How to Support Older Adults Returning to Work

Older Staff

From greater financial security later in life to more support than ever before when returning to the workplace – the Spring Statement has delivered promising news for older adults.

Following Jeremey Hunt’s most recent update older adults have been promised greater support when returning to the workplace through ‘returnships’ – designed to support and enhance older workers’ expertise and experience after taking a career break.

New research from Lottie (a later living marketplace) has found more older adults are interested in the benefits of ‘returnships’ than ever before – with online searches surging following the Chancellors update:

  • 400% increase in online searches for ‘apprenticeships for adults over 50s
  • 189% increase in online searches for ‘apprenticeships for older adults’
  • 100% increase in online searches for ‘returnship jobs’

 

This follows an increase in older adults opting to return to the workplace over the last 12 months. ONS data has found that 67% of over 50s are considering returning to the workplace for financial reasons, whilst 46% would return for social reasons. 42% of those surveyed were keen to return to employment to improve their mental health.

 

With the number of older adults ‘unretiring’ Lottie has spoken to older workers that have decided to return to the workplace:

 

Julia (65)

When I was eligible for my NHS pension, I decided to retire due to the poor management and wanting to work fewer hours. Whilst I was still working, I saw my ideal job being advertised. I needed to supplement my pension. So, I guess it was both a career and financial decision.

 

Mary (65)

I had always planned to return to work part time after retirement, the decision was partly financial but mostly to do with retaining structure to my week and because I love my work and I’m not ready to give it up completely.

 

 

Chris Donnelly, Co-Founder at Lottie shares the positive impact of returnships in supporting a multigenerational workforce:

“It’s great to see the Government are pledging more support to older workers. Over the last few years, we have seen the number of adults aged 55 and over leave the workforce for various reasons – and returnships offer older workers the opportunity to continue expanding their expertise and experience – supporting a multigenerational workforce.

When looking at offering returnships employers must consider all aspects of older employees’ wellbeing. Over the next few years, we will see retiree’s prioritise retirement planning more than ever before as they research and consider all their options. With an increase in popularity for part time work, we are starting to see flexi retirement grow as a trend, and this will only increase over time as older adults are able to supplement their pension budget with an additional income.

Whilst remaining in the workforce offers benefits, for both employees and businesses, many older workers are facing wellbeing issues at work. This is a problem employers must actively address – especially when providing returnship programmes.

From providing practical, financial and emotional support businesses must work hard to create age friendly workplaces to reap the rewards of multigenerational workplaces without relying on the review of pension saving legislations.”

 

Extending working lives: 4 practical §ways to support older workers returning to work

 

1. Help employees plan for their future

As employees approach the latter stages of their careers, many may start to think about their financial situation, including what the next few years at work will look like, what age to consider retirement and what life after work means for them.

Businesses can help employees plan ahead and make the transition from work to retirement easier by providing support for anyone approaching retirement.

For example, you could provide practical workshops aimed at helping older workers to achieve any career milestones, explore what the future may look like for them and share advice when it comes to financial planning.

 

2. Encourage career development

Career development boosts employee motivation and it is just as important for older workers, as it is for those starting out their careers.

Encouraging all employees to follow their aspirations, achieve their goals and continue to develop their skill set, helps to build a resilient workforce. Offering on-going training will also ensure all employees remain up to date with the latest industry changes.

 

3. Promote a positive work life balance

Previous research has found nearly four fifths of workers over 50 years of age desire flexible working hours.

Flexible working allows older employees the flexibility to remain in the workforce longer, whilst also gradually winding down from full time employment. This can help many workers ease the transition to retirement.

 

4. Consider the unique needs of older workers

Health has the biggest impact on many older workers’ decisions to remain in the workplace. Many older employees face a unique set of challenges in the workplace and the adjustments required differ for each employee.

Supporting your employees with health and wellbeing initiatives and access to healthcare not only encourages a happy and healthy workforce, but also helps older workers to feel supported in the workplace.

From Clutter to Clean: 6 Tips for Editing and Organizing PDF Files like Pro

However, as the number of PDF files we create and receive increases, so does the need for efficient editing and organization. In this article, we’ll cover X tips for editing and organizing PDF files like a pro, from decluttering your PDF library to optimizing your workflows.

Start with a clear plan

Before diving into editing and organizing your PDF files, it’s essential to start with a clear plan. Ask yourself: what are my goals? What do I want to achieve by organizing my PDF files? Do I want to declutter my library, improve my workflow, make my files more accessible, or convert pdf to excel for easier data analysis? By setting clear goals, you can ensure that your efforts are focused and that you stay on track with your desired outcomes.

Declutter your PDF library

One of the most common issues with PDF files is clutter. Over time, we accumulate a vast number of files, some of which we may no longer need. To declutter your PDF library, start by going through each file and deciding whether you still need it. Consider deleting duplicates or files you no longer use. Use file naming conventions to help you identify and locate files more easily.

Edit your PDF files

Editing PDF files can be tricky, but it’s an essential skill if you want to improve your workflows. There are many tools you can use to edit PDF files, including Adobe Acrobat, Foxit, and Nitro Pro. These tools allow you to edit text, images, and other elements of your PDF files, making it easier to customize your content and make it more accessible.

Use OCR to extract text

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is a technology that allows you to extract text from PDF files. This is especially useful if you have scanned documents or images that you want to convert into searchable text. OCR tools like Adobe Acrobat, ABBYY FineReader, and Readiris can help you extract text and convert it into editable formats like Microsoft Word or Excel.

Collaborate with others

Collaboration is essential for many workflows, and PDF files are no exception. There are many tools that allow you to collaborate with others on PDF files, including Adobe Acrobat, Dropbox Paper, and Google Drive. These tools allow you to share files, track changes, and communicate with others, making it easier to work together on complex projects.

Protect your PDF files

Security is critical when it comes to PDF files, especially if they contain sensitive information. There are many ways to protect your PDF files, including password protection, digital signatures, and watermarking. By taking steps to protect your PDF files, you can ensure that your content is secure and that only authorized individuals can access it.

Optimize your workflows

Finally, it’s essential to optimize your workflows when working with PDF files. This means using tools and techniques that make it easier to edit, organize, and share your files. For example, you can use automation tools like Zapier or IFTTT to streamline repetitive tasks or use keyboard shortcuts to speed up your editing and navigation.

Conclusion

In conclusion, editing and organizing PDF files can be challenging, but with the right tools and techniques, you can streamline your workflows and improve your productivity. By starting with a clear plan, decluttering your library, using OCR, collaborating with others, protecting your files, and optimizing your workflows, you can become a pro at working with PDF files.

Navigating Corporate Appointments in the Era of Remote Work

As someone who has spent much time in the corporate world, I can attest to the profound effect that remote work has had on corporate appointments. As a result of the pandemic, many businesses have had to abandon their old methods of hiring in favour of flexible arrangements, such as telecommuting. In this essay, I’ll go through the pros and downsides of corporate remote appointments, as well as some suggestions for businesses thinking about implementing remote work policies.

The Advantages of Remote Work for Corporate Appointments

Appointments in corporations can benefit from remote employment in a number of ways, including enhanced flexibility and efficiency, access to a larger pool of candidates, and lower overhead costs.

Increased Flexibility and Efficiency

With the option to work remotely, employees have more control over their schedules, which can boost both their efficiency and their ability to maintain a healthy work-life balance. When employees are able to work from home, they are less likely to be interrupted, which increases their productivity. In any case, it is crucial to have open lines of communication and hold people accountable if you want to make sure they are working towards their goals and making a positive impact on the organization.

Access to a Wider Pool of Candidates

With the advent of remote employment, businesses are no longer limited in their candidate pool by physical proximity. This has the potential to increase workplace diversity and make it easier for businesses to fill vacant technical or niche positions. It’s crucial to foster a remote work culture that makes remote workers feel included and appreciated.

Reduced Overhead Costs

Businesses can save a lot of money on overhead by letting employees do some or all of their work from home. This has the potential to increase profits and free up capital for expansion and investment.

The Challenges of Remote Work for Corporate Appointments

Although working from home has its perks, it also creates some difficulties for corporate appointments, including as preserving company values and fostering teamwork, managing language obstacles, and protecting sensitive information.

Maintaining Company Culture and Collaboration

Despite their importance for fostering a cohesive and productive team, remote work can make it difficult to uphold business culture and encourage collaboration among employees. These difficulties can be lessened and a strong remote work culture fostered through team-building exercises, online social gatherings, and open lines of communication.

Overcoming Communication Barriers

The effectiveness of remote work depends on clear and consistent communication between team members, but there are a number of challenges that might arise from communicating virtually, such as time zone differences, technical difficulties, and misunderstandings. There are tools though that would help with this issue. If your platform is based on WordPress, you can use a plugin like Amelia and still not use the professional look. On the other hand, if your website is not WordPress-based, you can use a tool like Trafft to handle your appointments.

Ensuring Data Security and Privacy

The usage of unprotected networks and devices as well as the possibility of data breaches are only two of the many ways in which remote work compromises data security and privacy. The best way for companies to ensure that their remote workers are securing critical information is to develop stringent security standards and provide extensive training on these measures.

The Future of Corporate Appointments and Remote Work

To remain competitive, businesses must accept the reality of remote workers. Companies will need to figure out how to deal with the disadvantages of remote work while taking advantage of its benefits, and this may lead to a rise in hybrid models that combine remote and in-person labour. Companies will eventually pay more attention to how remote work affects company culture and employee engagement.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there are advantages and disadvantages to remote work for business positions. Businesses that allow employees to work remotely benefit from a larger pool of qualified applicants, lower administrative costs, and greater workplace flexibility. Yet, there are important obstacles that must be tackled, such as preserving organizational culture and teamwork, removing roadblocks to communication, and protecting the privacy and security of sensitive data. The future is bright for businesses that can overcome these obstacles and foster a productive remote work culture.

How Digital Marketing Can Increase Your Business

Male working with computer laptop on wood bar in cafe

By SHALINI MITTAL

With rapid technological evolution, companies and business organizations must take proactive measures to keep pace with the changes. Modern technologies have made traditional businesses or brick-and-mortar stores move towards internet marketing. People are moving their businesses towards effective digital media marketing solutions to capture a profitable and fast-growing online market.

 

What Is Digital Marketing?

Using different digital marketing techniques and tools to help business owners experience success in their business and stay ahead in the competitive market is known as digital marketing. Digital marketing today is an indispensable tool for most business organizations and companies. When a business creates high-quality websites through digital marketing tools, it can reach its targeted audience, create high conversion, generate more profit and revenue, and even attract new customers.

 

What Is Online Marketing?

Digital marketing and online marketing both share a common goal. Digital Marketing tools and technologies include mobile phones and computers for business advertising so that business owners can expand their digital presence and reach their targeted audience. In contrast, online marketing uses the Internet to promote the goods and services of a business or brand.

 

How Can Digital Marketing Help To Grow Your Business?

Today any upcoming and growing business can derive benefits by creating a strong digital presence with digital marketing. A strong online presence will provide your business with a good opportunity to compete for sustainability and growth. Following are ways how digital marketing can help to increase your business.

 

Wider Reach

Expanding and moving your business to a new geographical place using a conventional marketing strategy is time consuming and tiresome. With digital marketing strategies and plans, you can expand your business reach to new geographical locations without facing terrestrial issues. The best feature of digital marketing campaigns is that they can be set up quickly and provide flexibility to reach your targeted audience without much hassle.

 

Build a strong Brand Name

If your business can deliver the best outcome to your targeted audience, you can build a strong brand reputation. Brand awareness is a strong element for every digital marketing campaign. Happy and satisfied clients with good experience will open up big markets for your business. Digital marketing solutions will help business organizations build a trustworthy and strong brand name.

 

Cost-Effective

Digital marketing solutions will provide your business with cost-effective and improved marketing solutions to communicate with your targeted audience more efficiently. TV ads are an expensive marketing medium not affordable for medium and small-scale businesses. Digital marketing solutions and plans do not require much capital for business and provide business owners with a wide target audience in a cost-effective way.

 

Better Revenues

Useful digital marketing solutions and plans will help you to achieve a high conversion rate and make your business successful. Digital marketing solution also helps to generate high revenue compared to conventional marketing channels. A business using digital marketing campaigns earns more revenue than traditional marketing channels. Digital marketing strategies can be easily monitored; therefore, you can measure your actual business results to know how much impact digital marketing plans have left on your targeted audience.

How To Protect Your Rental Property Business From Lawsuits

As a rental property business owner, you know it takes years to establish a brand reputation. You do this by building trust and goodwill with your tenants while providing them with exceptional service. Aside from that, you maintain high standards for their comfort and well-being. 

However, even with all these efforts in place, some risks can still come with living on your premises. For instance, if the floors are slippery or if there are items around the aisles, tenants could suffer from slip and fall due to imbalance. This premise accident could lead to brain injuries, hospitalization costs, and lost wages. While in other cases, it could be fatal since research shows that more than 33,000 victims died due to a slip and fall accident.

It could be costly if this happens inside your rental condominium or apartment building. A study shows that the recent settlement for the same accident is around USD$599,000 whereas a premises liability claim can reach up to USD$90,000. In short, this might lead to a loss of income. Worse, recovering this tampered reputation is costly and might bankrupt the business.

Safeguarding your business from any lawsuit is necessary to provide a safe rental establishment to its tenants while keeping it afloat. Here’s how to get started: 

1. Secure Landlord Insurance

A landlord insurance policy protects property owners from threats to their rental establishment. It is essential as it can protect against losses that might result from lawsuits filed against you by your tenants. Here are some of the threats that can affect your business: 

  • Property Damage: It results from a natural disaster, vandalism, or theft. For instance, a fire can destroy your rental home, and you will be liable for paying for the damages. It includes kitchen appliances or furniture inside the rental unit.  
  • Liability Coverage: It protects a property owner from a lawsuit due to accidents involving a tenant. For example, you’re responsible for hospitalization if they slip on the floor and get serious injuries. It also applies if the victim became incapacitated to work due to the incident. 
  • Loss Of Rental Income: This comes from unpaid rent if the tenant relocates as the property damage requires repairs. It means you’ll receive compensation for the loss of rental income during that period. 

With landlord insurance, you can ensure that your rental property business continues to generate revenue regardless of the event. 

2. Establish Rules For Tenants

As a property owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure the safety of your tenants. However, if you live in an area known for a high crime rate, this impacts the perception of prospective tenants. A 2019 study reveals that prevalent violence and property crime cause business failure because most customers and employees fear victimization. In short, crime can affect the stability of your business.

To avoid this, you can create rules for tenants before they sign a rental agreement. It may include the prohibition of pets, smoking, and other violations like illegal drugs or alcohol use on the premise.  

Consider screening the tenants before accepting them on the property. It ensures that all of them are suitable for tenancy and capable of paying rent. Without it, you’ll likely deal with late rental payment disputes or broken appliances. In addition, new tenants will avoid your building if they know you have a terrible image of allowing hostile people to live there.  

3. Schedule Inspections

The law requires landlords to prioritize tenant privacy and safety. It includes conducting regular property inspections to check its condition and ensure it is habitable and safe. It allows you to discover plumbing, flooring, and electrical issues before they cause damage or injury to a tenant. For example, suppose you aren’t aware of a leaky pipe until after it causes damage. In that case, you may be responsible for repairing or replacing the drywall in the damaged area.  

When having an inspection, you must inform your tenant about the schedule. However, if they refuse, you can push through with the plan. If they uphold the condition, the unchecked leaky pipes flood the whole floor. It affects the other tenants in the building, which might lead to injury claims.

4. Invest In Video Surveillance

In case of a lawsuit, you need reliable proof that you’re not responsible for the incident within the property. Thus, you must attach closed circuit television (CCTV) throughout the building, which serves as a deterrent for potential burglars or internal crime. 

You can use it to record all activity on site and prove that you’re not accountable for any incident. For instance, if the CCTV captures a previous tenant stealing items from your property, this will be enough evidence for your defense against a lawsuit claim. Moreover, you can also use this system to monitor other people who might be trespassing or damaging your property in any way. The footage will help you track them down and get them charged. 

CCTVs will also make your tenants feel safer, especially at night. In other words, you increase the chances of attracting more clients, hence higher revenue. 

Conclusion

Ultimately, rental property business owners like you should create a safe living environment for their tenants. It is especially true as a single accident inside the commercial premises could lead to costly lawsuits. And this could tarnish the image of your business, which cause your tenants to leave your property. 

Consequently, you must take preventive measures to avoid these scenarios. It includes providing surveillance cameras throughout the building and implementing regular inspections. You can also screen your new applicants before they move in so you can weed out the ones who could cause issues in the future. That way, all tenants will be surrounded by individuals who abide by the law, making them feel safe on the premises. 

4 Risks that Small Businesses Should Know

Risk is always involved whenever you start a new venture or do something unexpected. It might scare or intimidate you, but you should stay firm on your ground and don’t let negative thoughts overtake you. The greatest method to reduce risk is to deal with it directly. If you delay or ignore it, it will return twice as strong. It might take multiple tries, but you should keep trying. 

This article has gathered some of the significant risks SMBs face. You might find a similar one and better understand how to solve it.

4 Dangers to Mitigate for SMBs

In 2022, the cryptocurrency saw a great fall. Many traders ceased their trades because they were scared that they would lose all their money. Crypto trading was at significant risk of shutting down. But the developers and programmers sat down and thought of a solution. One was an automated bot like the bitcoin loophole, which took advantage of the uncertain conditions, providing people with a seamless trading experience.

Similarly, you must be conscious of the most prevalent hazards confronting your corporation as an owner of a company in a condition for expansion so that you may be better equipped to deal with them when they emerge. Here are five possible risks to your startup firm and several methods that insurance policy can help you safeguard your diligent work.

Property Liability

One of the significant assets of an entrepreneur is their home, where many smaller companies have their offices. Most tenants’ insurance plans don’t necessarily cover enterprise-related expenses or repairs in a home office. 

So, if you own a startup and have property insurance, be aware of this. You must obtain a home-based insurance policy to defend against accusations like mishaps and burglaries. 

Evaluate your possessions to determine how damage would impact your company’s operations and the type of insurance coverage you’ll always have to recover your belongings and rebuild your premises.

Cyberattacks

Today’s top businesses can afford the most potent defenses. When these big firms improve their ability to combat cyberattacks, fraudsters descend into the corporate food industry and pursue small ventures that have no way to spend on advanced security measures. 

Currently, attackers choose to attack entrepreneurial activities. Investment in protection diminishes, and their susceptibility rises when funding flow is constrained. You can lessen your chance of being a victim of hackers by acquiring cybersecurity risks and security breach insurance plans and implementing appropriate steps to minimize web-based vulnerabilities.

Business Interruption Preparation

Several unpredictable circumstances might have a long-term impact on your startup. Unexpected disasters like a blaze or hurricane could severely destroy your company’s assets and require you to cease while you make improvements. 

Your company would begin to experience supply disruptions if any of your vendors encountered their personal service disruption due to an event such as an accidental malfunction.

Would your company be capable of continuing if you had to cease operations momentarily? Intermittent closures frequently turn irreversible. Constant expenditure can mount up like quicksand if the income generated has been halted or significantly cut.

Coverage against business interruption can keep you out of trouble. While the company is momentarily undergoing repairs, this policy can assist you in managing operational expenses and potential earnings. Business interruption coverage is crucial for safeguarding your company from unforeseen events.

General Liability

You’ll likely lose money while running your firm regardless of how safely you conduct business. Commercial general liability coverage pays for expenses for which your corporation can be held legally responsible, usually brought on by severe harm or property destruction to external parties, even when your firm is negotiating deals off-site. 

For instance, mistakenly causing damage to a client’s house could harm your finances and image. In these situations, having the appropriate CGL insurance benefits in possession will assist you in securing your company.

Final Words

Even though numerous potential factors concerning entrepreneurs worldwide are beyond their management, many corporate risks can be prepared for and their consequences reduced.

You may assess and prepare for monetary, technological, or human-related issues in your company’s strategy. Examine everything that could stop, slow down, or damage your company’s profitability.

Identifying and evaluating the biggest corporate concerns will take time, but it should be done regularly.

Business Analysis

5 Tech Trends SMBs Should Adopt in 2023

Businesses can only sustain themselves if they stick to their orthodox methods of operations. It is necessary to add technology to your daily procedures. It will increase their efficiency and will provide you with accelerated results.

In this fast pacing world, blockchain and metaverse can change the course of your business.

5 Developments for SMBs

Automation will lead your business toward a significant transformation. You should learn about the upcoming trends and technologies and incorporate them into your startup. We have gathered some techs that might help you speed up your daily operations.

Careful Use of Data

Communicating via email, retrieving an invoice, looking for nearby suppliers, sending a Facebook status, or powering your smart automobile all add to make data.

This data generates opportunities, such as in-depth observations that result in improved solutions, but it also entails duties about data collecting, distribution, security, and confidentiality. While some new enterprises and their consultants have swiftly adapted strategies for using data to their benefit, many need more expertise, skills, or connections to comprehend the situation entirely.

So, you must know how much data you are using and if it is leading your company toward damage or not. 

Blockchain for Startups

As more organizations and authorities consider the significance of decentralization in our lives, blockchains, also known as public ledgers, will evolve and grow.

Although bitcoin has been purchased and exchanged worldwide by trading bots like the crypto boom, blockchain technology has the potential of more than just having an essential part in facilitating these payments. But small enterprises still need to comprehend what these possibilities indeed look like.

Because reimbursement is instantly activated as soon as the agreement’s conditions get completed, smart contracts can significantly decrease the time needed for transactions for provided commodities and the possibility of a lack of payment for the provision of services or products.

Artificial Intelligence

AI already seems integrated into our daily lives in situations that we either disregard or don’t typically consider, such as when Maps suggests restaurants in the area or when you must repurchase an article from eBay. Then there are the more recent technologies, such as ChatGPT and Stable Diffusion, which provide a helpful illustration of the possibility for various artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to accomplish tasks that were previously only imaginable.

The possibility for small companies resides in what AI may disclose about tomorrow, offering insight into what is to happen and eliminating manual work to save time. This could involve digitizing significant portions of back-office corporate activities, forecasting income streams depending on internal and external financial sources of data, or assisting firms in determining when to reach out to consumers and vendors according to previous activity.

Integrated Finance

Consider the last time you made a quick purchase using your smartphone; embedded finance might have played a part in that transaction. Over the past ten years, the banking and finance sector has undergone a significant shift, caused mainly by customer preferences for quick, easy utilization of financial services within the applications and instruments they already use. This need is driven primarily by immediate digital fund availability and capabilities.

In summary, by integrating banking solutions into routine procedures, problems get more straightforward right where you are. Technology like open banking and integrated finance, which have reached different levels of development worldwide, continue gaining pace and provide prospects for smaller companies.

Super Apps

Super applications were made to combine various capabilities into one UI, including chat, payments, and work orders. In essence, creators of independent studio “mini-apps” exchange customer info and data to facilitate access to several applications with a single sign-on.

To provide workers with a more efficient service, experts in software development also create super apps. Letting people deploy their techniques and algorithms of mini-apps and resources may improve the experience.

A super app gets created to simplify the functionalities of multiple applications, networks, and specific other IT applications. In 2023, owners of small enterprises may anticipate a surge in these alternatives, and they should consider leveraging them to give staff and suppliers self-service choices.

Conclusion

Businesses can significantly benefit from technology. So, you must keep yourself updated with all the upcoming trends. Also, don’t leave everything in the hands of your IT team. You can ask for their assistance but ensure you know what strategies they’re using to update the systems.

Why Employee Resilience Matters

iverse colleagues fist bumping greeting each other express friendship and respect

With the global talent shortage underscored by the ‘quiet quitting’ phenomenon, employers have had good reason to consider their approach to employee attraction and retention in recent years. But while the focus has primarily been split between remuneration and company culture, there’s cause to suggest that there are other avenues businesses should be exploring in order to get the best from their teams – across all pay scales.

Employee resilience is known to bring a range of advantages to a business. From improved productivity and employee engagement to job satisfaction and company loyalty, it has been shown to help prevent individual burnout, reduce stress, and equip the business with much-needed agility. But resilience can be an almost nebulous concept, difficult to identify and even harder to instil. Understanding how to build resilience in individuals and at a team level can change the outlook of a business.

 

What is employee resilience?

The term resilience can be defined in numerous ways. It can be linked to the ability to recover from setbacks. To the way in which an individual responds to challenges or change. Whether they embrace criticism or let it weigh them down. And how they respond to stress and stressful situations.

When resilience is lacking, it can impact the relationship between employees and businesses. And it can mean that even the busiest, cheeriest, most productive employee may never reach their full potential within that operational setting. Making them less likely to gain genuine job satisfaction. And making company loyalty unlikely. And this is the crux of the matter. Because even the most well-paid and valued member of your team can unexpectedly jump ship if they don’t have the resilience to deal with change.

 

How does employee resilience influence a business?

In 2021-2022, 36.8 million days were lost to work-related ill health. 45% of those absences were due to stress. This costs the UK around £28.3 billion annually. And with 33% of employees reporting moderate-to-high or high levels of stress in 2022, it looks like a statistic that isn’t going to change any time soon. For businesses, this doesn’t just mean lost productivity for the individual. But increased stress for the team. By helping to build resilience in your employees – both individually and at a team level – you can help to protect your staff from burnout. And your business from loss.

 

How can you build team resilience?

Team resilience strategies can take a number of different approaches. Most of them take time, with incremental improvement and many businesses are learning that combining different approaches can deliver the most success in a variety of areas.

 

A diverse and inclusive company culture

Company culture can impact a business in a range of ways. But one area that has been traditionally overlooked is Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility, and Belonging (DEIAB). It’s become a point of focus in the last two years because of some startling and unsettling global events – not to mention the power of social media. But DEIAB isn’t just the right response to assuage public pressure, it can bring resilience into a working environment by building on the strengths and perspectives of individuals to create a diverse, inclusive, and supportive culture. Allowing the needs of employees – and customers – to be met sympathetically- and naturally.

 

Mindset and resilience training

On the surface, employee mindset is an incredibly difficult area to manage. You can’t force your employees to think in a particular way. But with an infrastructure that grants autonomy, provides the time for mindfulness, and promotes critical and creative thinking, you can help your teams to build a more positive mindset and this can then be supported by resilience training. Because while resilience may seem that it should be an inherent quality, working with a professional able to identify personal and team ‘blocks’ to resilience can allow you to provide the support and tools necessary to help strengthen anyone who may need it. And this can cover a variety of areas, from communication skills and confidence building to handling difficult situations.

 

Employee engagement

Employee engagement isn’t a standalone issue. Both of the previous two points can help increase employee engagement and loyalty, and therefore resilience. But if an employee is disengaged, you’ll never engender the care necessary for them to want to change on a personal level. Investing in employee engagement – facilitating open communication, training, and showing each and every person that they are valued – is a really important step towards improving mindset and resilience.

Employee resilience can’t be managed as a quick fix. There is no one-hit solution that will change the way your team members feel or respond. However, by creating a culture that shows that it’s not only OK to ask for help, but that help is available for anyone who needs it, you can begin a process that will make your team and your business stronger.

 

 

Lisa Collinson – Chief People Officer and UK Country Manager, TheNextWe

With a background in HR Strategy development, implementation, and measurement, Lisa Collinson has more than 22 years’ experience in people leadership. An accredited coach and popular speaker and presenter, she has worked across sectors throughout the UK, Europe, and internationally. Supporting businesses with change management, restructuring, and performance management – with an emphasis on behaviourism and why people act the way they do.

Lisa is FCIPD (Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development), a Member of the Institute of Training & Occupational Learning (MInstTOL), Applied Behaviour Analysis trained and an APMG Change Management Practitioner, and Member of the Institute of Leadership & Management (MInstLM).

3 Ways to Promote Brand Values in Your Marketing

Bright idea for business growth

by SUSAN FRIESEN

Establishing values is an integral part of the creation of any successful brand.

But why are brand values, something which can seem so insignificant, so vital to the success of your brand?

Well, when you promote brand values, it allows you to establish an emotional connection with current customers and potential patrons, giving you the opportunity to build much-needed trust, loyalty, and familiarity.

And if potential customers identify with the values of your brand, they’ll be more likely to choose you over the competition, as their connection with your brand goes deeper than just wanting your products and/or services.

If you don’t have a solid set of values, and you’re just sort of winging it, the process of building that emotional connection, and the trust, loyalty, and familiarity that go along with it, will be much more difficult, if not impossible.

At the same time, it’s also going to be way harder to maintain any sort of consistency in your branding and marketing, which will make your business less recognizable and could make you seem less trustworthy, as it may look like you’re not really sure what your brand stands for.

Now, if you’re reading this article, I think it’s safe to assume that you already know what brand values are, and you’ve probably already established some or are in the process of doing so.

That being said, in this article, I’m not going to bother to define brand values or explain how to come up with them.

For those of you who haven’t defined the values of your brand, or don’t even know what brand values are, you should start by reading our previous article, which explains Why Creating Brand Values Is Vital to the Success of Your Business.

It’ll tell you everything you need to know about what brand values are, why they’re so important, and how to start creating brand values of your own.

But if you’ve already defined your brand values, or you’re in the process of creating them, then you’re going to want to keep reading.

Because in this article, I’m going to discuss the crucial next step of promoting brand values in your marketing, explaining how to go about doing it, and offering some examples of how we’ve done this for our clients, so you can have a better idea of what’s involved.

 

How to Promote Brand Values in Your Marketing

So, you’ve finally figured out exactly what your brand stands for, turned that into a solid set of values, and you’re ready to convey them to the world.

Or perhaps you’re in the process of defining those values, and you’re wondering what you’re going to end up doing with all those lofty ideals.

Either way, at this point, you need to know how to actually communicate these values to your audience, and the world at large, by injecting them into your marketing.

From my perspective, there’s no better way to explain things than by example, so below, I’ve detailed a few of the tactics we’ve used to help our clients promote brand values in their marketing, so you can have a better understanding of how to go about doing this.

 

Why Brand Consistency (or Lack Thereof) Can Make or Break the Success of Your Business

When you’re presenting your brand to the world, you’ve got to make sure to maintain consistency.

Without that consistency, you could confuse your customers, make yourself less recognizable, and erode any familiarity and trust people already have with your brand.

So, if you’re working on your branding, and you want to learn more about how to ensure it’s consistent, then you’re going to want to read this article.

It explains what brand consistency is, why consistent branding is so important, how you can maintain consistency in your branding, and highlights some of the most epic failures of inconsistent branding.

 

Blogging

One of the best ways to promote brand values in your marketing is by blogging.

There are a number of ways you can go about doing this, with some being more effective than others.

You could be completely direct and actually publish blogs about your brand values and why they’re important to you, or be more subtle about it by making your values known through the voice you use in your writing, what information you choose to offer, how you provide that information, and what you have to say about subjects that are relevant to what you do.

Typically, we go with the latter approach, instead of beating the reader over the head with a heap of virtue signaling.

If I had to choose the best example of this in terms of what we’ve done for our clients, I’d have to go with the work we’ve done for Dr. Dheshnie Thangavelu, owner of a Vancouver-based medical spa named Deez Skin Rejù & Pain Clinic.

Dr. Dheshnie’s brand values include things like honesty, integrity, and trust, and we keep that in mind when helping her to create her monthly blogs.

Within these blogs, Dr. Dheshnie is not afraid to be completely honest about the questionable behaviour of some of the people in her industry.

For example, Dr. Dheshnie has called out other medical spas for doing things like diluting their dermal fillers.

Some marketers may have called this a particularly risky move, as it reflects poorly on Dr. Dheshnie’s industry as a whole, but from our perspective, it was the perfect way to differentiate her from the competition, while effectively conveying her brand values by showing that she’s honest and a woman of integrity who can be trusted.

Dr. Dheshnie is also not the least bit shy about divulging everything her treatments entail, both good and bad, and this also helps her to promote brand values in her marketing. She gets straight to the point and doesn’t try to sugar-coat anything.

The first paragraph under this heading warns the reader that this is a “painful procedure” before detailing a long list of complications associated with it.

Sure, she could try to downplay this stuff, or not even talk about it at all, but at the end of the day, that would erode Dr. Dheshnie’s credibility because it doesn’t align with her brand values.

So, if you want to use blogs to promote brand values, then you should follow Dr. Dheshnie’s example and make sure the content of your blogs aligns with your brand values at all times.

 

Website

In today’s world, the most important marketing tool you’ll ever have is your website, and it also offers some of the best ways to promote brand values.

A website will act as your brand’s main touchpoint, helping you to gain qualified leads, increase your customer base, and present your brand to the world in a way that showcases its values in the best possible light, ensuring you make a good first impression when people find you online.

Any website that’s worth its salt should do a bang-up job of promoting brand values, but if I had to think of a client’s website that’s most relevant to this, it would have to be Rose Marie Swanson’s site.

Rose Marie is what’s known as a spiritual coach, which means that she helps people get through issues in their spiritual life, similar to how a clinical counsellor would help a client with their mental health.

We created her first website back in 2015, and it looks pretty dated.

Then, earlier this year, she asked us to redo her website as part of a complete revamp of her personal brand, and as you can see, it looks a heck of a lot better than her old one.

Rose Marie’s new website does an amazing job of conveying the values of her brand, both through the imagery and the copy.

But I’m not going to go into all that here because there’s something more important that I want to show using this example.

At this point, many of you are probably wondering why I’m comparing iterations of Rose Marie’s website in a blog about how to promote brand values, but bear with me here.

You see, something that’s often overlooked when it comes to websites is the fact that people will make judgments about your credibility, and by association, your values, based solely on the look of your website, without even reading any of the copy.

This has even been shown in at least one scientific study, but it’s already blatantly obvious anyway.

 

So, how does this relate to promoting brand values?

Well, let’s face it – it’s going to be pretty hard for people to take the values of your brand seriously when they’re being communicated through a website that looks like it was designed by a high school kid or made 20 years ago.

So, if you want to ensure you can effectively promote brand values using your website, you’ve got to make sure that it looks professional.

Because if it doesn’t, you can promote whatever brand values you want, and people are still going to judge you harshly, regardless of what those values might be.

If you want to learn more about what we’ve done for Rose Marie over the years, you should check out our article on Why Building Trust is So Important for a Successful Rebrand.

 

Email Marketing

Another great opportunity to promote the values of your brand comes in the form of email marketing.

Whether it’s a newsletter, auto-responder series, or some kind of promotional message, email marketing allows you to consistently convey your brand values to potential clients on a regular basis and maintain familiarity with those who have an interest in what you have to offer.

That being said, it was really tough for me to choose a client to showcase for this marketing tactic, as we do a lot of email marketing for clients, and there are so many great examples.

But if I had to choose a client we’ve worked with whom I feel best conveys their brand values in the email marketing we do for them, it would have to be Kali Dayton of Dayton ICU Consulting.

Kali offers consulting services to help hospitals implement evidence-based practices for patients on mechanical ventilation. The values of her brand include things like compassion and dedication, along with her overarching mission of improving care for ICU patients and working conditions for ICU staff.

She is extremely vocal about the positive effect these practices can have on both outcomes for patients and working conditions for clinicians, and this shines through in every aspect of her marketing.

At the same time, she’s also not afraid to call out the negative effect that a lack of evidence-based practices can have on both clinicians and patients, despite the fact that this is a very controversial topic in the medical field, not least because it has the potential to make hospitals look bad.

With that in mind, one of the most important aspects of conveying Kali’s brand values is to ensure she looks and sounds professional, while putting a focus on her expertise when it comes to this topic.

Right off the bat, the image of Kali in her newsletter header helps to show that expertise. As you can see, she made sure to have her photo taken wearing a white lab coat because this alludes to the fact that she is a clinician and therefore knows what she’s talking about on this subject.

Then, directly below the header, she’s speaking quite frankly about the brutal reality of ICU care for patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome, so as you can see, she doesn’t hold back, and the passion she has for this issue is obvious.

Kali’s newsletter also includes her monthly article as a feature, which typically documents some of the best and the worst examples of the care patients receive when they’re on mechanical ventilation.

She doesn’t shy away from controversy here either, refusing to mince words about how things are for ARDS patients in the ICU.

Kali’s brutal honesty on these kinds of topics, which could make her a pariah in the medical field, offers more than enough evidence that she’s genuinely passionate about this issue, has great compassion for these ICU patients, and is dedicated to improving ICU practices.

So, if you want to promote brand values with a newsletter, or any other kind of email marketing, take a hint from Kali and don’t hold back. Be yourself, convey your brand values in an uninhibited way, and let the authenticity of those values shine through.

Employers Must Embrace Equality for Women Working Abroad

Working Woman

International Women’s Day, 8 March 2023

With the theme of International Women’s Day 2023 being ‘embrace equality’, Towergate Health & Protection is asking employers to support the equality of female employees working abroad. 

Sarah Dennis, head of international at Towergate Health & protection, explains: “While the UK has laws regarding equal opportunities in the workplace, things can be very different when employees travel abroad for work or relocate for an overseas assignment. It is up to the employer to facilitate equality for female employees, whether they are based in the UK or abroad.”

 

Safety

Women working abroad may have more safety concerns than their male colleagues. UK Government advice says that while all travellers face risks abroad, in certain countries and cultures women travelling alone or in female-only groups can face ‘additional risks and obstacles’1. It is vital that employers are aware of the differing cultures into which they are sending their staff and that they ensure that female employees in particular are aware of the dos and don’ts of a region. Local knowledge is crucial in understanding which areas are safe and which are not, and employers should put measures and policies in place specifically regarding the safety of female staff.

 

Women’s health

Issues relating to women’s health are given differing levels of support in different countries and cultures. Specific women’s health matters include fertility, maternity, menopause, and female cancers. These may not be managed in the same way in all countries. For example, awareness and access to information and services for menopause are still a significant challenge in many countries. Menopause is often not discussed within families, communities, workplaces or even healthcare settings2, so the workplace has an even more vital role to play in providing support.

Specific health and wellbeing support is available for international employees and putting it in place is the best way to ensure that female employees abroad are cared for. Employers should carefully research what support is available to ensure that cover is comprehensive for women’s health matters.

 

Mental health

The mental health of all employees abroad should be supported but isolation may be worse for women in certain countries. Culture again has much to do with this as women may not be given the same social opportunities as men in some countries.

Supporting the physical issues faced by women working abroad, such as fertility and menopause, will help to support their mental health too.

The emergence of digital support helps companies support women globally, such as providing access to online counselling, virtual support groups and mental health apps so that women can find help wherever they are based.  

 

Workplace equality

Employers can ensure that female colleagues are treated equally in terms of the benefits they’re offered, and it’s vital that the benefits are clearly communicated so women know how to access support when needed.

 

Sarah Dennis says: “International Women’s Day is a day of empowerment for women but it also brings to the fore the fact that there is still inequality across the world, and employers are in an influential position to address this. Taking a strong and active stance in supporting the health and wellbeing of female employees abroad is a good step in laying the foundations to enable women to flourish.”

Making the Right Hybrid Choice

man sitting at table having virtual group meeting with team of co workers on laptop computer.

As hybrid working strategies mature, companies are fast discovering that choice is vital. Employers need to offer a flexible approach to balance diverse home and office working preferences. But they must also provide a choice of technology options, especially in key unified communication (UC) tools. Consolidating onto a single UC platform may appear to be the best solution, but limiting every employee to a single solution can constrain productivity, undermine morale and encourage the use of Shadow IT, explains Jason Barker, SVP EMEA & APAC, IR.

 

Hybrid Flexibility

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to hybrid working. For every middle-aged parent revelling in the chance to do the school run, rather than sitting on a crowded train, there is a Gen Z desperate for the interaction – and warmth – of an office environment, rather than being stuck in a spartan shared flat. For every business leader bemoaning the lack of productivity, there is another embracing the impact on recruitment and ability to attract potential new talent.  

Rigid hybrid strategies will never meet the needs of a diverse workforce, but a flexible attitude must extend beyond HR policies and include the UC tools used by employees. Wherever they choose to work, it is vital that employees are able to make meaningful connections, both with colleagues and business partners. They need to be confident in their ability to use a variety of tools, from video conferencing to collaboration.  But are they?

Over the past two years, IT teams have accelerated strategic UC deployments in a bid to wrestle back control over corporate infrastructure. A prime objective is to put an end to the costly and high-risk Shadow IT adopted in the early days of enforced WFH, when individuals made their own choice of video conferencing, file sharing and messaging solutions. Yet many of these ‘emergency’ solutions are an employee’s WFH comfort blanket. People have adapted to their preferred tools and, where possible, adapted the tools to work for them. Attempts to close down the UC environment and restrict users to the corporate platform can backfire spectacularly. The problem is that most businesses have absolutely no idea.

 

Trusted Communications 

Today, 85% of businesses are using two or more meeting platforms and many companies are looking to reduce costs by consolidating onto one platform. Yet how can an IT team make the right decision when the business is completely blind to the reality of UC usage and adoption? While UC performance is routinely monitored, the information is collected on a system-by-system basis. There is no visibility of the entire operation, no understanding of the way 10,000s of employees are using the systems. Businesses don’t know when individuals or teams are ignoring the corporate UC tools and opting instead for their own preferred solutions.

Even this piecemeal UC information is fundamentally limited by covering only the office environments. Companies are not monitoring the tools individuals are using at home or their preferred out-of-office locations. From coffee shops to local hubs, employees are opting to use their favourite Shadow IT solutions and side-lining the corporate standards. The result is not only an unseen and unquantified operational security risk but also a missed opportunity to understand how employees are adapting to hybrid working and any signs of a lack of engagement with the business.

 

Guiding Strategies

End to end monitoring of the entire UC environment, including home working, can provide the business with invaluable insight to support the evolution of hybrid strategies. Are individuals increasing their use of a certain platform? If so, is that because people prefer that solution or simply due to performance problems with the alternative? Companies cannot blithely assume that growing usage equals preference; the IT team needs to also understand if there are any issues with the solution, the network, even frustration due to the lack of personalisation options.  Is there perhaps a change to mandate a single tool if staff can personalise it to suit the way they want to work? 

Hybrid working will only succeed if staff are committed, engaged and able to collaborate effectively, wherever they are located. And that is far from inevitable if IT attempts to impose a solution that simply doesn’t work as well as their Shadow IT alternative. Clearly it is essential that everyone uses the UC solutions that are purchased, implemented and run by the corporate IT team – and that the infrastructure is secure, compliant and well managed. Choice is key. To offer employees the right choice, it is essential to understand how UC platforms are working at home and in the office, for both individuals and the business.

3 Reasons Employees Quit and What to Do About It

When it comes to employee retention, offering a large pay check might seem like the best way to win over your employees in the long run. Of course, most workers don’t walk away from a large pay check, but there are also other reasons employees quit and understanding them can help you do something about it. Offering a good work-life balance and respect can go a long way toward helping your team be more motivated.

The Benefits Aren’t Competitive Enough

Many employees view benefits and salary as being two parts of a comprehensive benefits package. While their salary may be competitive, if they have to pay high healthcare premiums or don’t receive much help in funding their 401(k) plan, they may need to use some of that salary to find supplemental coverage elsewhere. If they find that another company offers better healthcare coverage or retirement benefits in one place, that company may seem like a more appealing place to work, even if the salaries are similar.

Do some research to figure out what types of benefits the competition is offering. Perhaps they are offering more vacation days, additional insurance, or company perks, like free gym memberships. While you may not have the funds to offer all these things, you can evaluate your own benefits package to determine what might be missing. If you find you need to invest in better benefits, one option is to use a personal loan to get your funds in line so you can put your money into benefits.

Non-Flexible Work Schedules

The pandemic allowed many employees to experience the perks of working at home and thus enjoy a more flexible work schedule. As companies have started implementing return to the office policies, employees have been looking for other positions that will allow them to continue working from home and have a flexible schedule. It is easy to customize a flexible work policy. You can set up a remote or hybrid schedule, where employees either work from home all the time or part of the time. You can also give them some freedom in deciding when they work. Some team members may prefer to work four 10-hour days and have a three-day weekend.

Micromanaging Employees

Not only are micromanaging employees often disrespectful to them, but it can also backfire. Give them the opportunity to make their own decisions so they feel in control of their work. This can also help with professional growth, making them more confident. Make sure they feel safe by fostering an open environment where everyone’s voice is heard. When someone feels like their opinion is valuable, they will become more invested in their work and become more motivated. Of course, you won’t be able to do this right away when someone starts with you, but you can give them more authority over their work over time. Gradually help them get to know different aspects of your business so they can make informed decisions. Use their skills and talents to help improve the company as a whole.