How can employers reduce stress in the workplace?

With everything happening in the world, employees are feeling the effects of anxiety and stress more than ever before. With the pressure to make ends meet, the changing economy and the stress of everyday life, employees can find themselves struggling to keep a balance between their peace of mind and delivering great results at work. With this in mind, there has never been a more important time for employers to make reducing stress a top priority.

CREATE SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Find ways to bring your team together in a fun environment by playing a game, inviting a motivational speaker or going out for lunch. You could even plan some meeting outside of the office! The more people enjoy their time at work, the better the atmosphere will be – and a better office atmosphere leads to productivity, creativity and collaboration.

PROVIDE A RELAXATION SPACE

It could be a room where employees can have time to breathe, sip some tea and relax. Make sure it has some relaxing music and even some snacks. Many employers avoid doing this as they fear it will make employees lazy and less productive. However, it is better to find ways to monitor the time they spend in the room than not providing a chill out space for them to decompress.

ALSO READ: 4 ways to feel relaxed and energized at work

COMMUNICATE

The lack of communication can create many damages in the workplace. Take the time to talk to your employees. As busy as you might be, it is crucial to make some time to listen to what they have to say. This will stress in the workplace. Also, communicate your vision and ideas with them. Open communication is critical in leadership . As an employer, it is important that you take the time to keep your team abreast of the latest developments and departmental changes.

ALLOW FLEXI-TIME AND REMOTE WORKING

Allowing employees to work remotely, or even on a flexible time scheme is proven to increase productivity. Not only does it shows that you trust them, by allowing them to manage their own time, but you are also taking away added stress such as child care considerations from working parents. Just make sure you use open communication to manage this flexibility.

LEAD BY EXAMPLE

As a leader its critical you keep a lid on your own emotions; don’t let negativity, anger or stress rub off on your employees. You have more power than you think, as your mood can affect your employees. Practice what you preach and ensure you give yourself enough time to de-stress at the end of the working day. In the mornings smile to your employees in order to set the tone for the day.

 

As an employer, your employees well-being is an important indicator of your success. Find out more ways to keep your employees happy on Shortstints.com

 

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3 Benefits of delegating

Not wanting to delegate is many bosses’ weakness. As the head of an enterprise, we always think that, if we let go of control, everything will fall apart. If this were the case, it would mean that you seriously would need to rebuild your whole team. But most of the time, you will be surprised to see that this is far from being the truth. Your employees are most likely qualified to take care of the business different activities. If you never delegate, you will never know what they are capable of doing.

Here are 3 benefits of delegating:

It gives you time to breathe

When you take care of everything, it is not only unhealthy for you because you overdo it, but it is also unhealthy for your company. Delegating will give you time to breathe and think of new ideas instead of being drowned in too many responsibilities.

It gives your employees more confidence

When employees feel like you trust them with more responsibilities, they will gain more confidence and feel more valued. This will help them work more effectively and contribute more to the success of the company.

It increases productivity

Delegating increases productivity because everybody has more time to focus on less instead of doing it all. This will bring a sense of clarity so everybody knows where the business is going and what steps need to be taken.

Do not be afraid to trust your employees and delegate. You might be surprised be the results!

Post a job today on Shortstints and increase your chances of finding the right candidate for you!

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5 tips to be the best boss ever

Every boss wants to be respected by his employees. But being appreciated rather than just respected and feared is also important if you want to build on a strong foundation. Your employees are your most important asset and if they are not happy in your enterprise, the negative impact will be felt.

Here are 5 tips you can apply in order to be the best boss ever

Be clear about your expectations

Be clear from the beginning about what you are expecting. Do not try to be the cool boss while staying silent about things that are important to you. It is important for your employees to know what you are comfortable with and what you do not accept in your office. This will help avoid bad surprises and build a relationship of trust between you and your employees.

Plan meetings outside of the office

Planing meetings outside of the office will help your employees feel more relaxed. It is a great way to really get to learn more about their personalities. Many times, the office environment might make some employees feel nervous and put pressure on them to be a certain way. Allowing them to be who they really are will not only create a better work environment but also build stronger relationships between you and your staff.

Ask your employees what they are expecting from you

It is a no brainer to tell employees what is expected of them but it also very important for a boss to ask his/her employees what they are expecting from him/her. This will not only show the employees that their opinion matters but will also make them feel valued and appreciated. When an employee feels valued, he is more willing to give his best and go the extra mile.

Take the time to learn more about their personal life

And by this, we do not mean being nosy but simply making sure you know a little bit about their family and their hobbies. These employees will feel more comfortable telling you the truth when they need a day off to take their kids to a doctors appointment for example. Also, it will bring more conversations to the table! This is crucial if you want your employees to be comfortable around you and not feel awkward as soon as there is nothing left to be said about work.

Do not forget birthdays!

Forgetting birthdays is a big NO-NO.  Make sure your accountant puts some money aside to buy a cake and some balloons for employees birthdays. Celebrating your employees will bring them closer and create a sense of belonging to your enterprise. Put up a board with each name and their birth day so nobody forgets!

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The difference between a boss and a leader

It’s not apples and oranges. The line between a good leader and an effective boss is quite fine. For a person who has a number of people working under them, the processes of regulating rules and inspiring people to do better becomes a hindrance.

Let’s consider the standard good boss of the 60s. They paid their employees on time, participated in office related events, and gave leave to workers who deserved them. But is that it? It’s not 1960 anymore and the boss and employee dynamics have changed.

Today’s employee would much rather work under a good leader than an effective boss, but what this same employee does not understand is that the effective boss is the one that is keeping the company afloat. The paycheck that they receive at the end of every month is because of the strict regulation of rules that has been put upon the shoulder pads of the suit wearing stern person.

They can be both

Finding the right balance between being a boss and a leader is the best way to go about it. But how can it be done? It’s simple. You have to look at your employees as people who are under your training. Don’t just bark orders and expect people to complete the work on time, clock out and clock in the next morning smiling.

A good work place always has the boss working alongside their team. If a person who has more stakes in the company is closely related to the production department of a company, they can make sure that all problems can be solved easily. That is a leader. Leader never order, they stand with their people.

To balance this out, an effective boss is required to lay down some ground rules for the employees. The rules have to be fair and accommodate all the people of the company. There should be no special preference for people in the higher position. If the clock in time is 9 AM, the boss should make sure to be in at 9 AM or earlier. You cannot enforce the rules unless you follow them well.

Some traits of a good leader:

  • Open door policy

Just because you have a designation higher than other people in the company does not mean that their opinion should not matter to you. The people who work under you are the ones who are running this company. Listen to the opinion of those around you and try to incorporate what they want within the company policies.

  • They give credit where its due

If one of the employees came up with a great idea, a good leader would make sure they mention the person’s name when it is presented to their superiors.

  • They always ask for the opinion of their employees before making a big change

The people who work under you should know what lies ahead of them. If you plan to make a big change in the company policy or the software which the company runs on, it is the duty of a good leader to take the opinion of all the people involved in it.

A good leader and an effective boss can be the same person if the person is able to find a balance in both. For an organization to flourish, a person should be able to lead well and regulate the rules accordingly.

For more information on being an effective employer, visit Short Stints.

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Branding Better – You Need a Powerful and Professional Brand Identity (Part II)

In this post, we’ll cover the second part of branding better and why you need a powerful brand identity.

The previous post Branding Better – You Need a Powerful and Professional Brand Identity (Part I)

, discussed the importance of having a master logo, a secondary look, and choosing the right font or typography.

Let’s delve deeper into the brand identity system below.

Color

Branding Tips
Colors play a vital role in branding.

Palette

Colors. It is how many of us imagine branding. Companies are known for their color choices. For instance, Target uses red and white and Susan G. Komen uses pink, white, and brown.

Most of us know a handful of major brands and their colors because they are an integral part of their company, their message, and brand identity.

Colors, like typefaces, can bring out emotions. What emotions do you want to be associated with your name?

Each color has their own meaning – there is a whole psychology behind color that marketing and advertising can teach you.

Before you decide on a final color palette, think about how your business’ colors will be perceived and if they send the right message. 84% of consumers say color is a primary reason they buy a product or service.

Branding Tips
Is your firm adding visuals?

If you need feedback, choose 3-4 different color palettes, and get the opinion of a specialized branding short term contractor or temp. Or you can ask your interns and other staff for opinions and advice.

Related: Why You Should Focus on Emotional Branding

Visual Brand Additions

Visual additions are what they sound like – additions to your brand’s visuals. They support your branding to make it unique, and to tell your story.

Will you have a patterned background, or use icons? Victoria’s Secret uses a pattern in their branding that supports the rest of their identity.

Icons can also be a great tool, when used correctly, to bring your branding together. If you sell a service or a product, you can add icons to your website and merchandise, as part of the packaging or to tell consumers more about your product.

Plus, they can make your company look professional and trustworthy. If you don’t look professional, you will have a hard time convincing consumers to spend their money with your company.

 Brand Tone

A brand tone, or what is commonly referred to as your brand personality, is what your company says. Not just what you want others to say about your brand.

You are in control of the brand message you send by using your words. Consistent weekly blog posts that are informative and helpful is one way to build your brand tone.

Branding Tips
Add Blog Posting to your Plan.

What you say establishes who you are as a company. Is your business vintage? Or bright, bold, colorful, and happy?

Your industry can help determine which is best, but also how you want others to perceive your brand.

What words do you want people to use when they discuss your startup or small business? Your brand personality should encompass those words.

But you can also use your social media, mission statement, and blog posts, among others to create the right tone.

Remember, like all other elements of your brand identity, your brand tone should be unique so you’re memorable, and you stand out in a crowded market.

Don’t be afraid to try something different, or do what others in your industry are not.

***

What company brands do you admire?

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Branding Better – You Need a Powerful and Professional Brand Identity (Part I)

What are the elements of a brand identity? They tend to be the standard elements you think of with branding – logos, colors, and so forth.

But they all come together to create a unified identity for your company. As a startup or small business, having a robust and strong brand is essential.

You need a system. In the branding world, this is often called a Brand Identity System. Hiring a professional or hiring a team, whether temps or short term contractors can help tremendously.

Let’s explore how you can start branding better and why you need a powerful and professional brand identity.

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Master Logo

This is your main logo. Think Nike’s swoosh, Target’s bull’s eye, and Apple’s apple. It’s the logo your audience will identify your company with.

This is the most critical design component of your business. It’s crucial to keep it simple.

You don’t have to try to show what it is your company does by your logo. For instance, think of the logos of Adidas, Verizon Wireless, and Century Link. Each has their own logo, but none of the logos represent the products or services they offer.

It’s also important the logo can be used on different mediums, depending on your business needs.

Will you create flyers and business cards, add it to a physical product, place it as a header on your website, or use it somewhere else? It needs to be scalable and useful.

And remember, it must be memorable, unique, and include a solid color.

Related: When Should Your New Startup Invest in Branding?

Secondary Logo

In the past, the idea of a secondary logo was almost non-existent. However, the landscape for branding and brand identity has changed. Today, secondary logos are not uncommon, and can be essential parts of your business.

They’re important because our brains have been trained to block out most advertising and marketing. Every day, we are exposed to over 5,000

advertisements.

Many companies have a secondary logo or mark that identifies them. It may be a separate logo or a smaller portion of the primary logo. Or it could be a tagline.

You can use it on your social media channels, blog or website, your merchandise, and more. Its goal is to support your master or main logo.

Secondary logos are especially popular for fashion and lifestyle brands, but can be an excellent idea for others companies.

Font or Typography

When you think of branding, do you think of the font or typography? Every major brand uses a particular font.

Some are more feminine, such as Hurley, Victoria’s Secret, and Always. Others are less, such as Getty Images, BlackBerry, and the font used for the Olympics.

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Choosing the right font shouldn’t be decided by chance. Put thought and time into the one or ones that feel good and represent your brand.

When you see a particular typeface, different thoughts, emotions, and ideas come to mind. That’s because each one has a unique personality. Some are light and clean; others are heavy and dense.

Your brand should have a main font or typeface that is used on your logo. Plus, a secondary or third font that complements the primary type.

That’s the end of Part I. Tomorrow we’ll continue our discussion in Part II of Branding Better – You Need a Powerful and Professional Brand Identity.

***

What is your favorite part of branding?

 

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What Type of Brand Do You Want? Here Are 7 Useful Examples

When you first delve into the world of business as a startup or small company, you need to decide the type of branding you will do.

Branding is essential to how successful your business is. According to Statista, in 2015 Apple was considered the most valuable brand globally with a brand value of over $128 million.

Most people assume a brand is only one thing; however, it is made of many different types of brands.

The kind of brand you choose is entirely up to you, and what is best for your startup. Often, you may use more than one type of brand. They all serve a similar but different purpose.

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You may want to brainstorm with your staff – interns, temps, short term contractors, and anyone else to create efficient and successful brand strategies.

What type of brand do you want? Here are 7 useful examples.

  1. Public Brand

Public brands are usually government organizations, such as The U.S. Department of Labor. However, many argue you can’t brand an entity that doesn’t offer consumer products or services. But you can still implement brand strategies.

  1. Company/Corporate Brand

This is the most well known of brands. To be successful, your business needs a brand. Think of Chase Bank or our company, Short Stints. Each has their own distinct brand. It is the organization that stands behind the product or service.

  1. Product Brand

Product brands, such as consumer goods, use branding to create certain emotions and a need for their products. This type of branding is usually linked to fasting-moving consumer goods (FMCG), also known as consumer packaged goods (CPG).

Related: Why You Need a Company Brand Statement (and How to Write One)

  1. Global Brand

Global brands are well-known organizations around the world. Think Nike or Apple. Through their brands, they’ve instilled deep customer loyalty globally.

Hiring Tips
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Global brands are synonymous with familiarity or “household names”, stability, and accessibility.

  1. Generic Brand

Think of the generic product brand or off-brands you can buy at grocery stores (e.g. Fry’s Kroger products, Target’s Up & Up, and Walmart’s Equate).  These brands usually piggy-back and offer similar, more affordable products than their brand name counterparts.

  1. Non-Profit or NGO (Non-Government Organization) Brand

These brands are specifically for non-profit organizations and non-government agencies that are seeking means to find funds for their missions beyond standard fundraising efforts. The non-profit community is often split in half in regards to whether non-profits should profit off their efforts or not. Today, many NPOs and NGOs have resorted to these means because of fierce competition for funding.

  1. Employer Brand

This type of branding is strategically done to attract top talent. It is achieved through their employees, company culture, and their hiring selection process. Most often, companies focus on trying to attract top talent but do not concentrate on retaining that talent through people-based programs and initiatives.

***

What type of brand do you want? Will you use more than one type of branding in your organization?

 

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Bots Offer Businesses Special Benefits and Advantages

Bots have been taking businesses by storm. They have slowly been replacing some human jobs, and in other cases have helped make processes run smoother and quicker.

Many businesses and startups are beginning to pick up on the importance of cutting down time, and saving money in their businesses. Bots can offer this.

The truth is: bots offer businesses special benefits and advantages, like employees (temps, interns, short term contractors, etc.)

Once, bots may have seemed like a trend; however, that isn’t the case. They’re here to stay. And it seems many startups and small businesses are creating bots that can help out other businesses.

Startups
Stay ahead of your competition by using the resources available to your business.

Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Consumer (B2C) companies have jumped on in support of chatbots.

Related: The New Kukie Bot Will Teach You How to Create a Better Startup

For instance, hugely successful companies such as Pizza Hut and Whole Foods have begun to use bots. They implemented them to provide superior customer service and create a new consumer buying experience.

When large businesses see the benefits and advantages of using chatbots, others follow suit.

Facebook Messenger has reached 1 billion users when only 3 months earlier its scope was 900 million. More than 18,000 bots have launched using the app, and bots are a marketable and successful strategy for any business – large and small.

There’s no denying that bots can offer tremendous benefits to companies and businesses. Those who choose to ignore the benefits and not stay up to date with the newest technology may find themselves behind their competition.

***

What’s your take on businesses using bots? In your opinion, what are the pros and cons?

 

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The New Kukie Bot Will Teach You How to Create a Better Startup

On June 28, Rishabh Bose and Aditya Ahluwalia of Happy Batua from New Dheli, India, launched Kukie, a chatbot resource for startups and small businesses. The new Kukie bot will teach you how to create a better startup.

One of the most powerful elements of Kukie is the bot will lead you step-by-step into creating a successful startup in a short time.

It connects you with over 300 resources in 40 categories. If you need help creating a logo, Kukie can point you in the right direction.

The only requirement? You need to be able to communicate effectively, Ahluwalia told VentureBeat.

startup
Get ahead by using the resources available around you.

According to Ahluwalia one of the key lessons he learned about building a startup is keeping it simple. Kukie taught him this. He stated, “Keep your product easy to understand, intuitive, instant gratification based, good looking, and most importantly useful, and it’s bound to work.”

Related: Legion Analytics Promises Bots That Will Automate Your Sales Pitches 

This isn’t the first startup Ahluwalia has been involved with. Over the last five years, he has participated in a handful of other startups.

But what makes Kukie different? According to Ahluwalia, he was able to streamline his process and make it quicker. Within a week, Kukie went from an idea to a reality without code.

They have gained tremendous support from Facebook and WhatsApp. Today, over 2500 people have used Kukie through Facebook Messenger.

startup
Startups can now get the edge with the tools that are easily accessible today.

Kukie has been so successful because “bots have the power to lead the users to do an action much stronger than a website or an app,” said Ahluwalia. You connect and learn what you need to do.

The chatbot is great to use solo or with your staff. You can use the help of other members of your team such as temps or interns to get your startup ready.

In upcoming weeks, the pair plan to release a new and improved Kukie bot.

***

Would you use a bot to help build your startup?

 

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Why You Need a Useful and Valuable Company Mission Statement

Does your startup or small business have a mission statement? The purpose of a mission statement is to let people know what your company does – your customers and employees.

Studies have shown employees who believe their employer’s work is meaningful are 68% more engaged and productive.

A great mission statement is simple, and it can make you memorable. Below is why you need a useful and valuable company mission statement.

They Set You Apart

The point of a mission statement is to let others know what drives your business; however, you don’t want to be generic. Otherwise, your statement will sound just like everyone else’s. Be specific.

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A great mission statement is unique to your company. What is it your business really does? And what do you hope to do? It blends reality and optimism together.

Related: Need Help with Your Vision Statement? Here Are 4 Things to Consider

They Tell a Story

Your story must be plausible, and revolve around why you exist, how you treat your employees (temps, interns, traditional staff), and why you do what you do.

They can reflect your short term or long term goals – but choose only one. It sounds simple, but communicating it effectively to your audience can be tricky.

Make it succinct and to the point. Keep it between 1-2 sentences. For instance, Nike’s mission is summed up in one sentence: “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world” – to them everyone is an athlete.

They Provide Value

Part of running a successful startup or small business is being able to give value through your products or services.

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You need to communicate the value you can provide your potential customers with your mission statement. What is your mission, your purpose, the drive behind running your company? Include it in your mission.

Readers should take away why your company and mission are valuable.

***

What’s your current mission statement? What’s your biggest challenge in creating one?

 

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