6 Benefits of Gaming for Your Productivity

There are different ways of creating a productive atmosphere at work. Computer games may come as a surprise due to old prejudices about their destructive nature. Adults with this hobby are usually stigmatized as lazy, depressive, and childish people. But all these stereotypes don’t seem to be the truth in reality. Apparently, it’s not about wasting time anymore, but increasing productivity. In fact, allowing employees to get distracted from time to time shows incredible efficiency.

Gaming benefits are underestimated. They make us creative, relaxed, and less violent. Games for employees can have a significant impact on their productivity

1. Boost Outside-The-Box Thinking

A monotonous routine kills the ability to come with creative ideas. Be it an office or a school class, repeating the same task suppresses talents. And simply bores. To freshen up, try computer games. It’s true, entertainment is their primary goal. But this goes along with a bunch of skills to perfect. Such as decision-making, non-conventional thinking, competitiveness, etc.

The gaming environment adjusts the right mindset. It includes self-confidence, leadership skills, and the ability to focus. According to statistics, 79% of gamers are sure that virtual reality stimulates their mental activities. With this in mind, short distractions will provide employers with a flow of good solutions.

A mind-reloading and challenging task in Kill the Buddy is a nice example. Aimed to train your logical thinking, it offers you a puzzle to solve. Overcome obstacles and use a catapult to kill the main character. With a piano. Sounds crazy? That’s the whole point!

2. Create a Strong Community at Work

As a rule, employees don’t have time to form strong bonds in the office. Everyone has their own duties and no desire to deal with someone else’s issues. After all, they’re complete strangers to each other.

However, multiplayer matches may unite people and foster teamwork. Give a group of people an enemy and they turn into a team. It develops a habit to watch each other’s back and synchronize in doing tasks. As a result, workers engage in proactive discussions more often and share challenges. A department vs department is a nice idea to get such a result.  It’s a chance to build these vital connections and develop supportive behavior.

Shell Shockers can help with bonding. Although you shoot each other and cause death, it doesn’t seem violent. It’s a multiplayer FPS where everyone takes on the role of an egg. Make it private by creating your own gaming room. Choose the Team vs Team mode and invite colleagues to join. It’s a tool to get to know each other better. Thus launching a brainstorm of ideas of how to solve them together.

On the other hand, creating competition between employees may influence a challenge at work. If your task is to make them grow over each other. And show the best results. Just pick the game right.

Such activities make social interactions at the workplace stronger. Gaming benefits organizations as a whole. HR managers should really consider that.

3. Increase Job Satisfaction

Another 8 hours of hard and not particularly exciting tasks. Do you know the feeling? It can cause depression and influence your health. But what if you could prevent it? When adults play, it usually happens at home where it’s safe and comfortable. While work is associated with constant pressure and stress.

Build a bridge between the atmosphere of home and not-so-pleasant office. Allow mixing routine tasks with fun. It increases job satisfaction, results in fewer sick leaves, and a better mood.

What exactly makes people happier? It’s down to our nature and anatomy. When we play, our body releases spirits-lifting hormones, such as endorphins or serotonin. They fight depression and form positive emotions.

A couple of rounds in Rush Race are sure to shake you up. It’s about speed, maneuvering, and earning in-game coins for upgrades. Epic car crashes and traffic violations won’t get you bored. They guarantee satisfaction from the process. Which will influence your work mood in general.

4. Mitigate Stress

We spend most of our time doing our job. No wonder that it gets on our nerves eventually and causes depression. Stats show that 46% of employees blame workload. If previously it was taken as something normal, today managers are looking for ways out.

Gaming makes people feel at ease. It lowers the heart rate and blood pressure and serves as an effective stress response. And what seemed too much to deal with turns into a manageable task. Games shake off any symptoms of exhaustion or burnout and improve productivity. 78% of players are sure that virtual adventures cause relaxation and reduce stress.

Pop It Master is a meditating digital alternative to the popular toy. Clicking on the cells and listening to the sound, you relax. And let the stress go away. Several levels and different types of PopIt molds will be a rescue in stressful situations.

5. Develop Attention Span

Have you ever experienced a dramatic decrease in productivity after hours of work? This ability to stay focused longer is like a muscle. It can be trained through gaming.

Just pick any adventure that requires your attention. For example, one of the most played legends is Classic Snake. Eat dots on a pixelated field. Beat your previous results. Find a way to occupy the whole space to end the session. It’s hard because as you grow longer, you risk bumping into your own body. Play it at least once a day to feel the significant shift of concentration skills. It’ll help you at work, school and everyday life.

6. Reset Your Mind

A particularly difficult task can make us focus on it for hours. With no results. Our mind becomes stifled. It does not produce new ideas and has no inspiration to circulating around. One of the best ways out is to break this cycle of non-productive work. Just get distracted.

The Pomodoro Technique suggests dividing the day into working and resting periods. And we’re not talking just about lunchtime. It’s about frequent breaks to switch off from the current tasks. A video game is one of such distractions that can serve you well. Coming back to tasks, you’ll see new perspectives to tackle problems and be more productive. Read about the real-life experience of how workers started to perform better with this approach.

To practice the technique, you need a virtual adventure with short rounds and interesting content. Check out Filled 3 Glass Portals. It’s a puzzle and a great exercise for your mind. Fill a glass with small colorful balls using a system of portals. Avoid overfulfilling it or losing balls. Based on precision and logic, the title offers 30 levels with growing difficulty.

Gaming and productivity are interconnected. Don’t give up gaming if you like it. And if you can do it at the office is a good sign. You work in a good team. The one that has a progressive approach to workspace organization and overall staff wellness.

And if you are a top manager or HR, you should really give it a try and see the results. Games help relax, open new doors for creativity and benefit the company. It’s a useful tool in any organization or educational institution.

Driving Efficiency on Your Construction Projects: A Guide

Most leaders in the construction space know that efficiency is everything. Because your projects can last a number of months to complete if they are of a large enough scale, you’ll have seen costs ballooning when you’re not hitting your deadlines and targets, and when workers are disrupted or materials are stuck in supply chains. As such, you’re more than aware that anything you can do to make your processes more efficient could save you hundreds of thousands of dollars. Here are three ways that you can get there, operating a watertight, optimized construction business.

Meticulous Planning

All businesses are only as strong as the thought leadership underpinning them. And all projects require careful management in order for all the individual components to come together as quickly and smoothly as possible. Your job is to facilitate this seamless operational side of your business. And you can get ahead by:

  • Using high-end management technology to keep you abreast of developments on site
  • Structuring a chain of command that helps you remain aware of all elements of the project
  • Making contingency plans in the case of delays that may be out of your hands
  • Hiring outsourced staff where appropriate to help you get the job done

These tips all fall under the auspices of “organizational skills” – absolutely vital if you’re to make a success of your construction projects.

Tech Engagement

On site, your workers will be using all kinds of tools, vehicles and machines to get the job done. They’ll be expensive and valuable, but they may also be approaching several years of age. Some may break, some may be faulty, and others might simply not be up for the job on a modern construction site. So the advice here is to engage with new technology and to make upgrades where you can to your tools and hardware.

Where to start? Well, you should always be keeping an eye out for automation technology. Look to automatic welders for plastic, for instance, to give your workers a head-start when they’re fixing the paneling on roofs and under floors. Or invest in far better material-moving equipment – like cranes – so that the logistics of getting things around your site take far less time.

Great Staff

It’s easy to lose sight of the workers when you’re in the planning office of a project site. You’re trying to see the big picture constantly, envisaging potential delays that could come from anywhere on your risk map. With this perspective in mind, you can often forget that it’s the people who are following your commands that are ultimately going to decide the success of your project.

On site, you want there to be team unity and motivation to get the job done. You want great managers underneath you to head out there, making sure everyone’s pulling in the same direction. And you want to hire the best talent where possible so that you can rely on your workers to get the job done on time.

Run a more efficient construction firm, on more efficient sites, with the three key tips outlined above.

How To Better Manage And Keep Track Of Your Employees’ Payroll Checks

Managing your employee’s payroll checks is a complicated task that should always be carried out with accuracy. You either perform the job using an outsource, a manual system, or an online software service because making errors time and again is a severe threat to small businesses since the employees have the right to report such errors and get compensation. Yet, in the process, the company has to suffer from higher penalties. Even though the claims made by the employees are false, the company can still suffer a significant loss if they fail to keep track of the employees’ payroll checks or manage their records. Therefore, to perform your job efficiently, you need to keep track of the employees’ payroll checks by preserving their working hours, performance level, and salary checks issued in the form of milestones or paystubs. It is a document that businesses usually keep as evidence to hold all the information of the cashed payroll checks. So, here are a few steps to manage and keep records of your employees’ payroll checks.

1. Get Employee Management Software

Growing your business will always require improving your technological tools; today’s world has completely transformed into digital industries. No matter who you ask for advice, they will always recommend using software to manage your employees in the best possible way. Several apps help HR managers manage all employees’ hiring, financing, and other related jobs; businesses often use apps like Connecteam, Remote, Workday, etc., to manage everything.

2. Preserve Employee Payroll Records

All businesses must prove their legal documents, financial deposits, and transactions to be able to get their license. In order to keep an accurate record of the employees’ payroll checks, getting the recording job done correctly should be the highest priority for business owners. Whether they use a paystub creator, an app, a manual sheet, an excel sheet, or an outsource, the medium they choose should always be accurate, time-efficient, and convenient for their business. As a result, companies will be able to prove accounts histories and be able to manage their employees’ payroll systems efficiently and transparently.

3. Apply Diverse Ways to Manage the Payroll System

When managing your employees’ work performance and payroll, you cannot rely on a single strategy to manage your working system. Diverse techniques should be applied like organizing payroll management by making a strict schedule, following federal and state rules, using different software, websites, and apps to track the working hours, work performance and productivity, etc. You can apply new ways from the following payroll management options:

  • Issue policies to outline the criteria of the payment.
  • Choose a standard system for recording payroll checks.
  • Track the time consumed by the employees by using GPS tracker, software, apps, etc.
  • Follow the federal and state laws.
  • Use outsourcing for managing the payroll methods.
  • Use diverse software to manage and track employee performance.

If you want to manage your employees’ work performance, payroll checks, records, and other financial information, you need to apply several methods to cross-check that your work is done accurately. Besides, staying alert is your topmost priority since you can neither risk your business’s image in the market nor your company’s employees’ professionalism.

When Does the Payroll Tax Cut Start?

On Aug. 8, 2020—during the first spike of COVID-19 in the United States—President Donald Trump issued an executive order to institute a “tax holiday.” If you’re still wondering when it starts, I’m afraid you’ve missed the mark. The tax holiday started on Sept. 1, 2020, and ended on Dec. 31, 2020. Moreover, it wasn’t a true tax cut, but a tax deferment.

So let’s look at what the tax holiday entailed and how it affected businesses and employees.

The Executive Order

The Executive Order contained three sections that directly affected businesses and their employees. Here is what these sections entailed:

Section 1 & Section 2

These two tie into each other. Section 1 states the COVID-19 pandemic is “of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant an emergency declaration,” and Trump directed the Secretary of the Treasury (then Steven Mnuchin) to “use his authority to defer certain payroll tax obligations.” In simple terms, it’s like an essay introduction: It states the issue and the way Trump intended to fix it.

Section 2 goes into more detail about Trump’s policy. In it, he directed Mnuchin to defer the “withholding, deposit, and payment” on wages between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31, 2020. In sub-section (a), the order states the deferral will apply to anyone who makes less than $4,000 before taxes per bi-weekly paycheck (or the equivalent, if they aren’t paid bi-weekly).

Finally, sub-section (b) states this deferment will not incur any penalties, interest or other additions to the taxes deferred. In other words, the tax deferment is almost like an interest-free loan.

Section 4

Section 4 is short and to the point. In it, Trump directed Mnuchin to “explore avenues” through which the deferment might become permanent. In other words, Trump asked Mnuchin to look into any methods through which the deferred taxes might be forgiven entirely.

In the end, however, these taxes were not forgiven. Everyone who received the tax deferment was required to pay it back through extra tax withholdings between Jan. 1 and April 31, 2021.

What It Meant for You

If you’re the owner of a private company or one of its employees, it probably never meant much at all. Most private entities opted out of the payroll tax holiday and decided to deduct taxes from paychecks as normal. It was never law, it was never mandatory and most private companies thought it was short-term relief with an impending reckoning.

Think about it: Trump gave the option to not pay taxes for four months, but you’d have to pay double taxes during the next four months to make up for it. At best, it would be a lot of work to accomplish nothing; at worst, it would harm employees by cutting their paychecks during the repayment period.

Companies Can Learn From the Payroll Tax Cut

Even though the payroll tax cut proved to be irrelevant to most businesses, it did provide some value. Most notably, it compelled businesses to think carefully about their processes and how they affect their bottom line.

How to Make Effective Employee Training Videos

Many companies waste a lot of money and resources on training. For example, if a new employee comes on the scene, a current employee will have to teach them all they need to know. Not only will this put extra strain on the other employee, but it will also prevent them from fulfilling the job that they were supposed to do.

Training videos reduce the costs of training to almost nothing. Indeed, you may have to make an initial investment for the equipment and the creation of the video – but after that, you’re all set. This article will tell you everything there is to know on how to create an employee training video.

What Is a Training Video?

A training video is a kind of video that has an educational goal. Its purpose is to teach a skill or knowledge to anyone wanting to learn. Simply put, training videos are there to teach someone how to do something.

Training videos could be for employees coming on board, software education, compliance training, and many more. They can be corporate or non-corporate, depending on whom the target of the video is. Training videos can spare several resources because rather than using a person’s time, you are getting the information that you need from a video.

Why Choose Video for Training?

On average, videos are much more engaging and compelling as compared to texts. You can access them anytime and anywhere, and you don’t have to wait for your peers to come over and teach you anything. They reduce costs and effort, something that will help not only the employer – but the employee as well.

Types of Training Videos

There are several types of training videos to choose from, all of which will depend on your audience, your goal, your resources – and sometimes, just your personal preferences. Here are some of the training videos that you may utilize for your business:

1. Instructor-Led Training Videos

As the name suggests, these training videos have an instructor at their core. It’s like in-person training – only instead of talking to a live person, you see them digitally on the screen.

With instructor-led training, the instructor will show up on the screen and explain the topic to an audience online. These training videos are also referred to as “talking head videos,” because basically, the only thing you can see is the head and bust of the speaker.

These training videos are mostly recommended for beginners and intermediate individuals that are still in the learning process. It’s perfect for delivering the information in an engaging way, as it makes the audience feel like they are talking to someone right in front of them.

2. Screen-Capture Videos

For skills that are slightly more technical, such as a program tutorial or a demo, seeing that person’s face on the screen will not help you much. What you need to see is how to use that program in particular. And this is where screen-capture videos with a voice-over come in handy.

These videos will tell the employee exactly what they need to do from start to finish. It’s a “show and tell” kind of video for people that learn more from seeing than listening.

3. How-To Videos

For processes that require a step-by-step approach, how-to videos are generally the most recommended type. Also referred to as demonstration videos, these training videos will take you step-by-step through a process that you wish to learn.

Various topics may be approached in these training videos. For example, if your company needs its employees to write in an APA format, then a “How to write in APA format” training video might be exactly what you need.

4. Animated Videos

These training videos make use of visuals that are fully animated. They are a great option for explaining data, ideas, and complex processes. It makes explaining much easier when everything is made in the form of animation. Also, these types of videos are much more engaging.

5. Interactive Videos

For many people, interactive videos represent the most efficient way to train someone. These videos work on a scenario basis, where the viewers will see a small clip and be given a path choice. They are less restrictive, and they are also highly motivating.

Resource-wise, they might take the highest budget. On the other hand, they are also very efficient, as they test the knowledge of the person watching them. If possible, these interactive training videos should be used as much as possible when it comes to training new employees.

6. Videos Created by Employees

We learn the best from our peers, which is why employee-created videos are usually the best options to go for. After all, it’s not the employer that usually knows best; it’s the employee that has already been doing this for a while.

Plus, by creating these videos, the employee will get a better understanding of their tasks and the right ways to put their skills into practice. The employees will offer their tips and tricks so that the newcomers will know exactly how to do their job.

Steps to Create a Training Video

There are five steps to keep in mind when creating a training video, and they go as follows:

1. Set Objectives and Goals

The first thing that you will have to do is to understand your goal. What outcome are you planning to achieve by creating this video? Understand your goal, know your audience and then define what the learning objective should be.

2. Plan the Video

You already have a big idea in mind – now it’s time to move onto planning. Build the staff, decide on the video type that you plan on using, prepare the equipment, and create a project plan. Set up the atmosphere for your team. Get to know your SMEs and make a video knowing that your SMEs are most likely busy.

3. Design and Script

The planning is done, now you need to move onto the designing part. Write a script for what you are planning to add to the video. Sketch out the ideas and try to figure out how to make them more entertaining. Decide on the tone; can you add jokes and other stuff, or does it have to be more on the serious side? Plan everything out nicely.

4. Record and Edit

This is where the action starts. Take your tools and start recording. Whether you want to create an instructor-led webinar or you want to set up an interactive workshop, use the tools that are most convenient to you. You may film yourself, record the screen and your voice, and then edit them in the way that you see fit.

5. Share the Video

Your video training piece is done. Now, all that is left for you to do is to share it. LMS platforms are good for smaller companies, but for larger ones, you may use other tools as well. Vimeo and YouTube are the most popular options in that regard.

Requirements for a Good Start

To start on a good note, you’ll need certain pieces of equipment. Here is what you need to put on your checklist. 

· Equipment

First things first, you will need a webcam, a computer, and a good microphone. When it comes to microphones, you might want to go for a lavalier microphone, as you clip that one onto your clothes. This way, you can make sure that the audio quality is high.  

· Software

To have a good start when it comes to video creation, you might also want to be very careful about using the right creation and editing software. There are various tools that you may use here, such as iSpring, Wistia video software, Kapwing, and FilmoraX. If you want a more accessible online video editor, you may also try Fastreel. All of these options are great when it comes to creating an online course.

Depending on the type of video that you are making, you might also want to get a screen recorder program. However, some video editing programs also have the option of recording your screen.

Examples of Effective Training Videos

There are many examples of effective training videos that you may learn from. Here are just a couple of examples:

Retail POS: After upgrading the POS of their system, many employees would once more have to learn how to be productive.This is why Retail created a 10-part video series that would teach the users how to efficiently use the new system.

Supply Chain eLearning Video: Supply Chain has more than 12,000 employees, and more people keep coming around each time. This is why they created very effective 12-course learning videos on best practices for the end-to-end supply chain.

The Bottom Line

Training videos are a great way to maximize time and productivity. This is why, as a business owner, you should ensure that you make the most use of them. Check the tips above, gather your equipment, and start filming.

6 Important Things To Do To Boost Your Business Growth

Evidently, there’s no success formula to establish your own business and boost its expansion. Maintaining your business and managing its growth does not happen overnight, unfortunately, it can be quite challenging and demanding. In fact, it requires a lot of hard work, knowledge, patience, and perseverance. Having a clear perspective and working towards achieving it is the key to a successful business. Here are 6 important things to do to boost your business growth.

1. Build A Strong Sales Funnel

A sales funnel is the potential journey of customers to complete a purchase. There’s nothing more frustrating than having a customer not complete the purchase, especially after spending hours looking around, chatting with the sales team, and questioning about different products. Well, you can never stop this from happening, but you can lessen lost opportunities by creating a strong sales funnel and getting the right help to manage the process. Creating an automated sales funnel will increase your business growth and decrease the lost opportunities.

2. Apply a Customer Managing System

It is quite impossible to keep track of demands and customers’ purchase orders unless you have a customer managing system. Now, there are plenty of options available in the market, do thorough research and select the one which is best for the type of your business and utilize it. Having the right CMS will help scale your business and manage to track your transactions.

3. Know Your Customer

If you don’t know the needs of your customers, you will not be able to develop your business according to their needs and demands. Knowing your customer well will give you a wider perspective on how to develop your products and services. Being up to the rapid market changes and the wide variety of similar products offered everywhere heightens the challenge of keeping customers’ satisfaction. You have to work on personalizing your products and enhancing your services to meet the requirements of today’s market.

4. Social Media Platforms

Everyone in business today has to know that their customer is out there using at least one or two social media platforms. Social media is one of the most essential marketing strategies; knowing how to manage it is one of the most crucial key factors for growth and success. Online traffic and leads from Google will help you get more customers. Specialists at Infinite Ace recommend that you apply to search engine marketing in order to grow your business. It is a bit difficult to keep up with social marketing trends as well as the rapid market changes, therefore, getting professional help will get you there faster than you think.

5. Customer Experience

Having to deal with customers is the most challenging part of any business. Keeping up with customers’ perspectives and satisfaction is one goal that you must achieve if you want to expand your business and have loyal customers. Delivering quality products and providing distinguished services will help you keep a successful and growing business.

6. Hire Dedicated Employees

Hiring the right people for the job will ensure running your business successfully. Dedicated employees and delegating tasks will enable you to focus on new and different ways by which you can improve your business. This will also free your mind to implement innovative methods to satisfy your customers and provide them with the best services.

Understanding that growing a business is an ongoing process will give you the power to continue trying and striving to achieve your goal. If you see no other alternative than to make it work, you’ll be able to get there, even if it takes more of your time and effort. In this fast-changing market, you must research and implement different software and techniques to take some burden off your shoulders, so you can focus on delivering the best products/services to your customers.

Implementing the Best Safety Measures for Your Business

When it comes to safety measures, you may not be able to stop the determined thief from visiting you, whether it is online or in person. However, you can make it so very difficult for them that they go and find somewhere else and leave your business well alone.

Cybersecurity

With cybercrime ever-present, it is more important than ever to keep your cybersecurity up to date. It is important to use the best security software for your business. The use of SOAR Security (Security Orchestration, Automation and response) is often used if you have remote workers working on personal equipment and saving data to multiple cloud storage facilities. There are alternatives available, though, so you may find it beneficial to speak to an expert to make sure that you have the correct product for your business, as protection given can vary greatly depending on what your business is.

Most reputable cybersecurity businesses will offer more services as well as support on their products, enabling you to get the best out of your software and helping your business in being safe and secure for all the data you hold.

Training Your Employees for Personal Security

One of the best ways in which you can enhance your security is to teach your employees about the importance of all security as well as their own personal online security.

It is a good idea that each of your employees has to have a password to access your database and that the password is unique and private for each employee. Your employees must understand the importance of changing their password regularly and not divulging it to anybody else.

Having a good strong password is imperative as cybercriminals are smart, cunning, sly, and resourceful. Using names, whether it is last names or pet names, important places, and other topics mentioned on social media is a big ‘no-no’ as cyberthieves watch social media sites to gain ideas for passwords as well as personal information.

Password Security

The best passwords need to be at least 12 characters long, preferably longer. It should contain special characters such as the asterisk or question mark. Have a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters and contain some numbers too. It is a good idea not to use words that can be found in the dictionary as these are easy to guess but try misspelling or dotting numbers and special characters throughout your password.

Ensure that your employees understand why they are having to use keypads or swipe cards to enter your building and tell them the importance of not letting someone tailgate behind you to gain access to the building.

It is a good idea to have a person nominated as a go-to person should anyone see an unfamiliar face wandering around if they are not confident enough to challenge the person for work identification.

Physical Security

It is important that you make sure that your work premises are secure and safe for your employees, as well as the information you have on-site for your customers.

There are many things you can do in order to make your premises secure, such as erecting fences in order to keep trespassers out. Fences used in this way are usually over 6 feet high with razor edging to make them unscalable. Vehicle barriers are a good idea for car park entrances which can be activated by swipe cards or keycodes so that you do not have to have your parking lot patrolled. Warning signs are also a good idea to deter unwanted visitors, as well as security lights for exterior areas.

Control Access

When it comes to actually be able to gain access to your premises, it is a good idea to install key coded entry or personalized swipe cards which can be handed out to each employee with a lanyard, perhaps with their photo printed on to it. Make sure that you have a few for visitors clearly marked. This will help any intruder to be spotted as they will not be wearing a lanyard or have any visible form of identification on them.

When you have visitors on-site, make sure that they fill in a visitor book with their name, company, and who they are on-site to see. Do not let them wander around your business premises unchaperoned at any time, and make sure that they wear either a lanyard with visitor written on it or a badge of some description. It is important that you do not give them a way of entering your building by themselves and keep all key codes secret to outsiders.

How to Improve One-on-One Meetings with Employees

Meeting one-on-one with employees is never easy. However, it’s necessary to solve problems, boost engagement, and put out fires before they ignite.

What’s the best way to conduct one-on-one meetings with employees and make the most of these key conversations? Here are tips from some of the best managers in the business.

Schedule for Success

How often should employee meetings occur, anyways? Every company is different, and today’s managers are more willing to rethink the old way of doing things.

“Quarterly reviews used to be the norm, but that’s no longer considered best practice for the fast-paced modern workplace. Schedule shorter meetings every few weeks to keep the communication flowing and avoid stagnation.” – Dylan Arthur Garber, Co-Founder of Audien Hearing

“I am all for scheduling more frequent one-on-one reviews, but I also advocate an open-door policy so that employees can keep the conversation ongoing at any time. Now that everyone is so seamlessly connected via technology, you can be more flexible.” – Aidan Cole, CEO of HIDE

“More managers are embracing an as-needed approach to employee meetings, which allows for more honesty and transparency in the workplace – always a good thing.” – Jeff Goodwin, Vice President of Direct to Consumer and Performance Marketing at Orgain

Be Ready

Without a plan in place, your employee one-on-ones will only waste time. Show up prepared and accomplish far more in a shorter time frame.

“Having regular one-on-one meetings with team members is incredibly important to not only an efficient workplace, but in building team morale. That said, no one likes to have meetings just for the sake of it, so it’s important to be prepared in advance. Send over a few talking points to your team members, and give them an opportunity to add their own. That way, you’re both prepared to deal with any questions or situations that need to be discussed. ” – Marc Atiyeh, CEO of Pawp

“If you aren’t ready for the meeting, what message does that send to the other person? The least you could do is take five minutes ahead of time and organize a little file with all the key points you need to address.” – Seb Evans, Co-Founder of Banquist

“Part of preparing for a one-on-one meeting is being transparent with the other person. Nothing should be a huge surprise or come out of left field. That’s anxiety-inducing for everyone. Great managers make these meetings feel like an everyday convo between friends.” – Lori Price, Co-Founder of PixieLane

“As the manager or supervisor, you’re the one leading the conversation from the start, so have an agenda in place to get things moving. Use real facts and figures to support your points. From there, you can open up the floor and allow the meeting to flow more organically.” – Tyler Hayden Read, Founder of PT Pioneer

“The structure of your meeting is important because you don’t have all day for meandering conversation. Discuss performance, offer constructive critique, ask for feedback, and leave a few minutes for extra dialogue. Don’t overcomplicate it.” – Lucas Nudel, Founder and CEO of Pride Palace

Courtesy is Key

Just the thought of a one-on-one meeting can cause employees to stress. Ease the tension by being cool, calm, and courteous.

“I like to keep meetings casual with open-ended questions like ‘tell me how things are going?’, or ‘how can I support you on this project?’. It’s less abrasive to ask something like ‘where are you struggling at the moment?’ instead of openly criticizing people.” – James Meincke, Senior Marketing Manager at CloserIQ 

“Trust allows you to give people direction, get everyone aligned, and energize them to go get the job done. Build trust in employee meetings first. Trust enables you to execute with confidence and produce extraordinary results.” – Douglas Conant, Former CEO of the Campbell Soup Company

“Be more accommodating when it comes to setting up employee reviews or meetings of any type. Allow them to have some input rather than demanding they show up at a certain place at a certain time. It makes things way more comfortable for everyone.” – Jeff Meeks, VP of Sales and Marketing at EnergyFit

“The toughest part of any one-on-one meeting is addressing issues with performance or production. Nobody wants to talk about it, but it’s a must. Don’t worry about looking like the bad guy. Be honest and speak the truth, then start talking about real solutions.” – Mike Pasley, Founder of Allegiant Goods

Look to the Future

Before the meeting concludes, be sure to set some “next steps” so everyone is on the same page moving forward.

“Setting clear goals and benchmarks for the future is one of the best ways to take your employee reviews to the next level. It gives them something to work towards and get excited about. Plus, the next time around, you know exactly what’s on the docket.” – Michael Jankie of Natural Patch

“A lot of employees are eager to advance within the company or get more involved, whether it’s to get a promotion or just expand their repertoire. If you think they’d be good in a specific role, why not bring it up during a meeting? It may spark their interest.” – Ryan Rockefeller, Co-Founder and CEO of Cleared

“A one-on-one is a great opportunity to reflect on the past in the short-term while looking towards the future. Employees love talking about their plans and aspirations, so be open to discussing all possibilities for advancement.” – Dylan Trussell, CMO of Culprit Underwear

When done correctly, one-on-one meetings can be productive, constructive, and even enjoyable. Take these tips to heart and make your next round of meetings a success for all involved.

Top 5 IT Asset Management Best Practices Businesses Need To Follow

Every company generates income by using its fixed assets. Over a period, as the company grows, those fixed assets also grow in volume, size and management. 

In recent years, for most big and small organizations, the ownership, control and management of IT devices like computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, servers, and memory storage devices has become important. 

So many functions, processes, data, files and payments are done through such systems. This means that for any organization their proper maintenance, control, access and destruction should be a priority!

Wrong…

Most businesses, sparing a few do not invest or take IT Asset Management (ITAM) seriously. They wait for a serious situation to emerge like a cyberattack or a huge penalty before they start taking action on this front. 

In this article, we are going to speak with leading experts at SPW Malaysia. This is one of the foremost organizations in the field of ITAM that has been helping businesses since the last decade. 

IT Asset Management: Meaning and Definition

ITAM is not a one-time thing that you do and forget. It refers to the continuous monitoring, maintenance, upgradation and disposal of all IT-related assets in an organization. 

This means that all hardware components that are used in any office are accounted for with proper documentation, processes and structures. 

A proper ITAM process will help your organization answer the following questions-

  • How many computer systems are there in the office and who all are using them?
  • What are the access codes of the computer systems that the employees are using?
  • Where are the access points located when it comes to software, files and servers?
  • Has someone tried to improperly log in or seek credentials beyond their authority?
  • How will computer systems, files, hard disks and other IT stuff be disposed?

In short, businesses need to realize that every IT asset, whether it is hardware or software, has a finite existence. It needs to be maintained and tracked till the time comes for it to be disposed of. 

Even when disposal is concerned it cannot be simply thrown away with all company records, data and other essentials. There is a process that should be in place for the same. 

List of 5 ITAM Best Practices you need to start following

1. Create a Pro-Active ITAM Process for the Organization- 

Most businesses make the mistake of starting with ITAM after they have suffered from a massive loss. This means that the process becomes reactive, as against pro-active. If you do not want to be hit by something that shakes the foundations of your business, you need to be proactive when it comes to setting up a well-defined ITAM process in your organization. 

2. Set-up a Dedicated Team or Hire Professionals for ITAM- 

Frankly speaking, there are two things a business can do. It can either hire ITAM professionals from a specialized agency or set up its own team internally. You might think that this is a bad investment, given nothing is happening. However, a good ITAM process helps prevent financial losses for the organization. It can also prevent credibility attacks on the business. 

3. Follow the Lifecycle-Based Approach towards ITAM-

If you want to execute an ITAM process, you need to start as soon as a computer system is purchased. The same goes for software whose license has been purchased recently. Experts note that an ITAM process should take into account the entire lifecycle of the hardware or software. This means that everything should be monitored from the start to the absolute end. 

4. Carry out Regular and Rigorous Audits of the ITAM process- 

Many businesses face severe penalties from authorities for over-reporting or under-reporting their assets. This happens because they fail to carry out regular ITAM audits that keep frequent track of their systems. As a business grows in volume, its infrastructure, systems and structures also grow a lot. This is why regular audits are a major best practice of ITAM. 

5. Go for High-End Automation to Save Costs and Time in ITAM- 

Whenever businesses hear the term record keeping, their minds quickly race towards MS Excel files. When it comes to ITAM, not only is this process slow and outdated, but more importantly, it deprives the business of efficiency. There is advanced software that can help you track, monitor and update file names and other reports systematically. Automation is the way forward. 

The Bottom Line

In the last few years, awareness around ITAM is growing. This has been partly because of the increasing number of cyberattacks that are being reported, especially since the pandemic started. ITAM will help you plug a crucial loophole that might attract the interests of cybercriminals. 

With more processes and functions being carried out by IT assets, businesses have started realizing that there is a strategic need to protect these at all costs. If you have any more questions, you would like us to answer on ITAM, let us know in the comments below. 

Why Forgotten Passwords Cost Company Revenue

Passwords are a necessary part of the online experience. When operating properly they can keep us safe, protecting our valuable data and identities, as well as ensuring peace of mind. The only problem with this is that we tend to use many passwords for different websites and services, some of which force changes at regular intervals. With this concern, lost and forgotten passwords become an inevitability and a problem that can negatively affect both customers and the businesses with which they interact.

Churn and Abandonment

In business, the term churn refers to the rate at which customers stop doing business with an entity. There can be many possible reasons for this, from issues out of a business’s control to deliberately designed elements that users find frustrating. One of the elements that is not so much the fault of individuals but rather the overall market is the password problem. Again, this is generally the result of juggling many passwords with many requirements, where frustrated users can give up rather than keep guessing the details of old accounts. Churn can be the result of many parts of the purchasing process but is commonly manifested as cart abandonment. This is where users fill their orders but get locked out of purchases because of misremembered passwords. Directly costing a business sales, this measurable issue has affected online stores for decades.

Overworked Support Systems

When getting locked out of websites due to misremembered passwords, there is usually some form of recovery process available. Unfortunately, these aren’t always reliable and can be confusing, leading many users to turn to live support. Though these live support systems can fix the problems, they’re generally designed to help with more complicated issues, with constant calls about passwords overloading support capacity. This is a problem that has existed for years, with around 30% of all customer support calls dealing with this exact issue. For every one of these calls, another customer risks being left unaddressed, which can again cause lost profit if the user gets frustrated and walks away.

Customers Placing Blame

Though complicated password systems are developed to help users, those negatively affected by them tend to blame the website or brand they’re using for the difficulties password systems create. Fortunately, there are ways around this concern through the use of a time based one time password. These passwords use encryption keys to link devices like mobiles to websites and services, allowing the generation of temporary but simple codes. Common names in this realm include the Microsoft and Google Authenticators, which are integrated with many major services. While far from perfect, such methods can save time, and reduce the guesswork and trial and error that can drive users away.

Looking forward, it’s inevitable that better solutions to password issues will become increasingly necessary. Though many services manage this issue, they’re still often underrepresented with the digitally involved populace. With a greater reliance on passwords than ever before and increasingly difficult criteria applied to them, it looks like one-time passwords and specialized password streamlining systems will eventually become the status quo. If you’re constantly fighting against your passwords, consider trying these out, and at the very least you will be left with less wasted time and a smoother online experience overall.