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NEWSLETTER

3 Ways Smart Businesses Get High-Quality Customer Feedback

By Dan Rose

   A crucial aspect of customer service is gauging consumers’ thoughts and feelings on the overall company and the products and services it sells. Therefore, employees should regularly inquire about customer feedback to truly understand how the business can improve its offerings, experience and mission. While there is no question that a greater percentage of these interactions are coming through social media, it’s foolish to ignore other channels. Today, especially with older demographic customers, your company can gain these assessments through surveys, comment boxes and in-person interactions. Afterwards, once you get customer feedback, make sure customers know that your management will hear their views, questions, ideas and complaints. Let them know their comments are important and will be taken into consideration in the future … the near future!Feedback Options
Online testimonials  Companies are always looking for ways to improve their reputation. Businesses can use positive feedback for online customer testimonials. These honest reviews can act as referrals for other consumers, giving them helpful advice about certain products or services. Remember, it is critical to get client approval beforehand if you use their testimonial. Without authorization, you may see your reputation hurt by angry consumers.
Send a personalized email  For digital suggestions, businesses often have an automatic reply system set up to thank customers for their input. However, to make consumers feel even more valued, companies can send additional, more individualized emails. Tell your customer how their recommendation helped make your processes better. You obviously don’t have to be specific, but let the customer know you heard them. Simply sharing that their feedback was brought up in a business meeting or between colleagues will show clients that the company listened.
Reward them for honest customer feedback  It takes both time and effort for consumers to share their opinions on a company and its offerings. These recommendations and sentiments are extremely valuable. Companies can use them to identify a client need the business can fill. To thank customers for their feedback, organizations can use a reward-based strategy. Businesses can give out different prizes based on the depth of the comments and ability for the company to use them in the future. This action encourages consumers to continue sharing their evaluations for the organization to take into consideration.
   Businesses should always be open to honest customer feedback. These assessments are a strong way for companies to see how well they are performing with their audience. And, also how they can improve over time. By posting online testimonials, sending individualized messages and rewarding consumers who share their opinions, organizations can continue to grow their client base, as well as the success of their products and services.

BOOST YOUR BRAIN

By Paula Spencer Scott

  It’s never too early - or too late - to whip your brain into shape and fight cognitive decline. The brain you have is the brain you build. There’s evidence that, with effort, it’s possible to delay or avoid “senior moments” and “age-related memory loss.” The following  simple strategies are all good for your brain, whatever your age.
Drink more water. The brain is 80% water. Even mild dehydration can effect brain function.
Practice mindfulness. A 2014 review of studies suggested that meditation may actually help offset cognitive decline. Even simple phone meditation apps help.Healthy Brain
Get a brain “physical”. We need to change what happens in the doctor’s office. Brain changes related to Alzheimer’s start decades before symptoms. Imagine if your doctor tracked a total picture of what your brain needs, beyond simple dementia tests like drawing a clock face and knowing who’s president. Among benchmarks  researchers hope to standardize: biometrics (what blood tests or brain imaging reveal), cognitive measures (like tests for attention and reasoning) and gauges of mental well-being and everyday functioning.
Get your heart thumping. Interval training - short bursts of heart-pumping activity - produces BDNF, a protein that is like Miracle-Gro for the brain. Exercise also releases the brain-protective hormone irisin. Even a 10 minute walk or bike ride changes how parts of the brain connect and perform.
Feed your head. Eat more plant foods, healthy fats and omega-3s and less saturated fats and processed foods. To reduce inflammation, eat within a 12-hour window.
Seek help for sleep problems. During rest, the recently discovered glymphatic system flushes toxins. If you’re not falling asleep fast, getting 7-8 hours and rising refreshed, there may be an issue, like sleep apnea (now strongly linked with dementia), you need to address.
Consider cognitive training. Programs that teach  strategies for  improving  specific cognitive abilities, like UT-Dallas’ Strategic Memory Advanced Reasoning Training (SMART), can sharpen attention, reasoning and  innovative thinking.
Mind your blood pressure. Maintaining it in middle age helps prevent dementia later. In a 2018 trial, keeping systolic  pressure  under 120 best protected the brain.

SALARY, BENEFITS AND LOCATION ARE MOST IMPORTANT FOR JOB SEEKERS LOOKING AT JOB ADS

By Steve Bent

   A new survey, reveals that the key pieces of information that job seekers and workers in the U.S. hone in on when researching job ads are salaries (67%) and benefits (63%). Nearly six in ten (59%) U.S. workers/job seekers say that location is one of their top considerations, while 43% look for commute time and just under one in three (32%) look for employee reviews in job ads. While these are the top findings in this Glassdoor survey, the survey also explores where people are looking for jobs and what matters most to workers/job seekers when deciding where to work.
   The online survey, conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Glassdoor in May 2018 among over 1,100 U.S. adults who are either currently employed or not employed but looking for work, also highlights that offering attractive benefits and perks is a key factor for enticing prospective employees. When asked what would make them more likely to apply for a job at a company, nearly half of U.S. workers/job seekers (48%) cited attractive benefits and perks (e.g., gym memberships, paid time off, etc.), followed closely by a convenient, easy commute (47%). More workers/job seekers seem to find these two factors, plus high salaries (46%), good work-life balance (43%), and work from home flexibility (41%) important compared to a great company culture (35%), whether the company’s financial performance is good (26%), or familiarity with the brand (23%) when it comes to factors that would make them more likely to apply for a job.Help Wanted Classified Ad
   When it comes to what workers/job seekers look for when assessing long-term potential as an employer, more than two in five (44%) report company transparency on pay and benefits. This was followed by more than one third (39%) of workers/job seekers who report that an explanation from employers about how they can grow within the company after joining represents long-term career potential. Thirty-seven% of workers/job seekers say a company having a track record for promoting from within would signify a company has long-term potential for them as an employee.
Where Do Job Seekers Look For Jobs?
   Roughly half of workers/job seekers (51%) say their preferred source for finding a relevant new job opportunity is an online job site, compared to 45% preferring to hear about a job from a friend and 35% via a company’s careers site. Slightly less (34%) say they’d like to have a recruiter or hiring manager proactively reach out to them and only 20% prefer to find a new job via social media. Nineteen% want to become aware of a job through a staffing agency. This suggests that the majority of job seekers want to be in the driver’s seat when it comes to managing their job search process.  In addition to job sites being the top source to find a job, workers/job seekers also report that job sites are the leading source to research employers too, not company career pages. When it comes to researching information about a potential employer, more than half of workers/job seekers (53%) say job search websites are where they would look for information on a company they might like to work for, followed by word of mouth (43%), professional networking sites (35%), social media (32%), personal networking (32%) and company careers pages (26%).
How do Men and Women Differ?
   Just as it’s important for those in HR and recruitment to understand what information is important to job seekers and how job seekers are making decisions about a company, they must also consider how audiences may differ in how they research jobs and what is important to them. For instance, 49% of women indicate that the option to work from home would make them more likely to apply to a job, while only 35% of men would be enticed by a company that offered work from home flexibility.  Men and women also demonstrate differences when it comes to what they look for when assessing long-term potential as an employee. For instance, nearly half (48%) of female workers/job seekers report company transparency on pay and benefits as important information for assessing long-term potential at a company, compared to just 40% of men. Similarly, 44% of women report that a company’s explanation on how they can grow after joining would make them think the company offered long-term potential, compared to only 34% of men who report the same.

This is How Diversity Benefits Your Organization

By Alex Yates

   The topic of diversity in the workplace has been gaining traction for years. Now more than ever, HR departments are looking to diversify their companies and managers are looking to diversify their project groups. As the topic of diversity has grown, its also taken on a different meaning from what we originally viewed. Diversity still includes race and gender, but has expanded to add things like class, education level, experience, and many other aspects of a person.
Here are three reasons creating a diverse team will benefit your organization.
#1–Diversity increases productivity and creativity     
According to a study done by MIT, “greater social diversity implies a greater spread of experience, which could add to the collective knowledge of a group of office workers and make the unit perform more effectively.” This really speaks for itself: people with different backgrounds and experiences will tackle an issue from different angles, which increases the likelihood that a problem will be solved more quickly. With less time spent on issues and road bumps, more time can be spent getting things done. Diversity also allows employees to get creative with their solutions and ideas. The Harvard Business Review reports that “diverse team composition does seem to confer an advantage when it comes to generating a wider range of original and useful ideas.” Interestingly enough, “such benefits disappear once the team is tasked with deciding which ideas to select and implement.” One thing to look out for when creating a diverse team is to make sure the team has a solid leader in place to make the final decision on which ideas to run with. With a diverse team, the leader or manager could have an unconscious (or conscious) bias against certain members of the team. As long as everyone involved is aware of this danger and is looking out to stop it before it starts, things should run smoothly.Diverse Employees
#2–Diversity reduces fear
The Harvard Business Review conducted a study last year that found cognitively diverse groups outperformed more homogenous groups. The term “cognitive diversity” is used broadly in this study but is essentially used to mean people with different backgrounds and viewpoints. Groups made up of, say, only engineers were outperformed by interdepartmental groups. The study posits that the homogenous groups “have [a] limited ability to see things differently, engage in different ways…or create new options”. It is believed that homogenous groups discourage unique thinking because humans tend to want to fit in. We like to go along with the crowd and fit in. However, in diverse groups where everyone sticks out, there’s less of a fear of being the only outlier. Think of it this way: when two people have a wide gap between experiences, the two will have no choice but to bridge the gap by working their ways from opposite ends to the middle. If they’re both in the same department with the same race, gender, background, etc., they’d be starting in the middle together, which often turns into a “We’ve always done it this way before” situation that can stymie creativity, critical thinking and problem solving.
#3–Diversity creates engagement, which dramatically reduces employee turnover     
It’s estimated that replacing an employee costs between 100% and 300% of the salary the replaced employee made when still employed according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). For even mid-level employees making $30,000 a year, it could cost almost $100,000 to replace them. With such a financial burden involved, reducing employee turnover is an important task for HR. Peers and managers should be invested in retaining employees because, well, they know the job. SHRM estimates that it can take one to two years for a new employee to reach the productivity levels of an existing employee.  Less time is spent on getting to know how to do a certain job, meaning less work is placed on other employees in the meantime. From a diversity standpoint, having a diverse workforce can increase job satisfaction. In the same MIT study mentioned earlier, researchers found that in “offices where people thought the firm was accepting of diversity…they were happier and more cooperative.” Happy, cooperative co-workers create a positive work culture that employees will be less likely to want to leave.  “When you have an inclusive corporate culture,” Business News Daily writes, “recruiting top talent becomes easier, group processes will be enhanced, which means employees are more likely to stay.”
   Whether your goal at work is to increase a company’s output or company morale, diversity is going to have a positive effect on your company.

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You can make more friends in 2 months by becoming interested in other people than you can in 2 years by trying to get other people interested in you. - Dale Carnegie