Why Should Businesses Conduct Health Risk Assessments?

A health risk assessment utilizes a few different methods to determine what a person’s state of health and wellbeing is. This is information that can be used to predict disease, medical emergencies, illness, etc. In the workplace, there are several benefits associated with doing health risk assessments on employees. This process helps people understand what they need to do in order to become healthier and happier.

Understanding the Problem

Many people don’t understand that their lifestyle may be contributing greatly to how healthy they are or are not. People need to understand the problems that are present. It’s important that a company shows its employees how much they care. Providing health risk assessments is one way, but there may be follow up programs and services that can help everyone get healthier, according to The Commonwealth Fund. It’s also ideal to have healthy employees. This will cut down on sick days, increasing productivity overall.

Using the Information

Health information needs to remain private to a certain degree. Your health risk assessment results shouldn’t violate any kind of HIPAA rules that are present in the office. According to Carenet Health, the results from HRAs can be used to point employees in the direction of resources that can help them improve their health. You don’t have to inform other employees of what a specific person’s results are, but you can categorize people based on their results and give them the education that they need.

Risk Assessments

There are a few health concerns that scare people, and rightfully so. You can use a health risk assessment to inform a person when there is some sort of risk factor present in their daily life. This could be a risk for heart attack, stroke, cancer, injury, diabetes, disease, etc. These risks may increase because of something that someone is doing. They may not be taking proper care of themselves; they could be a smoker, or they could drink excessively. Even in the workplace, they might not be taking the appropriate steps towards being safe on the job. Sometimes a person needs to hear the truth before they will start to make changes in their life.

If you are wondering how you can utilize a health risk assessment in your own company, there are several resources and businesses that provide information and services for this purpose. You can tailor your own health assessments to fit the people you have on-site and the type of environment that they are working in so they can best fit your needs.

We Don’t Talk Anymore: Communicating Effectively at Work

The level of productivity that a company experiences often relies a lot on how well employees are communicating with one another. There is also a level of communication that should exist between employees and upper management. In many companies, this communication isn’t occurring. If it does occur, it isn’t being done effectively. In many cases, upper management doesn’t know much about the people who are working for them. If you’re looking to improve the level of communication at your business, let’s look at some tips that can help.

Use a Combination of Face-to-Face and Digital Communication

There are many different methods of communication in this day and age. However, digital options are proving to be quite difficult for effective communication. According to a new survey of more than 250 communications professionals, 48 percent said that to the extent employee engagement is important to their organizations, companies need to rethink digital workplace internal communications. Speaking in-person is still a great option. It allows you to see a person’s facial expressions, you can hear what they are saying, and you’ll be able to understand their message better. That doesn’t mean you should completely give up on digital methods. Try a combination of both to see what happens.

Ask Questions

Employees should always be encouraged to ask questions, especially when they need help. No question is unnecessary if it helps someone learn how to do their job better. If people are nervous about asking a question in front of their colleagues, come up with a system of submitting questions anonymously. The questions can be addressed at team meetings or in a group email. 

Handle Conflict Positively

It is inevitable that conflict will arise within the office. A disagreement could occur because of two differing opinions. It’s important that everyone handles this issue positively and professionally. Have a method of dealing with inner-office conflict. Make sure the problem is addressed for both parties, in a way that won’t harm the flow of business. You also want to make sure everyone is getting along with each other. Being able to handle conflict in a mature, productive manner is an essential characteristic of a good leader.

It’s very important that everyone in your office gets along and can communicate properly. Not everyone has excellent communication skills. You might want to offer some training sessions or team building exercises as a way for people to communicate things that have been on their mind. Learning how to communicate more effectively will help generate better morale and increase productivity.

3 Ways to Earn Side Money Without a Degree

While it may be easier to find higher-paying jobs after graduating from college, there are plenty of ways to make money without a degree. Creating a side hustle can help you make extra money on your own time, which can make it easier to pay bills or save for your future goals. In some cases, one of these side hustles can become a full-time job or a thriving business that creates jobs for others in the community.

Become a Real Estate Agent

If you want to go into a profitable field, consider becoming a real estate agent. All you need is a real estate license to get started. Generally speaking, anyone who is able to pass the license exam can enter the field regardless of their level of education. Whether you represent the buyer or the seller, it’s possible to earn thousands of dollars from a single listing. Even if you only help to sell a few homes per month, it can be a lucrative career path.

Get at Gig as a Food Delivery Driver

To be a food delivery driver, you typically need little more than a driver’s license and a reliable automobile. You can choose to work for an established company or deliver food on a freelance basis. Since there are undoubtedly many delivery services you can join in your local area, it’s not difficult to find work—this field is steadily growing. One of the perks of bringing people food is that they are likely to tip their driver. This gives you an opportunity to earn significantly more than the base wage an employer pays for your services.

Work as a Freelance Writer

There is a huge demand for quality content that can be posted on blogs, social media accounts, and other online properties. Individuals and companies are also constantly on the lookout for authors to ghostwrite their books. If you don’t want to write, it may be possible to earn money editing what others have already created. In some cases, editors may be able to charge more than authors. This is because authors are usually willing to pay a premium to ensure that their content is free of spelling or grammar errors.

If you have a unique talent, there is a good chance that someone will pay for your knowledge or skills. This is true whether you have an advanced degree or no degree at all. While you may need to spend some time marketing your services, doing so can help put you on a path to financial independence.

Looking for more ideas? Explore more business ideas and personal development resources from Chance and Confidence. 

How a Japanese Concept Can Improve Your Productivity

While kaizen, according to its original Japanese definition, can mean either one-time or continuous improvement, many life-coaches and businesses try to adopt a continuous philosophy that can be implemented for long-term progress. First developed in post-WWII Japan, the philosophy emphasizes productivity while eliminating wasteful actions. Eventually, this improvement concept was adopted by the Toyota Motor Corporation in 2001 as part of their official corporate culture and became known as the Toyota Way.

What is Kaizen?

According to Kaizen News, kaizen means continuous improvement, and it’s a philosophy that is effective at all levels of a business, from its corporate culture down to a single individual. From CEOs to production workers, anybody can practice this philosophy. It can also be applied to processes such as purchasing, operations, manufacturing, and logistics in a variety of industries. Its many benefits include waste reduction, immediate troubleshooting, improved utilization of resources, and better teamwork.

There are multiple forms of this philosophy: point, line, plane and cube. The point system is the most basic improvement. You and your team are only focused on making a single improvement. If something is broken in a production system, you implement a solution to fix the problem. The line system extends the single point improvement down to another point. The solution used can also be used by another department. 

Sometimes, the strategy used in one point can be extended to multiple departments or processes and become a plane system. A cube system is a system where multiple planes of improvement connect in upstream or downstream processes, and each improvement plane affects and is affected by the changes made by other departments in an organization-wide restructure. According to Value Based Management, this philosophy exceeds at eliminating waste and inefficiency. 

Steps of Kaizen

While the steps can be customized to different company cultures, the basic process involves identifying the problem, studying the problem, identifying the root causes, making changes, implementing the changes, and evaluating the changes. In the case of any ambiguity, work is stopped and communication is established between managers and employees to resolve any confusion.

Application

The application of this Japanese concept is an interactive problem-solving process. You and your team need to have a vision of your long-term goals, and actively challenge yourself and your employees to seek to achieve these goals. Since the application of this philosophy is circular, you and your team must continuously return to the beginning of the cycle after evaluating the effects of the previous improvement.

While the application of the Toyota Way can be used in corporate culture, individuals can also use this philosophy as a way to make lifestyle improvements. Proactive and empowering, continuous improvement seeks to align both individuals and companies with long-term goals.

Productivity in the workplace is vital for success. Here are some common stumbling blocks in the workplace that inhibit productivity and how to bite them in the bud.

How to Hire Better Employees

Whether you run a small business or a multinational corporation, your company’s most valuable asset will always be the people who work for and represent your business. Hiring new employees is always both a new opportunity and a gamble since you never truly know who you’re going to get. Here are three things to consider when revising your company’s hiring practices to ensure you attract better employees.

Check References

Calling a candidate’s references is a great way to get insight into the person you’re thinking of hiring. References can be past employers, colleagues, or previous educators of your applicant. Glowing references are obviously an encouraging sign and indicate that you’re on the right track with your candidate. However, according to Top Echelon, even when a not so great reference arises, that does not always indicate a bad candidate. For many, past mistakes can be learning opportunities, which manifest in stronger candidates for future employers.

Identify Skills

If you are hiring for a job that requires a specific skill set, you may want to conduct a trial test when screening applicants. According to The Hire Talent, hiring skilled employees helps improve your talent management process. Ensuring that your candidate already has the skills needed to complete his or her job will save time and preserve resources in terms of training, onboarding, and more. Plug-and-play candidates can help you to maintain production and stay on track for any existing project goals.

Ask About Other Experience

While past job titles may indicate one thing, the context of where a candidate has worked may indicate another. In small businesses, job responsibilities often leak into other areas. An accountant may perform miscellaneous HR duties, while a project manager may also have duties in sales and marketing. Additionally, you should consider all of the candidate’s  experience, even if it was unpaid. According to Moving Worlds, volunteer activity is a great way for people to gain experience in new fields and also meet a few new references along the way. Whether your candidate has served on a volunteer board, offered skill-specific assistance to an organization, or simply contributed time to a cause he or she cares about, these are all indicators of the individual’s character and ability to complete the task at hand.

Hiring and retaining talent for your organization helps to ensure your business’ longevity and profitability. Not only do you rely on employees to perform various duties and tasks, but they also function as walking embodiments of the values of your company. Employees not only need to have the right talent and experience, but they also have to fit in with your corporate culture. Ask the right questions, give a test, and look at volunteer experience when conducting your next hiring interview.

What You Should Know About Building a Cash Reserve

Perhaps you think of it as your personal cash reserve, your emergency money or the rainy-day fund. Whatever you actually call it, your emergency fund can be the safety net that you need when disaster strikes. If you don’t yet have a cash reserve and you’d like to learn how to set one up, the following three tips can help you get started.

Setting a Budget

One of the simplest budgeting methods is the 50/30/20 budget. If you’ve never set a budget for yourself before, then you may want to try this one because it’s easy. Basically, this plan asks you to put aside 50% of your income for the necessities such as rent, transportation needs, utilities, etc. Next, you’ll earmark 30% for fun. This might be movies, coffee with friends or a dinner out. Finally, 20% of your income goes toward savings and debt. Ideally, you’d have no debt, so the full 20% would go toward your cash reserve.

Take Extra Steps

If you do have a lot of debt or you want to build your cash reserve faster, you’ll want to take some extra steps. First, be willing to do things like get a second job or have a yard/garage sale to make some extra money. Second, build your reserve in smaller steps, starting with about a $1,000. This fund will be for issues like unexpected car repairs, an emergency trip to the dentist’s office, etc. Finally, you should save enough money so that you have three to six months’ worth of income in the bank after you have the initial $1,000 saved up.

Using It

Your cash reserve should be used instead of credit cards when an emergency strikes. Eventually, this financial padding will replace your need to resort to high-interest credit. You may be in for an uphill battle initially, especially if you’ve been accustomed to using credit cards for every unexpected expense, but it’s worth the effort. As City Creek Mortgage points out, by using the cash reserve instead of credit cards, you train yourself not to build debt, and you can help secure your financial future. Learning how to live this way takes discipline and forethought, but it can be done.

Most people know they should have an emergency fund set aside to use when life’s mishaps befall them, but there’s a big difference between knowing they need one and actually having one. That’s where most people get tripped up. Building a fund takes time, sacrifice and discipline. However, that discipline pays off in the end. Those with a cash reserve weather life’s storms far better and with more peace of mind than those who don’t.

Setting goals for your financial life is important. Let us help you figure out how to do it!

How to Keep Top Employees in Your Company

A business is only as good as the people who make it work. If your employees are the best, your company will also be the best. That’s why it’s so crucial to keep the best talent employed with you as every person who walks out that door could potentially find work with a competitor. Try the tips outlined in this guide to keeping top employees in your company so that this never happens.

Keep an Open Door

One of the quickest ways to create a hostile or otherwise unpleasant work environment is to come off as a guarded, untrustworthy and aggressive manager. To remedy this, Paychex suggests trying to keep an open door as much as possible and foster the attitude that your employees can talk with you freely and openly. Nothing builds trust like vulnerability, meaning the less it seems like you have to hide, the more your employees will feel happy about coming to work. After all, wouldn’t you be a bit less likely to go looking for a new job if it meant giving up a genuinely nice workplace filled with people you trust and get along with?

Be Employee Focused

Your employees are the backbone of your company. If you don’t treat them right, you’re essentially shooting yourself in the foot. That’s why it’s important to focus on employees, helping them learn and grow with the company. According to Instructure, 70 percent of employees were willing to change companies if they found one more focused on their development, and 34 percent of people interviewed have left a job to find one that is more focused on developing their career. This development training is especially important because being able to advance in a job is what keeps many people loyal to a company. If there’s no chance that they could be promoted or learn new skills, they might as well pack up. Providing bonuses, great insurance packages and vacation days are also part of this mindset. Overall, do your best to make it a better and more rewarding experience for your employees to stay with your company.

Set an Example

Change starts from the top down, so it’s your job to be a good leader for your employees. If you show a good work ethic, so will they. If you’re loyal to the company, they, too, will be loyal. According to Office Vibe, there’s plenty you can do to be a better boss for your employees. But, what it comes down to is setting a good example by doing your fair share of the work and helping others when needed.

Employees are the lifeblood of any company. Smart business owners want to keep the best people right where they are instead of having them leave to find other opportunities. Try these three tips to make your company a more appealing option.

5 Secrets to Marketing Your Business Successfully Online

Are you overwhelmed with deciding on an online marketing strategy? With so many ways to market your business online, it can difficult to learn every option available. If you are looking for a concise list of ideas, read on to learn five secrets to successfully marketing your business online.

Think Outside the Box

Sometimes people with curious, active minds stand out and are criticized for being eccentric. But thinking outside the box is a valuable skill that others have to learn how to acquire. Online marketing requires a lot of creativity to come up with ideas for reaching people. Consider sending your customers a physical postcard with a coupon code as a thank you note. This is part of online marketing because all your other marketing is online, and the postcard will redirect your customer back to your online business. Bringing your brand into their home will give your customers a sense of humanity and acknowledgment and make your brand feel more real to them. If your business is small enough, write or sign some of the notes yourself. If your business is large, do this for select customers.

Ask for Reviews

Customer reviews are an effective way to create a positive online reputation, but it is also a form of market research. Online reviews can be a valuable feedback tool to improve your business, and you won’t have access to that data unless you ask. You can ask for reviews at the end of every transaction, such as placing a request at the bottom of customers’ receipts or automating a follow-up email that asks them about their experience. Another way to ask for reviews is by using polls on social media to gather information about customers’ experiences.

Optimize SEO

Optimizing your SEO is vital. Search engine optimization is a way to grow organic traffic without paying by crafting your copy to increase visibility in search engine results. This includes researching which keywords customers are using to search for what they need and then using them organically. Part of this marketing discipline is knowing at least the general idea about search engine algorithms. They can change frequently, so it is important to stay abreast of this information. If you are low on time and funds, you may want to consider using a consultant or an outside company if you want to maximize your visibility.

Offer Value Through Content Creation

Often, when people create their businesses, they don’t realize they are also starting small media companies. This may cause stress for those who are more interested in business operations. Either way, creating content that captures attention and builds an audience is a necessary part of your business. The secret to creating content that potential customers care about is to offer something of value that is specific to your brand and give it away for free. Building an online reputation as a place where people go to not only for entertainment, but also to learn will earn trust and build an audience conducive to generating leads. Use your metrics to discover where your audience hangs out online and then use that platform.

Outsource Your Marketing

If you are wondering why outsourcing your marketing is on a list of five ways to successfully market your business, it is because you may need a reminder that it is OK not to be good at everything. Entrepreneurs are ambitious, and sometimes they try to do everything on their own. Knowing when to outsource and delegate tasks that you are weak in is an important skill.

Digital marketing isn’t as scary as it seems at first glance. There are several simple, actionable tools that you can use right away to boost your business online. No matter what shape your marketing takes, remember to always be honest and transparent with your audience.

You come across opportunities for success every single day.  Prepare yourself for your next golden opportunity with our resources, starting here: Your Greatest, Most Powerful Asset

Ethical Marketing: What it is and Why it Should Matter to You

Ethical marketing is a good idea for any serious-minded businessman or businesswoman who wants to keep up with the changing trends within the markets and consumer demands. Without it, it may be tough to keep up. Let’s take a look at ethical marketing, what it is and what it means for you.

What is Ethical Marketing

Businesses utilize ethical and digital marketing strategies to generate the interest of consumers and build stronger relationships. They first have to identify the need; then they go about creating a plan to meet that need with their services or products. Some examples include the essential oil industry and TOMS shoes.

Not only are the companies marketing their goods, but they are focused on being socially or environmentally responsible while benefiting the consumer. Essential oils industries offer jobs to many in regions where jobs otherwise would be difficult to find, like Africa.

TOMS provides a child in need a pair of shoes each time that a pair is purchased, and many of their shoes are environmentally friendly. TOMS also uses solely digital marketing reducing their carbon footprint. These are great examples of ethical marketing.

More and more companies are looking to be ethical in all ways possible. According to Kabbage, “sponsoring a charitable program and volunteering your business’ time are great ways to raise awareness about a specific cause and also promote your business in partnership with the organization or event. You can spread the word about the charitable event by posting on your social media platforms and your website.” That being said, simply spinning environmental claims won’t help your business, there has to be action, something tangible, backing your marketing campaign.

Why it Should Matter To You

With more and more consumers being drawn to ethical products, ethical marketing is a highly successful strategy. The food industry in particular is an area where people demand to know the source of origination and conditions in which their food sources were raised or grown. Many are looking to organic options. They expect to be able to trust the labels and marketing campaigns they are offered.

If these marketing campaigns are in any way false or unethical, the trust of the consumer can be forever lost. According to doTERRA, “consumers are demanding to know traceability for their products.” Simply put, ethical marketing adds honesty and transparency. If a business utilizes this type of marketing strategy, then they are demonstrating their abilities to be socially responsible and culturally sensitive.

Get Involved

Make sure you have ensured fair labor conditions especially when you are employing people from other countries. Be involved, know who your suppliers are and that they are in compliance with International Labor Organization safety and health conventions as well as monitoring working conditions and abiding by the current child labor laws.

If you want to be focused more in the U.S, then support community development projects, causes, schools and so forth. According to PaySimple, “it’s important to look locally and involve employees in the decision. A local charity is likely to have the biggest business impact because charitable donations will be most visible to consumers, and involving employees in the decision helps ensure the team is connected to the partnership.” There is always something you can do to give back.

In conclusion, ethical marketing is critical and seen by many as the moral compass of a business. Those companies who implement ethical marketing strategies and principles and live by them often exceed their expectations.

Starting or increasing your marketing efforts can be overwhelming, especially if you are new to marketing. Check out our free list of resources to help you!

3 Ways to Make Sure You and Your Team Are Always on the Same Page

Keeping your team on the same page as you is essential for the successful execution of a project. Your team will complete tasks quicker when they fully understand what’s expected of them. You can make sure you and your team are always on the same page by holding weekly meetings, using helpful software and communicating effectively.

Weekly Meetings

MobileDay recommends that teams should have weekly meetings to check progress on task completion and address any problems or questions the team has. Weekly meetings help keep everyone on the same page because team members are able to discuss the project and ask questions while everyone is present.

Prepare the team before meetings for focus and direction. You can create an online checklist of the tasks that are supposed to be finished and have your team check the tasks off before the meeting starts. It’s a fast way of determining what’s left to be done. You can also send polls to team members online to collect opinions on issues. This frees up time at the meeting to spend on discussing more important matters.

Use Software

EPMA says that every project can have a dedicated site where team members can collaborate, share documents, raise issues, and so on. Online project management tools like Trello, Scoro, and Proofhub make this easy to do. You don’t have to handle any of the coding when you use one of these platforms. Some project management tools have a free version that you can use. You and your team can monitor the progress of projects and ask questions pertaining to a certain task from within the software. It saves time and helps the team stay on the same page since other members can see what questions were already asked.

Communicate Effectively

Azendoo explains how a team that doesn’t communicate well is like an engine that has been broken down into its separate parts. All are in great working order, well-oiled and cared for, but without the rest of the engine components, the individual parts just won’t work how they were supposed to. Stay patient when you need to repeat yourself. When a workplace is hectic, people may forget about important notes, which is another reason you want to remind them. Also, get into the habit of explaining the “why” behind tasks in the project to help motivate the team. Many people want to know the reasoning behind their work and not just the “what” and “how.”

Make sure that you and your team are always on the same page by communicating effectively, using software and holding weekly meetings. Online project management software makes communication faster and improves the organization of the project. It saves everyone time as well. You can focus on the critical issues during your weekly meetings as the smaller things can be ironed out through the software.

Are you looking for more advice and information on how to pull your team together and improve your leadership skills? Check out these other helpful articles from Chance and Confidence: