Why Collaboration Is Key in Complex Tech Projects

As a team includes people with increasingly specialized skills, collaboration becomes crucial as it allows the whole team to take advantage and make the best use of everyone’s strengths and specialized skills. We all collaborate in one way or the other, most times without knowing it, although everyone understands that working together is a key component to a team’s success. It is, therefore, worth taking the time to explore why collaboration is so important.

It Helps Keep Projects On Track

A key component of getting tech projects completed on time is ensuring they are on track all the way through. When using the right collaboration tools, project managers and team leaders can ensure everyone understands what should be done, when it should be done, and who is responsible for various aspects of the project.

To make things easier and to keep everyone in the look, teams can use a diagram maker to create action plans, bring changes and alterations together in one place, ensure everyone understands the project, its scopes and tasks, and take action depending on the various action items added during the diagramming process. By doing all the above and when used to its full potential, a diagram maker becomes an important tool that helps combine the diagramming process and collaboration to keep complex projects moving forward as expected.

It Helps With Problem-Solving

Everyone gets stuck on one thing or the other from time to time. It often happens that you face a problem, try everything you know and every solution you have, and the problem still remains unsolved. You then run out of ideas and are left with a looming deadline that you do not think you will meet.

While taking some time away from the situation and trying another approach later, the best course of action, in this case, would be to ask for help. You might call up a colleague and set up a brainstorming session for a few minutes to talk through the problem you are trying to solve.

The ability to collaborate with people in this way in the middle of complex tech projects, utilizing your combined skills, knowledge, and expertise is the key to successful teams. Team leaders and project managers should not let collaboration be the last resort, as they should ingrain it into their teams. The more people a team member can reach out to at any time, the easier it becomes to spot potential issues and to find solutions to issues easily and as early as possible.

Collaboration Brings People Together

When working on a complex project, the worst thing a team can do is operate in isolated silos that hinder collaboration. Instead of operating in this way, project managers can form teams of people with different skills. These can include developers, user experience designers, writers, and graphics designers to tackle a complex project together.

Forming teams composed of people with mixed skills works out best for complex projects because these usually require people with diverse skills, varied perspectives, and different areas of expertise.

When different people are set up to collaborate in this way, they have a shared purpose between them, and these connections and shared purpose will help with other complex projects in the future. The point is that collaboration achieved through putting together a mixed-skills team is not only good for the project, it is also great for breaking down walls and barriers in the workplace and forming connections that will be crucial in the future.

Collaboration Helps Reduce Project Complexity

While it may seem that a project is quite complex because it has only a few people working on it, allowing more people to come in and collaborate on the same project can reduce its complexity. With more people working on the project, the project can be divided into mini-projects and tasks where each is tackled by the person with the most skills and expertise in that area.

By dividing up a project like this, other members of the team do not have to deal with the complexities of the other parts of the project. This reduces the mental load of thinking the project is a complex one, it simplifies it and allows everyone to use their strengths to ensure the success of the project.

It Allows For The Transfer of Skills

Savvy business owners, project managers, and team leaders are always looking ahead. They want to know that complex projects in the future can be handled by people with the right skills. A team cannot complete a complex tech project without some knowledge being shared across the different team members.

When people with different skills, experience, and expertise are brought together to achieve a common goal, opportunities for coaching, learning new skills, and the improvement of the whole team and organization appear. Every good team has at least one person who is good at one specific thing and they can share their knowledge so they can contribute to the future success of the team and business.

Collaboration in complex tech projects is not only about ensuring the project is completed in time and according to set specifications; it is also about looking into the future. Allowing collaboration today can have positive ramifications for a team and the overall business in the future.

Trends and Tools for Call Center Automation

While the pandemic impacted call center operations, their services are vital to keeping businesses going. The technological advances in machine learning, artificial intelligence, and robotic processes automation help continue customer care. In addition, call center automation is increasing at a more rapid pace. Thus, companies must ensure that they implement best practices for a smooth-flowing operation. 

Shifting from a traditional to an automated business process is challenging. There should be a balance between your customer service automation approach and humans. Tools are meant to facilitate workflows and help humans improve their productivity and efficiency. However, you cannot remove the human factor in call center operations because customer service (CX) deals with humans. 

Implementing Intelligent Automation

The most important best practice in call center automation is to balance the core service goals and the key performance indicators (KPIs) with automation. The primary goals are to improve operational efficiency and the experiences of customers continually. In addition, the company must know when to deploy AI-powered virtual assistants and employ human interaction with your live agents to achieve these goals. 

Smart Dialing System

Today, a very effective tool for contact centers is a cloud predictive dialer, an automated, cloud-based automated dialer that determines when an agent will soon be available. According to the performance of the agents, a predictive dialer detects when an agent is about to end a call and puts the next call through. Thus, the system places many phone calls, drops unanswered calls, and immediately routes the call to the agent ready to take the call. The result is improved efficiency and performance for the center’s agents.  

Automated Interactions

The term refers to any CX tool that lets a customer talk to a program instead of a human. This is a better option than a customer being put on hold and forced to listen to annoying music, which frustrates customers. You can reduce their frustration and potentially gain more customers by using automated software with advanced voice recognition technology to enhance customer experience

Workflow Automation

A myriad of mundane and simple yet repetitive tasks take time to complete. You can maximize the time agents spend on their actual functions with automation software that can quickly organize customers’ accounts and other paperwork and make it easy to do follow-up tasks such as call logging, emails, and invoicing. Often a workflow automation program is AI-powered, which helps reduce errors.

Guidance for Agents

This call center automation tool allows agents to get a customer’s information as soon as they call in. During the call, the program’s multifunctional user interface lets the agent look up the details of the customer’s account, history of payments, purchases, and other relevant information that can assist the agent in helping the customer. In addition, there is automation software that can create call scripts to help respond to customers’ requests, which can lead to positive reviews.

Post-Call Analytics

Today, most businesses use analytics to improve their services, understand customer behaviors, and provide vital information for the company. For example, use automated software that will store transcripts and record other essential individual call information.

Summary

Automation is part of today’s modern businesses. Automation is vital, but it will be more effective if you can balance automation and better performance from your employees with empowering tools and best practices. 

5 Software Development Methodologies That Improve Functionality

There are many software development methodologies that improve functionality. The software development industry relies on several advanced methodologies, tactics, and strategies to enhance business productivity. In fact, each methodology is a structure that plans and controls the information encoded in software. Development methodologies can improve project management, optimize computer functions, and create highly scalable technology. As an aspiring software engineer, you should learn the different methodologies that can improve technical function. In this article, we’ll discuss the software development methodologies that improve functionality. 

DevOps Pipeline

One software development methodology that improves functionality is the DevOps pipeline. Use the DevOps process to ship updates faster. Then, optimize the DevOps processes with the pipeline tool from JFrog. This way, you can continuously streamline and secure your development team’s tools. Moreover, you can use this methodology for continuous integration and continuous delivery. With this function, you can automate everything from code to production for high-powered technology. Furthermore, the JFrog pipeline optimizes the process for building, testing, and deploying software solutions. Additionally, the pipeline methodology can improve functionality on both cloud and on-prem subscriptions. Certainly, consider the DevOps pipeline methodology to improve your software functionality.

Agile Development Methodology

Agile development methodology is one of the most popular ways to improve software functionality. Agile development methodology enables your company to focus on user satisfaction. Your team would complete tasks over short time periods of just one to four weeks. During this time, the iterative model provides you with multiple tests as development continues. Next, you would use Agile development methodology to obtain feedback from customers. You can then make the necessary changes to your software. Additionally, your team can take full advantage of this methodology’s functionality since it has few defects. This way, you can streamline productivity and improve performance across your software team. Surely, consider agile development methodology to improve software functionality.

Waterfall

Of course, the waterfall software development model is another great choice to structure your SDLC.  Employ waterfall to manage projects with clear, stable objectives. Waterfall’s sequential method will handle your team’s tasks one at-a-time. Moreover, waterfall will improve functionality by ensuring each step is complete before moving on. The rigid, linear style of waterfall is easy to understand and manage. Thus, you can explain the waterfall methodology to your team quickly since it is fairly simple. You will benefit from using waterfall if your team changes personnel frequently. Throughout the development process, waterfall maintains itself, so many functions are performed automatically. Definitely, look into using waterfall to improve software development functionality.

Feature Driven Development

Feature-driven development is another software development methodology that improves functionality. Use FDD to develop an overall model. Then, plan each feature by building a feature list with the platform. Next, use FDD to design your software. This way, you can visualize your development project. After this, FDD can build each feature for you. Throughout this process, FDD will provide you with status reports, results, and possible errors. Additionally, FDD gives you quick, efficient responses to platform changes. Moreover, these quick responses allow your team to process information faster. This way, you can accomplish more in the given workday. Long-term, this will allow you to maximize profitability, expanding your earning potential, and get more projects done. Surely, consider using feature-driven development to improve software functionality.

Scrum Development Methodology

Scrum development methodology can also help improve software functionality. Apply this methodology to manage your development project. Specifically, use scrum development for emerging technologies and rapid changes. Then, you can implement scrum to plan, meet, and review important software features quickly. This technique allows your business to accelerate the development of software by processing many iterations at once. With scrum development, even your slowest-moving development projects can be fast-tracked. Certainly, use scrum development methodology to improve software functionality.

Summary

There are many software development methodologies that improve functionality. Taking advantage of the latest models, you can future-proof your development pipeline, learn new skills, and follow the latest trends. Plus, these tactics enable you to optimize your workforce and experiment with productivity-improving measures. The DevOps pipeline will fully automate your software and integrate it continuously. Then, waterfall will provide you with a rigid, step-by-step system for project management. Feature-driven development implements many notification features to help you stay on top of your software development project. Scrum development methodology can rapidly quicken the pace of your software development process. Finally, agile development methodology prioritizes user satisfaction over process-oriented structures. Consider these options when improving your software development functionality.

Here Is What Studies Show Employees Want in Return for Loyalty

The UK average employee turnover rate stands at around 15%, although that figure fluctuates depending on what study you look at. That does not sound like a terrible figure – does it? Well, if you consider the average number of employees for a small business is 10, that is 1.5 employees lost a month, so we will round it up to 2. The cost of replacing one employee in the UK is £50,000 – which accounts for their entire first year of employment.

So, effectively, small businesses are spending up to £100,000 because of their ‘employee churn’, a term used to describe the number of employees leaving at a given point in time.

Since employee churn equals costly financial implications, what are they demanding in return for undisputable loyalty? Let us explore.

A Recognition Rich Culture

A study in 2017 found that 81% of people were looking for another job. Interestingly, money is not what it is all about. 74% of employees would take a pay cut if it meant working in their dream job, and 23% do not need a pay rise to take on a new role. What do they need? They need to work in a recognition-rich culture that focuses on employee engagement, which has been proven to boost a business’s profitability by 21%.

There is no better way to improve employee engagement than to look at employee engagement strategies offered by an employee engagement agency. Incentive Smart offers a comprehensive high-reward-based employee loyalty programme that helps to improve communication, provides an area for feedback, and creates a place for positive reinforcement. You can find more on their website www.incentivesmart.com. Working with an incentives scheme agency helps employees to feel energised, motivated, and willing to work.

Investing in Employee Happiness

You can invest in employee engagement, but without taking the time to invest in the happiness of your employees, it will be hard to unlock the true potential of an employee reward scheme. A study carried out by Workplace Insight found that only 46% of employees are happy most of the time at work, and 26% are rarely ever happy.

Happiness and positive vibes are infectious and can infiltrate an entire company. Just look at Google the reviews of what it is like to work there, and you will realise the potential of a happy workforce. How has Google consistently ranked as one of the best companies to work for? Innovation.

Google was one of the first companies to introduce nap rooms to their offices. If you have ever felt that afternoon office slump where even matchsticks would struggle to keep your eyes open, you will know how happy the option of a quick nap would make you. They have ideas and mood boards on the walls, indoor slides, bikes to get around, relaxed clothing requirements, the freedom to come and go as long as work is completed, and the list could go on.

They have broken free from the structured corporate mould and redefined what it means to be a 21st-century brand. And, employees want just that. A space to be creative, open, without pressure, and with flexibility.

Do Not Micromanage

It does not get much more pre-21st-century employee management than micromanaging. Micromanagement is a style of management where an employee is closely observed or controlled, to the point it can feel overwhelming, yet it is still a regular occurrence. Micromanaging happens when there is no trust between the manager of their employees, and it leaves employees feeling stressed and devalued.

The trouble is, 71% of employees say micromanaging interferes with job performance, and 69% of employees would actively look for another role. Find a balance between management and allowing employees to use their own initiative.

Remove the performance pressure unless there is a reason for it, say if an employee is significantly underperforming. If they are, consider a buddy support system with another high-performing employee. It is a less invasive management method and can be highly motivated and educational for an underperforming employee.

Finding the sweet spot that keeps every employee happy and loyal is a tricky skill to master. Fostering a happy and inclusive working environment helps, as well as incentives, company days out, and a general openness to discuss problems. The more time you invest in your employees, the more they will give back.

Essential Software Your Growing Business Should be Using

As your business success begins to flourish, you may find your success comes at a price. As your enterprise inevitably grows, so do your responsibilities, yet the amount of time you have to complete these tasks is only diminishing. It’s at this point that most entrepreneurs and small business owners should consider utilizing a variety of software applications and online tools to help streamline their daily operations, enhance their productivity and keep their business success on track.

Business people in a video call meeting

In this post, we’ll explore some essential software that your growing business should be using. Read on to find out more. 

VAT Software

The pressures of accounting and financial management can quickly become overwhelming for small business owners, especially as your enterprise begins to grow. Whether you have minimal experience in handling company accounts or you’re still scrambling together receipts, expenses and financial reports, VAT software is an essential tool, you shouldn’t be working without. Using VAT software is easy to implement and makes navigating your tax obligations easier, allowing you to submit VAT returns to HMRC effortlessly.

No matter how complicated your VAT return may appear, small businesses can streamline their VAT responsibilities with just a few simple clicks. VAT software will also help you create a digital paper trail, one that allows you to register all your VAT-related actions and activities in one easy-to-manage location, highlighting how much you owe with monthly snapshots and giving you the knowledge to make better business decisions. With the right VAT software application, you can protect your business from penalties incurred through late submissions or inaccuracies in your reports.

Time Tracking Software

As your business flourishes, you may find that the hours available to tackle your responsibilities proficiently begin to diminish, and effective time management becomes an essential part of your working day. This is where time tracking software can help. By highlighting how long it takes you and your employees to complete specific tasks, you’ll be able to use this data to your advantage. By developing accurate time frames that streamline your daily operations, you can encourage employees to make the most of their working day and to meet the expectations of your clients, effortlessly.

Understanding how you and your employees spend your working hours keeps everyone accountable while still providing full control over the working day and maximizing efficiency across your business. If you’re working on an hourly basis, then time tracking software also helps to keep payroll/invoices as accurate as possible.

Customer Relationship Management Software (CRM)

Developing meaningful and beneficial relationships with your clients can drive your business success forward. By carefully managing those relationships and interactions using CRM software, you can also improve those relationships and use them to your advantage. This software provides a central location for all client (and prospective client) data to be collected, stored and updated, as well as building a library of individual customer interactions which can be used to curate unique and specific future interactions that can lead to a sale.

A CRM tool gives your customer service the edge, and can completely transform the way your clients view your business. And as this software is cloud-based, this information can be accessed securely from anywhere – so no matter where your working day takes you, your growing business can maintain strong customer relationships effortlessly.

Communication Software and Tools

As a growing business, you’ll already recognize the importance of strong communication. But as your enterprise continues to push forward, the importance of communication now applies to both external and internal situations. Maintaining strong levels of contact between you and your clients was something you undoubtedly managed via email chains and multiple messages across various platforms, but now your communications approach directly impacts the customer experience and employee collaboration.

Therefore, it makes sense for growing businesses to utilize communication software to improve communication workflows and to keep their employees organized. Tools such as Slack and Skype are perfect for businesses with remote teams, whilst video conferencing/calling applications such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and even WhatsApp can keep you and your clients in touch and improve the client experience.

 Social Media Management Software

A strong online presence is one of the key factors of business success, and while your business is experiencing growth, you must take the management of your social media platforms seriously. SM management software can help you manage multiple accounts, using one login and an easy-to-use interface that helps you move from one platform to another. SM management software means you’ll never miss a notification or an opportunity to engage with your followers. You can also schedule posts ahead of time, freeing up more time for you to focus on other areas of your growing business.

Final Thoughts…

A variety of software and tools can help your growing business continue to flourish. Consider these options above to continue with your success. 

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.