How to Create a Company Culture that Attracts Top Talent

Today, employees demand more from their employers than just a generous salary and benefits package. They want to be part of a great company, be it a tech company, eCommerce, towing service, or whichever company, that cultivates the sense that their work is appreciated, and is more than just a job. An average person spends a third of their life at work, and when you consider this fact, it makes a lot of sense that employees want to not just love their work, but also work for a company they love.

If you are looking forward to attracting and keeping qualified talent for your firm, then you cant skimp creating your company culture. Here are key steps to creating a great company culture.

 

Build a Foundation

The driving force behind any company is its people. Though they are the ones living your culture day-by-day, it is up to you to develop a clear vision, mission, and set values that will be embraced by the rest of the employees. Define why your organization exists, what it wants to achieve, the core values of your company, how you want your employees to feel while they are at work, and what standard you and your employees must hold dear to.

 

Include Everyone

Most growing organizations are faced with tribal mentalities. As teams expand, friendship grows naturally. This may not be an inherent problem, but if not carefully checked, tribal lines may develop and could lead to toxic environments in which one or more member feels excluded. At a great extend, it may lead to employee turnover and create a very negative atmosphere. To prevent it from happening, take the necessary steps to ensure everyone feels equally valued and wanted.

 

Collect Regular Feedback

Many businesses neglect to collect regular feedback from their employees, despite it being a crucial component to maintaining teams happy. Collecting feedback will help you understand the areas of your company and its culture that need improvement. Many tools may be used for feedback collection, but just ensure you create your custom feedback forms using Google Forms. Ask questions to gauge if your employees feel they can grow in your institution, whether the company provides tools necessary for facilitating work effectiveness, what the company can do to improve work-life balance, among others.

Offer Fresh Challenges.

Top talent needs constant challenges and regular opportunities for growth. If a member of your team feels like they are stuck in one place, they are likely to consider moving to a more progression-focused organization. Fresh challenges will play a vital role in keeping your current talent and attracting new talent. There has not been a better time for continuous learning than now. Professional development is an integral part of a company’s culture and stagnation may lead to high turnover.

No matter what happens in the workplace, culture must remain positive and a healthy one. Positivism starts at the top and works down to every member of the team. That is the only sure way to build a positive company culture.

How to Take Your Business Online Today

The internet is a great equalizer. It has leveled the business playing field. It is hard to believe than in 2020, with the web over 25 years old, there are still some businesses that are not online, and barely seem to make any effort. It is very easy to start a screened porches business, or a product-based business and set it online, and realize exponential growth in terms of customer acquisition and revenue, as compared to operating the business on a brick and mortar model. People are searching for local and small businesses, just like yours, online. If they can’t find you easily, you are missing out.

Times like now, it may be a little bit difficult to operate a business on a brick and mortar model, and the only guaranteed way to continue selling is to operate online. Here are the steps you can take to take your business online today.

Get Your Domain Name

You can get online in different ways. First, you need to have a unique domain name that is short and memorable. You can get a great domain name from vendors such as GoDaddy, Namecheap, Google Domains among others. I use Namecheap, as I find it cost-effective and has seamless customer service.

 

Get a hosting provider and build a website

Once you have a domain name – which is a unique online identifier for your business, the next step is to purchase a hosting plan. You will use your host to have all your website resources available online for search engines and customers to find. There are many good hosting providers such as BlueHost, SiteGround, TMD Hosting among others. Once you have a hosting plan, the next step is to build your business website.

With this step, there are a couple of decisions to make. What type of website do you want? It is an eCommerce site; if yes, go for Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, or Big Commerce. It is a website that lists the services you offer? If yes, go for WordPress. You don’t have to know any web development to have your site setup. Go to market places such as Fiverr and Upwork, and get an expert to set your site up.

 

Promote your website

Once you have set up your website, the next key step is to make it discoverable on search engines. This is done by ding a comprehensive Search Engine Optimization where you submit your site on Google, Bing, Yahoo, Yandex, and other search engines for indexing. List your business on Google, Yelp, and other places for your customers to discover you. Through promoting your website, you will be selling your products and services to your potential customers and followers.

 

Get Social

Once your business is listed, the next step is to get social. Set up social media pages for your site so that you can engage with your customers in real-time. Solve customer pain points, comment, and answer their concerns and grow your following. Ensure you keep your reputation high through five-star reviews and ethical business practices.

Guide to Making Money On YouTube

When working from our homes become a norm, people must devise creative and fun ways to make a living online, out of their passion, and without location limits. For many, YouTube is a site where you can spend endless hours watching product reviews, car videos, towing service videos, cat videos, other people playing video games, etc. For others, it is a great platform to make money online. Let’s stick to the second lot.

Becoming a professional YouTuber may sound fun, but you will have a lot of work to do. However, when you succeed, the payoff is huge. If you are an avid video creator, and you are willing to put in extra effort, you will make money on YouTube. Here are a couple of important pointers to take note of.

 

Create Unique Videos for Your Audience

The first step to becoming a YouTuber is setting up your YouTube Channel and creating videos. Most people who load videos on YouTube do not see a dime. This is because for you to earn, you must attract a lot of viewers. Additionally, your viewers must be willing to engage with your ads. They must be willing to watch a decent portion of your ad before skipping it. If you like creating videos and see YouTube as a source that can be monetized, then there is no need to stop, go for it.

 

Create a Video Plan

You need to make some decisions about the videos you will be uploading. If you want to gain subscribers and encourage engagement, then your primary goal should be to build a following  that likes your videos and subscribe to your channel, and return to watch your videos. Make sure you understand the audience you want to share. Brainstorm a list of topics and videos that will appeal to your audience. Create a solid schedule for your videos. You are more likely to gain and attract followers if you have a consistent upload pattern.

 

Enable Monetization

Once you have at least a thousand subscribers and at least four thousand watch hours, you will be eligible for monetization. Once you have monetized your site, sign up for Google AdSense and connect your account to your channel. Follow all the instructions that prompt on your screen to finalize the process.

 

Load More Good Videos

Now that the basic stuff has been covered, and you have covered the hardest part, next is to continue creating better videos that your audience will love and engage with, as well as gaining more subscribers. Make use of analytics to know which videos are performing the best and replicate these videos to ensure you appeal to even a greater audience.

 

Promote Your Videos

The first step to having your videos reach a greater audience is to do YouTube SEO for all the videos on your channel. Make use of VidIQ and TubeBuddy to follow their tips, suggestions, and guide. Even when your videos are good, people will not automatically come looking for you. Research on the best ways to optimize your YouTube videos for search so that people find them easily. Share your videos on social media and encourage sharing.

How to Deal With Boredom During Lockdown

boredMore and more of us are staying at home to slow down the spread of coronavirus. However, being stuck at home with nothing to do can quickly lead to boredom. I found myself with a lot of free time since I could not get out and carry out towing services in Albany so I had to use my free time to come up with creative ways to get busy and productive, as shared in this short piece of writing.

Boredom is real and is an indication that we are not usefully engaged with the world. Boredom refers to an emotional and deep psychological state that is experienced when one is left without anything specific to do and is not interested in their surroundings. Boredom functions as a protective mechanism against emotional pain.

To avoid falling into the trap of boredom and stress, we have come up with creative ways you can adopt while social distancing, to bring joy and fun to your life.

Let’s explore.

 

Read a Book

Reading a book can take you into a different world for you to explore and imagine. Books tell a lot about people, places and things that you didn’t know about. Reading a book can grow up your interest in something new and make you kill that boredom you might be experiencing. Reading enhances our language skills and develops fluency to allow you to express your thoughts and ideas better.

 

Learn a New Skill

Learning a new skill will help you in learning things faster over the time of your practice. When you stimulate neurons in the brain, extra pathways form and facilitate electrical impulses to travel faster across them as you attempt to process new information. The more pathways that are formed, the faster impulses can travel. This also helps in eliminating any dementia.

 

Meditatemeditate

During a period of lockdown, one of the best things you can do is to meditate. Meditation helps in controlling your mind and thoughts as well as turning off your mind when you need to. To have a happy life, meditation is very important. Meditation helps in eliminating negative thoughts, anxiety, worries, and other factors that prevent us from feeling happy.

Start and grow a social media channel

If you are a social person and you have something interesting to share, one of the important things you can do today is to start and grow a social media channel. Two of the best channels to grow are YouTube and Instagram, due to the monetization option these two channels give you. Even though the competition will be stiff, with dedication and the right organization, you can gain a lot of subscribers and followers, and monetize your channel.

 

Look for online jobs

In case your working schedule has been affected, you can add more value to your life by selling your skills. If you are an expert in a particular subject – such as writing, online tutoring, web design, running Facebook and Google Ads, social media management, etc. you can find clients online interested with your services. Top places to find these clients include; Fiverr, Upwork, Craigslist, LinkedIn, social media, and online job boards listing remote working opportunities.

How to Manage Your Time Effectively

Without a doubt, time flies. We all have 24 hours. What you do with your 24 hours makes the difference between how productive, or lack of,  you are, in comparison with the rest of the world. There is no specific time management software that can make you a better person or be more efficient. Proper management of time comes down to the tiny issues you do from one second to the next.

Time management involves a structured process of effectively planning and carefully controlling how much time you have and spend between specific activities. Good time management will help you complete more in a shorter period, and lead to your productivity and success.

In this guide, we shall look at some proven tips you can adopt to have better management of your time.

 

Set Goals Correctly

The first step to effective time management is through setting goals that are achievable and measurable. Most of us are acquainted with the SMART method of setting goals – which include setting goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.

 

Prioritize Wisely.

The second step to effective time management is getting organized. To properly manage your time, you must get your priorities right. Prioritize tasks based on importance and urgency. Look at your tasks and determine the following;

 

  • Important and urgent: These tasks should be done right away
  • Important but not urgent: You need to decide when to do these tasks
  • Urgent but not important: ultimately delegate these tasks as much as possible
  • Not urgent and not important: Ignore these tasks or do them at at later date.

 

Set a Time Limit for Tasks

When you set a time limit for completing tasks, you become more focused and efficient. Make an effort to determine how much time you need to allocate for each task as doing so will help you become more productive. When some tasks are falling short of the allocated time, you will be able to adjust accordingly. Better still, if you are constrained in time, you will be able to delegate effectively.

 

Take a Break Between Tasks

When you are tackling many tasks without a break, it can be easy for you to get tired, lose focus, and motivation. You need to allow some short breaks between tasks as doing so helps to clear your head and refresh yourself. You may consider grabbing a quick nap, meditating or going for a short walk

 

Be More Organized

Make use of your calendar for both short term and long term time management. Write down deadlines for all projects you have as well as tasks that need to be completed. Think about the best days to complete specific tasks. Understand that you are normally most productive during the first hours of waking up, so set these hours to complete the most challenging tasks first.

The consequences of poor time management can be daunting. inability to plan and stick to your goals would lead to poor efficiency. Poor time management results in wasted time. By not knowing the next task for you, you suffer from loss of control of your time. Poor time management will also make the quality of your work suffer.

Importance of Delegating Your Tasks For Ultimate Productivity

delegateI learned the art of delegation by assigning important but not very urgent tasks to my junior staff while working in a towing service firm. Ever since then, I fell in love with the effectiveness of delegation, as it creates so much time for me to focus on other important tasks.

In management, delegation is one of the most important tasks. Your success in the management of your tasks may come down to your ability to delegate authority and responsibility. In any organization,  managers are not expected to do all the work. They have numerous functions in management on which to focus.

This guide looks at the concept of delegation, its principles, effectiveness, and importance.

Principles of Effective Delegation

Delegation is function managers have to excel at. Effective delegation results in the smooth functioning and success of an organization. Principles of the effective delegation include;

 

Defining the Function

Before you can effectively delegate authority, as a manager, you should clearly define the scope and extent of the tasks to the subordinate. The subordinate needs to be aware of the tasks to be performed, activities to be overseen, and the relationship with other jobs.

 

Defining the Results

Before authority can be delegated, a manager should discuss with his subordinates the results and expectations from the task. This allows the subordinate to understand the standard of work and level of expectation needed.

Balancing Authority with Responsibility

There should be absolute parity between the responsibility and the authority delegated to the subordinate, to ensure effective delegation. If there is no authority, one will not be able to carry out tasks. Delegation of authority without any responsibility to carry out tasks makes the subordinate irresponsible and ineffective.

 

Absoluteness of Responsibility

Even after delegating authority to subordinates, a manager must remain responsible for their work as well as performance to his superiors. Subordinates are fully responsible for their work to their supervisors.

 

Defining the Limits of Authority

Managers must ensure subordinates have well-defined authority. This is done to avoid any overlapping, to enable subordinates to carry out work effectively. If there is work outside the scope of authority, subordinates should refer his work to their supervisor.

Delegation is important because you cant and should not do everything by yourself. With delegation, you empower your team, build trust, and assist with professional development. As a leader, when you delegate, you set yourself to identify who is best suited to tackle your tasks and projects.

Delegation can be very important in lightening your workload, to give you time to focus on other important tasks. People working for you will certainly acquire and develop new skills, and this prepares them for more responsibilities in the future.

While the benefits of delegating are plentiful, most managers fail to delegate effectively. This is because some people assume delegating tasks is just passing off work to someone else. Others think they can do it better and thus become reluctant to delegate work. Others are nervous about letting go. It is important to accept you can’t do everything by yourself. A little help will make you more efficient, more effective, and a better manager.

Tips to Stay Focused Amid Distractions

Many things are lying by your side all to distract you from achieving your ultimate goal. In every inspirational success story, the longest chapter is about resilience, discipline, and determination. While success entails and calls for many demands from us, determination and will power always comes top of the list. Some people think that those who succeed are only the fortunate ones – that is not always the case. If you ask successful people, they will tell you they were not born with determination, but they always found a way to harness it and use the little resources they had more effectively.

If you are looking forward to achieving your most complex goals and stay on track to achieving anything in life, here are important pointers you need to focus on.

 

Set up your day the night before

Before you go to sleep, make some core decisions about what you will be doing the following day. It may be simple decisions such as what to wear, what to eat, tasks to perform, and your day’s routine. Make important decisions that will help you get the least distraction. Getting into the habit of planning your day helps you to avoid time wastage and distractions by small things that have no importance.

 

Do the most difficult things first

The most difficult things will never get easier the more we tend to push them away. Procrastination is one of the biggest causes of poor performance, lack of moral, and demotivation. Do not waste energy that would otherwise be better used on doing complex stuff. Get the hardest tasks right away while you are still fresh and have energy. Research shows that our minds are the sharpest in the morning, and that would be the most ideal time to tackle the toughest jobs.

Eliminate Distractions and time wasters

At any given time, real emergencies will always come up, and we have to deal with them. The majority of situations that come our way to distract us are not real emergencies and do not require us to respond to them in any way. When left aside, things will fall into their place. Responding to requests every time will only set you up to receive more. When you don’t respond to distractions, you are sending a message that you are strong-willed and a focused person, so time is quite precious to you.

 

Always Regenerate

Regeneration is important as it helps you regain back your energy. If you feel your energy dying off, take a break to regenerate. Take a walk, run, or stretch and take a brief retreat from work. Doing so will help you bounce back energized and motivated and with a sharper mental focus. Instead of taking a large chunk of a meal at lunch, opt for taking small healthy snacks to ensure your digestion is not messed up, ultimately messing your afternoon.

Most importantly, when you see yourself losing focus, remind yourself why you started. Motivate yourself to see the end of what you started.

Ways to Prepare for Personal Financial Crisis

financeThe mere thought of suffering a setback in life that has the potential of affecting your finances be it a job loss, car accident, or even pandemic – can keep anyone on toes to work harder to avoid getting swayed by the storm. If you are properly prepared, the prospect of something that can drain your finances becomes non-threatening.

Here are some important pointers on how to deal with personal finances in case of an economic crisis.

 

Pay down debt

It is important to pay down any outstanding debt, especially high-cost debt such as your credit card balance. Doing so will help in creating some breathing room on your budget. As we have seen with the current corona virus, economic downturns can lead to loss of jobs. If you are worried about job security, it is important to pay off your obligations as doing so will give you some peace of mind. Give priority to credit card debt, then turn to other types of debt such as mortgage and auto loans.

Boost emergency savings

Job loss can make it difficult for people to pay their day to day expenses. You need to beef up your emergency fund – which is the pool of cash you reserve specifically for events such as downturns. Even when you are paying off debt, it is important to put a priority on saving. Your emergency fund should be loaded with one month’s worth of your living expenses. After that, pay off your debt and focus on building up a reserve that can last up to six months.

 

Identify ways to cut back

It is always a good idea to go through your monthly expenses and identify items that you don’t need. Discretionary items are the most likely ones that you either eliminate now or in the future. They can comprise of subscription services or just spending patterns. Dinners out with friends, social events, speeding tickets, unnecessary vacations, among others.

 

Live within your means

Financial experts recommend not spending more than 30 percent of your net income on discretionary items. It is a good practice to create a monthly budget to ensure that you are living within your means and not overspending. You have to pay your rent or mortgage, you have to pay for utilities, insurance, and have to put food on the table. All these are essential expenses that must be covered first.

 

Put your skills into use

During a financial crisis, your life may be disrupted in many ways. You may need to take a loan to meet unavoidable situations. If you get extra cash, put the cash into a side business that can sustain your lifestyle. Depending on your skills, you may help people to fill taxes, accounting, setting their businesses online, digital marketing, content creation, lead generation, ow whatever you’re good at, that you can trade your time for pay. If your services are good, your customers will refer you to their friends, and that is a sure way to grow your client base and your income.

Best Ways to Diversify Your Investment Portfolio

investmentInvestors are always advised never to put their eggs (investments) in one basket (security or market), and this is the central concept of diversification. To have a diversified portfolio, you need to have a look at the asset classes that have low or a negative correlation so that if one moves down, the other tends to counteract. When the market is booming, it seems almost impossible to sell a stock for any amount less than the price you bought it. However, since we can’t be sure of the market conditions (just like what is happening now), it is important to have a well-diversified portfolio in any market.

This short guide looks at diversification and the best ways to achieve it.

 

What is Diversification

Diversification is a management strategy that incorporates different investments into a single portfolio. The core idea behind diversification is that various investments will yield a higher return. It is based on the principle that investors will face a lower risk if they invest in different vehicles.

 

Ivy League Investment Diversification

Ivy League universities such as Harvard, Stanford, and Yale have come up with a formula for diversifying investments that seems to be commonly accepted among investors. Their allocation is based on these percentages;

  • 35 Percent S Equity
  • 28 Percent Bonds
  • 15 Percent Foreign Equity
  • 11 Percent Commodities
  • 11 Percent real Estate

 

Ways to achieve diversification

  1. To achieving diversification you need to ensure your portfolio has different investments.

Any properly diversified investment portfolio should have the following;

  • Cash
  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Exchange-traded funds
  • Mutual funds

You need to purchase ETFs, mutual funds, or index funds. ETFs and mutual funds act as basket f different stocks and give you instant diversification.

Another excellent option is index funds as they include stocks that mirror a specific index – such as the S&P 500. Though diversification may be a little more limited with this type of fund, it is still a sound option to go for.

 

  1. Diversify within individual types of investments

With this step, first, ensure you pick investments that have different rates of returns. Ensure you invest a decent amount to make the cost of trading worth. If you get a handful of stocks, you will be at risk. When investing in stocks, don’t put a lot of focus on a single stock or just a few stocks, but rather, different stocks in different sectors. It is also important to ensure you have stocks with mixed-income, market capitalization, growth, among other metrics.

 

  1. Consider investing in varying risk

When you are diversifying your portfolio, pick different investments that have different rates of return. This is done to ensure that significant substantial gains for specific investments offset losses in other investments. A good way to go about it is to look for foreign stocks as stocks from other countries tend to perform a little different as compared to domestic ones.

Lastly, re-balance your portfolio regularly. Diversification is not a one-time task. You should check your portfolio often to ensure you make appropriate changes.

A Guide to Working at Home in 2020

remoteCOVID -19 struck fast and hard and got the whole world unprepared. Most of us were caught unaware and had to adjust to the new reality to adjust to life as we started working from home. Today, companies have the opportunity to build the future we want to work in. This future is much calm, more balanced, and offers a more fulfilling way to work and live. This is the future with remote work

Technology has allowed us to work from wherever we want. We can log into our computers from the home office, coffee shops, pr anywhere, provided we have an internet connection. Despite initial resistance to this new mode of work, companies now are starting to appreciate and embrace working from home. Employees can now work from any place of their choice, without having to relocate to expensive metropolitan areas.

 

Tools Needed for Remote Work

Technology is the engine behind working remotely. To facilitate smooth working remotely, here are popular tools that companies use to communicate effectively.

Twist

Twist is a communication app for teams who want to have a calm, more organized, and productive workplace. Twist is your ideal tool to limit chaos and helps remote teams to stay on topic.

Google Docs

Google Docs doesn’t need much introduction. It is a tool that allows teams to collaborate on written documents. It provides a seamless experience when you want to draft, edit, or refine your documents.

 

Dropbox

Dropbox is a tool that allows teams to upload and share files in a central place. It gives teams access to what they need, whenever they are.

 

Zoom

Zoom is a very important tool that offers robust video chatting with high quality and clear video. It allows members to collaborate seamlessly face to face across borders.

 

Github

Github is another important tool that allows developers and engineers to host, review, and collaborate on code as well as on other important projects.

 

Why Teams are turning to remote working

Technology has made remote working to be very possible and seamless. There are couple downsides of modern workplaces that are coupled with difficulties in finding top talent. Workers are now preferring to work remotely because of the flexibility this mode of working offers.

Remote teams are happier, healthier, and more productive. Due to the need for deliberate communication, the teams are normally in better sync than those that work in traditional offices.

 

Remote work is the future

A distributed team is not a perfect solution to today’s workplace challenges. However, it offers an alternative for companies and workers who want to take advantage of its benefits. There is clear evidence to show remote work is here to stay. As technology becomes more advanced, working remotely will become more seamless and the norm. However to facilitate better working remotely, several issues will need to be addressed. These include issues such as looking for a way to build company culture and foster comradery, address all technical issues, deal with the loneliness of isolation, and enhance better collaboration especially across different time zones.