So today I wanted to do something a little different. I asked one of my employees — a content producer and social media manager — to chip in and give her perspective on our digital blogging business. This growing empire scoops up nearly 100 leads daily, all organically, from simple looking blogs just like Qrip.org… and always from free search engine traffic. (Thanks Google!) I wanted to see how well my team understood how their individual functions play into the overall picture. Susie accepted my challenge. So today, from answering to a boss half her ago (LOL) to her thoughts on blogging to building the right team, and how to keep the troops motivated, here’s what my rock star web assistant had to say…
Communication Is Key
If you’re approaching that mid-life age, odds are you may very well have a younger boss. The new office manager in charge is now well over a decade younger than you. Most employees have been down this road before. This generation plays a bigger role in the workplace today than ever before as many people delay retirement and work well beyond retirement age. How do you make it work?
It comes down to a question of attitude and age becomes irrelevant if you know how to be collaborative. As we get older we need to let go of our need to prove to the world that we know it all and begin to recognize that everyone has something to offer. It can be challenging to take orders and follow rules from someone who is the age of your own children. Following a few rules of thumb could make it work easier than what you might think.
Don’t start out with the wrong attitude. See “The Power Of Habit” book review we just published recently. Listen to what your boss has to say and respect his or her expertise. You should show a willingness to try new approaches. No one wants to work with someone who is dismissive of suggestions or assignments. There can be a lot to learn working with a younger boss. Be curious, stay open to learning, be receptive and ask questions. Push to keep learning as your eagerness to embrace new ways of doing things will be appreciated. Cross-generational relationships can surface and the key is to recognize that you’re building a relationship that allows each of you to be successful in your work environment. Focus on utilizing the energy and enthusiasm a younger supervisor brings to the workplace.
Streamline your communication with your supervisor. Odds are your supervisor will probably prefer to communicate through email rather than face-to-face or over the phone. Today’s technology has forced us to utilize communications differently, which is beneficial on both ends for being more productive employees. Avoid getting into conversations that date you or link you to what your kids are doing or bringing up what you did when you were your supervisor’s age. A casual event outside the office can build a relationship with your boss and give you an opportunity to socialize outside the office atmosphere.
I recently began working for an internet business from home. My boss is a very young businessman who has diligently created a successful business. I have followed him throughout the years and watched him build a successful career on his own. That respect for him has allowed me to be receptive and gives me the push to continue to learn from him. I feel fortunate to be a part of the business and can appreciate the knowledge and skills he brings to the business. He does know more than I do about the business and how it functions day-to-day. It all comes down to attitude and I’m open and eager to learn from him and his way of doing things.
Building The Right Team
Team building varies from one business to another, whether serious or for fun, to improve productivity or improve workplace atmosphere. There are numerous powerful tools to attract and retain talent in any position. Team building exercises can be beneficial to employees and businesses. It has been established such exercises assist managers and employees to develop interactive skills and learn how to collaborate and communicate effectively. Teamwork building can be useful in realizing the limits of what can be accomplished. Keeping employees informed and valuing their opinions will improve the business atmosphere and generate a more productive employee. Being part of a team and sharing in ideas and thoughts together builds a stronger work environment.
One of the first steps is figuring out what goals to achieve and what will be most beneficial for the business and the employee. The majority of team building isn’t about teamwork building but as a reward or entertainment as a break from the usual more serious meetings. Obviously, there are many programs that pass for teamwork building but some are more like a vacation. Real teamwork building is about developing skills that enable participants to collaborate better or to learn how to handle difficult situations that may arise. The training may provide guidance on how to communicate better, manage conflict or understand skills and talents that everyone shares. Team building activities are typically more focused, strategic and committed to overseeing teamwork becoming integrated into the day-to-day business. Strategic team building efforts start with an assessment of the team’s needs – such as a long-term project and getting them off on the right start or to increase communication between the employees. It allows management to talk with employees and determine what negativity is affecting the team’s performance.
No matter what team building activity is utilized, the time and money spent will be useless if the employees don’t take the lessons they learned back to the workplace. Improving working relationships and styles can take months and you can’t expect instant results and a transformed workplace from a one or two day workshop training. It takes constant practice to build beneficial team building.
Success can be an ongoing process and good employment depends on a lot more than pay. Leadership style is very important when it comes to knowing the business is truly person centered, the leaders are bighearted, inspirational, passionate and positive. It is important to have leaders who remain strong and caring even in crisis situations – who are able to talk over coffee or give a pat on the back. Teams also appreciate leaders who know what is going on in the person’s life and who are flexible and compassionate. Simple gestures of thanks, flowers and a kind word make a big difference. The feeling of being valued and being able to learn from mistakes and not be blamed is also important.
A leader’s belief in an employee can have a massive impact on that person’s outlook on life. Mentoring, motivating and supporting teams to progress and continue to grow can make a big difference. Being a hands-on leader gains respect from employees and they enjoy being a part of an organization with low-level management. Business leaders who help to develop and build teams generate self-confidence, challenge employees but also allow them to make decisions and run with new ideas. These benefits enable employees to see the possibilities they can achieve within the business and their personal lives. As a business owner, it is way more than paying a wage; it involves some painful realities for the person supported that they must be aware of. Motivational support in team building can help to reduce the need for health and social care. Business owners must continue to improve ways to value and support their employees.
No matter what profession you’re working in, motivation and productivity matters. Being able to get more done in less time is the key to getting ahead whether increasing the amount you’re able to accomplish or hoping to take your business to the next level. Most employees need motivation to feel good about their jobs and perform optimal performance. Other employees are money motivated, while others find recognition and rewards personally motivating. Motivation levels within a workplace have a direct impact on employee productivity. Workers who are motivated and excited about their jobs carry out their responsibilities to the best of their ability and production numbers increase as a result. Whether it is a big corporate office or a small business office, motivation increases productivity.
Many employers offer an incentive as a motivating influence that is designed to drive behavior and motivate employees to produce quality work. Employers use several types of incentives to increase production numbers to motivate employees such as paid time off, bonuses, cash or travel perks. Incentives drive employee motivation because they offer workers more to strive for beyond the regular paycheck. Other employees benefit from recognition from their employers for production of quality work. Recognition and employee reward systems identify employees who perform their jobs well; acknowledging a job well done makes employees feel good and encourages them to do good things. Employers can track the progress of their employees and recognize workers by providing feedback on how they have improved over time. The bonus at the end of the year certainly kept my motivation and productivity in tact and I challenged myself each year to maintain that goal.
You may struggle with motivation in completing the busywork you know you need to do each day – filing and organizing your files, filling in a spreadsheet or responding to emails. There are many tasks on the job which don’t take a lot of mental energy but still needs to get done anyway. For many of us we claim to not like busywork and instead prefer to be challenged at work. However, studies have discovered otherwise and found that employees are actually happier when performing these routine tasks. Why busywork is so secretly enjoyable is because completing busywork gives us a sense of feeling of accomplishment without the corresponding stress which comes along with more challenging tasks. When feeling overwhelmed in the office take some time to do the busywork that’s been piling up and you might just discover some motivational enlightenment in the process.
Public recognition can also be a motivating factor that drives worker productivity. Some employees are motivated through feeling a sense of accomplishment and achievement for meeting personal and professional goals. Many workers are self-disciplined and self-motivated. Incentive and rewards have little effect on employees who feel motivated only when they are confident in their abilities and personally identify with their role within the organization. These individuals perform productively for the sake of the personal challenge their work provides. There are several ways employers can drive worker productivity and motivate employees. Because different factors influence workers in different ways, employers can utilize motivation strategies that encompass several techniques. To influence employees who are money motivated an employer may implement a daily cash incentive that pays instantly to an employee who meets the short-term production goal. A long-term production goal may be achieved by an employer implementing a program that encourages friendly competition between workers to meet production numbers and at the conclusion the employer can publicly recognize the top performers for a job well done.
Some employees have indicated their productivity has improved thanks to social media and social media tools. Other employees wish their company’s management would embrace social media tools in the workplace in order to increase productivity, which utilizes the wide scope of social tools in the office focused specifically on productivity – not the social media sites like Facebook. However, even social media sites with no ties to the workplace can make an employee more productive on the job. Occasional viewing of social media sites have been shown to work as a mood booster. These social media breaks can act as a mind cleanser and provide employees with a quick mood enhancer allowing them to return back to the task at hand refreshed.
Companies who recognize employee motivation encourage a more productive employee who will accomplish more in less time and that can be the key to getting ahead.
Thoughts On Blogging
Recently I retired from a legal position and am now working for an internet business to assist with writing various articles – blogging. Since I wasn’t really that familiar with online blogging I wanted to do a little research to find out what the benefits might be with utilizing blogging in a business. When you think of the word blogger you might have images of students writing offbeat movie reviews from their bedrooms or friends composing travel diaries on their vacations. The reality is far different today. While a majority of online bloggers today are still the creations of hobbyist individuals, the rest are now almost entirely produced by professional writers, companies and entrepreneurs. So while a blog – a shortened version of the word Weblog – is still defined as a website containing a writer’s experiences, observations and opinions, it is being created and consumed in increasingly sophisticated ways and widely deployed by business as a tool for growth.
So what exactly are the benefits of a business blog, what are the pitfalls to avoid and how can you get started? Blogging used to be seen as something a bit strange, but now people are really understanding that it is effective social media – a platform they wouldn’t have had otherwise. There are advantages of starting up a blog for your business if you’re prepared to put some time into it as it can have many benefits. A blog can give your business a personality and allow you to have more direct conversations with your customers. There are personal benefits as a good blog is more likely to be shared than a dull press release. With search engine optimization (SEO), the search engines crave new content and a blog allows you to create unique content that will be indexed by Google, et al, allowing you to improve rankings for your target keywords. If you’re looking to position yourself as an expert in your industry, blogging can do just that.
Newcomers in blogging can begin conversations with anything that’s going to engage people, get them commenting and sharing it. Blogs that are passionate, newsworthy or say something new tend to do very well. Once business leaders stop thinking they can use blogs as press releases and concentrate on getting their passion across it really works and gives the business a human face. A blog may not mention the business at all – it might be about leadership and urging people to throw away their management books and do things their own way. It can be funny, interesting or an excellent read. A blog needs to be strongly opinionated or people will just go to a news channel. Readers want a blog with a distinct style to it and one they know they’re going to get from you every time.
Deciding to produce a regular blog for your business can be a big commitment and responsibility. If you don’t have the time you may want to consider hiring a writer. The best scenario is having someone who works within the business write the blog posts as they would have inside knowledge and be more passionate about the business than an outside writer. If you outsource blog writing someone within the business should remain heavily involved in terms of steering the content and ensure whoever you retain has experience in writing blog posts. Be aware of the posts and insist on approving all new posts that go up. You need to be involved and aware of all blogs so if confronted by a reader you are familiar with the posting. I’m fortunate to have a personal connection to the internet business that retained me, which further generates my strong commitment to do the best job I can for the business. All of my writings are reviewed and posted by the business itself and I maintain weekly contact which keeps me knowledgeable of the blogging content and staying on track.
Typically, the business’ existing website is the best place to host its blog. Especially when focusing on the SEO benefits of ranking a business. There is WordPress.com, which is probably the best-known open source blogging program, but is a little more involved and may require the assistance of a web developer to get started. There are no hard and fast rules on how often new contents should be posted as a minimum. It is important, however, that there be consistency in the frequency of your blogging. If you don’t post for several weeks people may lose interest and stop checking back for articles. If people know a blog is coming they will look forward to it, but if the blogging is inconsistent you can lose trust and credibility. If you consistently post once a week, people will get used to knowing when to visit. However, if the business is improving its SEO as a priority, blogging needs to be done daily. A business must put out volume content for Google to visit more often to rank the business higher. With the widespread use of internet marketing, blogging has become very competitive as there are millions of blogs worldwide. Research shows that visitor and engagement rates go through the roof with daily blogging.
While the benefits of blogging are there to be reaped it can also create a new avenue of interaction with the world for a business and can have inevitable risks. One of the pitfalls is negative response comments. You are putting yourself out there and people are easier to comment with negative things than they are to say positive things. You have to learn to ignore the negativity and not let it be something that stops you from blogging. By the same token, you will also get some really great comments as well. Having open comments is important because another business leader may comment what a great article you did, which can really add to your credibility. If you write genuinely and passionately readers will continue to read your posts. .
Establishing a blog for your business can enable a business to reach a much larger audience than it would otherwise have been able to do. It is advisable for any business to start a blog as the potential benefits far outweigh the costs. Blogging is a powerful tool for growth.
Guys, how’d Susie do? Pretty amazing, right? Email me with any ideas for new blog posts. I want this project to be different (read: BETTER, like way, way better) than any other blog on lead-getting.