Why It Is Important To Consider Employee Engagement

Gallup surveys suggest that high worker engagement levels could aid companies in reducing the staff attrition of them by 25% to 65%. The above statistics just shows the extent to which worker engagement is invaluable. It was related to a different corporate concept called productivity, but there is more to employee engagement than just productivity.

Very productive workers may report that there is not enough connection and engagement with their place of work, which is likely to make companies lose their finest staff. Nevertheless, it is not necessarily difficult to increase engagement. The initial step in improving it is to recognize the reason for prioritizing employee engagement. Shared below are some reasons for you to consider employee engagement.

Millennial Workers Think In A Different Way

By 2020, millennials make up over 50% of the labor force. In 5 years, they will constitute 75% of it. The information shared above may seem terrifying, but it shouldn’t be. Millennial people rate experience above financial rewards, and utilizing employee engagement strategies such as providing hedonistic rewards means that you can keep your staff engaged at all times.

Engagement Aids In Striking The Work-Life Balance

Almost every person thinks that they are working too hard, especially those positioned at bigger companies. Implementing worker engagement programs at the office that aid individuals in exploiting their passions mean that you can make work-life balance not an issue.

An easy program that numerous companies worldwide utilize is this; reward points which are redeemable on travel sites to make trips possible. In the event a manager is satisfied with a worker’s performance, they would only need to grant the latter a fixed number of reward points. Thus, the workers can use these points to pay for accommodation, purchase flight tickets, or for whatever else that is likely to prevent a great vacation.

You can take similar steps through the creation of a custom e-commerce portal where workers can redeem their points. Making the awards procedure known to the public could just help to boost engagement for a long time.

Stronger Relationships Between Colleagues Reduce Attrition

It is possible to use employee engagement to achieve more camaraderie among colleagues. Scheduling the odd office party or team dinner is likely to make them identify with each other on a personal level.

A different important reason for making room for relationship building is that almost every millennial prefers sharing events and experiences. It is an important element for socializing and feeling as if they are leading their lives.

Through lively parties once every month or quarter, you can make your staff members more connected with each other, thereby reducing their likelihood to look for job opportunities elsewhere.

Engagement Aids In Shaping Employee Identity In Your Organizational Ecosystem

Millennial workers must have their own sense of self. What if it is possible for you to discover a way of tying it with your entity? Providing public recognition and frequent acknowledgment means that you can be sure that they connect with your company and never quit.

Worker engagement could just drive each of your operations, thereby confirming that you have a more seamless flow of work and more dedicated staff with deeper loyalty.

Working Remotely? – Consider These Factors To Use Video Conferencing Securely

In a matter of months, the coronavirus epidemic has had radical impacts on how people communicate with each other. It seems the so-called ‘new normal’ is doing home-based work and people will have to get use to this new normal. In spite of the COVID-19-induced disruption, there is still collaboration at work, even though this is possible only through teleconferencing instead of face-to-face interaction. Governments worldwide have put strict restrictions in place on movement, so we are discovering just how an issue itself encourages out-of-the-box efforts to solve it.

One of the ways in which entities and people have kept communication in this continuing epidemic is by video conferencing. It was becoming more popular before the onset of the coronavirus, but the present situation has made it even more important in our daily lives. Anyhow, a lot more goes into the video conferencing service than selecting the easiest video calling application. It is also important to consider network security because video conferences are also exposed to the risk of being hacked. This situation could place sensitive data in danger, which could then greatly damage your business reputation.

Below are some of the main things that require you to confirm that you have access to a secure form of video conferencing service. This list applies not just in the present epidemic period but also in the distant future.

Restricting Access

When setting up a web-based video conference, it is important to be sure to allow accessing this form of the meeting to only those individuals who require it. Usually, video conferencing tools permit those who organize the meeting to limit access to some electronic mail IDs. Thus, the organizers can make sure that only those invitees can join their video call.

You also have to be capable of setting a one-of-a-kind one-time password for the conference. Provided that it is limited to just the relevant parties, it may aid in making snoopy third-parties remain outside. Other features, like a virtual waiting room, are useable to limit access to all these sorts of meetings. As the organizer, you may keep individuals in the waiting rooms up to the time it is right to let them into the call. All of above will help in ensuring confidentiality.

Link And File Sharing

When you organize the conference, be careful about the files that are shared amid those who participate in it. In the event of viruses and malware being downloaded and shared during a remote internet-based conference, there could be serious repercussions. To minimize the possibility of this event, you may have to limit the forms of files shared on every video call.

For instance, you may keep participants from sharing any executable file because it is usually utilized to spread a form of malware. Similarly, you have to be wary of the links being shared at the time of the conference. Tell those who take part in it to avoid clicking on any unsubstantiated link because doing so could cause a security violation.

Configuring Security Controls Correctly

No matter which conferencing program you may utilize, it has to have many different security controls. You must understand in what way these controls function. Make the effort to be familiar with these, and consider starting any conference only after you’ve done so. The continuing process of developing Software as a Service has resulted in the creation of certain security solutions. Many provide ground-breaking and strong security solutions.

Some of these solutions have the capability of not just detecting files that contain personal details but also preventing anyone from sharing these files. Be sure to configure the security controls of yours to protect confidential details in whichever possible means.

Screen And Video Sharing

When you don’t need to utilize video at the time of conferencing, you can choose to avoid it. Because an audio-only conference requires less bandwidth, it is likely to make the call better and more reliable. This is potentially useful in the event of having any internet connectivity issue. Conversely, when you do need to utilize video, you may wish to restrict the capability of screen sharing. This move will aid in keeping sensitive details from accidently being shown. When possible, it is wise to make the video call host share his or her screen.

Reporting Any Dubious Activity

In the event of encountering suspicious activity when you are partaking in a conference call, be sure to report it sooner rather than later. Letting your team of IT professionals know about possible security violations, will make them better positioned to do the right measure against it.

Security threats emerge always, and more and more hackers are viewing video conferences as their prime targets. Keep the IT experts in your business informed to make them take the required preventive measures. Tell every team member to do the same.

Education

The best means to make sure of reliability security may be to train every person in your team properly. Be sure that they are aware of the way to utilize the tools at their disposal, like contact center programs, in a secure and proper way. An increasing number of customer services is offered virtually, so safe utilization of these forms of channels also matters a lot. This is especially because of its significance.

Cons Of Going Serverless That Cloud Providers May Not Tell You

Serverless computing has been a revolutionary invention. When looking to fast-track the post-COVID-19 movement to the cloud environment, we would prefer to not have to size the resources that we feel our workloads will require.

The serverless technology not only provides the cloud-based resources required, like storage, but it also removes access to these resources after workflows complete processing. Some may describe this as a lazy individual’s platform as a service, but eliminating the need for guessing about providing the precise resource count will save you much hassle nowadays. Anyhow, as with any other technology, serverless computing also has some drawbacks, and we will take a look at some of these here.

Cold Start

If you run a serverless computing function in a VPN (virtual private cloud), then it might just cause a delay or cold start. This is similar to the action of starting Buick, according to individuals of a certain vintage.

Furthermore, different languages come with their own set of lags. In the event of benchmarking these, you may discover that Java and .Net are the slowest and Python is the quickest. You may utilize tools for analysing the lengths of lag and determining the effect of these on your workflows. In the event you rely on serverless computing, we would recommend utilizing the products mentioned above.

Distance Latency

The phrase ‘distance latency’ refers to what extent the function mentioned above is from its end users. We notice that businesses are running the tasks in Asia even as most users hail from the US. Bandwidth may not be thought of as a problem, but the users prefer convenience over utility. Moreover they do not think about the effects, like the administrator being situated in the subcontinent.

The data being situated somewhere different from the central serverless function, which utilizes the data, is a source of one more distance problem. This poor choice is usually based on process distribution through the public cloud. While it may appear great on Microsoft PowerPoint, it is not a pragmatic choice.

Insufficient Runtime Configurations

These configurations tend to be disregarded. There is a pre-set list of compute and memory configs for serverless systems, where things such as memory range between 64 and 3008 megabytes. Central processing units are usually allocated on the basis of the level of memory utilized. A lower computer memory environment is generally more affordable, but a performance-related compromise would be there in the event of the serverless computing provider treating you unfairly in regards to CPU and memory.

There may be several pros to using serverless systems, but you should also think about the cons. Understanding these things pragmatically will let you bypass them successfully.

Tips For Communicating In Your Company During A Turbulent Period

Periods of quick change will test an individual’s capability to adjust and react to a given situation. This is when the communication capability of a leader will be the factor that decides if a business will fail or succeed. This applies no matter whether he or she is an executive-level or front-line leader. Good communicators can present a vision, plan a feasible path ahead, and help others understand the implications. All of the things mentioned above is very important to have, particularly in uncertain and turbulent periods.

Therefore, strong communication is beyond just a catchphrase. Rather, it is a tool that can affect collaboration, customer relations, and organizational culture in a positive or negative way. It is unfortunate that a survey discovered 91% of 1,000 workers said their leaders do not have good communication capability. It is possible to track this inability back to the way in which managers and leaders are involved in or communicate with workers.

So, in what way does one make sure that their employees are able to relate with their ideas during these times? Below are a few strategies to take into consideration when emailing a co-worker, presenting something to numerous workers in a conference hall, or talking to somebody somewhere remote.

Reiterate Your Idea Multiple Times

Leaders mistakenly feel that they would achieve their objective after just communicating something with their workers and the most important individuals in their organization. They must not continue doing that believing that this is the case. There is complete and successful communication when the receiver of your message internalizes that idea instead of simply listening to it.

To make sure of this, you must repeat your messages through different mediums, like video, telephone, and email, because there is a likely emotional reaction to those ideas. This research by Queen’s University’s Kate Sikerbol discovered, “Allowing employees to share stories and feelings helped them to develop a greater sense of control over the changes, improved morale, reduced absenteeism, and built trust between managers and employees.”

Try To Get Feedback

After delivering a message, the most difficult task may be to confirm that everyone thoroughly understood your idea. In order to be sure of this, you have to make sure you seek a response from your audience. This is a way of finding out what they listened to and understood, plus which actions are occurring consequently, and the level of acceptance your idea has got. This will let you move forward by being aware that the problem has been addressed.

Control The Reiterated Things

Sometimes, leaders are aware that they will have to repeat what they communicate with their team. It is specifically the case when a company member demands their viewpoint in uncertain times because their answer will likely be passed on to other people.

Circumstances often emerge when one’s remarks or reactions give the foundation for the next action, direction, or talk. Therefore, a leader must be capable of influencing how other people understand and pass on the things they say after leaving the discussion. They may do the following things to produce that result.

  • Be Proactive. Communicate the things they feel matter the most. This will confirm that the things passed on are exactly the ideas that a leader wished to communicate in their organization.
  • Keep Your Ideas Simple. Individuals cannot recall all the things you say as a leader, so they may choose the things they feel are important and pass on only those. Therefore, deliver your messages as short extracts from a recorded speech.
  • Do Not Say Negative Things. Several pieces of research on psychology show that individuals often keep negative things in mind longer than positive ideas. There is an appropriate situation to communicate these things, and a turbulent period is not one. In this situation, negative verbiage or examples could just be detrimental to your capability of communicating with an apprehensive audience.
  • Make Your Ideas Interesting. Make it intriguing so that the audience will not misrepresent or embellish your idea. You can just add a tale, illustration, or analogy to make the conversation interesting.

Finding the appropriate words to communicate is potentially challenging for a leader, especially in tough periods. This can cause a leader to communicate only a few things of little substance to those who work for them. As a leader, you might not get the right words, but it is your job to communicate something of substance with them. Therefore, pay attention to communication activities, opinions, impact behaviour, and influence outcomes in an effective way during the right time. This way, you could just give the guidance that others seek particularly in uncertain times.

Debunking the Most Common Cybersecurity Myths

Even though small businesses belong to a varied group, most of them have a few things in common. For instance, they all want their businesses to thrive as soon as possible. Secondly, most small-business owners depend on their websites to market their brand and build a reputation for their company in the industry in order to draw more customers.

The problem is that with the developments in technology, cybercriminals are becoming more evolved too and they can easily find new ways to infiltrate into the network of small businesses. This can put the sensitive data of the company at great risk and could lead to many kinds of potential losses.

While many small-business owners try to learn how to stop such threats, most of them get confused with the many myths about cybersecurity and the best practices to be followed. Below are some of those misconceptions which all small businesses should be aware of so that they can protect their company data in the best way possible.

Small Businesses are Not a Target of Cybercriminals

Many budding entrepreneurs presume that their company is too small to be a potential target of cybercriminals. However, being a startup or a small business does not remove their site from the list of appealing ones to hack into. In fact, small businesses can be more attractive targets for some cybercriminals because they will not have in-house security experts or a robust cybersecurity solution installed. A recent report even highlighted that around 43% of cyberattacks happen to small-scale businesses. The results of such attacks can be devastating.

In order to protect your customers and company’s sensitive data, you need to take proactive approaches to cybersecurity. This means that you should invest in a reliable and comprehensive cybersecurity solution for your business, which offers the same level of protection that is provided to large organizations with lots of data. This will help protect your website data efficiently.

Your Data is Not Worth Stealing

Some small businesses believe that because they are not collecting any payment details, they do not have the data that is worth stealing for a cybercriminal. However, payment details are not the only kinds of valuable customer information that cybercriminals target. Online hackers can target even personal identifiable information like the names, email IDs, and user account credentials.

When cybercriminals have the personal identifiable information data, they can use it to inject malware into your customer accounts or emails for further gains. They can even sell the personal identifiable information on the dark web for creating phishing schemes or tricking people to provide their banking details and credit card information. Cybercriminals can also use the data for ransomware attacks and withhold stolen details unless the user pays the specified amount.

Antivirus Software is Enough to Keep you Safe

A few small-business owners think that having a traditional endpoint security solution will be enough to protect their websites from cyberattacks. However, consumer-level antivirus software or firewalls are not enough to secure your business website. Cybercriminals can easily break into the system and steal the data even if you have such solutions in place. Therefore, you should adopt a more holistic strategy to boost cybersecurity. This means incorporating multiple layers of security for your business data and securing all points of entry.

Antivirus software applications usually detect threats that are in the form of executable programs or macros that run within other programs. However, cybercriminals these days can break into web applications too and install malware to compromise the security of the system. This can cause significant data loss, which sometimes happens even without the user recognizing it. Traditional antivirus programs cannot detect such threats either, which puts your websites exposed to cyberattacks.

You can install automated website scanning solutions to counter such threats. This will go a step further than your traditional endpoint security system and scan the data files and website database for malware. You can even choose a security solution that automatically fixes the vulnerabilities found in the web application.

External Attacks are the Only Cybersecurity Threat

There is no arguing the fact that external attackers are a grave threat for businesses. However, there can be some internal risks too. For instance, the team members of your company can pose significant security risks via many types of ignorant errors. In fact, reports say that around 60% of data breaches happen due to employee errors. This means that you should educate your staff about the cybersecurity measures that you have taken.

Employee training on cybersecurity should be done at least once a year. These annual sessions can include how to identify a phishing scam, how to use a password manager to generate unique and more secure passwords, and how to use a VPN when connecting to a public Wi-Fi network. That will ensure that you stay safe from the internal risks of data loss.

7 Ways to Safeguard Your Company’s Data

When hackers violate confidential information, it is what we call a “data breach”. It’s very hard to trace them and so it is critical for companies to take measures to safeguard their data. Companies can get in legal trouble if their customers’ personal information gets exposed.

Here are 7 tips you should be following to protect your data:

1. Always install trustworthy applications

There are several bots on the web targeting specific weaknesses of certain versions of WordPress websites, for example, to attempt data breaches. Do your research and install trustworthy security applications and plugins, to prevent this type of hostile violations. For advanced data protection seek web application firewalls.

2. Get a web application firewall

A web application firewall (WAF) filters the content of specific web applications, monitors data passing through your database, and blocks HTTP traffic to and from a web application. It is the ultimate data security tool. You could also install a cloud-based WAF for a fairly affordable monthly subscription.

3. Perform regular software updates

Run software updates on a regular basis, especially when related to security fixes. As soon as you see a software update, review it and act fast as your network might be vulnerable and an easy target for cyber attacks.

4. Set Network security guidelines

It is important to set specific guidelines for your employees when it comes to network security, as they might not be familiar with all the ways they may be offering hackers a free pass. Therefore, conducting ongoing security trainings will increase your staff’s awareness and knowledge on protecting sensitive data while avoiding common mistakes.

A few of the things that must be included in your guidelines are:

  • Frequent change of logins
  • Use of strong and unusual passwords
  • Expiry date of login details due to inactivity
  • Limited number of login attempts
  • Use of captcha for resetting passwords
  • Data encryption
  • Malware detection
  • …and many more

5. Schedule security assessments

Schedule periodic internal security assessments, but also hire a data security expert if needed to conduct a thorough evaluation of your security systems to improve your privacy solutions.

6. Don’t Use Auto-Fill Forms

Auto-fill forms can be convenient for users but put your data security in jeopardy. If a hacker gets access to a user’s device, the auto-fill saved login data on that device can be a portal for inserting code into your website and violating your data. Advise users to keep their usernames and passwords private, and clear their browser history and cookies regularly.

Schedule periodic internal security assessments, but also hire a data security expert if needed to conduct a thorough evaluation of your security systems to improve your privacy solutions.

7. Keep File Uploads Separate

Another way for hackers to access your data is if you don’t keep file uploads separate from your web server. Ideally, you want to keep all the uploaded files outside your root directory.

Always make sure to take the appropriate precautions to avoid a hostile data breach. After all, with today’s technology most cyber attacks can be prevented.

4 Simple Steps to Understand Customer Needs

What makes a good business owner stand out is the attention and care they give to their customers. But how do you offer value to them if you don’t know your target audience? Many business owners focus on delivering the product but skip a very important step: identifying the ever-changing needs of their customers.

Here are 4 steps every business owner should take:

1. Schedule a call with your customers

The impact of a 5-minute phone call can be huge, in terms of understanding your target audience. By personally reaching out to them, you are not only showing that you care and value their feedback, but you are also building rapport with them, as well as increasing your company’s credibility and trustworthiness. Plus, it is an opportunity to collect suggestions on how to improve your business model and approach.

2. Ask them to fill out feedback forms

Surveys have been used consistently over the years but they haven’t stopped being one of the most effective ways to identify your audience and collect key information about their preferences. Surveying customers when they join your mailing list or when they purchase a product or service from you is one of the most common and organic techniques. It is always important to outline what people should expect from your company when they sign up to hear from you, in order to set the right expectations and keep the engagement levels high.

Some of the top platforms we recommend to create surveys and questionnaires are Typeform, Survicate, SurveyMonkey, SurveyGizmo and PollDaddy.

3. Provide incentives

Offering incentives is another effective way of collecting feedback from your customers. Whether it’s a discount code, free samples, or a membership upgrade, you could use incentives to receive valuable information in return.

4. Utilize social media

Everyone uses social media these days, regardless of their age. Social media is a great tool to discover what your customers’ interests and demographics are. You can easily identify your target audience by simply looking into your Facebook or Instagram insights section. Regardless of the social media platform you use, audience analytics have become extremely sophisticated in recent years, giving you the most up-to-date information regarding your target audience.

You can also create social media posts to give your customers the opportunity to ask you questions or ask them specific questions about your products or services, about their experience, and about their level of satisfaction. In addition, you can become active in other relevant-to-your-business social media groups in order to interact with your target audience by engaging into conversations with them. Pay attention to common questions or comments, and then use them to your advantage.

Once you have followed the aforementioned steps, gather all the data you have collected and compare them. Your collective results should be your guide to adjust your creative content, emphasize on different products, revamp your website, or improve your responsiveness. Whatever your challenges may be, if you don’t ask your customers you’ll never find out.

8 Tips For First-Time Entrepreneurs

Starting out as an entrepreneur can be a stressful process. What separates you from long-time small business owners is their advantage of experience and know-how. Running, operating and growing a small business over the years, naturally gives people the necessary skill set to deal with their objectives efficiently in order to keep growing their businesses. After talking to several entrepreneurs, we wanted to share some of their methods and insights with you.

Below are 8 tips to help you remain focused while generating results:

1. Set Attainable Goals

Learn how to break down your goals. Anywhere from short-term goals; weekly, monthly and yearly, to long-term goals; 3-year, 5-year and 10-year. If you want to make $600k, that’s great, but how are you going to achieve this? How many units would you have to sell? How many clients would you need to acquire? How much time would you spend in lead generation? By having a realistic plan, you can truly set yourself up for success.

2. Keep Away From Distractions

Successful people maintain a positive outlook in life no matter what the circumstances are. Distractions will always exist and it is your job to block them away. Know yourself and know when you are most productive throughout the day. Start with the hardest tasks first so the rest of the day can flow smoothly. Being disciplined and staying on-task is the key to success.

3. Find A Mentor

It is important to have a mentor, someone you can look up to and seek advice from. You may feel lost or purposeless at times, but learn to remove yourself from the situation and gain perspective. A mentor can help you come up with solutions and strategies, while walking you through some hard decisions you have to make regarding your business.

4. Learn How To Network

“You’re only as good as the number of your contacts”. Being a business owner can oftentimes isolate you. When you are drowning in paperwork, the last thing you may want to do is socialize. Do not underestimate the power of networking though. Make sure you stay connected with other business owners, establish a name in your community and nurture relationships. You never know where a relationship you build today may take you in the future.

5. Don’t Quit Your Day Job Just Yet

You have the business idea and the passion, what now? Be patient, don’t quit your day job just yet. Many entrepreneurs, exhaust their funds in the first few months and kill a potentially successful business idea. Keep your day job while still setting up your business, learning, researching, and growing your network and clientele. Once you see your business taking off, it’s time to quit and conquer the world.

6. Stick To Your Market

Simplicity is the key to brilliance. Expanding the range of your products and/or services might not always be the best approach. Find your niche and stick with it at the beginning. Is something working for you? Great, keep growing towards it, build a strong brand around it, and focus on succeeding on that first before your branch out.

7. Keep Your Expenses Low

Learn to be conservative with your costs. You can always find ways to cut down overhead, whether it is a cheaper office space or easing down on your marketing expenses. Be smart with where your money is spent.

8. When your team grows you grow

Know when to hire people to help you. Surely, everyone wants to be in control of their business, but there’s only so much a person can do. Hire qualified individuals to perform tasks much needed for your business to evolve. Identify areas where you may be lacking skills and hire people who would perform certain tasks better than you. You’ll soon come to realize that more heads generate more revenue. Plus, when you have people working on the day-to-day operational tasks, you have time to focus on growing your business.