4 Tips for Building Strong Work Relationships

When it comes to the professional workplace, the differences that atmosphere creates lends to automatic tensions. This is why it’s important from the beginning to build strong work relationships.

Here are four tips that you can use in order to ensure that your work relationships are solid and thriving.

Initiate Personal Conversations

In a professional working environment, most people feel as though they should not ask personal questions of their colleagues. With the correct amount of foundation and sensitivity, personal conversations can help to increase how connected co-workers feel to each other and also create a better connection between bosses and their workers.

When you begin to initiate personal conversations, the key is to remember to start small. For example, if you know that the person you’re speaking with has children, then ask how that child is doing in school or ask them about a school break that their child was on recently. This builds trust and confidence and can open the door to broader conversations in the future.

Understand the People You Work With

Different ideals in the workplace often lead to questions of differences in personality. It’s a good idea for everyone in the work environment to take a personality test and set aside a day to share their results.

Doing this process as a team will help each person see better ways of communicating with each other and what values each person places significance on in the workplace.

Learn or Practice Emotional Intelligence

Once you understand the personality types for each person, study on and learn more about emotional intelligence.

By combining emotional intelligence and the results of the personality test, you can create a thriving workplace where communication barriers are decreased and productivity, efficiency, and better workplace relationships are increased.

Seeking help from a company that focuses on professional management development can help with learning about how to implement emotional intelligence in the workplace.

Don’t Be Afraid to Try

Creating a strong working relationship can seem very scary at first. The key is to not be afraid to try. People appreciate being thought of and they appreciate communication. Don’t be afraid to try to increase your communication with your coworkers, boss, or workers. If you’re feeling trepidation about the process, communicate that. Everyone in your workplace will appreciate it.


These are just some of the ways that you can build better work relationships. The process won’t be fast, but it will be beneficial in the long run.

Emma is a business strategist-turned blogger. She lives in Auckland, New Zealand. Emma is a  passionate traveler and yoga aficionado. She is in love with coffee, interior design, books, and good vibes. 🙂 

Does Your Employee Handbook Need a Makeover?

Nothing about your business is chiseled into granite. But if your handbook goes years in between revisions, you might be giving your employees — as well as prospective new hires — the idea that you’re treading water or that you’ve gotten stuck in time.

For reasons ranging from the practical to the legal, it’s a good idea to take a look at your employee handbook to ensure it still reflects your company’s culture as you see it and still serves as a useful employee resource. Here are a few questions to answer as you reconsider whether your handbook still meets your needs in its current form.

Has Your Mission Changed?

The mission statement is one of the key components to any employee handbook. If it’s been a little while since you last made a revision to your company’s mission statement or values, or something about your process or outlook has changed in the meantime, this could be a great opportunity to take a fresh look.

The question is, what goes into a mission statement? It has to be more than platitudes. Think about what your company values, how it fits into the world, and where you see yourselves in the future. The language you use should be precise enough that you can evaluate job candidates — and they can evaluate themselves — for cultural fit. Do you want employees who embrace change? Go the extra mile? Take advantage of your company’s community outreach efforts? If so, this is where you’ll put language like that.

Job-hunters and recruiters alike want to know what they’re getting. Moreover, potential new hires want to know they’re getting involved with a company that gives back to the world in some fashion and that’s mindful of its place in the world. This is your chance to show that off.

Does Your Handbook Give Comprehensive Details on Employee Benefits?

Remember that your employee handbook isn’t a disposable ream of paper to be glanced through on day one and then discarded without another glance. As a business leader, it’s wise to think of your company’s handbook as a living document and a resource your employees can depend on to get their questions answered or to move their problems closer to resolution.

Employee benefits are a big piece of this puzzle — and employees appreciate not having to search the four corners of the earth when it comes to getting their questions answered about vacations and employee leave. As you put together your handbook revisions, make sure it contains all of the relevant details about the following:

  • How much vacation time is allotted? Do employees accrue more each year they spend with the company?
  • How much advance notice must employees give before an upcoming vacation or other leave of absence?
  • How much personal time does your company award employees? How is PTO accrued, and does it expire at the end of the year?
  • How are sick days handled?
  • Which holidays does the company observe? For which holidays do employees receive compensation, if any?

It’s likely your employees will have questions about telecommuting policies at some point, too, given that 43 percent of all American workers spend at least some of their time working from home. Lay out how this works in practice, including what kind of technology is required to maintain productivity and accountability.

Flextime is another point worth considering if your handbook doesn’t currently address it — or if your company doesn’t offer it presently. In 2017, nearly a third of all businesses in the U.S. offered flextime in some form. There are many benefits associated with schedule personalization, including improved morale and better company productivity, so consider making this a new addition to your handbook during your next revision.

Do Employees Understand What’s Expected of Them Daily?

If the managers at your company find themselves explaining the same standards of conduct on a regular basis, or have to remind employees more often than they’d like about practices and procedures, it’s probably time for an employee handbook makeover.

After all, this is another point on which your company may “evolve” over time. Your dress code might not change that much from year to year, but when was the last time you took a fresh look at your company’s:

  • Drug testing policies
  • Rules for the personal use of technology
  • Social media and web browsing policies
  • Non-disclosure agreements and approach to client privacy
  • Policies regarding acceptable apps and software installation on company-owned equipment
  • Procedures for resolving conflicts in the workplace

The list goes on. You can, and should, be encouraging your employees to think outside the box, seek out tools that make their lives easier, and become more adept at solving problems in a novel way, or with a more efficient process. You shouldn’t be so concerned with drawing up ironclad policies that it stifles employee creativity — but neither can you leave anything up to chance where there daily lives and expectations are concerned.

Has It Been a While Since the Last Revision?

Like it or not, every calendar year brings changes to employment law — and court decisions bring new precedents on a regular basis. One example is the concept of “at-will employment,” which is the norm rather than the exception in many modern workplaces. There are many reasons why contract-based employment may bring more harm than good to companies that adopt it, but if your company chooses to go this route, you can’t afford to be ambiguous about it.

Sexual harassment is another area where, if you can believe it, many companies still find themselves behind the times. Every organization owes its employees a comprehensive process for reporting and redressing harassment in the workplace. Be specific and proactive. This includes letting employees know, early on, which departments or employees to approach about reporting harassment or any other problematic behavior.

Remember, ultimately, that employee handbooks represent the first “taste” your new hires will get of your company’s culture and how it operates. It shouldn’t be written in a dry or unapproachable manner — it should, up to a point, have some charm and character. As we’ve seen, there are a few serious matters that you’d do well to outline in detail (and in legally binding language, as needed), but don’t be afraid to have a little fun with it, either.

Bio: Nathan Sykes is the editor of Finding an Outlet, a source for the latest in IT and business news and trends.

Monetizing Your Blog For Six-Figure Returns

Blogs can make upwards of $10,000 a month for even just solo-owners. With the right SEO, advertising, and readership, your blog can easily be monetized far beyond what you’d expect to find in a normal office job. In this article, you’ll be given some of the top tips for monetizing your blog, and living off the proceeds.

What Do You Love?

The easiest way to make money is to find a niche in something you love. Firstly, establish what you’re passionate about. This exercise will help you develop content that is both well researched, but engagingly communicated through your platform. Half of the battle in blogging is writing or recording something that consistently fascinates you, and having an established knowledge and potential network associated with your passion will make it far easier to become successful.

However, it is imperative that you do you research first to ensure that the angle you take on your subject matter hasn’t already been done commercially by someone else. Becoming a unique voice within your chosen demographic lies at the core of financial success with your blog. As long as you post consistently good content, there is no reason that you can’t become a success at what you love.

Work As An Influencer

Social media and web-based influencers are the new reality stars. If you’re an expert, specialist, or just very good at communicating information on your chosen subject matter, the chances are you’ll be asked to become an influencer for brands associated with your blog content. Some of the top influencers end up earning money from writing post, photoshoots, hosting giveaways with affiliated brands, and many go on to publish books on their work.

A great example of an influencer collaboration is the MedMen “Faces” campaign in California, 2018. The brand used existing social media influencers in the space to celebrate their brand, and they are now the leading recreational store in the country. Many of the influencers went on to reap huge financial rewards from the campaign too, thanks to the relationships with MedMen, and the rest of the industry.

Practical Tips

Becoming an influencer does begin with finding you bliss, but it ultimately hinges on your ability to act. Yes, some blogs become commercially successful because they sell ad space online, but if you’re following your passion you should be reaping the rewards. Acting on what you love means that your blog is now your business, and even though it may seem easy, it is easy to go off-brand.

As your brand grows, stay within your niche and earn through sponsored blog posts, selling related products via your site, or affiliate marketing. If you’re more of a hands-on person, many bloggers host seminars, webinars, and events. Most successful bloggers will always be offered free products, just ensure that you’re only advertising the ones you truly support. You have to do your research on everyone who contacts you, just in case they don’t totally reflect your ethics.

As we near the end of this decade, monetizing via blogging platforms is changing as an industry. The individual behind the words is becoming as important as the words themselves. Personal blogs are an incredibly easy way to boost your personal income, and can help you grow into an entrepreneur, or a specialist in your field. All you have to do is decide what exactly you’d like to write about, and whether you’re looking to make bank from behind your computer screen.

Guest Author, Jenny Holt, is a former HR executive turned freelance writer, who now spends more time with her young family and ageing, but ever eager Labrador, Rover.


How to Encourage Your Employees to Participate in Charitable Causes

Getting your employees to participate in charitable causes and events is a great way to bring your team together and give back to the community at the same time. Surprisingly, encouraging employee participation in such causes is fairly easy. Here are four creative ways you can get your employees to become active in charitable causes.

Offer Donation Matches

If there’s a cause you feel strongly about, you can get your employees to participate in it by offering to match their charitable donations to it up to a certain amount. This can encourage participation and increase the amount of good your company does in the community. Your donation matches don’t have to be huge to accomplish a great deal, so don’t feel compelled to give away thousands of dollars if your company can’t afford it.

Let Your Employees Pick a Charity

If you want to get employees involved, letting them pick the charitable cause your company will contribute to is a great way to get started. By allowing your employees to choose the charity you’re donating to, you can ensure maximum levels of worker engagement and participation.

Organize Charitable Events in the Office

One of the keys to getting employees to participate in charitable causes is to make it convenient for them to do so. Organizing office events makes it easy and convenient for people to give. Even placing a donation jar in the break room can generate a few extra donations. Office blood drives can be an especially good way to give back to the community, since blood products are often in short supply and encouraging your employees to give blood can literally save lives.

Make Participation Fun and Rewarding

Although contributing to a good cause is a reward in and of itself, it never hurts to incentivize employees. Having an employee dinner or a special event when you meet a certain fundraising goal is an excellent way to get your employees to give a little bit more or contribute some more of their time. Remember to keep office charity fun, as this will make sure your employees are energized and ready to contribute.

These are just a few of the great ways to encourage your employees to participate in worthwhile causes. The next time you run an office charity drive or try to organize a community participation event, use these ideas to ensure you see the maximum level of success with it.

Guest author Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.

5 Brand Strategies to Better Position Your eCommerce Business

When it comes to retail, a lot of people tend to discuss which feature or factor affects one’s experience the most. According to some, it’s the price, while others claim it’s the convenience. The reason why e-commerce is on such a steep rise is due to the fact that it is the embodiment of both of these two traits. If that is so, then there’s much money to be made in the world of e-commerce. Still, the fact that your brand is separated physically from the audience doesn’t mean that they’ll take a rational approach to evaluate your offer.

Think about it, if this were the case, then every single person online would buy from the same e-commerce site – the one that offers the lowest price. Moreover, no one would ever bother with those online retailers that don’t offer same- or next-day delivery. When you put all of these features on paper, it’s fairly easy to tell which offer is superior. So, what’s the reason for this diversity in the business world? The answer is – brand and the relationship that your audience has towards it. Here are a few tips that will help you build a successful e-commerce brand.

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Start with images and features

When people enter the store, the first thing they want to do is see the product that they’re about to buy. Think about a person purchasing the desktop computer. When they are presented with the casing, they can’t really tell if the RAM memory is 4, 8 or 16 GB. They can’t tell if there’s an SSD or an HDD inside, nor what kind of CPU or GPU is in there. However, try to sell them a machine without actually showing them the item and see where it leads you. Needless to say, this would only work with the most tech-savvy of buyers, which aren’t the bulk of your target audience.

As you can see, this brings us to the first major shortcoming of the e-commerce – the inability of the customer to see the product in person. Nonetheless, you can do the next best thing and show them a page on your e-store, portraying the item from different angles, accompanied with a short description (up to 100 words) and a list of features. All of this contributes to your ability to build trust with your clients, which is pivotal for your branding efforts. As of late, even some retail places resort to this technique. Namely, most of these places have an e-store as well as an actual store, so, if a customer comes asking for an item that’s not in inventory, they show them the product page and ask them to make an order.

Invest in responsiveness

Another thing you need to understand is that, although people online have a low tolerance for long loading time, this is even more extreme when it comes to e-commerce. The last thing you want is for the browser to freeze during the check-out stage, forcing your clients to repeat the same purchase twice or wonder in fear whether their order went through at all. At the same time, you need to make your website interactive, intuitive and visually appealing.

This is why you need to abandon the idea of making your own e-commerce website and invest in professional web development. Even in the digital world, it’s better to collaborate with local talent, which is why NSW-based e-commerce entrepreneurs need to look into web design Sydney options they have available.

Expand your mailing list

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The next thing you need to understand is the fact that email marketing isn’t going anywhere, seeing as how it’s still one of the techniques that yield the best ROI out there. According to numerous surveys, every single dollar invested in email marketing returns $44.00 of profit, which makes the ROI of 4400 percent. Keep in mind, however, that in order for these numbers to hold true, you need to make your own email list and gradually grow it. It’s important that we stress this out because there are some businesses out there that purchase email lists and then wonder why the impact of their targeting strategy is nowhere the same.

Developing a personal brand

As a small business, you won’t have much of a remaputation for people to base their opinion on. As an individual, however, you’ll already have an online presence, which might come in quite handy. Working on your personal brand may increase customer loyalty, seeing as how you’ll inspire people as well as appear relatable, at the same time. Next, it will create an aura of trust seeing as how you aren’t afraid to use your own persona and stand behind this new brand. When it comes to your business, you can always re-brand or pivot, however, it’s not that easy to erase your online footprint.


At the end of the day, the brand of your e-commerce business can’t be built overnight, which is a bit problematic due to the fact that you need some immediate results. Nevertheless, unless you’re specializing in the retail of one-time-purchase items, you need to keep an eye on your primary objective – generation of return customers. With this in mind, it’s never wise to compromise your long-term standing for some temporary gains.

Guest author, David Webb, is a Sydney-based business consultant,online marketing analyst and a writer. With six years of experience and a degree in business management, he continuously informs the public about the latest trends in the industry. He is a regular author at BizzmarkBlog. You can reach him on Twitter or Facebook.

3 Million Americans Quit Their Job Every Month: Top Tips for Employee Retention

Employees deserve to feel satisfied about their work, but it appears that a record-setting number aren’t. According to a survey of employment trends, approximately 3 million Americans quit their jobs each month. For many companies, this is a huge loss–both in talent and in money. After all, it can be expensive to replace your employees. In order to prevent your employees from walking out your door for good, you need to strategize carefully to encourage employees to stay. Yet, it may not be as hard as it may seem. Here are some pointers to help you retain your workforce.

Invest in Your Office Environment

Look over your budget and see if there is room for you to invest in sprucing up the office. It’s been proven that employee performance is significantly impacted by what their workplace looks like. You can start out small: consider redecorating to create an open floor plan, which in turn fosters greater collaboration. A support network like that makes everyone look forward to going to work.

Foster Positive Workplace Culture

The mental atmosphere in the office is just as important as the physical one. Organize regular team building events that go beyond building marshmallow towers or egg racing. Get creative with activities such as a volunteer outing or cooking classes. This helps employees feel a greater personal connection to each other and the organization, and will make them want to stay as a result.

Survey Your Employees

Your own initiative goes a long way, but you should also take employee input into consideration. Send out regular surveys to monitor office morale—but not too often, otherwise employees may feel annoyed. Checking in to see how everyone’s feeling shows you care. It lets them know that your staff are valued and are a critical part of the organization so they’re less inclined to take off. Surveys don’t have to be direct, either: you’ll also learn a lot from just taking part in the classic water cooler conversation.

Encourage Professional Development

Employee retention also has a lot to do with creating opportunities for growth. Give them something to work towards as much as you give them to work on. Hiring an executive coach can help with this. Bring one in for a workshop or similar event. Your employees will then recognize their own potential within your organization and be motivated to work harder as a result. It’s also been said that a rising tide lifts all boats, so if even one employee gets inspired, that extends to everyone else, too.

When you’re a business owner, you’re especially concerned about keeping employees on board. Making sure that your organization’s goals align well with their personal interests will keep them from jumping ship.

6 Must-Know Features for Acing at LinkedIn Marketing


Do you still see LinkedIn as a mere job searching site? And you think that it is only a platform to meet professionals?

If this is what you are thinking then you need to Wake Up, buddy!! Because the time have changed and quite different now. LinkedIn is a platform which has evolved like no other social network.

From just a job searching site it has now turned into a biggest networking site where you can socialize with people around the globe, from every industry.

You can take valuable tips from renowned name, promote your brand or promote yourself as a brand. And the best part is that you can even run ads on LinkedIn. So it isn’t just representing yourself as a professional but building a platform for yourself to socialize, to explore and to market your brand.

LinkedIn has grown its users to 450 million which is a great number indeed. But wait there’s more! The recent acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft has made it even more widespread and advanced. This takeover will have some great consequences which will be visible in the coming years.

As far as Marketing is concerned, you might be thinking that LinkedIn Marketing is something revolving around optimizing your LinkedIn Profile and publishing valuable content on Pulse, only!

But let me tell you, LinkedIn has come up with some fantastic features where you can run your marketing campaigns with a widest reach now.


Because LinkedIn has all the people you need as your contacts, from your colleagues to CEOs, from competitors to Influencers. You have a chance to make your product or service viral in the relevant people in seconds.

If you are thinking what exactly do I mean by this, then wait…Because today this post will elaborate on each feature in detail.

Here you go with 6 Amazing LinkedIn Features To Start Marketing On Today:

1. LinkedIn Pulse

LinkedIn Pulse is one feature which is pretty popular on LinkedIn and it is considered to be the best platform for content marketing and to show your skills.

Pulse gives you a chance to a publisher of your own, have your blog and publish whatever you want and whenever you want without any limitations unlike a usual blog hosting website.

I mean the idea of setting up a whole blog and structuring it must scare you at night.. Right? Then Pulse is an end to all your worries!

Because this will give you a ready-to-use blog where you just have to insert your content and click ‘Publish’.



Pulse will offer you:

  • Easy publishing
  • A built-in platform
  • A built-in relevant audience
  • A wider reach
  • An increased traffic on your website

2. LinkedIn Marketing Solution

Now this seems new.. Right? Because till now you only knew about LinkedIn Pulse as a content marketing resource. But recently, Linkedin has developed some new resources and LinkedIn Marketing Solution is a new platform which has got everything you need for marketing purposes.

This Solution is offering you:

  • A Marketing Blog

It has its own Marketing Solution Blog which has got some great stuff, specifically related to latest innovative marketing strategies.



  • Case Studies:

The platform also give interesting Customers Stories which will give you some great lessons and tips from marketing and advertising case studies on LinkedIn customers.



How realistic you want it to be?! I think this would work in great ways when you would have real-life examples of how marketing strategies worked. You will cut the time which is else wasted and finally implement something practical in the market.

  • Best Practices:

You will find all the useful marketing resources and solutions at this platform along with some extremely useful marketing techniques you need to promote your product. This enables you to find some best tips and tricks to follow the fast paced advertising world of today.

  • Guides to Ads & Updates:

A complete guide on various types of ad campaigns and updates will also be provided here.



What else does a Marketer need? Just get your hands on to this resource and get going!!

3.    LinkedIn for Small Business

As Shane Vaughan says, “LinkedIn is the place – particularly if you are a small company – where you can go establish yourself as an expert in your space.” LinkedIn now has given a great chance to small business vendors to market their product or service in a unique manner like never before.

This resource is giving these people a space to publish their content, convey their opinions and even run their ads.



It’s giving these small business entrepreneurs a complete guide about:

  • Branding
  • Marketing
  • Sales

Isn’t it just amazing?! I don’t think small businesses had this kind of space before and that too on such a renowned platform with a huge network and reliable authority.

4.    LinkedIn Content Ads and Sponsored Updates

Now LinkedIn offers you a great chance to create easy and super effective ad campaigns without any hassle. You just have to bid your CPC (cost per click) and CPM (cost per impression) and set your regular budget for your ads.

LinkedIn will help you to find the untapped audience which you have never targeted before and will give you a much wider reach than you have ever thought. Hence, giving you phenomenal results in terms of high ROI and sales.

Coming to the Sponsored Updatesset sponsored updates on your company profile’s page easily and quickly. You can even avail direct sponsored updates which will not be visible on the company’s page but will appear directly on the main feed of people who have followed your page.

This is how your ads and updates appear on LInkedIn.



Check this Guide on how to Advertise on LinkedIn.

5.    LinkedIn for Building Profiles

Now this is something which you must be already familiar with. “Upgrading and optimizing your LinkedIn profiles.” This can be your own profile as an entrepreneur or even your company’s profile. In both cases optimization will help you generate traffic and make your name viral.

Profiles can be optimized through:

  • Increased SEO strategies
  • Optimized Headline (so you appear in the relevant search)



  • Compelling Summary
  • Constant Updates
  • A professional and decent Profile Image
  • Valuable Recommendations
  • Endorsements

Your Company’s profile should also be updated on a regular manner and should be properly optimized with:

  • Attention-grabbing CTAs
  • Catchy Description
  • Thorough Introduction
  • Constant Updates

Check out these Tips To Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile by Lisa Dougherty.

6. LinkedIn for Networking

We all know that LinkedIn is a biggest place to grow your network so why not take the advantage through networking.

As Bill Gates says,



Marketing becomes easier and much more effective when you have high PR and contacts. LinkedIn allows you to build relevant audience and contacts.

The first thing you should do after building a good profile is to join the groups of your industry. Things to do to kick off networking on LinkedIn:

  • Join Relevant Groups
  • Join Active Groups
  • Post Useful Updates
  • Post your Articles from Pulse
  • Comment on other posts
  • Become a Thought Leader

These groups and discussions will let you connect with experts and influencers, hence increasing you in exposure and expanding your public relations.


So these are the six amazing ways you can market your product or service. These various resources or pages help you build a high audience and do effective marketing.

So, just fasten your seat belts…And run along with the changing time and get used to of these innovations at every platform.

The new blogs and groups will give you a great chance to meet the people you want, your customers, influencers and the experts of your industry. And trust me these are the people who will build you and your product!

Thus, start using LinkedIn to get yourself going and to have an impactful marketing strategy!

Guest Author, Hammad Akbar is a tech entrepreneur with a passion for technology and online marketing. He’s currently focusing on a new startup TruConversion , a SaaS application in web/mobile analytics space. Check out his blog HammadAkbar.com.