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This year is providing us with a well-earned opportunity for a rejuvenating change of scenery. 

With the holiday season fast approaching many of us are planning to take a break and after a couple of years when holidays and vacations away from home were thin on the ground, this year is providing us with a well-earned opportunity for a rejuvenating change of scenery. 

Here are 5 things you can do to ensure your time off gives you the mental and physical break you need. 

Take an 8-day holiday

Research says that the optimal length of a vacation is eight days.  We need that time to destress , and let go of work and responsibilities. It takes a day to wind down after which we settle into a relaxed routine. After 8 days we start to feel the pull back to our normal life and routine. 

The benefits of an eight-day vacation go beyond the vacation itself with  vacationers report they’re sleeping better, feeling diminished stress, and experiencing an overall feeling of wellbeing long after returning home.

The study further noted, “Asking why we should keep going on vacations is…comparable to asking why we should go to sleep considering the fact that we get tired again.”

Plan to be unplanned

This sounds counterintuitive and one of the best ways to unwind is to feel like you don’t need to be anywhere or be on for anyone or anything.  One of the mistakes we make when  vacationing is filling it up with too many activities.  Packing too much in allows little time to relax and explore and can be stressful. The very thing we are trying to avoid!

Between waking up to an alarm and attending meetings to scheduling the gym and organising our lives we are constantly overloading ourselves with calendars, plans and activities.

Vacations are for breathing space, doing new things and living in the moment. Don’t fill your holiday up with so much stuff that you need a holiday after your holiday. 

Minimise traveling time

Vacation in one place so that you limit travelling to a “get there and get back” activity. Trying to fit too many destinations into one trip is tempting, particularly when it might take you a long time to get there but you will optimise the down time if you keep it simple.

Travelling to Italy and only Italy feels like a wasted opportunity to see more of Europe, however you will be more restful if you simply spend your time in one place.  Doing multiple things in one location is much more restful than moving to a different hotel every couple of nights.

Disconnect

Put the out of office on and set up a rule that directs all your inbound email to a folder.   When you return you can sift through it (or delete it!) knowing that anything that came up has probably been handled and only email from the past 48 hours will be directly relevant. 

Take the opportunity as well to lessen the amount of time you look at devices. Resist the urge to “check in” and spend the time doing something you might not normally do. There is a lot of research as to the health benefits of a digital detox and replacing it with reading a book, meditating, daydreaming or catching up on sleep by dosing by the pool. 

Block time on your return

The last thing you want when you get back is to walk straight into meetings that you will have had no time to prepare for, or context.  Give yourself a day to settle in, catch up and get back into the rhythm of work. Go to your calendar and do it right now. Your future self will thank you.

Whilst we know that in order to have a successful career, leaders need to work consistently, put systems in place to get things done and overcome obstacles, taking time away from work gives you the necessary perspective and distance from work to reflect on whether you are still doing work that excites and energises you. 

Leave should be seen as a valuable leadership and business opportunity not to be wasted. 

Donna McGeorge is a best-selling author and global authority on productivity.

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5 Ways You Can Ensure A Smart Switch To The Android App Ecosystem

Progress is good. But change? Yeah, change can be a little scary if you’re not prepared.

As you — or your users — make the move to an Android phone for the best productivity at work, how do you ensure their apps for communicating with friends and co-workers, business work, entertainment and in-car connectivity are just as good or even better than before?

Here are five ways you can ensure a smart switch from iOS to Android apps.

1. Communications: Crossing the Platform Chasm With Google Hangouts

iMessage is Apple’s instant messaging app for texts, photos, videos and more. It’s free on Apple devices, and can be convenient if all your friends and relatives are on Apple, too. That’s huge if, though: your pals and family are almost 4.5 times more likely to be using an Android phone than an iPhone.

2. Video Calling: Many Choices in Moving Pictures

FaceTime is Apple’s video chat app. Like iMessage, FaceTime is free and has some good features, but it runs on Apple devices only, and it only provides one-to-one video and audio calls. For Android users, there are many more — and more powerful — choices for video calling.

Not only does Google Hangouts run on many more devices, but it can support up to 25 callers in a real-time audio or video conference. And anyone you’ve ever e-mailed via Gmail is already a contact in Google Hangouts. Talk about convenience!

For high-def communications, there is also Google Duo. Available for Android and iOS, Google Duo lets you make audio and video calls, the latter in 720p high definition. Linked to your mobile phone number, Google Duo is easy to use and highly secure, with end-to-end encryption on by default. Simply download the Duo app and invite all of your contacts.

Finally, all of the popular third-party video chat apps run on Android. From Skype and WhatsApp to Facebook Messenger to Line, Viber and many, many others, Android has you covered.

3. Apps Galore with Google Play

All of these are protected in real-time by Google Play Protect, which automatically scans your device for malware and needed security patches, as well as continually tests and verifies all of the apps hosted in Google Play.

Finally, for ultimate enterprise security and manageability, IT managers can create an Enterprise App store using the Managed Google Play Store alone or in conjunction with their Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) platform.

4. Easier Entertainment Access in Android

iTunes is Apple’s two-decade-old online store for downloading music, podcasts, TV shows and movies, and ebooks.

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Unburdened by history, Google built its entertainment stores expressly in order to balance scale with organization and ease of use. So there’s Google Play Movies and TV, with a huge, easy-to-browse selection of 1080p and 4K HD shows and films to stream or download; Google Play Books, which is the largest collection of ebooks around with 5 million titles; and Google Play Music, a music and podcast streaming service that offers free and paid subscription access to 40 million songs. Google Play Music also lets you import up to 50,000 songs from your personal library, even if you’re a free user. Bringing over all the songs you’ve bought from iTunes or used to have on CD is a cinch.

Plus, all of these stores are linked to Google Play’s common, secure back-end infrastructure. Meaning your users won’t need to sign up for new accounts to get started.

5. Drive to the Future with Android Auto

CarPlay and Android Auto are versions of iOS and Android, respectively, that have been re-engineered to run on your car’s infotainment system. Both let drivers and passengers connect their respective phones with their cars in order to safely control music, navigate and communicate using voice commands, touchscreen and other in-car controls. That’s where the similarities end.

For one thing, Android Auto offers vastly more choice in the number of phones supported. And while CarPlay sticks with iOS’s basic app grid user interface, Android Auto’s UI has been optimized for the busy driver, providing contextual info such as weather, new notifications and suggestions via Google Maps. Android Auto also lets you wirelessly pair your phone with your car — another example of hands-free utility.

Making a Smart Switch

So, what about migrating your personal data? Not a problem. For many apps, your user accounts and data are hosted in the cloud and automatically accessible when you log into the Android version. For other apps, you can transfer your data using Android’s built-in backup feature, or, for owners of a Samsung device like the new Galaxy S9, you can use Samsung’s powerful, free Smart Switch app. Smart Switch lets you smoothly transfer everything from your calendar to your phone’s pictures and documents to Wi-Fi passwords. As for Apple-only apps such as iMessage, there are third-party tools that let you export the data in a standardized format that you can later import into an Android equivalent app at your leisure.

Armed with the right tools and info, switching to Android is not only painless, but will lead to a superior user experience in many, if not most, cases. That’s not just change for change’s sake, but true progress.

Time to upgrade your smartphone? Samsung Smart Switch makes it easy to transfer all your data to your new device.

7 Ways To Get 5

Reviews and testimonials are crucial aspects of any business. Before investing money in a product or service, customers like to see if they’re partnering with the right business, and quality reviews play a vital role. Notice that emphasis on quality…

Not exactly a quality review.

And one of the top places people look for reviews is on Google. Not only does your business need more Google reviews to thrive, but you want loyal customers to leave quality reviews to give a complete view of what your business has to offer.

As a consumer, you’re probably already familiar with just how important Google reviews can be. For instance, when you want to buy a laptop and are confused about some options, what do you do? You probably read the reviews online to ensure you’re buying the right device for your needs.

In this post, we’ll talk about all things Google reviews to help you improve the quality of your online reputation, including:

The benefits of getting more Google reviews for your business.

How to get Google reviews for your business.

Google review FAQ’s.

Table of contents

Let’s get started!

Why is getting more Google reviews important?

Google is one of the most influential sources on the internet to look for social proof around a business and to determine whether or not a customer wants to move forward.

In fact, 90% of consumers look at Google before visiting or buying from a business.

Here are some ways Google reviews can help your business:

1. They build trust for your business

Customers will only buy from you if they trust you’re the perfect solution to their problem. Be it a product or service–trust and transparency play an essential role in influencing the buyer’s journey. Not only that, but 93% of people read online reviews before making a purchase.

Customer reviews on Google can help potential customers gather more information about the effectiveness of your product, the kind of customer service you provide, and if you’re the right fit for their requirements.

Customers trust reviews and honest feedback given by other customers more than claims by the brand itself because reviews are seen as impartial and, therefore, more trustworthy.

Positive reviews on Google and how you respond to them can help build consumer trust in your brand.

2. Google reviews can increase online visibility through SEO

For example, if you’re a digital marketing agency and have optimized your listing for local SEO, you can get found easily.

And, good Google reviews can increase your chances of showing up for relevant local searches–especially those with “best” in the query. For example, when someone searches for “best dealership near me,” Google will only show Google Business Profile listings with a star rating of 4.0 or above.

This means if you have a high star rating, your listing could show on the search results page above traditional organic listings which can drive more traffic to your website.

3. Reviews can help convince and convert more customers

For brick-and-mortar businesses, having a good number of Google reviews can increase customer visits to your location and increase conversions. The reviews set an automatic sales funnel for your business where the customer reviews do the trust-building and your website does the persuasion.

Related: Check out online review stats that show the importance of Google reviews. 

How to get more reviews on Google

Here are seven ways to get more Google reviews for your business.

1. Ask for Google reviews

The number one way to get more reviews is to ASK. And, not just some customers, but every customer.

So, once you’ve finished working with a customer or are in the middle of a project with a client, ask them to leave you a review.

Source

But remember, it’s imperative to ask for a review at the right time. And the best time is when your customer is happy.

Here are some best practices to ask for a Google review:

Tell them the exact steps to follow to leave a review.

Provide them with a direct link to your Google Business Profile.

Share some examples of your top reviews so they can get an idea of what others have said about your business.

If applicable, give your client a review on their GMB listing or LinkedIn profile to reciprocate.

Asking is an easy step to make, but many businesses are afraid of asking for a review in the fear that they might get a negative one or the customer may not prefer giving one. However, you need to take a leap of faith. (Plus, 70% of people will leave a review if asked!)

2. Add a review link to your website or thank-you email

Make it easier for your customers to leave you a Google review by adding a review link on your website or sending a custom link via email. It makes the process easier because now the customer needs to fill in the details without doing any hard work.

Source

To generate a custom Google review link, follow these steps:

Sign in to your Google Business Profile account.

Select the location or business you want to manage.

Share with your customers.

Use this link on your website as a pop-up or in your targeted email while you’re thanking the customer or sending them the invoice. The idea is to make it easier for them to follow along so they leave your business a Google review.

Related: Get free email templates to help you ask for reviews. 

3. Provide excellent customer service

A sure-shot way to land more Google reviews is to provide great customer service, which compels them to leave you a review voluntarily. One of the most significant aspects of a business is that you can completely turn it around based on how you treat your customers.

If you build a relationship with them, provide exceptional services, and express gratitude for them being your customer, you win.

Here are some ways to better meet your customer needs:

Go beyond traditional support and provide personalized help.

Take feedback from your customers regularly and work on it.

Identify things you can do better for an improved customer experience.

Train your team members to be polite and empathetic.

Make it easy for customers to get in contact with you.

Humanize your business by extending personal support and offering exceptional services to your customers. Once this happens, you won’t have to worry about asking for reviews.

4. Respond to your existing Google reviews

If your customers are taking out the time to leave you a review, you must reply to them. Inevitably, no business gets only positive reviews. There will be negative reviews, as well. However, the key is to respond to both of them with politeness and gratitude.

For negative reviews, many businesses don’t reply. However, your response to those reviews is essential because that shows how much you value your customers and how seriously you take feedback.

When you get a negative review, consider the following best practices:

Apologize for their experience.

Understand the situation by getting in touch with them personally.

Ask them what happened and how can you improve it.

Offer them an incentive that makes up for the negative review or service.

Image source

When you get a positive review, thank them.

Image Source

However, there are times you may need to delete a Google review if you feel it violates Google’s terms.

5. Share your positive reviews

Any positive Google reviews your business receives should be celebrated! Be sure you share positive reviews on your business’s website and social media platforms to help remind other customers to leave their feedback.

Not only will this help highlight any great Google reviews you get, but it can also entice other customers to follow suit and leave even more feedback. Not every potential customer may make it to your Google listing initially, so promoting your positive Google reviews across other marketing channels will broaden the awareness of your Google presence.

Image source

6. Invest in review generation tools

If you’ve tried multiple methods of getting reviews from your customers online and still haven’t managed to score a greater number, don’t worry. There’s another comparatively simpler way to do that–a review generation tool.

These tools automate the process to help you ask verified customers or clients for reviews.

Review generation tools have templates to use your brand voice, colors, and style to create campaigns that ask your customers for feedback. You just need to insert your customer details once, and it will send out review requests and follow up with them.

It’s a great way to automate review generation and ensure every customer is leaving you a review.

7. Frequently update your Google Business Profile

When customers jump to your Google Business Profile to leave a review, you don’t want them to feel like they’re in the wrong place. Be sure your customers know they’ve landed on the correct and most up-to-date listing for your business by maintaining brand consistency throughout your profile.

This means your listing should include high-quality photos, a thorough business description, updated operating hours, and Google Business Profile Posts to showcase the latest news from your business.

This updated Google Business Profile makes leaving a Google review for this small business both easy and enticing.

Google review FAQ’s

Still have questions when it comes to getting Google reviews for your business? We’ve got you covered:

Where do Google reviews for my business show up?

Google reviews appear on the search engine results page when you search for a particular business.

Can you purchase Google reviews?

No, Google reviews are given by customers and cannot be manipulated by your brand. In fact, putting money behind your Google reviews violates Google’s guidelines. This is the reason why customers worldwide depend on Google for authentic reviews about a business!

Can you ask for 5-star Google reviews?

While you can’t pay people to leave reviews for your business or provide an incentive for them to leave reviews, asking loyal customers to leave Google reviews is both recommended and encouraged to help grow your business’s online presence! However, Google does prohibit soliciting reviews in bulk or asking for specific types of reviews. Get more tips on how to ask for reviews here!

Do people trust 5-star reviews?

Yes! In fact, 72% of people say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more. Moreover, 92% of people will choose to do business with a local business if it has at least a 4-star rating.

However, a mix of both positive and negative reviews is ideal. That’s because bad reviews can be good for business, too, as 82% of people look for bad reviews specifically to help them set their expectations accordingly. Often, how you respond to reviews matters more than the type of Google reviews you get.

Can you get fake Google reviews?

There are times you may need to delete a Google review if you feel it violates Google’s terms. Unfortunately, fake Google reviews may pop up occasionally. While Google will automatically remove any reviews that are inappropriate, profane, or offensive, it’s important to regularly check your Google reviews. That way, you can flag any fake reviews for removal through your Google Business Profile.

If it’s coming from a customer who doesn’t sound or look familiar, or someone who hasn’t frequently reviewed other businesses in the past, that could indicate your Google review could be fake.

Image source

Can you delete Google reviews?

Yes! If a review violates Google’s policy, it can be flagged for removal. Check out our complete post on how to delete Google reviews that breaks down easy steps to handle any rogue Google Business Profile activity.

Start getting more Google reviews for your business

Google reviews are the best free promotion you can get online. Customers listen to other customers, and when you provide excellent services, they become your brand ambassadors.

Be it for an online store, a home services business, or any business in between, reviews can significantly influence your potential customers and convince them to swipe the card.

So, create a review generation strategy for your business to get more feedback from your customers and stand out from your competitors.

To recap, here’s how to more Google reviews in seven easy steps:

Ask for Google reviews

Create a shareable review link

Provide excellent customer service

Respond to existing reviews

Share positive reviews

Invest in review generation tools

Frequently update your Google Business Profile listing

Want to know how your Google Business Profile and other listings look online? Try our free business listings grader!

Susie Marino

Susie is a senior content marketing specialist at LocaliQ where she uses her experience as a PPC consultant to share tips, tactics, and best practices. Outside of work, Susie loves to get outside for some snowboarding or (once the cold weather melts away) hiking!

Other posts by Susie Marino

5 Ways To Hook Up An Equalizer

Many prefer to install their equalizers in the dash of the vehicle so that they can have access to the controls continuously.

Equalizers can be installed anywhere between your amp and receiver.

If you have space in your dash, then you will simply need an installation kit to mount your equalizer. These kits are brackets that hold the head unit to the dash and require only a few screws to attach. Your kit will come with particular instructions for mounting.

If you do not have space in your dash you will need an under-dash mounting kit. These kits are usually designed for under the dash on the driver’s side although other options are available. There are many different designs for under-dash kits so choose on that you prefer and works well with your vehicle.

If you would like to have a custom install then it is best to leave the job to a professional audio installer.

The length of the RCA cables should match the length of the distance between the receiver and the equalizer. To avoid “cable clutter,” it’s best to buy “patch” size cables, which are only about a foot (30 cm) in length.

Remove your receiver from the dash. Remove your receiver from the dash so that you can access the wires behind. Usually you can pull off the plastic piece covering the dash and then pull the receiver slightly out.

Bring the cables to the equalizer and plug in. Route the cables through the dash to the equalizer. You should use tape or wire ties along the way to connect the two cables together. Plug the cables into the preamp inputs on your equalizer.

Mount your equalizer. Mount your equalizer to whichever location you have chosen. You will simply need to attach a few screws in order to mount your equalizer.

Turn off your ignition. Turn off your ignition completely and remove your keys before you begin installation. This is for your safety while you connect the wires to avoid getting shocked.

If you cannot find a black wire on the receiver, remove a bolt near the equalizer mounting location and scrape away any paint covering the location around the bolt. Crimp a ring on the end of the wire and bolt this to the vehicle.

If there is no location available then you will have to drill a hole in the chassis. Be very careful not to damage the gas tank or brake line while doing this.

Splice the wires together and wrap the exposed metal with electrical tape completely. This prevents the exposed areas from touching other wires and potentially shorting the system.

You can also crimp the wires together but this is not as strong as splicing.

This wire will need to be routed from the receiver to wherever the equalizer is mounted.

Splice or crimp the wires together to make a connection and then wrap the connection in electrical tape.

Test the equalizer by turning on the car. Put the key in the ignition and turn it to the “on” position. Then turn on the radio to check that everything is working well and that the equalizer turns on with the radio.

Replace the receiver. Put the receiver back into its bracket and place the frame covering back into place. Be sure all the wiring is pushed inside the dash beforehand.

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5 Ways To Fix Minecraft “Exit Code: 1”

Minecraft is no stranger to crashes, and the “Exit Code: 1” error is a common issue. It usually indicates a problem with Java configuration. However, this glitch is relatively easy to fix.

A game crash with exit code 1 can also be caused by things like outdated video drivers or mod conflicts, or even an incorrect launcher path. So here are all the methods of fixing these issues in Minecraft Java Edition.

Table of Contents

Fix 1: Reinstall Java

As the error code 1 primarily pertains to a Java configuration issue, that is the first thing to fix. Many guides will tell you to modify the Java executable path, though we recommend simply reinstalling Java completely.

This fixes any odd configuration problems, apart from upgrading the Java version. And to be clear, when we talk about reinstalling Java, we are referring to the Java Runtime Environment (JRE).

To update Java, download the latest installer from the official download page. You can also get the same from Oracle’s website.

There are versions of Java available for Microsoft Windows, Linux, and Mac OS. Choose the correct installer for your computer, getting the 64-bit version if applicable.

Run the downloaded setup to install Java on your computer.

Close the setup once the installation is complete.

Fix 2: Modify the Minecraft Launcher Path

The Minecraft game files aren’t the only component in the smooth running of the game. The Minecraft launcher is equally important and can cause crashes if it fails to connect with the exe file properly.

A very common glitch is for special characters in your User ID to mess up the Launcher path, preventing it from finding the game directory. Thankfully it’s easy to fix, requiring just a small addition to the shortcut target.

Switch to the

Shortcut

tab in the Properties window.

Fix 3: Disable Mods

Minecraft is one of the most modded games out there. While the right mods can greatly elevate your gameplay experience, too many mods can crash the game as well.

Mod errors tend to be hard to diagnose, with the cumulative changes from multiple mod files triggering rare issues. This is why it’s always recommended to keep your mod list short.

It’s a good idea to try running Minecraft without any mods whenever you’re facing any problems with the game. If things work out, you can try adding them back in one at a time until you find the mod causing the error.

Fix 4: Update GPU Drivers

Driver issues are a common cause of gaming errors, and Minecraft is no exception. Updating your graphic drivers to the latest version can fix many potential bugs with the game.

There are two main ways of updating the GPU drivers – uninstalling and reinstalling the video card in the Device Manager, or finding a package manually. We recommend the second method as it optimizes your drivers for your specific hardware.

You’ll need the model number of your laptop (or the graphics card) to find the correct drivers. You can find this underneath the laptop, or on the product box of your GPU.

Searching the manufacturer’s website for your laptop model should bring up a list of all compatible drivers. Scroll through to find the VGA drivers, often including the name of the graphic card.

No matter where you downloaded it from, the driver setup will be from the GPU manufacturer.

There’s no risk of getting the wrong package – the setup automatically detects if your hardware is compatible with the driver, and only gives the option to proceed if everything lines up.

Once installation is complete, restart your computer.

Fix 5: Reinstall Minecraft

No matter what the error is, reinstalling the game tends to fix many issues. And that’s true for all video games, not just Minecraft.

But Minecraft does not come with a convenient uninstaller to cleanly remove the game. You have to manually locate the game folder and delete it yourself.

The Minecraft game folder is located in “C:UsersUserNameAppDataRoaming.minecraft,” where UserName should be replaced with your Windows account name. Note that the AppData folder is normally hidden, so you need to Show Hidden Files to be able to navigate to it manually.

You can also use Run to open the game folder straightaway. Open the Run utility by searching the Start Menu and enter

%appdata%.minecraft

.

Though our aim is to delete the Minecraft folder, take a moment to first copy the

saves

folder to another location on the disk. This backup will be useful to restore your progress after reinstalling Minecraft.

Now delete the folder and install Minecraft again from Mojang’s official website.

What Is the Best Way of Fixing Minecraft Exit Code: 1?

There is no silver bullet that can fix every possible cause of the Minecraft 1 error code. What you need is to try multiple solutions until the game works smoothly again.

The first step is to update things. Update Java, update the GPU drivers, and update Minecraft. That fixes a majority of problems with the game.

If Minecraft still crashes with an exit code 1, try reinstalling the game to replace any potentially corrupted files. Make sure the launcher can find the game directory, and you shouldn’t have any issues.

5 Ways To Build An Empowered Employee Culture

Your company culture is the bedrock for your business. It speaks to your mission, your brand story, and your goals for future growth and success. However, as the saying goes, “no man is an island.” For your business to succeed, you must institute a company culture that empowers your employees. 

Developing and enforcing a culture that inspires and encourages your employees to succeed is easier said than done. In fact, Gallup found that nearly 85% of the workforce are not engaged at their jobs. Still, with the right strategies, it is possible to foster a culture of empowered employees. 

Why empowered employees matter

Businesses live and die by their employees, so empowering them to succeed should be a no-brainer for any organization. A company’s success is often directly correlated to employee satisfaction, engagement and growth. 

When your employees feel empowered, they take pride in their work and become loyal and committed to seeing the company succeed alongside them, which also benefits your long-term bottom line. A study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology shows that when employees feel empowered in the office, you’ll see the following benefits:

Employees are more likely to have higher job satisfaction.

Employees demonstrate a greater commitment to the organization and its leaders. 

Employees show improved job performance.

Increased job satisfaction

Engaged and empowered employees are more vigilant and proactive about the needs of the company, its customers and their co-workers. That, in turn, fosters a sense of community, inclusion, belonging and autonomy. Fulfilled employees are eager to contribute and ultimately feel more satisfied with their output.

Greater commitment to the organization and leaders

When employees feel they have control over the trajectory of their careers and work, they are more likely to produce high-quality, creative work for your company, go above and beyond their job description, and stay at your company long-term. Employees are more likely to trust leaders who empower their workforce – and act as mentors who encourage employees to grow and celebrate their triumphs – than leaders who don’t. 

Improved job performance

Empowered employees feel they have the support they need to think outside the box. Without the fear of negative repercussions, employees were more often able to accomplish the following:

Develop creative solutions.

Achieve cross-team collaborations.

Take on additional assignments beyond their daily tasks and responsibilities.

Did You Know?

Celebrating your employees can help improve their job performance, as recognition from employers often motivates employees to go above and beyond for their jobs.

Stronger financial gains

Empowered employees can have far-reaching positive effects across the company, including the business’s bottom line. Dissatisfied employees, on the other hand, can lead to major financial losses for businesses. Empowering your employees ensures they’re both engaged and acknowledged for their hard work, which benefits the business and its financial success. [Learn more about how to empower and encourage your workforce.] 

How to create a culture of empowered employees

While empowering employees can be a difficult goal, and one that’s tricky to measure, it is possible to achieve. First, you should realize that there are certain situations in which empowering employees improves business performance. 

Here are give steps you can take to empower employees in your organization, regardless of how large or small it is.

1. Understand your corporate culture and how it aligns with employees’ roles.

Identifying the core tenets of your company’s culture and business goals is critical. For example, are you determined to provide the best product? Are you focused on creating the best customer service? What is at the heart of your company that drives progress?

Once you’ve identified your business’s overarching goals, break them down into smaller segments and show how each employee or business line contributes to those core goals. When employees know how their work contributes to the greater good, they are more likely to feel more engaged in their work and derive a sense of ownership over their contribution.

To help your employees feel a sense of ownership over their work, take a step back and delegate additional responsibilities across your workforce. For example, decision-making is one of the most time-consuming tasks handled by management and C-suite executives. 

Delegating brings new ideas from across the organization into the mix and helps to lighten the decision-making load usually delegated to management. [Read on to learn about defining, building and maintaining company culture.]

2. Allow for the flow of ideas both up and down the chain.

One fundamental way to create a culture of empowerment is to allow the exchange of ideas up and down the chain of command. Ensure that employees and leaders have a safe space to suggest improvements. Employee feedback can have a significant impact on companies of any size, and many workers are more inclined to remain with a company that asks for and acts on employee feedback. 

Consider hosting big-idea events where people can share their ideas in open forums or offering employees an improved “solution box” – an online platform where they can contribute ideas or provide constructive criticisms with plausible solutions.

Ensure that any complaint or challenge employees share comes with a proposed solution. This will allow all employees to create an environment of empowerment and participate in the company’s evolution.

Tip

Rather than soliciting employee feedback annually, consider sending out regular pulse surveys – short surveys typically limited to 5-20 questions – once per quarter, as well as a more holistic survey once per year.

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