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Creating a Conducive Work Environment

Your employees are the backbone of the business. Even with great ideas and business plans, nothing can get done without your team. That is why providing them with a place to work that is a conducive work environment helps to ensure that they can do their work in a much more productive and effective manner. How can you create a work environment that is effective, without having to raise costs? Here are some things to think about.

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article | Creating a Conducive Work Environment

Remove bad vibes

If there are any employees who are getting into ‘trouble’ with their coworkers on a regular basis, then they create some unnecessary stress and unnecessary tension in the workplace. This can impact more people and stop them from doing their job as they would like to. So it is important to step in as management when this kind of thing happens, to give them enough warning so they can adjust their attitude, and take steps to deal with the issues. When it comes to hiring new people, look for people who will be a good fit for the role, but also fit into the culture of the business and existing team. A mix of personality and skills is a must for new candidates.

Incorporate branding into the workspace

We all know that when employees are at work, they will also be thinking about other things, and doing some other things. They might need to take a personal call, book an appointment on their lunch break, or deal with a personal issue when getting on with their workload. Which is why having some branding in the office can make a big difference. When the theme of the business and the brand runs throughout the work space, it can spark creativity, and helps give employees a focus when working. They only have to look around and see a custom flag or brand colors on the wall to remember where they are and what they should be doing. Simple things can make a difference and help your team to work more productively.

Use technology

It is so important to look at and harness the power of technology in the workplace. It can streamline what you are already doing, and improve things like management, cash flow, and other aspects of the business that can be prone to human error. Technologies and collaboration tools so cost the business money. They also need to involve some learning, which is why some businesses can be shy to use them and embrace them as much as they could. The costs associated will pale in comparison to the benefits that can be gained, so that is an important thing to think about.

An effective and productive work environment for your team is one that is not just rewarding for your team and the business, but one that is also safe. Look for ways to make the office a safe space to be, and that can help too. People aren’t going to stay working with you if they are just working in an office space that is full of accidents that are waiting to happen.

Top Considerations For Businesses’ To Staying Safe Online

Cybersecurity, from a business’s technological point of view, is essential more than ever simply because it is more prevalent to have parts of the company that would need the use of the world wide web. From emailing different departments to accessing documents over the network or cloud services, to businesses that use the web for communication and engagement with clients and customers. In today’s standards, modern-day business ranging from all small, medium, or large scaled enterprises, will need to be even more vigilant and incorporate web technologies, along with safety and cybersecurity, as part of the business framework and will need to adapt protocols or procedures to make sure of workplace safety and that the company and its assets are protected.

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article | Top Considerations For Businesses' To Staying Safe Online

Network administrators are usually the go-to department for medium and large enterprises and corporate entities, that will be in charge of keeping the workings of the internet of things functional and performing to the best standard for the company. Ranging from the creation of user accounts, privileges, and to monitor software and traffic coming into the business network, to port monitoring and implementing software installation and updates were needed on the different devices, around the business. But for a small business, cyber security may be more doable with being confident and its capability to deploy its own procedures that can help protect the presence of the company when being online.

Here are a few things to consider for any business whether small, medium or large, that would be generally good working practise to adapt within the online procedures, to protect the company from threats from online.

Firewalls

Firewalls are a security system that will monitor all the network traffic and the software that will run through the ports on the network. Generally, Firewalls are the first port of call when protecting the network from numerous types of attacks, but there are other things that can help reduce this risk even further.

VPN’s

Meaning Virtual Private Networks can be implemented to further the security of data transference across the network, especially if the business network needs to communicate to the wider web, which is untrustworthy, to complete tasks. Firewalls and VPS’s can come in software but also can be found in the router settings for some brands.

Virus Scanning Software

When a company has its work that is primarily sorted out on a device such as a PC, or even have the use of services such as emails and Voice Over Internet Protocol communications, it is usually a good idea to make sure that there is a Virus Protection element implemented, to minimise the chance for viruses or malware that can compromise your data and business logic, even data breaches.

PC Procedures and Conventions

The idea for password conventions and procedures is to educate and train company users and employees to have a decent basic understanding of what is to be expected by them, in order to contribute to the security of the company. Such as passwords not to be shared, and created with an uppercase, inclusive of numbers and a special character. That they should not be allowed to plug personal devices or even log into private email accounts while working on the companies PCs.

Being secure and safe online is an important focal point for many businesses, these points mentioned here are a few generic ones to be considered. What do you include as part of your way of keeping the company safe online? Let us know in the comments below.

10 Top Tips for Making an Employee Redundant

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Redundant|10 Top Tips for Making an Employee RedundantMaking an employee redundant is never easy, but it can be more manageable if you follow the right steps. Discover more, here…

Redundancy is on people’s minds more than ever before. Since the coronavirus pandemic started, the UK government has tried to mitigate these redundancies. But, unfortunately, it’s not always possible.

If you’ve done your best to follow government guidelines to save your employees and you still plan on making an employee redundant it’s important that you do it the right way.

In this post, we’re going to cover what redundancy is, whether COVID-19 has made redundancy more commonplace, and share some tips on how to make an employee redundant. So, to make sure you tackle this task the right way, read on…

What Does it Mean to Make an Employee Redundant?

Before we share our top tips on how to make an employee redundant, we’re going to briefly go over the definition of redundancy, so you know what it entails.

Redundancy is the dismissal of an employee because the employer no longer requires anyone to do their job. This could be because the business is:

  • Changing what it does
  • Upgrading to new technology or machinery that makes the employee’s job redundant
  • Changing location or closing down
  • Doesn’t have enough money to retain certain job roles

For a redundancy to be considered so, the employer must demonstrate that the employee’s job will no longer exist. This way the employer can’t use the excuse of redundancy to unfairly dismiss an employee for other reasons.

Redundancies can be compulsory or non-compulsory. This depends on whether you allow the employee to take their redundancy voluntarily or make them take it.

Employee’s Redundancy Rights

To give you an idea of the rights an employee has when you make them redundant, here’s a quick list of what you might have to provide them with:

  • Redundancy pay
  • A redundancy notice period
  • A consultation with their employer
  • The option to move into a different job role
  • Time off work to look for a new job

This probably goes without saying, but do not select people for redundancy based on age, gender, disability or because the employee is pregnant. This will likely be considered unfair dismissal.

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Redundant|10 Top Tips for Making an Employee RedundantIs COVID-19 Forcing Employers to Make Staff Redundant?

Coronavirus has obviously had a huge impact on businesses, with the Financial Times reporting that the UK economy has shrunk by a fifth since the pandemic started. The government’s Job Retention Scheme has eased the pressure somewhat, but lots of businesses are still faced with having to let employees go.

Just so you have an idea of the companies that have had to make large proportions of their staff redundant in the UK, here’s a quick list of some of them:

  • Rolls-Royce: 9,000 staff
  • BP: 10,000 staff
  • Centrica: 5,000 staff
  • Bentley: 1,000 staff
  • British Airways: 12,000 staff
  • The Restaurant Group: 1,500 staff
  • Oasis and Warehouse: 1,800 staff

These are just a few of the major companies who have had to make redundancies. So, if you’ve found yourself in a position where you have to make some, you’re not on your own. The only thing you can do now is make sure you carry out the proecdure in a way that’s best, or least painful, for both parties.

10 Top Tips for Making an Employee Redundant

Now that we know what redundancy is, and that COVID-19 is forcing more employers than ever to consider it for their employees, it’s time to give you some tips on how to go about it. Whether you’re making one staff member redundant, or hundreds, it’s important that you try to do so with compassion and tact, which these tips will help you do.

1. Be clear and communicate your reasons effectively

The wordier and more complex the message, the more confusing it will be and the more upset it will cause. So, it’s important to make sure the message you share with your employees is as clear and consistent as possible. To do this, try and communicate the reasons why the business has to make them redundant as best as possible.

2. Preparation and practice

This might not be necessary if you’re only making a single employee redundant, because in that scenario it’s better to have an actual one-to-one conversation with the employee.

However, if you’re making several employees redundant, and you’re planning on giving a speech, prepare the script carefully and practice delivering it until you’re comfortable with what you’re saying. Also, prepare to answer questions and try not to talk too much when the staff are giving their input. It’s better to listen to their concerns and answer them effectively.

3. Avoid leaks

You don’t want to go through all the preparation, practice and honing of a clearly communicated message and have news of the redundancy get our before you’re able to deliver it. Also, there’s nothing worse than gossip getting out and causing undue stress to your employees. So, keep it as under wraps as possible before breaking the news that redundancies will be made.

4. Provide a clear end date

Whether it’s to a single member of staff, or many, giving a firm end date will make it easier for them to move on and start looking for a new job. Also, as we mentioned earlier, you might need to provide some time off for them to search for a new job, so factor that in when you plan the employee’s end date.

5. Share resources that can help your employees

There are loads of organisations that offer support for those who are made redundant, especially with COVID-19 making them more prevalent. Sharing details on where your employees can find help might help them feel less alone and anxious about being made redundant.

6. Don’t make your employees keep it a secret

Keeping word of the redundancies under wraps before they’re announced is fine, but once the employees who are going to be made redundant have been informed, don’t force them to keep it a secret from others.

It might seem like a good idea at the time, because it will stop other employees from worrying about their own jobs. That said, all it does is isolate the redundant employees further, as they won’t be able to seek support from their friends and colleagues.

7. Don’t announce redundancies before a weekend or holiday

If you make redundancies before a weekend or holiday, those employees are likely to go home and feel isolated. If you do it earlier in the week, at least they can air out their grievances with you and seek support from their colleagues.

8. Be careful when trying to make the redundancy sound positive

It’s tempting to try and make the redundancy seem like a good thing to put your employees at ease. But, being made redundant is generally a bad situation, so letting them down gently is the better approach.

For example, telling a working mother “at least you’ll have more time with your kids” isn’t a consolation. Most people will either need their job to feed their kids, or enjoy their job and will have chosen to do it for a reason. So, be sure not to make light of the situation.

9. Don’t ask your employees to stick around to finish a project

The reason you’re letting the employees go in the first place is because their job has become redundant. If you tell them they’re being made redundant and then ask them to stay on until they’ve finished a project they’re working on, it’s doesn’t reflect well on you.

10. Look after yourself

Obviously, putting the redundant employees first is a good strategy and should be implemented before you start thinking about yourself. But, don’t forget about yourself once you’ve helped out your employees.

Apart from the stress of giving the news, you’ll likely be losing colleagues and friends as well. So, getting support from others at your company might help you through it. Also, before you make the announcement, it might be good to get the backing of your company, so you know you’re not taking the burden on your own.

Are you Ready to Announce Your Redundancies?

Hopefully, after reading this post, you now have a better idea of what redundancies are, and are aware that you’re not alone in making them due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We also hope you’ve garnered some useful tips to help you make the announcement to your employees along the way.

Like we said at the start of this post, it’s never easy to make the people you see every day at the office redundant. That said, you can try your best to mitigate their suffering and your own.

Thanks for reading and good luck with the redundancies.

What Are The Key Marketing Features That Truly Influence Consumer Decisions?

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article |Marketing Features|What Are The Key Marketing Features That Truly Influence Consumer Decisions?When building a marketing strategy in the modern age, the list of features you could incorporate is virtually endless. Unfortunately, not all of those innovations are worth the investment of time and money.

If you truly wish to avoid the pitfalls and focus on the strategies destined for success, careful planning will be needed. Here are the factors that matter to customers before, during, and after the sale for optimal results.

Multi-Channel Marketing

Whether they realise it or not, consumers respond exceptionally well to multi-channel marketing. Familiarity with a brand can inspire an increased sense of trust. Moreover, it keeps them engaged with the company and its products. So, when they need the products that you sell, they’ll think of you.

Multi-channel marketing also allows you to maintain brand engagement at all times, ranging from passive to hot leads. A combo of SEO, PPC, social media content, customer reviews, affiliate marketing, and email marketing should be used. Offline strategies must not be ignored either.

When you target customers from every angle, you will grab the attention at some stage.

Resonation

Awareness gives you a fantastic platform to build upon. However, clients have a wealth of options at their disposal. Simply being the first one they notice won’t be enough to secure a sale. You must do more.

Consumers are increasingly interested in using brands they like. In fact, they are often prepared to pay more for a winning service from a brand with shared values. Therefore, showcasing your commitment to responsibility can work wonders. When you care about the same things as clients, success follows.

Likewise, all marketing content should be tailored to reflect your place in the market. From using the right tone to choosing the most appropriate social media platform, the rewards are huge.

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article |Marketing Features|What Are The Key Marketing Features That Truly Influence Consumer Decisions? Team Continuity

The value of the consumer experience is integral at all stages of the process. This is particularly noteworthy when you want to gain their long-term loyalty. Continuity should extend to interactions across multiple platforms and with several team members.

Therefore, investing in team morale and skills development should feature heavily. When supported by facilities like VoIP systems for customer care, you won’t go wrong. This is because details of past interactions are stored and ready for colleagues to pick up the conversation.

When customers know where they stand with a company, the results are naturally far greater.

The Sense Of Value

Getting a perceived bargain does something to our brains. It fills us with a sense of satisfaction. As a business owner, you must try to capitalise on the opportunities that are presented from this sensation.

The word value does not translate to cheap. You can still charge a premium rate if customers feel it is justified. Packaging that turns a purchase into an experience is an ideal starting point, as is shown by Apple and many other leading brands. Meanwhile, loyalty schemes are a great option too.

When incorporated with timed promotions, the sales volumes should see a significant upturn. And the momentum should last.

Ensuring Money Doesn’t Become A Problem For Your Business

StrategyDriven Managing Your Finances Article |Money|Ensuring Money Doesn't Become A Problem For Your BusinessYour business is precious, and you need to protect it in any way that you can. Now, this is far easier said than done when there are so many elements that need to be considered. In this article, we are going to be focusing on one in particular, and that is money. You’ve got to be able to ensure that money isn’t going to become a problem for your business, and in this article, we’re going to be showing you how. Keep reading if you’d like to find out more.

Hire An Accountant

First, we suggest that you hire an accountant. If you have a professional on your team, things are far less likely to go wrong. Managing the finances of a business is tough even when it is something that you have been trained to do. If you haven’t had any training in finance, then it is going to be even tougher and more mistakes are likely to be made. We don’t want you to make this mistake, which is why an accountant is going to be a good idea. Not only will you have peace of mind that everything is being handled with care, they may also be able to provide you with some advice on how you can make your business more cost-effective.

The more money your business has, the better off you are going to be. If something is going wrong, an accountant will be able to pick up on it sooner rather than later. This gives you time to fix it before it becomes a problem for you.

If You’ve Got Debt..

While debt isn’t the worst thing in the world, it isn’t the best either and you want to avoid this as much as you can. However, if it’s the case that you already have debt, there isn’t much that you can do. If you have ever skipped out on debt and have used a new name to create your company and a creditor uses batch skip tracing to find you, it could be a problem for your business. The best thing that you can do is pay off any debt that you or your business has as quickly as possible. The sooner you are out of debt, the safer your business is going to be financially.

Find An Investor

Finally, if you know that money is tight, then you might want to consider looking for an investor. These people give your business money in exchange for a percentage of ownership. Now, you might not want to give up a percentage of your company, but it might be the only choice that you have. Negotiate with your investor and see what you can come up with between you.

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now see some of the ways that you can ensure money doesn’t become a problem for your business. Good luck, and we hope that this has given you the answers that you were looking for.