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workplace

The Best Practices for Effective Communication in the Workplace

If you want to run a profitable business, your internal communication needs to be on point. You might have great products and services, the biggest marketing budget, the best talent, and so on, but if your employees don’t effectively communicate with each other, everything else will come crumbling down.

Without effective workplace communication, the information won’t be relayed on time and accurately. Relationships won’t flourish. Trust won’t be established. The entire work environment will feel like a cold and unwelcoming one for your employees.

The good news: there are various practices you can put into action to ensure internal communication is a strong point of your business. Here are a few key elements to keep in mind.

Avoid an overly formal environment

Who wants to work in an overly formal, uptight work environment? Well unless you ask people that are all business, you’re unlikely to receive any favorable responses to that question.

In this and age, employees want a work environment that is vibrant and welcoming. Due to this, attempt to produce a dynamic workplace that is fun for your staff members. Not only can it spark their creativity, but it’ll almost certainly boost their morale and productivity.

Use the right tools

Communication in the workplace can be handledin many different ways. While email and meetings were standard not too long ago, these communication methods have been joined by the likes of video calls, cloud technology, and group text chats.

Cloud technology, for instance, is a great way for an entire team to collaborate on a project together in real-time – regardless if they are in the office or on the other side of the country. Video messaging is also effective for remote workers – as much of the world has found out recently.

Be clear in your messaging

Information is important when communicating with your employees. Nevertheless, you want to avoid falling into a hole of sending too much at any one time. Information overload will only cause important messages to be overlooked or even ignored completely.

To avoid this, be clear and concise when communicating with your workforce.

Plan for the future

As touched upon earlier, the current COVID-19 pandemic has caused internal communication to make significant changes like focusing on video calls. Yet these changes are continuing to emerge and evolve. For instance, in a recent guide highlighting communication best practices, industry experts Simpplr has listed ten emerging tactics that are helping companies cope with the challenges thrown into the mix by the pandemic.

Of course, new challenges – and solutions – will continue to crop up in the future. This is why it’s important to avoid resting with what you have and to upgrade your internal communication when necessary.

Listen to your employees

To truly understand your internal communication strategies, there’s no better provider of feedback than your employees. They are using the systems and protocols that you have in place, so they know what works and what doesn’t. Reach out for feedback from your staff, watch out for correlating comments, and use this to improve your communication offerings.

social intranet

How Do Social Intranet Platforms Power Your Workplace

Ever since technology encouraged globalized business, several companies have been working with employees and clients across the globe. However, this boon comes with challenges, and one of them is a lack of collaboration. Employees find it hard to collaborate with their remote colleagues and improve productivity. Social intranet platforms can help power collaboration and give employees an opportunity to be creative at work.

An intranet is thought to have originated in the mid-90s, but it took around two decades more to become employee-friendly. Earlier, intranets were limited to the top management, and lower-level employees used it only to become aware of the announcements by managers.

Modern intranet platforms work similarly to social networks. They are equipped with engaging features and interesting tools to help employees in their daily tasks. From communication to document sharing and project management, authorized members can use these collaborations software to strengthen bonds between employees and help them in becoming productive.

Here are some things social intranet platforms can do to power Your workplace:

  • One Solution for Communication and Work

Earlier, people switched between multiple platforms to talk to their coworkers and collaborate with them for work. This affected their work routine and left them with minimal time to improve their productivity.

Social intranets provide employees with a platform that they can use to chat, send/receive information, and collaborate with their remote colleagues for projects. They don’t need to switch between applications for their work. This way, they can save their time to use it later for other productive tasks.

  • Boosted Employee Engagement

Companies can use an intranet to develop connections between employees, even when they are sitting miles away from each other. Apart from chatting, authorized members can use online collaboration toolsof an intranet platform to engage with things related to the organization. For example, a company can share news about events or post engaging content to help employees in their work. Apart from that, an organization can share and reward its employees’ accomplishments. Employees work harder and with enthusiasm when they know that their efforts are appreciated.

  • More Opportunities for Employees to Open Up

Sometimes, employees hesitate to share their ideas or thoughts with their seniors. Social intranet platforms give people an opportunity to open up without any fear. Through group discussions and meetings, employees can talk to their coworkers and collaborate with them. They know that their ideas are being considered, and they are not being judged. They feel a sense of confidence and make more efforts to achieve organizational goals.

  • Effective Document Management

Apart from being collaboration solutions, companies can use intranets for document management. They use various tools of the platform to save documents on a common place over the network, which is accessible to all. Employees can use this feature to work on files in real-time. Also, they can collaborate for projects, find the information they require, and save/access documents they need for their work.

  • Positive Company Culture

Intranets become a platform where employees from different departments come together to work as one team. They develop a connection with one another and take steps to strengthen it. It leads to a company with a positive culture where employees make efforts to grow.

Conclusion Social intranet platformsare engaging networks that work similar to social media. Employees talk to each other, share their thoughts, retrieve information, and enjoy what they do. A company needs to find the most modern, effective software solution to reap all the benefits of a social intranet. Build a robust and useful intranet, and power your business!

IT service

Tech Can Help You Beat the Competition: Here’s How

When you are in business, whether you work for someone else or you have started your own company, you are always going to need to stay ahead of the competition wherever possible. In doing this, you can ensure you receive more notice, make more sales, and ultimately make more profits. Even if you think you are doing something unique, it is still a good idea to keep an eye on what else might be out there; new businesses are starting up all the time, and one might be your direct competition. If you don’t know they are there, they could easily speed past you.

Using technology in the right way can enhance your ability to be seen over and above any competitors. As long as you know who that competition is, how they work, and what they do, you can implement various tech strategies to help you beat them. Read on to find out more.

Outsourced IT Services

One of the best ways to get ahead of the competition is to look – and be – more professional than they are. Even if you are selling the same items, a clean, easy to navigate website is always going to be more impressive than a cluttered, difficult-to-navigate one, for example. The same is true for any tech you use; if it always works, isn’t frustrating, and makes life – and purchasing – easier for the customer, you are going to look like a much better prospect than anyone else.

In order to maintain a good level of customer service through your IT, you should outsource the work to a specialist company like Iconic IT. When you do this, you can be sure that everything will be taken care of, and you don’t need to think about it. You will be much less likely to experience downtime, and your customers will have the experience they want and need.

Social Media

Social media for business use is growing all the time, and platforms such as Facebook and Instagram and implementing various business strategies to help companies use it more successfully. It is unusual these days to find a business that doesn’t have at least one social media account, and they will often have two or three depending on the nature of the business.

By using social media well in your business, you can easily outshine your competition. You will find more customers as more people will see you (especially if you choose to boost any posts), and you will also be able to engage well with those customers. It is this engagement that is so crucial in getting ahead; answering queries, helping customers, and even just having a fun conversation will all show you to be a good business to buy from.

SEO

SEO (search engine optimization) is a specialist area, and again may be something you choose to outsource. Getting your SEO right means you can rise to the top of the search engine rankings, and of course, those links at the top of results (at least on the first page) are more likely to be clicked than any others. SEO can be complicated, as there are a number of different strategies that can be used to create the right balance and be exactly what Google is looking for within its algorithms. If you can do better SEO work than your competitors, you will be ranked higher, and on top of that, your website’s content will be interesting, informative, and useful.

business update

How to Update Your Business’ Tech Stack in 2020

Technology is indeed driving efficiency across the business world. But it’s also true that this happens in a hundred different shades: some companies use technology more efficiently than others, and this has a reverberating impact across all of your departments, boosting or reducing productivity. In this short piece, we’re going to look at what an effective and optimized tech stack looks like in 2020 – using the best software and hardware that money can buy to fund your productivity revolution with tech.

The Right Hardware

You’ll always begin your tech stack revolution with the hardware question. There are two main areas that you ought tothink through when updating your tech stack, and these are:

  • Memory – are you storing your files in a physical network, or should you update to save all of your files onto the cloud?
  • Productivity – are your computers, laptops and tablets the best brand and fit to help your employees run the programs that they use every day?

By answering these questions, you’ll know whether you need to update your hardware. It’s likely if your creative team are running the likes of Adobe software that you’ll need fast processing speeds to avoid freezes and crashes. You need to invest in the hardware to support high-quality tech like this in your firm.

The Best Software

The revolution in software is ongoing and is likely to continue at an exponential rate for some time. Just as you’ve onboarded with the next best thing in the software world, something else comes along that trumps it – but, again, only for a month or so. When you’re shopping for software, you’re looking for:

  • Cloud-based software that you can link, through APIs, to the rest of your firm and the other programs you use. This is called interoperability.
  • Software that solves specific problems in your firm – ones that automate laborious or boring tasks are some of the most cost-effective, for instance.
  • Software packages that offer a centralized management system, cutting out the noise and enabling you to focus on one central server and memory unit.

All of these priorities should help you to maintain and boost your tech stack this year and long into the future.

Engage with Automation

As hinted at above, the tech world is moving extremely fast – so fast that what you didn’t think was possible last year is likely to have been developed this year. From chatbots to automated order processing, you can relieve your staff of their most boring and laborious jobs with ease through engagement with automation.

Nowhere is this more evident and useful than about your HR software. Finding great HR software tools has never been easier – and now, with the help of specialized companies that build and tender their devices, you can automate much of the HR process, helping your staff to receive their pay on time, their benefits at once, and their onboarding information smoothly and succinctly. Automation is the future of work – and is something you should engage in for the good of your firm. Use the three main domains of business tech outlined above to refocus on updating your tech stack in 2020.

Typography

Typography: the psychology behind the age-old tradition

Typography is an age-old tradition, stretching back as far as ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. For centuries, people have been expressing themselves with written words, and now many modern brands rely on them for gaining and retaining customers. Typography can become the first association that a consumer thinks of in relation to a brand, and in fashion, it is often printed inside of their garment, which conjures up an emotional connection between the consumer and the brand. So, any changes that companies choose to make can alter a customer’s perception, and for this reason the psychology of typography is an important matter. Let’s find out more.

Conveying the personality of your brand

A lot can be captured through the style of your brand’s typography, and it can even be used to convey the personality of your company. Your copy should be captivating, but the visual aspects of any writing also need to stand out to a potential customer. Begin your typography psychology analysis with looking at the style of your font- Is it a classic serif style? These include Baskerville, Georgia and Times New Roman, this category is timeless and professional, finished with traditional decorative lines and they convey an air of respectability. The sans serif choices such as Helvetica, Arial and Verdana are more straight to the point, implying an air of modernity and stability. Artsy handwriting can look elegant and represent creativity, and to create this kind of image you’ll need a script font such as Lebster or Lucinda; but, it’s always important to keep it legible and consider it in relation to the message you want to get across. For example, a sports clothing website with joined up handwriting style typography wouldn’t look quite right, but perhaps fine dining eateries’ first port of call for menu printing wouldn’t be Comic Sans MS. If you want to go all-out 21st century modern, choose Eurostyle, Politica or Futura, and show your audience why you are at the forefront of your industry with progressive typography. Your font will contribute to your overall typography aesthetic, and it should result in a well-rounded, on-brand appearance. Maintaining this is also important, as failure to keep order among your typography can make your customer feel disconnected from your brand, as cluttered, numerous fonts dilute your overall presence.

The formatting of your typography can determine your success

As Spanish fashion retailer Zara recently discovered, the formatting of your typography can make or break your success. The brand gave their classic logo a refresh, dramatically condensing the exaggerated sans letters and introducing a bolder, rounder finish. The makeover received a staunch response on social media, leaving many with a new-found sense of unfamiliarity towards the brand. The particular format was a style pioneered by Harper Bazaar in the 1990s, but one twitter user likened the new look to how they feel when ‘squeezing into their clothes’; showing how the change in typography provoked a customer response.  All achieved by some simple kerning. A similar event caused outcry, as Burberry unveiled a new logo back in 2018, an adaptation which at first glance appeared to ditch historic ties in favour of modern corporate simplicity. The reformat was a four-week project headed up by famed designer Peter Saville, which some people felt was reflected in the hasty, overly-simplistic design. The old format had been untouched for nearly two decades, and its new notions of minimalism brought the brand up to date. Key factors for formatting are spacing and size, as these are essentially going to dictate how ‘readable’ your typography is. Format can be reflective of character, and if there are any particular attributes that you want to associate with your brand, then implementing them into your formatting can be a great idea to help build your unique presence. Also, ensuring that you have enough whitespace is vital, as having too little can make your typography difficult to decipher. The formula for success is simply to strike a balance between these elements, while also staying true to your brand and all it encases.

Colour creates the first impression of the product

When it comes to colour, choosing the right one is key. There is an age-old understanding that customers enjoy red and yellow the most, as they depict both abruptness and warmth simultaneously. In fact, between 62%-90% of first impressions of a product are decided by the colours of the brand, showing just how much they can set the tone. Therefore, colours are an integral part of promoting successful customer journeys. Not only is colour an emotional trigger, it can also be the key for customers to be able to identify your product against others on the market. Some gendered trends have also appeared which could determine your brand’s palette, with men tending to prefer bold colours and women being drawn in by pastel hues. Of course, certain colours have specific associations. Blue is seen as a peaceful colour, and green is a lucky shade — so why not transform the fate of your typography with a splash of either? Black is notoriously corporate and classic, with other connotations including wisdom and masculinity. If you are considering adding a fill to your typography, then choose wisely and always keep in mind that it should not be a challenge for a user to read — there’s a time and a place to go for an all-out rainbow.

So, if you are looking to mix things up a bit, don’t be too hasty. Your typography choices are rooted in many factors, from colour to font style. Find a combination of these which captures your brand name and message in a way which is true to purpose.

 

Article provided by leading menu printing company, Where The Trade Buys.

 

Sources:

https://getflywheel.com/layout/psychology-of-typography/

https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/2019/01/223060/zara-new-logo-reactions

https://www.adweek.com/creativity/burberry-gave-a-famed-designer-4-weeks-to-redesign-its-logo-and-heres-what-we-got/

https://www.impactbnd.com/blog/why-color-and-typography-are-critical-to-your-brand-infographic

business

What Equipment Do You Need To Start A Business?

Starting a business entails a lot more than merely having a good idea and the funds to begin with. You will also need to have the right pieces of tech and equipment in order to start work right away. So what is it that you need to enable you to work well and professionally from the word go? Here are some of the basics.
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id_card

The Best Security ID Card Software for Your System

Choosing the right software to fit your security ID card printing system can be a challenge – especially after you’ve already taken the time to pick out the perfect printer and accessories. In both situations, it’s always a good idea to get some help from security solutions experts who can provide everything you need to know about ID card printers and the software required to run them. In the meantime, if you want to get a basic overview of a few different criteria that might help you decide, then you’ve come to the right place!

Mac Versus PC

Before you even think about what you want to achieve with your security ID card printing software, you’ve got to be sure that the software package you purchase will be compatible with the computers you use at your place of work.

While Windows computers are far more common for home users, Mackintosh computers are still preferred by professionals in many industries – so it makes sense that at least some security ID card printers are built for Mac users. If you’re a Mac user, then you probably already own one of the 5 Mac compatible ID card printer systems that are currently widely in use, which include the DTC1250e, the Fargo HDP5000, the Fargo DTC4500e, the EvolisZenius, and the Evolis Primacy ID card printing systems. In that case, you’ll need Mac compatible software to match, such as Secure ASP CardPresso ID card design software.

Security and Design

First and foremost, the security ID card software that you’ll use with your new printer should allow you to design and print the type of security cards that you need for your business. Since the printer takes care of most of the work regarding security features, your main concern should be that the designing tools are easy to use and are able to accommodate the types of cards used by your security ID card printer.

A Range of Software Options

No matter the brand, security ID card software tends to be offered in different editions depending on price range and how many features you’re interested in utilizing. At their most basic, these programs only offer minimal control over design and limited other capabilities. At their most advanced, security ID card software can come equipped with complicated professional-standard graphic design software and other useful features, such as unlimited record keeping, personnel database capabilities, security technology encoding, face-finding photo features, and more!

Advanced Designing Features

An employee with exceptional design skills will be able to put a basic software edition to its full potential in crafting surprisingly nuanced ID cards; however, usually it’s a better idea to match your software capabilities to the level of security ID card printer that you’ve purchased.

If you haven’t purchased a security card ID printer yet, then you might also consider inquiring to your security solutions provider about whether they offer complete security systems, which can help make the entire process easier on the consumer.

Finding the right design and employee management software to suit your security ID card printing system will depend on the needs of your company. If you’re looking for a good software package for starters, go with CardPresso, or better yet, contact your security ID card distributor for further advice!

customer

A guide to connecting to your customers with colour

Making an impact with the visuals of your marketing piece, be it a pull up banner or a brochure,will determine the success of your campaign. Colour and design go hand in hand — and according to studies, each hueevokes a different emotion, which could beanything from urgency to trust. Considering some experiments imply that colour can dictate how long we are able to remember an offer, it’s clear knowing how to use in marketing is important.

 

Want to learn more? If so, take a read through our marketing colour psychology guide for tips…

 

Use colour in campaigns to communicate emotionally

Colourhas long been linked to psychology, but more recently colour has been connected to industries such as marketing and interior design.An experiment commented on by Canberra-based, Content Group, found that 90% of snap decisions about products are based on colour only.

 

Does your business target a more female or male dominated audience? If so, a study published in the Journal of Retailing found that malesthink that sales are greater in value when promoted in red rather than black. Conversely, fewer women believed the same. Also, purple was considered a second-favourite colour for female respondents in a colour study while it was the second-least favourite among males. Equally, women prefer softer hues, while stronger shades are the hue-of-choice for men.

 

Colour psychology demonstrates that you can aim to generate a bigger a response if you use colour wisely.Use yellow to catch the eye of a passer by in your store window and red to signify discount prices — this is because, apparently, red evokes ‘urgency’ and indirectly encourages you to act fastand so, is good to boost a sale. Red and yellow are warm shades, and according to an experiment, warm colours are better at staying in a person’s mind than cool colours (such as blue). Could you use warm oranges, reds and yellows to keep your brand logo or newest promotional offer in the mind of someone driving by one of your billboard ads?

 

Consider blending colours together as another useful tactic when it comes to your designing a new campaign. Another study found that opposingcoloursenhanced readability levels — vital if you want your pull-up bannersto remain readable from a greater distance than usual.

A personal understanding of colour can be enhanced from experiences and culture according to Art Lovers Australia. Although this may be true and not all consumers will be affected in the same way, colour psychology has been researched multiple times and is worth bearing in mind to boost your future campaigns.

Successful brands and colour

Around nine out of ten shoppers claim a colour is a major reason for buying and that colour boosts the ability to recognise a brand by approximately 80%, states research compiled by Kissmetrics.

 

Here are some examples of the successful brands andthe emotions associated with the colours they employ:

 

Colour Effect Logo
Yellow Hopefulness and warmth [yellow tail] and McDonalds
Green Growth and relaxation Starbucks and Spotify
Pink Romance and femininity Barbie and Very
Purple Creativity and intelligence Cadbury and Hallmark
Black Power and luxury Chanel and Adidas
Orange Confidence and happiness Nickelodeon and Fanta
Red Energy and excitement Coca Cola and Arnott’s
Blue Trust and safekeeping Facebook and hp

 

Starbucks provides a good example of a strategic approach, by choosing green and evoking relaxation in their coffee houses. And has Arnott’s got it right by evoking excitement to encourage its consumers to by its treats, like Tim Tam? Perhaps, and you could do the same. According to June Mcleod, author of Colour Psychology Today: “One of the greatest assets and one of the easiest ways to sway decision or attract an emotive response — or alienate a consumer — is through colour.”

 

Is colourresponsible for brand identification? Eight out of ten people believe so.Take a look at the colour red and the power Coca Cola has had with it, even changing the colour of Santa Claus!To help customers build familiarity with your brand, make sure your logo reflects what your offer and the persona you want to adopt.

Inject some colour into your marketing strategy, it’s never too late

Danish beer company, Carlsberg, rebranded itself perfectly. Opting to use mainly white in its Carlberg Export packaging and altering its once-green bottles to brown, Carlsberg enjoyed a sales increase of 10% in just 12 weeks.

 

A few highlights to driving success with colour?

  • Use red and yellow to grab attention.
  • With onlyseven seconds to make a bold first impression, use opposing colours to boost clarity and readability.
  • Think about if you sell to mainly men or women and remember the above research about different colourperceptions…
  • Determine how you want to be recognised as a brand and tweak your campaigns accordingly —include orange to inject fun into your ads or use sleek black to infuse your promotions with an air of luxury.

 

Hopefully you’re now convinced about the power of colour and ready to boost your marketing success today!

 

Sources:

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0258042X1103600206

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022435913000031

https://neilpatel.com/blog/color-psychology/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2235253

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4347302/

https://www.businessinsider.com/only-7-seconds-to-make-first-impression-2013-4?IR=T

tech_business

Books to bolster your new tech business

Keeping yourself ahead of the game is so important in the technology sector. You’ve got to be innovative, informed, and aware of the trends.

At the same time, a business is a business, and needs the structure and environment to keep employees happy, regardless of your sector. If you are looking to start a new tech business, here are the best books out there for you to learn what you need from the best.

K. Kelly: The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future

The former executive editor of Wired magazine investigated how various tech trends will transform our way of life over the course of the next 30 years. The best part of The Inevitable is how it paints a picture of ways in which technological forces will overlap, mix and come to co-depend on each other — crucial to know if any of these trends relate to your business.
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