You are reading the article Twitter Launches An Interactive Guide To Help Small Businesses Reach Their Goals updated in December 2023 on the website Cattuongwedding.com. We hope that the information we have shared is helpful to you. If you find the content interesting and meaningful, please share it with your friends and continue to follow and support us for the latest updates. Suggested January 2024 Twitter Launches An Interactive Guide To Help Small Businesses Reach Their Goals
This week, Twitter launched an interactive guide designed to help small businesses make better use of its social network. The guide is tailored towards beginners and experienced users alike, covering everything from how to create an account to how to drive sales and measure results.
The guide is built to let users choose their own path based on their level of experience. Upon opening the guide, you’re greeted with this screen:
Here’s how each of the above sections break down:I don’t get Twitter
In this section you’re given the following options:
Learn the basics: Here you will learn what a Tweet, Hashtag, @Mention, Retweet, and Follower is. Very basic stuff.
Help me find my customers on Twitter: Learn how to use Twitter search to find new customers, and how to connect with existing customers by importing email contacts.
Review my profile: All the basics of filling out a Twitter profile.
Download the getting started checklist: A free checklist that walks beginners through all the steps needed to get started with Twitter.I get Twitter but need to create a strategy
In this section you’re given the following options:
Build a content calendar for my Tweets: A template you can follow for structuring your tweets throughout the week.
Get more engagement with my Tweets: Some basic tips for how to get your followers to interact with your tweets.
Help me write my Tweets: A few templates to fill out that are designed to create engaging Tweets.
Download the #MktgKickstarter Toolkit: All of the above sections in one nice little package.I know Twitter basics but want to take my marketing to the next level
In this section you’re given the following options:
Tweets for direct response versus engagement: How to compose Tweets to get users to take a specific action, such as visit a sales page.
Driving sales on Twitter: How to compose Tweets that incentivize shoppers.
How to measure results: The key metrics you need to look at to measure results of your Twitter campaigns.
Twitter can be daunting to business owners using it for the first time, and a even a challenge for those with experience. With this guide, Twitter clearly wants to put small businesses owners on the right path towards successfully using the network to engage customers and increase sales.
No matter what your level of experience with Twitter is, I recommend at least giving this guide a quick look to see if there’s something you can learn from it.
You're reading Twitter Launches An Interactive Guide To Help Small Businesses Reach Their Goals
Since COVID-19 has become a full-blown pandemic, unemployment rates have skyrocketed as businesses are forced to shutter their doors for the sake of public health.
It is certainly a stressful time, especially for small business owners who have much smaller coffers to sustain them.
If you’ve checked your email recently, you may have noticed all the businesses sending out notifications letting their consumers know how they are trying to help.
It is admirable to see individuals and organizations coming together to offer assistance to those in need.
If you would like to join the ranks of the helpful, here are 17 ways to help small businesses impacted by COVID-19.1. Volunteer On Behalf of Your Company
If you are not a member of the at-risk community, consider getting out there and doing some hands-on volunteering on behalf of your company.
Meals on Wheels expects the number of individuals in need of their meal delivery service to increase and is actively looking for volunteers.
You can also do the out-and-about – like shopping or picking up prescriptions – for at-risk individuals in your neighborhood.
Post on a community Facebook group or, if you live in an apartment building, help your direct neighbors by putting a notice in the lobby.
If you’re not able to brave the outdoors, but you have a sewing machine, you can join the ranks of people making homemade non-medical masks.
They are easy to make, and a growing number of hospitals are requesting them to help extend the life of their N95 masks, which are in desperately limited supply.2. Take to Social Media & Amplify Messages
Instead of spending your days listlessly scrolling, make an active effort to follow and share the posts of companies you want to support.
Make a Twitter list so that you can make this an ongoing effort.
If they’re running an awesome promotion to boost their sales, retweet it to your followers.
If you have a loyal following, your social media boosts can also add credibility to the company you’re vouching for.3. Choose Credits Over Refunds
If COVID-19 prevents a company from providing the product or service you ordered, wherever possible, choose a credit rather than a refund.
With the economic hit of the pandemic on small business owners and entrepreneurs, this distinction might be the difference between them making rent this month – or not.4. Order (More) Take Out & Delivery
You may finally have the time in quarantine to cook your own meals, but don’t forget to consider the dire situations of your favorite restaurants.
Usually, restaurants only make a small amount of money from take-out orders.
However, with dine-in temporarily restricted in most cities and towns, take-out and delivery have become most restaurants’ sole source of income.
Order online and you can keep a Grubhub or DoorDash driver employed as well.
Just make sure that you’re tipping well – these people are working on the front lines of dealing with a dangerous disease.
Toast is a popular Point-of-Sale (POS) system for the food industry that has created a website to facilitate take-out and delivery purchases.
Rally for Restaurants lets you add your favorite restaurants for consideration and will even make a donation to other organizations feeding the community.5. Buy Credits or Gift Certificates to Use Later
If you can’t frequent a business right now, either because you are in quarantine, or the company is temporarily closed, consider purchasing credits or gift certificates that you can use later on.
This cash flow will mean a lot right now while incomes are lean, and you can make use of your purchases when it’s safe to do so.
In Asheville, a public relations and marketing and agency called Bright Planning started a website – Asheville Strong – where consumers can find a directory of local small businesses that are offering gift cards.
If you have the skills, consider making something similar for your local community.6. Use Your Expertise to Help Struggling Businesses
If you have the time and ability, consider using your skills to build an ecommerce website for a brick-and-mortar business to move their sales online.
Or, if you’re an expert in enterprise and have strategies that can help small businesses bounce back from the economic upheaval of COVID-19, you’re in a unique position to offer tangibly useful information to the companies that need it.
For example, Ahrefs is currently offering premium content for free – their popular blogging for business course.
If you don’t have a course already built, put together a webinar filled with detailed, helpful content that you’re uniquely qualified to teach.
You can combine your audience with someone who works in an adjacent position to make a presentation that goes further.
And if hosting a complete webinar on a brand new topic is more than you can commit to right now, trying making things simpler.
Erin Flynn, of Successfully Simple, sent an email to her subscribers asking for any business questions they had and responded to all of them with personalized Loom videos.7. Organize Your Expert Friends to Share Knowledge
If you’re especially well-connected in your industry, you can go beyond a webinar and organize a virtual summit.
Gather experts and offer free access to their presentations for 24 hours.
After that, you can host the content and charge a small fee that will not only add value, but also help recoup any costs.
Give your experts an affiliate link so that they are incentivized to share it with their followers.
Whether you decide to organize a virtual summit or stick to a simple webinar, remember that the goal here is to serve, rather than profit.8. Offer Free Office Hours
If you’re a business that is geared toward helping other businesses, you can offer free consultations to small businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19.
First, take the time to listen so that you understand the current state of affairs and problems they’re facing.
Note from the author: this is something that I’m doing – tweet me for my calendar scheduling link!9. Advertise Free Offers From SaaS (Software as a Service) Companies
Many SaaS companies are offering incentives to counter the negative impacts of COVID-19.
Share their offers with the small business owners who can use these discounted services the most right now.
They might find something that is not only inexpensive in the short-term but indispensable to the growth and success of their company as we come out of the crisis.
By adopting one of these tools, you are supporting their efforts.
Then, if you discover something you truly love and can’t live without, you can support those businesses further by upgrading to a paid service after a month or two.10. Provide Free Access to Your Service or Platform for Specific Groups
If your company has the financial capacity to support a certain number of unpaid users, you can follow the lead of other businesses that are offering free services right now.
To reduce risk, consider limiting this offer to specific groups (medical professionals, educators, etc.) to make it reasonable for you, while still making an impact where it counts.
Many large companies who have the means are already doing this.
Adobe is offering temporary at-home access to students and teachers for free.
Multiple internet providers have stepped up as well, offering free broadband, equipment, and installation to students who are now learning from home.11. Research & Recommend Funding Options
There are resources available for small businesses that are being hit hard by the effects of COVID-19.
You can do the leg work of researching some of these options and sending whatever seems like a good fit to relevant small businesses that you care about.
Businesses focused on the arts have quite a few relief funds set-up, both nationally and locally.
The Federal Reserve has also lowered interest rates to 0%, so many small businesses can take out loans to stay afloat.
Then, there’s the CARES Act, which can provide some relief for paying salaries, rent, and other related expenses in the form of forgivable loans.
On a related note, if you have any experience in applying for loans, you can directly help a small business owner do just that.12. Extend Payment Terms
If you’re in a position to offer loans or you have business customers set-up on payment plans, you can extend the payment terms to help with their current cash flow situation.
If you’re a company that normally bills at net-30, you can temporarily change it to net-60 or more.13. Shorten Payment Terms
On the other side of the coin, if you owe money to a small business and they have given you longer payment terms in the past, see if you can speed up the payment process.
Having good cash flow is more important now than ever for small businesses.14. Create a Coronavirus Resource Center
On the other side of the coin, small businesses should also do what they can to efficiently help communicate the current state of affairs with customers.
Put together a page on your website that updates users on the details of your business (adjusted hours or pricing) and how you are helping (don’t forget to note COVID-19 schedule changes on Google My Business, as well).
You can include articles and resources that may be useful, including any grants or funding opportunities you’ve found that are relevant to your audience.
Make sure the page is easy to find, and focused on being helpful.
You can also start a hashtag to direct users back to this page, like GoDaddy has done with Open We Stand.15. Encourage Your Employees to Buy from Small Businesses
If you are still fully operational, find ways to encourage your employees to make purchases that support small businesses.
Set up a program that covers the cost of virtual classes for fitness or job training.
Mark Cuban (of Shark Tank) set up an employee rewards fund that reimburses his employees when they make coffee or lunch purchases from local, independent businesses.
The key here is to focus on getting dollars flowing to small businesses, rather than large corporations that are better positioned to absorb the impact of the pandemic economy.16. Adjust Your Methods of Support
Prior to COVID-19, most of us could easily support small businesses by shopping local.
But when “local” has come to mean your apartment or house, you need to adjust.
Instead of walking into a store, get in contact online or by phone and see if you can arrange for delivery or curbside pick-up.
Rather than going straight to the convenience of Amazon, consider what local businesses you can contact for the same products.
With their doors shuttered, most are ready and willing to bring their products to you.17. Set up a Cash Fund or Grant
More than 37 million jobs are vulnerable to layoffs as a direct result of the COVID0-19 economy, according to a study done by the US Private Sector Job Quality Index.
Even more troubling is the fact they involve low-wage positions held by the people who can least afford to be unemployed.
The food, retail, education, and events industries will be hit the hardest.
If your company has the ability, you can set up a fund to help companies and employees that have lost income.
Facebook is giving out $100 million in cash grants to small businesses and Salesforce set up a $1.5 million coronavirus fund for affected citizens in San Francisco.
Even comparatively smaller businesses, like Wordfence, took aim at the financial impact of WordCamp Asia’s cancellation by setting up a $10,000 fund to help businesses and individuals who had arranged to attend the event recoup travel expenses.
If you don’t have a chunk of money to throw down, you can donate a portion of proceeds from a particular product or for a set amount of time.
This can go to any organization you choose, be it a nonprofit, small business association, or relief effort.
Consider the global impact of the virus and check out Kiva, which connects entrepreneurs with microloans, and has been doubling down on their efforts to help those impacted by COVID-19.
Jenna Kobryn, Local Search Expert & SEO Strategist at Healthgrades, suggests businesses:
“Partner with local charitable organizations to support members of the community who are most vulnerable during this time. Building goodwill is long-lasting PR and many are in need.”
No matter what you do to help, consider the fact that this crisis presents an excellent opportunity to create a positive perception of your business while actively helping where it matters.Final Thoughts: 17 Ways to Help Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19
The reach of COVID-19 is vast, and its economic impact is dire.
Small businesses are hurting the most. It’s up to us as a community to do whatever we can to help our neighbors.
Whether it’s with monetary support, volunteering our talents, or even just ordering some Chinese food from a local establishment, every bit counts.
If we work together, we can keep our bodies and our businesses healthy.
Featured Image: cottonbro / Pexels
Unusual Tactics To Help Small Business Win The Holidays
I’m writing this article on the morning of Black Friday, just after I cleaned out my inbox of all the promotional emails I had received from retailers about their special offers.
This sums up the challenge that small businesses face during the holidays.
Markets have gotten more saturated and enterprise-level marketing technology is readily available to everyone. Instead of competing on a level playing field, it’s harder to reach your customers and bring them back to your store.
This is especially true during the holidays when there are so many retailers (some with massive marketing budgets) vying for the same attention and dollars.
I’ve always liked movies where the underdog wins (which is also why we focus on building tools for small business at Conversio).
In this article, I’ll explore five tactics that small business can use to win the holidays without trying to out-compete the other retailers. Instead we’ll go off-beat, be streetwise and outsmart your competitors.
1. Play to your own drumbeat and avoid overloaded inboxes
During holidays and peak sales periods though, the problem of email overload is compounded. The challenge is thus to stand out and get customers to prioritise your email. Catchy subject lines and beautifully-designed emails can do the trick here. But the odds are not in your favor.
And I’m no gambling man.
To increase your own chances to get noticed, tune your email marketing to your own drumbeat.
An easy way to do this is to subscribe to a whole bunch of mailing lists for the big retailers. You’ll notice that many of their emails will go out in the same 24 – 48 hour windows during the holidays and what you’ll want to do is to avoid sending in those periods.
Another trick is to not offer similar promotions. If everyone else is discounting aggressively, consider doing the opposite. Perhaps you can sell a more exclusive, premium package of one of your products.
Whatever you do, don’t try to beat your competitors head-on. Instead, find the path of least resistance.
2. Maximise every opportunity for attention
We have established that the hardest thing to gain during the holidays is the attention of your customers. So once you have their attention, you should try maximise that opportunity to get them to spend as much money with you as possible. I’d say it’s a safe assumption that most shoppers will only shop with you once during the holidays.
As Eminem says in his song Lose Yourself: “If you had one shot or one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted in one moment, Would you capture it or just let it slip?“
While your customer is browsing your store, there are two ways in which you can help fill up their baskets with more products:
The first would be to use enhanced search functionality to make it easy for them to find what they’re looking for. Bonus points if your search uses some kind of predictive analysis to make better search suggestions too.
The other must-have is a recommendation widget on your product pages, which will recommend other products that the shopper might like as well (based on the products they are currently viewing or adding to their carts).
The opportunity then doesn’t end when the customer places their order, but that window still extends to the first couple of minutes after the purchase.
3. Help out lazy and unimaginative shoppers
There’s a lot of social pressure around the convention of gift-giving and not everyone has the best ideas. I consider myself a good giver of gifts, but if you ask my wife’s opinion, she might not agree with my assessment. 🙂
A great idea is to have an easy-to-use gift-buying guide on your website. The simplest form this can take is by having product collections that are categorised according to the recipient of the proposed gift. Examples would be “Gifts for Her,” “Gifts for Him,” “Gifts for Wine Snobs” or whatever makes sense for your store. The key here is to help remove the friction from the decision-making process, because that friction might cost you a sale.
Beyond these guides, you should also help those super lazy shoppers that aren’t confident in selecting a gift themselves. I know it’s not the most personal gift to give, but we’ve all given someone a gift card in the past.
Perhaps you can make the purchase of a gift card a little bit more personal and allow the shopper to personalise it for the recipient. This maybe won’t beat an actual, thoughtful gift, but at least it demonstrates some effort on the buyer’s behalf.
And it also nets you another sale.
4. Use tight deadlines in your favour
There’s another part of the holidays that doesn’t count in your favour: the dates are pretty inflexible. Take the process of buying a Christmas gift for example, which has a fixed deadline. This always tends to create a bit of a rush as the deadline looms larger.
What you can do is help your customers get their holiday shopping done sooner and well ahead of this impending deadline. This is a more proactive approach to making your sales and will also simplify any logistical challenges you could face by getting an influx of new orders on Dec. 24.
The way I’d go about this is to offer customers an incentive to complete their holiday shopping sooner. I’d also recommend creating a sense of urgency by using some time-sensitive offers and smart discounting.
Another consideration would be to double-down on that urgency in your cart recovery emails for shoppers that are only window shopping right now while planning to complete the purchase closer to the deadline. Perhaps you can be more aggressive with the discounts or incentives in your cart recovery emails to get them to take action right now instead of waiting?
5. Be the saviour
We’ve all done last minute shopping before (because we haven’t yet found that “perfect” gift or we just forgot to buy a gift for that third cousin we only see once a year). The problem with this is that not all online retailers can fulfill last-minute orders, because they don’t have that logistical infrastructure.
If you can however be the saviour for that shopper that is making a last-minute purchase, you will most probably win big; both in terms of this one sale, but also getting a customer for life.
You should be proactive in this sense by clearly publishing your cut-off times on your website. This will help shoppers know exactly what the latest is that they can still get their purchase shipped. You want to avoid shoppers having to go through the whole checkout process only to find out that they will only receive their order on the 27th of December. This is a bad experience and those shoppers will just abandon their carts (likely never to return).
In addition to that, you could consider offering your customers an expensive, convenient last-minute delivery option for their purchases. You might not be able to ship an order across the country within 6 hours, but if the customer is more local to you, this could be possible.
The nice thing about this is that there are bound to be customers that will take you up on that option. And if you price this intelligently, you can build in a little bit of profit, while also increasing the value of this order.
Twitter Blue launches in the United States and New Zealand after being introduced in Canada and Australia earlier this year.
“We are excited to share that Twitter Blue is now available in the United States and New Zealand across iOS, Android and web. Twitter Blue is available for a monthly price of US$2.99 / NZD 4.49 and with it, we’re bringing subscribers even more features, more content, and more ways to participate in the conversation.”
The subscription price in Canada and Australia, which is $3.49 CAD or $4.49 AUD per month, remains unchanged.
With this wider rollout Twitter is introducing more features for subscribers which will allow them to get even more out of their experience on the desktop site and mobile app.What Do I Get With A Subscription To Twitter Blue?
A subscription to Twitter Blue grants access to the following features:
Ad-free articles (formerly known as Scroll): On iOS and desktop, Twitter Blue members can access fast-loading, ad-free articles when they visit news sites from Twitter, such as The Washington Post, USA TODAY, The Atlantic, The Daily Beast, Rolling Stone, BuzzFeed, Insider, The Hollywood Reporter, and Search Engine Journal.
Top Articles: Subscribers can see the most-shared articles in their network over the last 24 hours.
Undo Tweet: Subscribers can preview tweets before they’re sent, giving them the chance to undo the tweet if there’s an error.
Early Access to New Features: Subscribers get early access to new features Twitter is testing before anyone else.
Twitter is still not giving users a much requested edit button, but the Undo Tweet feature will give you 30 seconds to reconsider publishing a tweet after sending it.How Do I Subscribe To Twitter Blue?
People in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand can subscribe to Twitter Blue through the main menu on desktop and the mobile app.
Subscribing to Twitter Blue is a simple, two-step process.
While logged into your account, look for the Twitter Blue icon in the left navigation menu.
Tap the icon and then tap the subscribe button that appears at the bottom of the next screen.
Note that the screenshot below shows the Canadian price because I live in Canada, so yours may look different.
Your subscribe button will show the price you pay in your location.
After tapping the subscribe button you’ll be asked one last time to confirm your subscription before your method of payment is charged.What Happens To Ad Revenue For Publishers?
A portion of the revenue from subscription fees goes directly to news publishers.
Twitter Blue’s ad-free articles feature is designed for publishers to not lose revenue, the company says:
Featured Image: Marcelo Mollaretti/Shutterstock
Did You Know?
Netflix uses big data to learn subscribers’ viewing habits and behaviors to drive future production decisions and user experiences.What can we learn from Netflix’s success?
Here are some lessons we can learn from Netflix’s continued success:
Stay ahead of competitors. Netflix has been an innovator throughout its history. Being the innovator meant it was ahead of the competition at every step. Netflix revolutionized how people rented DVDs, innovated with viewer subscriptions, pivoted to online streaming, and turned itself into an award-winning content producer. Netflix is a household name and industry marker. Similarly, businesses should try to beat the competition by staying one step ahead in technology, service, operations and more.
Set trends. Netflix introduced the concept of binge-watching, so consumers didn’t have to wait for a new episode of their favorite show each week. Binge-watching became an entertainment cornerstone, particularly during the pandemic. But setting trends means mixing things up, and Netflix is showing signs of new watch models. For example, with high-interest shows such as Stranger Things, Netflix is testing weekly releases. In your business, monitor technology trends and see how you can implement them to set new standards in your arena.
Be opportunistic. Netflix took the leap into independent film production and distribution with hit shows such as Orange Is the New Black and The Umbrella Academy. Going from a streaming service to a filmmaker was a big step, but Netflix saw an opportunity to meet the demands of its target audience. Similarly, look for ways your business can seize opportunities and stay ahead of the competition.
Focus on the consumer experience. Netflix makes the experience about the consumer. The navigation menu is intuitive and highly praised, and the system tracks what you watch so Netflix can recommend similar content. These elements help to improve the user experience and build customer loyalty. In your business, get customer feedback and insights to improve your systems and services.
Expand wisely. When Netflix decided to go global, it didn’t just roll out the same platform of shows and movies to everyone; the company researched each country’s target audience to customize the user experience. Today, Netflix streams in more than 190 countries. In your business, scale carefully. Ensure you don’t grow your business too quickly, and research your customers’ needs.
Did You Know?
Customer survey data is a great tool for staying ahead of the competition. Well-formulated surveys can help you identify consumer needs so you can innovate and lead.
Did You Know?
PayPal, once an eBay subsidiary, has done some digital disrupting of its own. The payment solution has grown to include PayPal business loans, and businesses can accept credit cards via PayPal.3. Amazon started with books and became an e-commerce powerhouse.
Amazon’s book sales proved that the internet was a hugely scalable retail platform that didn’t require a massive real estate and workforce investment. Still, many retailers didn’t see the promise. The thought of shipping costs, packaging and returns gave them a headache, and adoption was slow.
However, Amazon began selling more than just books, and the concept exploded. At the same time, shippers such as UPS and FedEx saw the promise of this digital retail world.
Today, Amazon is the undisputed e-commerce leader, with offshoots such as Amazon Prime, Amazon Prime Video and its own digital devices. There are even Amazon business features to help small businesses.What other industries are being disrupted?
Here’s a glance at some other industries undergoing digital disruption.
Industry or corporationDisrupterWhy?Credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express)Mobile payments, like Apple Pay and Google PayMobile payments and omnichannel payments are here, and the infrastructure rails of major card providers are soon to be the “horse and buggy” of the digital age. Be prepared to have the middleman cut out of the payment game.Traditional technology companies (HP, Intel, IBM, Cisco)Amazon Web Services, cloud IT infrastructure servicesCloud infrastructure (computers and network) providers support a pay-as-you-use model (like renting movies). While traditional tech companies will always have a market, no longer will there be half-utilized hardware on the data center floor of large corporations. Get ready to sell less – much less.Airlines and transportationSkype, Zoom and other video communication technology; Uber, LyftWith the use of video teleconferencing services such as Skype and Zoom now commonplace, business travelers are becoming less inclined to travel for meetings and presentations.Recording studiosApple’s Garageband and similar productsThis disruption has already happened. Recording studios across the world have seen their profits dip dramatically. Amateur production engineers can now record their own music with “good-enough” quality and release it. However, studios likely will always be around for musicians who don’t want to do it themselves.KodakDigital photographyThis disruption story is over. Kodak reinvented itself as a manufacturer of print production technology. Still, Kodak’s workforce shrunk from 60,000 in the 1980s to only 3,500 today.Comcast, Time Warner, VerizonSatellite, wireless, cellular technologyWhile these businesses are deeply entrenched, they’ll need to adjust how they do business. One day, our wired infrastructure will be defunct, and we will see more of what Google is doing with Google Fiber.Keep an eye on innovation in your industry
Digital technology has been a massive disruptor in many industries, including retail, entertainment, communications and travel. Trying to track industry trends and predict their impact is complicated. However, seemingly unrelated or new innovations can damage your business or industry if you don’t take notice – and you can be sure someone will.
Sometimes, businesses have invested so much in infrastructure that it’s almost impossible to turn the ship, so getting an early start is crucial. Digital makes everything fast; it won’t take 30 years to scuttle an outdated business concept. No matter your industry, keep an eye on digital innovations and look toward the future.
Kimberlee Leonard contributed to the reporting and writing in this article.
Many employees prioritize a happy and healthy work environment because of the massive time investment our work lives require. This is especially true of millennials and younger job seekers, who value a positive workplace culture almost as much as salary and employee benefits.
For employers, investing in a happy culture reaps additional benefits, including increased productivity and profitability. Companies with positive cultures experience cost reductions through less absenteeism and job turnover and fewer workers’ compensation claims.
With increased efficiency and reduced costs, an organization’s workplace happiness is an excellent long-term predictor of the business’s ability to grow and thrive. We’ll explore eight steps to help you change your workplace culture and share even more benefits of a positive workplace.
Did You Know?
A happy workplace can improve employee engagement. According to the 2023 Organizational Culture Research Report, employees who say their work culture is positive are 3.8 times more likely to be engaged at work.How to create a happy and productive work culture
Finding a happy and healthy workplace is increasingly important for job seekers. According to the 2023 Jobvite Job Seeker Nation Report, 86% of job seekers consider culture crucial when applying for a position. To ensure you’re attracting top talent, shore up your workplace with the following eight tips.1. Establishing mentorship creates a happy work culture.
A culture of mentorship creates a supportive atmosphere that encourages professional growth and empowers employees to take on tasks confidently. Employees who have been meaningfully mentored, in turn, become excellent leaders willing to mentor more team members.
Consider creating an open-door policy that encourages and welcomes employees to discuss new ideas and make suggestions. They’ll realize you won’t ignore or criticize them, and they’ll become more confident. You’ll also foster the atmosphere of mutual trust so vital to an organization’s success.
Leaders who become active mentors and participants in their employees’ self-expression, creativity and self-betterment tend to be rewarded with loyalty and increased business productivity.2. Adopt wellness initiatives to improve your work culture.
In our digitally driven world, addressing the pitfalls of office work – long stretches of sitting, typing and gazing at screens – is essential. A workplace that passionately supports employees’ physical and mental well-being through flexible benefits and initiatives will be rewarded with a stronger and more loyal team.
Some ways to prioritize wellness in the workplace include:
Healthy initiatives: Consider providing healthy snacks, lunchtime yoga classes or a fun fitness challenge. Your employees will benefit from your efforts and appreciate being part of an organization that prioritizes their health.
Preventive measures: Reduce absenteeism and increase productivity by proactively addressing physical and mental issues. For example, provide annual flu vaccinations, and support employee mental health by making counselors available to help with issues like financial troubles, stress or depression.
Office adjustments: Consider that an office environment affects productivity and health when designing or improving the physical workspace. An uncomfortable environment – poor lighting, low-quality furniture, outdated equipment – can complicate workers’ days. These nagging stressors could lead to workplace absenteeism due to medical issues like back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and other ailments. A well-lit, visually pleasing environment with soothing colors and ergonomically designed equipment (such as adjustable chairs and standing desks) can significantly impact employee satisfaction and performance.
Understand the benefits and risks of corporate wellness programs before instituting one. Wellness programs can improve company culture, but they come with legal considerations, including HIPAA laws.3. Promote communication and inclusion to improve workplace culture.
Communication and inclusion lay the groundwork for a positive work environment where everyone feels safe and equally valued.
Communication: Open communication fosters innovation and agility – two key success elements leaders want to see in their teams. Communication also fosters mutual trust and respect. Nurturing employees’ individuality in an environment where they can express their true selves promotes career confidence and encourages them to contribute new ideas.
Inclusion: Additionally, diverse and inclusive companies support all employees regardless of race, color, religion, sex, gender, national origin, etc., helping everyone feel respected and safe. A diverse and inclusive environment helps create a happier workplace by boosting employee morale, engagement, performance, innovation and retention, which improves the team’s ability to pivot and adapt when necessary. As a bonus, prioritizing inclusion can improve your company’s reputation.4. Flexibility can contribute to a happy workplace culture.
Flexibility gives employees freedom, allowing them to create a positive work-life balance and grow their careers.
Here are a few ways to be flexible in your business:
Flexibility with job descriptions: Companies can give employees more flexibility by steering clear of narrow job descriptions and fixed offices. Let team members cross-pollinate their skill sets with a shared purpose and common goals. You’ll make the most of everyone’s strengths and give projects greater meaning.
Flexibility with work hours: The 9-to-5 workday is increasingly falling out of favor. Moving away from rigid schedules and organizational structures spares employees the sense of drudgery that comes with the weekday grind. That sort of prescriptive atmosphere gets workers excited about only one thing: the weekend. Today, employees highly value flexible schedules: Nearly half of respondents to a Skynova survey said a flexible schedule was more important than their salary. The four-day-workweek trend is also getting attention. Some companies, including Panasonic and thredUP, have shifted to a 32-hour workweek at full salary.
Flexibility with remote work: Creating a remote work plan can improve employee happiness while helping you attract and keep top talent. Remote work was thrust into the spotlight during the COVID-19 pandemic, and its popularity shows no sign of waning. In 2023 and 2023, over 4 million people quit their jobs, many without first securing another job, in a phenomenon called the Great Resignation. In a FlexJobs survey of people who left their jobs during this time, 43% said their job did not have remote work options, and 41% cited their employers not allowing flexible schedules. Additionally, the 2023 Jobvite Job Seeker Nation Report found that 33% of workers prefer 100% remote work, 30% prefer 50/50 remote and in-office work, and 74% say that a remote work option is an important factor when considering a new job.
In a changing workplace landscape, job flexibility and flexibility with hours and remote and hybrid work situations can significantly contribute to employee happiness.5. Invest in fun to create a happier workplace.
Injecting fun into the workplace pays dividends for everyone. An organization’s investment in joy can be as simple as encouraging employees to take five-minute breaks from their desks (which reduces muscle fatigue and eyestrain and improves focus). For a company with deeper pockets, investing in fun can mean building inspiring green spaces on its campuses, where employees can take walks.
Workplace teamwork is crucial, and team-building activities that fortify relationships among colleagues can also be a source of renewal and satisfaction. Allow employees to suggest fun activities, giving them a sense of ownership in the company’s quest for happiness.6. Reward employees generously to improve workplace happiness.
Everyone wants to feel their contributions are valued. To help employees feel valued, company leaders should celebrate team members’ accomplishments through rewards, incentives, promotions and employee bonuses.
Another way to reward employees is to provide opportunities for self-improvement and lifelong learning. Initiatives and benefits that support employees’ continued education and training are the ultimate expressions of how deeply an organization appreciates and supports everyone’s continued growth.
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Investments in a positive workplace culture improve productivity, reduce turnover, improve morale and prevent employee burnout.7. Be supportive to foster workplace happiness.
Perhaps the most meaningful way to ensure your employees’ long-term happiness and health is to prepare for the inevitable moments when they’re anything but happy and healthy. We all experience bumps in the road, and we all dread what could happen if an illness, loss or other unfortunate circumstance renders us unable to fulfill our work duties.
A leader who shows concern and eases someone’s way – a sincere, trustworthy supporter rather than another source of pressure – can win an employee’s appreciation for life. Model empathy and compassion in the workplace, and encourage similar citizenship behaviors in your colleagues. It can also help to have an employee assistance program in place.8. Prioritize a positive workplace culture.
Creating a positive work culture is a continuous process that requires regular attention, thoughtful planning and corrective actions. It might be the most crucial task company leaders can undertake. When employees experience true happiness and health at work, success tends to follow. Ensure that your company’s compensation, hiring, management and policies align with your positive workplace culture goals.Benefits of a strong company culture
Creating a strong company culture can provide a host of benefits to your employees and your company.
Retaining employees: When employees are happy and feel valued, they have little reason to look for another job. High employee retention levels eliminate the costs associated with recruiting and training. You’ll also avoid periods of reduced productivity while new employees learn the ropes, and you won’t have to offload unfilled positions’ extra work to already overburdened employees.
Attracting top talent: When you have an excellent company culture, word gets around, and you’ll be able to hire for a cultural fit. Top job candidates will be more likely to apply to open positions at your company and may even be willing to work for a lower salary. If you want to attract and retain millennials or Gen Zers, the cultural effect is even more pronounced because these younger generations prioritize work-life balance and flexibility.
Meeting emerging needs: In many respects, the pandemic was an eye-opener, putting employee well-being at the forefront of people’s consciousness and realigning priorities. Individuals and companies were forced to reassess certain assumptions, such as “everyone needs to come into the office to work” and “work is the top priority.” Health and flexibility came to the forefront, and these new priorities will likely remain for the long term. When you have a culture that accepts and works within this framework, your employees and company can work happily together to achieve business goals without friction.
Increasing productivity: Not every employee is as productive as the next, but a strong company culture can enhance engagement, boosting productivity. According to a study by the University of Warwick, highly engaged employees can be up to 12% more productive than their less engaged co-workers. This benefit multiplies depending on how many of your workers are highly engaged. Engaged workers also tend to be more creative, helping the company thrive and grow.
Removing silos: One of the hallmarks of a traditional, rigid corporate structure is distinct silos within the organization that operate semi-independently with limited communication and interaction with other departments. Without a bigger-picture perspective, mistakes are made and money is lost. With an open culture and flatter corporate structure, communication can flow from one area to another so that the benefit of a particular decision or initiative to the company as a whole can be assessed. Employees will be engaged to consider their work’s broader implications and gain more problem-solving creativity. Additionally, the company can be more agile, responding quickly to market or competitive space changes.
Improving customer interaction: Happy customer-facing employees, including sales and customer service representatives, provide better and more pleasant service. Disengaged employees are unlikely to go above and beyond for customers.A happy workplace is a valuable investment
Investing in company culture is a win-win. Happy employees are better workers and tend to stay with the company longer. The company, in turn, enjoys increases in revenue, productivity and customer satisfaction. Creating a happy, productive workplace is an ongoing process that becomes part of a company’s culture and helps ensure its success.
Rachita Sharma contributed to the reporting and writing in this article.
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