Companies only have one chance to make a strong first impression, which is why it is essential to put your best face forward—not just in your interpersonal interactions, but with your website content, as well. Nowhere is this truer than on your company’s ‘About Us’ page. Most likely, you already have an ‘About Us’ section on your company website and you probably know on some level that this page is important.
What you might not know is that, generally, ‘About Us’ pages are among the most-visited sections on any corporate website. Exactly how much traffic an ‘About Us’ page gets will vary, but try this: Log into your Google Analytics account, if you have one, and see how your ‘About Us’ page ranks in comparison to the other sections of your site. Chances are, it’s somewhere in the top five most-visited sections of your site, and likely even second, behind only the home page.
This is one reason why it matters that your company has a compelling ‘About Us’ page—because people are going to see it, and it sets the first impression they have of your brand. ‘About Us’ pages are important for other reasons, too. The ‘About Us’ page is your best opportunity to tell the story of your brand in a compelling, narrative way—something that a ‘Products’ or ‘Services’ page won’t allow.
Additionally, an ‘About Us’ section allows you to humanize your company; people prefer to do business with other people, not faceless corporate entities, so this is a great chance to make your business more relatable.
All this is well and good, but for business owners there is an obvious question: How can you make sure your company ‘About Us’ section is just killer? How can you tweak it to be sure that your business is making a strong impression through this all-important piece of content?
The first step is to do some planning, remembering that the ‘About Us’ page should dovetail with the rest of your content strategy. You can’t rush into writing this content, in other words.
You’ve got to think about what your business really stands for: What’s your company vision? What is your company culture, as defined by your company values and mission? These are the considerations to make before you set out to write, as they will ultimately dictate the tone of your ‘About Us’ page.
Another tip: While we call the page the ‘About Us’ section, it’s really not about your business so much as it is about your visitors, your customers and your potential customers.
This may sound counterintuitive, but hear us out.
A first-time visitor to your website, someone who knows fairly little about your business, does not want to see an exhaustive chronicle of your corporate history. The story of your brand may be fascinating to you, but it’s simply not going to be as interesting to those with no vested interest in the company.
All your readers care about is what’s in it for them. Yes, you can share some facts about your company, and you might even explain some of its history, but this all needs to be in service of showing the benefits you offer to customers.
A related tip: Strong ‘About Us’ content focuses on facts, not on superlatives. Saying that your company complies with national safety standards, that it delivers all products in five business days or less, that you work only with organic ingredients—all of that is fine. Calling your company visionary, superior, or the best ever is less fine: Simply put, these words don’t mean anything. They’re fluff.
Besides: Wouldn’t all companies lay claim to these adjectives? Set yourself apart by ditching the meaningless buzzwords in favor of substantive facts.
With that point in mind, think back to your company mission and values, as discussed in the first point here. It’s important to use your company’s identity as the template with which you design your content; that identity guides you in deciding what really sets your company apart.
For example, some companies are set apart because they make products by hand instead of mass-producing them. Some companies are set apart by their convenience, by their low prices, by their high levels of quality, or by their industry thought leadership. What sets your company apart? Make that the focal point around which your ‘About Us’ narrative is told.
A final tip: Never underestimate the power of candor. Many small businesses try to build themselves up with vague content that makes them seem—in some nebulous way—bigger or more experienced than they really are. Vague isn’t the way to go, because it offers no value to readers.
Instead, own your limitations, your small size, and your newness (if applicable). Make these things work for you. Instead of masking your small size, play up your nimbleness, or the personal touch you can offer. Instead of covering up your newness, emphasize the fresh perspective you bring to your industry.
Every company has a story to tell, and the company ‘About Us’ page is an ideal place to tell it. Tell it honestly; tell it in a way that communicates your value to readers; more than anything, tell it in a way that shows just how unique your business really is!
About the author: Josh Hurst is the Content Marketing Strategist for Grammar Chic, Inc., a full-service writing company based in Charlotte, North Carolina. In this capacity, Josh has written company ‘About Us’ pages for manufacturing businesses, personal trainers, doctors, telecommunications companies, and a wide range of others. Connect with him via the Grammar Chic Facebook page or Twitter account, @grammarchicinc.]]>
I love running. It occupies my thoughts throughout every day. I spend more time than I care to admit researching and building training regimes. Like most runners, I am passionately opinionated about running gear. Just talking about running sends me into state of euphoria. I even have 26.2 (the length of a marathon) and running wings tattooed on my ankle (sorry mom).
Despite my passion, I find that when I’m not training for a race, my reason for running becomes murky. My motivation shrinks. I skip workouts. My weekly mileage decreases. And, excuses not to run are easy to find.
To advance my running goals, setting and moving toward a big vision is essential. My vision typically revolves around a new personal best at my next marathon. In my mind, I visualize the final balloon arch getting closer, hear the boom of the finish-line music grow louder, and feel the crowd’s energy urging me to run faster. This big dream keeps me focused and allows me to set specific training goals that will help me hit my target.
The same is true for the daily grind of business.
American writer and futurist Alvin Toffler says “You’ve got to think about the big things while you’re doing the small things, so that all of the small things go in the right direction.”
Identifying a clear vision for your company guides strategy, aligns decisions, and brings purpose and focus to your employees. A company vision is quite simply a picture of what success will be at a particular point in the future. It encompasses answers to questions such as:
And at first glance, vision setting sounds like a simple concept. After all, we all dream about the future, keep “bucket lists,” and imagine ourselves accomplishing great things in our lives.
But when it comes to business, I’ve watched many of our clients struggle to identify their company’s big vision. Or, if they have a vision, it’s overly complicated and difficult to remember. Worse, it doesn’t get them excited (and if the leadership team isn’t excited, you can bet your employees won’t care about it either).
A great vision is inspiring and it stretches the imagination. It gets everyone in your organization energized around a strategic rallying point. It’s a point on a map that sets your direction. From there, you can create a detailed strategic plan that tells you how to get you there.
Even more, identifying your vision also leads to faster growth. According to EMyth’s 2012 SOBO (State of the Business Owner) Report, “Companies with a written vision grow 50% faster than those without.”
Below is a list of questions to start your thinking. Dream big and focus on success:
Sometimes it is helpful to look at examples of existing companies. The vision statements below belong to well-known, successful, and enduring companies:
Amazon: “Our vision is to be earth’s most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”
Avon: “To be the company that best understands and satisfies the product, service and self-fulfillment needs of women—globally.”
Starbucks: “To share great coffee with our friends and help make the world a little better.”
Dreams matter. And, chances are, it was a big dream that prompted you to start a business in the first place. Keep your vision alive and let it power every task, initiative, and decision along the way.
Here’s to crossing the finish line and reaching your big vision… and then of course, gearing up for the next big race!
Want to learn more about how Kinesis helps companies get clear on their big vision? Visit our website or give us a call at 503-922-2289 to set up a consultation.
But how do you get there? And what’s holding you back from gaining followers on Twitter? Keep reading to learn ten things that are possibly causing people NOT to follow you.
If you don’t upload a profile photo or image, what people will see when they bother to check your account is an egg. Remember you only have a few seconds to impress potential followers; an egg isn’t likely to do that for you. People want to know who they’re connecting with on social media and the first step to doing that is seeing what your business looks like. When they see only the image of an egg, they’re less likely to follow you. An image of your logo or your business should work well enough.
People have become wary of those who refer to themselves as guru, expert, or maven on social media. So when you refer to your business as some kind of leader, you’re practically telling people NOT to follow you. Of course it’s important to let people know that you’re good at what you do, just do it without rubbing your expertise in their faces. Sometimes a simple description of who you are and what your business stands for works best.
You know it’s important to provide information about your business. Writing it from a third person point-of-view, however, isn’t really the best way to go about it. Even if you’re using Twitter for business purposes, you should never forget that it is a personal social platform. People want to know they’re conversing directly with someone, so give your Twitter profile a touch of panache and make it come across as personal and interactive. It would also be useful to include links to your website and other social media accounts.
There are business leaders who set their Twitter account to “private” so only their followers can see their tweets. This is okay for individuals who want to keep their privacy, but for business owners like you who want to have as many followers as you can, it’s best to make sure your account is unlocked and visible to all.
It may be okay for you to follow more people than those following you, but when you only have ten followers and you’re following more than a thousand, that’s a red flag for your target audience. Try not to go crazy in clicking that “Follow” button if you want to encourage people to join your list of followers. It would be more useful to focus on following people or other businesses who have something strategic and of value to offer.
If you tweet just once or twice each year, what’s the point of following you? People follow businesses to get updates on what they’re doing and what they have to offer, so give them those updates. This doesn’t mean you should tweet every hour of every day, though. That would be overkill and would likely turn people off. Tweeting once or twice each day should be enough. It should also be an opportunity to tweet about new product announcements and something interesting that your brand is doing.
Someone may have convinced you to sign up for a service that automatically posts tweets for you on a set schedule. Take note, though, that auto-generated tweets will likely discourage people from following you. Again, there’s a need to emphasize that Twitter users expect to converse with someone, not just get updates from robots. It’s about engagement, not just regularly providing information. This is even more pertinent when you are a business owner because only personal interactions can lead to better engagement.
Of course you’re selling something! You’re using Twitter for business, after all, right? We understand that, but you should refrain from obviously selling on Twitter. People are there to interact, not to be barraged with sales pitches. It’s enough to let them know what business you’re in; you should then focus on establishing your expertise by regularly providing relevant and useful information. That should encourage your followers to learn more about you by clicking through to your business website.
It may indeed be a nice gesture to thank someone for following you on Twitter, but if you DM your thanks and follow it up with a request for your new follower to check you out on Facebook or click through to your website, you’re more likely to lose that new follower than earn a new customer. Remember that sending promotional messages via DM is a lazy and old-fashioned form of marketing—one you can definitely do without.
Twitter success lies in being sociable! This means that you participate in forums, provide information that people can use and update information on your business with regularity. It is not always about saying something and then expecting people to follow your brand. It is also about sharing information that you have.
Read through this list again and assess yourself as objectively as possible. Are you doing any or all of the things listed here? If so, then you need to stop doing them immediately!
Fix those mistakes that can be fixed, and avoid doing those things that need to be avoided. As soon as you’re able to do that, you should be able to look forward to an increase in the number of Twitter followers for your business.
Emma-Julie Fox writes for Pitstop Media Inc, a Vancouver company that provides advanced SEO services to businesses across North America. She enjoys writing about online marketing, SEO and social media best practices.
Social networking is a vital tool for every brand and is quickly changing the face of how we do business and how we hire. In fact, sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and even Pinterest could just find the candidate you need to propel your business to the next level.
When it comes to recruiting the best talent for your company, start-up and experienced CEOs, entrepreneurs, and business leaders will tell you that using one resource to find the right person at the right time is never enough!
Each social network provides its own diverse platform to find candidates for various roles, but how successful is employee sourcing via social media? And which network is the best for recruiting? This essential guide explores social media recruiting success rates and provides top tips for those looking to recruit socially.
After its recent 10th birthday, Facebook is reported to have 1.23 billion active users, making it an obvious choice for social recruiters looking for success. However, whilst Facebook’s active member statistics remain unrivaled, LinkedIn has become the rising star of the social recruiting world.
LinkedIn currently has 277 million users, and with 2.1 million groups (and counting), the network has become a firm favorite for job seekers looking to find work in their respective industries. The social network has become particularly successful for recruiters looking for more experienced candidates: 62% of LinkedIn job seekers are over the age of 40, and 51% are earning salaries over $75,000 in their current positions. Conversely, LinkedIn has also become a vital resource for recruiters looking for college graduates.
LinkedIn is officially the most popular network to find and vet candidates, with 94% of social media recruiting taking place here in 2013 alone. Google+ and YouTube however were deemed the least effective.
2013 was deemed the Year of Social Media Recruiting and according to the Jobvite Social Recruiting Survey, 94% of business owners used internal and external social networking to find talent and strengthen their recruitment strategy.
The use of social media has not only proved successful in finding the right candidate for the job, but has also impacted on wider recruitment process for businesses of all shapes and sizes. The use of social recruiting has essentially streamlined how companies find and vet candidates, reducing the amount of time it takes to hire, improving candidate quality, and increasing the number of candidates that apply for the position. Social media recruiting has also seen the number and strength of employee referrals improve ten-fold.
So what rewards have recruiters and business owners reaped from using social media to source talent? In 2013, social recruiting was responsible for finding 42% of applicants, and 14% of hires, whilst the same percentage of hires stayed with their respective companies for more than three years.
For those new to social recruiting, the transition from brand page to hiring portal can be a difficult one; many recruiters and business owners make a few mistakes along the way in their search for top talent. With so many networks out there it is easy to lose sight of your strategy.
To help you stay focused here are the top mistakes to avoid in order for you to reach your full potential:
Have you successfully used social networking for recruiting and screening purposes? What has been your best approach? Let us know in the comments section below.
About the author: Brittany Thorley works for Forsyth Business Centres, helping companies of all sizes find the solutions they need for business growth and success.]]>
You may remember the first installment from last August, when my business partner, Shawn Busse, interviewed Business Turnaround Specialist, Howard Mann.
I’m thrilled to share today’s Accelerator Interview with you – I had the opportunity to speak with local business legend (and one of my mentors) Jill Nelson, the founder and CEO of Portland-based Ruby Receptionists.
If you are a business person in Portland, you’ve no doubt heard of Jill Nelson – and if not Jill, at the least her business, Ruby Receptionists. Ruby embodies all of the ideologies that we teach our clients at Kinesis about marketing from the inside out – creating a great culture through living their mission, vision, and values. And as a result of being a savvy, purpose-driven company, Ruby has made astounding, sustainable progress – seeing double digit growth, year after year, for 10 years in a row.
Jill has received mounting acclaim as a leader in the business community, local and national alike. She was named a 2012 “Customer Champion” by 1to1 Magazine and was featured as Portland Monthly‘s April 2012 “Rainmaker.” In 2010, she was honored with a Portland Business Journal ”Orchid Award” for her service as a female business leader who is deeply involved in the community. Jill is currently Finance Chair of the Portland chapter of Entrepreneurs’ Organization, who awarded her as its 2013 Entrepreneur of the Year.
But what’s truly amazing about Jill’s company is how she’s revolutionized a tired business model (the Call Center), leveraging culture to create a unique value proposition and differentiating their services from the competition.
2012: $7.8 million
2013: ~$11.4 million
2012 over 2011 growth – 50%
2013 over 2012 growth – 44%
Projected 2014 growth over 2013 – 35%
From 2011 to 2013, revenue grew 116%
Annual marketing: Ruby invests 5.7% of revenue on marketing
Read more about Ruby in this recent Business Insider article.
NOTE: If player doesn’t load in a few seconds, try refreshing your screen.
Click here to download the transcript.
Want more insight into the Ruby culture? Watch this video!]]>
You may not be brilliant at breakfast now, but with the right regime and the right tricks, you can actually turn this into your most productive time. Here are some tips that will help you get up on time and start producing great quality work – brain fog be damned!
First things first: the single most important factor here is that you get a good night’s sleep. Getting to sleep on time will help you to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go, and it will help to reduce that brain fog as much as physically possible.
And a good night’s sleep doesn’t only mean getting your eight hours. It also means trying to go to bed at a consistent time (the body likes regularity in this regard), it means getting good quality sleep, and it means avoiding dosing past your alarm which actually makes you more groggy.
If it takes you two hours to get your brain in gear, then waking up an hour earlier will mean you’re more productive an hour earlier too. Shift your schedule back a notch and you should line it up better with the times you want to be productive. That’s also another important reason not to hit snooze!
Several things you do now can help to invigorate you and wake up for the day ahead. If you’re a dedicated type, then nothing will get you started better than a morning workout followed by a cool shower. Also important is to have a big breakfast that’s full of fiber and carbs – a high-fiber cereal with fruit on top is ideal, along with a boiled egg.
Finally, that cup of coffee really will help you to wake up and to improve productivity throughout the day but don’t overdo it or the effects can be lost. Have your first mug of coffee about 30-45 minutes before you want to start work, as that’s how long caffeine takes to be synthesized by the body.
Additionally, try to use the right strategies to get yourself into work the next day. One example of this is to set your homepage to the first page you need for work everyday. That way you won’t be tempted to have a quick search on Google, or to start watching YouTube videos.
Another useful tip is to leave some work unfinished from the day before. This might sound counterintuitive, but it’s actually a useful way to trick yourself into working. The human brain hates to leave things unresolved.
Finally, make sure that you warm yourself up into work. You’ll find that the words don’t flow at first when you start writing – so it can help to do some exercises which might include writing a shopping list. Schedule relatively easy tasks for the start of the day too so that you’re not approaching the most monstrous jobs with a half-asleep brain.
And there you go, you’re now brilliant at breakfast!
About the author: The founder of Berkeley Sourcing Group, Greg Fisher, is the brain behind this article. When he is not busy working, he enjoys reading tech magazines or playing a good game of chess with his friends. He has a strong affinity for creative writing and an undying allegiance to eco-friendly living.
Note: This post first appeared at Business2Community
Being a business owner is an incredible journey. It is thrilling to build a company, shape the future, fuel economic growth, sell your offerings to thrilled customers, and create a team of remarkable people.
It can also be demanding, overwhelming, frustrating, and very stressful. To survive for the long haul as an entrepreneur, it’s essential that you create a work-life balance and make an intentional choice to be happy.
Everybody starts out in a different place with a different amount of knowledge they bring to the table. And, each person is headed on their own journey. You have NO idea what someone’s background might be, or what their struggles have been. Their company sells different products, attracts different people, and has different strengths and weaknesses than yours. So don’t worry about them – making comparisons is a complete waste of your time.
Entrepreneurship is a roller coaster. And there are factors that will take you into the dip that are beyond your control. The economy, trends, outside influences on client companies, shifts in your employees’ lives, competitive influences, and many more pressures will impact your company.
Keep your focus on those things that you actually control: 1) your thoughts, 2) your (re)actions, and 3) your words.
Running a business can be a lonely job. Even the people who love you the most – your spouse/partner and family – may not understand how you are thinking or what you are facing. Nobody gets the crazy mind and life of an entrepreneur like another entrepreneur.
Gather a group of people who are in the same boat and can offer you advice, commiserate with you, point out pitfalls ahead of time, and be a sounding board. Your circle of like-minded entrepreneurs are the perfect choice when you want to have a beer and brainstorm your next great idea to “take over the world.”
While growing your company might sometimes seem like the most important thing in your world, never forget that the CEO (aka you) is its most important asset. You have a body and spirit to take care of by eating well, exercising, spending time with your family, getting outside, and taking vacations.
So, be willing to say “no” sometimes so you can focus on yourself. Remember, you want to be able to keep this up for years to come. Take care of you so you can take care of your company.
Yes, you have aggressive growth goals and a big vision to meet. It’s a wonderful quality to be enthusiastic and willing to take on big projects. But, pace yourself and your people. Growing your company is a marathon, not a sprint.
Don’t stretch yourself or your team to the breaking point. Overshooting capacity and uncontrolled growth is one of the top 10 reasons why businesses fail. Avoid being a statistic by making the commitment to grow gracefully.
Don’t waste precious energy on gossip or complaining. Before you begin to tell a story about another person or company, ask yourself: 1) Does this foster our growth? 2) Am I being kind? 3) Is there a way I could express gratitude or positivity right now? and 4) Would I want somebody talking about me in this way?
If your answer is “no” to any of these questions, stop immediately and then go do something that makes you feel good instead. Call a client to see how they are doing, take an employee out to lunch, or go out for a coffee with an entrepreneur friend.
Take the time to say “thank you” every day. You can thank your family, your team, your clients, and your business friends. Set aside time each week to hand write thank-you cards to people who have helped you.
Do something surprising and sweet for someone who isn’t expecting it. Make it a habit when you wake up to think about what you are thankful for, as well as a few minutes before you go to sleep.
When you practice gratitude on an everyday basis, you cultivate a chronic state of happiness.
As an entrepreneur, you are constantly connected to your smart phone, laptop, tablet, desktop computer, etc. You are bombarded by emails, social media, blog posts, videos, Tweets, and dings. And sometimes the “wired world” feels like it’s your whole world. It’s not. Set aside your devices and carve out quality time with the people that really matter to you. Take the time to read a real book or take a walk in nature.
Unplug and relax.
Running our business can be so heavy at times causing stress, heartburn, and sleepless nights over cash flow issues, a troublesome employee, or something that didn’t go well with a client. Try to lighten up (I know it’s easier said than done).
In some ways, many of the situations in our company are absurdly comedic. Look at events with a fresh lens and simply laugh away the stress. When we laugh more, even the worst scenarios get a little lighter and less worrisome. Sometimes a lighter view can even help us get enough distance to find a better solution.
Every day, find more reasons to smile.
Keeping “bad apples” on your team poisons your other employees’ ability to excel. Let’s face it – you’ve already identified those individuals and know it’s time to let them go. The only reason you are hanging on to them is because you feel emotionally attached.
I’ve never had a business owner say to me, “Wow, I really fired that person too fast!” By letting them go, you allow your top performers to accelerate their game with no one to hold them back. As a result, you’ll see an exponential growth in productivity and profit. Plus, your company will just be a nicer place to go to work each day.
Yes, there are some days that are just downright abysmal. But even on the bad days, you have a lot of choices about your attitude, approach, feelings, and actions.
And luckily most days are good and some are downright amazing! Take time to celebrate the wins and enjoy what you are building. You are an entrepreneur and that right there is something to be thrilled about!
Committing to the above actions can help you become happier, healthier, and more successful as an entrepreneur and in your everyday life.
What other tips to you have for being a happy entrepreneur? Share your tips in the comments section below so we can learn from each other.
The best managers can’t be defined by specific personality characteristics. While some of them are calm and soft-spoken, others could be more accurately described as a extremely extroverted and wildly enthusiastic. Regardless of their personality, the very top leaders have something in common – they drive bottom-line results for a company because they work hard to improve the lives of their employees.
Great managers know that to keep their team performing at the highest level, they not only have to hire A players but they must work on an ongoing basis to create a workplace environment where employees are truly engaged. Engaged employees are more productive and motivated—they produce higher-quality work, take fewer sick days, and stay with your company longer.
The good news is that there are many things managers can do to develop an environment that makes people feel genuinely happy and productive. Below are 5 tips to help you be an extraordinary boss who helps your team thrive:
1) Facilitate team member camaraderie
To help your team to perform at their best, take the time to facilitate cooperation and commitment. You can do this by regularly asking about your employees’ families and hobbies outside of the office. Take team members out to lunch or coffee together. Encourage group connections by having team happy hours or bowling dates.
The point is not to become best buddies; rather it’s to establish common ground among colleagues. The more you connect, the better you’ll perform together inside the company as a team. When people learn about each others’ interests and can share informal conversations, they build trust and are more willing to have productive dialogue on projects – even when they disagree.
2) Set individual and team goals
Each person you manage has a specific role to play to ensure your team’s overall success. Creating quantifiable expectations for your employees will empower them to monitor their own performance. Make sure your team members are clear about what they need to do to reach their goals and that they have all the resources necessary to do their jobs. Reward and encourage people when they are doing a great job and making progress. A little appreciation goes a long way
Track how far your team has come since the beginning of the year and show how far you have left to go. Are you on schedule, behind, or ahead? Be honest about your progress and have regular check-in meetings. Don’t wait until near the due date to signal that you are running behind. You can ensure that these metrics are meaningful by tying them to company goals.
3) Allow team members to be creative
Once you have given your team members the tools and information required to do the tasks necessary to get the job done, give them some leeway in how they choose to complete their tasks. There is more than one way to get a job done – people may not choose to tackle things in the same way. But by taking a new approach, your employees can get the same (or perhaps an even better) result. Free up your team to flex their creative muscles to find different solutions to an issue or a problem.
4) Offer training and development opportunities
Don’t let your team stagnate because they lack the opportunities to learn new skills. To keep them motivated, give them new responsibilities that challenge them. Find or develop training programs that meet your team members individual career goals. When used properly, this strategy can help improve your organizational culture and may even help to pave the way for strong performers to move on to more challenging positions.
5) Provide feedback and reviews regularly
Too many managers look at feedback as something that is only given when a team member makes a mistake. Instead, ongoing reviews are something that should occur regularly. They should include recognizing team members when they have done well on a project, handled a difficult customer with finesse, or come up with an idea that will save the company time or money. Great managers also help their staff get over areas where they are stuck by providing a listening ear and constructive advice.
When your team members have done well, share their successes publicly. Other members will be motivated by their teammate’s success as well. However, if you do have to discuss a performance issue, make sure that the discussion is held in private. Keep your comments to the job itself, without criticizing the team member’s personality or anything else that could be construed as a personal attack.
Being an incredible leader means inspiring your employees to reach for more. And it means supporting them by providing them with the guidance and resources to accomplish their goals. Commit to putting the above behaviors and systems in place, and your employees will do their work with pride, increasing their dedication to your business and your customers.
Remarkable management is easily within your grasp and you can begin to make changes today. As a result of creating a fantastic workplace with engaged employees, your company will accelerate!
Did we miss anything? Leave a comment below to share other secrets to being an incredible manager.
About the author: Sophie Eagan has worked in HR for much of her life. She believes it is extremely important for all businesses to drill in team work so the company runs smoothly. For maximum efficiently, she recommends a program called 360 degree feedback which collects data from the employees themselves.
When I first began learning how to play music, my middle school band teacher told our class that an orchestra is only as good as its weakest musician. If the player who is always out of sync and playing in the wrong key isn’t motivated to improve, the orchestra can’t rise above the mess of noise.
That might be a problem for a tuba player who likes to create his own songs and work independently. Unless you can find a way to harness his independent thinking, turning your weak musician into an asset.
Similarly in business, if your employees aren’t motivated for excellence or even continual improvement, how can your organization expect to innovate and grow as a whole?
You’ve heard us talk about the M-A-P style of incentives before. And, as former Apple chief evangelist Guy Kawasaki points out, companies must strive to enchant their own employees by giving them direction through Mastery of their skills, the Autonomy to follow great ideas, and a sense of Purpose within the company as well as a sense of the company’s Purpose in the world.
Business Author Dan Pink has given several lectures on this, through such venues as TED – he cites the Australian firm Atlassian, which organizes ShipIt Days every quarter for its employees. The idea behind the ShipIt hackathon is to allow employees to step back from their normal everyday work and explore a new software idea over 24 hours.
The term “Hackathon” originated in the software industry and uses the word “hack” in the sense of playful, exploratory programming. The concept has has been co-opted by other organizations for more general focused innovation efforts. Hackathons are popular not only with larger firms, most famously with Facebook, but with smaller companies as well, such as California’s Sonoma Technology Inc. (STi).
Such breaks from the norm give employees a number of important allowances:
While trying new things in the name of fun is great on its own, it’s important to note that many of the companies that have instituted this break from the everyday end up bringing new big ideas to the table that weren’t previously given much priority. The now integral Facebook Chat function was originally a product of a 2008 hackathon.
Let’s take this idea one step further.
When employees have that type of motivation, they have the potential to become one of the biggest untapped resources a company has. A monster company like Facebook has hundreds of employees and fans spouting their enjoyment for the brand and its practices.
But what about a smaller company, like STi? Besides a quick mention on the company’s Twitter page, you won’t find any mention of their own hackathon. I learned about it through one of the company’s own engineers freshly sprung from the event who, while exhausted after 24 hours of coding, still glowed. He didn’t win the company’s competition, but it was among the happiest days he’d had at the company. And thanks to his team’s ingenuity, STi has a new mobile app they are gearing up to unveil.
So that tuba player marching to his own beat?
Offer him a reason to enjoy his playing, show him the tools to excel and improve, give him the opportunity to test out his own ideas, and give him reason to play well with others. He may surprise you with his innovation and motivation bringing new products and services to enhance your bottom line.
About the author: Sam Spieller is a writer and editor living in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has written and edited for such groups as AGNI Magazine, McSweeney’s, and China’s Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press while living in Seattle, Boston, and Beijing. An advocate for lifelong learning, he is always happy to talk theory and practice in writing, editing, or business, so feel free to drop a line!]]>
2014 is off with a bang here at the Kinesis headquarters. We’ve settled in to our new office space, and – on top of getting set up for our upcoming house warming party – we’ve made progress on filling one of our empty desks!
On that note, please join us in welcoming Karah Lockman – the most recent addition to Team Kinesis!
Karah is our newest Execution Team Leader (ETL), or – for those of you with raised eyebrows – the Kinesis version of a “project manager.” This means Karah will be working closely with our strategists, our clients and our production team to facilitate seamless communication and management of projects. Sounds fun, right?! We sure think so.
The truth is, the ETL position is part of the “make it happen” department here at Kinesis – and, given her career success in project management roles across a number of industries, Karah is the perfect fit.
Prior to joining Kinesis, Karah served as the Project Manager for United Fund Advisors (UFA), a Portland-based fund manager and financial services company providing tax-advantaged investment capital and advisory services for community development and renewable energy projects nationwide. As Project Manager, Karah tracked project outcomes and community benefits, and oversaw all communications and marketing initiatives related to UFA’s work and community development projects.
If you know Kinesis, you know that we’re “slightly” obsessed with finding and hiring the right fit employees for our company, and helping our clients to do the same. That’s because we firmly believe that finding the right people is the keystone to building a great business. And as we grow, it’s more important than ever to build a team that Thinks Big, Shares the Good, and Does the Right Thing. Karah embodies each of these core values, and we’re thrilled to welcome her to the Kinesis Family!
Want to learn more about Karah and her role at Kinesis? Click here to connect with her on LinkedIn!
Visit our website to learn more about how Kinesis is changing the marketing paradigm for small businesses. Interested in joining the Kinesis family? Check out our Career Center for open positions.