How to unplug on vacation

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The first step is to recognize there is a problem. Here are some steps to take to get into the mindset as carried in the Courier-Post on July 23, 2015. It is by-lined by Shannon Eblen


Plan ahead: Schedule out-of-office emails and assign a main point of contact in your absence.

Limit your availability, so there are only certain times when colleagues can contact you.

Designate “no phone” times for yourself or for your family. Better yet, leave the devices at home. Only one family member needs a phone in case of emergencies.

Schedule activities where you can’t use your phone, but try not to overschedule on vacation, as that can also create stress.

Delete apps that you will be tempted to check, such as work email, Twitter or Facebook.

Try shooting vacation photos with an old-fashioned camera instead of your smartphone. or @CP_SHANNONBLEN

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7 Powerful Employee Training Tips – from Dale Carnegie

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Dale Carneigie’s Anita Zinsmesiter has come through again. First this from Dale’s people:

  • Word count for this issue: 571
  • Approximate time to read: About 2.2 minutes @ 250 words per minute 

The better trained your employees are the stronger of an asset they will become.  And the more productive they are, the more engaged they will become in your business.  

Continued Training Has Direct Impact On An Employee’s Productivity.

Great leaders know they can’t expect a new employee to walk in the door and possess the exact skills and knowledge needed to perform their job.

While jobs might share the same title from business to business (e.g. “project manager”) they always differ slightly based on the unique culture every business develops.  That is why continued employee education is crucial.

Click Here To Read Dale Carnegie Training’s Study On Employee Engagement

1.  View Training As An Investment, Not An Expense – Many businesses dismiss the idea of training because it seems like an expense rather than an investment.  This is simply not true.  Ultimately, the long-term benefits of employee training far outweigh its immediate costs.  And when you factor in the importance of employee retention, the value of training becomes self-evident.

2.  Get Everyone’s Feedback – As you roll out your training program, survey your staff to get their feedback about the training program’s content, venue, testing methods, etc.  Using survey tools in combination is best, i.e., anonymous e-mail or face-to-face conversations.

 3.  Be Aware Of Generational Differences – As the workforce becomes increasingly multigenerational, employers need to adjust to each age groups working habits.  Catering to those generational differences will ensure that your employees are learning in a way that best suits them.

 4.  Get Management To Support Training – Obviously, an employee training initiative cannot get off the ground without the support of management.  Furthermore, when management gets involved with an initiative, employees tend to show more interest.  Otherwise, they might be hesitant and view continued training as a criticism of their skill sets.

 5.  Start Training Projects Off Small Or As A Pilot – Getting in over your head right from the start is a surefire way to see your training program canned immediately.  It is best to work the kinks out of the new initiative by starting out small.  Benchmarking a developing training program with a handful of employees exposes weaknesses and shortcomings in its design.

 6.  Choose The Right Instructors To Lead Training – There are really only two options when it comes to employee training instructors: Either you outsource the job and hire a professional trainer or you select a knowledgeable staff member who is charismatic and engaging enough to be an effective teacher.  Either way, the person leading the employee training needs be a capable educator.

 7.  Measure The Success Of The Employee Training – Measuring the efficacy of your employee training might seem difficult, but it should actually become apparent in a number of ways.  If after employee training you notice an increase in profits or employee productivity, take it as a sign that the employee training is pulling the weight of its cost.

Executive Summary:  Any businessperson not learning in today’s fast-paced and competitive economy is sure to fall behind the curve.  Additionally, if you are not willing to help hone your employees’ skills, who will?  Remember, strengthening your employees’ skills is never an expense; it is an investment — and your employees are your greatest asset. 

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Tips for trimming your resume’

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From CareerBuilders’ Debra Auerbach come these tips:

  1. Remove outdated professional experience
  2. Condense the professional experience that’s left
  3. Summarize or remove details under Education or Activities sections

Debra Auerbach is a writer for the Advice & Resources section of She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management and hiring trends.

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The Power of Communities in Building Your Brand

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From PR News and Richard Brownell on June 10, 2015, comes this important strategic communication advice:

As a professional communicator, your job is to craft your brand’s message and share it with the world, or at least that part of the world that is relevant to you. Depending on the size of your organization and the resources at your command, this can be a daunting task. Sometimes you have to rely on the kindness of others to help you out. This means building a community.

CommunityAt the Social Shake-Up 2015 in Atlanta, communicators from around the country shared insights about engagement on social networks and how to marshal their energy to help promote your brand.

“You want to have that one-to-one engagement with users,” said Jeanette Gibson, VP, community & customer experience at HootSuite. “Follow the customers, introduce them to one another. Show them what’s in it for them, not just what’s in it for you.”

Gibson, along with Lauren Harper, senior manager of social marketing with Oracle, and Kristina Libby, consumer media relations lead for Microsoft, discussed the nature of online communities and how they come together.

People tend to gather on social media around brands because of a shared interest or perception about that brand’s message or its activities. They can be a valued resource for your brand in that they are vocal, they can be a force multiplier in helping you share your message, and you don’t have to pay them. But you do have to respect them and make them feel a part of the team.

You need to engage directly with the people who are gathered on your social media networks. Have a conversation with them. Get to know what their likes and dislikes are, what attracts their attention and what motivates them.

Communities can be a great benefit for your brand by freely engaging in activities that are essential to your organization’s success. They can provide customer reviews of your products or services, they can be a source of information and FAQs for your brand and they can be advocates. Never underestimate the power of an unpaid, unaffiliated spokesperson.

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