How to Keep Your Workforce Happy and Productive

mage credit: Pixabay

A happy workforce is a productive workforce, so it is in every company’s best interest to take care of their employees. Keeping your workforce happy can trigger a domino effect throughout the business, creating a culture of happiness, and making for a far more pleasant work environment for everyone. In turn, this can lead to improvements in all areas of your company. Benefits created from maintaining a happy workforce include; better customer service, increased productivity, and employees that are more likely to go the extra mile to help you meet tight deadlines, and complete projects.

Another significant benefit of keeping your employees happy is that your staff are likely to take less time off sick as a result of workplace stress, which is excellent both for your employee’s health and wellbeing and your business. It is likely that happy employees will also equal a higher rate of staff retention, meaning less time and money spent on recruitment and training.

Here are some suggestions on how to keep your employees happy in the workplace:

Provide the Right Tools for the Job

There is nothing more irritating than being given a task to do and then not being able to do it as you don’t have the correct equipment, or it isn’t working as it should. Slow computer systems and machines that are continually breaking down will not only seriously harm productivity, but will also mean frustrated staff. Without the right equipment, your staff is likely to feel undervalued. In short, if you want your team to do a great job, they need the right tools to do it with.

Safety First

As well as providing your staff with the right equipment, you also need to make sure that it is safe to use. Employees using unsafe equipment, or not following the correct safety procedures could cause serious injury to either your employees or member of the public, and be disastrous for your company. Unfortunately, sometimes a culture of cutting corners develops in companies; when a lax attitude towards safety becomes commonplace, the chances of an accident happening are obviously far more likely.

To keep everyone safe, it is essential that you get the equipment checked regularly to ensure it meets safety standards, companies such as Ranger can provide this service. You should also ensure that employees are adequately trained in health and safety procedures and how to use equipment safely.

Treat them Fairly

Treating people fairly to get a better response from them, is, of course, an obvious thing to do. However, it is surprising just how common it is for employers and managers to micromanage their employees and have unrealistic expectations of what they can get done.

Not treating your staff fairly, will have a significant impact on staff morale, and is likely to result in a higher turnover of staff. Making an effort to treat your employees with respect, courtesy, and fairness will mean that they are more likely to work harder for you, and will boost staff morale.

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5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress: CBD Can Help

In our modern, fast-paced world, stress is becoming a very common component in our everyday lives. It has become so common, in fact, that we no longer seem to notice stress until it has compounded into something bigger and has started affecting our health. Stress, or rather, stress hormones (a primary stress hormone like cortisol), are released into the body to trigger our “fight or flight” response. In dire situations, these hormones help elevate our energy supplies, increase the concentration of glucose in our blood, and even help our brain use glucose optimally for quicker decision making. However, long-term activation of the body’s stress system could cause a host of health problems — anxiety, depression, heart disease – to name a few.

Therefore, it is important we learn of ways to relieve ourselves of stress. Below are five simple ways to relieve stress:

1. CBD Oil

You’ve probably heard of CBD quite often this whole year. There is good reason for that. Aside from its uses in alleviating the symptoms of epilepsy, it is also being used as a natural means of reducing anxiety and a great way to relieve stress. This is because all mammals have an endocannabinoid system. This is a network of CBD receptors along our central nervous system. These receptors react to CBD by fixing imbalances, strengthening our immune system, and relieving symptoms of stress and anxiety. So a couple of drops of CBD oil every day might just be a great way to help relieve stress.

2. Meditation

If you are looking for a very cheap way of reducing stress without taking anything, meditation is the way to go. Meditation has been known to help ease stress and anxiety by focusing our attention to emptying our mind and breathing deeply. Not only will this help you relax, but it could also re-energize you to help you face the rest of your day with a bit more calm. If you find yourself stressed by too many meetings or an impending deadline, take a few minutes to center yourself, empty your mind of any thoughts, and breathe.

3. Exercise

Physical activity causes our body to release happy hormones like dopamine and serotonin. To people who have experienced what is called the “runner’s high”, this is actually the rush of endorphins released by your body as a response to running. Endorphins help our body reduce stress by helping our body overcome pain, and regulate our sleep. The stress hormone cortisol actually reduces the production of happy hormones in our body which will lead to more stress for us. Exercising would help build these hormones back up in our system.

4. Reduce caffeine

We all have a caffeine threshold. Caffeine is known to help keep us awake and give us that boost of much-needed energy, especially in the mornings when all we want is to go back to sleep. However, too much caffeine can contribute to anxiety which in turn causes stress. It could also cause heart palpitations, cold sweat, and some digestive upset when you take too much caffeine. So if you find yourself getting anxious after your second or third cup of coffee, it might be a good idea to skip that cup of joe and maybe have something with lower caffeine levels. Perhaps a nice low caffeine tea, or, dare we say, some decaf coffee?

5. Socialize

Spending time with friends and family is a great stress reliever. No matter how introverted and socially averse you are, there is always someone you prefer spending your time with. And for those of us who are extroverted, being with people is an energizing experience. Laughing and having an enjoyable time with the people you love will help you relax more, and forget about your woes. In women, spending time with family and children helps in releasing oxytocin, a natural stress reliever.

No matter your station in life, stress is unavoidable. Keeping these five tips in mind will help you in managing or maybe even relieving stress. And in turn will help you enjoy life more, avoid health issues, and even develop a healthier relationship with yourself and with your social circle.

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3 Things That You Need To Be More Mindful Of In Life

In life, whether you realize it or not, you often live on autopilot. And it’s for this very reason that you may find that you don’t actually realize that you’re doing it. However, this can be quite dangerous. Because there are always going to be those things that prove to be a little risky in life. And these are the things that you ought to be a little more mindful of. But what are they? Let’s take a look.

Lifestyle Choices

First of all, we have your lifestyle choices. It’s easy to feel as if health problems come your way because they’re programmed to. But that may not be the case. Sometimes, the lifestyle choices we make with regards to food, exercise, and toxins, can contribute. So this is something to be more mindful of.

Carelessness

As a step on from, we have carelessness. Again, it’s easy to live on the conveyer belt and not overly think about our actions. Yet when we’re careless and not thinking, we’re at outmost vulnerable and at risk of harm. So it’s important to be alert and have your whits about you.

Everyday Hazards

And finally, there are those things in life that we’ve come to see as normal, yet can be very dangerous indeed. Like driving! There are so many risks and fatalities with driving, as you can see in the infographic below, that it’s important not to forget about this! So you need to be more knowledgeable on the risks and statistics, so that you’re not putting yourself or others at risk.

Infographic Design By car accident statistics

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Entrepreneurs: You Don’t Have To Do Everything

Entrepreneurs who have decided to quit their jobs to become their own boss tend to share a common story. They grew bored of their workplace.

For young parents, it’s often a matter of flexibility. Some companies fail to offer flexible working hours, which can impact on the relationship of families with young children and babies. As a result, launching a home-based business often feels like the best option to make a living while caring for the kids.

For others, the cumulation of frustrations drives them to quit. Whether it’s a bad boss or an unpleasant colleague, more and more individuals decide to take matters in their own hands and create a safe and welcoming job for themselves.

Regardless of the reason behind your independent career, you are likely to find yourself battling with the challenges of your solitary position. Indeed, when you launch a solo-business, you need to be smart to make it work. You can’t only focus on your expertise. You need to establish the necessary process to run your business as effectively as any other company. Ultimately, your clients expect the same level of professionalism and reliability than they would from bigger firms. While you might be tempted to spread your work across multiple fields, you should stay away from multitasking. Indeed, you’re unlikely to have the necessary skills to manage multiple business processes. Besides, you will soon run out of time if you try to do everything! Instead, you need to find effective alternatives.

The Internet is a dangerous place; you shouldn’t go alone there

If digital plays a role in your business activities – whether you’re using online storage options or interacting with your customers online –, you need to consider the safety of your IT solutions. As surprising as it might sound, many independent entrepreneurs put their business at risk by failing to introduce online safety measures. More often than not, the idea is that hackers and other cyber attacks are more likely to target large corporates. In reality, while big firms can be the victim of a hacking attack, cybercriminals prefer small businesses. Indeed, the absence of adequate protection makes them an easy target. Admittedly, it would be foolish to expect you to become an IT expert on top of your other skills. Therefore, it’s a good idea to entrust your digital protection to a specialist, either by using a software tool that does all the hard work for you or by finding an IT security consultant.

Find an IT consultant

Wait, how much tax do I owe you?

Preparing your taxes is never easy. But when you manage a business, there are many regulations, exceptions, and calculations that you may not be aware of. It’s not uncommon for small businesses to over- or underpay their taxes as a result of miscalculations or lack of knowledge. The worst thing that can happen is to get in trouble with the tax collecting organization, which is never a good thing for a small business. Instead, you should find professional expertise that you can trust in your day-to-day activities. Solo-entrepreneurs on a tight budget tend to prefer using cloud accounting software tools that let them keep track of their budget, invoices, and other financial transactions and duties in real time. Alternatively, if you don’t have any time to dedicate to the matter, you should let an accountant manage your books and your taxes.

Google Analytics is free, but I still don’t get anything from it

Collecting customer data is an essential part of your business growth. For solo-entrepreneurs, the abundance of free and cost-effective tools offer a strategic advantage, whether you need to check your web visits on Google Analytics or your keyword rank. Unfortunately, while data are easy to access, analyzing them a lot more challenging. Countless amateurs waste precious hours reviewing Analytics dashboards without being able to find pertinent information. In fact, the situation is so dire that Google decided to provide free support sessions to entrepreneurs via the Digital Garage initiative. But, the truth is that unless you’ve got time to invest in learning a new skill, one-to-one Analytics sessions are not going to be helpful. Instead, a dedicated consultant who can provide regular data reports and highlight threats and opportunities can be the best solution to encourage you to grow your business.

I’m not too sure about this strategy

Ah, designing your business strategy is not for the faint-hearted. It takes excellent data knowledge and analytical skills, which, if you haven’t invested in a data collection and interpretation solution, is going to be difficult to achieve. Many entrepreneurs fall in the trap of bad strategy approaches, which force them to accommodate conflicting factors as they occur without giving their business a chance to focus on a long-term goal. At its core, your strategy needs to serve as a response to a market challenge. As a result, you need to know and understand the problem to provide the best-suited response. Working closely with a consultant is a preferable solution.

You may be knowledgeable, but you’re only one person

The truth is that even with the best of will, you can’t tackle all the challenges of your business. Running a business is not a one-person job. You need all the support you can get to be able to stick to your professional goals. Indeed, too many new entrepreneurs get trapped in a situation where they spend the majority of their time managing their business instead of using their expertise to deliver income-generating services. There is no point in learning the skills if the cost of your doing the work in-house is too high. That’s where outsourcing can help you to maintain your market position by freeing up valuable time.

I’m ready to hire someone… but how do I do it?

Are you ready to bring a new employee on board? Hiring your first employee is one of the most difficult things you’ll have to do, especially if you lack recruitment experience. However, mistakes can prove devastating for your reputation and your finances. It’s always a good idea to hire a recruitment specialist for the task.

Know how to recruit

The image of the multitasking and hard-working entrepreneur is, unfortunately, wrong. When you are ready to launch your own business, you need to accept that you can’t manage on your own. Finding consultants to support you and outsourcing specific jobs can help you to build a profitable and sturdy business.

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Boosting Your Client List When Lead Generation Isn’t Enough

Your cold email trail has run cold, you’re attending every conference and event on this hemisphere, and you’re having great conversations on social media. However, your standard lead generation strategies simply aren’t enough to give you the kind of growth you want to see. Rather than giving up the ghost, here are some ways to build your client list that you might want to consider adding instead.

Photo by jackmac34

Funnel organically

Your entire lead generation and conversion process shouldn’t be interruptive, for one. You shouldn’t always be chasing; you should be waiting for those who might come to you naturally. The best way to do this is to create a brand that attracts the kind of clients you want. Write authoritative, valuable content, make sure your website is professionally appealing, and take whatever opportunities you can to build your brand. From speaking events to guest posts, don’t be afraid to shine the spotlight on yourself.

Leverage your existing clients

It’s time to get over the fear of asking your clients for more than their money alone. They could have several partners or peers in their network that could need your services, they just often fail to think of asking them. Building a referral system and even adding some incentive, such as discounts for existing clients, can be a tremendously strong source of leads. It works even better if you don’t have to ask, but build referrals naturally by leaving the offer open, but by spending more time on building customer satisfaction through support, feedback solicitation, and the like.

Go public

As with organic marketing, there are ways to work with those who are specifically looking for your services. One of the most valuable ways you may have missed is by looking for online tenders. Tenders through public sector bodies are the surest sign of a qualified client, and you don’t have to do the work of nurturing them like other leads. Not every business in every industry can make use of public sector tenders, but it’s worth seeing if it might be an applicable source of future clients. Systemise the application process and it can take a lot less work than grinding through leads naturally.

Chase past failures

What about those leads that showed interest, took a few steps down the funnel, perhaps even had a face-to-face with you but didn’t convert? Some of them may have went for a competing service, but many of them may have shied away simply because they weren’t convinced that they needed your solutions just yet. It may be time to look through the contact book for leads that never converted to pick up on past conversations. Many of them may be in a better position to convert now and you shouldn’t give them time to consider your competitors.

Depending on the type of business you run, finding referrals and looking for public sector tenders may end up becoming your primary source of leads in the future. Don’t just stick to what works for everyone else, find the approach

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Anxiety and the Endocannabinoid System

Anxiety is a normal coping mechanism; however, in excess, it can be detrimental. More than just a situational response, anxiety disorders are characterized by a persistent and oftentimes irrational dread of everyday situations which can interfere with daily activities.

Forty million U.S. adults are affected by an anxiety-related disorder; however, the prevalence of these disorders should not diminish their impact.

Excessive anxiety is a central symptom of several neuropsychiatric disorders including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder (PD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Anxiety is a complex disorder that can develop through various factors including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events.

Anxiety and Emotional Response

Anxiety is our body’s response to an emotional situation. Biologically, anxiety activates our “fight or flight” response to warn us of potential threats.

During such time, norepinephrine and cortisol flood our system to boost to perception, reflexes, and speed. These chemicals increase the heart rate, blood flow to the muscles, and air flow. With chronic anxiety, the response is never deactivated, and the physical and emotional effects of anxiety remain.

Anxiety and the Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays an integral role in regulating emotional response.

Specifically, the ECS supports nerve activity that determines our response to emotional or aversive events.

An Introduction to the ECS

As discussed in a previous blog, the endocannabinoid system is a biological system responsible for maintaining homeostasis. The ECS is composed of endocannabinoids, degradative enzymes, and cannabinoid receptors. Endocannabinoids such as anandamide (“the bliss molecule”) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2AG) are synthesized, or created, by our body on demand in response to an imbalance. They interact with the cannabinoid receptors to direct the body back to proper functioning.

CB1 Receptors and Anxiety

CB1 receptors, which are primarily located on nerve endings, are one of the two major cannabinoid receptors.

Studies have found the activation of the CB1 receptor produces anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects.

When discussing conditioned fear, the effect of CB1 receptor activation is complex; however, CB1 receptor activation can reduce fear and prevent the activation of existing memories from the past. Additionally, CB1 receptor activation protects against the adverse effects of chronic stress, which can lead to anxiety. For this reason, CB1 receptor activation has been studied for anxiolytic drug development.

Endocannabinoids activate the CB1 receptor; therefore, a higher level of endocannabinoids can be beneficial for those with anxiety-related disorders. Additionally, chemicals that inhibit the FAAH enzyme from breaking down anandamide increase endocannabinoid availability and are also being studied for their anxiolytic effects.

Living with Anxiety

There are many ways to manage anxiety; however, less than 40% of those with an anxiety disorder seek treatment. Still today, there is a stigma surrounding mental illness that discourages those struggling from seeking help. We can help end the stigma of mental illness by having open conversations about mental health, encouraging mental health education, and showing compassion to those with a mental illness.

If you or a loved one is struggling with an anxiety disorder, we encourage you to learn more about the disorder and the options for treatment.

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Careers For People Who Love Sports

If you’re going to spend your time working at a job, it may as well be related to something that you love, right? Too many people disconnect their passion from their work — they think that a job is something you’re not supposed to enjoy. Of course, it can be that way, but that doesn’t mean that it should be. It’s worthwhile taking the time to find a job you love, and your passion is a good place to start looking. If your passion is sport, then read on, where we outline a few sports-related careers that any fanatic would love to have as their job.

Source: Pexels.com

Down the Coaching Route

OK, so there’s every chance that you won’t quite make it as a professional athlete. Even if you were far and away the best athlete in your school, the chances are still tiny! But that doesn’t mean that you can’t be involved with the best of the best. They say that those who can’t do, teach — so teach. There’s much fun and satisfaction to be had in coaching, whether it be working with youngsters trying to find their way or the top-end professionals. Give it a go: you might just find that you find your life’s work.

Keeping Up With Fitness

The great thing about sports is that it covers a wide range of activities. It’s not just professional games; it’s the individual, the gym membership, the quest to be better. If this latter point is one of the reasons why you love sports, then why not look at becoming a personal trainer? You’ll work with people to help them to achieve their fitness goals, whatever they may be. It can be a well-paying gig, but you won’t be in it for the money. The satisfaction of knowing that you helped someone become the best version of themselves will be enough.

Around the Big Games

But of course, it gets no better than the top-end, professional sports. When there’s a big game rolling around, the buzz is intoxicating: this is where people who love the excitement of sports want to be. While it’s unlikely you’ll end up on the field (though becoming an official could be one way…), there are other ways to be involved. One is to make the most of Pay Per Head 24/7 Bookmaking Services, and become a sports betting agent. Another is to become a reporter for the game, either by writing a report or making videos outside the ground.

Behind the Scenes

But let’s say you don’t want to exist on the fringes of the big game, but somewhere in the fire itself. One route is to get involved in the behind the scenes planning and organization. You might not have thought of it, but there’s much that goes into organizing a large game! You could work in logistics, hospitality, security, television, or anything else. So long as you’re to be found somewhere within the stadium on match day, you’re not going to have too many complaints.

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