Importance Of Training And Development

Training and development is an indispensable function in a fast-paced corporate world but many companies cut down on training opportunities due to their expensive nature. Employees attending training sessions can delay the completion of projects due to miss out on work time. However proper training and development holds enormous value in order to acquire new skills, sharpen existing ones, accelerate productivity and perform better. Despite of few potential drawbacks, here are few reasons that clearly state the importance of training and development.

New hire orientation

New employees benefit the most through training programs. To give insight about the company, speed up the processes of the company and address any skill gaps, training is an excellent opportunity to make the money and time spent worthwhile. A proper orientation session encourages employee confidence and improves employee retention.

Address shortcomings

Nobody is perfect. Everybody has some weaknesses and training and development helps them to overcome. If all weaknesses are addressed properly, it will help employees to be more all-rounded and better skilled at every factor of their job. Specialized training should also be organized depending upon what employees are tasked with doing on a daily basis. This endeavor will reduce the weak links within the company who are dependent on others to complete their tasks.

Improvement in performance

If you compare the employees who have access to the necessary training related to their jobs than those who don’t have, you will certainly find the difference in their performance. Training does not only help employees to deliver better performance but also increase their overall confidence. Amplify strengths, acquire new skills and improve performance by organizing a training session.

Increased consistency

If you wish to ensure consistency, a structured training and development program is a definite way to do so. Regular trainings will make sure that all employees have a consistent experience and consistent knowledge of procedures and tasks. And when you get surety about the same, employers can have a sense of relief that tasks are completed on time and without any issues. Discrimination, safety and administrative tasks are some of the crucial aspects which require training.

Satisfaction of employees

Investment in training and development never go waste as it generally leads to satisfied employees. A training should impart useful knowledge. Company should ensure that the trainings should not be tedious and dull, otherwise employees will attend it just for the sake of it. If the employees are satisfied, they will definitely reach to their assigned goals faster.

Self-driven

Lesser supervision and guidance is needed to those who have attended the right trainings. To make the employees up to date with the new technology, training is an investment that a company can’t afford to make. Company should be transformed into a learning environment where a culture of continual learning should prevail throughout.

Strategic Workforce Planning

Strategic workforce planning is the process of matching workforce demand and supply over a foreseeable time period. Organisations conduct workforce planning that builds upon quantitative activities such as headcount planning and workforce analytics, and use these data as part of qualitative decisions to support and implement organisational strategies.

Workforce planning allows organisations to better meet the challenges of a rapidly changing economy. By using business strategy to align shifts in demand with the existing and future supply of human capital, organisations optimise the workforce to meet business goals, increase market share, and improve employee engagement.

When formulating a strategic workforce plan, one needs to take into consideration the external and internal operating environment, i.e. business or market-level and corporate-level strategies. This will ensure a good balance of strategy-based demand forecast – Strategic Priorities, with intelligent supply channels – Workforce Priorities. Besides considering Strategic and Workforce priorities, we need to look at the resource and process capabilities, i.e. Process Priorities as an input to fulfil the workforce or resourcing plan.

Recently, we sat in a meeting with senior staff responsible for large-scale strategic workforce planning in Singapore. After explaining our perspectives, one replied: “But how do you plan if the nature of work is not a process?”

Following our experience, there is always a process. A sequence of tasks needed to be performed is a process that determines the type of competencies and profile of workforce needed. If these tasks cannot be listed, workforce planning is an illusion. We cannot plan something that we do not understand.

No plan is totally accurate, the workforce plan needs to be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure that approach and tactics deployed for fulfilment of the plan are valid and cater for changes in demand and in supply.

Workforce planning is not a one-way street that starts with strategy and ends with workforce supply. It is rather an iteration of strategic, process and workforce priorities. Strategies may change because of the availability of new ways of running processes, seen at many service providers who shifted their focus online. Processes may be varied due to the availability of enhanced workforce competencies, seen in many organisations who build upon the drastically enhanced communication channels of their staff to the benefit of employees and customers likewise.

If you don’t know the tasks you want to plan workforce for, your workforce planning is at the mercy of chance!

The following sections show some strategic workforce planning practices that could help tackle some major issues:

Strategic Priorities

Expecting the Unexpected

Workforce planning for a stable business that produces the same kind of product or service year over year with a certain annual increase in volume is a no-brainer. In this kind of company, customer and employee satisfaction is constantly measured in order to detect needs for potential adjustments in the workforce, antennas are out to see what the competition does and market research knows exactly what comes next. Unfortunately, this kind of organisation does not exist very often.

More often than not, internal or external factors disturb the ideal world. Can we be prepared for everything? No, we cannot. However, we can try to be prepared for the more likely scenarios. A series of “What if… ” questions and the respective answers would help to make the workforce plan more robust.

“What if we have the usual percentage of staff leaving this year after bonus pay-out?” is a rather simple example. Some organisations start on recruitment and selection even before they receive the resignation letters. They need to do this because the notice period is usually shorter than recruitment cycle time plus settling-in period.

“What if we win this rather large project for which we need a large number of additional engineers?” is a common question in construction companies. How do they handle the often large variation in workforce? This seems to be a mix of proper planning and gambling.

In most situations, having proper HR metrics in place and running respective analytics frequently helps avoiding surprises. If you would do this, you would find out, for example, that a large percentage of your staff with similar age profile and similar skills has joined at the same time when the unit was formed and you would not be surprised that all of them will leave at about the same time.

Frequently measuring customer and employee satisfaction may give additional information for future workforce planning considerations.

Focussing on Core Competency

Workforce planning should focus on what business activities are about. Transactional support activities like finance, IT or HR processes might be candidates for outsourcing in many organisations. By doing so, the planning for those activities is left to the specialists who might have more volume, better IT support and more competent workforce to keep this kind of processes efficient and productive.

However, hasty moves to outsourcing may result in broken processes, employee and even customer complaints and higher costs. Outsourcing is a major change and needs to be prepared carefully. Therefore, proper workforce planning for these rather transactional activities is easier than embarking on outsourcing.

Process Priorities

Planning Workforce for Transactional Activities

If the tasks are laid out in well-structured and stable processes, the quality of prediction is quite high. Industrial processes in manufacturing workshops or at assembly lines show this kind of characteristics. Similarly, service processes like loan approval at a bank or claims processing at any HR department are often well-structured and transactional, too. Quality of prediction is rather high if there are no drastic changes in the processes.

Predicting the workforce needed for this kind of processes seems to be easy. If the demand increases and the process stays more or less the same, accuracy of prediction following the cross-multiplication will be high. However, this is allowing the increase in workforce proportionally to the demand, i.e. never getting more productive, never becoming smarter.

Bending the straight line of correlation between demand (Takt Time) and workforce (FTEneeded) is only possible by reducing the processing time, i.e. by changing the way the work gets done. Methods like Business Process Reengineering as well as Lean and Six Sigma are frequently deployed to do exactly this – with remarkable success.

Planning Workforce for Non-Transactional Activities

“But every day we handle different applications; no two applications are the same” is a common response when employees from less transactional environments are asked to describe what they do. It seems that planning the workforce for environments where a range of different tasks with apparently little repeatability is impossible.

But is it? A good portion of obviously non-transactional processes with no repeatability show a certain degree of pattern, i.e. structure – just on a larger scale. For example, customer applications for approval of import of certain devices are totally different from Monday to Friday. Even from January to February there is little evidence that the cycle repeats. However, the percentage of simple, medium complex and complex applications turns out to be repeatable and with it the amount of time needed to do the job.

It has to be taken into account that the demand variation in this sort of environment is much higher and it has to be planned for it. At the same time, studies have shown that the working pattern on this kind of task is different to the pure transactional tasks driven partially by the environment and type of staff doing this non-transactional types of job.

Predicting the workforce for a less transactional activity such as policy writing, processing of complex applications or managing employee engagement, etc. seems to be harder since the activities have much more variability in processing time needed. However, it pays off to collect information on the big picture, i.e. the demand variation over time, and on the sequence of work in order to understand what people actually do during their office hours.

And, wouldn’t it be better if we had more structure in the so-called unstructured processes anyway? Go to Gemba and study how the work gets done. You will certainly learn something new, that usually leads to better planning and forecasting.

Benchmarking

Benchmarking is a way of gathering data about best practices in workforce allocation. Even here, there is a need to support numbers with Gemba visits. Numbers can be grossly misleading if the underlying details are very different. This may result in wrong assumptions about workforce utilisation, allocation and competency.

Workforce Priorities

Workforce Planning and Resourcing

Workforce planning needs to ensure that workforce with a certain set of competencies is available when needed. Resourcing strategies include Build, Buy, Borrow.

An outstanding example for innovative resourcing strategies integrating very different ways of sourcing for workforce had been the Singapore Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in 2010. Workforce planning for YOG was broken down in five phases with the first one being the preparation and the last one being the dissolution. The five phases required remarkably different numbers and skills of workforce. In order to keep costs low and still deliver extraordinary results, workforce had to be recruited, trained and deployed in a very flexible and yet reliable manner.

This, for Singapore largest event, had been prepared by an organising committee who consisted of more than 500 term-contract employees (Buy Strategy) who knew that they will be out of job in September 2010 (Bounce Strategy). Additionally, the games were delivered by about 1,300 short-term assigned regular staff (Borrow Strategy: STARS were borrowed from ministries, agencies and companies in Singapore), a large number of interns (Build Strategy) who came in as fresh graduates and received all relevant development at YOG as well as more than 20,000 volunteers from all over the world who received some basic training.

After all, YOG was a true example of One Government.

Resourcing Strategy: Build

Nowadays more than ever before, talent management systems are important to help catering for future workforce needs. Retaining own staff and developing them is usually much cheaper than losing staff and re-buying from the market and providing them with the inevitable development. Career planning systems add to the attraction for workforce and help predict future movements. And, systematic career planning including regular career dialogues between supervisor or mentor and staff with the objective of developing individualised career pathways increases retention of staff and eases workforce planning considerations.

Resourcing Strategy: Borrow

In some business environments as well as some public agencies or ministries, resources are needed on a project basis – like for YOG – for a limited time. Taking the government for example, large engineering projects do not start all at the same time but have rather different patterns in their timeline. Peak period for workforce needs in project A at agency One is not the same as peak period B at agency Two. However, the profile of engineers needed is quite similar. Hence, using some of these engineers first for project A and then for project B seems to be a good idea.

Smart workforce planning for a large conglomerate of companies or the said government would include synchronising projects so that the workforce need is somehow spread out nicely and balanced. This would reflect a macro perspective on a very powerful Lean approach: flexible workforce.

The younger workforce may even like this approach of being deployed on a project basis with very different projects and environments to work in.

Resourcing Strategy: Buy

Workforce planning needs to ensure that new hires are available when you need them. This means workforce planning needs to cater for the recruitment process and all its variables as well. If your business needs a certain number of new employees with special skills, the recruitment can be quite complex.

A flexible recruitment strategy helps meeting varying workforce needs.

Workforce planning needs to include a proper recruitment strategy to cater for fulfilment of job requests. Knowing the capability of your recruitment process is key. Therefore, a powerful set of metrics should be in place that enables short-term and long-term HR analytics.

Workforce planning does not necessarily lead to the recruitment of full-time employees. Today’s young workforce may wish to enjoy more flexibility due to career anchors around “Lifestyle” or “Independency/Autonomy”. They may agree with term-contract employments which serve many organisations well.

Being flexible in your recruitment strategies helps meeting varying workforce needs, keeping the costs acceptable and may even better suit the career aspiration of especially the younger workforce.

Flexible Workforce

Many organisations are structured in a hierarchical way from top to bottom with staff who is very specialised in certain tasks only. Some work units deploy only one, two or three people who are equipped with a very narrow competency set enabling them to focus on one job which they fulfil in high quality.

A very basic Lean principle says, the smaller the units that are to complete certain tasks, the less flexibility the “system” has. Ergo if we were able to build competency and mind-set for flexible workforce, we would be able to make a major step in process efficiency and would have less headache in workforce planning.

Job Redesign

Planning Workforce for dusty, outdated processes is not very wise. Workforce Planning offers an opportunity and the duty to ask questions like

“How will we be doing this job in some years’ time?”

“What kind of workforce would we need by then to complete this job with best results?”

“What kind of competencies would we need by then to accomplish this?”

Since nearly all organisations – even and especially government ministries and agencies – are driven by cost benefit considerations, the answer “We will be doing the same thing” will not get many supporters. Therefore, take the opportunity and rethink the way the work gets done. After that, redesign the jobs to the benefit of process and staff. The output of this will give you a better foundation for your workforce planning.

As a side effect, your staff retention may increase and your recruitment may benefit as well. Today’s graduates do not wish to work in yesterday’s process environments. And they are right.

Conclusion

Strategic Workforce Planning is a multi-faceted approach designed to prepare for future workforce needs. It goes far beyond understanding strategy and allocating workforce numbers to it. Since no-one is able to predict the future, the best workforce planning approach is the one that caters for many different scenarios and establishes a robust system to deal with them.

This robust system will help to tackle even tasks and processes that are less structured, less transactional. Efforts should be made to increase understanding of these tasks and to put some structure in place. This usually pays in terms of workforce allocation and process efficiency likewise.

Undertaking Workforce Planning should always be supported by job redesign and process excellence activities to ensure planning workforce for an updated process, rather than an outdated one.

Fairy Tale With A Business Cash Flow Management Lesson

Remember Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tale “The Princess And The Pea” from your childhood? I think my Mom read it to me a hundred times.

The story goes…

A prince was searching the land far and wide for his future wife. He didn’t want a FAKE princess who only wanted his castle and his fortune. He wanted a REAL princess to share his life and have a positive impact on the future of the realm.

The prince figured out that he needed to test each candidate to see if he had found the real princess that could help him achieve his dreams.

He came up with a test, and for weeks on end he invited the candidates, one by one, to spend the weekend at his castle.

In the guest bedroom where the candidate would sleep, he piled something like a hundred mattresses on the bed. He placed one dried pea under the bottom mattress. He knew that only a real princess would be able to feel that pea under all those mattresses and that, being a princess, she would complain about her sleepless night.

Using this testing method, he found his true princess and the fairy tale had a happy ending.

It’s smart to test things out in your business too. Especially when it comes to doing things that affect your business cash flow.

If you have a nagging problem or worry about your business cash flow that keeps you from sleeping soundly at night, then here are some suggestions on a few ways you can test things out before making a financial decision.

Testing Your Marketing – Promotional Offers and Advertising Delivery Methods

The simplest way to test this is to compare promotional offers and using different media delivery vehicles, in terms of cost, effectiveness, and ROI. We’ll use a carpet cleaning business as a simple example:

The business owner compares some possible promotional offers:

1) 10% off a carpet cleaning no minimum square footage

2) One room cleaned free with a minimum job of X square footage

3) $XX dollars off your total order over a certain dollar amount

4) Free upholstery cleaning on one chair or loveseat with minimum job of X square footage of carpet cleaning – in hopes the chair or loveseat looks so good they’ll add on having the sofa cleaned at full price.

Here’s how he compares the elements of each offer:

A. The retail price at the promotional level, minus product and labor costs of delivery, minus commissions (if he uses commission sales reps), equals expected gross profit per job sold on this promotion.

B. Expected unit sales from promoting the offer X (multiplied by) the expected gross profit per job from “A” above equals total expected gross profit.

C. Expected total gross profit from “B” above minus media costs (postcard, newspaper, radio, etc.) equals expected net profit for that promotional offer using that media.

Now he decides to test the offer that appears to be able to deliver the most unit sales at the highest expected net profit and see how it performs.

Speeding Up Receivables Collections

Another thing you can test that can make a huge positive financial impact on your company’s cash flow is incentives to pay invoices faster if you invoice your customers after delivery and wait for them to pay you.

For example if you typically give the customer 30 days to pay the invoice, you could offer a 2% discount off an invoice at a certain minimum order if they pay within 10 days by check or credit card (note their check has to have arrived at your office within the 10 days), or you could offer a 3.0% discount if they agree to an immediate ACH draft on their checking account by you through your bank and straight into your checking account which settles overnight, again if their order meets your specified minimum.

There are all kinds of things you can test that can positively impact your bottom line profit. You’ve really got nothing to lose and a lot to gain by testing things out.

Why Business Analytics Is Essential for Running a Successful Business

WHY IS BUSINESS ANALYTICS IMPORTANT?
The foremost goal of any organization is profitability, and customer satisfaction is a huge component of the success of a business. When an organization innovates and stays ahead of its competition, it fulfills and goes beyond customer expectations. Many businesses still rely on ineffective, time-consuming traditional techniques for decision making processes that cannot keep pace with the competition.

The use of “Gut feel” in taking strategic decisions still plays an important role among business leaders. But does reliance on “Gut feeling” and “Traditional techniques” make for smart decision-making? What’s the best approach?

The technology boom has given rise to innovations in how data is used. Business analytics is the solution and the best move to ensure competitiveness in today’s era. To define the term: “Business analytics, one of the emerging fields in the data science, refers to the methods and various statistical and quantitative techniques used by an organization for informed decision making and business modeling”.

Analytics is the change that helps you to get your business on track. It assists the businesses to convert the humongous amount of generalized data into observation, patterning and vision.

BENEFITS OF BUSINESS ANALYTICS
What was discussed above is just an academic definition. Now let’s discuss why one needs to adopt it in business operations:

  1. Fast decisions are easily taken, but what matters is smart decisions taken in a short period. It helps to inculcate faster and smarter decision making into business culture of your organization. With the help of business analytics, the company can empower a team for data analysis to extract targeted information. When a company accesses accurate and essential data, undoubtedly, it will take the right decisions.
  2. Analytics helps in quantifying business values.
  3. Most businesses provide training programs for fresh recruits or older employees where the core business values are imparted or refreshed. Instead, companies should go a step further and undertake the help of business analytics to translate business values into numbers. This is a more cost and time efficient undertaking.

CAREER PATH OF A BUSINESS ANALYST
A business analyst is one who assists organizations in the process of business analytics. The career path of a business analyst is not strictly defined as there are several options based on industry, qualifications, interests, preferences etc.

  • Training provides trainees with the skills and knowledge needed for a proper understanding and interpretation of data.
  • Training courses help students in getting exposed to data systems and tools like R, SAS, Python etc. making them eligible for various analytical jobs.
  • The best incentive for undergoing a course is that the industry-best average salary of a business analyst is Rs 491,522 a year. There are various skills that can increase the pay scale of a business analyst like project management, SAS etc.

CONCLUSION

  • The role of a business analyst is often seen as one that bridges the gap between different departments in an organization. There are various business analytics courses which can help you achieve all the benefits mentioned above. Candidates with these skills can help an organization to strategically improve operational efficiency.

Three Things to Look for When Choosing Your Next Boss

There’s a saying in Human Resources that goes something like this: People join companies, but quit their bosses. The meaning behind the saying is simple — a manager influences a person’s level of engagement more than institutional factors. I share this view, but also believe the inverse to be true—that a great manager can create a level of connection and employee commitment that can overcome difficult external challenges and internal dysfunction. It therefore follows that, for an employee, being able to recognize a potential boss who is a great leader is invaluable, and can have a significant impact on your career. Here are three traits to look for:

1) Once they’re in charge, it’s no longer about them

Most successful individuals are driven by the desire for accomplishment. They learn to win by exceeding all others, and this drive is healthy until they’re charged with leading people, and a continued focus on their own success does more harm than good. I believe that managerial maturity includes the realization that a leader’s success is defined by the success of their people. I’ve met countless individuals who’ve struggled as leaders because they did not know how to raise up those who supported them. They were unaware that their future growth hinged on the success of those they were privileged to lead.

When interviewing for a role — a.k.a. looking for your next manager — ask your potential boss questions around this concept. For example, “What are you most proud of?” “What do you consider your biggest accomplishments?” If their answer relies heavily on the words “me” or “I”, beware. On the other hand, if they happily recount moments when their team succeeded, when their people achieved something special or especially when individual team members left for bigger and better roles, there’s a good chance that the leader you’re talking to has the type of generosity you want in a boss.

2) They have a positive view of greatness

I’ve encountered some very successful people who possessed a keen ability to see what was wrong and to fix it, and that’s certainly an important survival skill. But it’s a problem if a leader’s focus is solely on finding flaws and ensuring the absence of failure. With this type of leader, employees only hear from them when they make a mistake, and any performance beyond what is to be expected is ignored. I once coached a leader who bragged that he’d not given a top-performance rating to any employee in ten years. He was trying to convey his high standards, but I knew his people and their work, and he was failing to see their greatness. His team was doing amazing things that common effort alone could not have produced, and all he could see was the absence of a problem. He considered it and treated it as merely acceptable, and that’s just not enough.

When being interviewed for a role, be sure to ask questions that help shed light on this aspect of the potential manager. Ask them about their definition of success, and get them to explain their performance priorities. Try to get examples of what they think “great” looks like. If their answers are limited to keeping things steady, fixing what’s broken, and failing less than others, beware. Reach out to others within the organization to learn the buzz on how they handle performance management, how they give feedback, whether they know what “great” looks like, and whether they actively encourage their employees to strive for excellence.

3) They invest in their people

Employees, and especially millennials, want more than just a job — they want employability. They want to gain skills and experiences that will increase their value. Some more seasoned professionals will say this desire is also true for them—as it was true for their parents—but there’s a difference. Millennials are likely to change jobs much more than prior generations. A survey by Future Workplace called “Multiple Generations @ Work” showed that 91% of millennials expected to change jobs 15 to 20 times in their career. With such free agency, building recognizable skills and gaining credentials becomes even more important. Employees want to work for people who invest in their development through opportunities, training, and experiences. They want managers who are concerned about their career and willing to act accordingly. I frequently talk about “talent consumers” — those who make use of their people’s skills — versus “talent investors” who help their people get better and stronger while benefiting from their performance and commitment.

So, can you determine whether a manager has this strength? Remember that reputations count. Ask others about the leader and whether they spend time and resources on their employees’ development. Ask whether they know where their employees are in their individual career journeys and whether they strategize steps to move the person along. Do they put their own skin in the game? Do they volunteer their people for projects outside of their unit or invite them to higher-level meetings? Do they bring in guests from outside the unit to introduce new topics and challenge current perspectives?

When interviewing, specifically ask the potential manager about employee development. If they talk about what “the company” provides or how much “the company” spends on training, or how employees are free to take advantage of many opportunities, beware. If they talk about specific opportunities they created for employees to learn something, or the chances they took on people, or if they reflect on their own sense of responsibility for employee development, this is a signal that they may be the kind of leader you want to work for.

The value of this leadership attribute cannot be overstated. When we know that someone is investing in us, we feel valuable and important. We become more fully engaged and give our best. When we recall our most important mentors — those who improved our lives and careers — they are often the ones who invested in us. They are the people who trusted us, took a chance on us, and who saw more in us than we saw in ourselves. To have this type of manager is to be very fortunate. I know because I’ve been lucky to have them.

My hope for this article is that by strengthening your ability to recognize great leaders, it will mean that these relationships come your way more by design than by chance. I also offer a caution. I selected the leadership attributes that I believe to be most pertinent to career advancement, but we are all different. We are all seeking different things in our careers, so knowing what is important to you and learning to spot leaders who provide that is the real goal. If you understand what you want in a manager and learn to spot it, you can impact your career and your ability to lead others in turn.

Skills must teachers learn to teach digital age

In the digital age, teachers need to keep up with evolving technology, know what digital tools are best suited to their students, and use them effectively in their classrooms.

Despite all the sophisticated modern technology that helps educators impart knowledge, it is a teacher’s personal touch that holds the key to unlocking the remarkable potential in every student. Even today, the quality of teaching contributes the most to a student’s success in school. The role of teachers, therefore, is more important than ever before.

Students of today are gearing up to become global citizens of tomorrow. They are living in a highly-advanced digital age, where the cyber world has superimposed itself upon the real world. The internet and social media have made the world smaller and flatter and transformed mindsets and belief systems.

It comes as no surprise then that the processes and trends of education are being transformed dramatically.

In such a scenario, teachers have no option but to evolve as well. They must update themselves to the modern, thinking-oriented global processes of education if they wish to continue inspiring young minds and equip them with skills that can be valuable in the future.

Using Custom Printed Products So As to Build Your Small Business

Starting a business is one of the hardest times that anyone can go through. This is especially true when you have never tried it before. As such, you need to market your brand and take it out there so that people can know who you are and the products that you are dealing in.

There are many ways in which you can reach your target audience. Making people aware of your goods and services is one of hardest things today in today’s world. However, there are many means in which you can apply so as to sensitize people about your brand.

One method that is widely used today is having custom printed products. There are different types of products that you can go for in this case. You can use car air fresheners, tote bags, disposable coffee cups and even key chains. In this article, we will focus on tote bags and disposable coffee cups.

Custom tote bags

These are ideal for all manner of activities. They can be used for grocery shopping or even collecting materials at trade shows. These bags have got a great branding power that you should take advantage of.

One of the things that have made the tote bags so famous is due to the fact that they are eco-friendly as compared to the plastic options. The bags serve so many purposes. When you distribute the custom tote bags, you are advertising your brand in a very inexpensive way. This is because the bags will be seen wherever the bearer goes thereby creating awareness.

Many companies hand out these kinds of bags at retail outlets, trade fairs and other such areas. As such, advertising is taken to a whole new level reaching far and wide.

There are so many colors, size, and style options that you can settle for when you are creating your bags. This means that you can come up with something that people will easily associate with your brand. So as to do it right, consider the material, the size, and the features.

Disposable coffee cups

This is yet another way in which you can build up your small business. While there has been a lot of debate about the use of disposable coffee cups, it still remains one of the most ideal way in which you can sell your brand. Most of us cannot go a day without several cups of coffee and therefore there is no better way to reach your target audience than to use coffee cups.

Due to the eco-friendly campaigns, there are disposable paper coffee cups that have been created. With these, you can do a custom print of your brand so that people may be sensitized about your services and products.

Coffee cups come in different sizes. You can also choose the kind of color that you want on your cups so that people can associate you with it. This is a very common trend today and it seems to be very effective.

What Do Millennials Expect Out of Their Career and Workplace?

Millennials are the young adults who were born after 1981 and are considered as the “future leaders” of the society. They have ambitious career objectives, are technologically sound, have high emotional intelligence and are ready to replace the “soon-to-retire” Baby Boomers. Unlike their predecessors, millennials look for more than just a job. They look for roles which are interesting and career progressing. This is why organizations need to redefine their management style, company culture and modify expectations in order to be more appealing to their leading workplace occupiers – the millennials.

“Millennials want to work for organizations that prioritize purpose as well as profit. It’s as simple as that.” – Punit Renjen, Global CEO, Deloitte

Here’s what millennials expect out of their career and workplace:

Flexibility

Millennials expect freedom, responsibility and flexibility early in their career. They like to adopt their own individualized approach and make their mark. Allowing the individual to apply creativity at work or adopting a less formal attire at work – are some few simple approaches – which will make a millennial feel trusted and comfortable in the organization. Providing clear and concise instructions, achievable goals and clear deadlines alongside of these approaches will enable them to develop their individuality and nurture their leadership qualities.

Using Technology

The millennial generation is renowned for their use of technology and their adoptability to new and upcoming technological changes. With most millennials preferring emails rather than face-to-face conversations with their employers and most of them believing that access to technology makes them more effective at work, it is of no surprise that adapting up-to-date technological advances in the organization will enable a millennial to be more productive and responsive. Millennials respond better to interactive online learning tools, online testing tools and training videos rather than lectures and conferences. Using technology means being more accessible, which the millennials resonate to perfectly.

Work Environment

A good work environment is all in the energy of the workplace rather than the office space being really pretty. Millennials expect the energy of the co-employees to be high and inviting rather than sit in closed cubicles. They feel more comfortable in a high energetic environment, a motivating, encouraging leader and open/well-ventilated work place. Millennials believe that having an open workplace gets rid of barriers – figuratively and literally – enabling them to engage with other co-workers in terms of work, knowledge, information sharing and creating a fun environment! Millennials expect their employer to be more of a leader than just a manager. Having someone who will provide a constructive feedback, discuss goals and offer advice for betterment provides a more structured development in terms of career and self-growth. Most of these work environmental factors enables a millennial to have a more experienced insight into the company’s vision and in return better retention and happier future leaders.

Work-Life Balance and Other Benefits

Young workers expect a better work-life balance. It is observed that millennials are ready to take up a lower paying job which provides a better balance and stability. Not only do millennials look for organizations providing better work-life balance but also mental and physical health programs. Companies may have to prioritize mental health of employees, as studies show millennial employees suffer from depression more than other generations (Approx. one in five millennials report experiencing depression – according to Research from employee assistance program provider Bensinger, Dupont & Associates).

To conclude, millennials have different wishes and desires in terms of work and career when compared to their predecessors. It is not uncommon to see these young workers have 4-5 jobs in the first 6-10 years of their career. Placing higher emphasis on skills development and career progression, millennials seek a job which provides growth in these areas. They want the company to inspire, support and invest in their potential. By encouraging their career development and workplace satisfaction, work will be more than just a job. By implementing better talent management solutions, organizations can make sure they help millennials recognize their capabilities and increase retention.

What You Need to Know About Business Analytics Training

WHAT IS BUSINESS ANALYTICS?

Business analytics refers to a practice of repetitive, systematic evaluation of an organization’s data, with emphasis on statistical techniques and tools associated with analytics such as SAS, R, Python, Hadoop etc. Business analytics has become the lifeblood of every organization. It has now been adopted by organizations that practice data-driven decision making, whether by human beings or machines that make fully automated decisions.

Business analytics is used by skilled professionals to extract useful insights from the enormous amount of data generated on a day-to-day basis. This data is treated as an asset by big corporations as it can help them to gain a competitive edge over others. It helps to identify the sources of problems, the reasons for them and gives you information on future trends regarding these issues. It can also help to predict and influence outcomes in customer behavior. With the advent of computers, storing and interpreting large volumes of data has become easier.

Skilled professionals serve as an aid in this endeavor, as they have the expertise and skills to infer meaningful information out of raw facts and figures.

SPECIFIC AREAS COVERED BY BUSINESS ANALYTICS

Two specific areas are covered by business analytics:

1) Business Intelligence

2) Statistical Techniques

BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE: If the organization has to predict future performance, it is vital to collect and interpret historical data relating to the various departments and members of the organization. Business Intelligence involves examining historical data associated with the performance of the departments and the team members working in the organization.

STATISTICAL TECHNIQUES: This area involves the use of statistical tools like descriptive analysis, predictive analysis and prescriptive analysis.

a) Descriptive Analysis involves understanding the current position of the organization by tracking key performance indicators.

b) Predictive Analysis involves assessing the likelihood of future outcomes by analyzing the trend data.

c) Prescriptive Analysis involves using historical data generated in the area of business intelligence and using it to produce suggestions on how to deal with parallel circumstances in the near future.

IMPORTANCE OF BUSINESS ANALYTICS TRAINING

The growing demand for talent in the field of analytics can be fulfilled by becoming proficient in the relevant skills and gaining the knowledge required for performing business analytics. This can be achieved by acquiring business analytics training. This training is essential to succeed in today’s highly data-driven and tech-driven world.

1) Training enables smart decision making

Business training will help you to access good and valid data. It inculcates the skills and expertise required for collecting, organizing, analyzing and interpreting data generated on a daily basis. These skills and knowledge bases can assist you to take smart, logical, and strategic decisions.

2) Training shifts your career to a promising field

Business Training helps existing employees as well as newcomers to advance their career and to reach greater heights. The job of a business analyst is now regarded as one that commands the industry’s best salary. The unparalleled demand for skilled professionals i.e. business analysts, has led to an upward trend in their pay packages and laid the foundation for a fulfilling, rewarding and exciting career.

Business owners – How to use modern technology to improve your company security

Technology has come of age, and the one area where it is making a huge difference is in security-related applications. Business owners no longer have to hire an entire staff of security guards and IT professionals to accomplish what can be done with very affordable tech that does much the same as a team of people. Sure, there will always be companies that rely on human eyes and ears for their security needs, but your business does not have to be stuck in that old security model.

The great thing about living in the computer age is that you can hook sensors up to check for just about anything. From motion to the use of chemicals, sensors can alert you to what is going on inside your business by updating information straight to your computer or smartphone. This gives you the ability to track and monitor a situation precisely how you have set up the sensors to feed you data. This is especially critical if you have areas of your business where no one but you are someone authorized should be.

High-tech Commercial Doors

Today’s modern businesses can have elaborate commercial doors designed to keep intruders out while preserving company assets and employee safety. These doors can be fitted with encryption coded locks and other advanced security measures. It is sometimes needful to employ the technical services of a company trained in commercial-doors methods—especially after an attempt has been made to breech a company’s security perimeter and damage has been done.

Protecting Digital Property

Another area where tech is being used to improve your business’s security is in the area of securing your digital property. This could extend to cover anything from the information on your company’s VPN to camera systems that monitor employees to ensure that the hacking efforts on your system are not an inside job. Plus, data encryption algorithms are used to obscure data to make it difficult for hackers to use even the data they do manage to steal from your company. Authorization protocols create yet another wall of protection to keep prying eyes off of your company’s sensitive information.

In order to protect your business in such a highly technical age, it is best to employ the latest in security tech to maintain a top-notch security perimeter. From cameras to apps, every inch of your business can be monitored on a constant basis. Often these measures are so affordable, it is amazing to learn that companies do not do more to protect their assets and employees from criminal activities.