How to Cultivate Communication in Your Office


Communication is key to a successfully functioning workplace. It can be challenging to encourage employees to talk to their supervisors and one another, especially as new people come into the office and others are promoted or move on to different companies. Having strong communication in your business is the best way to make sure any issues are taken care of as soon as possible and more serious problems are avoided. Employees who feel comfortable communicating also feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas. Follow these tips to enhance communication at your company.

Provide constructive guidance

Communication can be seriously impaired if employees feel their ideas are only being criticized and that management is not open to suggestions. As you interact with your employees, make sure the criticism you’re providing is constructive and doesn’t deter them from bringing new ideas to you or trying innovative things. If it seems like none of your employees are communicating, it could be an indication that the office culture doesn’t encourage it.

Encourage open feedback

Too often, employees have ideas they’d like to bring to management, but feel as though they cannot provide this feedback. Make sure your office is a place workers feel comfortable expressing ideas or even disagreements with how something is done. Have office hours and an open door policy to make management more approachable and consider periodically sending out an anonymous feedback form to get a genuine read on the atmosphere of the office.

Practice good listening

A huge deterrent for communication is that no one actually listens. People often think they are listening when others speak, but they aren’t really paying that much attention. It’s important to teach all employees at every level active listening skills that they should use no matter who they’re speaking with. Learning to be engaged in conversations is a guaranteed way to improve communication in the office.

Make transparency a priority

If your employees feel like there’s no transparency in the office, it’s going to negatively affect communication. You may not even realize that employees do not think you’re transparent, so it’s important to consciously work to improve this issue. Be clear about the company vision, how employees fit into it, and keep them regularly updated on major (and minor) changes and decisions within the company. Simply making sure that employees are up-to-date with what’s happening shows them that you value communication and encourages them to do the same on their end.

Original Post


5 Ways to Foster Your Creativity at Work


Regardless of the industry you work in or what your position is, creativity is vital to your job. However, when you’re putting in full work days, it can feel like you’re simply doing enough to finish all your tasks in the day and get by. Even if you enjoy being creative, you can’t force it and you won’t feel creative every second of your work day. Instead of giving up on using creativity in your job, find ways to foster it and use it to your advantage. It’s time to snap out of your mundane routine and take back your creativity. It’s important to always work on your creativity and find new ways to do your job that make you and your work more effective.

Start your morning strong

If you’re rushing around in the morning to get to work on time, it can throw your mind off for the entire day. Even setting your alarm back by 15 minutes can make for a better day. Consider using a sleep tracker to find out when the best time to wake up is and set your alarm for that. Then, once you’re up in the morning, spend time doing something interesting, such as reading an intriguing article, writing, or some time exercising.

Keep learning

We should all strive to embrace lifelong learning. You do not have to go to school your entire life to keep learning; you can achieve this goal without ever leaving your home. There are plenty of online resources, such as webinars or classes that you can take to learn something new. You can also take single classes at a local school or attend workshops. Find a way to stay creative and learn something new and you’ll see the benefits at work.

Do something on the side

Whether you get a side hustle or a hobby that allows you to embrace creativity, doing something outside your regular job is beneficial. It can be an alternative way to earn income or it can just be something interesting. You have a chance to take a break from your regular job and learn new skills that could help you there.

Schedule time to brainstorm

If you want to foster your creativity in your current position, find time to brainstorm. It can seem a bit forced to schedule time for creativity, but it simply means you’ll stop what you’re doing and give yourself time to take a break and think instead of rushing through your to-do list. Giving your mind time to wander can have fantastic results for your creativity.

Find inspiration

Whether you find inspiration through other people or something else is up to you. Surrounding yourself with creative people helps foster your creativity and can motivate you to work harder on creative projects. You can also find inspiration through books or images; surround yourself with what helps you be more creative.

Original Post

5 Reasons You Need Great Online Customer Service


Maintaining a quality customer service department is more important than ever before, now that the internet has created greater transparency. There are many reasons your business should focus on providing excellent customer service, but they can generally be factored down into these five areas.

Good customer service builds loyalty

When your company offers good customer service, it builds trust and confidence in the consumer. If they know their concerns are important and will be addressed, they’re likely to return to your business when they need more products that you offer. Most consumers would prefer to stay with a business that has a proven track record of offering quality customer service, rather than take a chance with an unfamiliar company.

Low prices cannot compete

If you still doubt the importance consumers place on customer service, take a look at any recent consumer survey. The majority of consumers will pay more for a product, if they know the company selling it will back-up the purchase with efficient and courteous customer service. Too often, consumers opt for a lower price and end up with a bad product that the company will not handle properly when customer service is contacted. Conversely, a low price won’t attract customers, if they think the customer service department will be difficult if there’s any issues with the product.

It’s a powerful marketing tool

While most people think about customer service as a means of addressing customer complaints, it can be a useful marketing tool as well. Consumers satisfied with the quality of service tell others about their experiences, which helps build a positive reputation for your brand. The happier you can make your clients with customer service, the more likely they are to refer others to you.

Reduce conflict

You will never satisfy every single customer all the time, but how you handle complaints can be as important as the buying experience. When customers feel confident that you will attempt to resolve their problems, they’ll be more willing to return to your business.

Opportunity to connect

Today’s consumers expect a higher level of customization from their favorite brands and they like to feel as though they matter. Creating a quality customer service department, which is capable of addressing each individual concern, goes a long way toward achieving that goal. It’s a way to ensure that every customer can be satisfied and that they return to your company for their future needs.

Creating a quality customer service department may require a process of trial and error, but the effort will be worth it. Your brand’s willingness to put the customer first and address concerns to the best of your ability earns you consumer respect and engenders confidence in your business.

Original Post

5 Tips for Preventing Needless Spending


In today’s consumption-oriented world, it is easy to fall victim to the habits of unnecessary spending. While there’s nothing wrong with engaging in some fun shopping and purchasing items you might not need, if you’re trying to adhere to a budget or reduce your consumerism, it’s important to be mindful of your spending habits. If you’re in debt and need to cut out some costs or are just concerned with how much you’re buying, here are five tried and true tips designed to keep spending in check.

Keep everything organized

By keeping regular tabs on everything you own, you can avoid purchasing duplicate items. When you own so many material things, it is more difficult to be aware of what you already have. This confusion often leads to unnecessary spending. By keeping a recent inventory of all of your possessions or everything organized, you are less likely to buy things that you do not need. Staying organized and being able to easily locate items can help cut back on unnecessary spending.

Purchase quality over quantity

It is always a good idea to invest your money in quality items that you can use every day or in a variety of situations. Whether that be a perfect fitting pair of jeans or a trusty pair of running shoes, you will stretch your dollar the most and avoid reckless spending if you purchase with longevity in mind. There are certainly some items where spending on quality can ultimately save you money.

Live with a grateful heart

By continually counting your blessings, you cultivate a grateful heart. This sense of peace inevitably leads to a greater sense of fulfillment and a feeling of material abundance. An attitude of gratitude is one of the most useful ways to live when looking to reduce reckless spending.

Learn patience

To avoid impulse purchases, institute a waiting period in an effort to determine how much you really need an item. Whenever the temptation to purchase on a whim strikes, force yourself to wait at least 15 minutes to give yourself time to contemplate how much joy this item would bring to your life. Go for a stroll, get a coffee, or do anything else to help you evaluate how much you want this purchase before actually pulling the trigger.

Purchase for the present

Although it can be difficult to not purchase items for the future if you see a good deal, you avoid a myriad of reckless spending expenditures if you focus on just purchasing items that are needed for current needs. It can be tempting to want to think ahead and buy new things with a goal in mind such as wanting to wear specific clothing after losing weight or purchasing office supplies you might use later; it is more financially savvy to only buy for the here and now.

Original Post

5 Benefits of Taking Risks for Entrepreneurs


Entrepreneurship is as much of a staple in the United States as apple pie or baseball. Almost all businesses in the United States are, in fact, operated by entrepreneurs; nearly half of the nation’s employees are put to work by small-time entrepreneurs; these entrepreneurs’ businesses make up about 99.7 of the entire country’s business entities, which shows the country’s intense dedication to small businesses.

An inherent part of being an entrepreneur is welcoming risk into your life. Although risking it all can effectively put a self-employed businessperson out of business, shying away from any and all risk results in very low returns, poor levels of success, and general business failure. Without any further ado, here are several top-notch, solid reasons behind why every entrepreneur should take calculated risks.

You understand entrepreneurship

Remember this fact, that an entrepreneur who does not take risks is not an entrepreneur. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary makes clear that an “entrepreneur” is someone “who organizes, manages, and assumes the risk of a business or enterprise.” If you want to truly understand what it means to be an entrepreneur, you need to take risks.

Helps you stand out

Being risky will portray you as confident, in turn making it easier to stand out as unique among the crowd. While there are certainly other entrepreneurs who do not take risks, making sure you do helps set you apart from lazy entrepreneurs or just regular people.

Moderate risks bring great rewards

While taking risks is encouraged, don’t run with scissors, fall asleep with candles burning, or do other high-risk, zero-reward activities. However, never shy away from moderate-risk activities that have at minimum a moderate reward when it comes to your business.

Develop leadership skills

Further, entrepreneurs, at least the successful ones, are typically good leaders. Leaders are unique in that they often grab the first-mover’s advantage, an action that brings moderate success in countless scenarios. Leaders know the benefits of taking risks and aren’t afraid to do so.

Innovation involves risk-taking

Without innovation, humanity would never be fortunate enough to have new products. If there weren’t any innovation, there wouldn’t be social media, smartphones, global positioning systems, a polio vaccine; in other words, there wouldn’t be hardly anything we’ve come to take for granted available to us in society.

Some situations don’t call for innovation, but most of them will in the world of entrepreneurship.

Always remember that risk-taking isn’t totally blind – calculated risks are very real and you should use them

Calculated risks are exactly what they sound like – risks that won’t hurt much if they backfire but will return a moderate or substantial reward if everything works out like it’s supposed to.

Original Post

How to Avoid Burnout as an Entrepreneur


As an entrepreneur, you spend a large portion of your time focusing on your company. So much of your life is dedicated to developing and growing the business that it can certainly feel overwhelming at times. While it’s important to remember to occasionally step back and take a break, it can feel nearly impossible to accomplish this goal when you need to focus on the company. Putting so much energy and time into a business often leads to burnout for entrepreneurs because they simply cannot find time to take a break. However, when burnout does happen, it can be catastrophic for many entrepreneurs, especially if they haven’t taken steps to minimize the consequences of burnout or prevent it from happening in the first place. Here are some ways you can minimize the risk and effects of burnout as an entrepreneur.

Practice self care

One of the most important steps to avoiding burnout is practicing self care. When your entire life revolves around your business, it might seem hard to accomplish this task. However, finding even a little time every day to focus on yourself can go a long way. Spend time reading each night, take a walk outside, get some exercise in; any of these things or other hobbies you enjoy can be extremely beneficial.

Delegate tasks

A problem many entrepreneurs have is knowing how to delegate important tasks to other people. You may feel as though you’re the only one who truly understands your business, what’s best for it, and cares the most, but there are other people around you who can help. Consider assigning trusted employees to work on a project or see if you can outsource some tasks that take up too much of your time. As your business grows, you’ll never be able to handle everything yourself, so learn to delegate.

Know what causes stress

As you go about your week, begin identifying what causes you the most stress. Understanding where your stress is coming from makes it easier to tackle it. You’ll be better prepared to face it and may find that you can even tweak specific stressors to cause less anxiety or could be completely changed so they’re stress-free.

Stay organized

If you lack organization within your business and in your life in general, it can often lead to burnout. Learn how to organize your schedule and business so you aren’t rushing from place to place or worrying you forgot a crucial meeting or deadline. Keep your calendar up-to-date and synced on your computer and phone. It can also be helpful to keep a physical planner with you as well.

Create a support system

When you’re spending copious amounts of time at work, it’s common to neglect relationships outside of work. However, a support system is critical to avoid burnout. Remember to take time to touch base with your friends and family and even open up to them when you’re feeling overwhelmed by the life of an entrepreneur.

Original Post

6 Ways to Boost Your Productivity


We’ve all been there; you’re at work, you have a large volume of tasks to check off your to-do list, but you just cannot find the motivation to start getting work done. There’s always so much to squeeze into a single day and it can feel overwhelming trying to find time for everything, even when you’re ready to take on the world. When you’re feeling completely unmotivated, it can ruin your productivity and put you behind schedule in completing fundamental assignments. If you’re worried about what happens when your productivity lapses, here are some techniques to keep it going strong and get as much done as possible.

Segment your day

Taking regular breaks throughout your day is a great method of fostering productivity. These breaks can take various forms, such as taking a short walk around the office, grabbing a snack or coffee, or just standing to do work. Try to find at least one chance throughout the day to also get out of the office and spend time away from your desk.

Prioritize your tasks

Instead of wasting valuable time on projects that can wait and aren’t very important, prioritize your to-do list and make a conscious plan to focus on the most important tasks. It’ll be much easier to stay productive if you tackle your most challenging responsibilities first.

Plan out your schedule

Planning out your schedule week-to-week and day-to-day is the easiest way to stay organized. Once you have a clear idea of what you need to do each day and when it needs to be completed by, you’ll find it’s much easier to be productive and get work done on time. Instead of stressing over waiting until the last minute to do something, plan each week ahead of time and stay on top of your schedule.

Get plenty of rest

You may not feel tired, but if you’re skimping on the amount of sleep and downtime you’re getting, you’re likely tired. Not getting enough rest can seriously mess with your productivity levels. All the caffeine in the world can’t make up for simply not getting enough sleep. If you work on your productivity, you’ll also avoid more late nights, rushing to meet deadlines.

Focus on goals

When you’re feeling particularly unmotivated, remind yourself of your longterm goals and why you’re working so hard. Maybe you’re trying to clear your schedule so you can take a long vacation or maybe you’re working toward a promotion. If you regularly check-in on your goals, it’s much easier to find the motivation to keep going and stay productive.

Learn about yourself

While many people work set hours, that doesn’t mean those hours are the most productive or that you’ll be completely focused the entire time. Everyone is different, which means there are going to be different times throughout the day that you’re more productive than others. Learn what time of the day you’re the most focused and plan to work on your highest priority tasks then.

Original Post