Is Your Office One Big Happy Family?

Creating a healthy office environment has less to do with things like getting rid of overhead fluorescent lighting and more to do with helping workers feel generally happier while they are at work.


Experts agree that workplace happiness stems from a sense of camaraderie, a sense of stability and safety and from feeling useful and needed. As the boss, you have the power to give all these things to your staffers.

Here are some ideas to turn your office into one big happy family.

Get Cooking on Better Unity

As the following article, “Take these out to the ballgame!” looks at, getting the office gang together for an outing is easier than you think. Given that just about everyone loves good food, why not use it to bring office folks together?

Organize an office baseball game to be held, not on a weekend day, but on a regular workday.

Don’t think you’re giving your employees something fun to do and then ask them to give up one of their weekend days. They’ll appreciate your gesture 10 times more if they see you’re giving up something by letting them close the office early and spend the day fielding baseballs instead of customer phone calls.

Let the foodies in your office shine by asking volunteers to make and bring food to share in a picnic environment after the game.

Hold the game on grounds with outdoor grills so employees and invited family members can also grill hot dogs, Bratwurst, and hamburgers if they want. Make a day of it and watch the smiles light up your employees’ faces.

As for the office, hire a temp for the day to answer the phones and take messages.

Recognize milestones

Office birthdays are commonly celebrated with 15 minutes of celebratory cake eating and chit-chat.

But office milestones can and should be celebrated as well. Both employee and company related milestones should be recognized.

Why not start a tradition of a free office buffet at work whenever someone beats their quote for the month or when your company sales hit a certain mark?

This helps give positive reinforcement to employees who are working hard, helps to inspire others to do so, and instills employee loyalty by allowing everyone to participate in celebrating company achievements.

Show interest in personal lives

Your employees have personal lives outside your office environment.

While you need to respect their privacy, it’s healthy to show a passing interest in the personal things that are important to your employees.

If your employee displays a new photo of a family member, it’s appropriate to comment on it in a respectful manner instead of ignoring it. If your employee’s child is graduating, it’s nice to acknowledge it and ask if they might like to leave early to be sure to get to the ceremony on time.

Your employees are people as well as workers.

When you treat them as such, they will respond with loyalty, dedication and hard work.

About the Author: Kate Supino writes extensively about best business practices.

What Does My Resume Say About Me?

If you’re just getting started on your first (or 10th) job search, keep in mind that your resume is one of two vital documents (including a stellar cover letter) that are required to apply for most jobs these days.


It’s vital to make your resume concise, clean and ultimately paint you in the best possible light.

As the head of recruiting and hiring at my job, I’ve seen thousands of applications.

Here are five tips to help make your resume shine, and ultimately stand out from the rest:

1.) Include Only Relevant Experience

Sure, maybe you were the vice president of math club back in high school fifteen years ago. Awesome, congratulations. However, unless you’re applying to be a math tutor, teacher or anything very relevant, it’s likely time to take that off your resume. The goal here is to paint the picture of yourself that is relevant to the position you are applying for. At the top of your resume write “*Relevant Work Experience” to indicate that there is more, but these are the jobs, skills and experiences that show why you are the best fit for the position.

2.) Be Brief and Concise.

While the quality, skill, experience, or strength of any candidate is not necessarily connected to brevity, it’s important to remember that people like me are reading tons of applicants every day. Getting your point and skills across quickly– such that it can be scanned– is vital. If you have more than five years of work experience, don’t feel like you need to limit yourself to just one page. A recruiter or hiring manager doesn’t care if it’s one page or two pages long. What matters is whether it’s easy to read and clear.

3.) Spend Hours Perfecting your Resume

Spend an entire day making this document as clean, clear and as readable as possible. If there are any typos, fix them. Send it to your parents, friends and ex-girlfriends. Get all their critiques, edits and suggestions. Then rewrite the entire thing. Get rid of unnecessary words, make sure your verbiage is accurate and read through it so many times your eyes start to bleed just a bit. Then read it again.

4.) Do Not Begin your Resume with an Objective

This is a personal pet peeve, but generally it’s best to just get to the point. Your cover letter allows you to convey your objectives, interests and passion for any given position. A recruiter only cares about what you’ve done, and what you can offer. Period. Show them what you’re offering, verses asking them to fit their role to ‘personal objectives.’

5.) Write the Perfect Cover letter

While this isn’t your resume, it’s vital to your success. A great resume is nothing without a clean, readable cover letter that explicitly states your intention, interest in the particular role and why you’re the perfect person for the job. While one could write a book about the perfect cover letter, that is the topic of another article.

Good luck, and keep it simple, honest and clean.

About the Author: Peter Walters is a freelance writer who has written for various websites over the years, among which include

Are Benefits More Important than Salary?

One of the main predicaments that people face when they are looking for a job is choosing between high salary and good benefits.


There are jobs that offer the best of both worlds, but many job seekers find themselves having to compromise one or the other.

If you are experiencing the same predicament as those job seekers, the following information could be helpful to you.


Choosing the Most Important

Salary is usually the first thing that job seekers look at when they are considering whether or not to apply for or accept a job. However, most job seekers will take benefits into serious consideration when they are making a job decision.

There are a number of factors that determine whether or not benefits are more important than salary, and these may include age, health condition, income level, career level, work-related risks and others.

For instance, people who have an annual income of less than $90,000 are more likely to place more importance on benefits, because healthcare can amount to 35 percent of their salaries, according to Monster.

Older employees and job seekers who need medical care on a regular basis are another group of people who may regard benefits as more important than salary.

On the other hand, recent graduates have a greater tendency to make salary their first priority, since they are young and healthy, and they are more focused on making ends meet and building savings.

Top Benefits to Look for

Health Insurance

A survey conducted by the Commonwealth Fund revealed that the percentage of Americans without health insurance dropped from 20 percent to 16 percent between 2010 and mid-2014. Following the implementation of Obamacare, which imposes a fine on underinsured and uninsured Americans; job seekers are increasingly trying to land jobs that offer good health benefits. It is important to have adequate health insurance because of the rising costs of medical care. Catastrophic health problems can run up tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills, and they can lead to bankruptcy. According to NerdWallet, failure to pay medical bills was the leading cause of bankruptcies in the US in 2013.

Dental Insurance

Visiting the dentist once or twice a year can cost you a substantial amount of money. This is especially true if you have a family. As the following article looks at, dental insurance provided by your employer, can eliminate or greatly reduce the cost of caring for your child’s teeth.

Vacation Time

It is necessary to take a break from work from time to time; because it can help you reduce stress and rejuvenate your body and mind. Look for a job that offers adequate vacation time, as well as maternity or paternity leave, flex-time or the option to work from home.

Pay Raise

Working for a company that offers competitive pay raises enables you to increase your income more quickly over the years. It will make it easier for you to meet your financial obligations and help you save more money as your career progresses.

If you find yourself having to choose between higher salary or better benefits during your job search, you should make your decision based on your personal needs and preferences.

About the Author: John McMalcolm is a freelance writer who writes on a wide range of subjects, from social media marketing to small business.

Big Data Transforming the Emergency Room

When it comes to the health of the nation, big data is changing the idea of healthcare in some pretty big ways.

Big Data on Blue Direction Sign.

Hospital emergency rooms are fueled by information in the form of data and big data is helping to manage everything from patient information to medical equipment data.

With health and technology in mind, here are a handful of ways big data is transforming emergency rooms and benefiting you, the patient:

Patient Records and Security

Whether you make frequent trips to the ER or you’ve only been once or twice, the hospital uses your records to access important medical information. Big data is helping hospitals manage patient records to ensure each doctor and emergency care technician has the latest medical information for each patient.

From prescription updates to allergies, your patient records give hospitals a glimpse into your wellbeing. With big data, the ER can access your files instantly and update your condition in real-time so other physicians who treat you are on the same page.

Additionally, big data providers offer hospitals and ERs the latest security features.

With encrypted big data security, you can rest assured your sensitive medical files are safe, secure, and available for medical professionals only.

ER Patient Notifications

As the following article shows, If you’ve ever wondered how big data can transform consumer finance, then you should take into consideration return visits to the ER. Hospital visits and visits to the ER can make your insurance premiums skyrocket and end up costing you a ton in out-of-pocket expenses.

Fortunately, big data is helping hospitals better track your health condition even after you leave the ER. With big data analytics, hospitals are able to dispatch care coordinators to your house based on your real-time recovery status.

Likewise, with the help of big data, your personal physician can be notified anytime you visit the ER.

From care coordinators to ER notifications, big data is helping reduce the time you spend in the ER, which is helping to improve your finances.

Machine Monitoring

Today’s ERs use a massive amount of technology to make sure patients like you receive the best treatment possible.

From devices that continuously monitor vitals to machines that administer fluids and medicine, big data is helping the medical world optimize the patient treatment process.

Not only can big data track which patients receive which treatments and when, it can instantaneously update the hospital’s network. This means all care providers within the ER are up to speed on your exact treatment cycle.

Big Data in Action

Big Data is already hard at work ensuring your ER visit is a smooth and worry-free as possible.

For example, Kaiser Permanente is implementing real-time electronic health records to improve customer visits and expedite ER wait times.

Likewise, California-based Blue Shield is using big data to help deliver healthcare based on treatment success rates from previous patients.

This integrated technology is helping doctors in the ER base their care on coordinated evidence, which is decreasing ER visits by increasing recovery rates.

Thanks to big data, the ER is becoming a more optimized healthcare environment.

About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including personal health and technology.

Are Hospitals and Medical Centers Making the Best Hires?

The hiring process in the field of medicine has some fairly strict standards, which is why it’s important for medical facilities across the U.S. to find the best hires.


Such is the case when hiring assistants, practitioners, and other non-physician employees as well as medically trained staffers.

If you’re looking to make your hospital as healthy as possible, here are a handful of ways to find the best hires:


First Things First: Practitioner Certificates by State

There is a major difference between hiring a medical doctor or nurse and a practitioner of medicine.

Depending on where your hospital is located, there are a number of certificates and licenses that go along with hiring physician’s assistants and nurse practitioners.

When it comes to license requirements, many states require practitioners to hold a practicing medical license as well as training and specialty activity certificates.

Making sure your new hire has the right credentials is only part of the equation. The hiring process starts by finding the best candidates.

Medical Job Boards

Many hospitals across the country use medical job boards as a go-to resource to find some of the best hires available.

Whether it’s to post a new job listing or search for eager candidates, online job boards are a great way to find qualified hires for your hospital.

As the article Docs: Are you hiring PAs and NPs illegally in your medical practice? asks, fortunately, many online medical job boards prequalify candidates to ensure they hold all the proper credentials.

This streamlines the recruiting process and ensures your medical facility finds the right practitioners and medical professionals for the job.

Resident Practitioner

If your hospital is in search of new hires, then starting a residency program will help you find the perfect fit for any number of positions.

Whether you’re in need of fresh nurse practitioners or physician’s assistants, hiring candidates for residency during their graduate medical training is a good option.

Most hospitals have 12-month residency programs, which give the hospital and the candidate a chance to get feel for one another.

By going the residency route, your hospital will have the opportunity to find hires based on their skills and attitude as opposed to an application.

At the end of the residency, your hospital can choose to hire the candidate or take on another resident.

Hiring Tips

Whether you head to the job boards, start a residency program, or put your hiring department to work advertising open positions, everything boils down to the interview.

Here are some tips your hospital and the doctors within should keep in mind when hiring practitioners:

  • The Résumé Comes First – Making sure the candidate has a clean, updated résumé is the first step in finding the right hire when it comes to healthcare jobs. The résumé should include information on work experience as well as any certificates or licenses the candidate holds.
  • Long -term Employment – Your hospital spends more money hiring new staffers than keeping its current employees. With this in mind, it’s important to make sure your new hires are willing to stay at your hospital for a minimum of at least a year.
  • Check References – Although a nurse or physician’s assistant looks good on paper, they may not have the best attitude or bedside manner. Because of this, it’s important to contact the candidate’s references and inquire about his or her work ethic.

About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including recruiting and medicine.

Are Online Courses the Answer for Your Career?

The poor choices you may have made in your naïve youth don’t necessarily have to haunt you for the rest of your life.

Online learning written in search bar

If you find yourself as an adult with no career to speak of, you can still pick yourself up and dust yourself off.

Online courses could be the answer to your career.

As an adult, you probably don’t have the leisure of attending school full-time, the way you could have when you were a young adult going to college right after high school.

Now, it’s critical that you be able to take courses after work and on weekends so that you can hold down a job and tend to family matters. But dealing with long commutes to community colleges or schools takes up even more precious time.

That’s why online courses are ideal for people in your situation.

How Online Courses Can Lead to Better Times

Online courses can help you build a career that will help you get more earning power for your entire life.

The courses you take through a career-guided online course program actually leads to something significant that can never be taken away from you.

What Career Choices are There?

Some examples of careers that can be gained via online courses include:

Cosmetologist – As the following article shows, online cosmetology courses can be found through a standard search for online cosmetology courses. Financial aid is often available through the school itself, and you can get possible scholarship money from other sources.

Dental Hygienist – Dental hygienists can make upwards of $50,000 a year; plus they can make their own hours by contracting out their services to several different dentists. This career could be yours through an online course schedule.

Business Manager – Instead of spending years working in the copy room of a company hoping someone will promote you, take online courses and get your business manager degree. This will give you the skills and education necessary to apply – and be seriously considered – for executive positions in top companies.

Accountant – Accountants are always in demand, and their average high salaries reflect that need. Once you finish your online coursework and obtain your accountant or associate accountant degree, you could work for an account firm doing financial audits, preparing taxes for businesses or individuals, or even open up your own accountancy firm in the future.

Legal Secretary – legal secretaries are valued more than regular secretaries because they are required to have a degree, which you can get through online courses. As a legal secretary, you would be able to assist attorneys with research, document creation and case preparation. Some legal secretaries are even asked to assist their employers during actual trials in the courtroom.

Are There Any Cons to Online Courses?

Of course, there are drawbacks to online courses, as with anything else.

You will need to have a certain level of self-discipline and determination in order to submit coursework on time without anyone forcing you. You will need to insist on quiet time and privacy at home so you can study.

Lastly, you will have to be content with not being able to interact with other students like in a traditional classroom.

With all the benefits that an advanced degree offers you, though, these drawbacks shouldn’t deter you from taking control of your future.

Online courses can offer you a chance at a real career, and you should take full advantage of that.

About the Author: Kate Supino writes extensively about best business practices and HR matters.

Are Your Accounts Receivables Coming Up Short?

When you run a small business, you have a lot to think about and a lot to stay on top of. Between your product, your employees, your clients and your finances, it’s easy to fall behind in one area or another.


Though it’s easy, it’s also harmful, and you don’t want to come up short in any of these facets.

If you’re noticing that your finances are not where you’d like them to be, check your accounts receivables.

This could be an area where you need to pay some extra attention. Accounts receivables are critical to your business as that’s where you keep records of what clients own you what money. If you lose track here, you could be missing out on your income.

Dependency on Your Incoming Revenue

The rest of your company’s financial state is often dependent on your accounts receivable as that’s where the majority of your income comes from.

Some businesses have an easier time getting these bills paid, while others typically have a longer wait time before seeing this income.

For instance, hospitals often notice that patients wait longer than with other businesses to pay bills.

In the article, “Measuring the Performance of Hospital Accounts Receivables”, we see the effect of accounts receivables on all other aspects of finances in a business, including payroll, investments, expansion and expenses.

Follow these steps for productive accounts receivable records:

  • Good records are imperative in this area, and a good accounting program is necessary.

Whether it’s a program like Microsoft Excel or Intuit’s QuickBooks, you need a solid accounting program.

Set up an account for every customer, even if it’s a one-time interaction. Many business owners still like to keep a manual filing system as a backup; that is up to you.

  • Keep on top of outstanding balances.

Use professional communication, whether it’s electronic or paper, and include your business logo, company name and contact information on all communication.

Send out consistent bills in a regular cycle to those customers who owe; you don’t need to send out bills to customers with zero balances.

  • Decide when you will turn past due accounts into a collection agency.

Make sure you notify your clients when you are doing this and how to rectify when they pay.

Also, by maintaining good records, you can allow your clients to pay at a slower rate as opposed to all up front.

This can build loyalty and earn you more business, as some people need to pay this way. Do what is best for your clients and yourself.

Again, it’s hard staying on top of it all as a small business owner, but if you’ve made the commitment and investment in your business, you need to maintain solid records and communication.

You don’t want money that is owed to you slipping by because you didn’t send out bills or follow up when needed.

It’s all part of the business.

As a business owner, how do you go about making sure you get paid on time?

About the Author: Heather Legg covers topics pertaining to small business, marketing, and social media.


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