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How to Advocate For Yourself as a Woman at Work

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woman's guide to self advocacy at work

For women in particular, the office can be a difficult place to navigate. In an effort to appear easygoing and likable, it’s sometimes easier to stay quiet instead of advocating for yourself or your needs. 

But when you spend 40 hours per week in the same place, you want to make sure you’re comfortable. This means learning to avoid conflict and advocate for yourself by asking for a raise or promotion when you want to. 

Communication is key to navigating tricky office situations. It’s important to learn to speak calmly, carefully and with purpose. Rehearsing your input ahead of time can help you be prepared for any meeting, and being direct with your wants can also help you get what you deserve.

Check out this infographic on how to self-advocate in the office.

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How To Streamline Your Startup

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Streamline Your Startup

Are you looking to streamline your startup? Once you have got up and running and started to find your feet, it is a good time to start looking for ways to streamline, so that you can improve efficiency and start to improve performance. There are always issues and bottlenecks that arise that you did not anticipate and making minor improvements can make a big difference. There are a few important steps to take to streamline your startup and you will be impressed with the positive impact that these can have on your business, especially when they are combined together. Keep reading to find out more.

Identify Problematic Areas

A good starting place is to identify the problematic areas of the business. You may have an idea of what these are already, but it is also a good idea to ask your staff and customers. Once you have identified an area or two that needs some work, you can identify the best ways to improve and this will lift the entire operation.

Automate Tasks

You should also automate as much of the operation as you can with online tools, apps and software. Even just automating one task can make a big difference as it can speed up the process, reduce errors and free up time for your staff to focus on other aspects of their role. Often, simple admin tasks can be automated and this can make work much easier for your employees.

Outsource

Outsourcing is a smart way to free up time for your staff, get work completed by specialists and scale the business. Not only this, but outsourcing is also more cost-effective than hiring new staff, and there are all kinds of tasks and even entire departments that can be outsourced with ease.

Use Cloud Management Services

The cloud is a great way to streamline your business, especially in a time where people are working remotely. Using cloud management services allows you to get the most out of the cloud with automatic content and customization management tools allowing you to maintain complete operational control of your cloud environment.

Use Remote Work Tools

Remote work can bring a range of benefits to both the business and staff, but it does also pose a few challenges. Many of these challenges can be overcome when you utilize the best and latest remote work tools, such as screen-sharing software and group chat platforms. You can also get helpful advice on how to manage remote teams that will allow everyone to get the most out of remote work and boost productivity.

These are a few of the best ways to streamline your startup. Once you have got the business up and running, it is important to take the time to find ways to streamline so that you can operate at maximum efficiency and compete at the highest possible level. It can take startups a while to find success, but when you can streamline and improve early on, it will always help you to achieve this success much faster.

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How To Have The Perfect Networking Event

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Networking Event

Business is about the contacts and networks that you create around your products and services as well as those for support and advice. Networking has come to the fore in recent times and is now considered to be essential for both meeting customers and suppliers and stakeholders, alike.

Plan, plan, plan

An event for networking needs to be planned well in advance, to choose a theme, decide on the aim and provide professionals who are invited sufficient time to plan and diarize the event. Many note that planning should take place at least several weeks in advance. The only time you don’t need to inform guests so early is if it is a pop-up networking event. The event itself will still need pre-planning, but the invites can then be sent out at a little later and a little wider to ensure sufficient attendance.

You also need to plan as to what the aim of the event is, who will be invited and why and what the content or process of the event will be.

The meet and greet is essential

Depending on the number of people that you invite and the target audience, ensure that your meet and greet is appropriate. Customers want to feel valued and special and upon arrival they will need to feel welcome and at ease to appreciate the event and engage with any company or product messages. There should also be a formal process of brief introductions depending on the aim of the networking event.

Promote the brand and provide promotional material, freebies and gifts

Include a brand story, whether it’s on written promotional material or posters and yes, even PowerPoint can work. Telling your audience a memorable anecdote about the product is a must for a networking event. It’s stories like these that people remember and create the backstory to the product or business. There should also be some takeaways with all contact details of the host as well as a commitment to subsequently provide the contacts of others who have attended. This can be in the form of a fun branded item that has the contact details and there are some exciting developments in this sector at the moment. Good examples are made by anthembranding.com.

Have connectors on hand

The one thing that many businesses neglect to do at a networking or marketing event is to have a few connectors in the room and at the venue. They need to have been selected very carefully, generally from members of your own company or team. They need to know the brand, have a clear idea of what the event aims to achieve and then most of all they need to be personable. Their role is to make sure that there is interaction, talking to people and introducing those who have arrived, to others already in the room.

Reflect

The end of the event is the start of your actual networking. It’s vital to then reflect on the event and determine exactly what the next steps are for sustainable networking and relationship building.

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How to increase your workforce’s efficiency

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workforce’s efficiency

The phrase ‘a company’s greatest asset is its staff’ may be a cliche, but like many cliches, it is absolutely true. If your workforce doesn’t have the necessary skills, if their morale isn’t high enough or your employees aren’t being led effectively enough, then your business will suffer as a result. 

Unfortunately, neglecting your workforce is one of the easiest mistakes you can make as a business leader. This is because you aren’t dealing with spreadsheets or products, you are dealing with human beings. When you are busy trying to maximize profits, compete with business rivals and attract new customers, you can quickly forget that the only way you’re going to do any of that is not through machines, but people. 

However, if your workforce is not performing well enough, you may feel conflicted about what to do. If you fire certain employees then you run the risk of letting morale drop, but if you don’t make your feelings known, then nothing will ever change.

This is how to increase your workforce’s efficiency:

Improve your production processes 

The first step to improving the efficiency of your employees is to make their jobs easier. This means improving your production processes by investing in tooling. This tooling could mean fitting a conveyor system, such as those from fluentconveyors.com, if you have a production line, or using cloud computing to help make project work easier. 

By initially focusing on helping your employees do their jobs in a more efficient way, you will create a positive working atmosphere, rather than one of unnecessary pressure to perform. Your job is not to suspect that your workforce is underperforming, but appreciate whether they have the necessary tools to improve their efficiency. 

Ask them directly what they need

Arguably the best way to improve your workforce’s efficiency is to ask them what they need to improve their productivity. This is often an overlooked step by business leaders, but talking one-on-one with employees could generate valuable information to improve productivity. 

There will almost certainly be small details that you would never have thought of, or even gaping holes in the company’s management structure that need addressing.

Create a positive atmosphere

One of the simplest ways you can improve your workforce’s efficiency is to create a positive working atmosphere within your organization. You would be amazed how easily people can pick up on poor management structures, negative pressure and a lack of leadership. It can quickly impact overall productivity and take a long time to change.

Thankfully, this can easily be avoided by creating an atmosphere of trust and support at every level of your organization. Ensure that there are channels of communication open to employees looking to give their feedback, and regularly catch up with members of every department. It is easy as a business leader to become isolated from the rest of the organization, so an open-door policy often works best for maintaining a positive work environment. 

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