“Out there in some garage is an entrepreneur who’s forging a bullet
with your company’s name on it.”
Gary Hamel, Business Writer
“If you don’t make mistakes, you aren’t really trying.”
Coleman Hawkins, Jazz Musician
“Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable
combination for success.”
Napoleon Hill, Author
“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that
which should not be done at all.”
“I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for
failure, which is: Try to please everybody.”
Herbert B. Swope, American Journalist
“If you have always done it that way, it is probably wrong.”
Charles Kettering, Engineer
“I am a man of fixed and unbending principles, the first of which is to be
flexible at all times.”
“Without customers, you don’t have a business. You have a hobby.”
Don Peppers & Martha Rogers, Return on Customer
“Judge a man by his questions, not by his answers.”
“The minute you’re satisfied with where you are, you aren’t there anymore.”
Tony Gwynn, Hall of Fame Baseball player
“Speed is useful only if you are running in the right direction.”
Joel Barker, Future Edge
“They always say time changes things,
but you actually have to change them yourself.”
“An organization becomes bewildered rather than energized
when it’s asked to do too much at once.”
Michael Hammer & James Champy, Reengineering The Corporation
“If you try to do something and fail, you are vastly better off
than if you had tried nothing and succeeded.”
The Back of a Sugar Packet (Anonymous)
So what can employers and managers do to keep employees motivated and working toward year-end goals from late November through early January? Here are eight suggestions, provided by business owners and managers as well as HR experts.
1. Recognize employees — with thank-you notes and/or small gifts. When employees are thanked for a job well done, they are motivated and inspired to do great work; they are driven to surpass company goals; and they are happier and more committed to their employer. 86 percent of employees say that being recognized motivates them in their job. So thank your employees for a job well done — and not just this holiday season but every day, year-round. The positive effect will be palpable.”
The time it takes to sit down and write a personalized note says a lot in and of itself. By expressing appreciation in a personal note, the recipient will feel appreciated by the effort and motivated to continue to go above and beyond.
Whether it’s a gift card to their favorite restaurant, a day or two of extra vacation time or the latest tech gadget, pairing a meaningful reward with recognition enhances the emotional connection employees share with the company. Whether you have a big budget or a small one, “find rewards that will have value and be meaningful” to employees, which will “create an even stronger connection between the individual, the company and its goals.”
2. Organize an Employee Appreciation Day or outing. There is no better time to show your employees that you appreciate them than during the festive holiday season. Have a company-wide meeting to review the achievements of the year and discuss goals for the new year. And as a reward for their achievements, “treat your employees to a breakfast or lunch.” Or “if your company has extra money in the budget, consider taking your employees on an off-site excursion to work on additional team building and strategic planning.”
3. Give out awards. This will encourage employees to continue to work hard and will motivate them to go to the office to see if they are an award recipient
4. Provide free food. Never underestimate the power of food, especially when it’s free! The holidays are an opportunity for organizations to showcase that And one way to do this is by offering perks like food in the office. Workplace survey found that 57 percent of respondents said food-based perks make them feel more valued and appreciated by their employers, and 50 percent said food in the office makes them feel more satisfied with their employers.”
5. Sponsor a volunteer day. “Give the team a day or half-day off to volunteer at a charity of their choice or as a company. It will promote fellowship and good will.
6. Pamper your employees. Consider bringing in a yoga and/or meditation specialist into the office. The need to “de-stress” becomes especially important around the holidays when stress levels become higher. Having someone come to the office makes it very easy for employees to take a break from their busy schedules and find a moment to relax.
7. Have staff engage in friendly competitions. Start a healthy walking competition amongst the teams with step counters. The winner will receive a year-long gym membership to kick off a healthy and happy 2016.
8. Offer flexible hours. It has been proven that by offering flexible scheduling, employees will be more productive when they are in the office. This is especially important during the holidays, when workers are personally busy.
An important part of any workplace culture is how you celebrate the holidays. Don’t just buy a bunch of red cups and have an office party – get into the season. That means creativity and sharing. A good holiday activity can bring your team closer and make your community a better place.
Here are five festive workplace activities you and your team can try.
This one is pretty straight-forward: everything is better when cookies are involved. It’s also a great way to learn which of your coworkers has been harbouring a secret talent for baking.
Team members are encouraged to bake a batch of cookies for the staff. After a team-wide taste test (yes, this is where you get to eat cookies), a winner is crowned. Since your in-house bakers have done all the work, be sure to get creative with prizes: anything from a new set of cookie sheets to a mixer will say thanks and – hint, hint – keep the cookies coming.
Aside from cookies, the holiday season is really about giving. Research has shown that compared to our American counterparts, Canadians give far less to charity. Get into the spirit and prove these statistics wrong by volunteering for a great cause with your co-workers. Find out if your local soup kitchen is looking for help or organize a fundraiser. Ask the most community-minded member of your staff if there are any great local initiatives in need of support. Seeing each other in a different light and doing something constructive will bring your team together like nothing else.
This one is pure fun. Grab some supplies at your local supermarket – either a pre-fab kit or just the raw materials if you’re a master-builder – and get building. Divide your team into three or four groups (space permitting). You can add color or ingredient challenges if you want to get really serious, then ask an independent judge to choose a winner. For major bonus points, get the whole team together and build a replica of your office space… then devour it as a group. Nothing tastes better.
A twist on your typical secret Santa gift exchange and a great way to give and receive gifts while also giving back to the community. After drawing names out of a hat each team member will buy a toy that they would have loved as a child. It’s the thought that counts. After the exchange, all the toys will be donated to a local toy drive, just in time for Christmas. Everybody wins.
Around the beginning of December, every staff member will bring in a small gift that can be shared amongst the whole team – chocolates, a game, anything fun that benefits the office. the team will open one gift per day and enjoy it together. The frequency and duration of the calendar can be adjusted depending on the size of your team.
Hopefully these ideas will make your office a little more festive this holiday season. You can tweak any of them to suit the culture and size of your office. You can also invite colleagues of various cultures to share their traditions with the team – another great way to get to know the people you work with.
Whatever you do, have fun – and remember to be generous to those less fortunate than yourself in whatever way you can.
Today you will learn 10 tips that I fully believe will improve your life and business.
Feel free to share these and we may just improve the world!
“No matter who you are, no matter what you did, no matter where you’ve come from, you can always change, become a better version of yourself.” ― Madonna (Click to Tweet)
“Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” — Steve Jobs (Click to Tweet)
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” — Anais Nin (Click to Tweet)
“Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.” — Christian D. Larson (Click to Tweet)
If you are not currently using social media to market your business, there has never been a better time to get started than now.
As of today, there are over 1 billion active users on social media…which equates to endless opportunities for you to extend your business reach online and get your brand in front of more customers.
From what I’ve noticed, figuring out which social network to use is the hardest part for most small business owners (myself included!).
Just recently, Social Media Examiner published its annual 2015 Social Media Marketing Industry Report that details what social media channels businesses are getting used the most for marketing.
According to the report, the Top 7 Social Networks being used for business marketing are as follows:
Recommended for YouWebcast: 15 Tactics to Build A High-Converting and Dynamic Brand
Most Effective Networks for Business: Social Media Examiner Report 2015
This report also states that the top 3 benefits of using these networks are:
If you are new to social media (in general), I am rounding up a great list of Beginner’s guides that you can use to get started with using social media marketing in your business.
My advice for getting started is simply this: Pick one network, build up a fan base there, then move on to another one.
It’s better to do an excellent job of managing a few social networks the right way…than poorly managing multiple networks
I think many of you that hire staff can relate; many people will be like, “I’m totally guilty”, and some will learn something new without doing it the hard way!
1.) The Ghost Email
So you find the perfect job. You spend hours writing that perfect resume and cover letter. You attached the documents to an email, and send off to the employer…..with the body of the email BLANK!
Not a “Hi” or a “Thanks” or even copying the cover letter into the body of the document. Just…..a blank email!
The first issue with this is that the majority of individuals involved in the hiring process use smartphones to receive emails, especially with the workforce being as mobile as it is!
When these blank emails are opened on a smartphone device, the likelihood of the attachments being opened increases. I personally delete them and move on to the next.
Second issue with blank emails is computer security and email-spread viruses.
There are many online hackers who dig through job banks, get contact information and then email document attachments with blank emails. If an employer is worried or has been burned by this in the past, they would definitely not open the attachment due to fear that your attachment is malicious.
Third is…provide a little effort people!
To me someone that can’t even take the time to copy a cover letter into an email really is not someone I would want on my team. Your due diligence from start to finish really demonstrates the type of person you are and your work ethic if hired.
So stop doing this. It doesn’t take much more time to add a message to a body of an email and it increases the way others engage with your application information.
2.) No Cover Letter
This one aligns with the ghost email abusers. Cover letters are an integral part of the job search. It gives personality to a resume that may otherwise not stand out.
I have had many applicants say to me “I don’t know how to write a cover letter” or “It took too much time to create one for a specific job application.”
Here’s a scoop: the internet is a remarkable resource. If you do not know how to write a cover letter, there is this awesome tool called “Google” and when you type in the search bar “cover letter examples”, you will find a large variety or tricks, tips and examples of ways to make your cover letter more effective and better overall .
There are also many learning sites that allow you to gain information on this topic. Examples are: Itunes University (free no cost for iTunes users) or Udemy (paid & free courses). There is no excuse for not having success on this one; if you want to learn there are many ways to make it happen.
So stop saying “I don’t know how” or “I was never taught” and change those behaviors to “I will learn and research how to learn”
With anything in life, you need to practice in order to master an art! Writing a cover letter is no different. So try writing one, ask for feedback from mentors or work colleagues, and keep practicing until you get a format worth using on your job search.
3.) The Resume
Oh the resume….this subject has so many challenges to address, and here is my take.
Grammar, Punctuation and Fonts
There is nothing worse than a resume with poor spelling. With the availability of automatic spell check (even if you can’t spell), there is no excuse for your resume to have spelling errors. Read it…a couple of times…have a friend read it, and of course, run a spell check before blasting it out to perspective employers. Use one font, not 40 different ones. Use bullets or hyphens, not both in the same document.
These typical errors convey a message…that you have no attention to detail, and that this would spill over into your work if selected as the right applicant for the organization. Sounds like something stupid to worry about, but taking action to ensure perfection go a long way with perspective employers. As a business owner, these are things that I personally look at when going through resumes coming into our office.
Stop Sending Long-winded Resumes
Unless you are a neurosurgeon or someone with some pretty extensive university degree(s), applying for a career position, employers do not need a novel to understand what you have done before. This type of resume deters me from reading it all together. You need to keep some things to the interview, and detailing every task you’ve ever done in every job you’ve ever had for your entire lifetime is not only ineffective, but think of how many trees you are killing printing that beast of a document.
We are busy individuals, and have many of these documents to review when looking at hiring someone for a position, so keep it to 3 pages max.
Resume and Cover Letter Content
Your resume content should contain professional interests, not personal ones. That’s awesome that you love extreme sports, that you hate all your old managers, and that you want to move out of your mom’s house but what is that telling your potential employer?
What I want to see is your awards and achievements (work and education), what professional books you have read, what other courses you have completed (organization provided, or personal choice education), and where you volunteer your time giving back to the community.
4.) The Follow Up
This one is near and dear to my heart, the follow up. Over the course of the year I have had 240 applications and only 2 of those applicants followed up by email or phone.
Only 1% of the applicants took the initiative to follow up. What’s worse for me is this is for a sales position which should see a higher return of individuals inquiring about the role.
When I was a teenager, my grandmother used to always preach that the day after the application is submitted a follow up should happen by phone to ensure the employer received the application and to ask if an interview can be scheduled. She was right, and this was coming from a woman who for the majority of her life worked on our family farm, and not in a typical career position.
Think of it this way, you find the job of your dreams; you want it so bad you can taste it. So do hundreds of others that have less, the same or better qualifications than you. Let’s say 50 of these applicants are guilty of the above mistakes, so it’s you and 50 others. Typically these 50 will be sorted from the best possible candidates to the worst based on qualifications.
Ask yourself: What sets me apart from the other applicants? How do I stand out from the pack?
The answer is simple! Follow up to express your interest. Something so simple but is often overlooked, and by my calculations…..99% of you are missing the mark.
When you follow up, a wonderful chain of events happens:
If you aren’t employing this tactic in your job application game, you had better add it immediately! How many of the 1% I spoke about are snatching up your dream career?
5.) Social Media
My last, but definitely not least important topic is your presence on social media.
I am not kidding when I tell you that most likely, you are going to be automatically searched for on a variety of social media platforms. Not just Facebook…Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google +…I think you get the point.
If on the weekends, you like to crush beer cans on your head and then get a selfie while vomiting in a back alley, or take videos of yourself while doing a petty crime on a University Campus, you had better lock down your social platforms privacy settings or better yet, don’t post these things online. This seems like a no brainer, but surprisingly it still puts potential candidates out of the running. Of those 240 applicants I experienced, 25% of them had items posted publicly that in turn changed my opinion of them right away. Whether you agree with this practice or not, it’s what employers do, and something personally and professionally you need to think about!
Don’t let that “Post” button, hinder future opportunities that may cross your path later in life.
For assistance with your cover letter and/or resume contact http://www.redappleadmin.ca for a free consultation.
Using document management solutions is a great way to organize all of your paper and digital files in a central location, where everyone in the office has access.
“It’s a challenge for companies to keep up with all the paperwork and electronic files that come into a home office or business every day,” Pickard told Business News Daily. “It generally starts slowly — an email here, a receipt there, incoming invoices and customer correspondence. And before you know it, you’ve got a mountain of paper and no way to find the documents you need.”
Document management systems give you a framework for organizing all of those papers. These systems work in tandem with scanners, which convert your paper documents into digital versions.
When looking into document management, you will encounter several types of tools: document management systems, document management software and document management solutions. In reality, however, they all accomplish the same tasks.
However, a document management system is different from online storage, which simply provides a place for you to store a variety of documents. Document management systems do much more. They’re essentially electronic libraries that can be easily searched, shared and managed. Some of the specific functions you can use document management systems for include:
When using document management systems, you have the option of installing and running them on your own computer or network or accessing them via the cloud. Many providers of both options offer various versions of their software, which vary by storage space and features.
Costs for document management systems vary greatly. On-premise systems typically require higher upfront costs, including a one-time fee for the software based on the number of computers it’s being installed on. Cloud-based versions typically charge monthly fees based on the number of users. These can typically range anywhere from $10 to $100 per user, per month.
Additionally, many on-premise and cloud-based options charge initial setup fees. This can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars depending on the number of users.
Since keeping things organized is critical for success, there are few businesses — regardless of size — that couldn’t benefit from a document management system. Any business that handles forms, correspondence, emails, files, printouts, personnel or client files, charts, data, or any other type of paper or electronic document can use this type of solution to become more efficient.
Compared to those that still rely on paper files and folders, small businesses with an overarching system in place to handle all their information operate at a vastly superior level of productivity.
Productivity by Lori Lynn Smith
You stagger into the office five minutes before you are supposed to start, you have a coffee in your hand. You do like your job, but it is hard to hit the floor peppy and productive every single day. It feels even harder when you find yourself sitting for so long at one time. That is the nature of the job, but how can you change things up a little to create an environment that is more productive and more enjoyable?
Here are ten strategies that can set the tone and keep you motivated to be productive:
Get to your desk about 15 minutes early and write out a daily list of tasks and plan out your day before it begins. This will help to keep you focused and on track throughout the day. Set out your top three most important tasks to do first.
2. Power hour
Commit! Dedicate the first hour to getting as much done as you can. Avoid your email inbox, favorite blogs, and voicemails, and get right to work. This sets the tone for the day and gives you a great sense of accomplishment that can follow you through to home time.
When we were kids we probably loved recess more than school, but our teacher knew that we needed small breaks to help us learn better. The same is true for working. Allocating specific time periods when it’s okay to become distracted can help make the rest of your day more productive. Just keep them short and then get back to it.
4. Time chunking
By shifting your focus between tedious and repetitive tasks and those that are more engaging, you can keep yourself more happily involved in your work throughout the day. Give each task category a time frame and alternate back and forth between them for best results.
5. Rock the clock
Rather than working on a project until it’s completed, resolve to work on a project for a set period of time, then change your focus. This will keep you productive and eliminate some of the tedium associated with working on the same project for long periods of time.
6. Organize your email
You can increase sanity by keeping your inbox organized, especially if you get a lot of correspondence on a daily basis. Use folders and filters to keep your email inbox organized and it will be as beneficial as having a tidy desk or cubicle. I personally like to strive for Inbox Zero: daily is great, but definitely by Friday afternoon.
7. Listen to music
Music can help you settle into your work routine. Low-volume music can drown out noises in the office without interrupting other people around you. Choose music that helps you focus without distracting you. It has been shown that while listening to Classical music your IQ actually increases—you might want to give it a try!
8. Drink up
Hydration is important for a variety of health reasons. Fill up a personal water bottle and keep it with you all day. Keeping a water bottle by your side will prevent you from having to get up over and over to get more water and ensures that you stay hydrated throughout the day. I love to use a 1 liter bottle, and drink one before lunch and one after lunch.
9. Leave your desk for lunch
Having a lunch break away from your desk can disrupt your productivity routine, but it does provide some much-needed relaxation and respite from your work. Enjoy your lunch break and return to your work with renewed energy and focus. Exercising during lunch, even if it is just a quick walk around the park, will also help to keep your energy up.
10. Keep it professional
Respond to personal emails and deal with personal phone calls on your own time. By clearly separating work and home, you can focus yourself better during the day to get more done. If you have important personal tasks that need to be done, use your break or lunch, but walk away from your desk.
Hit your stride
You can stay productive during work hours if you plan out your day and really think about what you’re doing at work. It doesn’t take much forethought to have a good workday, but the time you put into planning can pay off big time!