Millennials and the news

[To comment: larry at larry litwin dot com]

Read this in this morning Sunday Courier-Post. The link to Phaedra Trethan’s full commentary is below and her email is:

The headline is: 

Trethan: Report shows millennials engaged with news

Here are some excerpts to whet your appetite:

I’m pretty sure my generation, Generation X, is the last that will view newspapers as a part of our everyday lives. And fewer of us do as we get older and more pieces of our lives migrate online.

And millennials, the generation after mine, just don’t value mainstream media like their elders did, right? They’re too busy shooting selfies and Instagramming all their meals to worry about Syria and Ferguson and Camden, right? (Btw, millennials are those born after 1980.)

So anyone under the age of 50 still working for a mainstream news outlet should kiss off any future in the business, right?

Well, no.

According to a report released March 16 by The Media Insight Project — a joint effort among the Associated Press, The University of Chicago’s NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the American Press Institute — millennials are just as engaged with news as their older cohorts, and even if the ways they get their news differs, they are just as aware of who’s providing it and where to find it. The study found 69 percent of millennials get news on a daily basis (40 percent said they do so several times a day) and 45 percent of them regularly follow five or more of what the surveyors call “hard news” topics. 

“Millennials regularly follow a wide range of topics, and virtually everyone’s information diet in this generation involves a mix of hard news (which the study defines as government, business, international news, health care, crime and the environment, among other topics), soft news, and more practical or news-you-can-use topics.”

They’re also savvy consumers of news.

The study notes millennials’ unique position as the first generation to live almost its whole life online: For them, “the digital revolution does not represent disruption. It represents the norm, and, to a significant degree, their generation’s opportunity.”

Millennials recognize the importance of news for a reason that gives even this cynical Gen-Xer a glimmer of hope for the future of journalism.

“Partly because technology is so altering modern life, their generation is changing the world for the better,” the study notes, “and they are excited to see how that is happening.

Take a few minutes and read Phaedra’s complete column. It is insightful.

[To comment: larry at larry litwin dot com]

7 Tips To Help Keep Your Employees Engaged

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From time to time, we repirnt mailings from Dale Carneigie’s emails. Here is a good one based on a Dale Carneigie Training study. Take heed.

For more information contact: Anita Zinsmeister <anita.zinsmeister at dalecarnegie dot com>

·         Word count for this issue: 705

·         Approximate time to read: About 2.8 minutes@ 250 words per minute

 As anyone in business knows, good talent is hard to come by.  Finding effective managers, top sales associates and other highly skilled workers can take a lot of time and effort — and sometimes a little bit of luck. And retaining these top performers is often even harder.

71% Of U.S. Workers Are Not Engaged At Work (Even Yours).

Click here to read our Employee Engagement Study

 This alarming statistic came out of a recent study Dale Carnegie Training conducted of 1,500 workers that examined employee job satisfaction in the American workplace.  The study measured job satisfaction based on workers’ responses to specific engagement questions, including: 

·         I know what is expected of me at work.

·         I have the opportunity to do my best at work every day.

·         At work, my opinions count.

·         My supervisor cares about me as a person.

·         In the last week, I have received recognition or praise for doing my work well.

·         In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress. 

If asked these questions, how would your employees respond?  Not sure?  You may have reason for concern. Dissatisfied employees often go through the motions of their jobs.  This disengaged “sleep-walking” effect can greatly affect your company’s overall profitability.

 According to a Harvard Business report on employee engagement, a highly engaged workforce maximizes a company’s investment in human capital, improves productivity, and can significantly reduce costs, such as turnover, that directly impact the bottom line.

 Click here to read the full 

Harvard Business Review Report

7 Tips To Keep Your Employees Engaged:

 As your company focuses on sustaining future growth, it’s more important than ever to invest in your top employees.With that in mind, here are a few key tips for retaining your best employees for the long haul.

 1.  Clearly Define Your Expectations – Employees need a clear understanding of what is expected of them — both on a day-to-day and project-by-project basis.  The more clearly you define and communicate your expectations and goals, the more efficient and productive your employees will be.

 2.  Supply Employees With The Tools They Need – Just as employees need clearly defined goals, they also need the tools to reach these goals.  As technology evolves, do your employees have the resources they need to be as efficient and competitive as possible?

 3.  Allow Employees To Voice Their Opinions – Remember, you are a manager — not a dictator.  An open and ongoing dialog with your team can reap many benefits.  When you encourage employees to express their opinions, you foster an environment where they feel valued.  And you may also gain fresh perspectives that could lead to tangible results.

 4.  Invest In Your Management Team – Managers play a vital role in the productivity and retention of your employees.  However, your best workers may not always be the best leaders.  Consider investing in a management training program to help ensure your team leaders have the most effective leadership skills.

 5.  Invest In Team-Building Training – A core training program in communication, problem solving and conflict resolution can benefit your whole team.  Whether you hire an on-site trainer or an outside consultant such as Dale Carnegie Training, teaching employees good team-building skills cultivates a happier work environment.

 6.  Take A Personal Interest In Your Employees – A little compassion goes a long way in building trust and loyalty.  Take the time to ask your employees how they are doing.  Asking about their business/personal goals shows that you are interested in their well-being.

 7.  Offer Positive Feedback – When your employees perform well, make sure you tell them.  It’s always nice to know that others appreciate your work.  Set up a reward program for employees who meet established goals. 

Executive Summary:  Your employees are your company’s greatest asset.  Their united talents and enthusiasm will keep your business growing and profitable.  Your workforce needs the guidance of a skilled manager who welcomes their ideas and asks for their opinions.  Set defined goals.  Give employees the tools to succeed.  Take an interest in your team and offer positive feedback often.  When employees feel valued for their work, they are far more likely to engage in your company’s long-term success. 


Quote of the Week: “Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes.”

– Peter Drucker           


[To comment: larry at larry litwin dot com]

Strategies: 18 tips and tricks for daily business life

Rhonda Abrams has done it again. Here are her top tips — “Little things matter to a successful operation. Abrams contact info is at the bottom of this week’s blog. [To comment: larry at larrylitwin dot com]

 Running a business means taking care of lots of little things. Sure, success depends on the big things, such as your strategy, marketing and technology. But sometimes, we could use a bit of guidance on how to better handle the little things to make our business lives easier.

Here are a few tips and tricks learned in my years of business:

• Develop and practice your “elevator pitch,” a brief sentence to describe what your business is all about. Use it when you introduce yourself to others, at business mixers, meeting with prospects. You’re more likely to land a customer and get referrals if you can clearly describe what you do.

• If you’re giving a customer or client a discount, let them know it! When you send the bill, be certain to indicate the regular price and then the voluntary discount you’re giving them. That reminds them they’re getting a special deal.

• If you get more than 50% of your business from one customer or distribution channel, diversify. Don’t become overly dependent on one source for your long-term economic well-being.

• Think of the long-term value of the customer, not just the one-time transaction. It’s almost always better to retain a happy customer than to make a big fuss over a small issue in dispute.

• If you’re a consultant, don’t nickel-and-dime clients with charges for small, routine expenses, such as overnight delivery, parking, copies and such. Figure those costs into your hourly or project fees. You’d be surprised at how many clients who never blink at being billed $100 an hour get peeved by being charged $12 for an overnight delivery.

• Make it easy for customers to pay you. Accept credit cards and get the money in your bank fast, often the day after processing. If you’re on the go, get a card reader that attaches to your mobile device from Square Up, Intuit GoPayment, or PayPal Here.

• Get a mileage-earning credit card for business purchases you now pay for by check. Then IMMEDIATELY pay off the credit card bill. Ask your vendors if they accept credit cards. You’ll get miles and extend your payment period.

• If you travel frequently, look for hotels that feature lobbies set up for working and meeting so you can stay close and cut down on travel time. And look for hotels with free Wi-Fi and, ideally, free hot breakfast.

• Build a database of your current and former customers or clients. Get in the habit of tracking every customer interaction, not just orders, and their specific needs and concerns. Then you can personalize your offers, emails, and rewards. And be sure to remember their birthday.

• Whenever possible, expand the number of contacts you have at each client company. Other divisions may have additional opportunities. And your current contacts may change jobs. Get to know additional decision-makers.

• Join your trade association. Participate in the local chapter if such exists. Attend a national industry convention at least every two to three years. Subscribe to and read an industry magazine or e-mail newsletter.

• Keep a list of your best referral sources and best customers where you can see it frequently. Contact these people at least every couple of months.

• Fire bad clients. A few reasons to end a client relationship: they don’t pay their bills, are unethical, want you to take on work you’re uncomfortable performing, they soak up all your time and energy, they make you hate your business.

• View customer complaints as an opportunity to learn how to improve your product or service rather than merely criticism.

• Keep as little stock on hand as possible and avoid waste. Don’t purchase something just because it’s a good deal. Inventory is money in a different form.

• Never compete on price alone. Make sure you have other competitive advantages that make your customers want to purchase from you even if a competitor undercuts your price.

• If you work from a home office, set office hours. Set time aside for personal and family life.

• Do everything with integrity. Treat everyone fairly and honestly, including employees, customers, and vendors. Don’t rationalize bad behavior by saying, “It’s only business.” Be someone worthy of respect.

Among Rhonda Abrams‘ recent books is the 6th edition of Successful Business Plan: Secrets & Strategies. Register for her free newsletter at Twitter:@RhondaAbrams.

[To comment: larry at larrylitwin dot com]

Getting Team Members Motivated Is Your Key To Business Success

[To comment: larry at larry litwin dot com]

For more information contact: Anita Zinsmeister <anita.zinsmeister at dalecarnegie dot com>

We often talk about employee engagement as a tool to keep your staff engaged on the job.  Along with this is the role of a leader being able to motivate his or her team members.  Doing so will create an intangible spark for people to get things done.

 Six Tactics To Motivate Your Team:

  1. Know That Everyone Can Be Motivated – The key to knowing the things that will motivate someone, is to know someone’s inner need.  What’s interesting is this: It oftentimes isn’t centered around money.  As a leader, you need to find an employee’s motivator and tap into it.  Remember, everyone has a personal agenda, and appealing to that is a surefire way to motivate him or her on a very fundamental level. 
  1. Positive And Yes, Negative Reinforcement – Positive reinforcement motivates employees with the promise of reward, recognition or incentives.  This may NOT work on every employee as some may require negative reinforcement — motivation generated by the threat of corrective action or job loss. 
  1. Provide Employees A Reason To Be Motivated – Leading a team by telling them “because I said so”is not an acceptable motivator.  Most employees want to feel involved, respected and part of the solution.  One of the quickest ways to get them motivated is to ask them this: “What would you recommend if you were to improve X, Y and Z.” 
  1. Let Everyone Know They Are Part Of A Team – No one wants to work at a company where they feel like an outsider; therefore, one of the most persuasive motivators is to show an interest in creating a team. 
  1. The Power Of Personal Pride – While employees should always take personal pride in their work, it sometimes does not happen.  To help bolster their personal pride and a sense of being on a team, have them present their work to their peers.  The upside of this, no matter what the outcome will be, is that they get to see their peers react to their work firsthand. 
  1. Become A “Do As I Do, Not As I Say”Type Of Leader – It is easy to yell out orders and expect the work to be done.  Nevertheless, what separates average leaders from the great ones is their ability to lead by example.  The passionate leaders in business are the first to get her or his hands dirty and establish a behavior for the rest of the team to follow.

 Executive Summary:  Some people are more motivated than others while some are motivated differently; however,everyone can be motivated.  The trick is to learn each employee’s individual needs and wants.  For some, that could be reward, recognition and a sense of pride in their work.  For others, it may be a friendly reminder about job security.  Whatever technique you may need to apply, the tactics mentioned above should always be in the front of your mind.

[To comment: larry at larry litwin dot com]

As I’ve done in the past, I am passing along this advice from Anita Zinsmeister at Dale Carnegie in New Jersey.

How You Can Become More Valuable In 2015

[To comment: larry at larry litwin dot com]

For more information contact: Anita Zinsmeister <anita.zinsmeister at dalecarnegie dot com>

As I’ve done in the past, I am passing along this advice from Anita Zinsmeister at Dale Carnegie in New Jersey.

  •  Word count for this issue: 686
  • Approximate time to read: About 2.7 minutes@ 250 words per minute

The New Year is the perfect time to set personal goals.  Many of us resolve to lose those extra pounds, get back to the gym or work on our financial health; but what about your career?  Is it as “fit” as you would like it to be?

Whether your goal is to climb another rung on the corporate ladder or independently promote your own business, there are strategies you can apply to shape up your professional health in 2015.

Focus On Your Core Strengths

Just as effective marketing is the key to a successful company, marketing yourself is important in advancing your career.  If you are starting a new business, trying to jump-start an old one, or simply looking to move ahead in your current job, start by thinking about what sets you apart. Consider how your “expertise” can benefit your company or your clients.

7 Ways To Make Yourself More Valuable:

1. Always Appear Confident– When you believe in your abilities, others will too.  It starts with your body language.  Do you walk into an office with your head held high?  When you greet business associates, is your handshake firm and commanding?  Carry yourself with confidence, and others will take notice.

2. Take On More Responsibility– Doing more than your job requires or asking for additional responsibilities shows that you are eager for a promotion.  But be sure you are ready to work hard.  It may take putting in some extra hours to prove that you are up for the task.

3. Voice Your Ideas– If you have an idea that may add value to your company, speak up.  The worst your boss can say is, “no.”  But at the very least, it shows that you want to make a contribution.  Similarly, if you have your own business and see a way your client or prospect can be more productive, let them know.  Be sincere (not arrogant), and most people will respect your expert opinion.

4. Leverage Social Media– Social media is a great way to tell a broad audience about your goods, services, or skills.  Create a Facebook page, a LinkedIn profile, or a Twitter account.  Invite business colleagues and prospects to follow you.  Then regularly post relevant content on topics within your area of expertise.   Posting daily tips or other information keeps your name, and skills, fresh in your audience’s mind.

5. Blog– Like to write?  Why not start a blog?  Blogging about industry topics that interest you is yet another way to promote your expertise.  Tools such as WordPress make it easy to get started.  If you have a website, be sure to add a link to your posts.

6. Network– Attending local networking events can also be effective.  When independently promoting yourself, consider offering your services in exchange for goods or services that are useful to you.  This is a great way to get a prospect to sample your work without having to commit to a long-term business relationship.  If your product or performance exceeds expectations, it is likely you’ll gain a new client — and some referrals.

7. Don’t Forget Your Business Card– In today’s digital world, business cards may seem a bit old fashion.  But they are still one of the most effective marketing tools.  Use your card as a opportunity to promote your business.  Go bold.  Include a catchy tagline.  Add interesting graphics and colors or maybe use an unexpected shape.  Like you, your business card should stand out from the competition.

Executive Summary:  Promoting yourself can be a challenge, especially if you are modest.  But a little self-confidence can go a long way.  Think about your best skills.  Then position yourself as an expert in this area.  If your goal is a promotion, take on more responsibility at work.  Speak up if you have a good idea.  Take advantage of social media, blogging and other online tools to get your name and talents noticed by a broader audience.  Self-promotion may take a little work, but the payoff could be a big career boost in the upcoming year.

Quote of the Week: “Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do.  Do not bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors.  Try to be better than yourself.”

– William Faulkner 

[To comment: larry at larry litwin dot com]    

Your Next Step: If you want to find out more about how Dale Carnegie® Training can make your business more effective, or need more information on this subject, please send us an e-mail at the address below.
Make it a great day!

Anita Zinsmeister, President

Dale Carnegie® Training of Central & Southern New Jersey

(609) 631-0500