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Engaging Workers To Boost Productivity: Tips For Small Businesses

Engaging Workers To Boost Productivity: Tips For Small Businesses

The U.S.economy loses up to $550 billion a year because of unhappy employees. While workers still labor in pursuit of the American Dream, it seems they’re not entirely engaged doing so. Across the globe, as much as 85 percent of employees are disengaged or actively disengaged. Owners are increasingly striving to improve company culture so that staff disengagement doesn’t drag down the workplace, and ultimately, the bottom line.

Identifying a disconnected worker

When an employee doesn’t enjoy their work and scrapes by achieving the bare minimum of what is required, it’s likely they are disengaged. These employees often don’t feel challenged, emotionally attached, or optimistic about career advancement. As a result, they don’t extend themselves or have the drive to deliver better outcomes. A disengaged worker won’t always create problems, and can even be reluctant to quit their job. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long for negativity to spread and damage the collective employee morale.

Early signs of disengagement include lacking motivation and avoiding fun or social activities with co-workers, being apathetic about learning opportunities, and not celebrating the company’s achievements. A disengaged employee is also more likely to take sick days and be less enthusiastic about growing the business’s reputation.

How disengagement happens

It’s estimated that more than half of all employees are unfamiliar with their company’s mission or vision. Also, management’s ability to communicate well and be transparent can have a major influence on employee happiness. Your staff wants to be valued, heard and included. If an owner isn’t interested in certain elements of the business; for example, if they ignore feedback or don’t prioritize performance reviews, it’s possible that employees will become disconnected. In fact, this is the case for seven out of every ten Americans at work.

The cost to small businesses

For small to medium businesses, a disengaged employee can cost about $10,000. Reduced productivity and customer satisfaction, high staff turnover, and increased absenteeism all have a bearing on the actual price of disengagement. Disengaged workers put in the time but not the zeal, which tends to weigh down the motivation and ambition of those who are actively industrious. Also, a company is at risk of losing engaged, productive workers who are exposed to pessimistic colleagues. And there’s your business brand to consider. Having a strong, positive reputation is always in the best interests of a growing company.

Ways to enhance engagement

While the cost of disengaged staff can be startlingly high, solutions are attainable. Leaders are capable of cultivating a dynamic workforce by setting clear expectations and demonstrating the importance of engagement themselves. Additionally, organizations should ask for and accept feedback, devise and stick to an engagement plan, and introduce team-building activities. The disconnectedness of workers may have never been a salient issue for your business. But for your company to prosper in a competitive marketplace, you should be aware of the signs of disengagement and take pre-emptive measures to ensure your staff is – and remains – engaged.

Jenny Holt <jennyholtwriter@gmail.com>


7 Useful Moving Tips for a Perfect Move




For most of us, moving represents so much more than a mere change in address.  Moving often accompanies a change in one’s life—from graduation, marriage, a new job or professional opportunity to divorce or personal loss.

And if you are moving with your family, there may be many details to take care of—from finding new schools and pediatricians to helping your children adjust to a new community and new friends. All of this tends to add stress (often positive stress) to the moving process.
It’s therefore important to make sure that your moving process goes as smoothly as stress-free as possible so that your energy can go into creating your new home and adjusting to your community.

Here is a list of the best tips for moving that will save you hours of work and days of unnecessary stress, and allow you and your family to enjoy your new home as quickly as possible.

1)   Carefully Select a Moving Company you can Trust.

More than anything else, the quality of your move will be determined by the integrity and efficiency of your moving company.

·         How well they protect your precious possessions;
·         How courteous and helpful they are when interacting with you and your family on moving day;
·         How well they keep to the promised dates and move-out/move-in schedules;
·         How experienced and knowledgeable their movers are, and finally;
·         How ethical they are regarding their fees
All the above factors are critical to your having a great move. When making your final decision on a moving company, do not necessarily base your decision on which mover gave the least expensive quote. Check out references and reviews, call the better business bureau, and speak to friends and family who have recently moved. Once the mover you have selected gives you a contract, read through the entire contract carefully and make sure there are no additional fees, and that everything you were promised by the moving company’s salesman is in writing.

2)   Plan ahead before embarking upon packing.

 

You need a packing strategy. The more you plan your packing on paper and the more time you give yourself to complete the process, the less likely you are to feel overwhelmed and go into what I call packaging panic mode!
Here are some steps to take, questions to ask, and factors to consider during the packaging planning process.

A)     Decide whether you will be packing yourself, or whether you will want to hire your movers to pack for you. Your answer will most likely be based upon a combination of money and time. Getting your house professionally packed will add to your moving expenses and may or may not be financially feasible, However, keep in mind yourself before deciding to pack yourself that professional movers are typically able to pack up your entire home in one day—saving you days or weeks of packing.  If you are going to need to take off from work, professional packing could be a wise financial decision.

B)   If you are packing yourself, as many people do, you need to ask a representative from your moving company (this will often be the salesman) for guidance on how many moving cartons he or she thinks your move will require. Most likely, you will need to purchase a combination of general and specialty moving boxes including book cartons (used not only for books but also for heavy or fragile items), medium and large cartons, dish packs, wardrobes, and mirror cartons. Additional moving box options include TV boxes, wine boxes, bicycle boxes, sofa boxes and mattress boxes. You will also need to purchase markers for marking up each box to indicate its contents, carton tape, wrapping paper, and bubble wrap.  Movers will bring moving blankets, so that is generally not necessary. Before purchasing your moving boxes, acquaint yourself with what to look for in a moving box and be sure to purchase high-quality cartons Do not look to buy the cheapest moving boxes or materials, as thin, inexpensive moving boxes can tear and crush during the moving and stacking process. You want to make sure that your moving boxes are rated at least a 32 on ECT crush test. You will also need to purchase wrapping paper (sometimes referred to as newsprint), carton tape, and possibly bubble wrap.
C)   Decide whether you want to go through years of accumulated dishware, papers, memorabilia, old toys, old clothes, etc. before your move or after your move. Ideally, you should give yourself two weeks to go through your possessions so that you can make a pile for discarding, donating, giving to other family members, and keeping. The goal is always to streamline your possessions in your new home so that you have a fresh, uncluttered start. Many home consultants talk about the idea of filling your home with only items that give you a feeling of joy or are desired or of use at present. The thinking here is that you should not let yourself be overwhelmed by items that you are keeping, merely because of a sense of guilt over throwing them away. Moving gives you the opportunity to reevaluate what you want to keep in your home. If you don’t have time to go through your possessions before the move, then put all items that you plan on organizing into piles into designated boxes or crates. Do not open them to unpack until you have the time and energy post-move to go through them.
D)   If you do not have experience in packing, it’s important to educate yourself before packing so that your possessions are protected. I suggest watching videos on wrapping and packing such –How to Pack Dishes Safely.  For example, heavy items and dishwater should always go in either a dish pack or book carton, and never in a large box.
E)   Create a packing timeline that gives yourself plenty of time so that you are not overly stressed or forced to stay up all night packing the night before the move.  Pack your items in a way that gives you greatest access to what you will need just prior to the move.  For example, it often makes sense to pack books, spare linens, spare toys and stuffed animals, and clothing you don’t imminently need first.  The kitchen is often the last room to be packed, although you can pack your china early on.
F)    Make sure that every box is marked correctly, indicating the room the box is to be delivered to.

3)  Strategically Plan for the Set-up of your New Home.

The goal is to have as many people who need to be at your home for set-up come on the same days.  This will save you valuable time if you need to be at work and can’t take off more than a few days of work for the move.

So make your calls early, so that you can have multiple people on the same day.

Here is a sampling of who you might need for the week of the move:

A)   Cable television, telephone, and Internet You may want to have your cable and Internet service provider come the day of or day after the move (or even prior to the move if that is possible).

B)     Television Installation. If you are planning on hanging your television on the wall and running the wiring into the walls, your movers may not be able to do this for you. Some movers will contract with a 3td party to come the day of the move to help with this. Or, you may need to find someone on your own. In addition, you may need a media expert to come to help you with the set-up of your media and remote controls.

C)   Electrician to help with chandeliers, lighting, and any electrical issues in your new home

D)     If you are moving into a house rather than an apartment, you may need someone to come and evaluate the quality of your air-conditioning, water heater, sump pump, etc.

E)      Alarm System. If you are installing an alarm, you will need a visit from your security company.

4)  Change Address:

Remember to change your address on your driver’s license, and with all your insurance companies, credit card companies, banks, magazines, and notify all people from whom you receive important bills. Be careful that you do not miss out on receiving bills, which can lead to late payments and problems with your credit score as a result.


  

5)   Unboxing Plan:

Boxes, boxes everywhere! Have a plan in mind for how you will deal with all the boxes after the unpacking process. Your options are to flatten all your boxes and have them picked up by your local waste management company. Or, speak to your moving company or a local junk hauler about having your boxes taken away.

6)   Childcare is important.

If you have young children, it’s important to make sure they are carried for during the week of the move when your attention is very diverted. Of course, the best thing is to have family and good friends help out with your children. But if that is not possible, you might need to procure baby sitters to be with you at home. Have lots of food and drink on hand for your children, as well as toys and books they find comforting and fun.
Moving can be more stressful for children than parents often realize. So make sure ahead of time that your children’s needs will be taken care of. Older children should also be guided into preparing for the moving period have them set aside all necessary school books, clothing that will take them through several days, things to do to occupy themselves on moving day, and all their small electronics that they will want access to.

7)   Keep Selected Boxes with You

Gather all of the clothing, paperwork, and food you will want to have with you the day and even the week of the move and keep them safe. The bathtub is a great place to keep boxes or crates of items you plan to take with you in the car. Let your movers know not to take those particular boxes. Mark them clearly.
All the mentioned tips will help you to get organized as well as keep family memorabilia safe during a move.
Good Luck…!
About James:
James Levine is CEO of New Haven Moving Equipment. New Haven Moving Equipment has been manufacturing moving equipment for over a century and they manufacture and distribute high quality moving boxes, furniture moving pads, moving equipment and packaging supplies to professional movers and the general public at wholesale prices. New Haven stresses outstanding customer support, quality engineering, and a family approach within the company and with their clients. New Haven can be reached online at https://www.newhaven-usa.com


Top 10 Tips To Buy Your First Investment Property

Top 10 Tips To Buy Your First Investment Property

Top 10 Tips To Buy Your First Investment Property

Buying and investment in property is really on the rife in Australia. Investors should invest in it because it has the ability to secure their financial future and has the ability to increase their wealth substantially. If you are also planning to invest in a property, you should keep the following tips in mind;

1.     Know the Nuts and Bolts of Property

Before you take the plunge to invest in buying a property, it is essential for you to understand the market properly and consider all the properties which are available. For this purpose, you need to check out your local area and ask for advice from investment properties agencies about all the properties. On getting valuable information from them, you can then decide which real estate property to buy.

2.     Do Not Opt for Higher Interest Rates

The cost of the investment property may be cheap but the interest rate may be higher. Higher interest rates can really put you into a loss as you will have to pay heavy amounts as interest. Therefore, you should look for a mortgage payment method that is low enough and to not eat into the profit.

3.     Consider Paying Down Debts

Savvy investors never keep their student loans, medical bills, utility bills or other bills due when buying an investment property. Instead, they consider paying them first before making the move of buying the property.

4.     Opt for the Right Location

The next thing that all investors should keep in mind is to look for the right property location. Ideally, investment properties should be located at a place where low taxes are levied, there is a low crime rate, a booming job market and where the basic facilities are nearby. Also, investors encourage having general stores, malls, parks and some other attractions in the area.

5.     Manage Your Cash Flows

If you are a beginner investor, you can fall into the trap of poor cash flow management. However, savvy investors keep all the types of costs involved in acquiring a property in mind. If you do not know about the costs involved, you should always seek advice from real estate agents to manage your resources efficiently.

6.     See Your Affordability

Investing in a property requires affordability handsome amount of money. Smart investors always ensure whether the property in question is affordable for them or not. They make calculations beforehand and see if that will be enough for them to afford the property.

7.     Contingencies for Shortfall

There are chances that you can fall short of money if you are a newbie in the investor business. In such a case, investors should always prepare contingency plans for when things go south. It is good to at least keep 10% of the amount aside in this regard.

8.     Hire a Property Manager

A licensed real estate agent is a professional and experienced person in the relevant field and they ensure to keep the things right for you. To get the best possible quote of the property, you should hire a property manager. Once you get some confidence, you can opt for a do it yourself solution, but as a start it is best to stick with the professionals.

9.     Don’t Get Your Hands Dirty

Fixtures and repairs in the property you are investing in is not your job. You should not get your hands dirty with things like unclogging the toilet, repairing the burst pipelines or getting the walls repainted. Look for the age of the property and other amenities that are ready and leave you with profits.

10.   Pick the Right Mortgage

You have a lot of options regarding the properties you can invest in. So, you should get a sound advice from your local real estate agent about the mortgage type and enjoy a passive income stream down the road.

Now that you know the tips, we hope you will be able to make an informed decision regarding your first investment in a property. Good luck!

2016 Week 7 Football Upsets

olemisslogo

#12 Ole Miss 30, #22 Arkansas 34

#16 Miami 13, North Carolina 20

#17 Virginia Tech 17, Syracuse 31

Locally:

Oregon Bye

Oregon State 14, #21 Utah 19

Portland State 35, Cal Poly 55

Brad Thor Changes His Mind

Brad Thor Changes His Mind:

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This is not easy news (especially for a #NeverTrump stalwart) to deliver.America, you have cancer. And it’s bad – really bad. It’s aggressive. It has spread throughout most of your body and it’s continuing its march.

How much time do we have left? Less than three months.

Is there a cure? We’re not completely sure, but there are two alternatives:

The first is a decades-old generic, lacking any potency whatsoever. Studies have shown that Drug #1 not only won’t cure the cancer, but that it will actually strengthen it and speed our death. Drug #1 offers no upside whatsoever.

Drug #2 is being offered out of a clinic in Mexico. It claims to be a surefire, can’t lose, 100% guaranteed treatment. The clinic, though, is run by pockmarked, gold-toothed, oily-haired- men in bad suits with absolutely no medical backgrounds. They ogle your wife and daughter incessantly anytime you drop by for more information, and are constantly trying to upsell you into an oceanfront timeshare.

So, which drug should we choose?

Drug #1 will kill us – no question. Drug #2 might kill us, but it also might:

A) Slow the cancer, or even

B) Cure the cancer

It’s a lot to hope for, I know, but hope is all we have left. We have exhausted every other avenue. Make no mistake – I believe one hundred percent in standing on principle. Principle, in this case though, will not cure cancer.

Sadly, that crappy clinic south of the border is starting to look like our only option.

Read more: http://www.bizpacreview.com/2016/08/16/brad-thor-finally-abandons-nevertrump-opposes-cancer-hillary-vivid-analogy-worth-wait-379878#ixzz4HbAxcNMW

M 4.2 – Off the coast of Oregon

M 4.2 – Off the coast of Oregon

DYFI? – III
Time
2016-04-03 19:54:36 UTC-05:00
Location
43.940°N 128.482°W
Depth
10.0 km

College Football Upsets Week 10

Tuesday:

#24 Toledo 27, Northern Illinois 32

Saturday:

#2 LSU 16, #4 Alabama 30

#7 Michigan State 38, Nebraska 39 – Mike Riley gets his first BIG win.

#8 TCU 29, #14 Oklahoma State 49

#13 Memphis 20, Navy 45

#18 Ole Miss 52, Arkansas 53 OT

#19 Texas A & M 10, Auburn 26

Locally:

Oregon 44,  California 28

Oregon State 0, #23 UCLA 41

Portland State 32, Northern Colorado 34

 

College Football Upsets Week 5

That didn’t take long:
#3 Ole Miss 10, #25 Florida 38
#6 Notre Dame 22, #12 Clemson 24
#7 UCLA 23, Arizona State 38
#8 Georgia 10, #13 Alabama 38
#19 Wisconsin 6, Iowa 10

Locally, Portland State 17, North Dakota 19
Oregon 41, Colorado 24 Final

College Football Upsets Week 4

#13 Oregon 13, #18 Utah 62 with 10:00 in 4th!!!
#20 Georgia Tech 20, Duke 34 Final
#22 BYU 0, Michigan 31 Final
#25 Missouri 13, Kentucky 21

Oregon State 24, Stanford 42 Final
Portland State 31 Western Oregon 0 at the half

Blood Moon This Weekend

I have written about the Blood Moons several times. Sunday night we get the final Blood Moon this weekend of four in the last two years.

Hang on to your hats. According to “Two Christian preachers with huge followings in the US claim the date of the last of four ‘blood moons’ over the past 18 months, due to occur on September 28, and following a papal visit to the US, will signal the second coming of Jesus Christ.

“At the same time, the world as we know it will be destroyed by major earthquakes amid heightened tensions in the Middle East and the possibility of a third world war.

“The two evangelists have been accused of peddling the false warnings in order to cash in on books they have penned about their predictions – one of which was turned into a movie.

“The pair claim Armageddon will occur at the conclusion of the ongoing ‘tetrad’ of blood moons, which began on April 15 last year, followed by another red-coloured lunar eclipse on October 8 last year, and a third on April 4 this year.”

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