pandemic, employee well-being is being put to the test. This is not only a moral issue but a financial one as well, with low engagement costing the global economy a staggering $7.8 trillion.

Business leaders have an opportunity and a duty to make a genuine difference in employee wellbeing. In my experience, redesigning my office space with emotional well-being and collaboration in mind has delivered excellent results and is something all business leaders should consider.

It’s time to rethink our office spaces

Not only do physical community hubs provide a dedicated space for employees to collaborate, but they also provide a place for employees to take a break from work and interact with their peers in a more relaxed setting. This can help to reduce stress levels and create a positive work environment.

Additionally, physical community hubs can help to build a sense of belonging and connection among employees. This can lead to greater involvement and engagement, resulting in improved productivity and higher morale.

The design of an office space varies depending on the type of business it is used for. It’s essential to consider the specific needs of your industry when designing the layout. Nevertheless, there are some key elements that should be taken into account regardless of the business.

With hybrid working becoming the new standard, it has become more vital than ever to foster meaningful interactions between colleagues. To do this, offices should be redesigned with the intention of promoting collaboration and communication. They should have comfortable areas with couches, TVs and refreshments such as tea and coffee. Additionally, it should be a place where employees can make memories and have fun that cannot be replicated working from home. This could include activities like darts, Xbox gaming and karaoke nights, which can provide a break from the day-to-day and help to ease the financial strain of socialising in the current cost of living crisis.

Opening the office 24/7 to our staff has been hugely beneficial. We’ve used it for after-work events and even for a weekend daycare for coffee catchups. Our team is more connected than ever and we have re-energized a feeling of togetherness in the area. Kids who would not have been able to meet each other are getting together on weekends and my staff can meet their colleagues’ friends when appropriate. I urge other business leaders to think of your office as a third place for your team.

Common Misconceptions About CEOs

Common Misconceptions About CEOs

With responsibility for just about every single person in a business, there’s no doubt that CEOs have a lot on their plate.

There are certainly plenty of rewards that go with the packed in-tray but another consideration for those looking to climb to the very top of the corporate ladder is the number of myths and misconceptions about the role.

Here we’ll attempt to shed some light on the truth behind the headlines.

All that glitters is gold

The glamorous life of the CEO, eh? It must be all about buying the next holiday home, buying a fleet of supercars, and struggling to choose an insurance policy for a new yacht, right?

The truth is this is rarely the case for the large number of people across the world who hold the job title of chief executive officer.

Sure, there are some high-profile CEOs who might live extravagant lifestyles and court the media’s attention. But these are very much in the minority across the board.

Most CEOs are following their passion and dedicated to making their company a better place to work, more attractive to invest in and a leader in giving back to the communities that have been their foundations

The CEO owns the business

In large numbers of cases across the world, this is not the case.

Of course, any publicly traded company that appoints a CEO is owned by its shareholders. Now, the CEO may well be one of those people (and may be a majority shareholder to boot) but conflating the two can often place unfair expectations on CEOs who may answer to others.

In the case of limited companies, a CEO may be appointed by an owner who wishes to remain out of the public glare and task their top exec with making difficult decisions, such as formulating responses to ongoing disruption in the job market.

CEOs certainly wield a lot of power in any business, but it is far from accurate in the case of many to suggest that they, and they alone, have the final say over all business matters.

Net worth figures

Each and every day you might see news stories focusing on high-ranking executives with claims that they are worth millions, if not billions. There are even entire internet sites dedicated to reporting the ‘net worth’ of others.

This leads to immediate misconceptions that this monetary figure must be instantly available to an individual. Even though in reality, it’s a reflection of a present market value and not a realised sum sitting in someone’s bank balance. It may even compromise their safety if they are perceived publicly to be wealthier than they perhaps are.

If they are even accurate in the first place, most likely these sums relate to entire portfolios that might include property, stocks and shares, among other assets. It’s also important to point out that should a high-net-worth individual such as Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk decide to sell all of their shares in their respective businesses, they would almost instantly crash the value of their stocks as well as affect the value of their sector.

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Five Ways to Take Your Company to the Next Level

Five Ways to Take Your Company to the Next Level

When you are a leader of a large corporation, the pressure is on you to deliver. The success of the business falls squarely on the shoulders of leadership. There are benefits and drawbacks to this kind of responsibility, but one of the best things about the consolidation of leadership is that if it’s you, you can make big decisions to take the company to the next level. If it fails, you will face the consequences but if you succeed you receive the praise. When you are trying to take the business you are leading to the next level, below are five ways to take your company to the next level.

Focus on Equity

There is a lot of talk about equality these days, but often the wider conversation isn’t about equality—it’s about equity. Here is a quick example of equity in the workplace. If one part of your business isn’t as successful as the rest is, elevating that part of the business could make a huge difference. You need every part of the company to perform at its optimal level. It isn’t just about racial and sexuality diversity, it’s about the ability of every aspect of the company performing at its most productive level.

Cultivate Culture

When a company becomes large, the culture begins to degrade. Take a lesson from Google. Company culture matters. Company culture is one of the most important components of a truly great business. When the staff is cohesive, you will be more successful. The work will be easier because employees will be on the same page. It’s worth spending the time and effort on creating a comprehensive culture within the company—no matter how large. It’s worth spending time with both the people who are close to you and the ones you don’t know. Understanding the dynamics of each individual team will help you in the long run.

Overhead vs Profit

You already know this, but the relationship between overhead and profit is instrumental to the success of any company. How many employees do you have? Do you need all of them? What team isn’t performing? Can some of the company work from home? What about establishing a partial work-from-home program? You could also move from your current offices to a smaller property. Send some people home to work. Thin the herd.

Lower production costs if you can but try to skimp on the quality. Are you a primarily digital business? Thinking about new ways to make money could provide profit to warrant the overhead that you currently have. This is a balance you are surely familiar with. When you are trying to take your business to the next level returning to this mindset will prove fruitful.

Innovate, Innovate, Innovate

The odds are, you are leading a company that deals in technology or something adjacent to it. In these businesses, there are few things more valuable than innovation. Innovating is what changes the game for a lot of companies. If you are lacking innovation in your business—whether you are in tech or not—investing in people and technologies that can elevate your business is typically worth it.

Pivot into a New Direction, Diversify

If you have new ideas about how to take your business into a new, more profitable direction, you should begin testing these ideas. You don’t need to go all in at once, but you should start testing various products, services, and ideas. When you are at the helm of a large corporation, it’s important to identify when things aren’t working as well as they used to. Sometimes it’s merely a matter of size. You don’t need to turn180 degrees. Instead, you can diversify. Look at the data. What’s working? Turn slightly in that direction.

Leading a large company isn’t easy. It requires a lot of work. It requires steadfast diligence, a vision for the future, and an understanding of who and what you are dealing with. Whether you are in technology, finance, or something else, there are plenty of ways to take your company to the next level. It all depends on the overhead, the profit, the culture, and the outlook. If you can balance all these things, further growth and success may be around the corner.

8 Women CEO in the Forbes 100 List

8 Women CEO in the Forbes 100 List

For the last seven years, Forbes has published a list showcasing the 100 CEOs who are leading the world’s most successful privately owned cloud companies.

The Cloud 100 is a diverse list that is global in its scope and includes enterprises at all stages of growth, sales and valuation. It reflects the growing importance of cloud-based tech and is compiled using a variety of criteria, with a panel consisting of 26 assessors from within the sector and fellow CEOs.

A significant point that highlights the ever-increasing prominence of this sector is that the companies on the 2022 Cloud 100 list have a combined market capitalization of $100 billion greater than those in 2021.

More women CEOs in the top 100

One of the most significant features of the 2022 Cloud 100 list is that it features 8 women CEOs, up from 6 in 2021. It can of course be argued that women are still significantly underrepresented at the helm of tech companies, but the albeit small increase can nevertheless be seen as a positive, although there is still much more to do when it comes to women in executive leadership roles.

Below we look at the eight women who have crashed into the top 100, their achievements, their companies’ valuations, and what they have done to foster such significant growth and success.

Eynat Guez

Papaya Global

Papaya Global founder Eynat Guez is ranked at 74 in the Cloud 100 list, and under her leadership the company is now valued at $3.7 billion, having raised $250 million in a Series D funding round in 2021.

The Israel-based global payroll provider is also leading the way when it comes to women in tech, with the workforce being more than 50% female. The company has built its success on supporting organizations of all sizes and across sectors to expand into new markets, hire freelancers, and manage payroll globally.

Laura Behrens

Shippo

The eCommerce shipping platform Shippo is headed by co-founder Laura Behrens (no. 85), under whose stewardship the company raised $50 million in new funding in 2021. Now valued at more than $1 billion, Shippo has successfully expanded internationally into Germany, France, the UK, Canada and Australia, and is looking to go even further afield in the coming years.

One of the key reasons for Shippo’s success has been that it enables owners of eCommerce sites to use virtually any shipping provider globally via a single API.

Bernadette Nixon

Algolia

Coming in at 39 in the Cloud 100 list, Algolia CEO Bernadette Nixon has seen the company’s valuation grow to $2.25 billion, thanks in part to a $150 million Series D funding round in 2021.

This is Nixon’s first appearance on the list, and her API search and discovery platform has significantly grown its global customer base to more than 17,000 users since its founding in 2012.

Karen Peacock

Intercom

Intercom founder Karen Peacock is placed at 35 in the Cloud 100 list, and she has been at the helm as the company has raised over $240 million over 9 funding rounds.

Now valued at $1.25 billion, the Intercom communication platform supports companies in the management of their customer relations, and has more than 25,000 clients around the world, including major corporations such as Amazon, Webex, Meta and more.

Edith Harbaugh

Launch Darkly

LaunchDarkly CEO Edith Harbaugh is at number 34 on the Cloud 100 list, and under her leadership the California-based software feature management company is now valued at more than $3 billion.

Over eight rounds, LaunchDarkly raised $330 million in Series D funding in 2021, and now works with over 4,000 clients across a diverse range of industries, including Square, AMC, Intuit, Adidas and NBC.

Rachel Romer

Guild Education

Guild Education is a unique platform designed to make it easier for employers to enhance the range of economic and career opportunities it provides its employees, primarily through increasing access to education.

Co-founder and CEO Rachel Romer (no. 32 in the Cloud 100 list) has a number of industry awards to her name, and under her leadership the company is now valued at $3.75 billion, having raised over $634 million in a Series F funding round in 2022.

Melanie Perkins

Canva

Australian entrepreneur Melanie Perkins is the highest ranked woman in the Cloud 100 list, coming in at number 3. Canva, the online graphic design platform that she co-founded in 2012, is now valued at $40 billion and has more than 3,000 employees worldwide, with around 45% of the workforce being women.

Canva has also made a number of acquisitions, and has been highly successful throughout its history at attracting major investors, such as Sequoia Capital, Felicis Ventures, Blackbird Ventures, and Tiger Global Management.

Mathilde Collin

Front

Number 100 on the Cloud 100 list is Mathilde Collin, CEO of Front, a business communication hub that personalises customer relationships and makes it easier to ‘humanise’ messaging and other interactions with customers.

Front offers plans and packages for enterprises of all sizes, and under Collin’s leadership, the US company is now valued at over $1.7 billion, on the back of a $65 million Series D funding round in 2022.

10 Leadership Trends You Are Likely to See In 2023

By Thom Dennis, CEO of culture change and leadership development specialists, Serenity in Leadership.

After another incredibly tumultuous year and a recession on its way, leaders have been trying to steady the ship to navigate through the difficult times, but many are choosing to do more than survive and are aiming to get back to thriving beyond the profits, by focusing on culture, innovation and taking a long term view. These are the trends in good leadership you are likely to see in 2023.

 

1. Visionary Storytellers. I recently interviewed Dean Carter who led global HR and Shared Services at the ground-breaking company Patagonia and is now a Director of Griffith Foods, the global traceable and sustainable food ingredients experts. He said: “A leader for me is someone who has a compelling view of the future and their way of looking at the future is a very compelling thing to align behind. They also know their vision always has to be possible and the team need to be able to clearly see the actions that can be taken to get there.” Dean argues that visionary leaders have a better way of communicating their mission and objectives and can harness their narrative in such a way that it makes people want to be a part of making that vision happen.

2. Walk The Walk. Leaders will regularly need to re-examine if they are on track and are still aligned with their mission statement, values and purpose, and leading clearly with those at the forefront. During tumultuous times we need responsible leaders more than ever. A recent study of nearly 700 US companies showed scant correlation between stated company values and employee perceptions of the organization so this will have to change in the very near future.

3. Superb Tacticians For the Future. Leaders understand they need to re-create a hybrid workplace where workers want to be, to see friends, explore ideas, make a difference, learn and find meaning. Do these things well, and retention problems will be eased. You have to make money to stay in business, but you keep employees during otherwise difficult times if they are engaged, learning, and increasingly enjoying themselves. As Dean said about culture: “If we’re talking about making it fun, it probably isn’t fun”, and advocated for CEOs who don’t take themselves too seriously.

4. Nurturers. This means taking a firm line on sharing the burdens, reducing toxicity and burnout in the workplace, and wanting the best for colleagues’ mental and physical health. Being individual-employee-centric and offering flexibility and support are key.

5. High Cultural Intelligence. Senior executives and partners serve as a model for vision, purpose, and company culture and there is a 750% differential in profits at companies with aligned and mature cultures versus those that fail to cultivate their cultures. CQ is an easily learned and developed, but extremely important skill.

 

6. Build Better Teams. Leaders who have high-performing C-Suites say they are 42% more effective at managing complex initiatives, 31% more effective at delivering stakeholder value, and 30% more effective at attracting top talent. During times of transition, such as a merger or private equity deal, the quality of a business’s management team is the most-cited reason for deal success and second for deal failure.

 

7. Innovators. Technology is always evolving, offering new opportunities to CEOs looking to transform their business. That’s especially true when pursuing net-zero. It is also true for companies that are making the shift to put software at the heart of their business. Leaders will be looking for innovators with software experience and who want to explore the use of AI in the context of responsibility, trustworthiness and ethics. The trend is for an increasing number of members of the C-Suite to have software experience.

8. Empowerers. The best leaders are those who enable their people to make good decisions. Admiral Horatio Nelson is still today recognised as an inspirational leader and an incredible tactician. He knew that once the battle started, there would not be any possibility of communicating between ships so instead he empowered each of his captains to take decisions and risks. He did this by sharing his strategy and communicating in depth with them so they could act with autonomy because they really knew each other and understood the desired outcome. There has been a trend in leaders towards autocracy in recent years – this rarely works over a period of time and makes succession extremely difficult. Leaders need to empower, build morale and make their teams feel entrusted.

9. Clear Succession Plan. The leaders of 2023 understand that they need to listen and learn from others to improve and grow themselves. We simply cannot do it all ourselves. These leaders also know that at some stage someone is going to do it better than them and power sharing is in the best interest of everyone, including ourselves. Successful leaders will surround themselves not with sycophants but with people who will question them and provide alternative opinions, feedback and solutions.

10. Authentically Support Important Causes. In 2016 Patagonia announced that it would donate 100 percent of its global retail and online sales from the shopping event on Black Friday straight to grassroots organizations that work in local communities to “protect our air, water and soil for future generations”. They made a record-breaking $10 million in sales during the event, a figure five times greater than expected, along with massive media coverage. As the cost of living and environmental crises rage on in 2023, expect to see leaders take bigger, more courageous and more meaningful leaps of faith to support important causes.

Business Trends To Look Out For In 2023

Business Trends To Look Out For In 2023

Businesses have experienced a lot over the last year – 2022 presented many economic challenges and the new year provides the opportunity to learn, grow and bounce back.

Whether you’re a small business or a large corporation, we’ve listed the predicted business trends for the coming year that you should look out for.

Fintech and the potential of blockchain

The fintech phenomenon is progressing rapidly, with brand-new finance apps becoming available on a daily basis. Managing your money digitally is now seen as the way forward, allowing you to easily budget, save and process payments with just a few taps.

However, the arrival of blockchain technology is set to revolutionise various areas of finance, as well as transport, entertainment and healthcare industries.

With both advancements combined, blockchain technology can help to transform financial processes within fintech law firms, banks and other organisations. Using a fintech ecosystem, transactions will no longer need an external source present, making them capable of completing payments instantly.

Global economic downturn

With forecasts predicting that global growth will start to slow in 2023, businesses are aware of rising inflation and are learning how to deal with this to prepare for the coming months. This unfortunately means lower job opportunities and in certain cases, this will also mean job losses.

Organisations will have to think on their feet, making quick yet lasting decisions on the future of their business. Ultimately, businesses will be reviewing budgets, reassessing financial stability and growth forecasts, and in other cases, offer greater recognition to employees who may be suffering as a result of rising costs.

The rise of Artificial Intelligence

The introduction of Artificial Intelligence has already seen many manual jobs taken over. It’s said that this technology could start to provide challenges for a number of professions, disrupting high-skilled areas.

With the economy in turmoil, businesses now more than ever are looking to increase efficiency and reduce costs where possible. AI can be used amongst a number of professions, performing various tasks such as reviewing contracts, conducting research and drafting documents.

AI models are continuing to become more advance over time. They are trained on large amounts of data and can read human handwriting.

With the increased demand for efficiency and automation, AI technology can handle high volumes of work in short amounts of time, appearing the more viable option than their human counterparts. By removing human stress and high pressure, why wouldn’t businesses want to use this advanced alternative to get the job done?

Sustainability

The need for more sustainable businesses continues to grow. Many organisations are investing more into their sustainability strategy, as it’s known as one of the biggest incentives to change consumer behaviour.

Global warming is a key issue affecting every nation around the world and so companies who take a conscious approach in their operations to address this will be able to gain more credibility.

Consumers are looking for affordable yet sustainable options, so it’s time to embracing change and become transparent with customers in order to progress in our ever-changing world.

6 Tips on Bringing Digital Outdoors  with Digital Out-Of-Home Advertising  

6 Tips on Bringing Digital Outdoors  with Digital Out-Of-Home Advertising  

If you’re looking for an effective, cost-efficient way to get your message out there and grow brand recognition, then digital outdoor advertising may be the answer. Digital outdoor advertising combines the effectiveness of traditional billboards with the convenience and flexibility of digital media. 

Gone are the days when you must rely on a poster in a bus shelter or shop window to  advertise your brand. As brands increasingly move to digital marketing, more companies are discovering the potential of Digital Out-Of-Home Advertising (DOOH).  This technology uses digital signage networks to display ads using digital billboards and other outdoor locations.

But how do you maximize this type of marketing? 

1. Make Your Digital Display Stand Out 

It’s important to design your digital out-of-home advertising to be eye-catching and  stand out in the environment. Be creative by designing digital advertisements that can  use colours, shapes or other details that will draw attention. There’s no doubt that if  you create a unique and attractive advertisement, people will take notice and it will  grab the attention of potential customers. 

2. Make It Relevant 

You should also utilise digital format in public spaces to create videos, animations or  interactive elements that are engaging and relevant to the target audience to capture  their interest quickly as they walk by. 

For example, digital signs can be used in a variety of places such as grocery stores,  health clubs, and more. 

3. Personalisation 

Incorporate data from other marketing channels and customer insights from previous  campaigns into your ad design to create personalised content that resonates with  viewers and encourages them to take a desired action. 

4. Keep It Simple 

Keep digital advertising messages succinct so that viewers can easily read important  information about your product or service within seconds of passing by an  advertisement placed outdoors. 

5. Audience Demographics

Strategically choose placements for digital out-of-home ads depending on the target  audience, so that it is seen by people who are most likely interested in what you have  to offer or have already interacted with your brand before. 

6. Measure Results 

Track the performance of your digital out-of-home campaigns by measuring metrics  such as impressions, click-through rates, and conversions. This will help you understand which placements are working best for your brand and adjust your strategy accordingly. 

Benefits of DOOH Advertising

Digital outdoor advertising has many benefits. These include higher visibility than traditional forms of OOH media, increased engagement by capturing people’s attention through interactive experiences, dynamic display capabilities allowing you to customise your message quickly and easily and greater control over targeting audiences who have been identified as potential customers through data collection  tools. 

You only have to look at the success of the BBC’s outdoor advertising campaigns to  understand the impact of these forms of advertising to grab people’s attention. 

Additionally, digital billboards can be updated remotely, reducing setup time and making it easier to adjust campaigns on the go while also saving money by using one screen instead of many traditional signs. 

By following these tips, you can make the most of your digital out-of-home advertising campaigns and reach a wider audience. With the right strategy, you can create an impactful campaign that will help your brand stand out from the competition. 

Backtesting & Simulation: The Keys To Investing

Backtesting & Simulation: The Keys To Investing

Backtesting is a powerful way of investigating the effectiveness of your investment strategies without actually risking your capital. While you can’t directly earn money through backtesting, you’ll have better chances of making a profit in the future.

In one study, 50% of analysts and traders used backtesting as an investment technique. While this study was conducted on a small number of users, it still shows the benefits to using this method.

Simulation and backtesting are one of the many techniques to help you be a better player in the world of investing. Take a look at the points in this article to see whether backtesting is something you should spend time doing and implementing with your personal trading strategies.

Backtesting explained

Backtesting and simulation are some of the ways of risk parity that help mitigate losses in the future. Many traders rely on using paper trading, using real-time data to present users with potential loss or profit of a trade.

While similar in the end goal, simulating a trade, backtesting utilizes historical data to reconstruct trades of your choice. The reason behind employing this technique is simple – it allows traders to make future predictions.

To confirm whether your trading model is effective, spend time backtesting different trades and stocks. The execution of a backtest can be challenging, depending on how efficient you want this test to be.

An ideal backtesting practice requires a wide variety of representative stocks. You will receive better results if you include data on liquidated or bankrupt companies. Without using such examples for your backtesting practice, you won’t get objective results.

Simulation explained

Similar to backtesting, simulations are also replicas of trades. You don’t risk any money in simulations, but they will give you an insight into what would happen with your money if you make a certain trade.

By using vast amounts of data, simulations predict how a certain trade would play out by inserting and changing particular variables. According to these variables, simulation offers a range of outcomes that might happen.

Many platforms offer free simulations, which allow you to test out specific trades without risking any money. However, the limitation of simulation is that it won’t give you actual experience, and some of them have quite limited features.

For example, a free simulator won’t allow you to trade penny stocks and trades might not be performed instantly but rather with a delay. You will be able to test out some of the common trades, such as equity trades, options trades, and short sells.

Manual vs. Automated backtesting

If you’ve decided that backtesting is the method that you want to apply for your trades, you probably contemplate which way of backtesting is more efficient. Automated backtesting requires running a script or using an online solution to perform backtesting.

On the other hand, manual backtesting requires studying data and then placing trades manually. This is usually performed through a spreadsheet. Automated backtesting has a speed advantage, while you can learn much more about trading through manual experimentation.

Importance of backtesting and simulation

Every trader will need to spend time in the trading world before he refines his trading techniques. Some people will spend a large amount of money in the process, while others can take a more careful and strategic approach.

Instead of risking your money, backtesting and simulation will help you improve your methods before taking any risks. Anyone can use these methods to improve their trading strategy, but there are certain tools and data that institutional traders and people in finance have access to.

Even though backtesting and simulation will help you practice your trading, even the methods themselves will require you to practice them before you have an in-depth understanding of trading.

Backtesting and simulation are important but not essential

You can learn a lot about your trading methods by implementing backtesting or simulation before performing trades. However, many traders with decades of experience haven’t been using such methods, and they are just as successful.

These methods are only a tool that can help you improve your techniques, yet they aren’t critical for every trader. Remember that minimizing the risk of losing money is always the goal of every trader, but even with these techniques, it can never be zero.

You shouldn’t limit yourself to only using simulation and backtesting to make your trades. It’s still crucial to follow the situations on the market, financial news, and high-authority figures in the world of trading.

How To Dispose Of Your Corporate IT Assets Correctly And Safely

How To Dispose Of Your Corporate IT Assets Correctly And Safely

At Concept Management both your business security and the environment matter to us and we are passionate about helping our corporate clients and CEO’s to recycle and dispose of their company’s computer ware responsibly. Proper disposal of computers is important for several reasons including keeping your used computer hard drive content private and releasing the recycling potential from your devices. The potential for recycling raw materials in computer hardware is vast and contributes to us collectively reducing the negative impacts of tech waste in the UK.

As CEO or manager of your business, I’m sure you’d agree that computers are an integral part of the modern world. They are electrical devices that work by processing information and data. The likely hood is you are reading this from your own computer, tablet device, phone, or maybe even a wearable tech so you may know about some of the many other things computers are good for. Besides surfing the internet, on a computer, you can type documents, create spreadsheets, make images, edit film or music and even play games. Computers are made all over the world and there are major brands such as Apple, PC, Windows, and Lenovo that make vast ranges of computers internationally.

When computers age they can become slower and less reliable. This can cause problems if a computer is relied upon heavily for work or personal use. As your computer ages, it may become unfit for purpose, and you may therefore seek an upgrade. Here at Concept Management, we care deeply about giving our clients the power of choice that this stage. It is important that you dispose of your computer and hard drive safely and correctly. Safe recycling or disposal of computer equipment is very important for both security and the environment. Whether you are needing to take care of personal or business computer disposal and recycling, we have some key information to help you do it well.

Where recycling is not possible, responsible computer equipment disposal is also crucial as it can affect the environment and disposal services in the UK if you don’t correctly follow WEEE legislation and guidance. Along with your computer itself, we also offer responsible recycling and disposal of other hardware including your keyboard, mouse, cables, monitors, laptops, and external storage drives.

We offer a full range of services in corporate computer and IT equipment disposal where business recycling is at the center and disposal is kept to the minimum. Where we can recycle, we will, as reusing precious raw materials in newer models is a great way to reduce the amount we mine the earth’s resources. Working ethically and ecologically is a priority for us as we want our customers to benefit from updating their technology in the most environmentally friendly way possible. We have fully trained and vetted staff who can assist you or your business with meeting your computer ware disposal needs which surpass the WEEE Directive.

If you do need to completely start again with your business computer equipment, we recommend that you use an expert service you can trust to ensure that your computer is effectively cleaned of any sensitive data before it is disposed of. Concept Management offers an ethically and efficiently minded service with onsite destruction of physical kit, hard drive erasure, and other options for your obsolete computer ware at our HQ site.

The tech industry and culture is moving at a faster and faster rate and the demand for rapid renewal of devices is becoming a world waste issue. Where possible, reusing precious raw materials from older computers and devices and repurposing them in new ones is key in closing the production cycle. Disposing of your business’s electronic waste without proper content erasure or approved disposal methods is dangerous and illegal. But, at Concept Management we encourage our customers to go one step further than following the regulatory computer disposal guidelines as we offer a comprehensive and pioneering recycling service.

With highly trained staff, schooled in the practical and ethical issues around safe data sanitizing processes, we can confidently offer you a safe and hassle-free computer disposal service. So, whether you need information on the process of how to destroy your hard drive from your computer before recycling it or simply would like a quote for the job you need doing we are happy to help. You can rely on our expertise and experience for all of your computer recycling and data disposal needs.

There are so many advantages to choosing to recycle your computer. From Macs to PCs, we want to have the opportunity to reuse the precious elements found in your old model and repurpose them again and again. Entrusting your computer to an accredited service provider such as Concept Management is also a way to avoid harsh and toxic chemicals being released into the environment and polluting our treasured planet. We work beyond the WEEE directive standards which means you have the added benefit of being assured that your data and hardware are being dealt with properly. Improper disposal of computers can leave both you and the environment vulnerable, so we take every step to make your experience with us, is safe. We work with each customer, to offer a bespoke service for the needs of your job and offer our expert advice all the way, so you can make informed choices about your computer recycling and disposal options.

 At Concept Management, we work to be leaders in the responsible and ecologically focused approach to computer recycling and disposal. Our HQ is based in Manchester and due to the substantial demand and our ability to meet it, we have a large team of brilliant staff that offer a 24-hour-a-day service during the 5-day working week. We have the know how that we believe will make a difference as we progress as a nation into greener ways of managing our old technology. First and foremost, we care about protecting our client’s security and helping them to do their bit in taking care of the environment with regard to their computer recycling and disposal needs.

How to Retain your Best Talent During the Cost of Living Crisis

By Ollie Russell, UK Head of Sales at Employment Hero

The post-pandemic worker shortage does not appear to be going anywhere.

In November 2022, 13.3% of businesses surveyed by the Office for National Statistics reported experiencing a shortage of workers. With many people deciding to change careers or exit the workforce entirely, experienced employees who you can trust are more valuable than ever.

And yet these same employees are finding it very tough due to rising costs. This kind of pressure could make it far easier for a competitor to “poach” your best employees – loyalty only stretches so far when you’re struggling to make ends meet.

Here are three strategies you can put in place to help retain your best talent now.

If you can, pay them more

It’s obvious, but the best way to retain someone who might be tempted by a higher offer elsewhere is to match that higher offer, possibly before the new offer is even made. 

If someone is mission critical to your business, pay them a salary that recognises that.

After all, if an employee comes to you with a higher offer from someone else, only to have you immediately match it, they will wonder why you didn’t value them earlier.

Most businesses will not be able to increase employee pay to match the very high levels of inflation in the last year, but some level of increase will help.

But a pay-rise is not the only way to increase compensation for an employee you think deserves it. A one-off cost of living payment or bonus won’t eat into your ongoing costs in the same way, but will let your employee know that you value them and want to help them through this difficult period.

If you can’t, embrace flexibility

Not all businesses will be able to give big bonuses or pay-rises to their best employees. But there are other ways you can help that don’t involve a pay-rise.

One example is by buying back any annual leave they receive over the statutory amount. This gets a liability off your books while providing them with some extra cash – if they need it. This should only be done if your employee actually wants to sell some of their leave.

Another crucial retention strategy is embracing flexibility in how the workplace operates. British workers love working from outside of the office. Our Remote Working Report found that 88% of office workers wanted to work remotely at least one day a week, and many were willing to leave jobs over it – 33% of 25-34 year olds said they would likely quit if forced into the office full-time. 

Embracing flexibility doesn’t just mean allowing work from home. It could also involve you purchasing some equipment to make that work from home more comfortable and efficient, or subsidising public transport fares for trips to the office if you are insisting on them.

Roll out perks

There are many extras you can provide an employee alongside their salary – and some of it doesn’t have to cost you anything.

Salary sacrifice schemes for cars, bikes or gym memberships and the like see your employees use their pre-tax income to pay for the benefit, netting them huge savings without necessarily costing you anything. You may have to take on some liability, but not a particularly large one.

These perks are great at making a job sticky. Quitting your job is hard enough – quitting your job and also losing your electric car is even harder. Low benefit-in-kind rates for clean commuting are sticking around until at least 2028, despite a slight rise – which means these deals are very good for your employee as well as you.

Other perks could include a phone contract or extra annual leave, both measures which make jobs very sticky. There is also a lot of evidence to show that workers who take a decent amount of time off are actually more productive – so you could be helping yourself by helping them here.

These strategies all differ somewhat, but they really boil down to one thing: making sure your best talent knows you value them, and understanding if they are going through a tough time. If you get that right, they should stick around.

How To Manage Brand Ambassadors at Your Event

How To Manage Brand Ambassadors at Your Event

As a company, creating a strong presence at events is essential to promote your brand. One of the most effective ways to do this is to have brand ambassadors. They can increase your company’s visibility to reach a wider audience. However, managing brand ambassadors at an event can be challenging. This article will give tips on managing your ambassadors to ensure your brand is represented in the best possible way.

What is a brand ambassador?

It is a person who represents a brand or company and positively promotes its image and products. It can be a celebrity, an influencer, or simply a loyal consumer of the brand.

An event staffing agency can hire brand ambassadors to participate in advertising campaigns or promotional events. In addition to promoting, ambassadors can also provide valuable feedback on market and consumer trends.

What are the advantages of using brand ambassadors?

– Increases your brand’s visibility.

Improve brand image and promote your brand values.

– Facilitate contact with people at events and make them interested in your company.

– Increase customer trust and loyalty.

– Influence consumer decision-making.

– Help achieve event objectives

How to manage brand ambassadors for an event?

1) Set expectations

Before hiring a brand ambassador for an event, you should clearly state their activities. Here are some of the questions to ask:

– Will they only promote or will they interact with the public?

– What will their activities be during the event?

– What are the expected results?

– What rewards or incentives will they receive for their participation?

– What are their costs?

You must inform event attendees who will be brand ambassadors to build expectations and interest. You can include this information in the program, website, or event hashtag.

2) Define goals and objectives for the ambassadors

You need to inform the brand ambassador about the goals and objectives you hope to achieve. Make sure these objectives are realistic. This will help ensure that the brand ambassadors contribute to the event’s overall success. Also, it will help you determine which ambassadors have the most significant impact on your brand.

3) Select and recruit ambassadors

Once the objectives have been identified, selecting and recruiting ambassadors who can best represent your brand at an event is crucial. Ensure the chosen ambassadors have a positive reputation and a relevant audience for the event. You can review the ambassador’s history of involvement with other brands to see what impact they previously had.

4) Train brand ambassadors

Depending on the level of involvement you expect brand ambassadors to have at events, they may not need any training. If they are expected to do more than promote, then they should be trained to do so.

Many event staffing agencies offer training to brand ambassadors, regardless of their level of involvement. It ensures that ambassadors are prepared for the event, know what is expected of them, and are capable of performing their duties.

5) Monitor Ambassador Performance

Monitoring performance allows you to measure the impact of the ambassador’s presence and role in promoting the brand. Some of the benefits of monitoring include the following:

– Evaluate interaction with the audience. This can help detect problems with representation or interaction with the public. It lets you know how the ambassador is representing the brand.

– Identify opportunities for improvement. For example, if a brand ambassador is particularly effective at interacting with a specific consumer group, you might consider hiring them for future events.

– Obtain feedback. You can get direct feedback from brand ambassadors and event attendees. This can help the company improve its approach and strategies for upcoming events.

Conclusion

By following these steps and with the help of an event staffing agency, you can ensure that your brand ambassadors are well-managed and successful at your event. With the right people, training, and materials, your brand ambassadors can effectively promote your brand and help you get the most out of your event.

The Builder’s Choice for Functionality, Durability and Affordability

Aesthetically appealing and practical, Lauxes Grates provides elegant water drainage solutions for indoor and outdoor applications. Trusted by clients the world over, we take a more in-depth look at the man behind it all, Tim Dawson, as he is recognised in the CEO of the Year Awards 2022.

Established in 2010, Lauxes Grates (trading under Lauxes Products) is one of Australia and New Zealand’s most exclusive designers and manufacturers of versatile indoor and outdoor drainage solutions.

With more than 20 years’ worth of combined trade experience, the firm’s knowledgeable and highly skilled developers have created unique, innovative, and aesthetic products to meet market specifications.

Lauxes Grates was initially developed with more than 1,000 product lines, however by later focusing on just one product, it allowed the company thrive. The Australian business has come a long way from its original 24 distributors when the decision was made to focus on linear grates. Today, as an industry leader, the firm is always on to the next best thing. With its head office located on the Gold Coast, and warehouses in Western Australia and Victoria, expansion is inevitable. Now with 50 employees, and availability through more than 2,000 wholesalers (and growing daily) across seven different countries, the company’s in-depth product knowledge has kept it well ahead of the competition over the years.

Capably steering the firm at the helm is Chief Executive Officer, Tim Dawson, who created Lauxes Grates with an idea, a plan, and a determined mindset. Seeing a gap in the market and an increase in home development projects, Tim designed the award-winning range of linear drainage. Almost 13 years later, several re-thinks and major decisions taken, and along with his ever-growing and dedicated team, he’s finally riding the waves of success.

“We’ve become a popular builder’s choice for durability, functionality, and affordability,” explains Tim, who was born and bred on the Gold Coast. “I know what it’s like to be using material that’s not up to scratch. Over the years, I’ve often worked with products knowing that the person who made it has never used it. That’s one of many things that makes us different.”

With a demonstrated history of working in the electrical and sanitary manufacturing industry, Tim is skilled in sales, business development, marketing strategy, business strategy, and leadership, gleaned from his time spent in high-end roles and has developed a strong business development focus in building company cultures and principles.

Whilst Tim may be the genius behind the firm and its innovative grates, he is also an inspiring leader who always encourages his employees to be the very best they can be. He enjoys family time on weekends with his wife and three children, and also loves to personally challenge himself at hardcore physical events such as True Grit or Tough Mudder.

But Tim is also a big believer in his people and that behind every ‘grate’ company, there is a dedicated team helping to fly its flag. Through Lauxes Grates, he genuinely values the staff he has.

“The product has been the vehicle of our success, but the best part of our business is the team,” he elaborates. “It is, without doubt, our best creation. It’s a fun and inspiring company to learn and grow in. That’s what it’s all about to me. I genuinely enjoy being a leader – not being a boss just telling people what to do but really leading.”

With a strong focus centred on the firm’s core values, Tim ensures that everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet to meet customer expectations each and every time.

Constantly looking ahead, anticipating and responding to change quickly, and challenging the status quo, Tim describes his team as problem solvers who are able to be adaptive to change and think outside of the box.

“We encourage and value informed initiative-taking,” he goes on to say. “We are action takers and see issues and problems as opportunities to improve. We feel empowered by empowering others. The thrill and excitement of growing as a company is infectious, creating a fervent team culture within an inspirational environment.”

And 2022 has been a year of successes for Tim and the team, including its attendance at several incredible expos such as the Sydney Build and Design Show, which widened the firm’s circle of influence substantially. The Lauxes family also grew by 18 people over the year, making the total nearly 50 strong.

“It feels like only yesterday I had a team of five,” Tim laughs. “As always, I’m so proud to surround myself with these people every day, the people that keep my vision alive and make it all possible.”

Furthermore, 2022 was a year of many firsts too, including the firm’s first magazine features, plus the launch of its gold grates, a release that Tim never anticipated would be as big as it was and the demand of which has surpassed all of his wildest expectations.

It was, however, not without its challenges, and as a determined and pragmatic leader, Tim took a proactive approach. “There were multiple challenges and times we had to pivot,” he tells us. “But sticking to our core values, we have worked tirelessly to make things happen and improve in the areas that encountered some problems.”

He continues, “My business success is a result of all the mistakes I made. In former businesses when I was younger, I didn’t appreciate people the way I do now. I kept a lot of secrets and it didn’t serve me well. I was broken when I went bankrupt. Without that bankruptcy experience behind me, I wouldn’t be here.

“All I can say is ‘wow’. Another year done and dusted. It’s safe to say 2022 was wild, challenging and rewarding for the Lauxes Grates team and myself!”

As a leader in the industry, Lauxes Grates has received a plethora of awards over the past few years. These include ProTrade United awards for categories such as Team Leadership, Student Engagement, and Business of the Year, as well as the annual Gold Coast Business Excellence Award in 2020 for Retail, Wholesale & Distribution, and many more. Plus, Tim has been named amongst the Top 100 Young Entrepreneurs of Australia for three years running in 2019, 2020, and 2021.

The most recent accolade to add to the trophy shelf and further uphold Tim’s reputation as a ‘grate’ leader comes in the form of CEO of the Year, 2022 – Queensland, Australia, as recognised in CEO Monthly’s CEO of the Year Awards.

Understandably delighted to receive this much-coveted title, Tim now has big plans for the future. With relationships already established in Europe and the US, the global expansion is in full swing. Having recently opened a new Global Headquarters in Ashmore, just five minutes down the road from the Australian headquarters in Molendinar, Tim and the team are gearing up to take this company to the next level, continue building their global empire, and taking the world by storm, one grate at a time!

“As the business grows, so do our amazing professional and personal networks,” he enthuses. “I appreciate every message, every connect, and every call or email – Lauxes wouldn’t look the same without the incredible amount of support behind us!”

For business enquiries, contact Tim Dawson from Lauxes Grates on their website – www.lauxesgrates.com.au

How to Grow Your Business in 2023

How to Grow Your Business in 2023

The business world is changing, and business owners need to change with it. What was once a straightforward process of selling goods or services has become a complex ecosystem that requires a solid strategy to help you understand and anticipate consumer trends. While it might not always be easy to accomplish, there are ways to grow your business in 2023 and beyond.

How Do You Want to Grow?

Growth looks different for every business. While smaller organizations may want to expand their customer base, larger, more established ones might want to focus on improving their ROI. The first step is asking yourself what your business is missing. One element that might come as a surprise is the education factor. Even the most knowledgeable leaders need to continue their education. In fact, there are plenty of reasons to consider returning to college and earning another degree.

As the economy continues to change, you need to understand the best ways to expand, and that may require learning the inner workings from a different angle. There are Going Merry scholarships for college students available as an excellent way to get the continued education you need without having to dip into your savings. You can apply for a scholarship and once approved, you can then further your education while still building your empire.

Identify Your Challenges

To grow in 2023, you also need to identify your challenges. These challenges also look different for everyone, so you need to know what yours are, not your competitors. Identify specific challenges and then create a list of viable ways to resolve them. Keep in mind that this list is just a way for you to put your thoughts on paper. Over time, the possible solutions may change, especially if your challenges change as well.

Identify Target Market

Not marketing to the right people is not only a waste of time, but also a huge waste of money. In addition to knowing what your challenges are, you also need to know who you want as a customer. You need to get to know them on a personal level, identify their needs and understand what makes them unique. If your company is already up and running, you should already have a pretty good idea of who these people are. If not, it’s time to reevaluate your strategy and start marketing to the right people.

Establish Your Core Values

Your core values are one of the most powerful tools you can harness. Once you clearly define them, you can use to shape your mission statement, marketing strategy, and even the way you interact with customers. Your core values also play a huge role in how you interact with your employees. Team members need to understand your values, so they can implement them into how they do their job. They also need to know how your values will impact how they shape the way your organization works. In turn, employees will like their part of something bigger, not just collecting a paycheck.

Create Company Culture

Company culture is one of the most important elements you need to focus on. You need to refresh employee mindset and create a company culture that makes employees want to work there. Far too often, people feel trapped in a job they don’t want. The right company culture boosts employee retention and creates a happier workplace overall.

The Best Proven Ways To Be Successful At Employee Management as a Leader

The Best Proven Ways To Be Successful At Employee Management as a Leader

Any person can have a big office, delegate duties, and manage a team. However, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to being an effective leader who can impact teams for the overall success of an organisation.

Employee management is an essential aspect of leadership and success. It involves setting clear intentions for your team, being there for them, providing work resources for goal achievement, and communicating effectively. It also entails motivating your team, delegating duties, and empowering staff to perform exemplary. In this discussion, we explore the best-proven ways to be successful in employee management as a leader.

Team Engagement Through Support

According to a Harvard Business Review, future leaders must possess three major roles: catalyst, architect, and bridger. For this reason, great leaders support their employees to succeed in their everyday duties.

For your team to be effective in their roles, they need equipment, tools, training, and support. As their manager, you should be available to respond to their concerns, provide guidance and solve problems as soon as they arise.

Ensuring There’s Effective Communication

A leader who fails to communicate with employees can lead to confusion, a toxic work environment, and high turnover. Popular motivational speaker Marcus Buckingham emphasises the importance of managers communicating with teams.

Effective communication enables leaders to set goals and define them more clearly. It also helps managers understand how teams embrace goals through a two-way feedback mechanism. Solid communication structures help facilitate open and positive rapport with your teams, thereby increasing productivity.

To master the art of communication as a leader, you need to be authentic because individuals value sincerity in their leaders. It will help if you are visible by keeping your office open and encouraging face-to-face interactions. This way, your team will perceive you as approachable, enhancing openness. As a good communicator, you must be a great listener, seek feedback and often walk the talk.

Build A Strong Connection With Team

Terry Starbucker St. Marie, a startup investor, writer, and consultant, cautions managers to avoid practicing leadership by “Osmosis.” You must establish and build a strong connection with your team. There should be mutual trust in the workplace; to achieve this, you need to be more human.

Leaders must instil positivity in their employees and be compassionate and empathetic to their needs. When you build a personal connection, you’ll develop a shared trust vital to developing a strong structure of exceptional performance. You can focus on individuals’ qualities, personalities, strengths, weaknesses, and preferences. Knowing these qualities gives you an insight into factors that motivate your employees.

Encourage Career and Personal Growth

As a leader, you should encourage your team to build their careers through learning and development opportunities and initiatives. These may include the provision of personal development courses and mentorship programs. It can also involve listening to employees’ career plans and providing support and guidance to their achievement.

By supporting such initiatives, you will create a positive and supportive work environment and develop future leaders necessary for company continuity. Furthermore, this allows you to have a pool of talented individuals to fill staffing gaps.

Develop Employee Recognition Programs

Employee recognition is something that many leaders should consider, when wanting to reward great performers. A good employee recognition program motivates employees and provides opportunities for appreciation and rewards. By having recognition structures at the workplace, your employees will be encouraged to reach certain milestones and accomplish their goals.

As a leader, you should create an environment where your team is rewarded for creativity and success. Encouraging team collaboration and boosting productivity are goals of an effective recognition program.

Delegate Effectively

A great leader possesses organisational skills and can delegate tasks to others. Delegation enhances employee engagement and improves job performance, thereby increasing business productivity. An effective leader understands the importance of delegation, which improves employee motivation and satisfaction for the company’s betterment.

It can be lonely at the top if you do everything by yourself. Delegating responsibilities empowers your team, grows careers, and builds trust. Moreover, it helps you to identify your employees’ strengths in tackling different projects and prepares them to be future managers.

Conclusion

A successful leader requires managing employees by creating a work environment that fosters engagement, communication, collaboration, growth and development, and strong team spirit. If you consider using these steps, your role as a leader may not be as daunting.

Joyous Adventure from Austria for Austria

Established in 2003, Jollydays GmbH provides thousands of leisure experiences in Austria and Germany, with something available to suit every interest. Vid Matic took on the company as CEO in March 2021, and he hasn’t looked back since. In light of him being crowned CEO of the Year – Austria, we sat down and had a chat with him about Jollydays and his own career.

For 18 years, Jollydays has been offering all kinds of adventure gifts, whether for the food lover, thrill seeker, romantic, traveller, or wellness and relaxation enthusiast. Over almost two decades, it has made a big name for itself in the Austrian market for being one of the go-to leisure providers. Its team works tirelessly to bring clients the best possible service, the most exciting offers, and the most unforgettable experiences – keeping them coming back time and time again.

With over 6,000 experiences available, including cooking classes, candlelight dinners, wine tasting, quad biking, driving dream cars, skydiving, paragliding, spa days, hot balloon rides, and much, much more, customers are truly spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting the perfect gift for that special someone or even treating themselves.

Now, Vid Matic leads the company with a passion for looking after his team and providing the best possible experience to each and every customer. He tells us, “We took Jollydays on because we thought the brand name was very strong, and it’s super expensive to actually develop a brand. You can throw millions down the drain to achieve nothing, but Jollydays was organically grown.” And the company continues to thrive under his leadership, with core values of emotional intelligence, inclusion, transparency, people-focus, and joyfulness underlying everything the team does. He says, “I’m as good as my people. I’m here as kind of chief motivator. I make decisions, but I live and die by my team.”

As leader, Vid sees output as the most important thing. As long as everyone in the team is achieving the company’s goals, he isn’t a stickler for how many hours are spent in the office or how long it takes to complete a task. The important thing is that work gets done. In line with this flexible leadership style, he wants his team to feel that they can approach him, no matter what it’s about. He has come to know how his people work best, respecting that some prefer space while others need a little more support and guidance.

Vid states, “I try to be friendly with everyone on my team. You spend your whole day, the majority of your life in an office surrounded by people, and if you don’t love them or like them, then there’s no purpose in it.”

He goes on to tell us more about his team, “They play the absolute role. I can push and want and motivate, but it is their output that is vital. The truth is, I hire people who are better than me. In marketing, in finance, in technology, in customer relations, and more, they are the specialists. I need to have sound understanding of all topics, maybe be great in a few areas. For example, my chief financial officer, of course he’s better than me. He needs to be; I depend on him. My chief marketing officer, of course she’s better than me. I rely on her. At the end of the day, I have to make the final decision, but I fully, fully depend on them. I got very lucky that the people I’ve brought in so far have been fantastic. Fantastic people and fantastic experts.”

Armin Sageder, the majority shareholder of Jollydays, is the person Vid refers to as his mentor and part of the reason for his success. “He chose me as his CEO, my first such role, and showed his belief in me,” Vid states. “This belief continuously fills my sails and is an incredible driver. Armin has founded and built up Paysafe and Best Gaming Technology, both incredible tech successes, so his advice and mentorship is worth its weight in gold. The real reason behind my admiration is that whilst achieving incredible success, he has maintained his empathy and a lack of pretentiousness. For me, that is rare and special.”

Although Vid and his team are experts in what they do, that’s not to say that it’s been all roses. As soon as Vid became CEO, he had to navigate the storm that was the pandemic. A company that is extremely dependent on events suddenly found itself with an extreme challenge of events not being able to happen. Not only this, but Vid was also managing a restructure, hiring new people, and getting ready for a relaunch in 2023 – where content will become all the more accessible and bookable within a couple of easy steps on the new Jollydays platform.

Speaking about facing all of these challenges, Vid says, “Trying not to reduce the team, trying not to cut anyone’s time… the crisis really sharpened my teeth, our teeth, because we could not have expected a global pandemic to hit and not be able to do anything. So, taking over a company at that time, that was a super challenge. But, what I always tell the guys here, always remember the way there; once we reach the mountain top, it will be a momentary kind of bliss.”

Then there is also the recession, with Vid explaining, “What happens in a recession is leisure suffers. The tourism industry, the hospitality industry, because if people cannot provide for their security and welfare, then they won’t be thinking about leisure.” This could be an ongoing challenge, as he continues, “If there’s a recession next year, it’s how to be more flexible with revenue streams coming from other places. Also preparing for our relaunch, of course. It’s just important not to panic, to be calm and adapt.”

With confidence, Vid tells us, “We made sure that the company’s flexible enough that we can pivot really quickly.” However, he also believes that it is important for his team to see weakness, that things can be difficult, and that anyone can make mistakes. Thus, Jollydays holds weekly sessions where everyone presents one of their own failures, with Vid saying, “Showing a bit of blood, showing that you can also bleed, showing that I can be sick and I’m not doing well, or I’m going through a relationship breakup and it’s really affecting me. There’s no hiding.”

Vid undeniably loves his work, too, and this shines through in his devotion to his role and his efficiency in it, with him saying, “I’m quite quick with my decisions. Energy-wise, I usually have excess in reserves. I can go at a strong pace for a long time during the day, and I like a mix of everything. I like structure in my work, but I also need this kind of flexibility within the structure to feel comfortable.”

Ultimately, it’s easy to see how Vid Matic has come to achieve such success as CEO of the Year, from his dedication to his work, to leading his team with empathy, admiration, and respect. He is excited about the future of Jollydays, where the aforementioned relaunch will be taking place, developed by Vid’s other company, Jollytec. He gives us a little more insight into that: “We want to be the place where you can organise and book all of your free leisure time. From a concert to a cabaret, to a skydive, a dinner in the sky, or a drive in a Lamborghini. You can do and find everything through our app, with the help of a few well-thought out filters.”

He explains further, “It’s just finding a better way to do something that people already do but waste a lot of time doing and get frustrated. Everyone can go on Google and find what they want if they search hard enough, but now you’ll have it there in one place, and you can also find other content there.”

With regard to the future of his own career, Vid says money isn’t a driver for him, but rather it’s about doing what he loves. He wants to become more knowledgeable, kinder, more sympathetic, and a better leader. He says, “At this point, I’m really enjoying what I’m doing. I want to grow; I want my people to grow. I want to teach them and for them to teach me. I will do some academia, too, some seminars, but only if time allows for it because my people, my companies are my absolute priority.”

For business enquiries, contact Vid Matic from Jollydays GmbH via email – [email protected] or on their website – www.jollydays.com

Issue 1 2023

Welcome to the January 2023 issue of CEO Monthly.

As always, CEO Monthly is dedicated to providing the latest news and features across the business world to our readership. By sharing knowledge, insights, expertise and success stories from around the globe, we aim to inspire individuals and promote positivity in a world that is in a constant state of evolution.

The new year is upon us, and for many, it is a fresh start that brings new hope and opportunities for improvement. It is a chance to look back and reflect on what has been, as well as to plan for the future. We are excited to be shining a light on our award-winning CEOs who are welcoming 2023 with open arms, and this includes our cover feature, Salem Al Matrooshi.

Salem is an ambitious forward-thinker who strives to “target tomorrow” as founder and CEO of Tasleeh Holding. When he established his company from humble beginnings, the initial focus was for it to be a consultancy – but it became so much more than that, having expanded into a group of companies. We explore how Salem has led Tasleeh to great heights within the dynamic UAE market, and how he endeavours to take his businesses to the next level.

We hope you find the stories within these pages inspiring and that your 2023 is a year of great success. Until next time, have a wonderful month ahead and we look forward to welcoming you back in February.

Perception Drives Distrust in Woman Leaders

By: Sharmla Chetty

It pains me to see that trust in women leaders has fallen according to the latest results from The Reykjavik Index for Leadership, but I am not surprised.

The report itself struggles to conclude why trust levels have dropped but suggests there are long-standing gender biases and prejudices that exist in our society which are perpetuated by the media, by deep rooted cultural norms, and supercharged by the political landscape and the pandemic. In other words, there is no hard data to support the results, it’s driven by perception.

On the contrary, there is data to show that women leaders have demonstrated strong leadership throughout the global pandemic. For example, according to a Covid study of 194 countries by the Centre for Economic Policy Research and the World Economic Forum, countries led by women had “systematically and significantly better” outcomes suffering half as many deaths on average as those led by men.

Additionally, female political leaders and public figures are often targeted and harassed online or by the media. At a recent media conference between Finland’s Sanna Marin and New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern, a male journalist asked if they were meeting because they are both women and of a similar age. This is a condescending question never asked of men.

Not only do these micro-aggressions discredit women, but they also have devastating effects on perpetuating negative perception of our women leaders, which in turn can discourage other women seeking or aspiring towards leadership roles.

The Reykjavik findings support this, stating “Perception matters: it manifests in numerous and deepening inequalities across every aspect of society, government, and business. It leads to further prejudice in the education choices and opportunities offered to girls; it impacts the paths of careers, interrupting earning potential and access to basic livelihoods.”

Consider the devastating cost to businesses and our society at large if this continues. Time and time again research has shown companies that invest in gender diversity at an executive level are more likely to have above-average profitability. While companies with more than 30% senior female leadership were more likely to outperform those that don’t.

Yet this latest survey revealing declining trust for women in leadership shows us that there is still much to be done at all levels – whether it is individuals, private organisations, or policymakers – everyone has a role to play by not looking away. Instead, we need to step up and use our voices to create real change.

Women’s rights should not be relegated to a day, or even a month, but remain central to the strategy of every business. Currently only eight women, and no women of colour, are employed as CEOs in the FTSE 100. Quotas alone will not shift the gender scale for female representation in corporate boards and leadership teams. We need companies to be transparent and accountable in relation to gender-equal hiring practices and promotion processes. There should also be policies introduced to close the gender pay gap, increase financial support for female-led businesses, and improve the protection of women from workplace discrimination and sexual harassment.

The data is clear. The research is solid. Inequality remains a challenge to our gender. And yet, I have hope, as I have witnessed the efforts of many strong female leaders in my time at Duke Corporate Education who have been at the forefront of progress for many decades. It is more important than ever for us to recognise and celebrate their work as they have shown us that the success of every woman has inspired another who has followed in their footsteps.

About the author: Sharmla Chetty is the CEO of Duke Corporate Education (Duke CE) where she is driven by her purpose of transforming organizations and society through leadership.

The Ultimate Guide to Managing Your Corporate Car Parking

The Ultimate Guide to Managing Your Corporate Car Parking

Do you have a corporate car parking system that is chaotic, inefficient, and difficult to manage?

If so, you are not alone. Many businesses struggle with how to effectively manage their corporate car parking, leading to wasted time and resources.

Having a streamlined car parking system is essential to maintain a well-run organisation, and this guide provides you with the best of the tips you need to make your car parking system hassle-free.

By learning how to properly manage your corporate car parking, you will be able to maximize efficiency and reduce costs.

This article covers everything from the basics of corporate car parking and creating an organized car parking system to the best practices for managing it.

With the right strategies and tools, you can make your car parking system run smoothly and save both time and money.

Know that an average car spends 95% of its time parked, and as it is a valuable asset, you must look after it.

So, get ready to make your corporate car parking a breeze.

Corporate car parking

Corporate car parking is the process of providing parking spaces for employees and customers of a business.

It’s an important part of any corporate operation, as it provides a convenient place for people to park their cars and ensures that the company’s premises are safe and secure.

The process of corporate car parking typically involves setting up designated parking spaces, installing appropriate signage, and managing the parking area.

In addition, corporate car parks often have additional security measures in place, such as CCTV cameras and access control systems.

The benefits of corporate car parking are numerous as mentioned below:

Benefits of corporate car parking

There are numerous benefits to having a corporate car park, including:

Improved customer experience: Providing a convenient and secure place for customers to park their cars can help to improve their overall experience at the business.

This is especially important for businesses that rely heavily on customer traffic, as it can help to make them feel welcome and appreciated.

Improved employee morale: Providing a safe and secure environment for employees to park their cars can help to improve morale, as employees feel that their vehicles are being looked after.

This helps to boost productivity and loyalty among employees. Afterall, improving employees’ morale and keeping them engaged would lead to 22% more business profitability.

Reduced risk of theft and damage: Corporate car parks are often equipped with additional security measures, such as CCTV cameras and access control systems, which significantly reduce the risk of theft and damage to vehicles.

Attractive premises: A well-maintained and attractive car park helps to make the company’s premises more attractive, which helps to attract more customers and employees.

Corporate car park technology

In recent years, technology has been increasingly used to manage corporate car parks. This includes:

Online company parking booking systems: Online company parking booking systems help to streamline the process of booking parking spaces, as employees can easily book their spaces online.

Automated payment systems: Automated payment systems help to streamline the process of paying for parking, as users can easily pay for their spaces online.

Smart parking systems: Smart parking systems help to ensure that the car park is well-maintained, as they can monitor the number of available parking spaces and help to identify any potential problems.

Mobile apps: Mobile apps help to manage the car park, as customers can easily book their spaces and pay for their parking.

Steps to create an organised car parking system

Determine your car parking requirements

Before you can begin the process of creating an organized car parking system, you need to determine your car parking requirements.

What are the number of employees and vehicles expected? Do employees commute in groups, or do they travel alone?

This helps you select the appropriate amount of car parking spaces and determine how to best organize them.

Also, don’t forget to listen to your employees because they’ll be the ones using this parking system the most.

The best way to do this is by doing a survey. Run a questionnaire throughout your organization, including open and close ended questions in it.

The survey will give you an idea of the problems faced by your employees, and that will surely help you build a parking system that works the best for your organization.

Identify the different types of vehicles in your car parking system

There must be some employees commuting by their personal vehicles, big or small, and some must be commuting in groups into minivans or buses.

So, their vehicles are of different sizes and require different spaces.

You can further subdivide these categories based on vehicle type and amount of mobility.

For example, you may want to designate one area for regular cars, one area for SUVs, one area for minivans, and another area for large commercial vehicles.

By properly identifying and categorizing vehicles, you can create a system that is easy to follow and maximizes efficiency.

Create a visual representation of your car parking system.

Once you have determined your car parking requirements and identified the different types of vehicles in your system, create a visual representation of your car parking system.

A good visual representation helps you easily identify areas that need improvement, and it helps identify any potential issues before they arise.

You can use floor plans, diagrams, or a visual car parking app.

Set a budget and hire a well-reputed contractor

Now that you’ve all the requirements and plan in front of your eyes, you can roughly estimate the budget it would require.

Better, talk to different contractors and ask for the budget estimates for this whole project.

You can even advertise a request for proposal (RFP) and call for competitive bidding. By this, different contractors will approach you with proposals and their portfolios, along with with a proposed fee of the whole project.

You can then evaluate each of these proposals and hire a contractor that seems best to you.

Corporate car parking regulations

In order to ensure that corporate car parks are safe and secure, it’s important to adhere to the relevant regulations. This includes:

Making sure that the car park is well-lit and that there are appropriate signs in place.

Ensuring that the car park is regularly maintained and that all safety regulations are adhered to.

Making sure that all access control systems, such as CCTV cameras, are in good working order.

Ensuring that all vehicles are parked in the correct spaces.

Making sure that parking fees are paid in a timely manner.

Adhering to these regulations helps to ensure that the corporate car park is safe and secure, and that all customers and employees feel comfortable and welcome.

Corporate car park security

One of the most important aspects of managing corporate car parking is security. It’s essential to make sure that the car park is secure and that all vehicles are safe.

This can be achieved through a variety of measures, such as:

Installing CCTV cameras: CCTV cameras help to deter criminals and can also help to identify any suspicious activity.

Installing access control systems: Access control systems, such as keypads and swipe cards, help to restrict access to the car park and also help to identify who is entering and exiting the car park.

Installing motion sensors: Motion sensors help to detect any movement in the car park and alert staff if there is any suspicious activity.

Ensuring that the car park is well-lit: Ensuring that the car park is well-lit helps to deter criminals and identify any suspicious activity.

Corporate car park regular maintenance

It’s also important to make sure that the corporate car park is well-maintained. This can be achieved through regular maintenance, such as:

Cleaning the car park: The car park should be regularly cleaned to ensure that it is free from debris and that it is safe and secure.

Repairing any damage: Any damage to the car park should be repaired as soon as possible

Ensuring that the car park is properly marked: The car park should be clearly marked to ensure that all vehicles are parked in the correct spaces.

Corporate car park signage

Make sure that the car park is properly signposted.

This helps to ensure that customers and employees are aware of the car park’s regulations and helps to prevent any confusion.

It’s important to make sure that all signage is clearly visible, and that it is in line with any relevant regulations.

Also, make sure that the signage is regularly maintained and updated.

Make your corporate car parking a breeze

Corporate car parking can be chaotic and difficult to manage, but it doesn’t have to be.

By following the tips outlined in this guide, you can create a streamlined car parking system that is easy to follow, maximizes efficiency, and reduces costs.

Having a well-managed car parking system is essential to maintain a well-run organization, and this guide will provide you with all you need to make your car parking system hassle-free.

CE-hO-ho-ho! 6 Meaningful Christmas Gifts CEOs Can Give to Employees

CE-hO-ho-ho! 6 Meaningful Christmas Gifts CEOs Can Give to Employees

If you are a CEO looking for Christmas gifts that will show your employees that you appreciate and acknowledge their hard work, you have come to the right place. This Christmas, spread the festive spirit with these 6 meaningful gifts that any CEO can give to their employees.

1. Bottle of Wine

You can’t go wrong with a bottle of refined wine! Wine that you can’t get in supermarkets or shops is the best type of wine to give to employees since they’ll know it’s special. A bottle of wine is perfect as a Christmas gift as it’s a way of telling them to relax and enjoy their festive celebrations. A bottle of mulled wine will surely boost festive spirits if you’re looking for a gift that’s Christmassy.

2. Company office essentials

What’s better than creating a sense of belonging than giving company branded office essentials? Office essentials could consist of items such as:

  • Pens and pencils
  • Pencil case or pen holder
  • Notebooks
  • Planners and diaries
  • Flasks, mugs, and water bottles

These essentials are useful and a great way to show your employees that you care about them and the contributions they make to the company.

3. Care package

The holiday season can be busy and hectic, which is why we recommend giving a care package to your employees as a Christmas gift. This could include:

  • Facemasks
  • Bath bombs or bath salts
  • Books
  • Mini alcohol bottles
  • Teabags
  • Snacks

A care package is a thoughtful gift to give to your employees at the end of the year, thanking them for their hard work for the past year and letting them know that their wellbeing is at the top of your priority list.

4. Coffee hamper

If you know that your employees power through the day on caffeine, it may be a good idea to give them a coffee hamper as a token of appreciation for their dedication to the company. In particular, providing a range of different types of coffees is a great addition to a coffee hamper such as organic, artisan, and flavoured. Include both coffee beans and ground coffee, maybe even a few syrup shots that can be added to the coffee.

5. Gift cards

One of the best things that you could give your employees this Christmas is employee rewards in the form of gift cards, vouchers, and points. Rewarding your employees for their work can help improve relationships between you and your employees, as well as foster a work environment where employees feel valued and motivated to work harder because of the incentive. Gift cards are excellent because they can be tailored to anyone’s preferences or personalities, thus, it’s also important to know a bit about your employees like their hobbies.

6. Desk plant

Indoor plants in offices do more than just add to the aesthetic of the office – they can help improve air quality, concentration, and relieve stress. As a result, giving employees a desk plant may help boost their morale and happiness, increasing productivity and empowering them to take responsibility for the livelihood of their desk plant. Individual desk plants may also help to cultivate relationships between employees themselves as they navigate through growing their plants together.

5 Common Mistakes Made by Inexperienced CEOs

5 Common Mistakes Made by Inexperienced CEOs

Leadership is a huge undertaking in any walk of life, but perhaps nowhere more so than in business when success and failure can hinge almost entirely on your decision-making capacity. The fact you’ve been entrusted to run a company speaks volumes on your capabilities and skill set already, but a lack of experience in the CEO arena can inevitably lead to mistakes.

That is not to say that the possibility doesn’t exist that you take to the role like a duck to water, but experience is beneficial in any field. Even the best of us make mistakes too, but with knowledge of the 5 common mistakes here, the transition to chief executive officer can become a lot smoother for all concerned.

1. Don’t isolate yourself

The worst thing you can do is build yourself an ivory tower and let the success get to your head. Though of course it is lonely at the top, you are not alone. You have networks of friends and family in particular that will understand your newfound time constraints due to the additional work that comes with being the CEO of a company. This particular mistake concerns one’s mental health, which one could argue is the most important aspect to consider here.

2. Understanding the political shape of your organisation

According to  Umesh Ramakrishnan, Co-CEO of Kingsley Gate Partners, the best way to avoid being fired is to understand the political structures of a company. By no means does this mean getting absolutely everyone on board, but simply knowing the intricate details of a company’s structure can save you a lot of hassle when it comes to making those all important decisions.

3. There are no shortcuts

Contrary to what a lot of CEOs may believe, growth can occasionally be a gradual and painstaking process. Of course, there are exceptions, but a grave mistake that you can make is being unrealistic about you and your company’s overall ambitions. Take things step-by-step and think logically about previous successes – build on them. Equally, work on the errors. That said, there are ways through which you may be able to accelerate the growth of your company, such as through the Clear Start Programme – an OOH opportunity designed specifically for start-ups.

4. Find an hour a day to read

Knowledge is power as they say. The power of an excellent book can really change your perception on anything, whether that book is business related or a work of fiction. It may seem a challenge to find that time to read initially, but once you’ve settled into the role, spare yourself an hour to read something every day. Equally if you have other hobbies, spare that time doing something you enjoy. You’re a human not a machine after all.

5. Keep your colleagues close

You are only one mind, and that can be great when a final decision needs to be made and your team is deadlocked. But your business should be as democratic as possible, which perhaps means going in a direction you perhaps wouldn’t have chosen at certain times. That said, it’s important to strike the right balance between making decisions that are best for the company and going with the majority.  

8 Ways Shadow IT Can Impact Your Business

Does your heart jump for fear when you hear of shadow IT? Your fear is understandable, and you’re not alone. Research shows that 69% of tech executives reveal that shadow IT is a high-security concern.

However, it’s not all bad news; there are benefits to be derived if your employees use unapproved applications and tools. Read on to find out how this practice can positively and negatively affect your business.

First, know what shadow IT is

Knowing what shadow IT is helps you understand the practice and is the first step in enjoying the benefits. When employees use applications, platforms and tools without getting approval from the IT unit, they practice shadow information technology.

Shadow information technology (IT) include:

  • Off-the-shelf software
  • Hardware like smartphones, computers and tablets
  • Cloud services like SaaS, IaaS, PaaS

4 ways Shadow IT can impact your business positively

In business, one has to adapt or die. To adapt, you need to know both the positive and negative parts of a concept or practice. Let’s start with the positive aspect of shadow information technology (IT).

Fast access to essential resources

Without waiting to go through complex protocols, staff members can access resources needed to achieve their task on the go. This could lead to better efficiency and drive innovation in the company.

Reduced operational costs

As a result of free or cheap apps that employees use in the workplace, a company can achieve its goals at less cost. Purchasing equivalent applications and tools could be very expensive for organisations. Shadow information technology helps save costs in this regard.

Better use of IT resources

When employees look for alternatives for their IT needs, they reduce the load on the IT unit and resources of the company. This leads to better optimisation of these resources. The IT unit can focus on more complicated issues and tasks while staff members take care of their simple needs.

Storage and backups for emergencies

With employees using other devices and applications not approved by the IT department, there is the opportunity for data storage and backups in case the main system crashes. There have been cases where shadow devices and applications were a lifesaver when the central system of the organisation collapsed.

4 ways Shadow IT can impact your business negatively

Everything that has advantages most likely has disadvantages. Such is the case of shadow information technology. Below are some of the negative impacts it has on business.

Lack of visibility and control

There’s a reason it’s called shadow information technology. It’s in the shadows and you can’t see it. Most of the time, employees use these IT tools and applications discreetly. Therefore, you cannot control their use because you can’t see them. Lack of control of the IT tools used in your organisation can expose you to numerous risks like misconfiguration, data breaches and policy violations, among others.

Loss of data

Where there is shadow information technology, staff members can store company data in applications not authorised by the company. When this happens, the data might be lost in the event of such employees’ resignations, which could cost the business considerable income.

Vulnerability to cyber threats

This is the most dreadful risk this practice poses for a business. Using unauthorised and uncontrolled applications and software could expose the company to cyber criminals. This is because the company’s cybersecurity tools will not put in the shadow applications, exposing the business to hacks and attacks.

Inefficient system

Having data in multiple locations can destabilize a company’s central information system. As a result of the It unit’s ignorance of shadow applications and tools, they’re unable to synchronise data activities. They cannot plan for security, capacity, infrastructure, performance and architecture in the organisation. This makes the system inefficient and easily compromised.

Effective management of shadow IT is the key

There are two sides to a coin; the same is true for shadow information technology in any organisation. The advantages of this practice include quick access to needed tools and resources, reduced costs, better IT use and backups for emergencies.

On the other side of the coin, you see a lack of visibility and control, loss of data, exposure to cyber risks and an inefficient system. Effective management is necessary to create a balance and ensure you get more advantages than demerits. How you manage the activities of shadow information technology will determine whether it will impact your business positively or negatively.

Shadow IT Written on Blue Key of Metallic Keyboard. Finger pressing key.

The Top Technologies CEOs Should Invest In

The Top Technologies CEOs Should Invest In

If you talk to company leaders about the current state of business, one thing will come up unfailingly—technology. Technology is changing our whole world, not just business. The tech industry is huge, but its products and innovations reach far beyond the field itself. Technology is impacting all kinds of companies in multiple ways. Whether you are in the business of tech or not, there are new developments and advancements every CEO should know about. Below are some of the technologies that every CEO should invest in.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial Intelligence, commonly known as AI, is one of the most ground-breaking technologies changing our world. It doesn’t matter what kind of business you have; AI can greatly improve your company in multiple ways. For example, AI can consume and analyse vast amounts of data in seconds. It can consume digital media and understand what people are responding to.

It can even make graphic design, create new branding tactics, and provide solutions for overhead problems. AI can help you increase profit. When it comes to this type of technology, you can design it to do exactly what you want it to do. AI makes all kinds of businesses more successful. Whatever field you’re in, every large company should be investing in artificial intelligence.

Biotechnology

Whether you are in the medical industry, tech, or research and development, one of the biggest changes in our lives in relation to technology is biotech. Biotechnology is the combination of technology and biology to create new products, solve medical issues, and help humanity become healthier and happier.

If you are involved in any of these fields, you should be thinking about biotech to innovate, create ground-breaking products, and offer new services to your clients. Luckily, you don’t have to go all in with biotech to get a feel for some of these advancements. You can even look for biotech equipment for lease. As you probably already know, the medical industry is massive, and it is becoming even more influential with the advent of new biotechnologies. Are you a CEO in any of these fields? You should investigate investing in biotech.

Renewable Energy Sources

Whether you are passionate about the planet’s environment or not, every CEO at a high level should be investing in some sort of renewable energy source. The writing is on the wall. Clean energy will become more effective and cheaper over time. It will become untenable financially.

Depending on your business and what field you are involved in, large companies with high energy bills should be finding new ways to power their businesses. You don’t need to be passionate about renewable energy to begin to see the benefits of it. As time goes on, you will be glad that you got in on renewable energy earlier. The taxes on fossil fuels and other dirty energy sources will outweigh the cost of investing in renewables.

Automation

A part of tech advancements that are prompting a lot of questions about what humans will do in the future is automation. You’re probably familiar with the automated robotic arms building, packing, and shipping products. If your company sells products in a large volume, you might have already invested in these machines. However, this is just the beginning when it comes to automation.

Automation will take over a lot of aspects of business. Whether it’s at the brick-and-mortar store or in your factory warehouses, machines will replace humans in many ways. Automation is the ability for machines to perform tasks with no human help. Between automated drivers to deliver products to automated receptionists, this tech is something every CEO should have on their radar.

Extended Reality (XR)

Extended reality is the term that encompasses virtual (VR), automated (AR), and mixed (MR) reality technologies. With XR, tech companies can sell products, entertain, and provide digital space to clients. AR provides ways for professionals to engage with the tangible world with technological tools. This technology and faster 5G internet are making remote medical procedures possible.

When you are a CEO of a large company, there’s a lot of new technology that you should have your eyes on. Technology is becoming a larger part of your job. Technology is changing our world in fundamental ways, and if you invest in specific technologies, your company will only grow and thrive.

Six Tips for Leaders: Dealing with Challenging Conversations

Having a challenging, difficult conversation is something that on occasions is unavoidable. While common, it is not something that any business leader enjoys; so how best to approach these conversations, and importantly consider team development for others who find themselves in this situation?

A challenging conversation could be about dealing with issues such as underperformance or incorrect conduct, and it is important to review the predicament professionally.

Here, with Dominic Fitch, Head of Creative Change at Impact International, we look at the challenges facing leaders in this situation and share the best hints and tips for dealing with difficult conversations.

1. Don’t Put the Conversation Off

Once you know there is a difficult conversation on the horizon, the natural temptation is to put it off. It is important not to let the need for the conversation drag on. Putting off the conversation can mean that by the time it happens, it is no longer relevant. Once there is a conversation to be had, the best course of action is to speak to the person as soon as possible.

2. Prepare for the Conversation

Although it is necessary not to put off having the talk with the person in question, this is not a conversation you want to have in the spur of the moment.

Make sure you are properly prepared and have all the facts needed for what you are going to be dealing with and know exactly how you are going to approach it. Different people will react to a confrontational situation in many ways, and it is of the utmost importance to understand the individual you are dealing with and how they are likely to react, respond and take the feedback.

3. Find a solution

The conversation needs to have a purpose and a goal, as well as a plan to work on afterwards.

If you merely criticise and offer nothing constructive, then the conversation is not going to be a successful one. These discussions are not something anyone will enjoy, but remember they are worse for the person you are having the conversation with.

It is important, if possible, to offer something to help the employee improve. At times these conversations will result in the termination of employment, but even in this outcome, it can still be possible to offer something constructive they can learn and benefit from in the future.

4. Understand the Other Person – Allow Them to Speak

Leaders should ensure the person is understanding why the conversation is happening and what the purpose of it is.

Allow them to ask questions if they feel necessary, and if you can see they are becoming upset or struggling with the situation, allow a moment for composure and for them to gather their thoughts. You want the meeting to be constructive and purposeful, so the individual concerned can take on board the conversation and then act upon your words.

5. They can sometimes be avoided

This is not true for all occasions, but often as a leader or manager you can put steps in place so that a difficult conversation doesn’t have to be the result.

You should strive to make feedback a regular part of day-to-day operations, as part of your team development. If you can see a member of the team is struggling with something, or is underperforming, this can be dealt with before a tricky conversation is needed with regular feedback.

Obviously, this isn’t going to work on all occasions, and it is inevitable that at times the feedback will either not be taken on board or will not be acted upon, and the conversation will be necessary.

6. Development

It is important that everyone in the organisation knows how to face up to a difficult conversation.

As a leader, and as part of your team development, look to offer sessions ensuring people are trained for these scenarios. Make sure people know the key points; to prepare properly but don’t allow the conversation to be delayed too long, to allow the conversation to be two ways, find a solution and make sure you have onward steps.

With everything in place for your team, as a leader you have done all you can to make difficult, challenging conversations in the workplace go as smoothly as possible.

Becoming a Manager: 7 Tips to Help You Enjoy Success in Your New Role

If you’ve just been promoted to manager of a business, either internally or externally, congratulations! You’ve just `taken a huge step up the career ladder, and you should take a moment to enjoy the view from the top and reflect on such a worthwhile achievement.

Before you get stuck in your duties, you should equip yourself with as much knowledge and guidance as possible. You’ve made it this far, so why not ensure you have everything you need to be the best possible manager from the get-go?  

Here, with some insights from Dominic Fitch, Head of Creative Change at Impact International, we explore seven tips to ensure you enjoy success in this new role.

1) Listen to your staff

Have you ever heard the saying, “employees don’t leave companies, they leave managers”? Your first duty as a manager should be getting to know your employees and putting their needs first. Even if you’re already familiar with your team and have perhaps known them for years, becoming their manager can significantly change your relationship.

A recent poll discovered that more than two in five British employees have quit a job because of a bad manager, citing respecting and listening to staff and treating people well as the most important attributes of a good boss. Keep this firmly in mind as you navigate your new responsibilities as a manager; a business is nothing without its employees!

2) Never stop learning

As a manager, you’re bound to have a lot of knowledge, but that doesn’t mean you know everything. You should understand that you’ll never stop learning – about your business, industry, competitors – and therefore, you should always be open to absorbing new information.

In a similar way, you should encourage your employees to push themselves and expand their skill set by getting involved in different training courses and seminars. Not only should this increase your chances of being a great new manager, but it will also aid team development.

3) Learn how to prioritise

In this new, important position, you may feel obligated to try and tackle everything at once to make the best impression on your superiors and employees. Here’s some helpful advice: Don’t bother! Take a step back, take a deep breath, and look at your tasks and responsibilities with the aim of prioritising. You are not a superhero, and nobody expects you to be.

Keep in mind that there’s a difference between a task that’s ‘urgent’ and a task that’s ‘important’; start by listing your tasks in order of importance and address them one by one, delegating duties across your team where necessary. If you try to do everything at once, you will likely burn yourself (and your employees) out, which doesn’t deliver the long-term, sustainable results that a business needs to be successful.

4) Adopt different approaches for different people

The type of manager you should be to your employees is not a ‘one size fits all’ process, and a good, successful manager recognises that different people need different approaches. While your beliefs, values, and overall managerial style shouldn’t change from person to person (that would be unfair), you should be alert to factors such as language barriers and age groups.

For example, if a staff member doesn’t speak the best English, you should keep your vocabulary simple and speak clearly and slowly. In a similar way, an employee that’s older than you might not respond well to being ‘told’ what to do as opposed to ‘asked’, so it would be courteous (and effective) here to adjust the way you assign responsibilities.

5) Lead by example

Nobody likes a hypocrite, especially when that hypocrite in question is supposed to be managing a workforce. To keep employee morale, productivity, and loyalty at a high level, you should be everything you expect your staff to be. How can you discipline a team member for failing to keep a promise when you have five outstanding pledges to action?

Lead by example and watch how your new team flourishes under your command. By demonstrating your own devotion, reliability, and hard work, you’ll build trust with your staff which should motivate them to be the best version of themselves, too.

6) Build (genuine) relationships

Not only does building relationships with your staff, clients, and stakeholders drive better results for the business, but it also creates a more enjoyable working environment for everyone involved. In order to strengthen your relationships with those around you, you need to be genuine, make sure you’re really listening instead of just hearing, and focus on truly understanding as opposed to just responding.

Arranging regular one-to-one interactions is just as important as team-building exercises and could help you achieve stronger relationships with each individual at a faster rate. These one-to-one interactions could look like informal catch-ups over coffee or structured meetings in your office, whatever works for you and that specific employee.

7) Set realistic goals with clear plans

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

As a new manager, you probably have all these exciting ideas to improve the business and increase employee satisfaction, but how do you intend to bring these ideas to fruition? To be successful in your new role, you need to have a set of (realistic) goals with a clear plan on how to reach each one. Doing this will ensure that you’re constantly on track with meeting your objectives.

Don’t be afraid to consult others before launching into a new process; your decisions as a manager impact the wider team, not just yourself. Plus, getting opinions and assistance from your employees should fill them with a sense of importance and help them feel valued, which in turn could help strengthen your relationship with them.

The journey has only just begun…

This is your time to shine! You’ve worked incredibly hard to reach this milestone, so give yourself a chance to take it all in. Becoming a manager can be a little daunting, especially if you’re entering a business externally, but clearly, someone thinks you’re worth it, so take that as a positive.

Be open to the advice and guidance other people are willing to give you as it’ll only help increase your chances of success and, in turn, really enjoy your role. We wish you the very best of luck in this new journey.

Failure is Inevitable: Here’s How You Get Over It

By Sam White, founder and CEO of Stella Insurance.

Failure is an unavoidable part of life. I like to think of failure as the necessary underbelly of success. In the absence of failure, how would you determine what your successes are? That might sound like a simplification, and I concede that failure isn’t easy. I know that all too well, having had my fair share of failures in both life and in business. I lost 60% of my business over a six week period in 2013 due to a change in insurance legislation. On the other hand, I’ve rubbed shoulders with the rich and famous living in Beverly Hills and even encouraged Robbie Williams to sing at my first wedding!

Overcoming failure is a key indicator of business agility as it’s not about the failure itself, but what you do to bounce back. Accept that failure is natural as it will make you a better business leader if you handle it right and take the valuable learning points. Here are some of the lessons I live by when it comes to failure.

Find balance within

So, something has failed, maybe you haven’t retained a good management team or there’s a lack of capital or funding. It’s not the end of the world, but it will take a balanced approach to overcome it. Mo Gawdat expresses that every individual has a certain proportion of masculine and feminine energies (irrespective of gender). Masculine left brain characteristics are analytical, focused, results driven. Meanwhile, feminine right brain energy is typified by empathy, intuition, and being. Masculine energy typically exists more in business environments so when leaders with overweighing masculine energy are in crisis, they double down on what they know, e.g., spend more hours trying to fix a problem, put more money into X and Y. However, what’s required is thinking differently. If people are experiencing anger and frustration, creative decision making is inhibited. You must find ways to get into joy and let go of failure, trusting your intuition.

Don’t wallow, it’s unproductive

Failure is a disguised opportunity that offers us a choice, are you going to accept a lose-lose outcome and feel sorry for yourself, or are you going to turn it around and win? Our brain has a tendency to give weight to negative experiences more than positive ones. However, this is simply self-indulgent. Process the failure and then start looking forwards again. Lean on your colleagues, friends, and family so you can distance yourself from failure.

Learn, learn, and learn

Failure is ultimately a lesson in learning how to succeed. However, to learn you need to reflect and that takes practice! It takes deliberate effort to reframe failure in the mind as a positive experience. Failure reveals the changes you need to make to succeed the next time, whether making personal changes or changes to your team and strategy. Use it to plan better for your next attempt.

As a business leader, I try to engage both my masculine and feminine energies (in the spirit of Mo Gawdat!). In traditional business environments, masculine traits tend to dominate. As a result, I also emphasise feminine energies, empathy and intuition, to determine new ways of working and being. By balancing these energies, it’s easier to avoid dysfunction in business and work relationships. I would also recommend working with a corporate psychologist, having done so at Freedom Service Group, and eventually having my corporate psychologist replace me as CEO. I learnt that human relationships are key to solving business problems. While entrepreneurs tend to think they have everything figured out, it’s crucial to receive insight from those with different perspectives and expertise.

Have another crack at it

Failure is a stepping stone to success and should be used to inform your next decisions. All great entrepreneurs have failed, and, in many cases, they’ve failed more than once so don’t be afraid to try, try again. If you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve and how you’ll get there, you will be on the right track. I recommend setting clear expectations of the result and leaning on your intuition, as well as that of trusted team members, to ensure your business is constantly evolving.

A failure could be one of the greatest lessons you ever receive. My own failures have catalysed many of my successes and always drive me to continue onwards and upwards. Go on, I urge you to appreciate your failures and see where they take you. Who knows, success might be right around the corner.

Key Outlooks for Business and Society in 2023

By Jeff Dewing CEO of Cloudfm

It’s no secret that 2023 is going to be a rough ride for most, with the cost of living and soaring energy prices weighing heavily on consumers and businesses alike. We’re additionally going to continue to feel the labour shortage, especially given Keir Starmer’s reversal of the Labour Party’s support of freedom of movement.

That said, 2023 must be a year of momentum. Trends around flexible and hybrid work will rightfully continue to become normalised. Antiquated business leaders who force people into the office should be consigned to the past.

This new year will require thinking differently to solve problems. For example, innovations leveraging AR and VR technologies to upskill and reskill employees to combat the labour shortage and integrating gamification in business supply chains to help reach Net Zero.

Here are some of the key developments to look out for in 2023:

Cost of living will continue to hurt consumers and businesses

The immense pressures of the cost of living crisis will continue into 2023 and beyond, wreaking havoc on consumer confidence and spending. The writing is on the wall, inflation was sitting at 12% in October 2022 and is expected to remain well above 10% into 2023. As ever, it’s the everyday people that are under the weight of this financial burden. Consumers have already been adapting, the choice to travel to work is a toss up between commuting fees and energy prices, and spending is only reserved for the bare essentials.

The most frightening impact, however, is the detrimental effects on mental health. ONS reports that people living in the most deprived 10% of areas in the UK are more than twice as likely to die from suicide as those living in the wealthiest 10% of areas. The reality is this cost of living crisis could claim lives. Therefore, businesses need to put a greater emphasis on supporting and protecting their staff as much as they can, whether that’s offering loans or implementing mental health programmes.

Big Tech’s decline provides opportunities for the greater tech industry

Big Tech layoffs actually provide an opportunity for the tech industry. With the big players throwing away top talent, there’s a clear opportunity for them to join innovative start-ups looking beyond the failing ad-based models, albeit with intense competition.

Layoffs are by no means easy. But what matters is doing the right thing, giving appropriate notice time and severance packages to tide people over until they can find new opportunities. This is something Twitter failed to do, and it will no doubt reduce trust in Big Tech. In November, 50% of Twitter’s workforce was let go and a class-action lawsuit was filed asserting that Twitter violated the law by not providing the required notice.

Although Big Tech might build back its workforce, it will not so easily recover from its self-inflicted reputational damage, dismissing employees as though they are merely cogs in the wheel. People must be put first regardless and it’s a lesson all businesses can learn from.

The government’s lack of leadership must be addressed

For successive governments, we’ve seen leaders not only shirking their responsibilities, but choosing to leave problems to weaken those that come after them. Jeremy Hunt’s November 2022 budget was another example of this, delaying the pain of an austerity package to give the Tories a chance. The budget continues the same theme, whereby rampant inflation and state borrowing are kicked down the road to the next government.

I have encountered many different types of leaders and leadership approaches. Those that were successful and well-respected all had a willingness and desire to face problems head on and devise solutions, especially difficult ones. The need for effective leadership has never been more apparent, but it remains to be seen whether this government and its budget are up for the task in 2023. 

 

Hybrid work demands re-thinking office design

Over the course of my life, I’ve seen the decline of ‘third places.’ This is defined as any place you go to spend time that isn’t your home (first place) or your workplace (second place). They are a space to meet friends and family, interact with local activities and build a sense of community unity, often without any cost.

Government cuts have removed many places like youth centres and libraries. The effects on our communities shouldn’t be underestimated. This, combined with the cost of living crisis and aftershocks of the COVID-19 pandemic, is hugely impacting overall employee well-being. It isn’t just a moral issue, as low engagement alone costs the global economy $7.8 trillion. We need to invest in our employees’ wellbeing in 2023 as this influences both their lives outside work and their experiences at work. Office spaces should be designed with emotional wellbeing in mind. For example, be casual and collaborative, with couches, TVs, games etc. Beyond that, offices should be places where employees can make life moments rather than just do what they can do when working from home.

Innovation is needed more than ever

In 2023, we will increasingly need to look to business leaders and innovators to solve pressing problems due to failing politicians’ lack of action. For example, with the world significantly off course to achieving emissions targets due to the absence of effective global political policies. Gamification is a tool which can be widely utilised to address the engagement gap in the fight against climate change. Behavioural Gamification is the process whereby game mechanics are incorporated into everyday activities to motivate behaviour change. Studies indicate that gamification can impact cognitive and behavioural engagement, while being enjoyable. Business leaders should consider how they can implement techniques such as gamification across their business and supply chain to encourage green behaviour and change within.

The labour shortage is another problem that demands innovation. Some employers are offering greater flexibility, thinking creatively about their recruitment approach, and offering higher wages to attract the talent they want. However, this simply moves the problem around. It’s crucial we upskill and reskill existing employees across industries, ensuring the expertise is readily available. This can be done using augmented reality (AR), a highly visual and interactive method of presenting digitised information in the context of the physical environment that democratises knowledge and information sharing irrespective of physical limitations.

Overall, it’s important CEOs understand their larger impact on society. Businesses can make a real impact in 2023 by leading where the government lacks, innovating and protecting employees and the environment. To do so businesses need to be agile and open to change.

How To Hit Refresh On Employee Mindset In 2023

By Alex Hattingh, Chief People Officer at Employment Hero 

With the new year fast approaching, how can businesses ensure they are in pole position for the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead in 2023? 

Having an engaged and motivated workforce is key, so it is essential that employees reset and reinvigorate their motivations for the next 12 months. With this in mind, there are impactful actions business leaders and HR can take to help their workforce feel recharged and motivated for the year ahead.

Here are some practical tips to follow:

Set new goals for the year

Ask your team what kind of employee they want to be in 2023. Is there anything they want to improve from the previous year? What do they want to strive for? Get them to list five things they’re excited about achieving in the new year.

When considering professional goals for your employees or yourself, remember to always let your company values be your guide. Remembering the good work that you do and how your product or service can add value to your clients’ or customers’ lives is a great way to build motivation.

Throw out your old working style

If there’s any time to disrupt general routines and test productivity techniques, now is the time. Following old working styles and chasing old priorities can slow your team down significantly. Have your team start by evaluating their old commitments.

Ask your team to brainstorm some new working styles together. There’s power in numbers – if multiple people start a new habit it’s more likely to stick.

Take the time to make flexible working awesome

Flexible work schedules can help reduce stress levels, increase productivity, boost morale, reduce lateness and absenteeism, reduce employee turnover and help employees achieve a better work-life balance. It’s also quite clear that flexible work options are becoming a decisive factor in recruitment and retention and the number is only set to grow.

Two-fifths of employees surveyed in our 2022 Remote Working Report, between the ages of 18 and 35, said that they are likely to resign if told they could no longer work from home at all.

Evaluate your operational systems. How useful is your internal messaging platform? Are your team properly collaborating using task management systems? Think about the possibility of becoming more of a hybrid team in the new year. A hybrid team works from home half the time, and in the office half the time, with the office generally being a destination for collaboration and brainstorming.

Prioritise wellness

A sense of wellness is a key element of a positive mindset. Employee wellness should be examined throughout the year, with research showing that one-time wellness events are simply not helpful for most workers. Regular, informal check-ins with employees can also help you recognise when something has changed and when they may need assistance, so be sure to catch up often.

Financial wellness is an easily-forgotten area of support that employees are looking to their employers for assistance. Consider offering your team sessions with a financial advisor a couple of times a year to help them stay financially well. 

Talk about tools and training

Training benefits both the company and the employee — and builds greater loyalty towards the company when they know they are supported and encouraged in their own growth and endeavours.

Find out how employees are doing

Create a safe space for employees to talk in 1:1 meetings, so they can come to you honestly and sincerely with their true state of mind and raise any difficulties. If there’s a better or more flexible way for them to work, consider implementing that to alleviate their worries and concerns.

You want your employees to be performing at their best — and if that means making slight changes so they can feel empowered and motivated at work, it needs to be made.

10 Ways to Secure Start-Up Capital for Your New Venture Like a Successful CEO

10 Ways to Secure Start-Up Capital for Your New Venture Like a Successful CEO

Whatever your business idea may be, you need capital to launch a new business. Unfortunately, this may be the one hiccup that prevents entrepreneurs from getting their business concept off the ground or causing the company to fail because of a lack of funding.

There are several ways to fund your new venture, but your first step should be to figure out how much you need. Once you have that figure, consider the following funding methods.

Bootstrap the Business

Bootstrapping or self-funding means using your own money as capital for the business. If you don’t already have money saved, saving enough funds may require time and planning. Using your own money when you start is a good option because there is no red tape or compliance rules that you must follow. It also shows potential investors that you are serious and committed to the business’s success since you’re investing your own money.

Look for a Business Partner

If you don’t mind giving up part equity in the business, consider bringing on a business partner who will invest capital in the company. Besides providing funding, a partner may also be able to help grow the business if they have industry knowledge and experience.

You must decide if you want your partner to be involved in the operations and decision-making of the business or if you’d prefer them to be a silent partner who gets paid dividends when the company is profitable.

Launch a Crowdfunding Campaign

Crowdfunding has become a popular way to fund a new venture. Successful crowdfunding campaigns tell a story about the business or product that resonates with potential investors. There are several crowdfunding platforms that you can use to create your campaign. Once created, you can share the campaign on social media to reach a wider audience.

Crowdfunding works by getting lots of people to invest small amounts instead of looking for one big investor. Another advantage of crowdfunding is that it doubles as a marketing platform, showcasing your business to potential customers.

Angel Investor

An Angel Investor is typically a wealthy individual with a fantastic business track record and who is keen to invest in a new business. If you are okay with giving up some equity in your business, an angel investor may be an option.

Apart from investing capital in your business, an angel investor may also provide expert advice to help grow the business.

Explore Loan Options

As an entrepreneur, you may use a personal loan to fund your start-up. When it comes to taking a loan, you must do your homework, as there are other costs like interest and fees associated with taking a loan. Loans also have to be paid within a stipulated time frame, so you must be confident you can repay it on time.

If you’ve taken several loans to fund your business, it may be a good idea to investigate debt consolidation options to manage them.

Small Business Grants

The government or organizations typically offer grants, but unlike other funding options, you don’t have to relinquish equity in your business or repay the money. Since grants are essentially ‘free money,’ they aren’t as easily accessible. There are typically strict requirements that you have to meet to qualify for a grant, and they are usually awarded for the following reasons:

To develop a new industry

To uplift entrepreneurs from minority communities

To promote women in business

To encourage research and innovation

Pre-Sell Products

Another smart option is to pre-sell your products before you launch the business. Pre-selling helps you raise capital and gives you a good indication of consumer demand for your product.

You can pre-sell successfully by marketing your products and company on social media. You must communicate with your customers when they can expect their product. This is vital as the last thing you need is angry customers before the company is even launched.

Sell Assets

You may not have cash, but your money is likely tied up in assets or things you don’t need. Consider selling valuables to liquidate your assets and pump them into the business. Items you can sell include your car, jewellery, and art, or you can cash an investment.

Use Your Line of Credit

Businesses typically incur ongoing expenses, so using your existing credit card or line of credit can be helpful to fund business expenses. An existing line of credit is a good option since you won’t need to apply for a loan, and because it’s revolving credit, you will always have access to funds provided you repay what you spent.

Approach Friends and Family

If you have a wealthy friend or relative, approach them to invest in your business or for a loan. When approaching friends or family, you must share your business plan with them so that they have a clear idea of what your business is. Before getting family or friends involved, you must be sure that you can uphold your end of the deal because failure to do so could ruin your business relationship.

Final Remarks

Having enough capital is essential to get your new business venture up and running, as there are many costs involved in opening and running a start-up. When it comes to funding, there are several options, so it’s worth exploring your options to narrow down on the one that fits your company’s needs.

Take Your Business to the Next Level with an Effective Point-of-Sale System

Take Your Business to the Next Level with an Effective Point-of-Sale System

Staying ahead of the competition and keep up to date with practises and policies it not an easy task for the modern business owner. The economic world today poses unprecedented challenges that many retailers have never had to come up against before and the prospect of surviving over the coming months and years may not be filling many people with a lot of hope. However, there is good news. To face modern challenges, there are a growing number of modern solutions, particularly in the form of technology. There is a great wealth of technology available today that businesses can out into practise to modernise their policies, spread their name and boost their sales. And one of the most essential pieces of technology that retailers can implement today is that of point-of-sale software. 

Perhaps you are looking to up your business game and take it into the 21st century with the implementation of a point-of-sale software solution. If you haven’t got one already, it really is a necessity for any business wishing to portray themselves as a modern and relevant retailer. In this article, you will be helped to understand exactly what point of sale software is, what benefits it can bring to your business, and how to choose the right software solution for you and your company.

What is Point of Sale Software?

The point of sale is the exact time and location in which a customer makes a purchase, and a transaction is completed. The retailer provides the product or service, and the customer makes a payment in order to receive it. This crucial point in a sales process has evolved a lot over the years and now many businesses have a software solution that deals with the whole procedure. In many ways, an effective point of sale system makes the transaction easier for both the business and the customer. Instead of needing to write and attach physical product descriptions to every item, barcodes are used that the system recognises in order to take the correct payment and make the necessary stock level adjustment.

What Benefits Does a Point-of-Sale Software Solution Bring?

It may not be the first benefit you think of, but an effective point of sale system can actually improve your relationships with your customers. As OPUL, a leading point of sale system provider acknowledges, the right solution can bring you “deeper insights” into your business and its operations and a “high consumer lifetime revenue”. A powerful point of sale software solution will do more than simply record sales and adjust stock levels. It will help you to understand the trends of your business more fully and how these trends relate to the individual customers that purchase from you. You will be able to gain a deeper knowledge of your customers and thus build a stronger relationship with them which will encourage further saes in the future.

Furthermore, one of the biggest benefits that come from a modern point of sale system is the fact they can accept payment in multiple forms. More and more people are using digital wallets now and expect to be able to do so in any well respecting business. 2023 promises to be yet another year of transformation in the field of payments, so it’s essential that you do all you can to prepare for these trends of digital payments and contactless transactions. A modern point of sale system will help you to do just that, and prove what a modern, forward thinking business you are. Besides the good it will do to your image, you will also be able to provide a smoother, more convenient, and more seamless transaction experience for your customer which means they will be a lot more likely to buy from the you in the future. One difficult or negative purchasing experience can put a customer off from buying again, so prevent that by implementing the best system you can to encourage sales and repeat business.

How Can You Choose the Right Point of Sale Software Solution for You?

Point of sale systems aren’t just powerful – they are plentiful too! There are many different providers out there offering different specialities to suit different niches of business, so it may feel overwhelming when you first start to look at the options that are open to you. Don’t panic, and don’t make any hasty decisions. Take your time and ask yourself some important questions to fully understand the needs of your business that a point-of-sale system needs to fill.

What do you want to achieve as a business? What are your short-term and long-term goals? How is your business doing right now in regard to attaining these goals? If you are moving from a previous system and looking to upgrade, which areas do you want the new system to improve in? What is your business struggling with right now? What challenges do you face that a powerful point of sale system could solve? Which processes and tasks would you like to simplify with the addition of a point-of-sale software solution.

They key is to be honest with yourself, and honestly evaluate the needs, challenges, struggles and strengths of your business. With this important information in mind, you can begin your search for the perfect point of sale software solution for you.

Time to Get Researching

Weigh up the pros and cons of different providers, read reviews, ask for referrals, set up meetings and test out some different solutions in person. Take the time you need to find the option that will give you the best return on your investment and you’ll find the right system to bring you in the 21st century and beyond!

Why You Should Be Using a CRM In Your Business

Why You Should Be Using a CRM In Your Business

In 1956, Danish engineer Hildaur Neilsen invented the rolodex. Although not the only one of its kind, rolodex soon came to be to the spring loaded phone directory, what Hoover became to vacuum cleaners – synonymous! In fact, so iconic was the rolodex sitting atop an office desk, that it has found its way into the Smithsonian Museum itself.

However, fast forward seventy years, and the rolodex is no longer a common sight in the modern office. It has been replaced little by little, with even more impressive automated systems. Of foremost example, is the customer relationship management system, which of course is quite a mouthful, so it is more frequently referred to as a CRM. If you’ve never heard of a CRM before then fear not, in this article we’ll endeavour to explain not just what they are, but also the benefits and the exciting future prospects for these impressive systems.

What is a CRM?

The rolodex’s main purpose was to make the storing and accessing of business contact information easier and efficient. Unfortunately, this was the limit of its capabilities. A CRM takes this basic requirement of businesses and not only automates but enhances its capabilities. CRM systems compile data from various sources such as the company’s website, social media, email, marketing materials, telephone and more. It then presents this information in an organised and easy to access way so that the user can maximise customer leads and accelerate growth.

A CRM will help you understand your customers better, to anticipate their needs, and provide a superior customer experience. Some CRM’s are designed with a particular business type in mind, and these can be especially useful to those sorts of businesses. When a CRM is devised in this way, it often means even more specific features can be added to the software, to further enhance and automate its functions. An example of such a CRM can be found here.

Types of CRM

We can categorise most CRM systems in to two main groups, operational and analytical systems. Although you will find that a good customer relationship management system will feature both of these purposes, it is often noted that individual systems are designed with a particular focus in mind, and thereby excel at this objective.

Operational Systems primary goals are the integration and automation of sales, customer support and marketing. They often accomplish this through the use of a ‘dashboard’ that compiles relevant information from these areas into a single view per customer. The goal is to fast track a prospective client into an actual client. It can do this by preventing duplicate efforts from different salespeople, which has the effect of not only wasting resources but also potentially irritating your clients. Automation in this regard also helps to support a customer through multiple channels such as email, phone, FAQs and ticketing portals.

If the role of an operational system is to automate customer interaction, then the role of an analytical system is to automate the analysis of all data collected throughout multiple sources. This information can then be used by business managers by assisting them to make more informed decisions. These analytical systems use a variety of techniques in order to do this such as data mining, pattern and correlation recognition technology and more. If a business is more informed, they can make

Benefits of CRM

There are many benefits to having a CRM, whether your business involves selling life insurance, or fixing automotives. Here are 3 you might not have thought about.

Collaboration – The larger your business grows the greater the challenge of providing a seamless customer experience across multiple departments. Think of the different departments your customer is likely to encounter such as sales, marketing, customer support etc. CRM’s help all these different departments to share and access customer information in real time. This can be helpful whether these departments work in different rooms, buildings or even countries.

Customer Retention – How often have you lost a client for a completely preventable reason. An appointment was missed, a follow up email was not sent, or a telephone call was forgotten. CRMs can prevent these mistakes by reminding you automatically. It is pointless filling the bath if you haven’t put the plug in! Likewise, keeping clients is as important, if not more important, than acquiring new ones.

Communication – When a business responds quickly to a customer’s request it shows professionalism. CRM’s often include ready made templates for a variety of situations, and the ability to modify and add to these templates. Templates such as quotes, proposals, emails, invitations and more. This can save you valuable time and make your replies speedier.

Future of Customer Relationship Management Systems

From the humble rolodex to the modern Customer Relationship Management system, the goal has always been the same – to make your life easier, and to improve the experience of your customers.

The features that already exist mean that with little effort, you can collect, analyse, collate, and present information on your customers so that you can make more informed decisions, anticipate needs and increase customer retention. Whether your company is small of large, features such as real time information sharing mean that your workforce can make the most efficient use of resources, particularly time!

The future of CRM systems is also exciting. After reading this article you might probably wonder, how could they possibly be improved upon! What features could they add. One area that is of particular interest pertains to even further automation. One piece of technology soon to be implemented by CRMs is ChatGBT which is a chatbot that can respond to questions in a customers natural language and provide engaging answers in a conversational form. By combining this technology with a CRM you’ll never need to worry that your customers needs are being met.

How To Get Approved For A Hire Purchase

How To Get Approved For A Hire Purchase

Hire purchase is an excellent option if you want your dream car or home right now. It’s also a wise means of acquiring office space for newly-found businesses. Instead of investing a huge part of your capital in your workspace, you can get it on a hire purchase plan with a small down payment.

However, getting approved for a hire purchase plan is not that easy. In this post, we’ll share the basics of a hire purchase plan along with how to get approved for one.

Let’s get started!

What is a hire purchase?

By definition, a hire purchase plan (HP plan) is a type of borrowing plan that’s a lot like interest-based installments on a loan. As per this borrowing plan, you can buy anything by paying a small down payment.

Usually, the down payment is 10 percent to 20 percent of the total cost of the borrowed item. Once you pay this amount, you can have that particular good (property, vehicles, or equipment) and use it. But you don’t legally own it.

Every month, you’ll have to pay a certain amount (some from the original cost of the good + the loan interest). And the lender will treat these payments as installments.

When you pay enough installments to cover the price of the item, you’ll get ownership of the item too.

So, how does a hire purchase differ from installments? Well, from the user’s perspective, the only difference between a hire purchase and an installment plan is the transfer of ownership.

With an installment plan, you get instant ownership of the item you want. But with a hire purchase plan, you do not get the ownership until you pay the complete amount. 

And how does that affect you? You cannot sell or make any amendments to the borrowed item. For example, you cannot consider changing seats or repainting the exterior if it’s a vehicle. But this also means that you’re not responsible for maintenance and repair of the borrowed item (since you’re not its legal owner). 

You can see this article from Westpac for more information on hire purchases.

How to get approved for a hire purchase?

The first requirement to get approved for a hire purchase is to have a clean legal record. There should be no financial defaults or criminal record against you. Otherwise, you will not get qualified for the loan.

You’ll also need a few documents, including: 

  • Proof of identity documents (passport, national identity card, driver’s license, or any other document specified by the lender)
  • Proof of income (bank details or bank statement)
  • Proof of employment (current employer’s letter and employment history)

In addition, you will have to share your personal details, including name, date of birth, address history, and the count of people under your care.

As mentioned earlier, you’ll also need to deposit a small amount as a down payment. So make sure your bank account has enough balance to cover for this down payment. 

But keep in mind that some lenders may have specific requirements. They may ask for a specific document or contact your employer to double-check your reputation.

In any case, they’ll keep the process and requirements transparent with you. So, if you’re not comfortable sharing certain details, you can let the lender know.

Once you have all the basic requirements prepared, all you have to do is reach out to the lender and apply for a hire purchase. If you’ve provided all documents they’ve asked for and your legal profile is clear, there’s a high chance you’ll get approved for the loan.

Can you get a hire purchase loan with a bad credit score?

Yes! This is one of the best benefits of hire purchase plans. Unlike installment plans, you can get cars, houses, office space, or industrial equipment on a hire purchase plan even if you have a bad credit score.

That’s because the loan is secured against the borrowed item. If you fail to pay your monthly dues, the lender holds the right to seize the item. 

In case you’ve paid less than one-third of the total amount, the lender will seize the property by themselves. But if you’ve paid more than one-third, they’ll need court orders to repossess the goods.

But there are ways to get your monthly dues reduced or paused. If you’re struggling to pay, you can request the lender to:

  • Stop charging interest for a certain time
  • Reduce the monthly amount
  • Readjust the repayment schedule

With that said, a good credit score can help you get lower interest rates on your hire purchase plan, flexible repayment schedules, and a high loan amount. So although you can use a hire purchase with a bad credit score, a good score always helps!

Hire purchase simplified

Hire purchase is a great way to get the items you need now and pay for them later. And although it comes with strict rules, know that you can always negotiate the terms and make it work for you.

Also, remember that a good credit score is not necessary to get a hire purchase plan, but it helps. So make sure to maintain a clean credit score and enjoy lower interest rates and flexible repayment plans on your hire purchase plan.

Being a New Manager: Seven Tips to Help You Enjoy Success in This New Role

If you’ve just been promoted to manager of a business, either internally or externally, congratulations! You’ve just `taken a huge step up the career ladder, and you should take a moment to enjoy the view from the top and reflect on such a worthwhile achievement.

Before you get stuck in your duties, you should equip yourself with as much knowledge and guidance as possible. You’ve made it this far, so why not ensure you have everything you need to be the best possible manager from the get-go? 

Here are seven tips to ensure you enjoy success in this new role.

1. Listen to your staff

Have you ever heard the saying, “employees don’t leave companies, they leave managers”? Your first duty as a manager should be getting to know your employees and putting their needs first. Even if you’re already familiar with your team and have perhaps known them for years, becoming their manager can significantly change your relationship.

A recent poll discovered that more than two in five British employees have quit a job because of a bad manager, citing respecting and listening to staff and treating people well as the most important attributes of a good boss. Keep this firmly in mind as you navigate your new responsibilities as a manager; a business is nothing without its employees!

2. Never stop learning

As a manager, you’re bound to have a lot of knowledge, but that doesn’t mean you know everything. You should understand that you’ll never stop learning – about your business, industry, competitors – and therefore, you should always be open to absorbing new information.

In a similar way, you should encourage your employees to push themselves and expand their skill set by getting involved in different training courses and seminars. Not only should this increase your chances of being a great new manager, but it will also aid team development.

3. Learn how to prioritise

In this new, important position, you may feel obligated to try and tackle everything at once to make the best impression on your superiors and employees. Here’s some helpful advice: Don’t bother! Take a step back, take a deep breath, and look at your tasks and responsibilities with the aim of prioritising. You are not a superhero, and nobody expects you to be.

Keep in mind that there’s a difference between a task that’s ‘urgent’ and a task that’s ‘important’; start by listing your tasks in order of importance and address them one by one, delegating duties across your team where necessary. If you try to do everything at once, you will likely burn yourself (and your employees) out, which doesn’t deliver the long-term, sustainable results that a business needs to be successful.

4. Adopt different approaches for different people

The type of manager you should be to your employees is not a ‘one size fits all’ process, and a good, successful manager recognises that different people need different approaches. While your beliefs, values, and overall managerial style shouldn’t change from person to person (that would be unfair), you should be alert to factors such as language barriers and age groups.

For example, if a staff member doesn’t speak the best English, you should keep your vocabulary simple and speak clearly and slowly. In a similar way, an employee that’s older than you might not respond well to being ‘told’ what to do as opposed to ‘asked’, so it would be courteous (and effective) here to adjust the way you assign responsibilities.

5. Lead by example

Nobody likes a hypocrite, especially when that hypocrite in question is supposed to be managing a workforce. To keep employee morale, productivity, and loyalty at a high level, you should be everything you expect your staff to be. How can you discipline a team member for failing to keep a promise when you have five outstanding pledges to action?

Lead by example and watch how your new team flourishes under your command. By demonstrating your own devotion, reliability, and hard work, you’ll build trust with your staff which should motivate them to be the best version of themselves, too.

6. Build (genuine) relationships

Not only does building relationships with your staff, clients, and stakeholders drive better results for the business, but it also creates a more enjoyable working environment for everyone involved. In order to strengthen your relationships with those around you, you need to be genuine, make sure you’re really listening instead of just hearing, and focus on truly understanding as opposed to just responding.

Arranging regular one-to-one interactions is just as important as team-building exercises and could help you achieve stronger relationships with each individual at a faster rate. These one-to-one interactions could look like informal catch-ups over coffee or structured meetings in your office, whatever works for you and that specific employee.

7. Set realistic goals with clear plans

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

As a new manager, you probably have all these exciting ideas to improve the business and increase employee satisfaction, but how do you intend to bring these ideas to fruition? To be successful in your new role, you need to have a set of (realistic) goals with a clear plan on how to reach each one. Doing this will ensure that you’re constantly on track with meeting your objectives.

Don’t be afraid to consult others before launching into a new process; your decisions as a manager impact the wider team, not just yourself. Plus, getting opinions and assistance from your employees should fill them with a sense of importance and help them feel valued, which in turn could help strengthen your relationship with them.

The journey has only just begun…

This is your time to shine! You’ve worked incredibly hard to reach this milestone, so give yourself a chance to take it all in. Becoming a manager can be a little daunting, especially if you’re entering a business externally, but clearly, someone thinks you’re worth it, so take that as a positive.

Be open to the advice and guidance other people are willing to give you as it’ll only help increase your chances of success and, in turn, really enjoy your role. We wish you the very best of luck in this new journey.

How Employee Health Insurance Affects Your Business

How Employee Health Insurance Affects Your Business

One of the many ways a business owner can attract and keep the best employees is by providing health insurance. Historically, only larger businesses have been able to provide these group plans. But if you own a small business, you can also give your employees a health insurance policy.

Healthcare insurance may be an annuity or life insurance. The difference between life insurance and annuity is that life insurance is designed to protect others against financial loss after your death, whereas annuities protect you financially while you’re still alive.

What is business health insurance?

Business health insurance is comparable to individual healthcare insurance. It pays for a big chunk of the cost of private medical treatments and services, but employers typically buy it for their staff. When employees get sick, they pay a small deductible, but the insurance company will pay for their care.

Your business as a separate entity will have a single insurance policy that covers everyone, and you may decide who to provide it to, so long as this choice is not based on discriminatory grounds. By spreading the risk among a group, premiums are often lower than they would be for a single policy.

You may be shocked to hear that business health insurance may help your organization run more strategically, efficiently, and successfully in several ways. A small company’s health insurance plan helps employees, and a group plan may also help employers in different ways.

Now, let’s look at them.

Encourages employee retention and loyalty

Offering health insurance to your employees may be a good way to keep your best workers, which is usually very important for small businesses. Telling your employees how much their health insurance costs and how much your company contributes to that cost will demonstrate how important you think your workers are. Employees may also want to stay with an organization for the long term if they feel appreciated in a real way.

Encourages a positive workplace culture

Small business health insurance may show employees that you care about their health. Giving your employees a group health plan as a benefit may show that you think they are an asset to the company. This appreciation could help create a positive and healthy work culture.

Boosts employee job satisfaction

Another reason businesses offer health insurance is that it can help keep or improve employee satisfaction at work.

According to a poll by Glassdoor Economic Research, the following three basic employee benefits had the strongest link with employee satisfaction out of a list of 54 employee benefits:

Health insurance

Vacation/paid time off (PTO)Retirement planning options like 401(k)s and pensions

Health insurance coverage topped the list of employee-satisfying benefits.

Tax benefits and business healthcare tax credit

To make your out-of-pocket expenses smaller than the benefit’s worth to the employee, you may provide employees with something that boosts their pay or compensation package while still allowing you to deduct the contribution from your taxes.

Self-employed people can deduct the full cost of their health insurance as a business expense. You may always deduct 100 per cent of workers’ premiums. If the business is set up as a corporation, all insurance costs, including those for you and your employees, are tax deductible.

Usually, businesses with fewer than 25 workers who buy health insurance for their workers may be able to get a tax credit.

Ensures the well-being of your employees

Preventative care, which is covered by insurance plans, helps employees stay healthy and on the job. If workers don’t get preventive treatment and yearly physicals (which they may not do if they don’t have insurance), you may find more of them absent for extended periods due to severe illnessees, which may affect the productivity of your business activities.

Offers employees a group purchasing power

You may still provide your employees with access to group health insurance rates through your company even if you choose not to make any financial contributions toward their coverage.

Small businesses (usually those with 50 or fewer full-time employees) can also get health insurance through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP), which is a government-run insurance marketplace made just for them.

Conclusion

Without a double, employee health insurance can affect your business in so many positive ways. If you desire more productivity and commitment from your employees, then a group health insurance is worth considering.

How to Effectively Manage Returns in Your Online Store

How to Effectively Manage Returns in Your Online Store

The truth is that online stores deal with way more returns than physical ones. And while it’s part and parcel of running an eCommerce store, it doesn’t mean that your business has to suffer.

Despite having to deal with returns (usually through no fault of your own), it’s important that they’re managed effectively. Why? Because the way they’re handled and the ease with which customers can request them is becoming just as important as the initial buying process. Which is why this returns 101 masterclass is crucial for online stores that want to keep and expand their business.

So, let’s talk strategy. Here’s how you can improve your returns management system…

Understand the different types of returns

OK, so there are two types of returns that a customer’s reason for sending your item back might fall into. These are labelled as controllable and uncontrollable. Let’s break them down:

Controllable

These are returns that can either be reduced or don’t happen at all, and they are well within your control. This includes product descriptions that are not thorough and don’t match the item you are selling, poor packaging that results in the product becoming damaged in transit, slow shipping times, and just general eCommerce mismanagement.

How to prevent this

Address the above likely return reasons and adjust. For example, use a sturdier packing material, update your product description, use a different courier, etc. Plus, check your products and assess the quality of them against the online description.

Uncontrollable

These are reasons out of your control. For example, if a customer purchases a product from you and then decides they no longer want it.

How to prevent this

Naturally, this is trickier to address, and there are conflicting solutions that can be attempted. (Both have success stories, so do some research on your customer base and make an informed decision regarding their purchase and returns habits.)

Reduce the return time window – A smaller time frame may put some buyers off returning the item as they may not have time to complete the process. Think busy, working professionals.

Extending the return time window – This is also called the endowment effect, by which the longer a customer has an item, the more attached they become to it, therefore reducing the chance of return.

Make sure your Returns Policy is *clear*

Just like your shipping policy, it’s super important that your returns policy is transparent, accessible, and easy to understand because it’s a key factor when it comes to providing excellent customer service.

Make sure it’s clear on your website, as well as any other partner or affiliate sites you sell on. Not to mention enclose a physical copy with all of your products once they’ve been purchased. This manages customer expectations straight up (we’re talking return deadlines, exchanges, refunds, etc) and dispels any confusion or frustration that could arise further down the line.

Process returns quickly

These days, everything has to be quick, especially online. Attention spans have shortened, and according to research, if your website doesn’t load within 6 seconds, you can say see ya to potential customers. And this fast-paced non-negotiable applies to returns, too.

You need to make sure that they’re processed as quickly as possible, as credit that takes too long to come through can put a black mark against your name when it comes to future custom. FYI, the next tip can really help with this one.

Hire a third-party fulfilment service

If you want your returns to be dealt with by a team of experts, hiring a third-party fulfilment service is a shout. They’ll take over that aspect of your business and streamline the approach so that every buyer receives the best customer service and has their queries responded to as quickly as possible. (We’re not saying bringing in external helpers makes you bad at your job – but running a full-time online store independently can stretch you very thinly, and asking for a bit of help never hurt anyone.)

The benefits of hiring a reputable and experienced fulfilment service include:

– They use the best courier services.- They know how to properly pack a product.

– They’re savvy when it comes to reducing controllable costs.- They can expedite shipping.- They can take over after-sales support after a return has been made.- They can recoup credit or money from couriers if an issue regarding the product was their fault.- They can ship a replacement item to your customer.- They can deal with and respond to customer questions.

Essentially, they’re experts at maintaining and salvaging customer relationships in terms of returns.

Take back control

Whether you’re overwhelmed by the amount to think about, or you’re already planning your upgraded returns policy, taking note of these tips will not only improve your customer service rep, but it will also make life easier for you as an online store.

There’s so much competition out there, people, so constantly adapting and moving with the times will help you stay ahead of the game.

Why Energy and Net Zero Need to be a Board-Level Issue

By Anthony Ainsworth, Chief Operating Officer at npower Business Solutions

It is fair to say that when it comes to the energy market – we have experienced one of the most volatile periods of time in recent memory.  Businesses have struggled with the impact of rising wholesale energy costs – in our recent Business Energy Tracker report, 77% of large organisations said that energy was now their top business risk.

As a result, the report also showed that energy is now a board-level issue – 80% of our respondents said that the C-suite was concerned about the impact of wholesale energy prices, and we can only see this rising.

That is why it is so important that the whole board – including CEOs, CFOs, COOs and CSOs – supports any measures that can help their business reduce energy risk and, in turn, help facilitate both their organisations’ and the UK’s net zero ambitions.

However, we know that competition for capital investment is high, and that during challenging economic times, investing in net zero measures may be lower on the priority list. Indeed, our Business Energy Tracker showed that almost half of businesses think that the current energy crisis will harm net zero progress and the cost of funding the transition is a major concern, with a huge 93% saying they were very or a little concerned about the potential economic impact on their business. 

That said, there is still support – two thirds (67%) of businesses believe that net zero by 2050 is achievable, and nearly three quarters (72%) also say that they feel clear on the role they can play in the transition.  72% also believe that their business will benefit either in a number of ways, including greater resiliency through saving money and carbon, improved reputational and attracting the next generation of talent.

That is why having a CEO that supports net zero is so important, as embedding a proactive approach to sustainability will also help a business better manage energy risk.

So, what are the important steps senior leaders should take?

Understand your current sustainability status

To help assess the most suitable path to net zero for your organisation, it is important to have insight on how you are currently using energy and what impact your efficiency and sustainability projects are already having. That way, you can understand the best measures for the future, so you can plan an effective and sustainable energy strategy. Tools such as our new Net Zero Calculator – an easy-to-use interactive tool – can help your business develop a holistic net zero programme that delivers real and lasting benefits.

Maximise energy efficiency

It goes without saying that the less energy you use, the less you will pay. Energy efficiency was highlighted in the Business Energy Tracker as the top tactic organisations were taking to reduce risk – more than half (58%) said they were increasing energy efficiency – which rose significantly to 84% among those that spend more than £2 million on energy. Energy efficiency will also help you meet your net zero goals, so it’s a win-win all round.

Invest in on-site generation

You can also consider investing in sustainable on-site generation such as solar, wind or combined heat and power (CHP). This has multiple benefits, including lowering emissions and making your organisation less reliant on the grid. Again, this was a popular option in our report – more than a quarter (27%) of respondents said they are planning to invest in this measure to combat energy risk.

It’s easy to see why, not only does it provide businesses with a route to lower energy costs, increased self-sufficiency and reduced dependency on the grid, it also helps reduce emissions.

But, looking beyond this, it could also enable businesses to play a crucial role in decarbonising the UK’s energy system by reducing our dependence on imported natural gas, resulting in lower costs and greater energy security.

How? This is something our latest report – The Future of Energy: The critical role of business in a zero-carbon world – investigated.

The report uses new modelling to assess whether on-site generation technologies, including wind, solar photovoltaic (PV), battery storage, biogas and biomethane, could feasibly replace the electricity generated from imported natural gas by 2035. It was based on the projection from the Climate Change Committee’s Sixth Carbon Budget that, by that date, the UK would require 16 TWh of power from imported natural gas.

The findings show that businesses who invest in the right on-site generation technology now will reap significant benefits, by future-proofing their operations, cutting energy costs and reducing exposure to volatility in the marketplace. Over time, they will also help to reduce energy invoices for all businesses, by doing their bit to help balance the grid and increase energy security.

Take advantage of current incentives 

While the introduction of the Energy Bill Relief Scheme in October 2022 was undoubtedly welcomed, it is only a short-term measure and a longer-term, more sustainable approach to reducing energy demand is required. That said, businesses should still take advantage of the current measures available where they are eligible. For example, businesses can claim capital allowances when they buy energy efficient or low or zero-carbon technology for their business such as zero emissions vehicles.

Planning for 2023

Energy has become an urgent priority in recent months and is expected to remain high on the agenda for 2023. The big question is, what will happen after 1 April 2023 when the Energy Bill Relief Scheme is due to come to an end? In the Autumn Statement, the Government announced a new target to reduce energy demand from buildings and industry by 15% by 2030 and an additional £6bn of funding for energy efficiency. However, this is not due to come into effect until 2025 – two years away. We believe that businesses need more immediate help to implement measures that will both reduce energy demand and emissions, to enable them to invest with confidence.

Until then though, businesses should look at what they can control and drive change within their organisation from the top down.

9 Valuable Tips to Nail Your CEO Job Interview

9 Valuable Tips to Nail Your CEO Job Interview

The post of the CEO is the topmost one in an organisation and a highly esteemed one at that. Therefore, interviewing for such an important job might have you breaking more than a couple of sweats, and understandably so. Not anymore, though. The tips carefully researched and outlined here will make you feel super confident as you step in for a CEO job interview.

Write a compelling cover letter

Contrary to popular belief, the interview starts before you get to the venue. The information you’ve sent ahead, like your resume and cover letter, prepares the way for you and determines if you would have a favorable interview or not. While applying for the post, review several cover letter examples and craft a suitable one for the role. This is like the first glimpse into who you are; you must write it carefully and expertly to create a favorable impression in your interviewers’ minds.

Be authentic

Being yourself is one of the best tips you need to know before going for a job interview. Bringing your authentic self to the table always gives excellent results. Don’t prop up yourself or try to be who you’re not. The interviewers will see through you, so just present you as you are. Your genuineness portrays you as a true leader and shows you’re suitable for the role.

Prove your knowledge about the company

You’re applying for the post of head of the company so you must be well armed with detailed information about the company. This doesn’t mean you should just cram the vision and mission of the company; you must show your understanding of the mode of operation, where the company stands in the industry and what needs to be done to move it forward.

Show you’re a culture fit

Companies don’t joke with their culture; for every role, they’re looking for a culture fit. This is even more so in the case of the CEO role. You must understand and fit the company’s culture to a T. Talk about the culture and what you admire the most about it.

Talk about your career goals

A good leader is ambitious and has career plans. Although you’re applying for the CEO role, it shouldn’t be the peak of your career. Show your interviewers that you have career goals inside and beyond the organization. This portrays you as one who is forward-looking and proactive, which are great qualities of a leader.

Be confident

A CEO must display the right level of confidence. It is not only necessary for the job, it also influences the staff. Seeing their CEO leading confidently in times of adversity inspires them. Carry yourself with confidence and speak confidently during your interview. Even if you miss a few questions or don’t answer some questions as perfectly as you wish, don’t lose your cool.

Answer only questions you know

Be upfront and let your interviewers know if you don’t have an answer to specific questions. Struggling to answer every question is counterproductive. Be genuine and say you don’t know the answer. The interviewers will understand and you will retain your dignity instead of muddling up your words in an attempt to answer a question you don’t know. One of the attributes of a leader is knowing when to accept ignorance and ask for help.

Talk about your experience

If you’re interviewing for a CEO role, you must have previously worked in similar capacities. The interview is an opportunity for you to talk about your experience in past leadership roles. Doing this shows you have what it takes to lead the company. Go further to show how you will use the skills and experience gained to improve the company.

Show you’re a team player

Your ability to carry your team along is essential to your role as the CEO. So, let your audience know you’re one. Give examples of times you’ve employed this skill and the outcomes. When you show you have people power, you indicate that you would be able to lead the company successfully.

Go shine at your next CEO job interview

Nailing your next CEO job interview has become easier with tested and trusted tips. Tips like writing a compelling cover letter, being authentic, being confident, proving your knowledge about the company and showing you’re a good fit culturally give you an edge.

How To Save On Company Fuel Expenses All Year Round

How To Save On Company Fuel Expenses All Year Round
With the current crisis caused by unfortunate events in the world, gas prices have constantly been growing. For both individuals and companies, this expense is becoming less manageable. However, with the latest developments in technology, you can use a variety of methods to cut these expenses.

Many managements believe that fuel expenses are necessary and thus fuel shouldn’t be a place they should save. Indeed, fuel expenses are required, but they don’t have to be as significant as they are.

Self-driving trucks have reported a 45% drop in operational costs, and although you don’t necessarily need to rely on self-driving vehicles to cut your costs, you should consider them.

1. Using fuel management software

The latest cars usually have a screen that tells the driver what their range is and how much fuel they are spending. Such a simple method advancement led to many drivers becoming more mindful of their fuel usage and helped them optimise their routes.

An extension to this is the utilisation of fuel inventory management software. This software combines features that will give you an insight into your fuel usage and track your expenses.

While these platforms allow you to see fuel usage per unit of length, they also signalise when there is unusually high consumption, helping you notice issues with your car or your driving behaviour.

While many people already track their gas expenses, this type of software makes this process much easier. It aggregates your fuel receipts and helps you track your budget more effectively. This is especially useful when managing a transportation company.

2. Choosing the right vehicle for the task

You should always pick a vehicle for the task based on which will be the most effective and time-efficient. Obviously, smaller vehicles will usually consume less fuel and for example, utilizing trucks with engines of the right size might be as much as 100% more fuel-efficient than the previous choice.

Another idea is choosing vehicles that use electric motors. However, there are many factors that can indicate whether this is a good or a bad idea. While electric vehicles are more environmentally friendly and use less or no fuel at all, they aren’t capable of carrying too heavy loads.

If you don’t have multiple vehicles at your disposal, purchasing new vehicles are a major expense and it might not be the easiest solution to implement. But if you are capable of downsizing your vehicles you can significantly optimise your fuel expenses in the long term.

3. Optimising routes through geospatial analytics

You shouldn’t neglect the importance of optimising your routes and choosing well-maintained roads. Drivers can observe a 4.5% drop in fuel consumption if they choose the right roads to traverse. Another important thing is that poor roads will negatively impact vehicles.

Poor roads won’t necessarily damage vehicles, but the negative impacts can be noticed after a period of a few years. There are AI solutions that will help you find the best routes from your starting point to your destination.

This software will help you optimise your fuel consumption by delivering you the route with minimum traffic and low chances of being stuck in a traffic jam.

Besides helping you save fuel and time for your company, geospatial analytics software can help you protect lives by warning you of severe weather conditions.

With the proper software saving on fuel expenses is easy

Cutting down fuel expenses will help you save money that can be invested in other aspects and processes of your business. Thankfully, with advanced analytic software and AI, you can make, the most out of your capacities.

While it’s always good to save money, reducing fuel consumption also brings benefits to the environment. Companies that do their best to protect the environment from carbon emissions can always expect a positive reputation than the ones polluting the environment.

About Writer

Veljko is a student of information technology that paired his passion for technology with his writing skills. He enjoys researching topics such as robotics and programming and cultivates his knowledge in philosophy, classical literature, and fitness. Veljko’s favourite writers are Borislav Pekić, Miloš Crnjanski, and Ernest Hemingway.

Website: writerveljko.com

How CEOs And CIOs Can Failure-Proof Their ERP Project

By Adam Stead – Content Marketing, Global App Testing

Of the many business solutions an organisation could invest in, ERP is arguably amongst the most worthwhile. In fact, 95% of businesses reported that after using ERP they saw improvements such as reducing process times, increasing collaboration, and centralising enterprise data.

What is ERP?

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a type of software used by organisations to manage day-to-day business activities such as payroll, procurement, supply chain operations and project management. It collects and manages data from business activities. Systems and processes are shared across various divisions, with an effective ERP system enhancing an organisation’s efficiency. 

Five tips to failure-proof your ERP project

ERP has numerous benefits, but many companies come across hurdles when implementing an ERP solution.  Lack of preparation, ineffective communication with users, and lack of proper testing are just some of the reasons that your ERP project might not be having the outcome you desire. 

Read on for five tips to failure-proof your ERP project and avoid these crucial mistakes:

1. Plan and prepare

As with any major project, the implementation of ERP requires careful planning and preparation. Without it, the process will likely be unsuccessful and costly. 

Don’t fall into the trap of taking a top-down only approach. Ensure all members of your organisation are involved in the planning process. A good place to start is to involve the end user of the system. Ask them what processes are involved in their day-to-day tasks and if they’re currently able to perform them effectively. If not, how can this be improved? 

A recent survey found that just 25% of employees are using their ERP systems. If they had more input into what the system looked like, they just might be more likely to actually use it!

The planning process also needs to take into account wider business goals and desired outcomes. How does the ERP project fit into the business strategy? How will it help the business achieve targets and objectives going forward? 

 

2. Effective communication

Effective communication throughout the process of ERP implementation will be a key contributing factor to its success. Leaders should communicate with employees at all levels of the organisation to ensure everyone is clear on expectations, goals and accessibility. 

Everyone in the organisation should be clear on what’s happening, why it’s happening, and what the benefits will be for the company as a whole, but also them as an employee. Employees will be more likely to buy-in to something new (and change their old habits) if they’ve been involved in the process. 

 

3. Test your ERP 

Before launching (or re-launching) an ERP system, it’s essential to test its effectiveness. In a recent report, one of the top hurdles cited when implementing ERP was lack of effective testing. CEOs and CIOs should be confident that the ERP system is effective before launching it across the organisation, and rigorous testing is one way to increase that confidence. 

Not sure where to start? Look at this Global App Testing automated testing guide for everything there is to know about automated software testing. 

 

4. Provide support for ERP users

A well thought out and effective onboarding and training programme can be the difference between a successful ERP launch and an unsuccessful one. 

Users need to know how to use the ERP system, and need support when they inevitably come across problems. You could even consider using a Digital Adoption Platform to provide users with guidance such as walk-through videos, in-app tips and customised training. 

 

5. Evaluate and adapt 

Fairly quickly after ERP implementation, highlight successes and difficulties in order to evaluate and adapt where necessary. 

An effective ERP project will be a huge investment for the organisation, and as a CEO or CIO you’ll want to ensure you’re seeing a return on investment. Don’t just assume that after planning, testing and launching ERP that everything will run smoothly. 

ERP software will also need to adapt to changing business needs or market trends. For example, you may need to consider what to do in case of a recession. Early and regular evaluation will ensure ERP is fit for purpose and ROI is high. 

How will you failure-proof your ERP project?

You know the benefits that effective ERP software can deliver to your organisation and now you can take five key steps to ensuring success. 

If you ensure adequate planning, effective communication, rigorous testing, appropriate support and regular opportunities to evaluate, you’re sure to failure-proof your ERP project. 

7 Ways You Can Ensure the Work Christmas Party Goes to Plan

By Employment Hero’s Chief People Officer, Alex Hattingh

It’s that time of year when workplace Christmas parties are in the calendar and everyone’s planning their outfit. The office is buzzing with anticipation and the smell of festivities is in the air, but how can you ensure that your work Christmas party goes to plan? Christmas parties are a great opportunity to celebrate the year that was and show appreciation for your teams’ hard work and commitment.

So if the venue is booked and numbers are finalised, there are a few things to remember to ensure that your team stays safe at the Christmas party. As an employer, you have a duty of care and this extends to the Christmas party, so read on as we share 7 ways you can ensure your work Christmas party goes to plan:

On the calendar invite, include what is expected of your teams’ behaviour

When the Christmas party calendar invites land in your teams’ inbox, it’s important to include the expectations of their behaviour. It’s a gentle reminder to let your team know that it is still a work function, and they should be on their best behaviour. With this being said, you never want to stifle a Christmas party celebration by being the HR fun Police, remember to treat your team as trusted adults.

Remind your team of your workplace policies including social media, drugs, alcohol, bullying and harassment

Today, any form of misconduct such as bullying, sexual harassment, violence or discrimination in the workplace is not tolerated. In the week leading up to your Christmas party, remind your team that they still apply at the Christmas party. As an employer, it’s important you know your workplace policies, and have a prepared plan of action if something were to occur. We’ve all heard the stories of when things go wrong at the work Christmas party, so having these policies in place can help you stay protected.

Organise adequate food for attendees

This one seems like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to get caught and forget about having enough food. Christmas parties are a great time to eat, drink and be merry, but don’t forget the food! By having adequate food available to your team, you’ll also be able to give everyone a break from drinking. By making sure food is covered for the entire night, you might have a few less dramas. When it comes to organising the catering, ask your team to notify you of any dietary requirements. You should also ensure there’s different vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options available.

Set clear starting and finishing times

This one is simple but necessary. When you notify your team of the Christmas party, it’s important to specify an end time. The finishing time allows employees to organise transport home and avoids any confusion. Just think, wouldn’t you find it frustrating if you organised your Christmas party and everyone left one hour in because they weren’t aware it was booked for four hours? If you add an end time, people will be more likely to stick around and mingle with your team. This leads to improved team morale and engagement – win! For those that might want to stick around, why not organise an after-party? This is a good chance for unofficial team bonding.

Let your team know there will be non-alcoholic drinks available

By letting your team know of the different drink options available, those who aren’t drinking will still feel included. You should offer options for those who don’t drink alcohol or are driving such as juice, soft drinks or mocktails. You should also ensure that that there is water readily available around the venue.

If the venue is far away from the office, organise transport to get there and back

If your Christmas party venue is located more than a walk away from the office, we suggest booking transport. A bus to and from the location reduces stress for the entire team and means that everyone can enjoy themselves. It also greatly reduces the risk of anyone getting behind the wheel after a night of celebrating.

Let your team know you encourage them to have fun, but not have any regrets

Too often, we hear of drama happening at the work Christmas party, so it’s important to remind your team not to do anything they’ll regret. Sore heads and regrets are something that you don’t want your team to be feeling the day after. Even worse, feeling embarrassed walking into work on Monday from something they did in the late hours of the Christmas party! if you feel you may fall into that bucket, ask a friend to keep an eye on you to help you out if you have had too much to drink.

Tips To Avoid Clutter in Your Office

Tips To Avoid Clutter in Your Office

Clutter can be a huge distraction, and it can make you feel overwhelmed. If you’re struggling to focus at work or if your office is feeling a bit too cramped, it might be time to take some steps to avoid clutter. In this blog post, we will discuss some tips that will help you keep your office organized and free of clutter!

How Does Clutter Affect Your Office?

Clutter can have a negative effect on your productivity, morale, and stress levels. Let us explore these negative impacts in more detail below:

Decreased Productivity

One of the most common ways that clutter can affect your office is by reducing productivity. Clutter creates visual distraction and noise, which can make it difficult to focus on the task at hand. Additionally, clutter can create physical barriers, making it hard to move around your space and reach important items quickly.

Increased Stress Levels

Clutter also has a direct effect on your stress levels. When your space is cluttered and disorganised, it can be difficult to think clearly and make decisions. In addition, seeing clutter around you constantly can cause anxiety and a feeling of being overwhelmed.

Decreased Morale

The physical environment in which you work has an effect on your morale. When the office feels cluttered and chaotic, it can be difficult to feel inspired and motivated. Having a clean, organised space gives you the opportunity to create an environment that is conducive to productivity and creativity.

Tips To Avoid Clutter in Your Office

It’s very important to do what you can to avoid clutter in your office space. Clutter can be distracting and make it difficult to stay organised and productive. Here are some tips to help you avoid clutter in your office:

Create a Daily Filing System

One of the best ways to avoid clutter in your office is to have a daily filing system. Make sure you create a filing system that’s easy for you to use and that can accommodate all of the paperwork that comes into your office on a regular basis.

You can invest in compactus shelving so that you’ll have plenty of space to store all your paperwork. This type of shelving is also great for storing office supplies, books, and other items so that you don’t have them taking up room on top of desks or tables.

Get Rid of Unnecessary Items

Go through your office periodically and get rid of any items that are not essential. This includes old paperwork, books, and office supplies that you no longer need or use. You can also consider donating items that are still in good condition but aren’t being used anymore. This way, you’ll have more room in your office and less clutter.

Keep Only What You Need

When adding new items to your office, make sure they are essential items that you will use on a regular basis. Avoid bringing in any unnecessary items that might just end up causing more clutter. Aim to only keep the essentials in your office, and anything else can be stored in another space or donated.

Organise Your Space

Make sure you have an organised setup in your office. Have a designated place for everything, and make sure all items are labelled so that it’s easy to find things when you need them. This will help reduce the amount of clutter and make your office space more efficient and productive.

Set Up a Regular Cleaning Schedule

It’s important to set up a regular cleaning schedule for your office so that it doesn’t become too cluttered. You can set aside a few hours each week or month to go through your office and tidy up any messes that have built up.

Make it a habit to periodically go through your office and get rid of any items that are no longer needed. This will help keep your office space neat and organised, which will make it much easier to stay productive.

Don’t Let Clutter Build Up

Finally, make sure you don’t let clutter build up in your office. As soon as something comes into your office, put it away immediately or file it in its designated spot. This will help keep your office from becoming overwhelmed with items and will make it easier to stay organised and productive.

Following these tips can help you avoid clutter in your office and create a more efficient workspace. With a little effort, you can keep your office tidy and organised so that you can stay productive and reach your goals.

Bottom Line

Clutter can be an issue if left unchecked in any office. By implementing the tips outlined above, you will have taken steps to keep your work area tidy and organised. Take some time to go through your workspace every few days and discard or donate any unnecessary items. This way, you’ll have a system in place to help keep clutter to a minimum. As a result, you will be able to focus on your work and stay productive.

How to Decide When it is Time for You to Move Your Business into a New Office

How to Decide When it is Time for You to Move Your Business into a New Office

If you have been long running your business, its needs and objectives could have changed substantially in that time, potentially rendering the organisation’s current office rather less useful for you than it once was.

Still, you might be indecisive about whether or not to shift to a new office — in which case, the following steps could help.

Assess your current office’s location

Do employees of your company often complain about how long it takes them to travel to its office or find a suitable parking space nearby? Similarly, do clients attempting to meet you at this office often phone you to ask where exactly it is?

These are both signs that the current location of your company’s operations could be hampering their success — for example, by frustrating employees before they even start work for the day, or inflicting damage to your brand’s reputation in clients’ eyes. 

Consider how efficiently your employees use their work time 

Now that you think about it, you could realise that many of these workers spend a disconcertingly large amount of that time on tasks that actually hamper workflows.

Such tasks could include setting up computers instead of working on them. It could also be the case that, towards the end of each workday, these people need to clean their own work areas because there aren’t dedicated cleaners around to fulfil this responsibility instead.

Think about how well you are budgeting 

Right now, if you are based in a traditional office, you are probably sourcing lots of services — like internet connectivity and telephony plans — separately rather than all as part of one package.

However, it would be a different situation if you switched to a serviced office. The Startups. describes this as “a workspace which comes ready-furnished, with internet and phone lines pre-connected”.

You could therefore find that many serviced offices would be easier for you to budget for compared to the office your organisation currently occupies.

Look at what size workspace you currently have  

Naturally, you need your company’s office to be large enough to comfortably accommodate all of your employees, or at least those not working from home as a matter of routine.

However, if this office is too large, there might be the potential for you to generate impressive financial savings just by moving into a new office that is smaller — since, the smaller an office is, the less you could end up needing to pay for it as well.

Take account of the wider economic outlook 

Of course, you will want your business to keep growing over the long term, but you just can’t be certain how the local or national economic picture could unfold in that time.

The Small Business website explains: “If you’re thinking of taking on extra employees in the coming months, or even years, then you’re going to want to find somewhere flexible.” 

That way, if your business is indeed hit by economic factors beyond your control, you will have the option of downscaling your workplace to keep your organisation financially lean.

People Power!

In today’s world, organisations need to act with purpose and with high impact as much as possible. Erika Giorgana is Humand CEO & Founder, as well as a passionate believer in the power of people and the impact they can have on businesses. Named CEO of the Year, 2022 – London, the United Kingdom, by the team at CEO Monthly, we thought it was the right time to catch up with Erika to uncover more.

Founded just five years ago, Humand had already managed to establish itself as a leading player, especially when companies are looking for people who can revolutionise the way they work. Businesses will need to find ways of becoming simpler, faster, and more flexible, and achieving this will require the right people in the right positions. Big companies struggle because they cannot always provide a boutique service – one perfectly matched to the needs of the business. That’s where Humand thrives.

Humand offers a way of achieving large-scale business transformation, leveraging digitalisation and agility to help organisations from every industry and of any size to reconfigure their operating models. For them, however, it’s not the technology that is most important to achieving success. It’s the people. That’s the secret that has allowed its CEO & Founder, Erika Giorgana, to thrive in an immensely competitive sector.

Erika has overseen growth at a tremendous rate whilst at Humand, building on her own deep experience at the frontline of organisational agility. Her strength of purpose has seen her partner up with many passionate leaders, all of whom are thinking towards the future of what business can and will be. “We are consultants, but we have a strong ‘why’, behind everything that we do,” Erika explains. “Our Purpose is to mobilize organizations into Purposeful and High-Impact Human systems. At Humand, “we sell what we do.”

Since opening the company’s doors, Erika has managed to build an incredible team of experts around her who not only share her dream, but have her passion for the field. “We collaborate, experiment, innovate, and deliver value at speed,” she says with a smile. “We are not just advisors – we work hand in hand with our client’s transformation teams to make what they believe is almost impossible, possible.”

Erika doesn’t just offer empty words when it comes to growth. She applies the same techniques to her clients as she does to her own company. Whilst the big firms such as McKinsey, BCG, and Bain bring their own reputations and brand recognition to the table, she has immense experience on her side, not just on how to support these businesses, but on how to support her own staff.

These thoughts have very much guided her approach to running her own business. “I believe top-down leadership is outdated, and, more importantly, counterproductive,” she tells us. “Unfortunately, there are still too many organisations and leaders that haven’t realised that by focusing too much on profit and end goals, and not on people, whether it’s employees or consumers, they are making it more difficult to achieve their own desired outcomes.”

In Erika’s experience, leadership has to change in order to ensure that businesses are able to thrive in an ever-changing world. “A leader’s main responsibility is to help people feel purposeful, motivated, and energised so they can bring their best selves to work,” she tells us. “It is not easy to achieve this. It takes hard work and new mindset. Every day I try to do my best to be a servant leader, to be humble and to do everything that is in my hands to help the people from my team grow as human beings, providing tangible and emotional support as they do so.”

As a result, Humand has been able to develop a team atmosphere where anyone and everyone feels welcome to contribute to the group. Instead of everyone being siloed into specific tasks, the company structure builds on each person’s strengths and accepts their weaknesses. “At Humand, we’ve realised that we can’t transform businesses and provide a world class experience without talented and passionate people,” Erika explains. “Once we find the best talent, we make sure we give them the freedom and foundation to shine at their brightest.”

This structure has allowed the team to make quicker decisions better than many other consultancies. There are no hierarchies, with the business built around multiple empowered teams. Each is responsible for specific clients, with the ability to set their own objectives, key results and backlog. These small but powerful teams are multidisciplinary, meaning that a mix of skills is always on hand. Working in this agile fashion has allowed Humand to support clients through varying challenges with a consistent degree of success. “This, I believe, creates an atmosphere that encourages everyone to be themselves and be at their best,” Erika tells us. The results certainly speak to this sterling effort.

The challenge for Erika, however, remains finding top talent to support her and the team she has been proud to build. “For us finding the right skills is super important, but not everything,” she explains. “We also need people who match our values, vision, and, most importantly, our purpose. If there’s anything the last few years has taught us is, it’s that skills are important, but people who share your vision and are aligned to your purpose can not only grow within the organisation but grow the organisation. So, finding the combination of the two is our biggest challenge.”

Whilst it’s clear that people are at the heart of Humand, technology has an increasingly important role to play. “During the past three years, at Humand, we have been experimenting with more technology-heavy offerings,” Erika tells us. “One of our most important has been the development of an online tool that allows our customers make their agile people ecosystem come to life. Our platform helps companies create agile HR processes and build responsive teams through a skill-based approach.” Development of this exciting idea is still ongoing, with 2023 seeing the launch of a new and improved version of this platform. For Erika, her team, and her clients, it’s certain to be a gamechanger!

Looking forward, Erika plans to continue on a path of pushing into bold new territory and exploring brave new ways of working. “If I assume that my experience of the last 16 years is what’s going to help me be successful in the next few, I would be very wrong!” she laughs. “I know that what got me here will not necessarily get me there. So, my plans for the future are basically focused on listening to our clients’ needs, and continuing to innovate and learn new skills.”

For business enquiries, contact Erika Giorgana – Humand CEO & Founder/ from Humand via email –  [email protected] or on their website – www.humand.com

How To Promote and Ensure Physical Store Success Before Launch As a CEO

How To Promote and Ensure Physical Store Success Before Launch As a CEO

The success of a physical retail store is not just dependent on the quality of its products or services. It also depends on its management and marketing.

Generally, promoting a business is crucial since the success or failure of any business will rely heavily on how well it manages to attract steady customers.

There are many ways the management of such an undertaking will ensure the success of their physical store before launch.

In this article, we will explain some of the best practices for promoting your physical retail outlet before its launching to achieve optimum success for the business.

The importance of promotion in physical store launch

Publicity is primary in launching a physical store. As the owner or a business leader, you need to ensure that your store is well-promoted before it opens its doors to the public.

Promotion is an essential element to consider when selling your services or products to a consumer. The business is sure of long-term success as long as the strategy is well thought out and planned.

Still, what exactly is it about a promotion that makes it so important to your goal of a successful retail store launch?

It is crucial to the development of a unique brand

When it comes to launching a new retail brand, promotion is necessary. Creating a unique brand identity and using strategic marketing and advertising techniques will build excitement and anticipation for your new store.

With a well-executed promotional campaign, you will generate interest in the new brand, build an initial customer base, and separate yourself from your competition in the retail landscape.

It places your store on the map

The effect of this strategy on your brand is how it creates awareness around your retail store, especially by using media, which may include billboards and newspapers.

This gives your store a presence in the minds of your target customers, increasing inquiries about your retail store and its services.

It helps you reach a wider audience

Effective promotions make your customers more likely to spread the word about your retail store.

When they use your promotional notepads during work meetings or serve guests with your store’s promotional mug, they get word of your business without extra costs!

Launching a retail store requires promotion. When discussing its usefulness in creating unique brand identities, building brand awareness, and reaching a broader audience, we see the distinctive role promotions play.

However, as awesome as the idea of promotion is, there are other means to ensure success with retail store launches.

By implementing well-planned strategies, you will help your business achieve success in the long term.

Let’s see other best practices that will guarantee a successful retail store launch.

Five steps to package your store for success before launch

Learn more about your business before creating your business plan

Defining your goals is the first step to packaging your store for success. What do you hope to achieve with your store? With a clear plan, measuring your success and determining the steps you need to take to guarantee success will be easier.

You’ll need to research and understand how your business model operates. You also have the option of learning from other similar brands to get a clearer understanding of how the business works.

For example, if you plan to open a boutique store, you’ll need to learn from other boutique stores. Click here to learn more about how to start your boutique business.

Create a brand name

Creating a brand name for your retail store is a necessary process. It will help you take your business to the next level and give you a competitive advantage over other similar stores.

To create a brand name, you need to know what the name should be and what makes it unique. Here are some things to consider:

Target audience: Who will shop at your store? What are their needs? What are their values? Make sure your name targets this audience.

Market analysis: Is there already a store in the same category that has similar products or services? If so, what makes yours unique? If not, how do you differentiate yourself from competitors?

Brand strategy: Do you want to brand yourself as an upscale clothing boutique or a more casual one? Please clarify that you’re targeting people who love fashion but don’t want fussy clothes with high prices.

Find the right location with geospatial data platforms

Location is everything with retail stores. The right location will help you maximize your sales and minimize the risk of opening your doors for the first time. Collecting data on past visitors to your competitors’ locations will determine what type of customers are coming into your area.

Geographic information systems (GIS) are powerful tools that help you find the best retail locations.

Geospatial data platforms provide databases and information of all kinds of data, including real estate information, demographics, and more. Hence, retailers can quickly locate specific areas on maps and use them as reference points for future locations.

Research your competition

This is another important step to consider when launching a store. You need to know what they offer and how they compare to your store.

You should also check their social media presence to see if they have sponsored posts or special offers.

Once you have some basic information about the competition, you will use it to help improve your store.

For example, rethink your offerings if you notice that there are many locations nearby, and all of them sell similar products. Also, if one of your competitors offers free shipping on certain items, this may be an opportunity for you to offer free shipping.

Ensure a personalised experience for your customers

The retail industry is competitive. Most store owners aim to stand out in the crowd. A possible way to impress your customers and gain their loyalty is to provide a great customer experience through personalisation.

Customers expect a certain personalization from their favourite brands and retailers. Customer experience is critical as consumers get familiar with the products, services, and businesses they buy from.

They want to know more about what they’re buying, where it comes from, and how it will fit into their lives.

Customers want to feel like they’re getting the most out of their retail experience—even if it’s just a store visit.

Basic things to consider when starting a physical retail store

The target market

Your target market is the members of a demographic that your retail store needs to appeal to. For example, you plan to open a boutique that sells kids’ wear and school items. It is only natural‌ that your target demographic would include parents of young kids. It is essential to understand your target market before launching since the members of this demographic determine the number of sales for your business.

Capital required

Capital refers to all the financial assets and money you will require to start a business.

Your capital affects the quality of goods and services you will provide your customers. When you provide substandard services due to a low budget, you leave your customers unsatisfied, which is unhealthy for your store. As a new CEO, you have the option of partnering with other individuals to raise more capital.

Competition

We’ve mentioned competition and its importance to the successful launch of retail businesses. It’s almost only possible to thrive in any market by learning about your competition and their actions.

Unless your store location grants you a monopoly, surviving the market will only be possible with a grand strategy.

Store location

Where you decide to open your retail store will have a significant impact on the public’s knowledge of your presence. Picking any location that doesn’t consider factors like foot traffic and parking spots will impede the business’s potential to grow and succeed.

Setting up your store before launching is fundamental

In a world where online shopping is increasingly prevalent, it’s easy to forget the importance of physical retail stores. However, physical stores still play a vital role in our lives and the economy.

Setting up a physical store is no small business. With the capital and mental investment it costs, business managers must go out of their way to ensure their stores successfully launch.

Creating publicity around your brand is an excellent method to ensure the success of your store launch. This article equips store owners with the practices they need to ensure the successful launching of their physical stores.

Adapt Or Die

In an ever-changing world, businesses need to adapt quickly to survive. Agile working is crucial to this, and the team at Adventures with Agile know this better than anyone. Under the leadership of Founder and CEO Simon Powers, the firm has achieved amazing success. Named CEO of the Year, 2022 – United Kingdom, London in CEO Monthly, we caught up with Simon to find out more about what drives him forward, and what has kept him and his team at the forefront of the agile revolution.

When things go wrong, it’s easy to assume that other people are to blame. This is especially true of those in leadership positions. These businesses are often run by people who struggle to adapt to changing circumstances. In the modern world, change is not only the only constant, but happening at an increasingly fast rate. Change happens at the top, no matter how big the organisation, and the team at Adventures with Agile are ideally equipped to bring that change to life.

For corporates, governments, charities, and other large entities around the world, this small but mighty firm has managed to establish itself as a pioneer in the world of agile working. Over the years, the team have specialised in building safe spaces for growth, innovation and risk management. While many leaders believe that agile is for software, it is very much a mindset that involves an entire business. There are enormous benefits that can come from this way of working if leaders are willing to take the first step into uncertainty.

Guiding people to run businesses better is something that Simon Powers feels passionately about. “I had spent many years working in organisations and as a freelancer, going in and doing work,” he tells us, but after six months, I’d lost enthusiasm for the job. It was always the same old problems. I started questioning myself: “Why did I start moving jobs every six months and so on? Is it me? Is it the people? Is it the technology? I loved them all.”

For Simon, the world of work was one which was inherently static and inflexible. Once established and successful, many businesses don’t change because they don’t see the need to. “It occurred to me that it was the culture of most organisations that are so dead,” he explains. “We come into the office with a quarter of ourselves. No wonder I wasn’t happy because I like to bring my full self to whatever I do, and I had to leave half of that at home. I had a choice. Either put up and shut up, quit work altogether, or do something about it. Change the world of work, change the culture of our organisations.”

Change is not easy in any situation, but it was a new challenge which Simon brought his full self to. Uncertain if he was the only one, he organised a business leaders’ meetup, with a guest speaker who would talk about culture and work. Eighty people turned up. “I realised that everyone feels like this,” he says with a smile. “So many people have wanted to make a difference to their way of working. I thought I was alone, but loads of them were interested.”

From these humble beginnings, the meetups continued. They soon grew from a passion project into the thriving success that is Adventures with Agile. The business offers impressive enterprise and team coaching to executive teams and HR departments. Over the years the team have managed to transform how firms operate. “It’s not about people doing a good job,” Simon tells us. “A good job can be the wrong job to do. It’s about finding new ways to adapt to new situations.”

Since founding the business in 2013, Simon and his team have had to learn and adapt quickly. Whilst many competitors focus on implementing standard processes and frameworks, Adventures with Agile has always prioritised staff capability. “It seemed to me that there is one common element in every organisation, and that is people,” Simon tells us. “Our values come from a deep understanding of how people face, embrace, or reject change. Our models and approach are based on a deep respect for people, and a belief that most people want to do the right thing, work hard, and create great products, services, and experiences”

The successful expansion of Adventures with Agile has been a direct result of this approach. “Enabling and empowering people has always worked in an organisation’s favour,” Simon observes, “and when coupled with our belief of thinking big and starting small and incrementally, we have been able to grow ourselves and our clients progressively whilst keeping risk and disruption low.”

Perhaps one of the keys to the team’s success is the way in which they view themselves as partners as opposed to purely consultants. If a business is not interested in change, then Adventures with Agile will not work with them. “We have been able to grow a strong loyal culture across our network through authenticity and inclusion and have been able to keep adapting without burning out through our use of our own models and approaches,” Simon tells us.

This commitment to authenticity not only keeps the team grounded, but has allowed Simon and his team to develop a tremendous reputation within the industry at large. Simon’s team haven’t had the need to engage in traditional sales activities. Instead potential clients approach the team, having heard about them through others. “Our business is about people and that means relationships are everything,” Simon says. “This starts from the first interaction with our clients and usually lasts many years. We attract the right clients who resonate with our approach as they read our thought leadership about organisational change and want us to create that capability inside their own organisations.” Because one of the core aspects of agile is creating the space to make that change, it’s easy to see why many company leaders struggle to adapt to the challenges the team present.

Like many businesses, Adventures with Agile had to change dramatically as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Our coaching and training were all in-person,” Simon explains. “Overnight, we lost all our sales.” With a full staff to maintain, Simon and the Adventures with Agile team did what they do best. They adapted. They changed. And they did it fast. They were the first organisation in their sector to offer courses publicly online, a mere six weeks after the announcement came through. “I attribute this incredible turn around to our company culture and our ability to enact the agile ways of working that we help our clients with,” Simon says, proudly.

The continued success of Adventures with Agile has driven massive changes in how the team operates. It has also empowered the team to make new and exciting decisions. “The most significant shift for us in the next twelve months though will be the formation of a new organisation to allow our existing AWA global brand to focus on training,” Simon explains. “The new organisation will focus on supplying highly trained coaches to work inside of organisations to build their change and coaching capability. Unlike the larger consultancies we are not offering to do the change for our clients, we are instead helping them build internal capability so they can make the changes they need themselves.”

For Simon, therefore, the future is bright indeed. “As we grow, I am learning more about myself and how I conduct business,” he tells us. “I love learning for learning’s sake and each year I like to take on a new personal challenge to learn something new.” He has just released his book, “Change”, a guide to enterprise agile coaching. Looking forward, he’s planning to spend his time writing more articles and white papers around human-led change. As the world continues to adapt in the post-pandemic world, it’s clear that the guidance of people like Simon is going to be crucial.

“T we are successful is because we do what we teach others,” Simon says as we round off our interview. “We eat our own cake. By embodying what we teach we have not only proven our approach works for our clients, we have proven it works through our own company.” For Simon, agile isn’t just an approach which applies to business. It’s one which will begin to shape the world in which we live. “Nobody knows what the future will hold. There’s enormous ambiguity – things aren’t clear and still have to navigate through. There’s no perfect route, but agility gives a way to include everyone as far as possible.” We can’t wait to see more of the world he hopes to create come to life.

For business enquiries, contact Simon Powers Adventures with Agile via email – [email protected] or on their website www.adventureswithagile.com

3 Ways Video Advertising Can Broaden Exposure For Your Business

3 Ways Video Advertising Can Broaden Exposure For Your Business

Videos are one of the most versatile and accessible marketing tools today

83% of businesses use video content marketing, and they believe it gives them good ROI. There is a solid reason underlying this stat. Well, one of the most important reasons is accessibility. Undoubtedly, mobile users are increasing daily, and they prefer content to be accessible than ever. This need makes video marketing a solid marketing strategy.

If you are a startup or an established business and video marketing is still uncharted territory for you, read on. This article talks about three ways video advertising can broaden your business exposure. Let’s get to it.

Google recognises videos

Every business wants its customers to look for their brands online. Optimisation comes into the picture here as it plays a crucial role in making your brand Google-recognizable. Search engines prefer videos against written content as they consider it quality content. Thus, creating videos is interesting for your users and a fantastic way to attract backlinks.

However, get an SEO expert to optimise your video to be on the top Google search results. Below mentioned are a few ways to help your video be SEO-optimised.

Automatically generate subtitles and add them to the video Adding subtitles is a great way to boost the SEO of your video. You can automatically generate subtitles using a subtitle generator tool. You need to upload your video file and access your subtitles within a few minutes and publish.

Create a unique thumbnail Viewers look at the thumbnail before heading toward watching the video. Ensure you design an eye-catching thumbnail.

Create an engaging video title and description Along with adding subtitles to the video, include relevant keywords and key phrases in your video’s title and description. Make it exciting and optimized.

Reaches a wider audience

Reaching a wider audience is a stepping stone to driving more traffic.

Yes, businesses aim to drive more and more traffic to their website. Achieving this, however, is only possible when your product/service reaches more and more people. Videos are an efficient way to do so.

There’s a reason YouTube gets five billion views a day!

Users come to such platforms from different backgrounds, demographics, ethnicity, locations, etc. Platforms offering video content are the only way to reach this broader and more diverse audience.

If you decide to incorporate video marketing, keep the following tips in mind.

Keep it genuine Gone are the days when you needed to spend a hefty amount on video production. Yes, the video quality matters; however, keeping it real matters more.

Keep it short Shorter the video, the higher the engagement. Ensure your videos are sharp and crisp to make them more shareable.

Use closed captions About 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound. Ensure you include closed captions in your videos so that they are optimized for the disabled audience.

Showcases your business effectively

Only when you show off your business effectively can you broaden it.

Videos are a great way to showcase your products as they take minimal attention from a user. While written content is also an effective marketing tool, it often takes a while to get to the point.

97% of marketers state that videos help users better understand the businesses products and services. A video you post about your product or service is a teaching device to your audience. A well-thought video is also likely to be more shareable on social media platforms.

Ensure you create videos of high quality to keep attracting new users while retaining your already existing customer base. It will also lead to more conversion rates, eventually, more sales. Make sure to catch the user’s attention in the first few seconds of the video.

It’s time to incorporate video advertising

The article discusses ways video advertising will help you expand your business and reach a global audience. However, if videos are not a part of your current marketing strategy, doing so could be a little daunting. After all, creating a video is about creatively showcasing your business in a way that emotionally connects with potential customers.

If you are a small business, start by analysing your competitors and examining how you can produce videos at a minimal cost. While if you are an established business, reach out to your sales team to come up with creative video ideas. Ensure you also dive into different aspects of video marketing.

Keep ideating and keep creating. Good luck!

10 Online Money Management Strategies for eCommerce

10 Online Money Management Strategies for eCommerce

More than 260 million people will buy from eCommerce websites by 2026. The future of retail belongs to eCommerce platforms, and we’ll see more online-offline hybrid stores in the coming years. The reasons behind this phenomenon are apparent:

  • It’s easier to buy from eCommerce stores
  • The range of options is vast
  • Availability of high and low-end products on the same platform

Despite a booming eCommerce market, many eCommerce businesses fail to succeed. The success rate in the eCommerce market is less than 20%. Most of these businesses fail because they’re poor with money management.

10 Online Money Management Strategies For eCommerce

Among other things that eCommerce CEOs require to succeed in this space, money management is at the core, and eCommerce websites are no exception. Without cash flow and proper money management, your inventory will dry up, your business will be in debt, and you’d be forced to shut it down if no miracle happens.

To succeed, however, is no secret. Putting into play effective eCommerce marketing strategies that place money management at the forefront is the fastest path to becoming cash-rich and profitable. Here are ten money management tips that all eCommerce businesses can follow to succeed.

Keep Enough Inventory To Match Demands

How will you sell products and make profits if you don’t have anything to sell in the first place?

Many businesses make the mistake of cutting expenses by not keeping enough inventory. Making money and converting customers is definitely exciting, but then maintaining an inventory is crucial to provide a great experience to the customers.

Having 12 weeks of inventory is the safest approach. If 12 weeks is too much, try to keep at least 8 weeks of inventory. Having sufficient inventory allows you to meet demand when there’s a spike. It’s the only way to maximize profits when the market presents you with the right opportunity.

Restocking inventory on short notice is expensive, if not impossible. Prevent difficult business situations by keeping your inventory ready to meet any surge in demand. If time is a concern, and you have the money to outsource, consider hiring third-party eCommerce fulfillment services.

Keep KYC (Know your Customer) And Other Regulations In Mind

Various governments and regulatory bodies mandate Know Your Client banking (KYC) and other identity verification measures. If your business is found breaching any of these regulations, it’ll be charged a hefty fine.

Billions of dollars go into fines and penalty payments every year. Even if your eCommerce store is fined a small percentage of its net revenue, it’ll have serious ramifications on the financial health of your business.

eCommerce stores use SaaS tools to stay compliant with regulations and rules. Alternatively, they can work with a compliance specialist. However, adding a technology layer to compliance management is necessary to keep up with the ever-evolving regulations.

Neglecting regulations and compliance is a mistake that many small businesses make. Founders and entrepreneurs should dedicate their time to understanding different regulations and what they entail.

Evaluate Business Credit And Funding Options

Many eCommerce platforms raise funds with the expectation of taking the business to the next level. Raising funds isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. As long as your business is bootstrapped, you’ve absolute control over it. With diluted ownership, you’ve to take into account what every stakeholder has to say.

Understanding when to use funding as a debt tool is essential for business success. It’s advisable to have a business credit card for SMEs for times when you need quick cash. Shortage of working capital necessitates strategic and well-planned debt.

It’s important that your business doesn’t exclusively rely on external funding. It should be an expansion move, not a sustenance move. Every business can benefit from strategic funding, but mindlessly raising money won’t provide the benefits you’d expect it to.

Factor In Recurring Annual Costs

A structured budget is the backbone of financial health in any business. While creating a budget for your eCommerce business, always remember to account for recurring costs. It includes not just recurring monthly expenses, but also recurring yearly costs.

Let’s assume that after paying your regular monthly expenses, you have $2,000 in working capital each month. This money might be readily moved to be used for marketing, staff bonuses, new product inventories, or just about anything else. However, if you spend all of that money and then have to pay a $1,200 yearly subscription for your SEO tools, you’ll be in trouble.

Keep these seasonal and/or annual expenses in mind when budgeting for expenses and savings. It demands meticulous record-keeping, but the results are worth the effort.

Aim For A Steady Gross Margin

If your gross margins are fluctuating month on month, you’re making some mistakes either in accounting or in pricing. A steady gross margin is a sign of a healthy and functional business. Keep your gross margins consistent if you want to make steady and incremental profits over the long run.

Fluctuations in gross margin are more common when you are offering heavy discounts on your products. It’s good to offer discounts to boost sales, but keep the larger picture in mind.

Will the buyers continue to buy your products once you lift the discount?

If they don’t, what impact will it have on your gross margins?

Strategise your pricing keeping gross margins in mind. At the same time, make sure there are no accounting mistakes.

Work On Shipping Costs

Spending too much money on shipping is equivalent to pouring money down the drain.

Shipping costs are often overinflated, and they can start draining your profit margins. All eCommerce businesses struggle with shipping, but the successful ones eventually crack the code.

When searching for an eCommerce platform, you must start considering delivery costs. Numerous platforms feature a wide range of partners with apps that assist entrepreneurs in discovering the most affordable shipping solutions. Some might even provide options for cheap shipping. Use these options to bring down shipping costs, and you’ll see your profits skyrocketing.

It can take some time to find the right shipping partner. Don’t rush through it and settle for a shipping partner who is charging you more than you can afford.

Don’t Overspend On Marketing

eCommerce businesses make the mistake of assuming that spending a lot of money on marketing will solve all their problems. Nothing can be farther from the truth. All your marketing spending is going to waste unless you have great products and services.

Instead, focus on cost-effective marketing channels. For example, you don’t need to run paid ads if your organic content marketing is on spot. It’ll surely take more time to show results, but in the long term, the Return on Investment (ROI) would be insane.

When it comes to marketing, focus on low-hanging fruits before aiming for the stars. Spend a reasonable amount on marketing, but never overspend. Continuously evaluate and measure the success of your marketing campaigns. If something isn’t working, discard it and look for something else.

Hold Sufficient Cash

What’s the difference between businesses that crashed during Covid-19 and those that survived? Businesses that had enough cash could take the hit and still keep going. But if a business didn’t have any cash to go through a few months of zero revenue, it’d surely sink.

The valuation of your business and its gross annual revenue are fancy metrics when you don’t have the cash to back them up. Unless you are backed by the largest investors, you won’t be able to run a cash-starving business. It will eventually reach a point of no return.

Before anything else, make sure you fill the cash reserves of your eCommerce business. Part of it is for emergencies, and part of it is for the overall sustenance of your business.

Maximise Profits When You Have The Opportunity

Every business has feast seasons and famine seasons. While your eventual aim should be to balance the inconsistencies, you should also focus on maximizing profits when you have the chance.

Go all out during the festive season to boost revenue. If a cultural phenomenon is driving more people toward your products, make the most of it. Seize every opportunity you get and always be ready to deliver on short notice.

Strategic planning is also necessary to do this. For example, plan your holiday sales well before the holidays arrive. Use every opportunity you get to your advantage.

Reduce Additional (And Unnecessary) Expenses

Cost-cutting is necessary for every business, especially bootstrapped eCommerce ventures. The aim of cost-cutting is to identify areas where you are spending too much without the equivalent benefits. Take the time to identify all such areas in your business, and see where you can make major changes.

Cost-cutting can’t be a one-time thing. You have to continuously check your balance sheets to see where expenditures are high but corresponding results are unsatisfactory. It could include everything from sales to marketing to operations. Moreover, you could also be losing money to fraud and scams.

Remember that for every dollar you save, you can invest the same amount somewhere more fruitful. Cost-cutting doesn’t only reduce expenditure but also gives you the ability to spend money where necessary.

Money Management Is Essential To Keeping Your eCommerce Business Alive

By following these ten tips, you can keep your business thriving even in the most difficult market conditions.

When the fundamentals are in place, money management is easy for anyone.

Accounting Crunch Time: When Should you Start Preparing End-of-Year Finances?

Do the terms end-of-year finances or taxes fill you with dread? It is a testing time for many companies as they frantically search under metaphorical couch cushions to unearth all of their receipts to ensure the taxman can’t find fault with their accounts.

It can be a stressful period as there is a hard deadline for companies to meet otherwise they face a fine for late or incorrect submissions, not to mention how long it takes to gather all of the relevant information.

As this is not just something companies should do but a legal requirement, the end-of-year finances must be approached comprehensively. While your accountant bears the burden of this, company directors must also have a sound understanding of what is required to make it a seamless process.

After all, your accountant will be doing end-of-year finances for all their clients so giving them as much accurate information as possible is essential for avoiding any penalty charges. So what can you do to make life easier and prepare yourself for this dreaded time?

Government guidelines

The end-of-year finance requirements refer to a 12-month fiscal period that typically coincides with the calendar year ending. However, some limited companies’ fiscal year begins in the month that they were registered. According to UK government guidelines, a private limited company must prepare full annual accounts (which are bound by law) and a Company Tax Return.

Failure to file your taxes within the allotted period bears penalties. HMRC will charge an instant £100 for late Company Tax Returns and failure to file will result in an estimated bill plus a 10% surcharge for the trouble. Companies House, on the other hand, can fine £150 for filing returns up to a month late, increasing to £1,500 for leaving it more than 6 months to file.

What are the essentials of financial reporting?

Typically, businesses and companies must file three types of tax, VAT, income tax and employee-related taxes. Companies can task their accountants with their financial reporting but it is still up to the business itself to keep good records. VAT, for example, must be sent to the government every three months through a VAT return.

Income tax is calculated at the end of the year based on profits, with limited companies currently paying 19% corporation tax but is due to increase to 25% in 2023. Finally, companies must withhold income tax from their employees’ pay, transferring it to HMRC. With three important tax types to consider, companies should be vigilant in their documentation and hire accountants 

When should companies start preparing?

In truth, companies should start preparing their financial records immediately. Making light work and staying on top of your admin throughout the year makes the final process much easier. The longer you leave it, the harder the task becomes until it snowballs into something that is a colossal task.

Ironing out the kinks in your financial recording process is also essential for any tax investigations you may find yourself at the heart of. Seek the advice of a financial advisor or accountant to point you in the right direction and ensure you are working from a strong base.

With HMRC conducting more and more tax investigations, even the most careful of managing directors and owners will come under the Inland Revenue’s microscope at some point. Getting a head start is essential for accurate records and a smooth end-of-year calculation.

An end-of-year accounting checklist

Whether you are on top of your records or not, it is useful as the financial end-of-year approaches that you create a plan of action – starting with a schedule that identifies all the important dates to ensure theyare not missed. Then it’s a case of gathering any outstanding invoices and receipts to ensure you can wrap up your returns.

Ensure that all of your employees understand what is required of them and create a timeline for them to set the record straight. Once you have the invoices and receipts in, it’s time to reconcile them against your records to identify anything that has been missed. Resolve the discrepancies, adjust any grants and entitlements and then square up any outstanding debts.

How companies can prepare for the process

The reason why many companies have to rush to complete their financial returns by the end of the year is due to the sheer volume of financial records they are expected to keep. Every receipt and invoice must be accounted for, and if any of this information is missing, from a client sale to an employee lunch allowance, it takes time to find.

Failing to leave a paper trail makes this task infinitely more difficult as accountants seek to reconcile the yearly ins and outs. Recording financial records regularly is the easiest way to ensure nothing is lost if you do your taxes manually.

Manual data entry is time-consuming and prone to errors so, adopting an integrated accounting software platform into your processes is a modern solution that is proving effective as tax is made digital.

One of the largest contributors to missing information is human error, with piles of paperwork becoming an overwhelming task. With more information to try and comprehend, mistakes are likely to occur, leading to potential queries from HMRC or costly fines for these errors.

Best practices throughout the year to make it easier

There is no denying that the pressures on businesses are increasing as global economic troubles are impacting their bottom lines. Every saving matters, so frittering away revenue on fines for misfiling your tax returns should be one of the first you look to make. Switching to a digital accounting platform makes keeping your financial records in check much easier.

But, regardless of whether your accounts are digital or not, it’s useful to document your financial records often and plan for hard deadlines well in advance. Create awareness among your employees for the records they need to keep and ensure that all payments are accounted for promptly to avoid delays as those deadlines approach.

Training is essential to ensure everyone knows their responsibility while it also helps reduce data entry errors, improve familiarity with accounting processes and promote a healthy reporting culture for receipts and invoices. Ultimately, hiring an effective accountant takes much of the technical troubles out of your hands but an organised approach to filing financial records throughout the year ensures your end-of-year tax headache becomes a thing of the past.

Storing Your Company’s Construction Materials Properly

Storing Your Company’s Construction Materials Properly

If you run your own construction business, then you be aware of just how demanding such an enterprise can be, with the familiar feeling of being continuously pulled in multiple directions as you endeavour to simultaneously care for your employees whilst also keeping your various projects and day-to-day operations running smoothly. By managing your business competently and effectively, you will not only be rewarded with a higher employee satisfaction, you will also increase the likelihood of securing future works by prospective customers, rather than them choosing an alternative from the other 914,000 enterprises in the construction sector.

Keeping projects running smoothly comes down to many factors, including having adequate staff to complete tasks, ensuring you have the proper tools, and being able to transport and store construction materials properly. The latter has never been more important with the current material shortage that the UK is facing. Business owners must keep the materials they order protected, so they don’t end up damaged.

Not sure how to do that? This is the article for you. We’ll discuss all of the things you need to keep in consideration for transporting and storing construction materials.

Consider where you will store materials

With the unpredictable weather in the UK, scouting out the most suitable and optimised place to store your materials is vital. For example, in winter it is imperative to keep materials safe by storing them undercover – preferably in an airtight capacity. This will keep them from getting damp, wet, or accumulating mould, which could potentially render them unusable.

It’s also important to keep materials well-ventilated on hot days. Failure to do this may lead to moisture building which can result in mould forming.

How to store materials

Once you’ve decided where you will store your materials, it’s time to decide how you’ll do it. This will take careful planning but will help to mitigate the risk of your materials getting damaged. Try the following examples to keep common materials safe:

Steel – This metal is susceptible to rust, corrosion and scaling when in storage. Try to coat it in cement wash to prevent any of these from occurring.

Plasterboard – Plasterboard is a vital material for any project which is why it should be kept well clear from any other materials. We recommend using a cantilever racking system to achieve this.

Lumber – This material can be extremely porous, so it will need to be stored undercover. In the unlikely event that it does get wet, be sure to store each piece horizontally with air space between them, so they can dry.

Know the weight of your materials

Take note of how much different objects weigh as this will ensure your staff know whether they can transport it to or from the storage spaces by themselves. Heavy materials should be moved by multiple staff or machinery if possible. By doing this, you’ll be able to prevent injury on site which will keep the project moving smoothly.

When Times Are Tough: Tips for CEOs Leading Through Adversity

When Times Are Tough: Tips for CEOs Leading Through Adversity

Great CEOs are made, not born, and while most people do not deliberately seek out adversity, it is in just such times that your leadership skills can be honed to the finest point. When times are tough, as a CEO, that’s your cue to get tougher, finding strategies to lead your company through the hard times and toward success.

Look Toward the Future

Whatever challenging times you are facing at present, the one thing you can be certain of is that at some point, things will change. Create a positive vision of the future for yourself, and then share it with your staff. Having a strong idea of what to work toward instead of simply what you want to avoid can help keep everyone motivated and aiming in the same direction.

Batten Down Your Own Hatches

While the main focus of leadership should always be on raising up others, it’s important that you do not neglect your own well-being during a crisis. This means making an effort to get a reasonable amount of sleep, eat nutritionally, and try to get some exercise as well as some down time with your friends and family. In addition to looking for work/life balance, you also need to make sure that you stay on top of your finances. It’s easier to lead if you aren’t feeling desperate about retaining your current position. Having smart personal finances is one of the best ways to ensure that this is the case, and investing in real estate is an excellent way to accumulate wealth. For over a decade since the financial crisis of 2008, house prices have been bouncing back, meaning that real estate investments tend to appreciate in value and can also provide a reliable cash flow each month.

Be an Active Character

Truly difficult times can be paralysing for even the most competent of leaders. There’s nothing wrong with feeling as though you don’t know where to turn in a crisis, but what makes leaders stand out is that in spite of feeling that way, they do eventually make a decision and take action. When you find yourself in this situation, one thing that makes it especially hard is that you can’t really take the time to gather all the data that you normally would. You need to look at what the greatest short-term threats are and consider how to neutralise them in a way that will best ensure the long-term survival of your company. This is no time for passivity. You can’t let fear of risk or failure keep you from taking the necessary steps.

Plan Ahead

This is not something you can do in the heat of a crisis, but every good leader should do contingency planning well in advance for just such a situation. You may not have anticipated the particular threat that you find yourself facing, but even having done practice exercises for other dangers will put you in a better position to face an unanticipated one. Of course, having a plan for the most likely scenarios also means you will know what to do when one of those particular crises comes calling. If you want to go the extra mile, consider finding the right coach as a CEO to walk you through some of these possible scenarios so that you will have actively practiced your strategies in advance of any events that dictate a crisis.

10 Reasons Why Focusing on Equality Is Crucial in 2023

Following a turbulent, expensive and divisive year for many, it would be possible to look to 2023 with some degree of despondency but taking positive measures to create equality in the workplace could change the narrative of your business and change the trajectory for the working year ahead. What’s more, becoming a pioneer for equality may go beyond your own employees and have a knock-on effect on those around you, such as your alliances, stakeholders, clients and consumers.

Thom Dennis, CEO of Serenity In Leadership, shares reasons why a renewed emphasis on equality can help culture and the bottom line in 2023.

  1. Equality Is Access To A Level Playing Field. Offering a wide range of opportunities, training and promotions so everyone has the same rights, prospects and status regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation, disability, religion, language and any other kind of social difference, results in fulfilling purpose and objectives. It also, when combined with an acceptance of the inevitability of personal bias creates a productive team whose members feel they have a positive future ahead of them.
  1. Equality Is Looking In The Mirror. Taking a step back to see the business in the way you are projecting it to those looking in is an essential exercise in reflection.  What does your website look like?  Could the language you are using actively exclude a particular group?  Do you have an overt declaration of your equality policies?  If not, why not?  If so, is there congruence between your promises and your practice? Focusing on equality helps us improve our language, recruitment, work culture and then our profit margin.
  1. Equality Is Valuing Your People – Yes They Really Are Your Greatest Assets. If your workplace is one that accommodates the needs of any worker who feels like they are a minority you will want them to know their beliefs and needs are understood. For example, introducing a multi-faith prayer room, or space for quiet and reflection that employees can use freely during a break, means making it known to your employees that they are respected and heard.  
  1. Equality Results In Equity. Equity comes from a place of ensuring fairness. The most obvious example is fair pay, which is a mutually acceptable exchange for skill, experience and commitment and should not be affected by any social differences between us. It is important to regularly review whether groups who commonly encounter pay discrimination are being paid fairly. 
  1. Equality Means Protection. An equal workplace means that there should be no room for discrimination of any sort.  Integrating real safeguarding and protection policies for employees to easily and freely report any incidents that may occur, and being responsive and taking meaningful action is fundamental to combatting any hidden prejudice and systemic issues.
  1. Equality Means Being Proactive. It is important to not become complacent with policies that have been in place for a number of years.  Although the intentions behind policies and programmes may have initially been sound, businesses need to stay agile and be ready to adapt or change. We saw the impact of Covid-19 on better flexibility for working from home. Stay ahead by remaining open and continually reviewing policies and strategies.
  1. Equality Provides A Voice. Gaining a clear understanding of your employee’s experience means pursuing regular, open communication about all aspects of diversity and inclusion, and welcoming constructive criticism.  By giving workers the opportunity to ask questions or provide feedback, not only do you gain an account of the genuine experience of your employees, but you also ensure a culture of autonomy and freedom to be heard. 
  1. Equality Means Accessibility. Expecting individuals to have identical requirements and goals results in a lack of diversity. Creating accessible workspaces instantly opens doors for individuals who face any sort of disability and neurodiversity and enables them to bring all they offer to the table. Offering remote working opportunities as well as creating a practical accessible space, for example by installing ramps for wheelchair users, or offering a quiet alternative for those with sound-sensitive needs, are ways of showing that your business actively values equality and inclusion.   
  1. Equality Means Keeping Up To Date With Science and Current Thinking. The social demands for the acceptance of trans people is now an important part of being inclusive. Racial justice is another move that is more than a trend, while increasingly one focus is on the effects on women going through menopause at work.
  2. Equality Enables Flexibility. Flexibility is necessary if you are to accommodate a diverse group of workers with varying needs, particularly those raising a family alongside their career. Penalising someone for having a family and forcing them to choose between their loved ones and work results in loss of trust, and likely valuable talent.

The Importance of Reducing Your Business’ Energy Consumption

Reducing costs is one of the main goals of companies looking to increase their levels of profit. This means that keeping spending as low as possible in areas such as energy consumption is a must. There are several reasons that reducing energy consumption is a must, and several steps to take when reducing these costs.

When you’re running a small to medium enterprise, keeping your overheads at a reasonable level is a must. After all, profit margins can be razor thin as things are, with rising costs of gas and electricity causing a further dent in your bottom line. Find out more about the importance of cutting your energy consumption and some tips for reducing the amount of power that your business uses.

Why is cutting consumption important?

There are plenty of benefits to cutting energy consumption in a business. The first of these is the rising cost of energy in modern society. Chancellor Jeremy Hunt stated that “it is a national mission to make sure that we can’t be blackmailed” by international powers and energy suppliers on energy prices. In an international energy market companies lack control over prices, which means that the only way to cut down on your spending is to cut down on the amount that you use.

The other benefit of cutting consumption is to help the environment around us. Whilst the amount of renewable and nuclear energy we use is increasing, there is still something of a reliance on fossil fuels. Cutting down on energy consumption as much as possible is a must whilst energy generation still has such a harmful impact on the world around us. In the future energy may be cheaper and emission-free, but that isn’t the case yet.

Tips for cutting consumption

Businesses have several steps they can take to cut down on their energy consumption. These include:

Turn devices off

There can be a temptation at the end of any workday to leave your devices on standby. However, as they sit and wait for the employee to come back to work, they continually drain power and add to energy bills. Think about implementing a company-wide policy of saving work at the end of the day and switching everything off. Whilst some servers and other infrastructure need to stay up, there’s no need for individual devices to keep uselessly using power on standby.

Use efficient devices

As a procurement officer in a business, look to use more efficient devices. According to an executive at Kingfisher, Thierry Garnier, there has been “a clear step-up in customer investment in energy saving and efficiency”. This includes people buying energy-efficient bulbs and lighting, in addition to more efficient white goods such as fridges. Think about energy consumption in every purchase your organisation makes, as this saves you money and energy in years to come.

Get a programmable thermostat

Some business premises use relatively old infrastructure, with manual heating or systems that rely on timers. Smart heating and thermostats are ideal for this. This means that you can use your heating only when it is necessary rather than based on a timer. Everyone in the office stays more comfortable with minimal effort, all whilst saving energy for the company and cutting down on bills for the business. This is both a quality of life increase and a significant energy saving.

How to Support Employees Who Are Handling Complex Projects and Large Budgets

How to Support Employees Who Are Handling Complex Projects and Large Budgets

Whether you’re managing an in-person or remote workforce, it can be hard to keep track of all your team’s projects. And if you’re struggling, just imagine how difficult it must be for your employees. To solve your problems, you’ll need to find a system that manages their workload.

How to Successfully Manage Multiple Projects

Good project management is necessary for any team tackling large, multi-faceted initiatives. To keep track of your progress, manage your budget, and support your staff, try the following.

1. Opt for One Dashboard for Complete Visibility

If you’re struggling with a lack of visibility across your projects, you’ll need to use a single dashboard to manage them all. Planning and managing your launches in one place lets you see how many projects you have, what items they include, and the status of your project roadmap.

2. Define Project Goals, Responsibilities, and Plans

You need to define project goals, make a plan, assign responsibilities, and set expectations if you want to do away with inconsistencies. Any project goal you set should help your team finish the project to your specifications, but don’t forget to pencil in time for feedback and approvals.

3. Prioritise Projects That Make the Most Impact

While it’s tempting to work on the smallest or easiest projects first, try to resist the temptation. It’s better if you prioritise projects based on their impact on your company goals. When you plan to delegate work, determine which project will lead to better customer retention and start there.

4. Provide Specialist Industry-Specific Software

Depending on your industry, a generic dashboard may not be enough. For example, commercial real estate teams should use real estate development software found on northspyre.com. With this tool, development teams can make more predictable outcomes on all of their projects.

5. Empower Your Team to be Flexible and Adaptable

Project scope, priorities, and deliverables can change at any time, but your team needs to keep track of them, so they can pivot and reassign work. Use a single communication channel (it can be the same tool as your project dashboard) to deliver information to your entire project team.

6. Set and Manage Your Expectations Clearly

Your team will become confused and disorganised when they’re expected to follow multiple managers who have misaligned expectations. Employers should use a tool that allows them to send real-time status and progress updates with a click, like work management software.

7. Balance Workloads and Timelines Across Projects

When you don’t know how much (or how little) someone has on their plate, you’ll cause an imbalance. You should know who’s doing what, who’s overbooked, and what’s causing project timeline conflicts. That way, you can quickly defer, remove, or re-delegate tasks instantly.

8. Adjust Project Schedules to Maximize Efficiency

Project start and end dates must be coordinated, or employees become overworked, and the project gets delayed. Team leads should stagger start dates for similar projects, look out for deliverables that are dependent on another task, and flag duplicate tasks (to consolidate them).

9. Delegate Appropriately Instead of Micromanaging

Micromanaging is ineffective, costly, and a waste of time. Instead of keeping a watchful eye on your staff, trust that they’ll finish projects on time. If you don’t trust them to hand in deliverables, consider retraining them, putting them on another project/task, or speaking to them privately.

10. Track and Safe Workflows Instead of Rebuilding Them

After finishing a major project, create a template you can use to replicate your process. Don’t keep rebuilding your workflow from the ground up. With that said, you should update your template regularly with new steps and tasks you’ve added to your process or workflow.

How to Deal with Bias in the Workplace

How to Deal with Bias in the Workplace

Running a business is no easy feat, and dealing with the people within it, and the issues that arise from having so many different people in such close proximity, is challenging to say the least. If you have biases in the workplace to deal with, you are not alone. To think that bias is extinct is naïve and therefore dangerous – a problem that is thought not to exist is likely to do harm under the radar. Even if the bias is not malicious, it may still exist and have a negative effect of people of different groups that need to work together. In many respects, the bias may be an unconscious feeling that leads to certain people feeling like they are being treated less fairly or even being discriminated against. The imperfect nature of humans means that we all times judge people based on what we see or what we think about another person. Our brain may have strongly entrenched feelings to overcome, and it can be a battle to stop our synapses from connecting the dots and jumping to quick judgements of people and situations. Our own upbringing, the media, people around us, can all have an impact on how we see other people and while the circumstances that brought about these negative feelings may be uncontrollable, the reassuring thing is that you can do something to deal with the bias that results. Tackling these deep-seated issues is a must and if you are a business owner or in a position of authority, you have a responsibility to ensure that no one in your team is treated unfairly and to help those who need to readjust their view and remove their feelings of bias.

The Bias Crisis

Even in this modern day of age, when prejudice and discrimination should be a thing of the past, studies reveal that there are increasing amounts of women and people of colour that are choosing to leave their jobs due to bias in corporate America. There are greater challenges to minorities than ever before to the point that leaders across business and governmental agencies are treating these issues as a serious crisis. The long-term effects of these biases have severe consequences for the employees, their families, and their communicates. It is vitally important that employees and management staff work hard to address any bias, conscious or not, to resolve this issue. Doing so will improve a company’s reputation, attract, and retain employees and boost productivity.

The most threatening dangers are the hidden ones, the ones that are inconspicuous and therefore more deadly. Bias follows the same pattern, lurking in blind spots of the brain, emerging in subtle yet sinister ways. Simply by judging someone based on their name, the colour of their skin, or even their accent, gives evidence to a hidden, or implicit bias, that needs to be addressed quickly before the problem escalates. 

What can do you do tackle unconscious bias?

Top Tips for Tacking Implicit Bias

There are few key things you can do to improve your workplace environment and create a place that is safe and encouraging for all who work within it.

Accept that unconscious bias is in all of us. Part of dealing with the problem is recognising that there is a problem in the first place. To think that bias doesn’t exist in your workplace is naïve and dangerous. The Implicit Association Test created by Harvard is designed to help people see their underlying biases that they may not even know exist – it can be extremely eye-opening to experience so it may be worth completing this assessment to become more aware of the bias you and others unknowingly have.

Think about your decisions. Implicit bias is more likely to rear its head when it comes to making swift decisions or act impulsively. Take the lead, and encourage others, to slow down, take a step back and make a thoughtful, considered decision.

Widen out your social circle. Encourage social activities in the workplace that make people widen out in their circle of friends. If staff can move around that can choose to sit with different colleagues, opening their hearts to people from different backgrounds which will improve their understanding of the others and create a more related work environment.

Don’t be afraid to establish some rules and speak out. Set some ground rules for behaviour and standards of conduct, make your employees aware of them, and make them live up to them. If you notice bias in someone else, don’t be afraid to bring it up. Have a quiet word with the person involved as they may not even realise that they are giving evidence to any bias. If the problem gets out of hand, speak up and take it to HR. Remind staff that it is everyone’s responsibility to create a kind, peaceful and fair environment to work in.

Humbly apologise when you get it wrong. We’re all going to mess up and make mistakes, but you can show yourself to be a humble leader by acknowledging where you or the company has made errors in fairness in the past. This honesty and transparency will show the desire to change and improve. It will also set a good example for others, to know that even if they make mistakes and show bias, they can admit them, apologise and work hard to do better next time.

Emphasis education. Equality and diversity training is a must to help people get up to speed with current events, challenge their own thinking, and create a fair and equal environment where every team member feels valued, heard, and appreciated. Training sessions and workshops will go a long way in helping people understand the seriousness of the situation and hopefully improve the atmosphere of the office for all.

Eight Steps for Long-Term Employee Wellbeing

In the wake of a 25% increase in anxiety and depression worldwide, triggered by the pandemic and compounded by economic instability and digital overload, strategies and policies that protect employee mental health must now be the norm.

“Employers have a moral responsibility to their workforce to commit to supporting their health and wellbeing for the long-term,” says David McCormack, CEO of HIVE360.

“Indeed, 83% of employees say they believe their wellbeing at work is just as important as their salary.

“One in four people in the UK experience mental health problems at some point in their lives, and work is cited as the biggest cause of stress and anxiety. Together with the unprecedented levels of mental health issues in the workplace, this impacts employee engagement, productivity and business reputation,” he says.

“A recent Mental Health Foundation and London School of Economics and Political Science survey estimates that mental health problems now cost the UK economy around £118billion a year, and the cost in the workplace is estimated to be in excess of £2,000 per employee per year, with 59% of long-term absence caused by stress and mental illness.”

In a modern working environment, Employee Wellbeing Services are essential to maintain a business, with specific mental health support improving workplace culture and staff productivity: “This cannot be achieved overnight, and employee wellbeing support must be maintained to remain effective,” adds David.

HIVE360 shares its eight steps for a long-term approach to employee wellbeing:

1. Provide the right investment for mental health

There can be no ‘one size fits all’ answer to employee mental health. Long-term, companies need to make the right investment in a range of services to support staff, starting with training mental health first aiders and offering employee wellbeing programmes.

2. Support career wellbeing

A lack of purpose and direction at work can deteriorate employee wellbeing over time. Establish career wellbeing by providing Employee Training Solutions, outlining a clear job progression, and offering meaningful responsibilities.

3. Create a positive community

Cultivating a more Inclusive and Diverse Workspace will take time, but it’s an effective way of making the workplace a supportive environment for employees. 

4. Build openness

Work should be safe space for open and honest discussions about employee wellbeing. Supported by providing managers with mental health resources, offer employees self-assessments and questionnaires, and encourage co-workers to reach out if they need to talk.

5. Emphasize job security

The cost of living crisis is having a huge impact on the financial wellbeing, as well as anxiety and overall mental health, and so it is essential employees feel valued for their work and that their job is safe. Free tools and resources on budgeting and household finances planning can help ease employee worries, alongside staff recognition programmes, and clear career and promotion pathways.

6. Work-Life balance

One of the best methods for supporting long-term mental health is to listen to what your employees want from work. Support initiatives that improve their work-life balance, such as hybrid working practices, employee wellbeing days, or even newer options like a 4-Day work week, allow staff to take the time they need to look after their wellbeing.

7. Track results

Staff wellbeing and employee engagement work hand in hand. Measuring and tracking engagement can be great for supporting wellbeing services, by identifying what works and what employees want, to enable modifications and enhancements to how a business approaches employee support.

8. Employee benefits

Have an employee benefits package that offers relevant, new and exciting discounts and services. This should be in-tune with discounts and savings on everyday bills and expenses to help ease financial worries. This reminds staff that they are valued.

8 Admirable Organisational Traits That Promote Retention & Engagement

Companies that operate on multiple continents with hundreds of employees didn’t get there without having effective organizational structures. From janitors to engineers, employees have the right to have their emotional and financial needs met.

Employees’ well-being will significantly increase their overall productivity and help them build better relationships with their managers and higher-ups. A significant number of employers, to be precise, 84% of them in 2019, have observed that wellness plans led to an increase in the performance of their employees.

Besides the obvious, there is a variety of methods and traits that will bring positive changes to your workplace. Committed employees will allow your company to have a high performance, and an increase in talent retention is of great importance in the long run.

The majority of the traits mentioned on the list are zero cost. However, they will require collective effort and time to be implemented.

1. Reverse mentoring

There are many benefits of reverse mentoring, and they can all have a positive impact on the engagement of employees. For those wondering, reverse mentoring is just what it sounds like. It is a process in which a junior employee mentors a senior employee.

The main reason behind this is that senior employees aren’t usually up-to-date with the latest technologies and methods, even though they might have considerable knowledge of their job. Reverse mentoring builds a relationship between employees, and sometimes even managers or CEOs can be mentored by junior employees.

With the emergence of the internet and social media, reverse mentoring was extremely important in fields such as marketing and software development. This process empowers junior employees by giving them a confidence boost in their skills while at the same time helping older employees to improve their skills and perform better. 

2. Useful employee records management

Employee records management is a process of maintaining and expanding the data about employees. With modern employee records management software, HR professionals can keep records on employees in an accurate and easy-to-access manner.

Such software allows HR experts to have an overview of employees. Both personal info, such as name, address, marital status, and information on work performance, can be tracked using records management software. 

This tidy system will allow companies to get to know their employees better and improve the processes within the company. It might seem more convenient and affordable to store employee data in Excel or Google Sheets, but the serious downside is that the employee data isn’t secure in that format.

Data stored in employee management software is usually encrypted, requiring the user to authenticate before using it. This is valid for both cloud-based and offline solutions.

3. Established culture and values

Organizational culture is a culture that a certain company possesses that usually isn’t defined in any guide or rule book, but it is present. Culture is a summary of how employees communicate with each other, fix problems, the type of workplace relationship, and their ability to identify with the purpose of the company.

Many studies show that workers who believe their company has a worthy mission or a purpose are more motivated to work and perform better. Company culture helps employees feel as if their work is contributing to society in a positive manner.

Companies that show that they care about ongoing problems in society, such as racial or sexual discrimination also provide their workers with a greater sense of motivation than companies that ignore such topics.

4. Straightforward onboarding process

Onboarding is the first direct situation in which an employee can get to know a company’s internal processes. A relationship between a company and a new employee can start in two different ways:

By company reaching out to a potential employee

By creating a job post to which people can apply

In both of these situations, the company should show professionalism and create a positive experience for the applicant. After the initial application, interview, and screening, a new employee needs to be welcomed to the company.

During the onboarding process, the job of a manager or an HR is to introduce the employee to the business processes of a company, the culture of a workplace, and his responsibilities. Other people that might get involved in the process are senior employees that can train the fresh employee.

5. Empowering employees

Starting from kindergarten up to large companies with millions in revenue, each individual wants to be appreciated and recognized for their efforts. Empowering your employees by trusting their decisions, giving them autonomy, and encouraging them when they have unique solutions to problems is a path to long-term success.

Employees can feel unnecessary pressure if you implement strict schedules or time-tracking platforms to “make them” do their tasks. These methods might be effective to some degree, but people feel much better when they can choose at what time of the day they want to work.

A certain individual can do a certain task in one hour, while another one can do it in three. Rather than encouraging people to do the job at their own pace, you will encourage those that do the job faster to slack off, and pressure those that can’t manage the workload.

6. Considering the well-being of employees

People need to care for each other, and companies should do their best to help workers improve their well-being and minimize their stress. Unfortunately, work is the number one cause of stress in the UK, and the situation isn’t much different in other countries.

Companies need to recognize their workers as individuals with lives outside of the workplace that struggle with their own problems when they leave the office. Financial struggles and social problems are common stressors outside of work, and companies need to be aware of that.

Actionable steps toward promoting the well-being of employees are:

Having a mental health fund for every employee

Larger breaks

Lowering the workload

Giving your employees too much work might make them have a higher output, but only for a short period of time. Overworking will quickly lead to burnout, and their productivity will decrease in the long run. With work, less is often more, and people that have a manageable amount of work will constantly deliver results without exposing themselves to burnout.

7. Monthly surveys

You can’t improve and maintain a good environment at your workplace if you don’t receive any feedback. That’s why surveys of various kinds can help you get an insight into the satisfaction of your employees.

These surveys can be done anonymously or personally, and they can be done through software or on paper. No matter which one you prefer, you need to allow your employees to leave honest opinions on different aspects of the company.

If their feedback is positive, you can continue to improve the current state, or if the feedback is negative, you should segment and fix the problems. In the long run, these surveys will allow you to track and implement gradual improvements for your company.

In the context of well-being at work, employees can present their emotional or psychical state and how their workload reflects on that. This will allow you to create better mental wellness programs and promote the well-being of your employees.

Your employees will endorse good organisational traits

A good job doesn’t end with an attractive salary. Employees are individuals that have a variety of needs and worries that need to be taken care of. Every company needs to develop a culture that will retain employees and help them improve their careers.

Even with a high salary and a nice office, workers might experience burnout or negative feelings caused by a lack of purpose at work. The traits mentioned in the article are something that every enterprise needs to consider implementing.

While changing the production or product development process might lead to additional expenses and extra time required, traits on this list won’t require significant investments.

Five Tips To Help Employers Combat SAD In The Workplace

As winter approaches some employees may be finding that they go to work and come home in complete darkness. This lack of daylight exposure can cause some to experience winter depression, also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This disorder impacts around 20% of the population and typically causes low mood, fatigue and increased irritability.

Obviously these symptoms can affect the productivity of workers and the overall office morale. To help combat the impact of SAD at work, the experts at We Are WildGoose, team building activity providers, have put together five ways that employers can help their staff stay motivated through the winter months.

Review your flexible working policy

For some getting to work while it is still dark may make being ready for their day a little more difficult. Employers should review their flexible working policies to give employees the option of starting and finishing later to allow them to start their working day in the daylight. It is also worth seeing if remote working options fit with your business, if not already an option. 

Offering employees the opportunity to work from home will allow them to get up slightly later and will perhaps provide them with the opportunity to experience more daylight than if they were in an enclosed office.

Light up the office

One of the main triggers of SAD sufferers is the dark mornings and evenings. Your body’s circadian clock responds to light as a signal to be awake, this means that without sufficient light during the day, employees can feel lethargic. There is not much that can be done about this outside, but employers can ensure that the inside of the office is sufficiently lit using daylight imitation bulbs. 

If there is the space for it you could even set up a corner of the office where there is a comfy chair and a SAD lamp to give employees the option of getting 30 minutes of exposure to help combat their SAD symptoms.

Promote going outside

It can be a difficult argument to make when the weather is wet and cold, but encouraging your employees to spend time outside will do them the world of good. Remind your employees to take regular breaks and get lots of fresh air. If possible, it’s also worth investing in your outdoors office spaces. If you can fit heating outside, it will be easier for your staff to walk around in the winter and stay warm. It also means they can take quick breaks from their desk without having to go too far from the office.

Invest in more team building

Team building is a great way to get your staff motivated and boost the mood in the office. Whether it’s games, virtual escape rooms or more adrenalin-based pursuits such as a treasure hunt, autumn/winter is a good time to plan something fun and engaging for your team to help improve morale. A Gallup study showed that employees work 20% better when motivated.  For anyone in your team who is struggling with SAD, renewed focus from taking part in a team building activity will help them to take their mind off it and will boost productivity as a result.

Introduce healthier office initiatives

Those suffering from SAD may be tempted to comfort eat in order to try and boost their dopamine. But this might not be the best strategy for dealing with a low mood. Exercise and a good, vitamin rich diet are known to enhance serotonin levels, making people feel happier and healthier. 

Consider introducing healthy initiatives at work, simple things like treadmill or standing desks, promoting regular screen breaks, a free fruit bowl and healthy snacks are a great start. If you have some extra budget, you might also consider organising some fitness classes such as yoga or zumba for your employees.

It is also important to ensure that your employees’ mental health is being addressed, as well as their physical health. Consider subscribing to a mental wellness app and offer training on mental health to help break down the stigma within the office.

5 Use Cases of Text Analysis In Business Management

What’s worse than not having access to the right data? Having a massive amount of unstructured data that’s hard to read and make sense of.

If that sounds like you, you’re not alone- as per reports, about 82% of organisations haven’t been able to put their unstructured data to good use. Text analysis is a breakthrough technology that helps process this data without much manual intervention.

What is text analysis?

Text analysis is an AI-powered technique that turns textual data into insights. This data can be a series of customer reviews you received for your products or your website analytics data.

Text analysis presents this data as trends, relationships, patterns, themes, and categorised and structured data. You’ll find great resources to learn more about text analysis, and Levity’s guide to text analysis is one such comprehensive bank of information.

It uses AI-powered technologies using machine learning and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to analyse textual data at scale. The process is either semi or fully automated.

Use cases of text analysis

1. Customer experience

For a business, customer interaction is a day-to-day activity. From chatbots to support tickets, emails, and social media chats, massive amounts of data keeps piling up.

This is where your text analysis capabilities come in handy. You get an analysis of:

The trends in customer feedback and conversations from all channels in a consolidated report help you position your product well.

Your Net Promoter Score (NPS)—a metric that rates your overall customer experience and sentiment over time.

The redundancies in customer communications and automate them to improve productivity.

Your audience and how to segment them into groups—ones that are happy or dissatisfied with your product.

Your tickets to categorise and tag them based on the type or priority.

2. Employee engagement

Only 15% of employees are engaged globally—meaning they’re either unhappy or do not find their work rewarding.

When you’re able to identify these patterns and behavioural changes, it makes the job so much easier.

Text analysis powered by ML and NLP is a solid combination that helps you uncover the sentiments of your employees over specific problem areas.

Whether a policy change, a workplace update, or management practices, text analysis helps you gather feedback and conduct bias-free surveys for 100s and 1000s of your employees.

It helps you devise policies that are in favour of your employees

You’re able to keep a close check on mental health problems such as depression or anxiety and intervene appropriately

Employees will love showing up regularly, and you’ll see a spike in the retention rate as well

3. Marketing campaigns

Social listening

With social listening tools, you can respond to customer queries proactively or engage with your audience. When launching a new marketing campaign, they help you capture the analytics in real-time and instantly pivot based on the metrics while comparing them with the historical data.

Competitor analysis

Text analysis tools will help you closely analyse competitors’ strategies and the keywords they’re ranking for. You’ll know what works for them and how to outrank them and stand out.

Branding

Text analysis lets you know what customers and prospects think about your brand or your competitor’s brand. This way, you’ll be able to map out the perfect strategy to target your customers and move them down your funnel.

4. Product analysis

You’ll get prompted when anyone on socials, emails, websites, or any other platform talks about your product.

The sales team can use this information, marketing teams, product teams, and other departments to align their efforts to maximize the launch potential.

Moreover, have insights from the warranty data of your customers showcasing their problem areas. This way, you can assess the market landscape for your brand and see what’s working and what new features to ship next.

5. Recruiting

Helping a candidate get their dream job is a highly satisfactory but quite challenging job. What makes this job even more challenging is when there’s limited staff in the HR department and 100s of candidates to assess.

Text analysis helps in automating processes, including:

Identifying skillset the job requires

Gauging candidate experience and selecting ones that fit the bill

Evaluate potential hires based on their employment history, reviews, and past records

Ready to uncover great insights?

Text analysis is your saviour when it comes to processing a massive amount of business data. With the right technology, you’ll be able to parse them and convert them into valuable insights.

New Report Calls for Workplaces to Enable Women Leaders by Scrapping Alpha Male Cultures to Thrive in Today’s Disruptive, Complex and Volatile World

  • New research study interviewing 40 leading women sheds light on what makes women successful
  • Study provides alternative view to ‘Lean In’ philosophy that focuses on encouraging women to assert themselves at work and at home
  • Organisations can succeed in today’s complex, disruptive and volatile world by disincentivising alpha male cultures and encouraging women to succeed on their own terms

London, BRIDGE Partnership – a global organisational transformation and leadership development consultancy – has launched a landmark study titled, ‘How Did She Get There?’, analysing why leading women become successful. The research, conducted in collaboration with We Are LeftField and featuring interviews with 40 CEOs, entrepreneurs, and senior leaders, counters prevailing thinking such as the ‘Lean In’ philosophy and provides powerful recommendations to help organisations be more meritocratic and effective.

Commenting on the study, BRIDGE Partnership UK Client Director and Research Lead, Jane Sassienie, said: “We’ve known for a long time that organisations have been institutionally geared towards supporting men in work, however this research uncovers the potential of doing things differently. If organisations can encourage women to succeed on their own terms by dismantling alpha male cultures, they stand a better chance of thriving in today’s increasingly disruptive, technologically advanced economies.”

The interviews revealed common characteristics that helped these leading women be successful such as their upbringing (good and bad), being able to take diverse routes to the top, being authentic rather than trying to fit an ‘alpha male’ archetype, having empathy and intuition, and choosing partnership over dominance in the workplace. 

For too long women have been treated differently to men in the workplace, from unequal pay and less promotion opportunity to experiencing sexual harassment and other forms of bias against them. In its 30 years of working with global organisations and businesses, BRIDGE Partnership had often seen solutions focused on fixing women rather than tackling ineffective, institutionalised workplace cultures. While creating a leadership programme for women in a global bank in 2019, BRIDGE Partnership realised that most academic research was focused on how women fail in the workplace. This spawned a first-of-its-kind study shedding insight on common factors underpinning successful women across a breadth of sectors. 

The research revealed 5 recommendations for organisations and leaders:

Parental power: a woman’s upbringing is critical towards success.  BRIDGE Partnership say people can re-parent themselves to overcome aspects of their lives that hold them back.

At least one good parental role model helped some women to see their own potential and have the self-belief to succeed and lead. Sophie Neary, Group Director UK&I at Meta, said: “They instilled in me a self-belief, an inner confidence”. While some women who lacked any kind of caring adult when young were forced into leadership roles earlier. Both paths resulted in them sidestepping the ‘Brilliance bias’. 

Taking a different path. BRIDGE Partnership say organisations can empower women to succeed and retain top talent by supporting them to take multiple pathways upwards.

Rather than embarking on a meticulously planned career and life journey from an early age, most of the successful women interviewed had taken a winding path towards success. Their journeys were led by four principles: purpose and values, following curiosity, taking risks, and hard work. Vasiliki Petrou, Group CEO of Unilever Prestige said: “My first CEO valued diversity. They believed that positive disruption came from hiring people that don’t fit ‘in the box’. This nurtured a culture that valued alternative thinking and we all did better for it.” When the women were surveyed about whether they identified with the ‘Lean In’ approach, over 80% felt that being led by purpose and passion was more important.

If you are a unicorn don’t try to be a horse. BRIDGE Partnership say organisations should embrace diversity and dismantle the prevailing alpha male culture that often dictates how many organisations are run.

Rather than fitting in with alpha male workplace cultures, many women learned to lead with authenticity and embrace their differences as strengths. It was this shift that was key to their success. This evolution often began with a moment of self-awareness, often through good mentors, managers, or a challenging experience. Tracey Clements, now the SVP (CEO) of Mobility and Convenience for Europe at BP, recalled the early stages of her career, saying it was “Utterly exhausting and untenable”, suppressing qualities that felt more natural to her such as listening and learning from her people and customers. Talking about her moment of realisation, “Almost overnight I reclaimed myself.”  

Lead Like These Women. BRIDGE Partnership say organisations should begin learning from women and appropriately valuing their contributions. 

Rather than fixing women, our interviews revealed that characteristics and skills such as empathy, facilitation and intuition – skills that have been typically undervalued and overlooked by organisations – enabled the women to thrive and navigate complex challenges.When Lorna Davis, Board Member at B Lab, led a large advertising campaign for a brand that was close to collapse, she learned the value of listening. “I learned how to listen to consumers… I turned the brand around and set it on a growth trajectory… there is very little I can’t solve if I listen carefully and let the information in.”

Partnership not dominance. BRIDGE Partnership say organisations can foster a culture of mutuality by enabling diverse networking among their employees, encouraging collaboration and partnership rather than competition and dominance.

The women interviewed were not afraid to ask for help, taking the opportunity to learn from others and forge long term partnerships. Leonie Foster, Customer and Digital Director at Selfridges, spoke about becoming part of a network of highly capable senior women supporting one another: “We knew each other well and were each other’s support… we would operate by supporting each other’s position.” These partnerships were often rooted in purpose, as opposed to achieving personal success. 

A Quick Guide to Managing a Remote Workforce

A Quick Guide to Managing a Remote Workforce

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, many workers were wishing for the option of working from home. Only a handful of companies had previously explored the benefits of employing a remote workforce, and these were often the companies that fared best during the pandemic. That was a time when so many were shut down due to an out-of-control pandemic for which there was no cure.

Jumping ahead to the current time, a growing number of businesses of all sizes are gladly employing a significant portion of their staff as remote workers. The only problem now is that all the business management training they had previously dealt with an on-site workforce. So, how does one go about managing a remote workforce since they are just that, remote?

It’s actually not as difficult as you might think. This quick guide to managing a remote workforce offers several tips that just might make it so much easier.

Keep the Digital Lines of Communication Open

One of the things which owners and managers miss now that they are working with a remote workforce is the potential for daily interaction with their employees. Just the process of walking across the work floor gives them an opportunity to stop at a worker’s desk or station to say a quick hello and ask them how they are doing.

Employees like to know that they are appreciated and sometimes just those few words exchanged give them the needed encouragement to excel at their jobs. In fact, company culture is often at the top of the list when job applicants are considering one company over another. Those direct lines of communication are a vital part of what makes for a great company culture.

Provide Remote Support

Providing remote support assistance is something else few business managers have had to previously provide. They didn’t, after all, have a remote workforce so there was no need to understand just how vital this can be to their business.

If your company is employing a significant number of remote workers, then secure remote assistance is an absolute must. Gaining remote desktop control will enable the IT team to quickly assess what is going on and how they can solve any issue that particular worker is up against through a secure remote support server.

Enforce Strict Deadlines

While you don’t want to come across as a tyrant, it is imperative that you enforce strict deadlines. This is important for several reasons. Perhaps another department is waiting for that particular remote team member’s work, or it could be that customers are chomping at the bit waiting for an order they have placed with you.

One of the things you probably have in the back of your mind is that workers will be less productive if team leaders and department managers aren’t standing over their shoulders – not literally, of course. However, with remote access such as that mentioned above, you can gain secure access to their computers to see what they are working on and any changes that are taking place over time.

If you find discrepancies between what they are reporting for their daily hours and what you’ve actually observed them doing remotely, you can capture a log to authenticate their productivity. Without this ability, they might debate your findings and there would be no way to prove it either way. That remote access mentioned above is important on several levels with a remote workforce, isn’t it?

Video Conference Staff Meetings

Another of those things that matter when dealing with employees would be those periodic staff meetings. Although you employ several people who work remotely, you can still organize staff meetings through video conferencing software like Zoom.

Even your staff members who work on site can join in on a video conference staff meeting. They would simply remain at their desk to do so instead of migrating to the conference room where meetings generally take place.

One group email invitation can be sent out so that each person can sign into the meeting. Video conferencing doesn’t work like video chats. Most often the meeting would be scheduled, and the invitation gives invited attendees a link to the meeting being hosted by the employer. Not only can these meetings be used to apprise workers of upcoming events or new product lines, but it also gives them a chance to begin recognizing the faces of other remote team members.

The Way of the Future

At the end of the day, remote workforces are the way of the future. Not only is it often more convenient working from home but employers will find that their expenses are reduced as well. Many have expressed their desire to pass some of those savings on to their valued employees when the year-end figures are released. Either way, remote workforces are trending, and with all the benefits to be had on both sides of the fence, it looks like they are here to stay.

How to Create Signup Forms That Will Help you Grow Your Email List

Your email list is one of the most important assets of your business. You want to ensure they get what they came looking for through your signup form, and the experience is nowhere near the horrific example we discussed above.

Why are signup forms necessary?

Signup forms are your sure-shot way to leave a strong impression of your brand and get leads interested in learning from you or converting into paying customers down the link. Having a well-designed signup form with highly persuasive copy and CTA will make sure that you don’t just get subscribers but engaged subscribers who are interested in reading your emails.

Source

Step-by-step process to create successful signup forms

Here’s a six-step process that will help you create effortless signup pages and drive conversions!|

Step 1: Choose a form builder

Form builders are no-code platforms that help you build lead-generation forms tailored to your business needs.

The best thing about these is that you can create a form from scratch or pick a pre-designed template from their library and customize it.

Another crucial thing to not miss out on is whether your form builder allows you to create GDPR compliant forms. This helps you collect visitor information most securely and gain their trust.

Step 2: Pick a registration form template

Go to your form builder and select the option to create a form using templates. You’ll see an abundance of registration form templates to choose from.

Type in the keyword for the purpose you need the form. You’ll have plenty of options. Pick the one that resonates the most with your vision and purpose.

Feel free to drag and drop form elements and remove the unnecessary ones to create the form of your choice. Once done, embed the form in a webpage. Lastly, don’t forget to set up autoresponders or a thank you page to guide users when they submit a form.

Step 3: Set up double opt-in

You need genuine and engaged subscribers on your email list. You want leads that want to hear from you and are perhaps moderately or highly interested in your products. However, people leave face emails in the form just to access the incentive you’re offering or to be spammy.

Luckily, many email providers offer double opt-in functionality to help you filter out these spammers and create a clean and warmer set of leads as your email list.

Step 4: Add the form to relevant places

Once you have a signup form in place, you want it to garner the attention of your visitors. They’ll hardly notice it if it’s only lying at the footer of your website as a link. You must strategically place the form where your visitors will most likely visit.

Homepage

The homepage is always the best place to start—it’s the first page your visitors will ever see, and chances are they won’t go beyond it. Sidebars, headers, and popups can work well.

Blogs

Analyse your high-performing blogs that receive a lot of visitors every month. It’s always a good idea to place sign-up forms where visitors hang out most often.

Contact page

Say a prospective customer wants to enquire about a product and visit your contact page. Wouldn’t it be convenient if they come across your newsletter sign-up page and instantly wish to opt-in?

Social media

Actively talk about your newsletter on social platforms and build credibility there. Place the link to your signup form on your social media profile—somewhere it’s clearly visible and accessible.

Checkout

Always give your customers an option to opt into your email list—one of the best ways to practice consent-based marketing.

Step 5: A/B test

Different sites have different conversion rates, depending on their audience and the industry they are in. The only way to determine what sign-up form placement works the best for your brand is to test it out.

Create two or more versions of your webpage and place sign-up forms in a different location. These locations could be the header, a popup window, the footer, etc. While you do that, set up Google Analytics to check the performance on each page.

Step 6: Welcome emails

Welcome emails are a great way to formally introduce your brand to the email list and create a powerful impression. Tell them what they expect and how frequently they’ll receive your emails.

The Blueprint Of A Modern Leader

The Blueprint Of A Modern Leader

In a world full of individuals and a shared striving for equality, one role has pervaded throughout the course of human existence as crucial to the functioning of teams, organisations, and even entire countries. From Julius Caesar to Rishi Sunak, the importance of a leader – in some sense of the word – has been crucial for the growth of humanity.

That said, being a good leader requires more than just a self-proclaimed title. Good leadership is manifested over time and must be woven into the fabric of your every action. With rich documentation of some of the world’s best – and worst – leaders over time, there are plenty of lessons to be taken from individuals of the past, both real and fictional, into your business. This article will highlight some of the key aspects of leadership from the examples of some prominent figures in the industry.

An Unwavering Drive

Successful teams are built on trust and faith – in each other, but also in a vision or a goal. Martin Luther King – one of the most respected leaders in history – famously had a dream. His relentless pursuit of his dream despite the immeasurable obstacles in his way stands as an unrivalled source of inspiration for those looking to lead the way.

This drive must be balanced and grounded in reality, though, as MLK exemplified so influentially; we only have to consider Daenerys Targaryen from the acclaimed Game of Thrones series to see how it can go wrong, though. After her bloodline was shunted for the acts of her ancestors – explored further in HBOs House of the Dragon and summarised nicely in ExpressVPN’s coverage of the family lineage – her drive to restore her family name corrupted her virtue and turned her into an ultimate villain. One lesson we can learn from this: Don’t let your tunnel vision spoil your business.

Knowing The Difference Between A Boss And A Leader

While often used interchangeably, many would argue that a significant difference separates the two in society, as this Develop Good Habits informative piece does. While a boss might demand change, a leader drives change; while a boss may dictate, a leader inspires; while a boss may dominate, a true leader collaborates. Someone who is not controlled by the hierarchical power they are given and places themself amongst those they wish to lead will gain authentic respect as a leader. Successful corporate companies such as Zappos, who are utilising a holacratic business model, embody this mindset as an organisation

Compassion

In an economy where profit is often an organisation’s main priority, a simple display of compassion can go a long way. By going out of your way to accommodate the emotional, physical, or mental needs of your team, you show that your interests extend beyond a depersonalised, professional aspect. Having a team who are comfortable in the knowledge that their authority figure truly cares for them as individuals will do wonders for your synergy, productivity, and overall satisfaction within a team. 

Where better to look for a fictional, inspiring source of compassion than everyone’s favourite superhero, Superman? Committed to saving the lives of those not blessed with his gifts and refusing to take credit for his work, Clark Kent perfects compassion on a ‘super’ scale. Perhaps don’t try to fool your employers with a hidden identity wearing glasses, though – they might see through it in the real world.

No team member wants to work for a leader who doesn’t want to work for them; true leadership requires bi-directional care, effort, and compassion.

Dealing With a Downturn: Leading Your Team Through a Recession

By Charlotte Boffey, Head of UK Services at Employment Hero

It’s not official yet, but the Bank of England believes the UK economy is now in a recession – and is likely to stay there for a while.

A recession means the economy is shrinking rather than growing, and for longer than just a quarter. Recessions are never easy for anyone – employees or employers. Across the wider economy, they usually result in job losses, drops in revenue, and reduced investment.

But there are ways for your business to get through such a downturn – and even to thrive.

The burden on your employees

Employees often carry the burden of a recession. Even the ones who will never get close to being made redundant will be a lot more worried about their economic future – especially as costs continue to rise, putting serious pressure on household budgets.

This could easily spiral into disengagement at work, which will hurt your wider business. If your company does have to go through a redundancy round the employees who stay will likely have more responsibility, making them more stressed. The stress of the general downturn – which may make their job far harder – will also add to their stress levels.

Managers will be more stressed too, which could lead to employees being mismanaged. And overall team morale is likely to drop as the budget for engagement events like parties or outings drops.

These effects could all hit your workforce – but you shouldn’t just let them. Here are some ways to combat these issues.

Create a recession roadmap for your staff

There’s no reason to pretend a downturn isn’t happening. Instead, you should create a roadmap to deal with the downturn and its effects on your employees.

At the heart of this plan has to be frequent and clear communication. Make sure your employees know how the wider business is doing so they understand any decisions you make. Create a foundation of trust – where when you explain something to them, they shouldn’t think you are pulling any wool over their eyes. Try to be optimistic about the future – but also realistic.

If possible, involve them in the wider decisions about how your business should get through the downturn. They are on the shop floor – is there a cost centre dragging you down you don’t know about, or an area of the business that is seeing the drop in demand more strongly? They may know before you do.

Remember empathy. The world is a scary place during a recession – there’s no reason you need to be scared too.

Double down on your company culture and values

Through all the stress, don’t forget why your company exists and why your employees want to work there. Remember these values, act on them, and communicate them.

A good culture should encourage a general sense of belonging at work. Do what you can to encourage that, and go beyond just banal statements like “we’re a family here”. Research suggests sustainable diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives will increase overall inclusion by 20 per cent. Here are some tips on creating an inclusive workplace.

Every business can have a healthy company culture, regardless of its size or budget and doing so will do wonders to help your employees through the stress of the downturn.

Reward and train staff

Employees may have to put in extra effort during a downturn, and you should do all you can to recognise that.

Obviously, in a downturn, it’s going to be hard to always give the pay rises or bonuses you might like to give staff, but there are many other ways to reward staff that don’t have to cost as much.

These can include: gift cards, longer lunch breaks, handwritten thank-you notes, actual awards, and additional days off.

You should also not let the recession stop ongoing training and professional development of your staff. A downturn is exactly when you need your team to be more productive – and that’s exactly what training can do. It will also help your staff feel valued.

Employee wellbeing should stay at the top of your agenda. Inflation and the pandemic have already contributed to serious burnout – 54% of UK employees in our recent Wellness at Work felt burnt out. Don’t let a downturn be the thing that pushes them over the edge.

Do You have the Positive Energy to See Out Another Economic Downturn?

By Mark Perrin is an advisory partner at accountancy firm, Menzies LLP.

As business leaders prepare for yet another economic downturn, driven by rising inflation, skills shortages and ongoing supply chain disruption, it is more important than ever that they adopt a positive mindset to optimise their financial performance and productivity. But do they have the positive energy leadership skills to navigate their way to a brighter economic future?

The current economic instability and political turmoil has pushed the importance of management best practice to the top of the corporate agenda. However, even well-managed businesses will struggle to fulfil orders and maintain good standards of customer service if they are shedding skilled staff, or they are unable to attract the right people to the right roles. At a time when many industries are facing skills shortages, employers are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit and retain talented people.

Practising positive energy leadership behaviours can help businesses to retain and motivate staff and maintain outputs during challenging trading periods. However, with so many day-to-day challenges to deal with, some business leaders may feel they are stuck in fire-fighting mode and lack the time to dedicate to improving their leadership skills.

To make matters worse, rapidly rising energy and fuel costs are forcing many employees to make difficult decisions about how to manage their household income, and consumer confidence has dipped. The Bank of England has warned that the UK economy is heading for recession and as many business leaders know, this can encourage feelings of job insecurity and impact workplace morale. Demonstrating positive energy leadership can help to improve business resilience by creating a strong workplace culture where individuals and teams can thrive, while strengthening stakeholder relationships and improving cashflow management.

Positive energy leadership involves encouraging individuals and teams to be the best that they can be by promoting positive, team-focused behaviours and encouraging a positive attitude led from the top. These techniques can be used to influence all areas of business, from sales teams through customer service, as well as cashflow and supply chain management.

Whilst positive energy leadership should ideally be practiced all year round, the true test comes when the business is facing challenges and things aren’t necessarily going to plan. How leaders respond in these circumstances can have a lasting impression on the management team and the workforce as a whole, and help to nurture a dedicated, motivated group of people.

For business owners or managers looking to build positive attributes into their processes and procedures, it is important to consider their impact on all areas of business. Creating a strong communication network within a business is one way that leaders can ensure information is getting to and from the right people, as efficiently as possible. For example, positive energy leadership could involve reaching out to the workforce for cost saving ideas and implementing them. It could also involve setting up cross-functional teams to discuss pricing strategy, deciding how much cost can be passed on to customers or identifying opportunities to push for a keener price from suppliers.

This focus on positivity can also be applied to business data. For example, sharing sales data transparently across the organisation can generate opportunities to celebrate success. When staff see others doing well, this can motivate them to behave similarly and find their own way of having a positive impact on the business.

When applied to financial management, positive energy leadership will enable management teams to take a proactive and forward-looking approach. Strong working capital management based on three-way cashflow forecasting, allows business leaders to see what the future looks like using a range of scenario-based models. Positive energy leadership also means a rigid focus on cash management in areas such as credit control and pricing, protecting margins and delivering value to the bottom line.

Another way that business owners can promote positive behaviours is to make it part of their business model by demonstrating a commitment to Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG). This will help to attract talented people to the organisation. It is also important to ensure employee benefits are aligned to what workers really want. For example, putting a focus on wellbeing can be achieved by offering flexible working options, which have become a staple expectation of many employees. Promoting diversity and inclusion and embedding this into recruitment practices is also important when building an engaging employer brand.

To ensure positive energy leadership becomes part of the business and the way it operates, it is important to measure the difference it makes and establish some Key Performance Indicators (KPI). This can help to identify areas that still need focus, at the same time as giving managers a deeper understanding of the benefits it can bring to all areas of the business. For example, staff engagement surveys can provide a useful insight into what motivates staff to stay with the business.

As they prepare for 2023, business leaders must ensure they have the right mindset to get the best out of workers and achieve the best possible outcome financially and in terms of building a more resilient operating model. Leading from the top and applying the principles of positive energy leadership will mean businesses are better placed to deal with the challenges that lie ahead, while being ready to react quickly to commercial opportunities.

Bad Governance Is Keeping CEOs Awake At Night

Life as a CEO is undeniably tough thanks to the endless combination of board meetings, employee demands, colleague disagreements, suppliers wanting policy updates, investors wanting to know how their money is performing, a lack of accountability among staff and the ever-present fear of being taken to court.

CEOs shouldn’t have to tackle so many issues all the time and need to find a way to lead without the constant headaches and sleep-deprived nights. So how can CEOs manage all their demands and ensure their company is run efficiently? Governance is the key.

What Is Governance?

Governance is how you want the business to operate – this includes every aspect of the company and effectively creates the culture. Incorporating law, finance, compliance, strategy, HR, board management, stakeholder management and beyond, governance sets the standards for everyone involved in the company.

It tells people what their roles are and what’s expected of them, how the business and the staff are accountable. This sets the standard and leads to a supportive and productive environment, and to long-term business growth.

More and more people are starting to realise that the collapse of big companies impacts the economy and society, and the government introduced the Wates Principles in 2018, the first governance code for big privately owned firms.

Why You Need Good Governance

Regardless of your business plans – whether for fast growth, significant hiring, or exiting a market – the level of governance your company has will determine how successful your plans are.

If your company has bad governance, things start to go wrong. Bad governance causes investors to become restless, staff to resign, managers to refuse to take ownership of their work, the culture to turn toxic and employees to no longer want to work in this environment. On top of all this, roles become unclear, and people make bad decisions that make the company perform badly and look bad to those inside and outside it.

It is down to the CEO of a business to set the level of governance and lead by example. By ensuring the company is run well, that this comes from the top, and staff are looked after, the business is far more likely to survive in the long term and be able to outperform its competitors.

Good governance causes investors to trust you, employees to want to work for you, and managers to take ownership of their work and make smart decisions that benefit the whole company. Staff feel motivated in their roles, and everyone knows exactly what is expected of them. With support, people feel accountable and perform well, enabling fast growth of the business.

Supported staff are happier staff, and if employees feel appreciated at work, they are less likely to experience burnout or to want to leave. This creates a healthier culture for the company and means the CEO can focus on long-term goals, as the operations are taken care of, and the daily business runs efficiently.

Furthermore, with good governance in place, CEOs can rest easy and sleep well, knowing they’re able to perform their role well and without any unnecessary distractions.

Cookie Laws: 5 Steps For Successful Data Protection Practice For Your Business

With the adoption of various security regulations worldwide, many businesses have started implementing a transparent cookie approach. Actually, with the adoption of GDPR that started to have an effect in 2018, the companies that operate in the European Union and with citizens of the EU didn’t have any other choice.

With the adoption of the mentioned regulations, websites must notify the users about the collection of cookies and allow them to decline them. This should be done straightforwardly, with clear and straightforward language. Even though around 64% of website visitors reject cookies, the fact that the website was transparent about cookies builds trust with the visitor.

1. Establishing a security culture

Establishing a security culture is to make security-focused behaviour a part of each employee’s daily routine. Although outdated software can be a security risk for many companies, 84% of IT company leaders mentioned that human mistake is the leading cause of data breaches. Security culture needs to help every employee have awareness and knowledge about risky behaviour and what he should do to avoid potential data breaches.

A great way of developing a security culture has a top-down approach. Outstanding leadership is an essential part of establishing a security culture.

2. Backing up data

Many businesses have become reliant on cloud-based software for storing their data. Being reliant on cloud backups is risky, but not as risky as having no backup. Cloud services can be a target of DDoS attacks or other types of attacks on them, making your data inaccessible for a certain amount of time.

You need to regularly do backups for the data stored on your workplace computers and servers, but it’s also advised to do backups for the information stored in the cloud. Regular backups will minimise the chances of your company losing valuable data and exposing its customers and employees to discomfort.

3. Cybersecurity measures

According to GDPR, your company will be accountable for the loss or theft of any personal data stored on your company’s systems. Improving your cybersecurity measures should minimise the chances of such accidents occurring.

Backing up your data will help protect your company from data loss, but it won’t help against cyber attacks. To increase the defence against cyber attacks, you need to take concrete steps such as:

  • Installing security software
  • Keeping your software up to date
  • Setting up a firewall
  • Using spam filters

Almost 68% of Mac and Windows users believe their computers require antivirus protection. The numbers show that Windows users believe in this more than Mac users. The reason is a common misbelief that Mac devices are immune to computer viruses.

4. Policies restricting BYOD

BYOD or “Bring Your Own Device” is a concept that’s pretty much self-explanatory. It means that employees can use their personal devices rather than the ones provided by the company.

Occasionally, having employees work from their personal devices won’t be a significant security risk. However, the problem occurs in situations where this practice is common and when the majority of workers aren’t using the official devices of your company.

5. Educating employees on internet security

You can’t make a mistake by educating your employees about the dangers they expose themselves to on the internet. Although that sentence sounds generic, more than a billion malware programs are circulating on the internet.

Your employees should be cyber-safe whether they work from home or from the office. They should be educated about malicious software found on the internet and how to avoid them.

Cookie laws summarised

In 2018 European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR went into effect and established some of the core principles of internet privacy, which many companies later followed. The internet has a lot of valuable resources on the topic for both businesses and individuals. For example, this article on osano.com dives deep into the matter.

Improving data protection is the only right choice

There is no doubt that data protection practices are one of a company’s most important processes. Whether your company is in IT or retail, exposing your employees and users to having their data stolen or misused will lead to severe consequences.

To avoid these outcomes, it’s important to take data protection seriously and follow some methods that will help you create a more secure workplace.

Is Your Industry Affected by Cyber-attacks?

In today’s world, businesses and industries are getting increasingly digitised. Every enterprise has a website, a presence on social media, and uses computer networks for its operations. The same digital properties that make businesses more efficient also leave them open to online hazards known as cyber-attacks. Reports show that 84% of businesses admit that resilience and cybersecurity are prime concerns in 2022.

What is a cyber-attack?

A cyber attack is an unlawful attempt to gain access to a computer system to destroy, retrieve, disseminate, or alter classified data, usually in the absence of high-end enterprise security.

Cyber-attacks occur through the exploitation of vulnerabilities in computer systems by individuals known as cybercriminals or hackers. These attacks occur for various reasons, including financial gain, politics, on-site criminal activity, and revenge.

Why is enterprise cybersecurity critical?

Enterprise cybersecurity describes the processes and setups that protect a company’s online data from cyber attacks. Read DataDome’s guide to enterprise cybersecurity here. It explains in detail the steps to take to protect your business from these malicious attacks.

Here is why enterprise cybersecurity is essential:

Every enterprise with as little as a social media account needs cybersecurity to protect its customers, finances, and global brand reputation

Cybersecurity ensures that updates and releases are done in due time

No business wants to be in the news for cyber exploitation or court for data privacy breaches

It is also vital for ensuring smooth operations 24/7

Consequences of cyber-attacks

Cyber attacks have various effects, depending on the type of business and targeted sites. Some of them are listed below:

Loss of intellectual property

The Cloud has revolutionized business over the years, but once hacked, it can cause the loss of intellectual property such as trade secrets, product designs, patents, artwork, and software. This can lead to postponing product releases or incurring unplanned costs to hire new employees to develop new products.

Legal and financial consequences

The legal repercussions of losing confidential customer information are well documented. Companies can be sued for a lot of money and lose a significant percentage of annual sales. Prison sentences are also a possible consequence of data breaches in extreme cases.

The legal and financial consequences of losing confidential information to cyber attacks are overwhelming, and many companies will not survive them. This is why enterprises should spare no expense in building and upgrading their cybersecurity.

Disruption of operations

The goal of many hackers is to disrupt business operations to send a message or cause a distraction. Depending on the nature of the industry, this can be very dangerous.

Reputational damage

According to Forbes, 46% of companies have experienced brand equity damage due to a privacy data breach, while 19% have suffered reputational damage due to a third-party security breach. This is logical as current and prospective customers will never fully trust previously hacked companies to secure their confidential information.

Industries most vulnerable to cyber-attacks and why

Find out the most vulnerable industries to cyber-attacks and why they are.

Healthcare

Although technology is shaping the future of healthcare, it comes with some risks, as cases of healthcare online attacks and exploitations are well documented. The abundance of personal data and inadequate cybersecurity are the reasons this industry is vulnerable and will continue to be so unless cybersecurity is improved.

Small businesses

Not surprisingly, small businesses are also a prime target for cyber attacks. The reason is that they often lack the technical expertise and financial muscle to improve their cybersecurity.

Financial institutions

Cybercriminals target this industry for one main reason: Money. Their customers are vulnerable to successful internet attacks due to highly digital services like online banking. In this case, hackers need only create a cloned website and ask customers to enter confidential data.

Government agencies

Government agencies are top targets for cybercriminals due to the plethora of personal identifying information and other highly classified government data within their systems. One would expect government-backed agencies to be immune to cyber attacks, but reality suggests otherwise.

How to Stop cyber-attacks from happening in the future

Online attacks often occur when hackers exploit vulnerabilities within online security systems. You can protect your business from internet attacks if you stop being vulnerable. How can you achieve that? Here’s how:

Develop a cybersecurity strategy

A cybersecurity strategy is a set of protocols that govern how to protect your online system from cyber attacks and how to respond in the event of an attack. Cybersecurity strategies vary by industry, but they often include the following:

Security risk assessment

Evaluating your current cybersecurity technology

Reviewing and modifying security policies

Developing a risk management plan

Integrating the security strategy

Constant evaluation of the security strategy

Invest in cybersecurity awareness training

Not many businesses have provided cybersecurity training to employees who don’t work in cyberspace. This isn’t encouraging, considering how quickly cyber attacks occur today. By teaching your employees how to recognize and report malicious attacks, enable VPN, 2FA, and WiFi security, check links carefully before clicking on them, and perform other basic cybersecurity processes, you can reduce the likelihood of getting hacked.

Restrict access rights

Allow employees to access only the functions they need to do their jobs. Only a few top-level employees should have access to top-secret data. And if subordinate employees are granted access to classified information, it must be revoked immediately.

Integrate endpoint data protection software

Endpoint data protection software scans applications, files, and computer processes and flags malicious elements via encryption. This software not only prevents such harmful elements from taking over computer systems but also serves as an early detection system. Integrating it into your cybersecurity system gives your security experts a chance to prevent cyber attacks manually.

Install high-end firewalls

The best firewalls protect your company’s online network from malicious traffic, and sometimes that’s enough to prevent an internet attack. These firewalls completely block nasty hacks before they even begin.

Managerial Styles: Are You an X or Y Manager?

A good manager knows how to motivate their team. However, not every manager has the same style. This can vary by industry, as well as being dependant on the age and skill level of your employees or your personal attitudes to work.

Two developed theories of managerial style are the X and Y theories developed by social psychologist Douglas McGregor in his book The Human Side of Enterprise. Since its publication in the 1960s, managers have been using this as a guide for their own style development.

Here, with some sights from Dominic Fitch, Head of Creative Change at Impact International, we explore the differences between X and Y managers, and how to know which managerial style is best for you and your team.  

What is an X manager?

For X managers, employees are not self-motivated and so need an authoritative manager to ensure tasks are completed. With over 36% of employees claiming to dislike their job, keeping a firm grip on task management is important, as X managers believe workers won’t take pride in their work and will avoid completing tasks.

The X managerial theory involves monitoring worker achievements and deadlines. The results-based focus is particularly beneficial in industries that have tight schedules, such as manufacturing and other time-managed occupations. You will have a strict grasp of routine and schedules, dictating tasks and expecting results. This is very much a hands-on approach to managing employees.

What is a Y manager?

Y managers believe in employee engagement and the high work ethics of their colleagues. Employees are believed to take pride in their work and are self-motivated to achieve more. They also have a strong grasp of what is required in their role, and often in others, allowing them to problem solve and avoid crises without the need of a manager. Employees take ownership and accountability for their work, using initiative and decision-making. According to Indeed, employees who have more personal responsibility in the workplace tend to have more loyalty towards their company, as well as a stronger sense of job security.

Therefore, a Y manager is more likely to adopt a participative management style. This allows the employee a sense of achievement when completing tasks. Unlike the X management style, which uses statistics and measured performance as a threatening technique, task completion under a Y manager acts as a form of reward and incentive to increase self-drive and development.

Choosing your style

If you prefer being proactive within the workplace, favouring a hands-on approach over a relaxed atmosphere, then the X manager theory is for you.

Certain industries will benefit from certain management styles. For example, if your company operates under a multi-level management style, then you might find that the X manager approach is better suited to your environment. As your manager, and perhaps their managers above them, demand specific results, you will expect the same from your employees. However, if your company is a collaborative one in which teams communicate effectively, allowing all levels of employees to actively participate, you may benefit from the Y management theory.

However, it can also depend on your workforce. A young or low-skill level team will benefit from the presence of an X manager from time to time. Due to the training needed to bring their skill levels up, you will be expected to micromanage and handle crisis moments with more direct attention. An established workforce within a company, on the other hand, will not require this level of attention, so you can adopt a more relaxed approach.

Ultimately, it depends on your own preferences. Some managers prefer to have an oversight of production, so they can guarantee that deadlines are met. Others might prefer a more creative, collaborative approach in which employees take the lead on initiatives. You may even find that a balance between the two styles is useful as the company progresses.

Managerial styles vary depending on many factors from industry size and demand to the office environment. However, how you view employee engagement is crucial in all sectors when establishing yourself as a manager. Believing in the attitudes of your workers can dictate the course of action you need to be an effective manager and produce the results necessary to keep the business progressing. Remember, managerial styles can be flexible. You may adopt one style and change it over time.

The Top 5 In-Demand Skills At a Tech Startup – Revealed By a Tech Entrepreneur

As the number of small businesses across the UK continue to rise, more employees than ever before are becoming aware of the benefits of working for a startup. Online searches for ‘working at a startup’ have surged by 137% over the last 12 months.

From a fast-paced environment to lots of opportunities for learning and growth, there’s many benefits to working at a startup business.

New research by Lottie (a later living marketplace) has found more employees than ever before are turning to Google to understand the key qualities and skills valued by startups over the last 12 months:

  • 150% increase in online searches for ‘digital skills job’
  • 100% increases in online searches for ‘small business time management’
  • 33% increase in online searches for ‘good problem solving skills’
  • 33% increase in online searches for ‘effective communication skills in the workplace’

Co-Founder of Lottie, Chris Donnelly shares: “Startups are always on the lookout to hire talented candidates with a varied skill set. Enthusiasm and a natural drive to work hard are key to succeeding in a startup environment.

For the most part years of experience is not always the only thing startup hiring managers look for. An employee that shows an eagerness to learn, a varied skill set and believes in the company’s purpose and goals are often a great fit for a startup hire – and the key to long term success.

At Lottie, our team are at the heart of everything we do. Our aim is to connect families and their loved ones to the best care homes and at a fair price. Building a team of people that also share this vision has helped Lottie to grow from strength to strength over the last year.”

Here are the 5 sought-after skills by a Startup in 2022, according to Lottie’s Chris Donnelly:

1. Digital Skills

Being knowledgeable of using technology to communicate, share work projects and store information safely is key to working in a startup. For example, being able to join online video calls and stay connected using platforms such as Slack and Zoom.

62% of startups in the UK are tech based and this is only expected to increase in the future years. Digital literacy in startups will grow in demand as technology develops.

2. Communication

Communication is key to great teamwork. Effective communication within a startup is crucial to hitting targets and goals, as well as building relationships with clients, customers, and suppliers.

As startups are often fast-paced – things may change very quickly on a day-to-day basis, so it’s important you’re able to share your idea and thoughts with colleagues. As well as keep them updated on any key business notices.

The communication framework set in place as a startup will grow with the business. Effective communication encourages a positive work environment and engaged employees.

3. Innovative thinking

Innovative thinking is a highly valued skill at startups. From being able to think outside the box to solve problems and helping to create new ways of thinking to drive market change – innovation is in high demand at startups.

Innovative thinking and creativity doesn’t always have to be a big idea.  Something as simple as suggesting a new way to organise an internal business process can streamline a startups business model.

4. Enthusiasm to learn

There’s a new lesson to learn each day when working at a startup. Take the time out of your day to reflect on your achievements, ambitions and any new experiences or challenges you can learn from.

Small businesses offer the opportunity to develop and learn a wide range of new skills. If there’s a skill area you’d like to develop or progress in, share this with your team or manager and they’ll be able to support you to achieve this.

Employees that show an enthusiasm to learn and drive to succeed and develop – go hand in hand with growing and expanding a startup company.

5. Adaptability

No one day is the same at a startup business, so it’s crucial you’re able to adapt quickly.

Being able to manage your time effectively to complete your daily tasks, stay on top of industry and market trends, and your ability to respond quickly to change are all examples of adaptability in a startup.

Being quick to adapt in a startup can also help to develop other skills highly valued in small businesses such as communication and innovation.

How Drones Are Being Used Commercially in Business

Though drones have become very popular toys for many adults and children alike there is so much more that drones are doing that is having a massive impact on many industries. In this article, we explore a few of the current commercial drone use cases.

Traffic Monitoring

For the emergency services and traffic police getting visibility over traffic issues provides very useful information with which they can make decisions. Typically, with traffic issues, the problem is only detected long after the event has taken place, and has then caused the traffic issue. As a result, there can be been many minutes, sometimes hours for the congestion and the impact of the congestion to be located, and a solution to then be implemented.

However, with the use of drones, decision-makers can keep a closer eye on traffic congestion and potential traffic issues and make important decisions a lot quicker to minimise the potential impact of a traffic accident.

Though helicopters can be used for a similar purpose in monitoring traffic flows and looking out for traffic accidents, it is very expensive to keep a helicopter in the air both from an equipment standpoint as well as a staffing standpoint. But drones remove both of those limitations. They are a lot cheaper to run than helicopters, and they do not require any staff to be in the drone per se, as they are controlled remotely.

This means that traffic consultants can monitor a broad area, for a much cheaper cost and take necessary actions to minimize and reduce congestion a lot sooner than they otherwise would be able to.

Specialist companies providing Drone Services are being called on for this service frequently.

Event Security

In a similar way that drones can add value in traffic monitoring, they can also be of significant use in event security and even incident monitoring. If an incident breaks out at an event it can take quite some time for the relevant security guards to first be alerted that there is an incident and then to make their way to the scene before they can then assess the situation and call in for further assistance if required.

Depending on the nature of the event this can take quite some time as they may have to make their way through a significantly dense crowd of people.

However, when drones are utilised in this environment they can rapidly and effectively assess a situation and provide live video footage back to a command center they can then make informed decisions, in real time, based on objective live stream footage on their screens in front of them.

These drones could also record this footage if those recordings would be useful in legal proceedings at a later date.

In addition to security issues inside the event, drones can also be very effective for scanning the perimeter of an event to ensure nobody is trying to get unauthorised access.

Where you would usually need a security guard to be physically walking the perimeter of an event, a drone could do this a lot quicker and provide a lot more accurate information back to the event headquarters in the event of a breach.

Even the presence of a drone that is sporadically tracing the perimeter could be enough to deter many people who are considering trying to breach the event walls.

Aerial Surveys

Drones have been instrumental in decreasing the cost of aerial surveys. For a long time, aerial surveys have been possible using other types of aircraft, such as airplanes and helicopters, but the cost of using these aircraft is often prohibitive for many people that would benefit from an aerial survey.

Farming

There are two main ways that drones are used in farming. Drones can act as another set of eyes for the farmer and can rapidly assess a large area of land whilst the farmer sits in front of a computer screen. The second way drones can add value in a farming situation is by performing certain functions on the land such as releasing poison and fertilizer in very targeted ways.

Final Thoughts

We are only at the beginning of seeing how drones are going to improve our ability to conduct many commercial operations more efficiently, and at a lower cost. In this article, we mentioned a few pertinent examples, but there is so much more drones can do and will do in the future.

 

How Business Leadership Qualities Vary Around the World

Although all corners of the world conduct business in some way, different countries do so in different ways depending on their goals, cultures, and beliefs. Before you embark on your international business management degree, it would be beneficial to have a firm understanding of how managers and owners in different countries approach business.

We understand that making the jump from college/sixth form to university can be a daunting one, but there are things you can do to get ahead of the curve and ensure you have the best possible start. Here, we’ll be taking a look at how the approach to business management differs across some cultures.

United Kingdom

Let’s start with the area of the globe that you’ll probably be most familiar with: the United Kingdom. The UK is the sixth-largest national economy in the world, and behind this thriving economy are business leaders with a particular way of doing things.

Here, leaders will encourage and promote discipline and punctuality among their employees, as these two factors are seen as the key to a successful business. In addition to this, they expect excellent time management skills from anyone they do business with, whether that’s staff, partners, or clients.

Not only do they expect deadlines to be hit without compromising on the quality of work, but they also expect people to arrive on time or, in many cases, earlier than expected. This demonstrates manners, organisation, and commitment.

Employees are encouraged to work as a team and a good manager will enforce this; individual ambition should not be prioritised over the success of a team effort.

British business leaders are polite but often indirect, which can be confusing for foreign guests. Although decisions and requests can sometimes sound like an invitation to discuss, this is not the case. There is authority behind the courtesy.

France

Patience is huge within French business culture. As a leader, you don’t expect decisions to be made on the spot or even shortly after the meeting has closed.

French businesspeople prefer to discuss things at length before deciding on something, especially if the business owner was not present at the meeting and therefore executives need to give an exact account of what took place.

Leaders in France are direct, straightforward, and have no trouble asking questions, whether that be to staff or executives from other organisations who are hoping to come to a business arrangement.

Sometimes a leader may even interrupt somebody before they’ve finished their point; this is supposed to be a positive sign as it means they’re actively listening/interested in what the person has to say.

Staff are encouraged to take sufficient lunch breaks that usually span 1.5 hours. In some areas of the world, such as the United Kingdom, employees are guilty of eating lunch at their desks because they’re so busy with the task at hand. Well, this action is against the law in France, with managers and staff using the allocated time to eat a good meal and allow it time to digest, or visit the gym and run errands.

Spain

Spain is a diverse country and a ‘one size fits all’ doesn’t work across all business owners. However, there are certain traits and habits that can be identified among leaders in all areas of the country.

Leaders are generally more relaxed when it comes to deadlines and timescales because that’s the Spanish culture in general; people tend to take their time in doing things and deal with each day as it comes. Business owners will likely see more people engrossed in their work at 20:00 than at 09:00.

This part of the world is one of the leading countries for expats to live and work, with foreign workers making up around 15 per cent of Spain’s total labour force.

Working hard as an individual is much more highly regarded than teamwork, so it’s not uncommon for leaders to acknowledge success that comes as a result of a single person’s work as opposed to a whole department or team.

Japan

Respect for age and status is very important in Japan’s business culture as well as their general culture. Managers and owners of a business are aware of their position at the top of the hierarchy, and they expect those below them to actively respect their prestigious rank.

Status among employees is determined by their job role, where they went to university, and marital status, so it’s common for business leaders to make important decisions based on the background of their staff.

Owners and managers in Japan prioritise relationships above all else, and they make certain that they know and trust somebody fully before engaging in business with them.

If an introduction is being made between two businesses, the person leading the introduction will usually choose an informal gathering involving food and drink to bring the two leaders together, first ensuring that the two parties are positioned within the same place on the hierarchy.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)

In a similar way to Japan, the business culture in Dubai focuses strongly on hierarchy. Business leaders in the UAE are the key decision makers and tend to be older and more experienced from the top down.

Age, money, and family can also determine where in the hierarchy someone is positioned; leaders are more likely to base hiring decisions on these three factors, as opposed to who would be the best at the job role.

It’s very rare a leader will accept ideas, suggestions, or any kind of input from lower-level employees. They are expected to always listen and follow, and overstepping could be seen as rude and disrespectful rather than innovative and ambitious.

Leaders dress moderately and expect their staff to do the same – most men wear a kandura (an ankle-length white shirt) and most women wear an abaya (a black flowing garment that covers most of the body).

Personal relationships are at the centre of all business in Dubai, and face-to-face meetings are prioritised over phone calls and emails as these forms of communication can sometimes be seen as impersonal.

The common denominators

Of course, business is handled differently across the world and leaders adopt different approaches based on culture, but there are consistent factors no matter which part of the globe they’re being conducted in.

In every country, the leaders have more than likely gained a good education, as well as have a particular set of skills and thorough knowledge relevant to their business sector.  

An international business management course will help you develop important skills, such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication, that can be transferred and applied to different parts of the world. Good luck with your studies!

9 Things To Ask In Your Next Interview That Will Impress Any Company

9 Things To Ask In Your Next Interview That Will Impress Any Company

Interviews tend to be one of the most stressful experiences in any job seeker’s life. You have to be careful not to come across as nervous, yet at the same time, you want to be engaging and personable. It can be tricky to find that balance, but if you’re well prepared, it’s definitely doable.

One way to help you prepare is by coming up with thoughtful, insightful questions to ask your interviewer. This will not only show that you’re interested in the company and the role, but it will also give you a chance to learn more about what they’re looking for and whether or not you’re a good fit.

To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of 9 great questions to ask in your next interview and impress the company you’re applying to.

1. What Does a Typical Day Look Like in This Role?

This is a great question to get a better understanding of what the day-to-day responsibilities of the role you’re applying for would entail. It’s also a way to gauge if the position is a good fit for your skills and interests.

“When I interview potential candidates, I love when they ask me questions about what a typical day looks like,” says Kevin Miller, Founder of Kevin Miller.

“This shows me that they’re truly interested in the company and the position, and it gives me a chance to talk about what I love about my job. I like to use this opportunity to give the candidate a well-rounded view of what they could expect if they were to come work for us.”

Business owners appreciate it when candidates take the time to learn about their company and the role they’re applying for. By asking this question, you’re sure to make a great impression and improve your chances of getting the job.

2. What Are the Company’s Core Values?

This is another excellent question to ask early on in the interview process. It shows that you’re interested in learning more about the company and its culture, and it gives you a chance to see if your values align with those of the organization.

“I’m always impressed by candidates who inquire about our company values,” says Lilian Chen, Co-Founder and COO of Bar None Games. “It tells me that they want to be sure we’re a great fit for them, and they’re a great fit for us.”

Asking about the company’s core values is a great way to show that you’re invested in finding a role where you’ll be happy and fulfilled. It’s also a way to make sure that you’re applying to companies whose values align with your own.

3. What Do You Love About Working Here?

This is a great question to ask your interviewer if they seem like they genuinely enjoy working for the company. And it serves as a way to get some insight into what it’s like to work there and what the company culture is like.

“I always love it when candidates ask me this question,” says Lina Miranda, VP of Marketing at AdQuick. “It shows me that they’re interested in more than just the job itself, but also in the company as a whole. It’s a great way to get a feel for whether or not someone would be a good fit for our team.”

If you’re hoping to make a great impression and learn more about the company you’re interviewing with, be sure to ask your interviewer what they love about working there. You’re sure to get some valuable insights that will help you make your decision about whether or not to accept a job offer.

4. Can You Tell Me About a Time When You Had to Overcome a Challenge?

This question is an insightful one to ask if you want to get a better sense of how the company deals with challenges and adversity. It’s also a way to see how your potential future boss handles difficult situations.

“Many job candidates are afraid to ask their interviewers insightful questions,” says Alex Wang, CEO of Ember Fund. “But I think it’s so important to get a sense of how the company deals with challenges before you commit to working there. Likewise, this question gives me a lot of insight into a candidate’s thought process and their ability to think on their feet.”

When you interview for a position, it’s important to tread carefully and not come across as too confrontational. But asking your interviewer about a time when they had to overcome a challenge is a great way to get some valuable insights into the company while also showing that you’re not afraid to ask tough questions.

5. What Are the Opportunities for Career Advancement?

If you’re hoping to find a position where you can grow and advance within the company, be sure to ask your interviewer about opportunities for career advancement. This question shows that you’re interested in more than just the job itself but also in your long-term career prospects with the company.

“Candidates who ask about advancing in the company let me know which ones are more likely to stay with us for the long haul,” says Cody Candee, Founder and CEO of Bounce. “It’s always a good sign when someone is interested in growing with us and making a career out of their job.”

Asking about opportunities for career advancement is a great way to show that you’re looking for a long-term position with the company. And in turn, you will gain insight into the company’s promotion process and what you need to do to move up within the organization.

6. Do You Have Any Hesitations about Me Being the Right Fit for This Role?

It’s no secret that interviews can be nerve-wracking experiences. But if you want to make a great impression, it’s important to put your nerves aside and ask your interviewer this tough question.

“Asking your interviewer if they have any hesitations about you being the right fit for the role shows that you’re confident in your abilities and that you’re not afraid to address any concerns head-on,” says Rachel Reid, CEO of Subtl Beauty.

“So often, candidates are afraid to ask their interviewers tough questions. But I think it’s so important to get a sense of where they stand before you leave the interview.”

If you want to make a great impression and learn more about where you stand with the company, be sure to ask your interviewer if they have any hesitations about you being the right fit for the role. This question shows that you’re confident in your abilities and that you’re not afraid to confront challenging or uncomfortable situations.

7. What Do You Think Sets This Company Apart from Its Competitors?

In today’s competitive job market, it’s more important than ever to ask your interviewer what sets their company apart from its competitors. This question shows that you’re knowledgeable about the industry and that you’re interested in working for a company that is truly unique.

“When candidates take the time to ask me this question, it shows me that they’ve done their research on the company and they understand our unique position in the market,” says Karim Hachem, VP of eCommerce at Maxine of Hollywood.

“It’s always a good sign when someone is interested in working for us specifically, and not just any company in the industry.”

Asking your interviewer what sets their company apart from its competitors is a great way to show that you’re knowledgeable about the industry and that you have a genuine interest in working for the company.

8. What Kind of Challenges Can I Expect in This Role?

When you’re interviewing for a position, it’s important to have a realistic understanding of the challenges you’ll face in the role. And asking your interviewer about the challenges you can expect is a great way to get some insights into what the job will be like.

“It’s not enough to just be interested in the challenges of the job,” says Michael Burghoffer, CEO of PicoSolutions. “You need to be able to show that you’re excited about them and that you’re ready to take them on.”

When you know what potential challenges lie ahead, you can better prepare yourself for the position. What’s more, it demonstrates your enthusiasm for the job and your willingness to face challenging tasks.

9. How Long Did the Previous Person Last in This Position?

Asking your interviewer how long the previous person lasted in their position is a great way to get some insights into the company’s culture. If turnover is high, it could be a sign that the company isn’t a great place to work. But if employees tend to stay with the company for long periods of time, it’s a good sign that it’s a supportive and enjoyable place to work.

“This question shows that you’re interested in finding a long-term position with the company,” says Dr. Minhas, Founder and CEO of GerdLi. “And it’s always a good sign when someone is interested in working for us long-term.”

Adding to that, Lionel Mora, CEO of Neoplants says, “When we hire someone, we’re making an investment. Sometimes, that investment doesn’t pay off because the person isn’t a good fit for the company. But when someone asks this question, it tells us that this is likely a good investment.”

In Closing

Asking thoughtful, insightful questions in your next interview is a great way to impress any company. By demonstrating your knowledge of the industry, your understanding of the company, and your genuine interest in the role, you’ll be sure to stand out from the competition.

Planning for the Unexpected: How to Overcome Employee Welfare Challenges

Businesses have many complex challenges that they need to overcome, from financial difficulties to supply chain issues and recruitment. But while there’s no way of knowing what the future holds, being prepared when it comes to employee welfare can make all the difference. 

In the past, many managers would have expected personal problems to be left at home, but it’s a counter-productive attitude that more and more business leaders are waking up to. In order to foster an open, productive and happier workforce, employees need to feel supported in all aspects of their lives. The fact remains that in order to keep your staff safe and happy, you need to be able to support them in overcoming welfare challenges that could arise unexpectedly. 

Poor health

The threat that ill health poses when it comes to job security can make many people fearful of telling their boss or manager that they’re struggling. From physical issues and chronic conditions to mental health concerns, there are many challenges that employees can face which affect their ability to work. But as with any condition, employees who have help in receiving treatment have a far better chance of recovering than those who don’t. 

There’s a lot of stigma around mental health in society, and it is a serious problem that more businesses need to prioritise. Managers need to feel that they can confidently speak with employees if they spot worrying signs or have staff come to them with a concern. Part of the way they achieve that is creating a culture of open communication. Employee Assistance Programmes are also beneficial to offer counselling and support services to employees in need. 

Similarly, if an employee is dealing with a chronic condition, find ways you can support them. Maybe you can invest in office equipment to make their working day more comfortable, or move their schedule around so they can take breaks more regularly throughout the day and work flexibly to accommodate their condition. Having someone take a few days off to recoup and recover is preferable to them trying to work through their difficulties and worsening their symptoms. 

Accidents and injuries

Accidents can happen in any workplace, no matter how careful you and your staff are. But knowing how to respond to those accidents is essential to supporting your staff if they suffer an injury. As an employer, you’re responsible for workplace safety and staff wellbeing whilst they’re at work. Quite naturally it’s also important to support them if they suffer an injury outside of work too. 

Employers should provide an opportunity for staff to talk following the injury, should they wish to, as well as be vigilant of any after effects and symptoms of PTSD, offering time off if they need it. But remember that the responsibility doesn’t end there. Employees are well within their rights to make a personal injury claim against their employer, and in accordance with employee law, businesses are not allowed to dismiss them for doing so. With this in mind, one of the best ways a business can help staff overcome the challenges they face as a result of a workplace accident is to support them in any injury claims they make. Have a system in place for reporting the incident and making a note of any details pertaining to the accident, inform other staff of what happened so they can be vigilant in the future, and learn from the experience to further develop risk assessments. 

Financial difficulties

Finances are one of the biggest causes of stress for people, especially with today’s economic climate. As an employer, you play a key role in peoples’ monetary circumstances, so your primary role needs to be one of support. Understandably, given the taboo around talking about money, employees may feel shame and embarrassment at struggling to pay their bills or coping with debt, and that can worsen their stress and anxiety even further. 

In addition to paying fair living wages, employers can help their staff by providing money management resources, debt charities or credit brokers, as well as financial aid services to help them overcome financial struggles and money-related perks. Depending on the type of business you operate, overtime may be an option to help staff boost their income, or there may be ways for them to sell some of their annual leave. Ongoing financial education can also help staff to tackle their money worries and avoid future problems. 

Grief

The death of a friend or family member can affect each of us in different ways, but there’s a high chance that if an employee has had to deal with a bereavement, they will be stressed, upset and struggling with productivity at work. They may need counselling or time off work to grieve properly. It’s vital, however, that they have time to come to terms with their loss rather than suppress their emotions. 

Some people may return to work to give their mind something to focus on or because they benefit from a regular routine. But whenever they do return to work, make sure that they have the support they need. If your business offers a wellbeing programme with counselling services, these can be offered to bereaved staff, or you may have third party resources you can direct them to. Offering flexible working to help them accommodate arranging funeral services or similar tasks can also help staff feel supported during what is a difficult and stressful time. 

Relationship breakdowns

It’s an unfortunate fact that many relationships end, for a variety of reasons, but it goes without saying that it’s an incredibly stressful time for those involved. Your employee could be facing losing their partner but also potentially having to deal with altered childcare arrangements if they have children. Separation of assets and finding somewhere new to live will also add new pressures and often increased financial burden. Being sympathetic to the situation is vital, but employers can also offer support in other ways while staff go through this challenging period. 

Once again, a well being programme can facilitate important support services, if they’re struggling emotionally, and being understanding to the fact that their work performance may be temporarily affected, can make a great difference to the way they move through their change of circumstances. Having a process in place to deal with these personal difficulties can help employers treat each employee fairly, should they find themselves in the same situation. This may be such as facilitating an extended leave of absence if the employee requests it, or offering flexible working while they handle their divorce. 

Take a proactive approach

Recognising potential problems before they become serious issues can help businesses put protective measures and systems in place early on to support staff with any welfare challenges they may face. Not only is this better for the staff but it also helps your organisation react to unforeseen circumstances with greater ease. 

Creating a Positive Company Culture

Creating a Positive Company Culture

There are a lot of challenges for CEOs in the current business environment, which can be a worry for those new to the job or their current positions, not wanting to start on a negative note. If you’re in this position, the good news is that some of the best things you can do for your team cost very little and quickly start getting results. These steps towards building a positive company culture will help everybody get through difficult times in good spirits.

Improve communications

Ask employees what matters most at work, and a high proportion will say that they want to be listened to. They know what their jobs involve better than anybody else, and they often have suggestions that can benefit everyone. Taking the time to pay attention to them makes them feel valued, as they know their efforts are being noticed and their work means something. Keep them informed about organisational goals and achievements. Good communication from the top also encourages openness between employees, improving teamwork. Look for ways to incentivise working together rather than using rewards which promote competition and can lead to workers intentionally obstructing one another.

Invest in employee development

Nothing demonstrates that you value employees more effectively than investing in them. This can mean spending money to provide training or advance their education, with returns for the company in future as their new skills improve their productivity. It can also mean simply taking the time to identify areas where they’re struggling and provide direct mentoring. You may find that you already have a lot of untapped talent within your team and that freeing up time for employees to train each other helps those who are struggling, gives the mentors a deeper understanding of their existing skills, and enhances their confidence.

Make everyone feel welcome

Getting employees to work more closely together, in this or other ways, requires making sure they’re comfortable with each other. We all unconsciously absorb prejudices from the world around us, which can be a big problem in the workplace. The best way to break them down is by increasing understanding, so look for opportunities to do so. If you’re using workplace drug and alcohol testing, you can talk about addiction, explaining how common it is and letting employees who are struggling know that it’s safe to ask for help. If you’re adjusting your COVID policy, you can talk about issues faced by people with chronic illness and so on. This relaxed but proactive approach lets you gradually educate your workforce and makes everyone feel that their opinion matters.

Significant changes in company culture can be brought about by small positive actions taken on a daily basis. When your employees see you are making an effort, they’ll realise that you have a positive vision for the company. They will feel more confident about the future, motivating them to make the effort today, which will help to secure a solid future for the business.

5 Soft Skills That Every Leader Needs to Develop

5 Soft Skills That Every Leader Needs to Develop

The word “soft” can sometimes be associated with being weak or fragile. However, when paired with the word “skills”, it couldn’t be more the opposite. Soft skills are also known as power skills, core skills, or common skills, and in simple terms, they describe how you work with others.

Unlike hard skills, which are technical abilities gained through completing training or courses, its soft counterpart is picked up through work ethic, work style and communication style. It’s incredibly important for leaders, in particular, to have finely honed soft skills, as their roles require constant communication with different people in different capacities. Here, we explore the 5 soft skills that every leader needs to develop in order for them to flourish in the workplace.

1. Communication

Of course, communication is one of the most important soft skills there is. It’s the key to success within the workforce and is more essential than ever in a world where remote work and technology are becoming more relied upon.

Leaders who can deliver effective verbal and written communication are more likely to increase employee retention, efficiency and advance in their problem-solving. Plus, practising good communication skills is critical to understanding information more precisely and quickly – both for you, the leader – and others.

Those who don’t practice good communication are more likely to experience frustration and frequent misjudgements.

2. Teamwork

Amongst other learning and development trends at the moment, teamwork is one of the most traditional skills of all that continues to be a non-negotiable. Being able to work with others is an essential aspect of generating positive results with your whole workforce.

The better you’re able to work alongside others, the more chance your team has at becoming successful and achieving its goals. In the workplace, it’s common that your employees have to work with or collaborate with others in order to complete projects and tasks. Having 10/10 teamwork skills as a leader will make it a much easier, more enjoyable and streamlined experience for everyone.

3. Empathy

A positive and productive work environment requires empathy and emotional intelligence from its leader. It also goes hand in hand with good communication, as strong empathy skills provide you with the ability to know if you’re actually reaching and connecting with people.

Not only this, but you’re able to understand how your decisions and actions will impact your staff, as well as allow you to group people together that you think will work most effectively as a team.

Empathy also shows your workforce that you have humanity. This encourages loyalty and can create inspirational leader status. Plus, being empathetic is incredibly valuable in terms of negotiation. It helps you to understand both sides of an argument and gives you the ability to create deals where everybody wins.

4. Self Awareness

Every leader needs to be self-aware. If they’re not, how will anybody respect them if they’re not sure about the decisions they’re making? Leaders need to understand and be confident in their business goals and desires before they begin to make compromises with people. This includes employees, suppliers, clients, and other executives.

Having a strong sense of self-awareness also helps leaders manage their sensitivity better. For example, it allows them to independently pursue their own career goals while also understanding and promoting the wants and needs of their staff.

5. Adaptability

In today’s world, things are advancing pretty quickly. Whether it’s in technology or dealing with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, being adaptable to change is *so* important in the modern work environment. For leaders especially, adaptability, self-awareness, teamwork, empathy and communication all go hand in hand in achieving an invaluable all-rounded soft skillset.

Being fully adaptable enables you to keep up with moving deadlines and priorities, plus projects, technology and clients, and be accustomed to dealing with changing situations.

Embrace these soft skills as a business leader

Looking to thrive in your position as leader and be the best boss you can be in terms of client satisfaction and business results? Learning, embracing, and developing these five soft skills as a collective will ensure that you only keep on rising. Soft skill lovers, assemble

.

Questions to Ask Before Authorising a Business Fleet Overhaul

Questions to Ask Before Authorising a Business Fleet Overhaul

As the Chief Executive Officer of a large company, you don’t have time to dive into every little factor affecting your business. These matters are mostly handled by management, with your Chief Operations Officer providing day-to-day oversight. This allows you to focus on the bigger picture.

With that said, the CEO is responsible for the rise and fall of a business organization. That means there’s pressure on you to ensure the moves made by management are the right ones. Generally speaking, this involves a process of approval.

For CEOs presented with plans to overhaul the company’s fleet, it’s easy to take a cursory look at the details before providing your stamp of approval. If the fleet manager has confidence and your COO is on board, it must be a good plan.

Or is it? The job of a CEO requires a willingness to keep an open mind regarding major changes to the company. An overhaul of your business fleet is no exception.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at six questions to ask before authorizing a business fleet overhaul:

Is It Necessary?

This should be the first question every CEO asks when scrutinizing a transformative proposal. When it comes to overhauling your business fleet, make a point to ask what’s driving the alleged need for an upgrade. Are the current vehicles becoming too expensive to repair and maintain? Is there a safety concern to consider? Are there complicating factors, such as a company declaration to shift to more sustainable practices? The decision to upgrade your business fleet comes down to whether or not it’s necessary.

Is It Beneficial?

Will the business benefit from an upgrade to new vehicles and fleet management? From cost savings to improved safety, there are several reasons why a fleet overhaul will prove beneficial. But it’s essential to get to the bottom of these benefits before authorizing the change. The proposal should have a clear and simple breakdown of these benefits backed by hard evidence.

Gas or Electric?

You’ve decided there’s strong evidence pointing to the need for an overhaul. Do you blanketly endorse the plan as it exists? You could, but you’d be passing up a golden opportunity to steer the overhaul in the direction of the overall company vision. For instance, should the new generation of fleet vehicles be gas-powered or electric? There are pros and cons to both, with gas-powered cars providing short-term affordability while electric vehicles are the way of the future. It might be the right time to make the switch to EVs, but you won’t know until you dig into the details.

In-House or Outsourced Fleet Management?

Is your fleet management in-house? If so, it might be a good time to consider the possibility of outsourcing to a third party. For instance, if switching from gas-powered cars to EVs, you might realize electric vehicle fleet management is better going forward. The debate is flipped for companies who’ve outsourced fleet management for years; if the business is significantly larger than it was when the original contract was written, it might be time to develop an in-house fleet management process.

Which Makes and Models?

Here comes the fun part. As CEO, you get to decide which makes and models work best for your business fleet. While the expertise of your fleet manager should be factored into the decision, you have the final say on whether or not your company invests in one type of vehicle or another. It might come down to cost. It could also depend on quality and performance.

Branded or Unmarked?

Some companies benefit from having branded fleet vehicles driving around town. Others prefer their fleet vehicles to remain unmarked and unassuming. Which is best for your company? What you had before might not be what’s best going forward. For instance, if your company has become increasingly synonymous with a popular advertising campaign character, it might be a good idea to have vinyl wrap graphics of that character applied to the outside of fleet vehicles.

Is your company preparing to overhaul its vehicle fleet? If so, it’s essential to ask the right questions. Doing so puts your company in the best position possible to make the most of an infrequent opportunity.

CEO of the Year, 2022 – Cape Town, South Africa

Headed by Attie Butler, The Assessment Toolbox has grown into one of the largest privately owned Assessment Houses in South Africa  and a leading HR consultancy, becoming known for its efficient and practical solutions that bring companies to life. Indeed, The Assessment Toolbox reinvigorates, restores, and reintroduces morale, efficacy and passion to the workplace.

The Assessment Toolbox’s genesis came in 2007, and since then has established itself as one of the largest and most competitive independently owned assessment companies in South Africa. Working with clients in both the public and private sectors, The Assessment Toolbox specialises in the provision of HR consulting services, psychometric assessments and bespoke design competency-based simulation tools. Moreover, it boasts staff across three offices, and a reliable network of associates across the country, which enables The Assessment Toolbox to provide a seamless service to its clients, no matter where they’re based in the nation.

‘I bought the company in 2019 just before the pandemic started. During the 2nd quarter of 2020 we were impacted by being unable to deliver our services, however I communicated to all the staff on a daily basis with a general e-mail to keep them positive and motivated during the uncertain times. I used this time to develop a strategy to firstly recover and secondly to establish serious growth,’ explains Arthur Butler.

Perhaps better known as Attie Butler, the Owner of The Assessment Toolbox he also has several other ventures within his portfolio, including being co-founder and CEO of Ignite Advisory, a well-established consulting business focusing on public sector consulting that under his leadership pioneered various unique solutions including performance management and shared services. He is also the founder and CEO of HRMConnect, a company focusing on human resource management consulting uniquely linked to strategy deployment ensuring return on employee investment. He is a published author, has acted as Chairperson of School Governing Bodies, and has lectured at the University of Stellenbosch’s School of Public Leader​ship and its Business School.

Prior to fulfilling his own business ventures, Attie served as Senior Manager at Deloitte, where he focused on strategy and innovation and on the coordination of local government consulting. He also worked as an Auditor managing an Audit Centre at the Office of the Auditor-General. When asked about these roles, Attie tells us, ‘I am extremely grateful for the experience gained at the office of the Auditor General […] and at Deloitte. Deloitte is amazing in employee development and growth, and I have learnt how important it is to care for your staff and to develop them on all levels. The national and international exposure, the training and development experienced at the best of the best, was special and allowed me to do what I do best.’

Such experiences have informed Attie’s approach to leadership, which is centred around supporting his team members and creating a positive working environment. In his own words, he believes in maintaining open communication with all staff, forging a family environment where everyone cares for each other, look out for others, and support each other. He prefers to act as a team member, and not the unreachable boss in the glass office – he wants to lead by example. Consequently, this approach allows The Assessment Toolbox and its team to consistently exceed its clients’ expectations and deliver exceptional standards of work.

‘I also share the financial targets and celebrating the achievement with all staff, so that each of us know what we are working for and what we have achieved. This comes with great rewards for great achievements and recognition for when one of us makes a difference. I have also introduced a trophy system whereby staff can recognise each other when they have identified exceptional work or where someone goes the extra mile.  I also believe that every employee should be given the opportunity to take ownership of their career and be developed to excel. I must create such opportunities through business growth, sharing my knowledge and experience, allowing team members to take initiative and make mistakes. Quick decision making and well thought-through strategies is key’ he noted.

It is clear that his approach and servant leadership style has been successful, as during his time as CEO, Attie has smashed several key targets. In the past year alone, he has grown the revenue of Assessment Toolbox by 22%, and his goal for next year is to increase this figure for all the companies by a further 15%. They are looking forward to potentially adding additional services for private sector clients, and The Assessment Toolbox has recently been appointed by a government department to redesign the local government senior management competency assessment framework, which he believes will become a game changer in the employment and development of local government leadership. Ignite Advisory has also established a new human resource management service line of which they are already reaping the benefits.

The Assessment Toolbox is expected to continue along this upward trajectory, continuing to reach astronomical targets that bolster its business across the globe. The company’s devotion to its clients and the positive team spirit have amplified the success, with much of this attitude stemming from its CEO, Attie Butler. In turn, it is CEO Monthly’s pleasure to award Attie Butler CEO of the Year, 2022 – Cape Town, South Africa.

Attie humbly concludes, ‘I believe that my success and our company’s success is based on the contribution of every single employee, and I am extremely grateful for the amazing work families. These successes are definitely not mine, but that of very special teams.’

For business enquiries, contact Attie Butler from The Assessment Toolbox on their website – https://www.assessmenttoolbox.co.za/

How Today’s Healthcare Leaders Prioritise The Patient Connection

How Today’s Healthcare Leaders Prioritise The Patient Connection

The global health crisis put undue pressure on medical facilities worldwide. From supply and staffing shortages to crowded emergency rooms and rising death tolls, hospitals, private practices, and clinics struggled to maintain control and provide adequate patient care. Although the worst appears to be over, the many obstacles encouraged healthcare leaders to rethink their approach to patient care. 

The Importance Of The Provider-Patient Connection

Chief Medical Officer at Phillips,  Jan Kimpen breaks down the future health index report of 2022 into three key components: improving the staffing experience, capitalizing on predictive analytics, and heightening healthcare data security. By focusing on these factors, healthcare facilities can enhance patient connection.

It’s important for every healthcare provider to know how to connect with their patients. One of the most common complaints people have about doctors and other healthcare professionals is that they don’t feel heard. 

Any successful healthcare leader knows that a connection between providers and patients can help improve health outcomes, provide patients with a greater sense of control, and foster trust in medical professionals. Ultimately, developing strategies and utilising digital resources that enhance the experience of medical staff and patients is essential. 

Below is a look at two technological resources today’s healthcare leaders are relying on to improve staff experience and patient care. 

Engagement Platforms Improve Quality of Care

Telehealth services became integral to patient care amid the global health crisis. It provided a secure and convenient platform for doctors, nurses, therapists, and other medical staff to remotely tend to their patient’s needs. As a result, healthcare leaders have adopted tools that will help bridge the communication gap between other medical experts and services. 

Pharmaceutical engagement platforms, for example, help medical professionals complete health care provider responsibilities more efficiently. It enables pharmaceutical representatives to engage with HCPs and offer suggestions on the best prescriptions to enhance patient care. Such platforms streamline processes, which reduces healthcare worker stress and improves the patient experience. 

Interactive Portals Help Doctors And Patients Work Together

More healthcare leaders are encouraging their staff to promote the use of patient portals for an improved experience. These secure, user-friendly platforms enable patients to complete forms, review medical records, schedule appointments, request referrals, and interact with doctors, giving them more control over their health. 

No one wants to feel like they can have no control over their bodies. People need as many options as possible when it comes to their health, and one way to do that is to give them control over their own information. Patient portals help users make more informed decisions.

This is helpful for patients who are new in your office or those who may have trouble remembering everything that’s happened with their treatment plan. By allowing patientsaccess to their own health information, you’ll also increase trust between you and your patients because they’ll know that they’re receiving the best care possible.

Lastly, medical databases with patient portals ensure healthcare facilities remain compliant with federal and local regulations and avoid rising cybersecurity risks by keeping patient data accessible and secure. They also enable healthcare workers to provide more efficient services by selecting the best communication medium, distributing educational materials, offering various treatment options, and following up on patient expectations and care. 

Social Platforms Improve Patient Education And Community Outreach

Yolanda Marie Johnson-Moton, a strategy consultant at USMD Health Education Development stresses the importance of healthcare providers tapping into multiple accessible platforms to communicate with the communities they serve. 

Social media, in particular, provides a safe space for the medical industry to engage, educate, and support existing and potential patients in their efforts to improve their health and wellness. From posting articles, case studies, and infographics, to notifying audieneces about upcoming events and financial assistance, social media has proven to be a beneficial tool to spread the word.

Social media has helped healthcare professionals reach millions, build credibility, and cultivate a trusting relationship that encourages followers to prioritise their well-being. 

If the past few years have taught healthcare leaders anything, it’s the importance of the provider-patient connection. As the world becomes more complex and patient needs change, healthcare executives are doing everything in their power to ensure they provide the best level of care. The use of the technologies listed above have helped medical directors, chief medical officers, and education consultants to implement systems to improve staff experience, while strengthening the provider-patient relationship.

Why SEO & Your Website’s Technical Health Should Be Businesswide Priorities In 2023

Craig Dunham, CEO of Lumar 

With only two months left in 2022, business leaders worldwide are naturally looking at their plans and priorities for the year ahead. In a time of economic uncertainty around the world, you’re likely revisiting marketing and sales budgets to see which levers to pull to ensure a steady stream of brand awareness and revenue in 2023. And as we face the decline of third-party cookies on paid marketing channels, leadership teams are likely revisiting their plans for more cost-effective organic marketing channels, like their websites. One often overlooked area in the organic marketing space is search engine optimisation (SEO) — but it shouldn’t be. In this article, I’ll shed some light on why your website’s health and performance deserve to be businesswide priorities in the year to come. 

Why SEO & your website’s technical health must be on the agenda

In research we conducted with Econsultancy, 89% of marketing leaders surveyed felt that organic search will drive more revenue for their businesses in the future. That makes a lot of sense, as people have adopted a search-first mindset in their daily lives. Think about it: when you have a question about just about anything, what’s one of the first places you turn? Chances are, it’s Google. On an average day, it’s estimated that Google processes somewhere between 40,000 and 63,000 queries per second — combine that number with searches processed by other search engines like Bing, and well, that’s a lot of people looking for answers in organic search! What’s more, that’s a lot of opportunity for your business to meet potential customers where they are and drive brand awareness without the added pay-per-click costs associated with paid advertising channels. 

To leverage organic search for meaningful revenue results, you’ll need to pay attention to SEO — and your website’s overall technical health. The technical foundations of your website — including everything from site architecture to crawlability, internal linking, site speed, page experience, and more — play a big role in getting your site’s content ranked at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs).

These days, website optimisation goes beyond just keywords and content. Naturally, Google and other search engines want their platforms to be used as much as possible, so it benefits them to promote high-quality websites with not only great content but also fast loading times and a top-notch user experience. And this matters beyond just reaching the top of the search results and gaining traffic and brand awareness — these technical website health elements can also impact your conversion rates. According to Google’s Mary Ellen Coe, president of Google Customer Solutions, a one-second delay in mobile load times can impact conversion rates by up to 20%.  

Ensuring your company’s website meets a high standard across the board is integral if you want to take full advantage of opportunities for cost-effective, website-driven growth. 

How to improve your website’s health and discover its full commercial potential 

First, you’ll need to make your website a business-wide priority. The operation of a successful, revenue-driving website is not a one-person job — it generally involves close collaboration across multiple teams and individuals, including marketing leaders, content writers, SEOs, developers, designers, UX professionals, and more. That’s why we recommend taking a broader, more inclusive Digital Ops approach to website management, rather than relying on more siloed Marketing Ops or Dev Ops structures to get the job done well. The cross-functional teams involved in your website’s success need to be able to effectively and efficiently collaborate and share knowledge. 

Getting the right people and platforms in place is also key to executing on your website optimisation initiatives. The right website intelligence tools can provide insights into why your website content is ranking where it is in the search results — and will help you pinpoint exactly what changes you can make to improve both search results and overall user experience. 

Knowing where your site’s technical health is falling behind is crucial for businesses that want to prioritise their website as a primary organic marketing and sales channel. But being able to monitor and prevent traffic-sapping website mistakes can also save your digital teams a lot of time and expense in the long run. Some robust website intelligence platforms, like Lumar, can provide not only fast and flexible website crawling and technical analytics, but also offer high-level website monitoring tools and SEO quality assurance testing automation that helps businesses take a more proactive approach to SEO and website health.  

What’s more, having a shared source of knowledge and data relating to your site’s technical health will help cross-functional website teams work together with better cohesion and improved efficiency, whether individuals belong to marketing, engineering, product, UX, or SEO disciplines. A website intelligence platform that can act as a centralised ‘command centre’ for all things relating to your site’s technical health can also help leadership prioritize their budget allocation with a clearer view into opportunities for needle-moving, impactful website optimisation projects. 

Your website’s size will also help determine the best tools for your particular organisation — many eCommerce and news media websites, for example, could have millions of individual URLs, and will likely need a very high-speed, flexible website crawler that is capable of handling enterprise-scale websites as part of their chosen website intelligence platform. 

Yielding longer-term results 

While paid ads can provide a temporary boost to site traffic and sales, they generally come with a cost per click. Organic search strategies, on the other hand, still involve some investment in time, people, platform, and other resources, but can often boast longer-term and more cost-effective rewards. Meeting your customers where they are (and aligning your brand with the needs they are trying to meet in their online searches) has never been more important for businesses that wish to build their credibility, authority, brand awareness, and revenue. 

With organic search established as a key driver for multiple business functions, you stand to benefit a great deal from understanding SEO and the greater website intelligence landscape. This includes developing an awareness of the available tools that can provide knowledge, efficiency, and collaborative improvements for your teams. Investing time and effort into building a strong Digital Ops structure within your business and identifying the right website intelligence platform for your needs can provide valuable insights for everyone in the C-suite and enable teams across your organisation to succeed in our search-first age. 

You likely have an understanding of your wider business ambitions and bigger-picture strategies that can be influenced to some degree by search results — as such, I would encourage more of us CEOs to prioritise our websites’ health in 2023. Our choices as consumers are driven more than ever by search engines, and with new challenges arising in the digital advertising space alongside the decline of third-party cookies, getting up to speed with the world of organic search and the opportunities afforded by a technically sound website will offer a valuable advantage in the long term. 

Are You and Your Clients Missing Revenue Opportunities?

By Matt Lewns, Partner Manager at award-winning accounting software developer, iplicit

Why Clients’ Growing Pains Could Cost You Potential Revenue

Picture the scenario: your clients have been expanding well, thanks in no small part to the incisive business advice that you’ve given them.

But here’s the issue…they’ve outgrown their old entry-level accounting software which can’t cope with requirements such as multiple currencies, multiple entities and consolidated accounts.

They simply can’t stretch their existing software with spreadsheet workarounds any longer andnd for the average SME or mid-sized nonprofit organisation, that means contemplating some challenging choices:

•        It’s a big, expensive leap from entry-level platforms such as Xero, QuickBooks and Sage 50 to large and complex ERP systems such as NetSuite, Dynamics and Intacct.

•        Making that leap has traditionally taken months (or even years). It can be hugely disruptive for your clients (and it doesn’t make an accountant’s role any easier in the meantime).

•        Migrating to a complex ERP system usually means contracting out the implementation to a third party specialist – so most accountants see very little (if any) of the implementation fees; the lion’s share will almost always go to the third party.

Surely there must be a smarter alternative?

How Mid-Market Accounting Software Has Evolved

For years, the accounting software mid-market was desperately underserved. But now there are true cloud systems designed specifically for SMEs and medium-sized charities that need the extra power and advanced functionality…without the added complexity and hassle.

Implementations can be very quick indeed because – unlike the more complex platforms – today’s software arrives as a ‘rolling chassis’, not a ‘box of bits’ that must be painstakingly assembled from scratch each time.

With much of the hard work already done at source, implementing iplicit software takes an average of just 16 applied days.

Not only does it provide users with a functionally rich accounting solution, it also opens the door to accountants seeking to develop their software implementation businesses in the potentially lucrative mid-market space.

All of a sudden you have an affordable mid-market solution that meets users’ needs and provides the opportunity for you to evolve your digital offering by providing a solution beyond the likes of Xero, QuickBooks and Sage 50.

It’s a practical answer to a very pressing problem that will affect a huge number of users.

Improve Your Client Retention

In times like these, client retention becomes more important with every passing day. By offering a logical next step from Xero, QuickBooks and Sage, you no longer risk losing clients who develop more complex requirements such as:

•        consolidated multi-entity and multi-currency reporting

•        increased transaction volumes

•        more in-depth and dynamic reporting.

It’s another important way to enhance your cross-selling strategy and increase advisory lead revenues – something that’s becoming more vital as the economic storm clouds continue to gather.

Accelerating Pace Of Change

SMEs and mid-sized nonprofits are under increasing pressure to migrate to the cloud – now more than ever. The creators of the old legacy systems are in the process of mothballing the on-premise versions of their software by withdrawing support.

This makes uncomfortable reading for users that have tried to put off changing systems because they fear the disruption involved. However those concerns are based on past experience – the world of accounting software has changed significantly.

Upgrading to a more capable system is no longer the unpalatable experience it may once have been.

And that’s just as well because sticking with the status quo is not a realistic option, ashe days of concentrating purely on entry-level accounting software are fading fast.

Change is taking place at an ever-accelerating rate. Accountants urgently need new software products to meet clients’ ever-more sophisticated requirements. Their existing systems may be too ponderous to help them explore new markets, seize new business opportunities and realise efficiencies in a tightening economy.

Making The Tougher Times Work For You

Necessity is not just the mother of invention: it has always been a catalyst for sales too. So a challenging economy can work in your favour, as more clients seek out your advice –As well as giving them the expert strategic advice they need, you’re also well placed to help them solve their accounting software issues – so they can implement that strategy more effectively and more efficiently.

True cloud accounting software for the mid-market offers smart, dynamic reporting and intuitive drill down functionality. So you and your clients can pull out all the detailed reports you need, quickly and easily.

It makes forecasting easier and alerts you to potential hazards on the horizon – enabling you and your clients to act before it’s too late.

Understanding Your World

Only you can truly understand the unique issues that you and your clients face. But when it comes to accounting software, it pays to get advice from someone who’s also experienced life in practice.

How to Spot Signs and Overcome Poor Leadership Practices

  • RADA Business shares advice to help business professionals analyse their leadership style and form new habits
  • Liz Barber, Tutor at RADA Business, provides insights and advice

Whilst leadership has always played a crucial role in any business, the increasing pressures and expectations being placed on organisations, by both internal and external stakeholders, make it clear that strong and effective leadership has never been more important.

With RADA Business recently announcing a 41% increase in sales of their leadership Open Courses, looking ahead to the next quarter, it’s clear that professionals are increasingly looking to enhance their leadership abilities to ensure they are delivering their best performance for their team and organisation.

Although there may not be a blueprint for the ‘perfect leader’, there are certain leadership skills which can be applied across many different scenarios to help strengthen team performance and connections.

For those looking to enhance their leadership skills and spot any areas which can be improved upon, Liz Barber, Tutor at RADA Business, has shared insights to empower leaders to perform at their best.

1. Build Trust

Leaders that are able to establish trust and trustworthiness are better equipped to lead their teams and organisations through turbulent change. In the current world, every leader is faced  with disrution and ambiguity, and when it is difficult to map the future with certainty, building trustworthiness is a crucial foundation to inspiring confidence in your decisions and ability to hold a team and organisation through the change.

In order to establish a culture built on trust, teams need psychological safety. Psychological safety is broadly described as an environment in which people are comfortable expressing and being themselves, without risk to reputation.Trust and psychological safety are co-dependant, and are vital ingredients in creating high performing teams. From this point of safety, leaders and their teams are better able to operate effectively with open discussion, collaboration and appropriate challenge. Trustworthiness is demonstrated through a number of attributes – and one area that is so often over-looked is how you show up physically and vocally. Leaders that demonstrate openness and vulnerability can create better connections with their teams. This vulnerability is demonstrated when we are comfortable exposing who we really are and what we genuinely think and feel, with both words and behaviour.

We are hard-wired to doubt leaders whose physicality is not congruent with their message. If a leader says “ we would like you to offer up your ideas of how we may improve our strategy”, but they are physically held, chest tight, arms folded and without direct eye contact, then we receive that as defensive and closed to new ideas, and we may doubt the validity of the request.  Raising awareness of your behaviours and their impact is the first stage to establishing trustworthiness.

2. Foster Collaboration

Collaboration within a team is crucial, as it enables everyone to have a say and feel included in the work, strategy and goals. For truly effective collaboration in a team, there must be psychological safety and trust. This ensures that everyone has a voice and feels ownership of the work, where contributions are valued and appropriate challenges are encouraged.

Creating a team culture in which healthy debate and creavity can thrive often requires additional emotional effort. This is especially true of diverse teams which, by definition, comprise diverse thinking. A leader who is able to flex their communication style to suit their audience is better placed to encourage contribution from all members of their team and create more authentic connection.

The language we use has a significant impact on our perceived position within a team. When we speak, we instinctively choose words that we think will convey our meaning most clearly to our audience, but this can also change how our audience feels and even how we feel ourselves.

Using the word “we” – for example saying “we need to get a plan together” – encourages collaboration and inclusion within your team. When performing as a leader, using “I” – for example “I need you to prepare that by Friday” – increases your authority. It’s important to understand these differences and use the most appropriate language to achieve greater impact and connection.

3. Engage Your Team

Sucessful leadership teams are galvanised by a clear, unifying purpose. This can be a distinguishing factor between a team of high performing leaders and a high performing leadership team working for the greater good of the business.

When it comes to building positive team dynamics, as a leader it’s not enough to simply state your end goal. In order to engage your team in the vision or goal, you must seek to align individual purpose and get buy-in to the overall vision. For enduring engagement, leaders should seek to provoke an emotional response from their team: reason leads to understanding, emotion leads to action. 

Ask yourself: what do you want your team to feel about the journey? What’s your objective?

Verbs are a useful way to create a compelling message and engage your team. Use a verb to influence your intention, which you can portray through both physical and vocal choices.

Do you want to inspire and excite, challenge and refine, or explain and galvanise? Verbs can motivate you and others towards action. Next time you’re presenting an idea or strategic plan, see how this can influence your content and delivery.

4. Encourage Feedback

Feedback is often regarded as a ‘dirty’ word, synonymous with delivering difficult messages.  However, when it comes to establishing peak performance in the workplace, giving and receiving feedback from leaders is essential. It is often the case that the more senior that leaders become, the less opportunity there is to receive feedback on their performance or to be open to courageous conversations with their peers.

By establishing a culture in which feedback is delivered effectively and with the right intention, leaders are able to build teams that ensure optimum performance from each member, that are  unencumbered by risk aversion and that establish clear accountability.

Take the time to prepare: consider each feedback conversation in terms of mindset and intention. Are you driven by your own needs? Or are you focussed on the care for the receipient and developing their performance?

5. Reward Success

In an increasingly busy and complex environment, it’s easy to fall into the habit of focusing on what went wrong and what needs doing next. Often, we don’t thank our team enough, but praise and positivity can radically improve team engagement. For some leaders, it may mean revealing vulnerability or require extra confidence, but demonstrating appreciation of your peers and teams is an important part of maintain commitment and a focus on outcomes.

When it comes to praise, make sure it is genuine and evidence based. Don’t just thank someone for their hard work – focus on particular areas they have excelled in, using examples to back up your praise. This will not only boost the morale of your team, but will also make a big difference to your working relationships.

Issue 11 2022

Welcome to the November issue of CEO Monthly.

As always, CEO Monthly is dedicated to providing the latest news and features across the business world to our readership. By delving deep into some inspirational stories and valuable skills, we are able to take ownership of our own endeavours. Motivated and fuelled by their encouraging experiences, we can take small steps to huge leaps within our own lives.

When it comes down to it, we are all looking for interesting and clever ways to grow and flourish within our lives as well as businesses – as business life can be such a huge part of the way we live. By learning more about others, we see our differences that spark our individual confidence of being unique, and similarities which create a feeling of unity.

This issue goes into all of the matters that make these CEOs so motivating for us. From their management styles and personalities to their strong backgrounds in business, we look at what makes them positive influences on the world around us.

Businesses need a solid leader who will guide them to success. Taking all of their knowledge and turning it into intricate plans for triumph. They show how robust they can be in a business setting. in the face of all adversity.

All of us at CEO Monthly wish you a very prosperous month ahead and we look forward to seeing you again soon.

How the Board Should Support the CEO in 2023

By John Harte, Managing Partner at Integrity Governance

As we enter 2023 expect volatility and uncertainty to be the ‘new normal’. High inflation, possibly in the teens, and increasing interest rates are creating economic headwinds that will probably lead to a recession in many markets. On top of this there will be ongoing supply chain issues, a potential resurgence of Covid, along with the continuing  conflict in Ukraine, which looks set to escalate.

This challenging environment heaps significant pressure on organisations, particularly the CEO, to manage, lead and deliver growth.

However, the CEO should not be left alone to formulate all the answers. In 2023 it will be more important than ever that the board effectively supports the CEO during these uncertain times, to secure the long-term success of their organisation.

How can they achieve this?

Role clarity

For an effective CEO, and board, it is vital that there is clarity about where the role of the board stops and where the role of the CEO begins. Ambiguity and confusion over the roles of the CEO and board directors, particularly in an unpredictable world, will have a negative impact on board effectiveness and decision making. It’s the responsibility of the chair to provide clarity here and facilitate the discussion where the boundaries between board and CEO are unclear.

Ensure an enabling board culture

Effective boards have a culture where bad news comes to the board more quickly than good news, where there is constructive challenge and where the boardroom is a safe place for a CEO to say ‘they don’t know’. This can only happen when boards foster an enabling culture.

Board and CEO only time

With the role of the CEO being one of the loneliest in the world, it’s important to create the time and space for dialogue between the board and the CEO, with no other management present. It’s a tremendous opportunity for the CEO to share what’s on their mind and access the collective wisdom of the board. They can cover the successes since the last board meeting, the issues that are developing, what’s keeping them awake at night and canvass areas where they need advice, challenge or validation. This needs to be a regular board meeting agenda item. However, for the best advice, the board must comprise of a diverse group of directors.

Board diversity

There’s near universal recognition that diverse boards are more effective than those that aren’t. Therefore, the board needs to consider whether its current composition is the right one to support the CEO and take the organisation forward. They should look at their board through the prism of the five drivers of diversity – demographics, skills, experience, thinking styles and circles of influence – and contemplate how well the current line up matches up. True board diversity is broader than any one of the five drivers and delivers wider perspectives, improved decision making and outcomes.

Ensure the relationships are fit for purpose

Effective relationships between the leader of the management team, the CEO, and the board of directors, are enabled by three fundamental currencies – trust, respect and honesty.

These currencies are vital when it comes to the most important relationship in the boardroom, between the chair and the CEO, because of the enormous impact it has on the performance of the organisation. As well as having role clarity at the foundation of the relationship – that the chair is the leader of the board and the CEO is the leader of the business – to be a value adding one it must be built on trust and respect, where there’s candour and honesty on both sides. Smart chairs need to reflect on how well this relationship is working and take the opportunity to recalibrate where required to ensure that the rapport between themselves and the CEO is an asset to the board and the business.

Agile boards

The pandemic highlighted the importance of boards being agile. In these new uncertain times agility and adaptably remain key for those boards that are serious about supporting the CEO in responding to new challenges in a way that will ensure the long-term success of their organisation.

Challenge assumptions

With the interplay between the three critical elements of risk, strategy and return often based on assumptions at board-level, the board must ensure that any assumptions, from the CEO or any director, are challenged to validate their relevance. Only then is it possible to have assurance that the right path is being taken – something that is particularly important when quick decisions are required during periods of volatility.

Future strategy

The board must keep the focus of the CEO on future strategy – how the organisation can achieve its purpose during these volatile times – by looking at new opportunities, rewards, as well as the risks. They need to make sure future strategy is live in the boardroom, and not something they focus on once a year.

 

Have effective processes to support the CEO:

  • CEO review

One of the most important roles of the board is in ensuring the CEO has the right skills and mindset to lead the business forward. Therefore, at the start of 2023 it’s critical to have in place a CEO who is fit for the future. To effectively achieve this they must regularly evaluate the CEO – a basic board hygiene process. Reviewing the CEO was something many directors felt was ‘nice to have’ rather than ‘need to have’ during the Covid health emergency.

  • CEO development

At the conclusion of any review process there must be clarity, not only on the performance, but on the next steps in personal development for the CEO, with deliverables agreed by all parties. These can then be revisited and reviewed regularly to check on progress.

After the Covid health emergency boards need to step up again in supporting the CEO during a new period of volatility. Only then can they effectively assist the CEO in ensuring their organisation successfully navigates its way through a turbulent 2023 and experiences long-term growth.

Key Strategies to Manage Your Business and Reduce Risk

Key Strategies to Manage Your Business and Reduce Risk

Every business comes with its own risks. How the business is managed and how the risks are handled separates a successful business from a failed one. Knowing the common risks businesses face is one of the first steps to reducing these risks.

Did you know that the biggest risks businesses face in 2022 are cyber-related? However, those are not the only risks businesses encounter. It would be best if you implemented the right strategies to manage your business and reduce these hazards. Read on to find time-tested strategies to run a successful business and minimise the risks.

Types of business risks

The first step in tackling risks is knowing the types of risks your business will likely face. There are many types of business risks and some are highlighted below:

Strategic risk

This type of risk occurs when a business departs from its initial plan or model. When this happens, its strategies become weak and will not operate as efficiently as expected.

Operational risk

Operational risk happens inside the organization and has to do with daily operations. Internal or external factors can lead to this risk. When a business’s day-to-day activities affect the profit-making ability of the business, there is an operational risk.

Compliance risk

When a company fails to comply with the industry’s regulations and best practices, it runs a compliance risk. This risk can cost the business valuable customers and huge fines and penalties.

Reputational risk

This risk arises when a business’s reputation is affected. Any other type of risk can cause reputational risk. For instance, cyber risks can lead to reputational risk. The result is low or negative public opinion and shareholders’ loss of confidence in the business. That is why every business owner should know the common cyber risks for businesses.

Being familiar with the different types of risks equips you to plan and deal with them.

4 strategies to manage your business and reduce risk

Invest in a travel management agency

If your business involves a lot of traveling, consider investing in a travel management agency. Choosing an agency to manage your corporate travels will save you money and time and allow you to focus on other essential aspects of your business. This small business travel management guide by TravelPerk highlights all you need to know about getting the right travel agency for your business.

Prioritise your risks

Prioritization is an excellent strategy for business in general and even more so for risk reduction. This plan of action gives you a wholesome view of your risks and allows you to make the right decisions. To prioritize your risks, classify them into the following categories:

-High probability of occurrence-Some probability of occurrence-Little probability of occurrence

Imagine multiple scenarios

Prepare for possible risks by thinking through several scenarios. What this does is get you ready for any eventualities. Thinking of the worst, manageable and best-case scenarios enables you to come up with different possible solutions and plan to equip your business to tackle them.

Get a general liability insurance

Insurance for general liability is an excellent way to reduce risk in your business. This ensures you’re covered from claims of damage to property, bodily injury and medical costs. If you host clients at your workspace or you and your employees visit client offices, you need this insurance. Furthermore, if you use third-party locations for your business activities, consider getting this type of insurance.

Stay abreast of trends

Studying trends in your industry and business world generally is a good strategy for managing your business and reducing risk. In the ever-evolving business sphere, information is critical. Knowing what is going on in your field at every point in time makes you aware of any new risk your business might face so you can plan for it. It also equips you to know when to restructure your business.

Strategising is the key

At the core of business is strategy. Strategy helps create a clear business vision; it lays down objectives and clarifies threats and opportunities. Therefore, it is essential for reducing risks and managing a business.

To manage your business and minimize risks, become familiar with the types of business risks. In addition, apply strategies like investing in a travel management agency, prioritising risks, imagining multiple scenarios, getting a general liability insurance, staying abreast of industry developments and thinking diversification.

How CEOs and HR Benefit From Online Software Recruitment Tools

How CEOs and HR Benefit From Online Software Recruitment Tools

As competition in the job market becomes fierce, companies are beginning to see the advantages of online recruitment software. This assertion is backed by 94% of HR professionals who attest to the efficiency of recruitment software. The ease of recruitment, transparency, and improved quality of candidates are all benefits of using these tools.

Undoubtedly, businesses that use recruitment software will outperform businesses that don’t and will have increased ROI. The challenge, however, is that many CEOs and HR experts still need to be made aware of this software. If you belong to this category, you’re reading the right material. This article discusses all you should know about online software recruitment tools and how CEOs and HR units can benefit from them.

What is an online software recruitment tool?

An online software recruitment tool is a recruiting software that provides an all-in-one solution for CEOs and HR professionals. It makes it easy for HR experts to look out for transferable skills during recruitment and make the whole process seamless. In addition to making the hiring process more efficient, recruitment tools minimize costs by reducing the need for third parties and other expenses.

Further, online recruitment tools let you post job descriptions, schedule interviews, and communicate with clients. As you’ll expect, these recruitment tools have AI features that sustain them effortlessly.

Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a type of online recruitment tool. HR professionals must learn more about ATS to reap the various advantages it provides. ATS automates the recruiting process like job posting and applications. This software helps you plan, monitor and implement your recruitment processes. Some ATS come with basic features that let you track candidates and create job postings while others have far more robust features.

What You Should Consider When Choosing an Online Software Recruitment Tool

There are several online recruitment software, but some features distinguish the best tools from others. To guide you, here are some features you should look out for when choosing a recruitment tool.

It should attract and spot talents

A good recruitment tool must be able to attract suitable candidates by conducting social media recruiting and referral management. Video screening and organizing talents into different pools for easy selection are also features to look out for in recruitment software.

It should engage candidates

The perfect recruitment tools must be able to engage candidates through chatbots from social media and the company’s website. They must also have mobile-friendly career pages, considering that most job hunters send their applications via phone.

It should analyse and report

Recruitment tools must be able to analyse the following: cost per hire, time to hire, and who to hire. They must also have the capability to send scheduled reports and GDPR compliance. Any software that does this will effectively manage your company’s hiring process.

It should be user-friendly

If you adopt a recruitment tool to make the hiring process easy, you shouldn’t be faced with cumbersome software. A good recruitment software must be easy to use and navigate. Stay away from online hiring software tools that have complex usage, sending you right back to where you’re coming from.

Initially, it might take a few trials and errors before finally finding the most suitable recruitment software for your business, but the result will be worth it. Keep the criteria above in mind as you hunt and you will be glad you did

Some online recruitment software

There are many online recruitment tools, but we have carefully highlighted a few.

TestGorilla

TestGorilla is a recruitment site that offers the best Excel interview questions. This site uses online testing software to help you find your next top talent. They ensure you screen candidates online before meeting them in person. Hence, they save you time by narrowing your search to a high volume of applications.

Also, TestGorilla allows HRs to set up tests and quizzes on the site and will send an email when someone takes the test. In addition, the software sets top-notch test questions for varying niches. For sure, TestGorilla is the software to beat when it comes to testing candidates’ capabilities.

JazzHR

JazzHR is an innovative company that helps businesses recruit and hire top talent. The platform provides employers with various tools: candidate sourcing, applicant tracking, scheduling interviews, and more.

The software provides a free trial for CEOs or HRs who wish to test its operations on their hiring processes. In the free trial, you can utilize all the basic features. However, we strongly recommend a paid plan for more robust features and cost-effectiveness.

JotForm

JotForm has various features, from creating job listings that optimize for social media to collecting candidate information remotely. With JotForm, your business will reach more candidates and you will save time and money in the process.

When recruiting outside their territory, companies find that they have to budget extra costs for flight tickets and hotel rooms. JotForm eliminates this need; it allows you to reach candidates without worries of vetting them in person.

How CEOs and HR benefit from online software recruitment tools

CEOs and HR professionals won’t be raving about software recruitment tools without reason. It is because these tools come loaded with benefits. More CEOs and HR experts are beginning to see the advantages of using recruitment software for their hiring process. Read these benefits below.

They save time and money

Saving time and money is reason enough to use online software recruitment tools. With the click of a button, you can find candidates for your job openings and start communicating with them. The cost of setting up elaborate interviews is saved with these tools. This is one of the ways to save money as a new business. Take advantage of this and channel your energy to in-depth interviews with the selected candidates.

They facilitate better communication with candidates Communication is a vital part of the recruitment process. With online software recruitment tools, you can chat with prospective candidates and get a feel for their personalities. It makes it easier to find those who will fit your company’s culture well. You also have an archive of all the conversations so that you can revisit them if necessary.

They improve the quality of hires

Undoubtedly, online recruitment tools increase the quality of hires during the screening process. Quality recruiting tools provide pre-built interview questions, saving you time and energy in finding quality candidates. They also offer adaptive learning. Thus, they can change future questions if a candidate answers a question wrongly.

They help monitor the end-to-end recruitment process

Monitoring the end-to-end recruitment process is more manageable with recruitment tools. Recruiters can track applicants’ status and get essential data in place. In essence, monitoring applicants’ status is enhanced due to a centralized data storage system with online software recruitment tools.

They improve efficiency in the hiring process

Online recruitment tools save companies time and money by automating screening and assessment. This feature allows HR managers to focus on what they do best: hiring the right people for the job.

They also reduce response rates, so you only speak with those genuinely interested in your available positions. Lastly, this frees up time to focus more on your top talent and retain existing employees. This feature is vital, especially in today’s volatile employment market.

They enhance social reach

In today’s digital world, social reach is vital for hiring. With recruitment software, you can connect with a wider audience through social media. Potential candidates are usually found on social media and recruitment tools create a meeting point on these platforms.

These benefits will be well-appreciated if you’ve had to execute the recruitment process manually. Using recruitment software shaves off most of the burdens of the recruitment process, making the job of CEOs and HR easier.

Have online software recruitment tools come to stay?

More and more organizations are relying on technology to make their hiring processes more efficient. From posting jobs online to conducting virtual interviews, the benefits of online recruitment tools are numerous and undeniable.

These benefits include time-efficiency, cost-effectiveness, facilitation of better communication with applicants, improvement in the quality of hire, monitoring of the end-to-end recruitment process and increased efficiency of the hiring process.

For sure, online recruitment tools have changed the way companies hire employees. With evolving technologies, there’s certainly more to expect from these online tools. Will they retain their steam, or will they let us down in the long run? Time will tell!

Getting Spooky in the Workplace

Halloween is upon us! And companies all over the world have adorned their workplaces in spooky decorations while employees have got creative with their costumes, from witches and vampires, to clowns and Harley Quinns. AI Global Media, publisher of CEO Monthly is one of the companies embracing this holiday, being keen to get team members involved and having fun at work.

AI Global Media is a company that doesn’t shy away from enrichment and creating a community atmosphere, inviting its employees to get involved in team activities throughout the year. These extend from quarterly incentives within departments such as laser tagging and bowling, to the office Bake Off where team members take it in turns to bake sweet or savoury treats, to whole company sports days which get everyone active, socialising, and enjoying themselves.

Now, the AI Global Media team are getting in the Halloween spirit, excited to come into work and show off their costumes as well as see what other people are dressing up as. There will be a costume competition in addition to a themed quiz, both of which will come with sweet prizes for winners.

There are numerous benefits to taking the time to hold activities like this within the workplace, including people wanting to come to work, boosted morale, and increased motivation. Fun at work is a key contributor to employee happiness, giving people a more positive mindset, along with better mental health. Organisations with great employee wellbeing find they experience lower levels of absentness, less work-related errors, and their employees feel more creative and want to engage – ultimately meaning higher productivity.

We asked Akeela Zahair, Marketing Assistant at AI Global Media for her views on the company’s approach to engaging employees and having fun at work: “I love that the company pushes for so many activities throughout the year and encourage team building exercises between departments. I personally get along with my team really well and we share a great bond, so these incentives and office activities are always fun as we get the opportunity to do things together that we may not have time for outside of office hours.”

She continues, “Things like the Bake Off and Halloween activities allow us to think about things away from work and our normal daily activities. It breaks up your usual daily routine and you have something to look forward to in the office – creates a fun and engaging environment in the office too which is always great.”

After all, it doesn’t kill a company to take a bit of time out, whether for an hour or for a day, to give staff a break from their daily routines. We’ve established that the outcomes can only be positive for employees and businesses alike. If you’re a company that doesn’t already inject a bit fun into business, then what are you waiting for?

We at AI Global Media and CEO Monthly magazine hope you have a great Halloween!

By Rebecca Scotland

Lessons from the Pitch: What Business Leaders Can Learn from Sports Teamwork

Watching a strong and cohesive sports squad perform on the pitch is always a pleasure for the eyes, whether it is a football, basketball, or water polo team. Behind the triumphs of every successful club, there is usually a leader who knows exactly how to piece the perfect puzzle together.

In this respect, business owners and managers have a similar task to sports coaches. They need to guide a team of employees towards one common goal with commitment, efficiency, and a sense of unity.

Here, we look at some of the effective ways in which athletes and coaches boost team development while highlighting how this may benefit the business world.

Confidence and trust in each other

One of the most important steps you can take to nurture your team is to allow relationships of trust and confidence to develop in the workplace. In sport, teammates rely on each other’s help when they need it and will go above and beyond to support their ‘colleagues’. This is because they are confident that when it’s their turn to face a challenging situation, their fellow players will also be ready to aid them.

Therefore, instilling a sense of trust and confidence in a team can increase instances of mutual support, which favour the squad or the business as a whole. Indeed, your people will be more likely to be open about their experiences and will feel comfortable seeking help when they need it.

What’s more, as a company owner or manager, you act as your team’s coach. By keeping a high moral standard and setting an example, you will secure the trust of your staff. This is important as they will soon realise that they can rely on you to lead them out of tricky situations. In turn, they will do anything to take your side and strive to make your business thrive.

Ultimately, the most successful sports teams seem to genuinely enjoy playing together, trusting each other both on and off the pitch.

Good communication and celebrating achievements

Communication is essential when it comes to rowing in the same direction and working towards the same goals. You will notice that any sports team in action will communicate constantly, signalling the presence of an opponent and advising on what pass or move to make next. On the touchline, the coach generally acts as a motivator, encouraging his players and offering instructions as the game unfolds.

In the same way, businesses should value communication as a vital tool too. Outlining tasks, purpose, and vision in a clear, transparent manner has an array of advantages. For instance, it can increase employee engagement, improve productivity, generate a healthy workplace culture, and boost people’s job satisfaction.

Moreover, a leader or manager should not shy away from celebrating their team member’s accomplishments. At the end of a match, coaches often publicly gratify the best-performing players for their efforts and performance. Similarly, it is essential for business leaders to recognise their employees’ hard work and share their accomplishments with the wider team. Not only will this boost their morale and self-confidence, but it will also ensure that they continue in the right direction.

Make space for mistakes

One of the key ingredients contributing to a team’s effectiveness and overall success is ‘psychological safety’. This refers to someone’s perception of taking a risky decision and, in turn, how their teammates will respond when that risk is taken. In a psychologically safe environment, employees will feel free to throw ideas, offer suggestions, and ask for help. Conversely, in a more rigid workplace, they may keep to themselves and contribute little due to the fear of making mistakes.

In sports, coaches will condone mistakes, especially if made with good intentions. For example, a player decides to make a tricky pass toward a free teammate. If it doesn’t go to plan and the ball is intercepted, their team could suffer a counter-attack and may even end up conceding. If they succeed in their intent, they may actively be giving their squad a goal-scoring opportunity to win the game.

Likewise, in business, employees should be allowed to make mistakes. People can grow in a workplace where they have space to learn from their own errors and failures rather than feeling uncertainty or shame. Moreover, an out-of-the-box idea could work wonders for the success of a specific project. Therefore, as a business manager, offer your people the opportunity to take a chance, and don’t blame them if the end result is not always what you hoped for.

Embrace and adapt to change

In the world of sports, athletes change clubs on a regular basis. Similar to the business world, individuals are likely to move to a place where they may fit better, or that offers them a career-changing opportunity. Based on new arrivals, the coach and their team may have to adapt to a slightly different style of play and shift responsibilities. This may be daunting at first but can lead to great success in the long term. Change is a constant in sports, and sports teams need to be versatile and ready to deal with change.

A business leader should cherish changes and new possibilities too. It is an opportunity for the company to explore new horizons and benefit from the knowledge of new talented hires. In fact, with new knowledge and competencies within the team, you can start exploring different paths. Therefore, embracing a flexible approach and responding accordingly to diverse scenarios can truly benefit the business and allow employees to leave a tangible mark.

There is no hiding that business leaders can learn many lessons from sports teamwork. From nurturing sentiments of trust and making space for mistakes to embracing change and nailing your communication, there are several factors that managers should take into consideration.

7 Uses of A Timeline Maker To A Chief Executive Officer

7 Uses of A Timeline Maker To A Chief Executive Officer

A timeline maker is critical for any CEO, as it allows them to track progress and ensure that deadlines are being met. It also allows them to communicate effectively with their team, as they can easily see what needs to be done and when.

A Chief Executive Officer can ensure that their company is running smoothly and efficiently by using a timeline maker in these ways:

Keep track of upcoming projects and deadlines

A timeline maker can be helpful when multiple deadlines are approaching, as it can help you prioritize your tasks.

Timeline makers can be found online and in many software applications.

It typically allows you to enter milestones and tasks and then specify when each task needs to be completed. Some timeline makers also allow you to share your timeline with others, which can be helpful if you need to collaborate on a project.

Stay organized and on schedule

As a CEO, you have a lot on your plate. From managing employees to keeping shareholders happy, there’s always something that needs your attention. That’s why it’s so important to stay organized and on schedule.

You can use a timeline creator to track deadlines, milestones, and deliverables. You can also use it to create to-do lists and keep track of tasks that need to be completed. In addition, a timeline maker can help you spot potential problems before they happen.

By keeping track of your schedule and tasks, you can ensure that everything is on track and avoid surprises down the road.

Delegate tasks and assignments to employees

CEOs are responsible for delegating tasks and projects to employees, and a timeline maker is a valuable tool. CEOs can create a schedule of tasks and assignments with a timeline maker and then assign them to specific employees.

It helps to ensure that all tasks are completed promptly and that each employee is aware of their responsibilities. In addition, a timeline maker can help CEOs track each task’s progress and identify areas where further delegation is needed.

Develop marketing strategies and campaigns

As a CEO, one of your essential tasks is developing marketing strategies and campaigns to drive your company’s growth. A timeline maker allows you to map your plans and track your progress over time.

A timeline generator or maker can also create a consulting proposal template to help you create a detailed plan for your campaign, including key milestones and deadlines.

It will ensure that you stay on track and make the most efficient use of your resources. It can also evaluate the results of your campaigns, making it easy to see what is working and what needs to be improved.

Evaluate the effectiveness of past campaigns

Any savvy CEO knows that it is essential to evaluate the effectiveness of past campaigns to plan for future success. By plotting out key events and milestones, a CEO can get a clear picture of what has worked well in the past and where there is room for improvement.

In addition, a timeline maker can help to identify patterns and trends that may not be immediately apparent. Armed with this information, a CEO can make informed decisions about allocating resources and how to shape future campaigns.

Analyse company growth and performance over time

Tracking company performance over time is essential for making informed decisions about the future. For instance, a CEO can use an online timeline maker to chart the company’s growth over the past year.

You can use this information to identify improvement areas and set future goals.

Additionally, a CEO can use a timeline maker to track the performance of individual employees. This data can be used to identify top performers and reward them accordingly.

Set goals and objectives for the future

You can use relevant information, such as company milestones and target dates, to visually represent your company’s progress and how you want it to grow.

Conclusion

A timeline maker is an essential tool for any CEO. It allows you to track progress, set goals, and make informed decisions about resource allocation. Using a timeline maker, you can ensure that your company is on the right track and moving towards its desired future.

Be sure to sign up at Venngage to create timeline online that can help you organize your daily tasks. A timeline maker can help you in many ways, so explore all the other options.

Property Founder & Visionary Chairman of the Year 2022 (Australia): Maha Sinnathamby

Springfield City Group is the master developer of Greater Springfield – Australia’s fastest-growing and most innovative new city. Greater Springfield celebrates its 30th birthday this year and is established as the first Australian master-planned city since the national capital Canberra. Maha Sinnathamby has not paused for a moment in three decades of creating one of the greatest Australian dreams, so we took a closer look in the light of his tremendous success in CEO Monthly’s Chairperson Awards!

Since 1992, Mr Sinnathamby and his Springfield City Group business partner Bob Sharpless have kept up a relentless pace and proved the doubters wrong. The 2860 hectares of land they purchased on the doorstep of Brisbane – the 2032 Olympic City – has been transformed into a city with more than 53,000 residents in six suburbs. The master plan for Greater Springfield contains precise outlines of how the city will continue to grow. The Australian newspaper, on the city’s 30th birthday, wrote “there is nothing like it in Australia”, noting the “sheer scale of the project”.

And Mr Sinnathamby is convinced there is nothing like Greater Springfield anywhere else in the world. Its unique location, within 30 minutes’ drive of an established metropolis in Brisbane, has made it a beacon of innovation. Instead of mimicking what has been done elsewhere, Mr Sinnathamby and his Springfield City Group team have established themselves as trailblazers.

Mr Sinnathamby based his path on a simple yet inspired philosophy. “We want to enhance human and social capital,” he tells us. Nowhere is this clearer than in Greater Springfield’s Knowledge Precinct, an area of the city spread across 120 hectares of land powered by health, education and innovation. “Health, education and IT are the key drivers to make a unique community,” Mr Sinnathamby explains. “The Knowledge Precinct is unique. We have a golden opportunity to plan this city of the future.”

“Before Springfield City’s creation 30 years ago, I could see that brain power was the foundation of the world’s most renowned cities,” Mr Sinnathamby continues. “When planning our new city, I wanted to provide all the elements necessary for people and their ideas to flourish. Knowledge is with you your entire life. Education is the only currency that you can cash in anywhere in the world. And it is the only currency that can’t be stolen from the owner.”

Springfield City has been developed with partnerships built on the understanding of the founders’ vision, but these partnerships flowed only after hard work. “Our biggest problem has been the lack of understanding of the enormity of this project,” Mr Sinnathamby explains. “You can’t think too small. People didn’t understand that we weren’t thinking small. But then we started telling more people what we wanted to build. And we told people who could help us make that happen.”

Since the project was first concepted, six Queensland Premiers, seven Australian Prime Ministers and a host of mayors supported the birth of the city. The Premiers, from both sides of politics, played an integral role in allowing Greater Springfield to grow. In 1997, legislation passed Queensland Parliament with the supportive voices and raised hands of all 89 MPs to give zoning approval to the Greater Springfield area.

That unanimous vote was a highlight among the many from those first three decades. It was about determination, trust, and the ability to convince stakeholders of the benefits of Greater Springfield for a growing nation. To drive through Greater Springfield today, it’s easy to forget that ground-breaking work. Residents drive past the landmarks that underpin the city without even considering the achievement that lies beneath.

Greater Springfield offers a highway into the heart of the city as well as a rail line and passenger facilities as good as any in the transport network. When you arrive, you could play on a championship Greg Norman-designed golf course or visit a first-class stadium with 10,000 seats. Families are more than welcome to send their children to one of the twelve schools currently open, or perhaps one of nineteen kindergartens, or maybe even the university campus. Greater Springfield is home to a hospital that is on track to be the largest in the nation, a seniors’ village that enables grandparents to live close to their growing families and apartment living that adds a new depth to the city’s offerings.

And you can drive between them all within eight minutes.

“That’s just the beginning,” Mr Sinnathamby says with a smile. The population of about 53,000 people is growing annually and planned to reach 145,000.

Mr Sinnathamby’s path towards visionary city-builder has been anything but conventional. He was born in war-torn Malaysia and moved to Australia to study as a young man.  Earning his Bachelor of Civil Engineering from the University of New South Wales enabled him to take his first professional steps, but Mr Sinnathamby was always looking for more. He wanted to pursue his vision of developing areas that would create better lives for their residents.

Mr Sinnathamby’s insists that “All power is within you” – a creed of self-belief. His other principles include acknowledgments of the lessons learned from failure – “the darkest night brings the brightest dawn” and “character is established through a thousand stumbles”. Mr Sinnathamby would live those principles as he moved to Perth in the 1970s and set up a business before eventually bringing his young family to Queensland to pursue new opportunities.

Mr Sharpless and his family followed, and the pair eventually settled on the land that would become Greater Springfield. They saw something that others did not because the land sat untouched on the market for many months. “It was the chance of a lifetime,” Mr Sinnathamby recalls. “When a person walks past a rock, they see a rock. But a sculptor walks past it and says ‘there’s something in this rock’.”

Plenty of people saw the rock. Very few saw the city that would be carved out of it.

The land was basic at best – almost 3000 hectares of a disused forestry operation. The area that would become the heart of Greater Springfield didn’t have a road nearby for kilometres. How do you make that into a modern city?

At least one bank had cold feet as the experiment unfolded, demanding its money was repaid quickly, but the doubters were thinking down the wrong line. They expected the Sinnathamby-Sharpless partnership would attract a financial backer and roll out the semi-rural land projects that were popping up on the fringe of the capital city. Nothing new in that, they said, but they didn’t understand the vision that was driving Greater Springfield. They didn’t understand the resilience, perseverance and sheer hard work of Mr Sinnathamby and the team put together to make the city into reality.

This was a long-term project that would become the key to uniting the areas of Brisbane, Ipswich and Logan into a complementary urban network. Greater Springfield would have a CBD, an education precinct, a health precinct, an innovation precinct, excellent transport and many families who would live long, productive lives without the headaches of traditional cities built without planning coordination.

This wouldn’t be a master-planned community.

It would a master-planned city.

And it would be fuelled by the commitment of a man whose biography would be called Stop Not Til The Goal Is Reached.

“Our work is not done,” Mr Sinnathamby said. “We have 65 per cent left to do but the fundamentals are in place and as a city, we look forward to the future with open arms.” Mr Sinnathamby will continue to follow the principles that have underpinned the success of his business life: “Make one idea your life”; “Work relentlessly”; and “Create your own destiny”.

Those three principles tell the story of Maha Sinnathamby and Greater Springfield, and how it has achieved such success.

For business enquiries, contact Springfield City Group on their website – www.greaterspringfield.com.au

Debt Collection Trends Taking Corporations To The Next Level

Debt Collection Trends Taking Corporations To The Next Level

How do enterprises like Lending Club, Kabbage, Rocket Mortgage, and other prominent financial entities consistently gross millions a year? Driving sales may seem like the apparent answer; however, CEOs Scott Sanborn, Rob Frohwein, and Jay Farner will tell you that sales are only part of the equation. Financial executives must also develop and implement strategies that focus on managing and recovering debt.

Creditors and lenders make money from fees and interest rates. When customer accounts become delinquent, it reduces the company’s earnings potential. While having some debt can be beneficial, written off, or irrelevant to a corporation operating at a loss is never ideal.

Debt Collection Advancements

Ultimately, the most successful CEOs harness the power of modern advancements within the debt recovery industry to simplify the process for themselves and their borrowers. Here is a look at some innovations helping executives resolve delinquent accounts and boost their bottom line.

Digital Platforms

Before the internet of things, managing customer accounts involved maintaining paperwork and filing systems. These processes are not only expensive (paper, ink, files, storage, shredding, etc.) and time-consuming, but they left room for human error and compromised consumer data.

Today, CEOs utilize digital debt recovery services. These agencies provide secure, user-friendly platforms to store, organize, review, share, and manage customer accounts. Such services enhance sustainability, streamline operations, and safeguards consumer data, saving businesses millions in expenses and man hours.

Borrowers also appreciate the convenience, security, and control digital debt collection platforms provide. From their computers or smartphones, borrowers can view their balance, schedule payment arrangements, and utilise comprehensive tools to help them resolve their debt.

Improved Communication

Contacting customers to resolve past due accounts was once a gruelling process for creditors, lenders, and borrowers. Correspondence sent through the mail got ignored, resulting in repetitive, aggressive, and sometimes intrusive phone calls that strain customer relationships. Consequently, delinquent accounts go unresolved.

Modern advancements in debt recovery have improved communication efficiency for corporations and borrowers. Voicemail drop lets agents leave messages without ever ringing the phone, allowing customers to listen and respond when it’s most convenient. Modern debt collection platforms enable corporations to send automated reminders via text, email, or mobile app notifications. Artificial intelligence technologies generate prompts that help guide agents to steer the conversation in a positive direction, including various repayment options, which improves the customer’s experience and increases the probability of resolving the account.

Data Analytics

There is no one size fits all method for contacting customers and resolving past-due accounts. In the past, figuring out which processes were most effective for each consumer was time-consuming and costly. Modern advancements like data analytics streamline the process, making collection efforts more efficient.

These machine-learning algorithms collect, analyse, and store data that gives agencies more insight into customer behaviour. It records information, from call times and effectiveness to contact methods and consumer engagement.

The data collected can be used to determine the best time to call customers, the most effective communication source, and even the time of month the customer is most likely to make a payment. Data analytics enhance the debt recovery process by increasing contact rates and providing conveniences that persuade customers to pay down their balances on terms that work best for them.

Advanced Security

When consumer data is damaged, lost, or stolen, it creates a multitude of problems for creditors, lenders, and borrowers. Cybercrimes are becoming increasingly threatening to the financial sector, so using advanced security measures is vital. CEOs that utilise digital debt recovery services are ahead of the game. They provide secure platforms to protect consumer data while implementing strict security measures to remain compliant with industry regulations.

How do some of the most prolific financial institutions remain on top? They are run by extraordinary leaders who understand the importance of driving sales and implementing practices to keep delinquent accounts under control. As operating at a loss isn’t ideal, tapping into innovative resources like digital debt recovery solutions helps corporations finish in the green.

5 Times When You Should Hire a Technical Writer

5 Times When You Should Hire a Technical Writer

Are you thinking about hiring a technical writer? No matter what industry you’re in, there are a number of instances where this type of writer can come in handy. Here are five times when you should hire a technical writer.

1. Hiring a Technical Writing Firm for Press Release

One instance where you might consider hiring a technical writing firm is when you need a press release written. Although your first thought might be to hire a PR firm, you might want to think again. There are some technical writers who base their entire careers on press releases.

If you have a company or brand that needs to deliver complex information, you’ll want someone who can accurately break down the news in a way that’s easy for the Average Joe to understand. For example, if you’re the CEO of a pharmaceutical company that’s about to introduce a new medication, you’ll want to hire a technical writer to write this news piece.

2. You Need a User Manual Written

Do you need a user manual written for a product? Whether your company is in automotive, electronics, beauty or healthcare, your best bet is to hire a technical writer.

It’s important for these technical manuals to be user-friendly. A technical writer can break down the information in a way that even amateurs can understand. They will provide troubleshooting guides to help the user know what to do when they encounter some of the most common problems that may arise.

With some products, the writer will work with product designers or engineers to ensure nothing gets missed and that the information is 100 percent factual.

In addition to providing information on how the consumer should use the product, technical writers will also provide information on any warnings, cautions or hazards the user should anticipate when using the product. They will also provide information on the product’s warranty.

3. Someone to Write Technical Product Descriptions and FAQs Section

Whether your company is selling a new computer, car model or medical equipment, you’re going to need a product description. There’s no one better to describe the details of your product than a technical writer. They can share the product’s features and specs in a way that’s easy to understand, as well as write a high-quality Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section.

4. Annual Report Preparation

As you probably already know, a company’s annual reports are so important to stakeholders. These reports do a yearly recap of the company’s performance and provide other important financial information. Additionally, annual reports also provide insight to the company’s new products and developments.

Technical writers present this information in the report as concisely and clearly as possible. They may meet with product developers or engineers if the information is very technical and outside of the average adult’s understanding.

5. Your Company Needs Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) is a document that includes information on how a business should be run. It includes everything from the hiring process and training procedures to determining vacation time and sick time to processing payroll.

When written correctly, SOPs help ensure that the company’s processes run as smoothly and efficiently as possible. They can help reduce costs and save time. They’re extremely important — which makes it important for them to be easily understood, despite how technical they may be. This is where a technical writer comes in.

Technical writers essentially study a company in order to compile this type of report. They will generally work with managers, supervisors or other higher-ups to ensure that all of the company’s policies are accurately conveyed.

These are just five times when you should hire a technical writer. No matter what industry you work in, you will likely find that one of these professionals may be of assistance at some point.

CEO Monthly Magazine Announces the Winners of the 2022 Chairperson Awards

UNITED KINGDOM, 2022– CEO Monthly magazine announces the winners of the 2022 Chairperson Awards.

The CEO Monthly Chairperson Awards were created to recognise chairpersons globally who do exceptional work to take their business to the next level. Now in its second year, the 2022 edition looked to recognise those who have helped lead their companies through the pandemic and regain momentum at the first opportunity.

After all, while it is often the CEO who takes centre stage, the Chairperon’s influence cannot be overstated, albeit an influence that goes under the radar in the prevalent dialogue surrounding leadership in business.

On launch, Awards Coordinator Kaven Cooper took a moment to discuss the winners of the programme: “This was our second year of running the Chairperson awards, and like last year, it has been a privilege to reach out to those nominated and succeeded in this edition of the programme. We offer a heartfelt congratulations to all the winners and wish them good luck for the future.”

To find out more about these prestigious awards, and the dedicated professionals selected for them, please visit www.ceo-review.com where you can view our winner’s supplement and full winners list.

ENDS

Notes to editors.

About CEO Monthly

A business is only as good as its leadership, and whilst it takes many hands to make a company work, CEOs hold the majority of the responsibility and power in any organisation. This is a tough challenge, and as such through this dedicated publication, bought to you by internationally renowned publishing house AI Global Media, aims to offer the very latest insight, interviews and profiles of Chief Executive Officers from across the corporate landscape.

Free to subscribe to, the publication offers a dedicated newsletter, an ever-evolving website and a series of awards designed to showcase the hard work and commitment of businesses from every market and every region.

Keeping pace with the ever-changing corporate landscape around the world, CEO Monthly’s dedicated editorial team work diligently to provide the latest news and updates, drawing on their network of contacts from across the globe who span every major industry and sector, providing comment and insight which is invaluable.

 

About AI Global Media

Since 2010 AI Global Media has been committed to creating engaging B2B content that informs our readers and allows them to market their business to a global audience. We create content for and about firms across a range of industries.

Today, we have 14 unique brands, each of which serves a specific industry or region. Each brand covers the latest news in its sector and publishes a digital magazine and newsletter which is read by a global audience. Our flagship brand, Acquisition International, distributes a monthly digital magazine to a global circulation of 108,000, who are treated to a range of features and news pieces on the latest developments in the global corporate market.

Here, There and Everywhere: How the Cloud has Revolutionised the Business World

Here, There and Everywhere: How the Cloud has Revolutionised the Business World

These days we very much live in an ‘on demand’ society – whether it’s using apps to order takeaways through to watching the latest blockbuster films on our TVs at home.

The business world is also moving in this direction of having information and resources available on demand around the clock, and cloud computing has been a major driver of that shift in mindset.

Some business owners and CEOs are perhaps yet to fully realise the potential of the cloud and the benefits it can bring to a company, so here’s a look at just some of the ways you can integrate it into your business.

Cloud accounting

Cloud accounting enables companies to store their financial records securely online, while providing personnel instant access to balance sheets, profit & loss accounts and cash positions – all essential components in business planning and strategising.

Instant, real-time access to financial data is one of the key benefits of cloud accounting, as this details cash positions, future payments and invoices pending via a few taps of your screen – which is vital in understanding your company’s financial status.

Cloud-based accounts also enable firms to integrate the latest accounting software in their record-keeping, and that is important both for the sake of in-house communication and financial management but also in remaining compliant with UK tax law.

The UK government has overhauled their tax legislation via their Making Tax Digital initiative, and so you are legally-bound to use digital reporting to ensure you are compliant with these new standards.

Software solutions

Many companies of all sizes have begun to utilise software-as-a-service (SaaS) and its various offshoots in their daily operations.

These software packages, which offer benefits such as workflow analysis, website management and collaborative tools for firms with offices on different sites, are often stored and sourced in the cloud. That enables anyone with the requisite credentials to access the software anytime, anyplace.

This can prove very useful if you have sales teams on the road. No longer will they need to pre-prepare for meetings with clients by printing off reports or screen-shotting data – they can simply log in to the cloud and showcase your products and services in that way.

There can be significant cost savings from using ‘off the shelf’ or even customised SaaS as opposed to developing your own platforms in-house, and the ability to connect with key stakeholders in your company in one place – with all data secured in the cloud – could prove very fruitful for your business.

Cloud data analysis

Planning and forecasting in your business needs to go beyond gut instinct and feeling – you need the context of data analysis and numbers to help navigate the future direction of your company.

The cloud not only offers you instant access to all of the accounting mechanisms you need, but software packages also provide in-built data analysis tools that can do much of the heavy lifting for you.

Some cloud data programs utilise artificial intelligence that analyses past trends and performance based upon specific data points, and in doing so, they can make more accurate predictions for the future based upon what has gone before.

This can prove particularly helpful in challenging economic times, when making accurate predictions is difficult given the volatility and unpredictability of the micro and macro-economic climate. Data analysis allows you to extract value from the numbers, and so cloud-based systems could help to future-proof your business and to weather the current storm many firms and industries are facing.

Cloud storage and backup

CEOs that have been in business for a number of years may recall the huge servers that they had to acquire and keep maintained in order to preserve the integrity of their companies.

Thankfully, those days are gone thanks to cloud storage, which moves all of your data processing online and provides essential backup and recovery services into the bargain.

So, you no longer need to worry about the costs and manpower of running your own data centre, and with cloud storage, you only pay for the exact amount of ‘space’ you require – another essential cost saving.

Some business owners will be fearful of storing their company’s vital assets in the cloud at a time when hacking and fraudsters are on the loose, but cloud providers spend considerable sums on securing their networks – you are no more at risk than you would be running your own data storage facility on-site.

And how about this troubling stat: more than 60% of companies that suffer a non-recoverable loss of data shut down within six months of the breach taking place. But cloud storage offers automatic backup and recovery, which is a considerable weight off your mind.

All things considered, there are many more reasons to implement cloud computing in your business than there are factors against it.

It’s Time to Talk About Mental Health

It is fair to say that the past few years have impacted us all; from Covid-19 to the looming financial crisis, times have been and still are difficult. Unsurprisingly, stress, depression, and anxiety have skyrocketed within the workplace, accelerating trends seen prior to the pandemic and creating a catastrophic impact on morale and productivity. So, this begs the question, how can businesses better support their employees?

A study conducted by the mental health charity, Mind, found that one in four people in the UK will experience some form of mental health problem each year. A report published by CV-Library further supports this claim, noting that from a group of 1,200 UK workers, 14.1% of respondents admitted to suffering with mental health problems, with this number increasing to 26.9% amongst under 18s. Furthermore, 89% of individuals stated that these issues impact their working life. This crisis can be seen on an international scale; for example, in Japan, there is a term for sudden death caused by overworking, Karoshi.

Quite simply, this pandemic truly has consequences for everyone. It resides in workplaces across the globe, bubbling away beneath the surface, trapped in the minds of those who are too afraid to speak out due to fear of judgement. Indeed, the stigma surrounding mental illness meant that the same CV-Library study found that 60.2% of professionals would be embarrassed disclosing information regarding the state of their mental health to their employer. This number is worrying – especially as, in the UK, over 300,000 people leave their jobs each year for mental health related reasons.

There are several key work-oriented issues that are known to exacerbate or cause mental health strain: an unhealthy work/life balance, excessive workloads, understaffing, job insecurity, long or inflexible hours, to name a few. Psychological risks can be found in all sectors. Deloitte uncovered that between September 2020 and August 2021, 52% of study participants did not feel supported by their employer, with almost one-third of the 40,000 employees stating that they would like more action to be taken by their employer. It could be said that this displays a clear disconnect between business leaders and their staff, which is perhaps evident of a greater concern that transcends generation, position, and industry.

When profits are valued more than employee wellbeing, it is an inherent failure on the part of the employer, and not only does it put the staff at risk, but it also poses a risk to the company. The World Health Organisation highlights that an estimated 12 billion working days are lost per annum to depression and anxiety, amounting to a cost of US$1 trillion per year in missed productivity. For businesses both large and small, this can have a significant impact, and much of this stems from the fact that businesses are not prepared to manage their workforce’s mental wellbeing.

As an employer, you have a legal responsibility to help your employees – mental health is not something that can be pushed aside or left for HR to deal with. Your business should have the infrastructure necessary to handle such stress factors, be it providing employees with a healthy and sustainable work/life balance or by implementing a solid mental health at work plan, the latter of which being recommended by Stevenson and Farmer’s ‘Thriving at Work’ Review. However, knowing where to begin or even how to get your employees talking about mental health can often be a challenge in and of itself.

Cultivating a healthier working environment does not have to come at a great cost; in fact, many of the solutions outlined in Stevenson and Farmer’s review can be executed promptly and with great efficacy. One such example is that of increasing transparency and accountability – by doing so, employers are showcasing strong leadership, which is vital for generating tangible mental health action, and in turn, encouraging organisation-wide change. Moreover, business leaders are also called to promote effective people management, develop mental health awareness amongst employees, and routinely monitor employee mental health and wellbeing.

Whilst mental health courses and awareness videos can be beneficial, these often tend to only effect short-term change. To create an environment that fosters wellbeing and vitality – both in a physical and mental sense, as these two elements are intrinsically connected – executives must examine the fundamentals of their organisations. Are your employees being paid fairly? Is the work setting one that inspires positivity and innovation? Can your employees work freely, without stress or an immense amount of pressure?

In order to respond to these questions, employers may wish to look into flexible or remote working schemes, which have proven to supply workers with a plethora of benefits. By providing employees with more control over how they work and when they work, leaders are handing over a large amount of trust and responsibility, which often leads to fulfilment and a sense of wellbeing. If the employer is able, they may also opt to focus on pay, especially in the wake of the current financial emergency. Of course, money is one of the core factors behind stress and anxiety, as shown by a Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, who explain that people with anxiety and depression on average have a median gross annual income of £8,400 less than that of people without those conditions.

Mental health problems are never going to go away, but there are hundreds of things that can be done to alleviate the side effects of them, both in and out of the workplace. The evident rift between staff expectations and what employers on an international scope are offering is a cause for contention – but it is something that can be changed with time and effort. Whether it comes down to offering better pay, transforming into a more transparent organisation, or altering priorities, businesses need to bring about healthier, employee-oriented work situations, for both their and the staff’s sake. Otherwise, this issue will intensify like a hurricane, causing unprecedented and unnecessary disruption.

Words by Amelia Walker

Remote Work Expert Says At-Home Workers Yearn for Personal Connection and Emotional Support to Feel Motivated

At-home workers gradually shift their priorities from financial gain to work-life balance. Therefore remote team leaders looking for ways to motivate teams should consider nurturing personal connections, implementing incentives like inspiration days or paid mental health hours, and investing time into finding what encourages employees best.

Despite 60% of remote workers preferring hybrid work arrangements to fully returning to the offices, the isolation that comes with the work-at-home model might eventually result in decreased motivation. As 40% of employees state they would consider switching jobs within the next three to six months, companies are changing their approach toward motivating them to stay.

However, when it comes to remote workers, the motivational means have gradually changed over time. For instance, financial benefits are no longer the driving force to stay in their jobs as people seek incentives that would fulfill their psychological needs, like mental health support.

Personal care and alternative benefit packages listed as great motivators

Business experts share several means to motivate remote workers, such as digital collaboration tools, eliminating micromanaging to build trust, appreciating accomplishments, daily team calls, and others.

“What remote leaders have to understand is that the employees’ motivation relies heavily on their actions and attitude towards them. People who had decreased motivation before going fully remote are likely to be even less motivated right now, so this means that leaders have to nurture personal connections with each employee,” Ms. Diana Blažaitienė, remote work expert and founder of Soprana Personnel International, a recruitment and personnel rent solutions agency, said. “The problem does not start when it is evident for everybody to see, it starts way before that.”

She points out that the best strategy to propel motivation within a team is to ask employees what it is that makes them work in the company. “Financial gain is a poor motivator because it incentivizes for a short period before becoming the norm. For example, IT companies that used to hand out brand new phones to motivate employees are now finding that this strategy is not long-term and people value one-on-one time with leaders, the management style that aligns with their morals and principles, and honest care about their well-being so much more than expensive things. The trick is to make the remote team feel special and, most importantly, fully supported from the get-go,” the expert added.

Ms. Blažaitienė names company-wide initiatives like inspiration days—paid days to do what inspires and recharges the employee the most, paid time for mental health strengthening, personalized gifts for Christmas or other celebrations together with empathetic management style and constant emotional support as other highly motivating tools.

Repercussions of employee non-motivation

While it is up to remote leaders to find out what motivates each team member and put this knowledge to practical use, the consequences of discouraged employees might be dire.

“When a person loses their motivation to put in the effort and does not feel like they have formed valuable personal connections with colleagues or managers, they have no qualms about pursuing other jobs, quiet quitting, or even worse, ghosting the current employer,” Ms. Blažaitienė commented. “The fight for qualified workers is still in full force throughout many industries, so companies cannot really afford losing talent.”

How Making Tax Digital Accelerated the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Boom

How Making Tax Digital Accelerated the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Boom

HMRC’s major tax assessment shift from paper to digital returns, ‘Making Tax Digital’ (MTD), might have been launched back in 2019, but it’s been unfolding to encompass more and more small business owners ever since. This isn’t surprising, as its overarching goal – getting all small businesses and self-employed people to submit their income tax returns digitally – nears fulfilment. The primary aim is to make the whole process more streamlined and efficient, not least by eliminating as much waste as possible by migrating to an entirely paperless system.

All VAT-registered businesses were required to “go digital” and be MTD-compliant for VAT as of April 2022, and in April 2023, those who submit Self Assessment returns will be required to follow suit. From that date onwards, all self-employed people earning more than £10,000 per year will be obliged to submit digital tax returns on a quarterly, not merely annual, basis.

However, growing numbers of people are already starting to voluntarily sign up for HMRC’s digital tax return pilot initiative. This allows participants to send in quarterly Income Tax updates to the Revenue, obviating the need to complete the ‘big’ annual Self Assessment return. Essentially, this allows individuals to keep track of how much tax they owe the Revenue while their year’s income is coming in month by month.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the already-booming Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) market, amongst whose offerings are advanced new accounting software solutions for small businesses and the self-employed, accelerated further in the UK after the MTD initiative was unfurled in 2019.

Let’s take a closer look at this software – and why rising numbers of self-employed workers and small businesses are embracing it.

MTD and the accounting software that makes it easy

For small businesses and sole traders especially, getting the full benefits of the MTD initiative depends on choosing fully HMRC-compatible (but affordable) freelance accounting software. Available on a monthly subscription basis, the best providers of this SaaS solution usually offer tiered packages, depending on the complexity of the user’s tax return needs.

Reputable providers offer very straightforward yet comprehensive solutions for sole traders and small enterprises, handling all aspects of finance by simplifying sales tracking, and, if selected, automatically accepting and receiving payments, generating and sending invoices, and helping smaller entrepreneurs remain up to date with their bookkeeping. As these services are cloud-based, they can be accessed at any time from anywhere – all that’s needed is a smartphone, tablet, or laptop (and an internet/data connection).

The fact is that the offerings of the SaaS market are incredibly diverse; while larger, more complex businesses straddling multiple markets may require sophisticated spend management software tools, at the smaller end of the scale, the uptake of accountancy software for tax returns especially amongst smaller commercial players since the MTD initiative are accelerating.

And there’s a good reason for this. As noted above, sole traders with incomes exceeding £10,000 per annum will, from April 2023, need to file returns at least every quarter using MTD-compatible software. In addition, from April 2024, they will be required to submit a close-of-tax-year ‘End of Period Statement’.

Further growth in the market for MTD-compliant tax returns software

A recent study by Accountancy Age suggests that many UK-based accountants are concerned that a significant proportion of small businesses and sole traders are yet to migrate their tax returns from manual records to MTD-compliant software, which will soon be required by the Revenue. However, as the deadline draws closer, it seems that many businesses are becoming acutely alert to the MTD requirements, with 70% of respondents to the same survey reporting that they would cope with it by making “better use of technology to automate processes.”

Innovations from the Software-as-a-Service sector have changed the thinking across the business landscape, opening new doors away from the capital-heavy investments in IT hardware of yore to a new subscription-based ‘rental’ model of continually updated software solutions. And the transition has been accompanied by the rise of a new generation of software developers eager to put their ingenuity to work in building solutions for newly emerging business problems.

The burgeoning rise of communication and collaboration apps and platforms bears witness to this transition, allowing employees to remain connected, effective, and productive wherever they may be.

Conclusion

As familiarity with the emerging MTD system grows, the likelihood is that many sole traders and small enterprises will find that it actually makes staying on top of their tax obligations much less onerous, not more.

New solutions from SaaS providers like MTD-compliant software will allow even the most modestly sized of businesses to keep digital records and submit regular tax returns with ease, as well as granting them greater visibility over their cash flow. Moreover, these solutions will help these smaller enterprises to set aside much more accurate amounts for the tax they owe, sparing them the all-too-common problem of setting aside significant overestimates of the amount due.

Furthermore, it will also help them slash admin time by automating the more tedious accounting tasks, freeing up more time to concentrate on what they love doing instead.

From Power Suits to Hoodies: The Changing Business Dress Code in 2022

The 1980s and 1990s were the era of wearing power suits, and they defined the business environment. As times change, so does the corporate dress code.

Wearing yoga pants and a shirt on a conference call or a hoodie at Google’s office is the new normal. The business dress code is becoming more casual and flexible to highlight our skills and performance but is still imbued with a fashion sense.

Here is what the office style in 2022 looks like.

The tech industry pioneering casual attire

Big companies like Google, Twitter, and Facebook are famous for their casual office attire. Dressed in hoodies, jeans, and trainers, the employees behind Sundar Pichai, Evan Williams, and Mark Zuckerburg are headlining the fashion trends in the tech industry.

While the “dress to impress” mantra is still valid, the changes in the dress code prove that it’s not all about the looks. Intellect and performance are more important in business nowadays, especially in the digital-first ambience, and the above successful companies are showing that.

After the casual dress code revolutionised the tech industry, it also caught up with the booming landscape of start-ups. During the rise of start-up culture, many small businesses quickly grew to become corporate giants, and they did that in an informal atmosphere.

The casual dress code is causing a ripple-down effect, as other industries are chiming in on the trend.

Other industries embracing the casual dress code

“Dress codes in the finance sector have historically had the most conservative, formal standards, and even those are changing,” said New York-based stylist, personal shopper, and an alumna for Goldman Sachs Jessica Cadmus.

Working as a stylist in the corporate world, around 90% of Cadmus’ clients are in the finance industry, leaning towards casual attire at the workplace.

In 2019, the Wall Street titan Goldman Sachs published a memo announcing a shift towards “a more casual environment”, which allows a more flexible attire. And they’re not the only ones. Morgan Stanley and other investment banks are also embracing the change.

Other industries are also not falling behind. The British airline Virgin Atlantic also relaxed its dress code by allowing flight attendants to wear pants and not forcing them to put make-up on so that they have “an increased level of comfort” and “more choice” to express individuality. Target has also allowed employees to wear blue jeans not just on holidays and weekends but every day at work.

Gen Zs are shaping the new business dress code

The emerging cohort of workers leading the way in innovation is Gen Z. The tech-savvy, digital-first, and fashion-forward Gen Zs are the sought-after generation by any aspiring company. As such, businesses are adapting their corporate dress codes to suit the trendy aspirations of Gen Zs and attract top talent.

The new dress code is dictated by the latest trends in menswear, taking a more flexible approach.

That means that knitwear will dominate the office style during sweater weather, as worn by Hollywood stars Tom Hardy and Dwayne Johnson. Wider cuts, such as oversized chinos, belted overcoats, and men’s loafers, are the top fashion and shoe trends for this autumn, so expect to see more of that around the office.

In terms of accessories, Forbes Magazine predicts that “high-end luxury watches will become even more important markers of success”.

The shift towards a more casual dress code is accelerating as employees are looking to embrace comfort and individuality. A more flexible work attire means a happier workforce, better productivity, and more gains for the company.

How to Protect Your Mental Health as a Leader

We know that leaders have a duty of care towards their teams and this is paramount to creating a safe, happy and productive working environment. With 1 in 4 people in Britain experiencing a mental health issue at some point in their lives, support for the workforce is key. External factors such as soaring energy costs and looming recession have the potential to exacerbate existing mental health issues and create additional strain on many people’s lives. 

Of course leaders will be required to support employees and lead compassionately, however this responsibility may come with challenges to their own mental health and wellbeing. The pressure at the top can feel intense. Here are five tips for protecting your mental health as a leader.

1. Establish clear boundaries

Making yourself available to employees in your organisation is an important requirement for leaders. However, this does not mean being available unconditionally. An option is establishing ‘office hours’ (whether virtual or in-person) that you commit to each week. This creates allocated time for employees to come and speak with you when you have capacity to be most present in the discussion. 

While supporting others is a core responsibility as a leader, allocating time for your own work and tasks should also remain a priority. Putting time in your calendar each week that is uninterrupted will help you remain on top of work, accompanied by designated intervals to rest and recharge. This will avoid overworking and burnout, and allow time to regroup after guiding others. 

2. Take well-earned breaks

When overwhelmed by responsibility, breaks can begin to seem dispensable. When repeating the same activity continuously for over 90-120 minutes, we begin to lose our edge. Reducing breaks may seem like it will maximise output, but it will likely reduce quality of work and become mentally draining. Intentional breaks must be scheduled into each day and week to help recharge after intense cognitive tasks. 

The same applies to holiday periods. While taking time away from the office, it is important to allow yourself time to withdraw from work without repeatedly checking emails. This should be seen as an investment into your next performance wave and sets an important example for the team around you.

3. Find time to nurture your personal relationships

Making time to see the people who are sources of happiness in life is imperative to wellbeing; it’s an act of self care. When so much time is spent supporting others at work, seeking support from those in your personal life will help ease the weight of the working week. Nurturing your personal relationships and allocating time to those who bring you joy will help build an energy reserve that enhances future performance. The investment into your own wellbeing will help you be present when supporting teams.

4. Stop negative self-talk

When leading others compassionately, it is important to offer ourselves the same compassion we show to others. Negative self-talk can stunt productivity and compromise emotional wellbeing. This must be addressed early on otherwise it can become overwhelming.

If you find yourself speaking to yourself in a critical voice, ask would I speak to others like this? Usually we find the answer is no, meaning we are not giving ourselves the same kindness we offer to others. We must challenge these thoughts to protect our mental wellbeing so we remain productive and confident in our ability to support others. 

5. Know when to seek help

It is important to check in with yourself regularly, consistently monitoring your energy levels and emotional wellbeing. We must adopt the same proactive wellbeing approach when looking after ourselves as we do for our employees. Leaders should be familiar with spotting signs that employees are struggling with burnout or with low mental health, and must examine their own behaviours in the same way. 

Overreactions or being short tempered with colleagues, for example, can be signs of burnout. Similarly, becoming withdrawn can be a sign of poor mental health. If you are able to spot this in others, it is crucial to spot the same signs in yourself. When noticing changes in your behaviour and reactions at work, follow the same steps you advise others to take; accessing mental health services, reaching out to loved ones for support and taking enough time to rest.