My name is Veronica and I am a writer, blogger and legal assistant for the Law Offices of David Offen. In my few years working for David, a Philadelphia bankruptcy lawyer, we’ve turned his small law firm into one of the top-ranking bankruptcy law firms in the greater Philadelphia area. How did we accomplish this? We have seen our small business grow and flourish through a careful and calculated development of our web presence.
This success is not the result of magic or luck. Instead, we have utilized the effects of applied tech and consumer psychology to improve our rankings in Google and dramatically increase traffic to our site. This article will discuss the inexpensive tools we have used to multiply the traffic to our website and convert visitors into clients.
You don’t need expensive software to decipher what’s ailing your web presence. Being the giant data conglomerate that holds a monopoly on search engine data, Google offers these resources to monitor your business’s online presence. Every day people are not very aware of these tools, and though many small business owners may have heard of them, they might not grasp just how vital these tools are for developing a start-up’s web presence early on.
Essentially, Google Search Console provides you with data regarding how easy or difficult it is to find your site and navigate through it. This tool will help you improve your sitemap and structure, optimizing how crawlable it is for Googlebot, the all-powerful search engine crawler that possesses the power to make or break your site! You’ll be notified of any broken links or problematic site architecture, which will improve your rankings. Search Console is also helpful in telling you precisely what people are searching for when they find your site.
The easier it is for Googlebot to find, crawl through, and gather relevant data from your site, the higher up in the rankings it will appear to potential clients.
Another essential tool we use all the time is Google Analytics. If Google Search Console was for helping you learn about potential issues with your site’s architecture, then Google Analytics is there to help you learn about the who, what, when, from where, and how much. This tool gathers vital information about who is clicking through to your site, where they are located, when they are searching, how long they are staying, what they are searching on, and much more. Google Analytics is critically vital for identifying, targeting, and converting potential clients.
These two inexpensive tools work in tandem to help you optimize your web presence and stake a claim on the digital territory in your business’ niche. We have used these tools to make a better, stronger, and more logically structured website and tailor specific web copy and content aimed at converting the people visiting our site into clients.
Think of Google Search Console and Google Analytics as the tools you’d use to plant a garden. Of course, they are essential, but a garden needs seeds also. In this analogy, the seeds are well-written, SEO-optimized web copy and site content.
You can track the real-time phrases potential clients are using to search for services and create content and web copy with optimized SEO keywords so that Google knows to grab your “3D Printing in Cherry Hill, NJ,” location page over your competitors when prospective clients in Cherry Hill NJ use that query in Google.
Take the time and educate yourself on the basics of this field. Consider it an essential investment in your business’ potential. Of course, there are many affordable SEO tools that can help you strategize and develop a plan to grow your online presence, and these can be useful if you don’t have all the time in the world to create an SEO strategy.
Many SEO software companies offer free versions of their tools, but these are designed to get you to bite on a paid subscription. We use Ahrefs as our go-to SEO tool. They are considered one of the best tools in the industry and have an avid community of users who are happy to share tips and strategies.
The importance of a well-curated and robust web presence has been beaten into our heads by every tech blog, business magazine, and marketing editorial to grace our computer screens. Though the message may be tiresome, the truth is that not developing your web presence as a new small business or start-up is a sure way to miss out on the crucial leads needed to get your business off the ground and past the much-sought-after 5-year milestone.
Our law firm struggled to attract a steady flow of clients before totally revamping our web presence, and, since we have, our daily lead rate is through the roof. If you haven’t given your web presence much thought, there is no better time than the present to get started!
I hope this article helps your start-up thrive!
6 top ways to boost employee experience post covid outbreak
The DNA of workforce management has mutated. And companies need to tailor their HR processes according to it. Many of them have done a commendable job post covid outbreak, but the rapidly evolving business paradigms urge organizations to keep moving.
Employee well-being and satisfaction have become the top keywords as companies are focusing more on the ‘human’ part of their workers. Not just that, organizations are increasingly realizing how advantageous an engaged and motivated employee can be.
As businesses are disrupting, human experience principles are playing all the more importance as it can drive sustainable changes across all levels. Hence, taking the extra mile to give undivided attention to employee experience is crucial as is making them feel “at home” in the workplace.
In this article, we talk about the ways to enhance employee experience that can help your company survive the covid era and beyond.
1) Don’t just look out, reach out to employees:
Organizations need to realize that their employees need help now. At the moment. They aren’t going to tell you all the issues they are facing in the company. And as a leader, it is your job to find this problem and solve it to ensure you don’t lose the chance at attaining an engaged staff. Help could be in the form of a salary hike, fight dissolution, better technology or even as small as a conversation with them. You will be surprised at how little things will massively impact your employee.
2) Encourage ‘trustworthy leadership’:
Employees often keep their issues to themselves because of office politics and favouritism. Make sure you create and a reap a leadership team that doesn’t give any space for bias. Build a company culture where employees can freely convey their problems or ideas with atleast one of the leaders without the free of being judged or unheard.
3) Conversations can do the trick:
Experiences get enhanced when a person is engaged enough. To do that, it is important for the managers to remain on the same page as the employee to know where they stand and what can be done to get further. Regular one on one meetings with direct supervisors or managers can aid in this.
4) Conduct regular surveys:
Not every person is an extrovert. We get it. Similarly, not many people actually voice their problems, especially to their managers or direct reports. This is where surveys come in. Your previous data holds no value now as the business models have turned 180 degrees, calling for a new set of data to create better strategies. You can also try offering anonymity to your employees in case they feel anxious about letting their issues become public.
5) Prioritize well-being activities:
If the pandemic has taught us anything, then it is to keep physical and mental health above everything else. Coming back to the office after 18 months of working from home can be exhaustive for many. More than making this comeback phased, make sure employees return with a calm mind and a healthy body. You can offer mental health relaxation sessions or gym coupons to workers as a start. Yoga classes in the office itself can be both fun and calming too.
6) Make them feel at home:
According to a survey by Mckinsey, 80% of employees feel more engaged when working remotely. Hence, their return to the office will rob them of the comfort and ease that they were previously experiencing. Small acts like stocking supplies of health food in the office cafeteria, team lunches, better technology, a more comforting and fun desk or cabin space can prove to be highly beneficial.
Majority of the times, the problem doesn’t lie with the employee, it lies in their management. To ensure a great employee experience, you have to understand your employees first. Talk to them. Your employees will tell you what they want. Just listen and act accordingly.
Compelling Statistics about Workplace Discrimination
Today’s modern workplace is one that is inclusive, diverse, and collaborative. This is partly due to advancing technologies like the internet and open concepts and environments.
People from all over the world are more connected than they’ve ever been before because there is a need to collaborate for the projects they are working on and produce an outcome that is favorable for them and the company in general.
There is also more care for the company’s culture and the employees’ morale, mental health, and work-life balance. By making these a priority, employees have become more productive and happy, and the company more successful. However, this is not the case for all organizations.
Defining Workplace Discrimination
Recently, discrimination has been at the forefront of everyone’s minds. All over the world, many instances of discrimination, ranging from gender, race, age, disability, citizenship status, sexual orientation, medical condition, marital status, religion, and national origin, to name a few, have been put in the global spotlight.
Unfortunately, the majority of these types of discrimination occur in the workplace. Work or employment discrimination can be defined as treating someone in the workplace differently or less favorably than others because of their race, color, age, religion, sex, gender identity, and so on.
Employment discrimination also includes harassment by managers and co-workers, denial of reasonable workplace change based on religious beliefs or disability, improper questions about or disclosure of genetic or medical information, and retaliation from the company after an employee files an investigation or lawsuit against them.
There are many instances of unconscious bias and workplace discrimination, some beginning even before an employee starts working with the company. Even during the hiring process, a company can discriminate against an applicant.
Common Types of Discrimination and Their Effects
The International Labour Organization (ILO) blames the continuing discrimination on prejudices, stereotypes, and biased institutions that have resisted legal efforts and policy measures made by governments, organizations, workers, and employers against unequal treatment at the workplace.
The most common types are subconscious and systematic or institutionalized discrimination. Subconscious discrimination or unconscious bias is the behavior that stems from learned stereotypes that will automatically show up when interacting with people. This type can be harder to prove because it is more subtle unless reflected in its atmosphere.
Systematic or institutionalized discrimination occurs regularly in the workplace because it is an inherent part of its culture and practices, thereby creating a disadvantage for people who are different from their more preferred employees.
Aside from being morally wrong, discrimination in the workplace often traps people in low paid, informal economy jobs. Meaning, the discriminated population will get stuck in the worst jobs and be denied benefits, social protection, training, capital, land, or credit. What’s more, women are more likely to be engaged in the more invisible and undercounted activities than men.
The ILO presented a report that shows those who suffer from discrimination, particularly based on their sex and race, face a persistent equality gap. This gap divides them from dominant groups who enjoy a better life or benefit from anti-discrimination laws and policies.
Workplace Discrimination in Numbers
Since it was established in1997, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has been investigating charges of discrimination against an employee or job applicant and enforcing laws that protect employee rights. It has received over 1.8 million complaints since then.
Workplace discrimination is illegal in the U.S.; however, studies have also shown that despite state and federal laws addressing discrimination based on race, there are still biases against hiring black and Hispanic employees in over two decades.
Of the 1,889,631 discrimination complaints EEOC received from 1997 to 2018, 49% were cases of retaliation, 34% were race-related, 32% disability, and over 30% were based on sex. From the total number of cases, 64% were officially dismissed as having found no issue after investigation, while only 3.2% were considered for legal action.
In addition, 18.3% were closed for administrative reasons, 8.1% were settled, 4.8% were withdrawn by the charging party, and 1.4% resulted in an informal resolution between parties. According to the government agency, cases closed for administrative reasons include the charging party deciding not to pursue the case, lack of communication, or withdrawal request from the charging party.
Steps to Take Against Discrimination
In light of the high numbers of discrimination cases, companies should work hard in eradicating workplace discrimination. But this can be done successfully only if everyone is involved in promoting a culture of equality and diversity and equal opportunities for all. Here are some ways to reduce and eradicate workplace discrimination in your company:
- Analyze your current employee population and form a committee for equality and diversity. Ensure that the members came from diverse backgrounds. Set goals and policies that would enable the company and the employees to grow. A company that embraces diversity will reap the benefits of having a wider talent pool, which translates to improved productivity, a broader market, and a raised profile within the community.
- During the hiring process or recruitment, treat all applicants fairly and equally. Evaluate each against the same set of criteria. Another way to evaluate applicants fairly is to have a panel interview so that more than one person gets to decide who the best candidate out of all the applicants is.
- In terms of compensation and benefits, ensure that no employee is compensated any more or less than their other colleagues based on their race, sex, gender identity, religion, or disability. Offer the same benefits that all employees in that level are enjoying. For employees with children, offer both maternity and paternity leaves.
- Review your current work policies and processes, or ask a lawyer to review them for you. Make changes wherever necessary. These may include implementing a comprehensive equal opportunities policy, training employees in sensitivity and diversity issues, providing accommodations for those with disabilities, and setting disciplinary actions. Establish open communication to report incidences of discrimination and treat them seriously, sensitively, and confidentially.
- In the office, install wheelchair ramps and other accessibility options. Have a room where employees can do prayers, mothers can pump milk, and they can have some quiet time. Make sure that all employees can access the same office facilities and amenities.
- When it comes to promoting an employee, ensure that all have an equal opportunity for promotion regardless of their sex, gender identity, race, etc. At the same time, provide equal opportunity for training and ensure that everyone has access to mentors.
End Discrimination Today
Discrimination in the workplace will not vanish by itself, but failure to eradicate it helps perpetuate poverty, creating an intricate web wherein the discriminated will continue to experience a low quality of life or social exclusion.
By eliminating discrimination, individuals, businesses, and society at large will benefit: a boost in one’s self-esteem and morale, enhanced productivity and competitiveness of companies, and a better economy.
5 steps to shape company culture around hybrid work- Are you ready for the big change?
You are probably going to lose a major chunk of your workforce if you’re planning to call your employees back to the office full-time. According to Microsoft’s recent survey, 74% of employees are keen on flexible remote work options. Meaning- The future of work is here and it is hybrid. With the current business ecosphere showing employee dominance, your best bet is to go hybrid.
Nevertheless, historically, it has been seen how employees slack off if they aren’t within the sight of their boss/manager. Or has this been passed on as a baseless claim? Some managers do have their insecurities as they feel employees are working in the dark. Though they are suffering from “perceived work productivity” syndrome, their concern cannot be completely brushed off.
This is where the need for a balanced and apt hybrid work culture comes into picture.
Before the pandemic, merely 15% of companies, as per a survey, had flexible working policies. That jumped to 76%in the year 2020 with the pandemic casting a shadow over the world. While shrinking global economies forced to shut many companies, several others chose to take the only working option left- Remote.
The business world cannot go back to how it functioned in pre-covid times. Hence, it is vital for leaders to build a hybrid work environment that accentuates, rather than depletes, employee productivity. For this, they need to consider the elements that charge the ions building their foundation. These include energy, focus, coordination, discipline, and cooperation. A good leader imbibes all of them in the company culture to align employee expectations and company plans.
Smart leaders are those who stay a step ahead by identifying the needs of tomorrow and creatingtheir solutions today. With the cards in favour of the hybrid workplace model, your best bet is to develop one with a positive attribute at your organization. Here are the steps to follow to create a positive hybrid work culture essential for any company’s growth:
Invest in the right tools:
Collaboration, document sharing, communication, attendance marking- are some of the many benefits the right kind of tools can provide to a remote working organization that mostly remains in the dark if it doesn’t clench onto technology. This, in turn, hampers the company culture- affecting employee productivity.
Technology soared to become a vital support system since the pandemic began. Though it has its own share of boons and banes, this man-made innovation can tremendously boost the productivity of a company, given it is utilized in the right way. A good HRM software is the first step towards this. If you do have one in place, determine its usability for a hybrid workplace.
Match flexibility with consistency:
The complex web containing different hierarchies of an organization needs to be grouped into appropriate teams for regular but comfortably gapped WFO days. It is vital for everyone in the company to meet each other in-person after certain time intervals. This ensures the human touch isn’t lost and collegial relationships blossom.
Assign different days of the week to different teams but provide autonomy over their workplace of choice. However, you allocate the days, make sure it doesn’t coincide with the major chunk of the workforce.
Step up your employee experience game:
If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that employee experience is more than just perk-system. It is about putting care, trust, honesty, purpose and motive at the top of the heap. While hybrid work means a dispersed workforce and greater hardships in enriching this domain, recruit your CEO, stakeholders and higher management to show the care, build the trust, create belonging and hear everyone in the business. Focusing on diversity & inclusion and employees’ mental health can prove to be the other aspects beneficialin creating positive hybrid work culture.
Streamline communication processes:
Physical proximity makes innovation and teamwork easier, but not necessarily better. Read that again. The factor that strikes a chord between both is communication. Group projects are delivered faster and with the best outcome when completed with proper collaboration. And collaboration requires the right form and tense of communication.
To get things going at the regular, if not faster, pace, ensure there is no communication gap between employees. Any form of hinderance can negatively impact the behavior of a worker, ultimately hampering the work culture.
Sowseeds of transparency:
Organization leaders should be aware of the implications their actions can have on the company culture. Their moves should be shared transparently in the workplace to build trust amongst employees and keep them informed despite being away from the office physically. Detachment and a fear of missing out develops in remote working employees who previously used to work on-site.
This fear can be stopped from turning into anger if leaders step in to share a range of inputs, strengthening their bonds with the company.
Don’t let company traditions die:
The last thing you’d want to do when creating a positive hybrid work culture is erasing the old traditions the company followed when “normalcy” prevailed. Instead of discarding them, find new ways to keep the traditions alive. These are the ones that helped employees stick with your company. Scratching them would mean bringing down the morale of your workers. Put your best minds on identifying methods to bring these to life in a new way.
Creating a positive hybrid workplace culture requires fostering of the desired environment in leaders’ minds first. Take charge of the shipas shifting workplaces mark the beginning of a new odyssey. Don’t refrain from change, the world has already embraced it.
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