9 Ways to Successfully Welcome and Onboard New Employees
New employees coming into an office for the first time can feel remarkably out of place. Company cultures and expectations can vary wildly between organizations, and job duties may have a lot of small details that can’t be conveyed with a simple PDF or Google Doc.
But helping new workers feel comfortable, as well as conveying what’s expected of them, is vital. Without this, employees may end up struggling or feeling disconnected, which can easily result in them leaving for a new job. Learn how to get your new people better settled in and engaged with these simple tips.
Q. What is one good approach to make sure new employees feel welcome during their onboarding?
1. Schedule onboarding over a month
No matter how detailed your transition documents, or how many one-on-ones you set up, no one can truly understand a business during their first week. Treat onboarding as a month-long (or quarter-long!) process. Lunches, one-on-ones, and group discussions are great. But have them again a few weeks later, and again after that. If you think about employees as years-long teammates, an extra few weeks is a small investment.
2. Give a proper introduction
If you want an employee to feel welcome, it helps to give a proper introduction to your existing team members. If you operate a remote company, you can post the introduction in the team chat. Those who work in an office can have a more traditional introduction in front of the rest of your team.
3. Organize a welcome party
When a new team member joins the staff, have a welcome party for the whole company. The events vary—they can be a catered lunch, ice cream, or even just a meeting where the whole firm gets together to welcome the new team member on their first day. These options can be helpful in welcoming new employees and building a team atmosphere.
4. Use the buddy system
When you bring someone new onto the team, partner them with someone in the office. This partner is their buddy for the week. They are responsible for introducing them to everyone, being there when they have questions, and making sure they feel settled in. This usually makes the new employee feel comfortable while also giving them an ally from day one.
5. Assign them a mentor
Mentors are like diamonds in the business world. Anyone can be a mentor, provided they are willing to guide others. When a new person starts, they may feel nervous about learning new procedures. Assigning them a more experienced coworker gives them someone who can show them the ropes, and the mentor feels good they have been trusted with this task. It’s a win-win situation that fosters teamwork in the long run.
6. Encourage senior leadership to greet new employees
During the onboarding process, companies should engage senior leadership to personally welcome and greet new employees. A small gesture can go a long way. New hires will feel more invested in the company and will more quickly feel like part of the team.
7. Have them shadow the team
Get your new hires to shadow a couple of people from different departments in their first week, even if it’s not directly related to their position. Lunches and parties are great, but one or two meaningful connections will make a bigger difference. This helps them to build deeper, personal connections with a few people while also understanding the bigger picture of the company and its vision.
8. Address what they’re afraid to ask
To make new hires feel welcome during their onboarding, be sure to address all the topics they may be afraid to ask about. For instance, tell them everything they need to know about compensation, benefits, and any other amenities you offer. Being open regarding these sensitive topics will make them feel like a true part of the team, and they’ll feel more comfortable in their new position.
9. Express genuine interest
It’s important to express enthusiasm when hiring new employees so they feel more welcome as part of the team. If everyone’s attitude is just so-so or nonchalant about onboarding, then the experience itself lacks a feeling of genuine welcome. Make sure everyone on the team is excited for new members to come on board, as this is essential to making everyone feel welcome.
How to Take Time Off When You Run a Small Business
Steps to help you take time off from your business
Plan ahead. Your employees probably already have their summer holidays scheduled. Take a tip from them and put some downtime for yourself on your calendar, too. Blocking off holiday days now will help you avoid scheduling any important client meetings or deadlines during those dates. If you can’t manage a week off at once, try taking one long weekend each month. You’ll be surprised what it can do for your mental health.
Prepare your team. Even longer holidays such as a week or more can be managed as long as you enlist the help of your staff. Now’s the time to get them ready to take over some of your duties while you’re gone. This may be hard for you to do, but letting go of some tasks (at least temporarily) will give your employees a sense of accomplishment at learning something new and gaining more responsibility. Who knows? When you come back from your holiday, you may decide to leave some duties on your employees’ plates instead of reclaiming them for yourself.
Prepare your customers. Most customers will be quite understanding of your need for time off—after all, they take vacations too, and this time of year is when most people need a breather. Let them know well in advance so you can either get projects wrapped up before you leave or postpone them until you get back. If neither option works, introduce your customer to the employee who’ll be handling their project until you get back, giving them plenty of time to get to know each other first.
Technology to help you take a break from your business
Arm yourself with apps. Speaking of technology, there’s a mobile app for everything these days. Make sure your smartphone and/or tablet are loaded up with the mobile version of the apps you need, that you’ve got all your passwords accessible (a password manager is a great tool for this), and that you’re armed with chargers to keep you ready to work on the road if you have to. You may never need to use these tools on your holiday, but just knowing they’re there will give you peace of mind.
Know thyself. Choose a holiday that’s realistic for the way you work. You might want a week off the grid beyond reach of cell phone towers and civilization. Or you might break out in hives at the mere thought of 10 minutes without Wi-Fi. If being able to keep in touch with the office makes you feel better, by all means choose a holiday spot where you can access the technology you need to feel secure.
Just do it. Even if you’re prepared to work on holiday, try your hardest to unplug for at least part of each day. If you can’t let go of work, you won’t get the full benefits of time away. Limit email or phone check-ins to once a day and have your staff contact you only in emergencies (be sure to define exactly what an emergency is).
Many entrepreneurs get their best ideas on holiday. Who knows? You could have your next big brainstorm while lying on the beach.
5 Ways to Make New Connections at Your Next Business Conference
Attending conferences is not only a great way to keep up with industry trends, but it is also one of the best ways to expand your professional network, meet new clients, or even find a new job.
Despite knowing about amazing networking opportunities that exist at conferences, many people are frightened at the thought of talking to someone they don’t know, or worse, of being alone in a hall where everyone seems to know each other. Equipped with the right networking strategy, however, you can avoid spending an entire conference alone and missing out on opportunities to meet new people.
1. Become a volunteer
Many conferences offer opportunities to volunteer. Volunteering can help you get an active role at a conference and a reason to speak to other attendees. For example, as a volunteer reporter, you can ask people questions about their experiences at the conference, and in most cases attendees are happy to answer your questions.
You can choose a volunteering role that corresponds to your professional experience, which will enhance your resume as well as expand your network. Or you can choose to get involved in an area that is not directly related to your profession and use the experience to improve your skill set.
Many conferences have a section for volunteers on their website. If you don’t find such a section, you can always contact the organizers and offer your help. Don’t forget to briefly discuss your expertise in your message to make it easier for event managers to assign the right job for you.
2. Join a committee
Behind almost every conference is an organization. Typically, these organizations have a variety of committees responsible for organizing annual meetings, regional and national conferences, webinars, and other programs. You can attend conferences with fellow committee members who can introduce you to their colleagues and friends, eliminating the awkwardness of having to enter a room full of people alone. You also may be given an active role on a committee, which can help you to develop your leadership potential.
3. Attend panels and workshops
Most conferences have a selection of smaller events within the conference to choose from. Be strategic about deciding which event to attend. For example, if you are looking for new customers, do some research about what might interest them, and attend panels, lectures, or workshops that correspond to those interests. If you are looking for a job, attend sections that might attract potential employers. In this case, joining a panel on how to retain talent might not be your first choice as a candidate, but it may be a first choice for recruiters and a great place to meet them.
Panels and workshops will provide you with relevant information you can use to start conversations with other attendees during breaks. You can ask a specific question about a particular point or a general one, such as how he/she found this program.
4. Sign up for sponsored dinners
Often, companies that are sponsors will organize breakfasts, dinners, or cocktail receptions during or after the conference. Dinners are probably the most inviting and comfortable way of building new connections. Some events require an invitation—and even if you didn’t receive one, you can always contact the organizers and express your interest in attending.
5. Apply to be a speaker
Speaking at a conference can bring multiple benefits, ranging from the acknowledgment of your expertise and experience to boosting your professional visibility. But most of all, it will help you to connect with people at the conference. You will be introduced to other speakers, and people might come to you with questions after you speak. During preparation and rehearsals, you will meet event managers and can always ask them to introduce you to people you are looking to meet. Speaking at a conference will provide you with authority during the conference and connections even before the conference begins.
Attending a conference alone might be an intimidating experience, especially if your attendance is encouraged by your employer who expects certain results, such as meeting a number of prospective customers or partners. If you prepare in advance and have a strategy of how to meet other attendees, you will feel more confident and have a positive experience.
Using Instagram to Promote Your Business? Avoid These 8 Common Mistakes
A picture is worth a thousand words, and through photos Instagram has revolutionized the way brands interact with consumers. With a simple interface and 1 billion monthly active users, this photo-sharing app should be at the top of your list for reaching customers.
If you haven’t already taken advantage of Instagram in your company’s marketing, there are certain things to avoid so that you are successful. The following is a list of common mistakes companies make with Instagram.
1. Lack of a plan
Your first step should be to decide why you are using Instagram. Whether it is to create brand awareness, interact with your consumers, or to showcase your product or services, keep one thing in mind: the content you share must add value to your customers’ feed and is not spamming it. Share what your company is doing, through either photos or videos, and plan ahead what you’re going to upload. People don’t like random content, and a clumsy profile could put your brand in a bad light.
2. Poor content
Most people will scroll through their Instagram feed and pause only when they encounter something different. So when every company is trying to build its brand on social media, how can you make your message stand out? The answer is by providing quality content. Design your content in a way that users will stop to engage with your posts rather than scroll down. Also share high resolution photos and videos which will convey your business believes in quality.
3. Not being consistent
Consistency is key. That said, there may be times when you will be overloaded with other work, but that does not mean you shouldn’t be posting anything new on your account. It’s important to stay in the eyes of your customers, and this doesn’t mean spamming their feed with just any content. Once you are noticed by your target audience, it is imperative to maintain a consistent presence in their Instagram feed. A well-planned feed that posts regularly is sure to give you a good return on the time you invest.
4. Not using the full potential of hashtags
Hashtags can be annoying, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t useful. If you hardly use hashtags, or maybe don’t use them at all, it’s time to start using relevant ones that will increase your posts’ engagement. Create a hashtag that represents your brand, and also use popular ones that can help you get discovered, too. The more hashtags you use, the more likes and comments you’ll receive on your posts. You can use up to 30 hashtags on Instagram, so start using the right ones and see how your engagement improves.
5. Buying likes and followers
You can buy Instagram followers, but this is not the preferred way to increase your numbers. Many of these “followers” are fake accounts, and recently Instagram has gone after and taken down several such accounts. Your goal should be to improve your organic reach, and the best way to gain new followers is to post quality content consistently and to actively engage with your customers.
6. Failure to use followers the right way
Your followers are your brand ambassadors. But many businesses fail to realize this and miss out on gaining new followers through their existing ones. Take advantage of your loyal followers by asking them to use your branded hashtags or share your content. Doing so will help you reach the friends of your customers, thus resulting in an increased number of followers organically.
7. Posting too much promotional stuff
Put yourself in the shoes of your customers and see if you would like to receive only promotional posts advertising sales or discounts on your Instagram feed. While promotions are important for your business, there are better ways to connect with your target audience. Share photos of your office work culture, or show customers how much effort goes into designing your products. You can even highlight different ways your business gives back to the community. Sharing these types of photos and videos will definitely put your company in a positive light.
8. Not engaging with customers
Customers need a platform to engage with your brand, so when they take the time to reach out to you, don’t run away. Many companies make the mistake of not following back their followers or replying to their comments or taking a look at their mentions. Actively interacting with your customers will help you to gain their faith in your brand, which in turn can give you indirect publicity through their word of mouth. Also follow your customers to know the type of content they like and share so you can modify your posts accordingly.
5 Copywriting Tips to Boost Your Website’s Conversion
Copy is everywhere. It’s the text on your landing page, the content of your promotional emails, and the words on your introductory brochure. If you produce something with the goal of driving sales, the words you use are copy. It’s meant to draw in readers, and it’s how most businesses today talk to their customers.
And when it comes to reeling in users and converting them, it’s all about the copy. The following are 10 tips for making your copy more effective in driving conversions on your website.
1. Figure out who your audience is
Sales happen when you identify a need and meet it. Effective copy highlights that need and explains why the featured product or service is the best solution. First, though, you need to know who you’re addressing.
To determine who your audience is, try creating several user personas. This means doing some research, finding out what groups of people are using your product, and figuring out what they have in common. Consider some of the following characteristics and how they might apply to your hypothetical customers:
- Socioeconomic status
- Job title and industry
- Marital status
Once you determine a few unifying traits among your audience members, you can then create several personas to target. For instance, say you run a company that specializes in high-end crocheted baby blankets and patterns. There are a variety of possible user personas for your products. One might be Daniel, a new millennial father looking for a high-quality blanket for his infant daughter; or Elise, a grandmother and crocheting enthusiast who wants to get her hands on a new pattern for making Christmas gifts.
For this product, it wouldn’t make sense to have a user persona like Roger, current student and president of his university’s Delta Chi chapter; or Lorraine, a stay-at-home mom focused on helping her teenage kids apply to college.
Although fictional, these personas represent your customers and help to humanize the people you’re trying to sell to. And knowing who your audience is makes targeting them easier—you’ll be able to write better copy that’s tailored to their needs and expectations.
2. Be conversational—use “you” and “your”
Which of these statements feels more personal to you?
- When a contractor picks up a widget, he or she needs to trust that it won’t break. Acme Widgets stand up to hard use.
- When you pick up a widget, you need to trust that it won’t break. Acme Widgets won’t let you down.
There is very little difference between the two, except that the second option speaks directly to the reader. And yet, it instantly evokes a closer connection. That’s the power of the second-person point of view—that is, writing “you” and “your.” Addressing your reader directly helps to close the distance between them and their computer screen.
For some inspiration, take a look at Rover, a pet care marketplace for dog and cat owners. To describe its available services, Rover could have simply listed its main offerings: dog boarding, house sitting, dog walking, and so on. However, it goes above and beyond to connect with its audience by including an additional line describing each service.
What exactly makes this effective? Just about everyone knows or can at least deduce what services like “dog boarding” and “dog walking” are, but these extra lines of copywriting add a personal touch. Perfect if you need overnight pet care and Whenever your dog needs a walk. By incorporating a second-person point of view, the emphasis is on you, the reader, and meeting you (and your animal’s) needs.
3. Include quantifiable facts
Imagine that you’re developing a new marketing strategy for your B2B company and you’re interviewing different content platforms. The two companies you’re looking at give you the following pitches. Which is more convincing?
- Content marketing is an important investment in today’s market.
- Content marketing costs up to 41% less than paid search. In addition, after three years, that piece of content will have generated over 300% more leads than paid search.
Chances are you’re much more likely to trust the second company with your business. Why? It includes very specific facts and figures. Facts are convincing because they’re verifiable and concrete. But be careful—you want them to be your support rather than your main message. Too many facts will make your copy sound dry.
4. Emphasize action
Conversion is action. If you want more people to buy, subscribe, or contact you for more information, don’t wait until the call to action to bring it up. Inject action verbs and phrases throughout your copy, particularly those that make the reader envision doing or achieving something.
That doesn’t mean simply describing the product or service in action terms, as in “This widget is the fastest on the market.” It means painting a picture of its use and how it impacts you, such as “With this speedy widget, you’ll produce 30% more doohickeys than the average company.”
Do you see how the second sentence’s use of the verb “produce” inspires action? Other similarly effective verbs include:
5. Be simple and concise
You have just seconds to convince a visitor on your website that you’re worth sticking around for—but you won’t accomplish that if your writing is overly long and complex. After all, most web users read 20% of a page’s content and that number tends to vary inversely with the amount of content on a web page. In other words: The more you write, the less people read.
6 Easy Ways to Maximize Your Time at a Trade Show
Trade shows offer the perfect venue for meeting new customers, networking with industry peers, and making new contacts who can help your company grow. But there’s usually a lot of hustle and bustle going on at a show, so it’s important that you have a strategy in place to ensure you make the most of your time while you’re there.
To find out how, follow the tips below:
1. Prepare for the show
You get to promote your business to thousands of potential customers, so focus on your goals and make sure you conduct business according to a plan. Make sure the trade show meets your goals, then create a marketing strategy which promotes the show to your current customers. Work in advance to get the attention of the media, and also visit other trade shows beforehand. Prepare yourself and employees, and then network your company to other exhibitors.
2. Show and tell
The best thing about being able to see a lot of people face-to-face is getting the chance to really demonstrate something. Think of it like a “show-and-tell” from grade school. You could have 1,000 pretty brochures, but if you aren’t demonstrating something or letting your peers do something hands on, then you’re going to be one of the boring booths. Boring booths go by unnoticed. Don’t be boring!
3. Get a map and make a list
Make sure to set up meetings. Have a list of booths or companies you want to see. Get a map of the setup of the trade show floor. By doing these things ahead of time, you will be able to maximize your time.
4. Hang with the press
Visit the press rooms if they’re available at these events. Journalists are always asking the good questions, and you’ll learn some valuable insights from the top players at the show. Don’t be afraid to also ask questions; this will help strengthen your networking efforts with the person being interviewed, and help spread your brand. And finally, don’t be afraid to give business cards to journalists.
5. Schedule meetings in advance
When you arrive at a trade show, it’s a failure if you don’t already know before coming in that it will be a success. Trade shows are great for sharing ideas and checking the latest trends, and 95% of great meetings are scheduled in advance. You, therefore, need to invest your time well before the show to reach out to prospective customers, influencers, or potential partners to truly leverage your participation.
6. Define success before you go
It’s easy to get lost in all the chitchat and swag handouts at trade shows if you don’t go in with focused intention. Before the show, sit down for 10 minutes and think about who do you want to meet, what do you want to learn, and how would you define the event a success in hindsight. Now, you’ll be able to keep friendly conversations from taking up too much time from your goals of the show.
Attention HR: Learn How You and Your Staff Can Communicate Better…
Designed to identify and help you understand the behaviour of individuals, DiSC personality tests are as close as you can get to putting a number on someone’s work ethic, attitude and dependence.
A DiSC test (a series of multiple-choice questions) shows you where any team member flourishes, how they approach their work and where they need help.
This allows you to fine tune or exploit your team’s capabilities and only hire the most dependable and effective candidates for open positions.
Know Yourself, Your Team Or Your Candidates Inside Out With A DiSC Personality Test!
Over 1 million new business men and women take this test every year so that they can confidently talk about their strengths, discover and develop their weaker skills and uncover their true potential.
And Here’s The Best Bit…
Discover what makes you (and each member of your team) tick, where you thrive and pinpoint areas where you can grow.
Right now, YOU could learn EVERYTHING you didn’t know about your own approach to work for a serious discount.
A personality test this thorough and accurate is actually worth $295, but by requesting one through Adams Business Coaching, you can get yours for just $47!
Details About DiSC
DiSC tests were named after the 4 behavioural traits they measure:
Dominance —Seeing the bigger picture, taking on challenges, managing a team effectively and reflecting a constant shine of confidence.
Influence —Skilled in persuading or encouraging others, enjoys collaboration and skilled in developing strong relationships.
Steadiness —Calm and supportive approaches, placing emphasis on cooperation and always dependable.
Conscientiousness —Effective even while working independently, fears making wrong decisions, places a lot of focus on accuracy and never tire of building up their skills.
All 4 of the above attributes blend together to form someone’s work ethic and approach, showing how each person can be used and placed perfectly to benefit the business.
By getting a detailed report about how closely and individual relates to each of the above characteristics, so that you and your team can:
- Understand yourselves better, allowing for self-improvement development and confidence. If you’re skill set is improving and becoming more well-rounded, you’re dedication and talent is sure to be noticed by other people, resulting in a promotion, a raise, or (if you’re already at the top of the ladder) you’re team will follow your example.
- Compromise when it comes to communicating with other team members, finding a way you can work most effectively together. Not only will better communication make progress smoother and each working day more organised, but the better than everyone understands each other and gets alone, the happier and calmer the working environment will be.
- Develop stronger sales skills by identifying and responding to customer styles. The better you are at selling, the more income you’ll make which puts more money in your own pocket.
- Manage your business more effectively by understanding the dispositions and priorities of employees and team members. Better management also means your are more prepared for the future and you’ll give a better impression to customers, increasing the likelihood of returning customers and referrals.
And with the really inexpensive offer of JUST $47 (when a test this accurate would normally cost you $295), you’d be crazy to miss your chance!
You’ll never know which of your skills need nurturing.You’ll never discover what areas of business you’re best suited to.You’re business won’t develop, stabilize or grow as quickly.The core strength of your business (the strength of your team) won’t build as effectively.