Smart Steps That Will Skyrocket Your Career

Ever felt like the process of moving up in life is a bit too slow? Sure, we all know that success requires hard work and nobody can come and tell us we’re expecting life to be easy. Yet, some people just seem to get everything right and find the success they’ve been looking for so much faster than everyone else. Luckily, their recipe for prosperity is no secret and it’s easy enough to take the right steps when you know exactly where to tread.


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Here are a handful of great ways you can send your career skyrocketing a lot faster than you originally thought. It will take a bit of hard work, to begin with, but then again – nothing comes easy.

Read, read, read

Those years you spent in university took a lot of time and hard work but, in the end, you got your degree and the success that came with it. Even though you’ve graduated, you shouldn’t really stop learning – and certainly never stop reading.

It does matter what you read, though, and it’s a good idea to first figure out what you need to learn more about before swallowing every book you can find. Check out the top business books on Amazon, for example, ask a mentor if they have any books to recommend that might teach you a thing or two.

Take an online course

The Internet has made everything possible and you can absolutely continue your education even though you’re in a full-time job. There are a lot of courses available for whatever field you happen to be in, such as this master of arts in education, or a master in business administration. It doesn’t even have to be a full degree either, so have a look around the web and find something that can improve the skills you need to perform better.

Remember to have a chat with your boss about your education plans, though, not just to brag but also in case they offer to cover some of the expenses for you. It’s the kind of stuff you don’t want to miss out on.

Find a mentor or become one

If you’re still kind of new in your field, it’s an excellent idea to find someone to mentor you. Most people would be flattered to be singled out like this, so don’t be shy – think about former managers, for example, or co-workers who are a bit ahead of you in their careers.

On the other hand, if you have spent a few years in your field already, it’s an equally smart move to become someone’s mentor; have a look around the web for a mentor program and you’ll probably find a lot of opportunities. It will boost your confidence, improve your people skills, expand your network, etc – the list goes on.

Sometimes, the biggest obstacle to our career progressions is ourselves. It doesn’t help to blame someone else if you happen to be stuck in a career-rut and feel unable to progress – just take a large step out of your comfort zone and you’ll suddenly feel like life is moving forwards again. It’s the small steps that count and you’ll soon be able to see that increased confidence, happiness and a sense of fulfillment can get you anywhere.

Soft Skills: The Fast Track To Career Success?

The simple truth of finding success in today’s business world is that your intellect, competency and talent is not enough to take you to the top in your career. You need more about you, and developing what is known as your ‘soft skills’ will help you complete your transformation to someone that is not just respected for their knowledge, but liked, admired and trusted. Soft skills also help you be remembered, so when the time comes to put yourself up for promotion, it’s your face that your employers and leadership teams will have in mind.

In today’s guide, we’re going to run through some of the best soft skills you can develop to help you achieve success in the workplace. Soft skills are essential if you want to take steps into leadership positions, get promotions, or just get a lot more out of your role. Let’s take a closer look at all the options available to you, and start you on the path towards achieving the career you deserve.

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Communication

If you can’t communicate with other people, you have no hope of achieving any kind of success in your career. However, this is not just about making tubthumping speeches, rallying the troops or even being able to use over intellectualized words. Instead, it’s about developing your ability to adjust your tone and style to fit the audience. You need to be able to explain complex issues and instructions to colleagues and customers in a simple way so that everyone is under no illusion about what you are saying. But also, don’t forget to listen. A lot of people hear what others are saying in the workplace environment, but when it comes to actually listening – and understanding – what others say, it’s a remarkable few that can do it effectively.

Leadership

Some people are born leaders, as the old saying goes. But make no mistake about it, this applies to very few people, and the truth is that leadership is something that the vast majority learn as they progress in their careers. It’s an essential soft skill – and a collection of other soft skills – that will make you a better decision maker. If there are leadership or management courses available to you at work, take them. Be brave in the workplace, too – put yourself forward for low-level project management tasks at first, and use them as a learning experience. If you don’t develop your leadership skills, you will fail to develop your career sufficiently – it’s that simple.

Self-motivation

Unless you have a positive attitude and can use your own initiative to get stuff done, your career will be limited. Everyone respects a hard worker, of course, but even people who work their fingers to the bone can be a problem if they always require constant monitoring and supervision. Your self-motivation will show you to be reliable and committed to your role, and also that you can fit in perfectly with your company’s organizational structure. And once people trust you, you will be winning half the battle on the road to career success.

Responsibility

Do you take responsibility for your mistakes at work? Being self-aware enough to own up is actually a great way to demonstrate your humility and a willingness to learn. Everyone makes mistakes – it’s how we deal with them and learn from them that counts. But you should also take responsibility in terms of taking on other projects or roles. For example, could you become a health and safety representative for your company? Ask yourself: “Could I get fire training, or are there CPR classes near me?” Show yourself as willing to take on valuable roles for your company, and your career will get a boost.

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Learn to Solve Problems

It’s something of a myth that you are either a problem solver or not. There are plenty of examples of business analysts spending weeks – and a lot of money – trying to find time and cost savings on factory floors, who end up choosing the same solution recommended by a ‘lowly’ factory worker. Problem-solving is more about a state of mind, not just having creative, critical and analytical skills. If you can work with people, have a cool and level head, and know who can help you find the right answer to a specific problem, you are a problem solver.

Be Decisive

Don’t be afraid of being decisive, but at the same time, it’s vital to recognize the difference between decisiveness and recklessness. Learn to put things into perspective. Use your experience to weigh up your options. And start using all the information you have learned and have at your disposal to anticipate what will happen if you do x instead of y. Again, this is something you can learn over time. As your confidence and workplace education grow, becoming more decisive is a natural consequence.

Be Cool

If you want to achieve the best possible career in your life, it’s going to do you a lot of favors if you can remain calm in times of strife. The reality is that is you want to progress, it will involve facing up to demanding situations, tough deadlines, and incredible stress. Staying cool under pressure also requires you to sharpen up your time management skills. If you can organize your day more efficiently, you will b in a better position to prioritize your tasks better, take more on, and avoid stressful scenarios cropping up.

Be Flexible

Finally, when you take a look at the average workplace, you will find something quite striking. There will be plenty of folks who are happy remaining in their personal comfort zones and will only do what’s required. They use their ‘hard skills’ to perform their roles, but are not open-minded enough to take on new challenges. Then there are the other people, who do the opposite. They are more flexible, willing to work on things that might not be directly related to the role stated in their contract. And guess which of these two separate groups tend to do better in their careers? Learn to be more flexible, and you will reap the rewards.

Don’t Ignore Your Office!

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One of the biggest and best steps towards growing your business is the moment that you finally take it out of your home and into a dedicated office space. This is normally accompanied by the need to hire more employees and an increased demand on your business as a whole, so it’s easy to let your focus wander away from making the most of your office space. However, it’s important that you dedicate at least some time to your office. Otherwise, it can have a pretty significant negative impact on your business as a whole. With that in mind, here are some ways that you can really make the most of your office space.

Think about space

The first, and arguably most important thing to think about when it comes to your office is how you use the space provided to you. After all, if you’ve got multiple people working together at once, you need to be able to accommodate clear communication as well as safe movement throughout the space and the possibility for independent working as well. It really is worth taking the time to think about what the best use of space is in your office. It’s also worth talking to your employees about it and getting their perspective on it. After all, they’re the ones who are going to be using the space in the first place.

Properly furnish it

The way in which you furnish your office might seem as though it’s really not that important, but it can make a big difference to the kind of environment you create. If your office environment is fully utilitarian without any personality, then it’s going to become a pretty stifling environment for you and your employees. Think about everything from the kinds of contract carpet in your office to the kinds of desks and chairs that your employees will be using. Otherwise, you’re going to end up with both you and your employees feeling uncomfortable and unmotivated at work.

Light it carefully

Lighting is the secret weapon of many of the most successful offices in the world. If your lighting is wrong, it can have a huge negative impact on your business as a whole. If the lighting is too dim, then your employees will be straining to see and that can lead to health issues and massively decreased motivation. However, if the lighting is too bright and overbearing, then it can quickly become overwhelming for your employees as well. The key is to focus on things like natural light, which can create the perfect atmosphere to produce the kind of energy that you want from your business.

All of these things might seem incredibly minor in the grand scheme of your business as a whole, and that’s because they are. However, just because something is small doesn’t mean that it’s not going to have a significant and far-reaching impact on the rest of your business. These things might be small and simple, but the effect they have on your business is simply too important to ignore.

Turn Your Property Into A Business

Have you ever thought that you could turn your home into money?

If you’re thinking about selling the property, you need to think again. There is more value in your home than what can be found on the real estate market. Indeed you could use your home as the base of a business. Indeed, there is a variety of profitable business ideas that you can start and run entirely in the comfort of your own home. Before you start, though, one word of advice: Running a business at home requires a lot of work and dedication to make sure that everything can run as smoothly and efficiently as it would in any business premises.

Do you have spare bedrooms?

A nursing home for elderly people

If you happen to have inherited a vast mansion house, or if you own a large home with several bedrooms, you could consider offering rooms for elderly people as part of a more human approach to nursing homes. You will need to work with neuter that your clients receive the highest level of care. Alternatively, you can also boost your skills with an online master of science in nursing so that you can become both a business owner and a qualified nurse when you interact with your clients. As nursing homes can often feel clinical and unfriendly, a lot of people prefer to look for smaller homes that can provide the warmth they want. However, you can’t open your home without making the necessary improvements first. Each bedroom needs to be fitted with an accessible en-suite bathroom. You should also be able to offer balanced meals throughout the day.

A bed & breakfast for travelers

If you’ve got only a few extra bedrooms in your home, you might prefer a form of income that doesn’t require full-day care and work. Opening a bed and breakfast accommodation is a fantastic opportunity for homeowners to repay their mortgage. Here too you’ll need to ensure that every guest has an en-suite. However, when it comes to meals, you only have to worry about breakfasts, which limits your involvement.

A rental business

If all you’ve got is a couple of spare bedrooms ] or even just one – you could consider renting out furnished rooms in your house. You will become a landlord/landlady with tenants living in your home. Ultimately, you’ll need to ensure that the house rules can be respected easily – this means keeping the rules simple but also choosing your tenants wisely. You’ll have to share the bathroom and the kitchen with your tenants, so it’s important to choose people you can trust.

What do people think of you?

The main question you’ll have to ask yourself when you let people inside your home as part of your business activities is how your services will be valued by your local customers. Ultimately, if you’re well-known in your neighborhood, it’s fair to say that anything you say or do can affect your business reputation, even if it isn’t related to it. Do make sure to protect your business from unfair and damaging claims.

The bottom line is that turning your home into a business can be extremely profitable if you’re comfortable working around and with people in a hospitality and care environment. It only works if it’s the right business decision for you.

How To Communicate Effectively With Your Customers

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What’s the most important thing that your business needs to succeed? You may be tempted to say money or awareness or innovation, but you’d be wrong. Because you could have any of those things and still not succeed. The sole thing you need to succeed is customers. Without customers, you won’t be going anywhere.

A lot of the time, businesses will focus on what they need to do to win more custom or increase their sales. But this can involve reeling in new customers that don’t stick around for long. And that’s not the aim of the game. Instead, you need to be able to work on creating a lasting relationship with your customers. That’s the secret to winning at business. But first, to better understand your customers, you need to be able to communicate with them.

Understand Their Needs

It’s this idea of being able to understand your customers that is going to make or break your business. If you’re targeting the wrong audience, if you’re not really uncovering what your customers want, and you’re focusing on your own assumptions, you’ll lose. Instead, you need to work on understanding what your customers need – and not just from your business, but overall. Because this holistic approach will help you to communicate with them more effectively, and show that you’re a business they need to buy from or work with.

Listen And Take Action

The most important part of that process is going to be for you to listen to them, and then take action. The listening part is something that, if you can do it well, will make your business work. Really take in what it is that they need, work with feedback, and then react. Make changes based on what they need or want from you. Then your business will be able to better serve their needs.

Use The Right Methods

But at the same time, you do really need to ensure that you’re using the best ways to communicate with your customers and your audience overall. Think about the methods you can use. Ask yourself are faxes secure or will email work? Maybe telephone is more direct or will they prefer social interaction? Here, feel free to experiment, as you’ll only ever know what works best by trying different ideas.

Focus On Ease

Next, you’re going to want to think about the most easiest ways to reach them. Yes, trialling different methods is a good idea, but don’t overcomplicate things. Texting might work and so could direct mail. Just think about what will be easiest for your customers, and how they will prefer to communicate with you.

Don’t Forget Face To Face

And don’t underestimate the power of face to face interactions with your clients and customers. Yes, everyone is digital these days, but it’s not your only option to get results. In fact, putting a name to a face can work more in your favor. So try to take things offline as well as engaging in a digital setting.

Why Unbeatable Digital Skills Will Boost Your Career Massively

Your skills are what make your employable, but which skills are most important of all? Everyone likes a team player, and you’re going to have to be able to do the basics of the job right. But it’s increasingly the digital skills an employee has to offer that matter more than anything else. If you’re not yet prioritising these skills and emphasising them heavily when you apply for a role, that’s something that should change. Here’s why it’s so very important right now.

Digital is the Here and Now

Being able to build websites and use things like a modern drag and drop landing page builder are exactly what’s needed right now. These are the things that clients take for granted, but they have be completed by someone. Digital matters come first; they’re the here and now. If you can impress people with these things, you’ll pull ahead and impress the people that matter.

Employers Want People Who Can Help Them Engage With Youth Markets

Right now, the youth market has never been more important, so you need so show employers that you know how to tap into that particular demographic. If you can do that, bosses will want you working for them because it’s a rare skill to have. Young markets centred around digital issues are drifted away from many established businesses at quite an alarming rate, so now is the time to improve yourself.

It’s a Simple Way to Bolster Your CV

It remains the case that a good CV is the first time that will make your stand out from other candidates. And your list of skills is one of the things on that CV that employers will really want to see. To improve that list of skills in a serious way you should be adding digital skills to it. It’s simple but it matters more to employers than you realise.

It Can be a Way of Beating More Experienced Candidates to the Job

Sure, you might not have the experience that can boasted by other candidates going for a big job, but you might be able to compete and ultimately win when it comes to showing off digital skills that are able to cut through. Experience only matters to people if it’s in the correct areas, so don’t downplay your digital skills.

The Demand for Your Skills Will Only Increase

In the years ahead, digital skills are only going to become more important. And that means means that you’re only going to become more in demand. So don’t sell yourself short; the future is in your hands. You can decide where the future lies and who gets to take advantage of your skills.

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The digital skills you currently possess could really help you to make waves in your career, so this is something that you should start to look into ASAP. The sooner you can build up your portfolio of digital skills, the sooner you’ll find that your career starts heading in the direction you want it to.

Don’t Let Your Customers Be Your Business’ Undoing

Even when they’re not standing right in front of you, they’re never far from your thoughts. They’re the reason you get up in the morning. The reason you do what you do. They’re your business’ life’s blood and without them it would all come crashing down around you. You love them and you hate them. You can’t get enough of them, and you can’t do enough for them. They are your customers. You deal with them every day each and every one has the capacity to either make or ruin your day. Now more than ever, customer service should be your highest priority.

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Of course, customer service is nothing new. For years and years, businesses have scratched their heads trying to find new and innovative ways of not only nurturing their relationships with the customers they have, but keeping a steady influx of new customers coming to your business. The digital age, however, presents businesses and entrepreneurs with a new and unique set of challenges. In an age where competition is rife, customers can afford to be fickle, and thus we need to take greater and greater steps to ensure that they keep coming to us rather than straying into the open arms of our competitors. The age of social media also makes us more accountable than ever to our customers. With a well placed and extremely public complaint on social media, our customers can leave a big black mark on our brand which can be difficult to wash off. Here we’ll look at some ways in which you can keep your customers happy and loyal and prevent them from being your business’ undoing.

Stand by your brand

Your brand is so much more than a flashy logo and a catchy slogan. It’s more than just a color scheme and an eye catching landing page. It’s a set of values, and it’s a promise that you make to each and every customer who walks through your door or scrolls through your homepage. Thus, it’s vitally important that you stand by your brand. It should be a banner which you rally your employees behind. The values and attitudes that make up your mission statement should be the guiding force behind every customer interaction and every front facing procedure, which brings us to…

Always be training

As passionate and invested in your business as you are, even you can’t be everywhere. Moreover, micromanaging your business can be extremely counterproductive. You need to ensure that each and every employee under your roof will handle a customer in the exact same way that you would. The surest way to achieve this is through regular training.

Training not only helps you to communicate and maintain the values upon which your brand is based, it also helps to keep your workforce energized and motivated. It prevents employees from resting on their laurels and keeps them striving for perfection.

Build value into every purchase

When starting out in business, many nascent entrepreneurs make the mistake of believing that they need to undercut their competitors on price in order to poach their customers. The trouble with this mentality is that while it may generate a brief influx of customers, it starts your business off on the back foot with low profit margins. When, inevitably, you need to up your prices again, there’s no guarantee that customers will remain loyal.

Rather than cutting down price, make efforts to build up value. Research has shown that customers are generally happy to pay more if they feel that they are getting exceptional value for their money. Therefore, make sure that every discount and freebie is clearly stated on your invoice. Make sure that customers are aware of any loyalty schemes you may operate, or make a point of how your superior quality of product justifies a higher price tag than that of your competitors while giving them value for money that your competitors can’t match.

Limit your liability

What happens if a customer slips and injures themselves in your store? What happens if one of your products ends up somehow injuring your customers? This could be a crippling blow to your reputation. While there are certainly ways in which you can mitigate the damage this causes, you’ll see from perusingh Equifyllc.com that insurance is one of the 5 key principles in making a business stronger. This means not only that you have Commercial General Liability insurance (also known as Public Liability insurance) but that you insure against liability issues through adhering to strictly defined quality control procedures and strictly maintained health and safety standards.

Handle complaints quickly and decisively

As much effort as we may put into each and every customer interaction, complaints are an unfortunate inevitability. We can either bury our heads in the sand and hope that they blow over or we can take the bull by the horns. The most important weapon in your arsenal here is an official complaints procedure which you and your employees must adhere to. This is vital in not only ensuring that complaints are dealt with effectively but that your workplace culture sees complaints as an opportunity to improve and not a threat. The longer you let a complaint go unanswered, the more potential damage it can do. Show your customers that you care by acting on their complaint quickly and decisively, working collaboratively with them to ensure that they get a mutually satisfactory outcome.

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Make it personal

Did you ever wonder why the baristas at Starbucks ask you your name before they prepare your coffee? Granted, there’s a practicality at work here; the barista needs to make sure that the right people get the right drink. It’s primary purpose, however, is that it’s an easy way to build value into the drink through the appearance of personalization. Just the act of writing your name on the cup helps to make it more than just a cup of coffee, it’s your cup of coffee!

How you which you can build opportunities for personalization and customization into your products and services will depend on the nature of your business. From building bespoke packages of products to suit the needs of individual customers to to using 3D printing techniques to allow customers to tailor your products to their exact specifications, the possibilities are practically limitless.

The Cost Of Sickies In Australia

I previously blogged that some people are more committed to being sick than successful. Admittedly it is a provocative position to take – but read the article to fully grasp the perspective presented.

Sick leave costs small to medium sized businesses lost productivity and revenue each year has an impact on the economy overall but when employees are sick they do need to take time off. Implementing practices to help alleviate the effects of illness can assist businesses reduce the number of lost hours as well as financial impact on the business.

For the average Australian employee an increasingly busy life leads to longer hours and more demanding work, which can translate to increasing levels of stress and health problems, negatively affecting employees’ work attendance and productivity. That means more sick days that costs businesses money and make it more difficult to turn a profit in an ultra-competitive market.

The following statistics shows the impact on businesses as a result of ‘sickies’:

  1. In NSW, the average SME loses $26,536 in productivity a year due to sick leave. In Queensland it is $20,510, in Victoria the average loss is $16,406, in South Australia it is $15,612 and in Western Australia it is $5103.
  2. Direct Health Solutions (DHS), a nation leader in absence management, put the cost per sick day at $350; DHS’s 2016 Absence Management Survey found that on average employees took nine sick days per annum and that the total cost per employee was roughly $3,608.
  3. Since 2010, the rate of absenteeism across Australia has risen by 7%, while as much as 5% of the Australian workforce calls in sick on any given day. The annual cost to the Australian economy of lost productivity through absenteeism is a staggering $33 billion, with a total of 92 million working days being lost through unexpected absences.
  4. A large number of employers almost accept this level of absenteeism, rather than showing firm leadership and tackling the issue. As many as 3 out of 5 organisations do not record absences properly, with up to 25% of absences going unreported. A common theme across Australian workplaces is that of an ‘entitlement culture’, where employees view absenteeism as a right to take, rather than a privilege to fall back upon when needed.
  5. According to DHS, absenteeism costs the Australian economy more than $33 billion in wages and lost productivity every year. In 2016, absenteeism increased by 0.9 days to 9.5 days per employee, at an average cost of $3608.
  6. 92 million work days are lost in Australia per year. This lost accounts for 8% of payroll.
  7. Industries with the most absenteeism:
    • Travel, Tourism and hospitality – 11.9 days per year
    • Transport & Logistics – 11.6 days per year
    • Telecommunications & Utilities – 10 days per year
  8. Absence levels in banking, finance & insurance increased significantly to 9.7 days. The contact centre industry experienced a 14% reduction in absence levels, to 9.7 days per employee per annum, down from 11.6 days in 2015.
  9. More than 70% of absenteeism is as a result of “entitlement mentality”
  10. A survey, conducted by research agency RAND Europe, revealed Malaysian employees lose 67 days a year to absenteeism or presenteeism due to poor health and fitness (Presenteeism is when an employee works while sick, causing productivity loss, poor health, exhaustion and workplace epidemics). The average yearly cost of health-related absenteeism and presenteeism per organisation is estimated at RM2.7 million.
  11. According to the 2017 Absence Management and Wellbeing Survey, conducted by Direct Health Solutions, employees in the private sector took an average of 9.5 days sick leave, while public sector workers took a considerably higher average of 11.4 days leave. Some 40 per cent of organisations said they experienced an increase in workplace absences in 2017, while a third (33 per cent) said levels had remained steady.
  12. When organisations take into account the indirect costs of absenteeism, such as replacement labour, lost productivity and increased risk, absenteeism can cost organisations up to 8% of total payroll costs.
  13. The cost of absenteeism to businesses also includes:
    • •    Loss of production
    • •    Increased production costs
    • •    Increased workloads
    • •    Low moral
    • •    Increase in overtime costs
    • •    Frustrated managers
    • •    Poor product quality
    • •    Increased management and supervision costs and stress
    • •    Adverse opinions held by customers
  14. According to PwC UK workers took 9.1 days of unscheduled absence over the past year, Canadian employees took 9.1 days, up from 8 days in the previous year, Irish workers took 6.4 days of unscheduled leave, and US employees used 4.9 days. In Asia, the average number was a comparatively miniscule 2.2 days, while in New Zealand, workers took just 4.5 days.
  15. In Australia, the high rate of absenteeism led to 88 million working days being lost to the national economy at a cost of $33 billion in sick leave costs and lost productivity. The cost to British businesses was even higher: they are losing £32 billion per annum – that’s the equivalent of almost AU$70bn. In the US, it’s estimated that the direct cost of total paid time off as a percentage of payroll stands at 8.1%.
  16. Studies indicate that indirect costs reflect co-workers are 29.5% less productive when covering for unplanned absence days. An overwhelming 90% of respondents indicated that unplanned absences added to the workload. With 61% saying that this increased stress, while almost half said it hurt workplace morale. Two in five said that covering for others reduced the quality of their work.
  17. A report, led by Monash Professor Alex Collie, shows that 786,000 workers accessed income support from a private or government source in the 2015/16 financial year, in addition to at least 6.5 million workers who used sick leave. The total direct costs amounted to $37.2 billion for the year.
  18. The Australian HR Institute (AHRI) conducted a survey in 2016 which found that while 80% of respondents believe absence levels in their workplace could be reduced, 79% said their workplace did not record the cost of absence.
  19. On average, Australian employees take 8.8 unscheduled days off per year. This costs employers approximately $578 per employee per absent day, with the annual cost of absenteeism to the Australian economy an estimated $44 billion per year.
  20. 87% of employers believe that at least one employee will call in sick after a major sporting event.
  21. Employees reasons for absences:
    • Minor illness – 93%
    • Family/carers duties – 76%
    • Recurring illness – 30%
    • Mental issues – 21%
    • Alcohol/drug related – 5%
  22. In the UK workplace absence costs businesses an estimated £29 billion each year, the average worker takes 6.6 sick days and the approximate cost per employee is £550 each year.
  23. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that productivity losses linked to absenteeism cost employers $225.8 billion annually in the United States, or $1,685 per employee.
  24. According to the Harvard Business Review, more employees are working when they are sick, costing employers about $150 billion to $250 billion or 60 percent of the total cost of worker illness. Additionally, chronic diseases, a rapidly-aging workforce and factors like stress, fatigue and depression all affect employers’ revenue.
  25. The Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index conducted a survey of 94,000 workers across 14 major occupations in the U.S. Of the 77% of workers who fit the survey’s definition of having a chronic health condition (asthma, cancer, depression, diabetes, heart attack, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or obesity), the total annual costs related to lost productivity totaled $84 billion. According to the survey, the annual costs associated with absenteeism vary by industry, with the greatest loss occurring in professional occupations.
  26. Annual cost of lost productivity by major U.S. occupations (in billions):
  • Managers/executives               $15.7
  • Service workers                         $8.5
  • Clerical/office                            $8.1
  • Sales                                            $6.8
  • School teachers (K-12)            $5.6
  • Nurses                                        $3.6
  • Transportation                         $3.5
  • Manufacturing/production    $2.8
  • Business owners                       $2.0
  • Installation/repair                    $1.5
  • Construction/mining               $1.3
  • Physicians                                   $0.25
  • Farmers/foresters/fishers       $0.16

 

Safety Features That All Businesses Should Have

No matter what kind of business you run, it’s important to ensure that everyone included in the running of your business is safe. Afterall, materials and other things can be replaced, but human lives cannot. That’s why each and every business owner needs to take care to make sure that their members of staff, customers, and themselves are safe at all times. If you’re not sure where you start, read on to find out the safety features that all businesses should have so that you can begin implementing them in your business.

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Insurance

The first thing that you should be looking into for your business is taking out insurance so that if anyone becomes harmed on your premises or because of work that you’ve carried out, you can deal with the consequences. Not only is it important to make sure that everyone involved is safe, but the reputation and financial status of your business hangs at stake too.

There are many different types of insurance that you could choose to go for, but the best option is always fully comp because no matter what you will know that you, your business, and anyone else involved will get everything they need.

Safety equipment

If your business requires you or your members of staff to use specialist equipment, you need to make sure that you’re providing the right safety equipment for the job to prevent any injuries or even worse, death. Even features like safety swing gates are important so that people or goods that you’re carrying aren’t going to fall, and no one is going to get injured.

While all of this might cost you a pretty penny or two, it’s imperative for the safety of you and your staff members. Remember that will all equipment and machinery you need to be providing extensive training so that no one can accidentally misuse it and hurt themselves.

Rules and regulations

In any workplace, the main reason for rules and regulations is to simply keep people safe from harm. If you haven’t already made some, consider these ideas to create your own set of expectations:

  • If anyone is handling heavy machinery or using something that could be potentially dangerous, you must work in pairs of two for supervision and also help if anything goes wrong. The same goes for if you’re working in a dangerous area like a construction site.

  • Don’t handle machinery or equipment that you don’t know how to use.

  • If you don’t feel safe carrying out a task you’ve been given, then speak to management or your supervisor.

  • If you notice someone cutting corners and putting themselves and others at risk, report it immediately.

  • If you’re not sure on something, always ask.

  • Be aware of other people around you.

  • Always alert management if you’re taking medication or anything else that could impair your judgement.

There are many other regulations that you may want to add, but there are some ideas to get you started. Make sure that everyone has easy access to it and it’s never not on show.

Surveillance

Safety doesn’t just mean the risk of someone hurting themselves because of something you haven’t done. It also includes the risk of armed thieves and terrorists that may try and put you at risk. Install some surveillance around the premises of your work so that you can rest assured that you are able to see everything that’s going on. If your business is at high risk of attacks because of what it sells or what it’s worth, it might be an idea to hire some security guards to help handle and diffuse situations too.

Online safety

Finally, it’s not just in person that you can be harmed from, it’s the online world too. It’s now easier than ever for people to hack into what seem like secure systems and get hold of personal data or money to use at their own will. Make sure that you’re using the best cyber security programs within your business so that you’re not exposing yourself and inviting hackers.

Keeping everyone safe is a big job, but it’s one that must be done so that you don’t end up with a lawsuit, or even being harmed yourself. Apply these features to your business and stay safe!

Effective Ways To Improve Your Business And Increase Sales

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Whether you work alone or are in charge of a huge workforce, it’s always important to ensure that your business keeps improving and growing. If you fail to do this, then you won’t keep up with competing businesses, and will eventually go under. Unfortunately, making improvements to your small business isn’t the easiest thing to accomplish, as you have to consider many different variables before making a solid decision. Despite this, there are a few things that are almost always useful to small businesses. Here they are for you to consider.

1. Set Achievable Goals

As a small business owner, it’s essential that you’re always setting your business targets and goals that it needs to meet within a certain time frame. This helps to keep your business moving, improving, and growing and is vital when it comes to keeping yourself and your employees motivated. However, you must make sure that these goals are achievable, as there’s no point in stressing yourself and everyone else out trying to accomplish the impossible.

2. Use A Better Marketing Strategy

When it comes to marketing, there is almost always room for improvement. More often than not, business owners spend way too much money on marketing that isn’t very effective, which not only wastes the money but precious time too. Before you invest a lot of money into a marketing tactic, try it out for a short while and see if there is an increase in sales. Only once you know this, should you add this tactic to your overall strategy.

3. Improve Your Product Or Service

As great as you think your product or service is, there may be something that you could do to improve it, which would bring in more customers. To find out what this is, you need to conduct market research. This could be something as small as adding date paste from http://www.globalfoods.uk.com/ to your energy bars or offering package deals for your coaching services. Whatever the improvement, you need to speak to customers to identify it.

4. Keep Your Staff Motivated

Without your employees, your business wouldn’t be able to go on and would quickly go under, so it’s essential that you do what you can to keep your employees motivated and working their best. When most people think of motivations for employees, they think of money, but this isn’t usually necessary. Often, staff work harder for employers they like and respect, so make sure your employees know that you care about them.

5. Improve Your Customer Service

As it says at http://smallbusiness.chron.com/, great customer service is essential for keeping customers once your marketing has got them through the door. If you don’t have good customer service, then customers will leave and shop somewhere where they feel respected and cared about. There are many ways to improve your customer service, but one of the most effective is providing staff with customer service training.

If you want to improve your business and increase sales, then consider some of the methods mentioned above.