Employees Do Their Best Work When They are Comfortable

employee comfort

If employees can remain productive for extended periods of time, their business tends to enjoy rapid growth. Unfortunately, this high level of productivity is not always sustainable, and it eventually slows for a variety of reasons. However, if you can make sure your employees are comfortable, then they will be more likely to maintain a manageable level of productivity. 

Most businesses have historically given employees enough to do their jobs, and that was that. This trend has slowly dissipated over the years as employers have become more cognizant of the benefits of making their employees more comfortable. Here are three ways you can increase employee comfort and, likewise, their productivity. 

Give them Hope Enough to Focus on Work 

People don’t usually leave their jobs because they don’t like the people, they don’t get enough time off, and they can’t stand the company culture. They leave because they will find someone who will pay them more or give them the edge they need to jumpstart their career. Just about all businesses want to see their employees work their way up in the company, but with higher turnover rates, it can become evident that workers would rather jump ship in certain scenarios than wait for these opportunities to become available. 

Employees will often find themselves stressed out or flustered over things external to their work, so the less stress they associate with the office, the better. While you might not be able to pay them in accordance with their talents in all cases, you can give them a sense of fulfillment by empowering them to work on projects that tap into their unique skill sets. Most people like being challenged just enough to keep themselves focused on the task at hand, and if they are focused, they’ll be less likely to leave for your competition. 

Extend More than Fringe Benefits 

While it’s certainly nice to provide snacks and drinks for your employees, it’s often the bigger-ticket items that will make the biggest difference in your workforce’s lives. It might be nice to provide them with Swiss Rolls, but when they can’t go to the dentist to address the cavities from uncontrollably eating said Swiss Rolls, it creates a serious point of contention for them. Do your best to provide adequate health and wellness programs, retirement programs, debt relief, and even student loan repayment if possible. 

Many of today’s workers don’t have the above; they only have their paychecks to rely on, and it is a major stressor. This is why they may seek out other opportunities. If you can invest in your staff beyond their compensation, such as by providing them with working technology and investing in their wellness, you can significantly reduce your turnover rate. 

Provide a Pleasant or Flexible Work Experience 

The pandemic has brought about a mindset shift in the modern worker. They now realize just how much time they are investing into their employer, and this doesn’t sit well with many of them. If you can give your team the ability to spend more time with their family or give them time to accomplish their goals outside of the office, you might find that they are more comfortable in their employment with you.  

Remember, not everyone can work remotely, and many people simply don’t (or won’t) want to. While remote operations can help in a certain capacity, it’s important to keep in mind what can and cannot be accomplished through remote operations. In cases where remote operations may not be feasible, you can instead adopt a flexible working schedule or hybrid workplace. 

How can your business make its employees more comfortable? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to subscribe to our blog for more introspective and thought-provoking business ideas. 

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5 Tips to Get the Most from Your Instant Messaging Solution

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Instant messaging is a solution that has picked up in the business world, and for a good reason. While email allows for more passive communication, instant messaging allows for more instantaneous communication, similar to a phone call in its urgency. But are you properly using instant messaging?

Establish a Usage Policy

Just like with other technology solutions, your company should have a policy in place that governs how your employees use it. This means that you must establish clear guidelines for the appropriate use of instant messaging. For example, having a group chat for a department is perfectly fine, but having a group that is exclusively for sharing distractions is a problem that can lead to too much wasted time.

Keep it Professional

You should always use greetings when sending instant messages, similar to the way you would if you were using emails. Using a salutation such as “Hi Name,” rather than opening the conversation with a question can make a world of difference. It would help if you also tried to use similar professional language in your IMs as you would in an email.

Keep it Short, but Keep it Clear.

As we previously mentioned, the big difference between IM and email is that IMs are designed for instantaneous responses and quick conversations rather than long, drawn-out, detailed messages. The best way to use IMs is to use it to your advantage and not use it like you would an email. If you expect someone to respond to a long IM that requires a detailed and analytic response, then it may look like the user is ignoring the message until they can find time to respond to it in the way that you expect.

Still, you’ll want to convey thoughts and ideas clearly, but instant messaging is a great place to encourage questions to prevent communication gaps.

Respect the Status Message

Most instant messaging applications allow the user to set their status. This might be something like Available, Away, In a Meeting, Busy, etc. If the user is anything but available, you should reconsider sending the message until the user is indeed available to take your message. Otherwise, there is a solid chance that the message will slip through the cracks.

Try to Encourage In-Person Communication Too

All of that said, an instant message is not a substitution for a good old face-to-face conversation. Whenever possible, you should make an effort to have in-person conversations with your coworkers and staff. This helps you avoid instances of messages being taken out of context and establishes that you can make time in your busy day to make connections in this way. It’s just good to remind your coworkers and employees that, yes, we are still people, even if half the time our communications are done from the other side of a computer screen.

4 Corner IT can help you implement the best instant messaging solution that suits your company’s needs. To learn more, reach out to us at (954) 474-2204.

Strengths-Based Development Can Take Your Business to New Heights

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Imagine that you are a kid again, and you get low marks on a test in school. The natural response from your parents and teachers is that you need to double down on studying for that subject, as it is clear that you struggle with it. The same can be said for any professional shortcomings, such as public speaking, interpersonal communication, and other performance-based skills. But what if we flipped this concept on its head and focused not on our deficits but instead where our strengths lie?

This concept is called “strengths-based development,” which has gained a lot of traction in recent years. A study reported by Gallup in 2018 found that businesses involved in the study who embraced this strengths-based approach enjoyed several benefits. This study examined 49,495 businesses, 1.2 million employees, and 22 organizations, all of which fell into seven industries across 45 countries. The participants were split into workgroups, one of which received strengths-based development interventions while the other acted as a control group.

As reported by Gallup, “Ninety percent of the workgroups studied had performance increases at or above the following ranges: 10 percent to 19 percent increased sales, 14 percent to 29 percent increased profit, 3 percent to 7 percent higher customer engagement, 6 percent to 16 percent lower turnover (low-turnover organizations), 26 percent to 72 percent lower turnover (high-turnover organizations), 9 percent to 15 percent increase in engaged employees, 22 percent to 59 percent fewer safety incidents.”

When you think about it, this makes sense. When people do what they are good at, it just feels good, and they are more likely to succeed and stick around to see the benefits of their work. Gallup expands on these numbers a bit by claiming that 67 percent of respondents who felt that managers focused on their strengths were much more engaged with their work. On the flip side of this statement, only two percent of employees who felt their strengths were not utilized were engaged with their work. You can see how strengths-based development can pay off in spades.

But what happens if you need a role fulfilled but do not have any internal talent to tap for it?

More organizations are outsourcing services to external talent than ever before. While it might not immediately feel great to admit that you do not have the talent to handle something, there is absolutely no shame in relying on trusted experts to handle certain aspects of your organization’s operations. One area that is often outsourced due to hiring a dedicated staff is IT management and maintenance. While you theoretically could have your employees manage their own technology, this can be counterproductive and frustrating for those who do not have strengths in this field.

On the other hand, managed IT is a great way to let your employees focus on their own personal strengths. Since they don’t have to worry about their technology solutions, they can instead focus on innovative new initiatives that they wouldn’t otherwise have time for. 4 Corner IT is happy to provide businesses like yours with managed IT services so that you can take a hands-off approach with your organization’s technology.

To learn more, reach out to us at (954) 474-2204.

What is Data Privacy’s Status Going Into 2021?

what is data privacy

As a consumer, how concerned are you about the care that businesses give to your data privacy. Very? You aren’t the only one. 87 percent of Americans see their data privacy as a human right. However, despite these views, most people are far too lax when it comes to their own security. What is data privacy’s status going into 2021? Let’s take a closer look.

Consumers on Businesses and Their Data Practices

In a recent report from advisory firm KPMG, the results of a survey that asked American consumers about their expectations of corporations and the privacy of their collected data were revealed. These results showed a few concerns very clearly, while revealing that not all respondents were fully aware of today’s most pressing cyberattacks.

  • 86 percent of respondents to the survey felt that their data privacy was a rising concern.
  • 70 percent claimed to be “generally familiar” with how companies collect their personal data, while 64 percent were familiar with how it was used and stored, 63 percent say they understand how it is protected, and 57 percent say they know how it is sold.
  • Having said that, 68 percent don’t trust these companies to sell this data ethically, 54 percent don’t trust it will be used ethically, 53 percent don’t feel it will be collected ethically, and 50 percent don’t trust these companies to protect their data sufficiently.
  • Most consumers are concerned about the theft of their social security number, with 83 percent of respondents identifying this concern. Following closely behind come the 69 percent worried about their credit card numbers.
  • Surprisingly, only 16 percent are concerned about the theft of their medical records.

Data Practices Amongst Consumers

While this sounds like a decent start, the survey’s results showed a bit of hypocrisy. Most users agreed that repeating passwords, saving credit card information to a website, and using public Wi-Fi are risky behaviors, but more than 40 percent of them did these things anyways. 61 percent neglected to use all available tools to secure their accounts, as well.

What We Can Learn

It doesn’t matter if it’s your data at stake, or your business’… your highest priority needs to be your security.

In another study, this one conducted by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, it was shown that almost half—46 percent—of consumers surveyed had stopped doing business with a retailer because of issues with that retailer’s privacy statement.

Are you willing to let half of your client base abandon your business?

It just goes to show that, from the consumer’s perspective, it is our responsibility to make sure that companies are accountable for the data they collect. From the business standpoint, it shows that data security is something that can’t be slapped together or neglected. Is ensuring data security simple? Far from it… but when compared to what you risk otherwise, it’s a no-brainer.

4 Corner IT is here to help. We can help you to implement the security solutions and processes that will help protect all your data. To learn more, or to get started, call our team at (877) 771-2384 today.

How to Leverage Technology for your Business Growth

how to leverage technology for your business growth

Businesses, as well as the rest of the world, are in an era of rapid technological transformation. Simultaneously, customers are getting enhanced experiences, high-quality products and services. This digital revolution is an excellent opportunity for business to leverage for growth. These are some of the considerations your business could use to progress.

Marketing

Businesses are no longer relying on traditional methods of marketing. Digital marketing has proven effective, as well as affordable. Also, digital marketing has several approaches that could all be utilized to benefit your business. Social media marketing, email marketing, SEO, and ad campaigns are some of the options at your disposal. Your business can use all of them because they are cost-effective and able to run marketing programs simultaneously.

Customer Relationship

Customers are the cornerstone of any successful business. Therefore, creating a system to manage customer relationship is critical. Today, there are programs and software that keeps track of customers, sales and other related information. Dedicating personnel to manage these programs is advisable. They will ensure that it is effectively keeping up with customer needs and anticipations.

Project Management

Running a project without a management plan is likely to go wrong. That is why utilizing project management software is a brilliant idea. These programs assist in planning the project according to its scope. They will help you to create milestones and track every step as you observe the time frame. In case of unforeseen eventualities, project management software plays an essential role in managing crisis.

Human Resources

Businesses can never be functional without employees. Minding your workforce welfare is critical to the success of your business. Manage your employees’ progress by using human resource information systems. They are excellent in keeping personnel records, performance appraisal and identifying employee needs.

Evaluate your business needs and maximize technology to grow your business. Contact us to learn more.