Thank you to Kate Lopaze of thejobnetwork for writing the full version of this article for the Courier-Post on Sunday, July 12, 2020.
With everything so uncertain right now, it may be hard to see how your organization moves forward and where you should be focusing your resources. Many companies are concerned about the impacts of coronavirus and the economic downturn on their bottom lines, and the idea of focusing precious time and money on employee development may not be top of mind. Still, your organization should consider investing in your employee development right now. Let’s take a closer look at why.
1. It’s building your organization’s future
Honestly, many workers are just happy to have a job right now, and many companies are content to stay afloat while navigating choppy waters. However, things will likely calm down soon, and as the new normal settles in you’ll want to be prepared with the best workforce possible. Focusing on employee retention and development takes advantage of questions you’re likely already asking, such as what kind of leadership is working for your organization, what you need from your employees, and what kind of changes are coming your way.
2. It improves your employer brand
Employee-focused organizations get more positive feedback from current and former employees. In a world where online word of mouth can be everything, this is how you appeal to the best talent. When your team knows that you’re invested in their needs and their development, it builds good word-of-mouth and keeps great employees from seeking opportunities elsewhere.
Employee retention is one of the biggest challenges for any organization. If you’re retaining your best employees and keeping churn low by meeting employee needs and expectations, it enhances your reputation as a great place to work.
3. It gives you more insight into your employees’ potential
Part of any employee development program is assessing the strengths and weaknesses of your current employee pool and identifying both areas for improvement and for the potential for promotion. This legwork helps build a pipeline of internal candidates for promotions or for open positions within the company.
Similarly, knowing any weak spots improves your fortunes as well—better to nip any issues in the bud at an early stage, when intervention can help you put the right people in the right places or move people away from areas where they’re not going to perform well.
4. Engaged employees are productive employees
Employee boredom or restlessness is rarely a good thing in any organization. It either hurts productivity as employees start to become emotionally distant from their jobs, or leads to quality employees looking elsewhere for a more satisfying job. The feedback and data you get during an employee development audit and implementation are essential to help you find ways to keep employees engaged and invested in the organization’s success.
Training programs, skill development programs, and asking employees for feedback are all ways to keep your workers from feeling disengaged or stagnant in their daily work.
5. Employee development makes good financial sense
Hiring is typically one of the biggest resource investments for any organization—searching for talent, interviewing, hiring, and onboarding are intricate processes that involve many touchpoints and significant costs. Having in-house talent you can use to fill leadership roles (or lateral roles in the company) helps cut down on the external hiring processes that you would otherwise need to do.
Whether you’re trying to attract new talent to your changed organizational landscape or keep the great employees you already have, a strong employee development program can help you get where you need to be—both in the short term and the long term. The time and attention you focus on growing employee skill sets and supporting their potential are some of the most important strategic tools you have as a hiring professional.
I hustle for clients. Why not for family. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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Questions? email@example.com and check out The Public Relations Playbook for (all) Strategic Communicators
This comes from Dale Carnegie Training News Letter:
By Anita Zinsmeister, President Dale Carnegie® Training of Central & Southern New Jersey
Word Count: 486
Time To Read: 1.9
@ 250 Words Per Minute
An excellent presentation is a result of being
dynamic, engaging, and interesting. Without these things, you won’t be able to
hold your audience’s attention, and your presentation will not be memorable. To
make sure your presentation makes an impact, you need to prepare appropriately.
The Key To Success Will Be In Your Preparation.
misconception is this: great speakers get it right on the first try. This is
seldom true. The presentation likely went through several drafts and was
adjusted multiple times.
you jump-start your next presentation, we have listed a few tips below.
5 Tips To Improve As A Presenter.
1. Focus On Your Body Language – People
pay attention to your body language consciously and subconsciously. If you
fidget, cross your arms, hunch over, or fail to keep eye contact, your audience
will notice. Stay confident, smile, and hold yourself in an engaging way to
make a connection with your audience.
2. Include Stories – Finding a way to tie in
your personal experiences is a great way to make an audience more engaged. Show
them how your ideas work in real life by giving them a practical example. This
will draw them in and let them connect on a personal level.
3. Research Your Audience – Whom will you be speaking
to? This has an effect on how you speak and what you include in your
presentation. Are they experts in their field? Are they familiar with the
topic? Are they looking in from the outside? If they are new to the topic, you
might need to include definitions of common terms.
4. Prepare Yourself Mentally – Before you begin, take time
to calm your mind. There are many examples of ways to get yourself in the right
head-space for a presentation. Not all of them will work for you. You need to
find your way to inner peace. Some become calm by listening to loud music.
Others need complete silence. Figure out what works best for you.
5. Always Practice – The two main factors of a
good presentation are how well you know the material and how comfortable you
are speaking to an audience. You can work on both by practicing.
in front of a mirror to get the content down and to focus on your body
language. When you feel confident in those aspects, practice in front of
friends or colleagues. You’ll be able to get some of the jitters out and get
Executive Summary: Your final presentation is only a small part of what the audience
sees. They don’t see the research, changes, refinement, and effort it takes to
make an excellent presentation. You’ll be able to stand out by properly
preparing and practicing. Start by focusing on your body language, and make
sure you practice in front of a small audience first.
Questions? firstname.lastname@example.org and check out The Public Relations Playbook for (all) Strategic Communicators
[Visit larrylitwin.com and/or mail email@example.com]
Do not hesitate to read Chapter 5 in The Public Relations Practitioner’s Playbook for (all) Strategic Communicators by Litwin. He stresses the opening paragraph that must be a hood — a hand that comes up out of the page and grabs the reader by the neck or some place else (usually the heart and soul will follow) and pulls her/him in. In addition, comes this advice from Kate Lopaze from thejobnetwork:
The opening: Avoid cliches (but follow Litwin’s advice on an opening graph that sets you apart from everyone else.
The pitch: Talk about yourself.
The closing: Finish strong and as Litwin advises, let the recipient know you will follow up via a phone call. That way, when the gatekeeper asks, “Is the person you are calling expecting your call,” you can honestly say yes, because you have alerted she or he that you will be following up.
[Visit larrylitwin.com and/or mail firstname.lastname@example.org]
From Vertical Response – A DeLuxe Company. Questions? email@example.com
Email is often underutilized by small, local businesses despite the fact that it boasts a whopping 122 percent ROI — more than four times that of social media and direct mail. Whether you own or operate an auto repair shop, landscaping business, tax preparation service or other local business, here’s how you can leverage the power of email to win new customers and keep them coming back.
Local email marketing ideas
Email marketing should promote your business, but your email strategy should also feature value-added content that motivates opens, influences clicks, fosters trust and ultimately earns sales. Try these proven email marketing strategies for local businesses.
1. Create an editorial calendar around events, holidays and local happenings
A local focus will endear your business to local customers, so map out an editorial calendar based on the holidays, events and other local happenings important to your audience. Ideas include:
Promotions for community holiday shopping days: Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Giving Tuesday, for example.
Special offers for annual events: Consider homecoming dances, community festivals, parades and historical anniversaries.
Interesting historical facts about your city: These can segue to the importance of shopping at downtown businesses.
Seasonal offers relevant to your local audience: For instance, people in northeast communities need to weather the winter cold, while those in southwest communities need to beat the summer heat.
Promotions tied to local athletics: A restaurant can offer a pre-game special while a spa might offer a discount based on the number of points scored by the local football team.
Local gift guides: Considerpromoting top-selling holiday gifts in your local area or the most-wanted Christmas gifts based on local feedback — a great way to drive business to local retailers.
Want more great ideas for building an editorial calendar around local happenings? Watch Season 4 of Small Business Revolution, where our Deluxe colleagues help Searcy, Arkansas-based creperie and coffee shop Savor + Sip harness the power of local email marketing.
2. Craft valuable newsletters
The best email newsletters are packed with valuable tips and tricks your audience can use to solve their problems, achieve their goals and improve their lives. Your newsletter lends authority to your business, establishes solidarity with your audience and fosters long-term customer loyalty. Ideas include:
How-to tips with a local focus: For example, a beauty salon might feature tips about how to maintain skin health in cold, dry climates or a landscaper might send a tip about the best local source for garden soil.
Localized guides: Anyone can send a guide to landscaping a home, but only a local landscaper knows which plants grow best in your community. What unique local insights can you share with your audience?
Important local announcements: Is the city utility rate going up? A local hardware store might offer energy-saving tips to keep costs low. Keep abreast of local news and identify relevant tie-ins that educate and help your customers as well as naturally promote your business.
There are plenty of great email newsletter topics. Pick one, then apply a local focus to give your business a competitive advantage customers will love.
3. Promote a rewards/loyalty program
Many local businesses offer rewards/loyalty programs, and email is a fantastic way to boost enrollment. Use email marketing to:
Create excitement for your program and detail the benefits of signing up.
Ask existing customers to send referrals your way in return for a special discount or reward.
Send customers gifts on special days, such as birthdays, anniversaries, graduations and more.
You can also send reminders for customers to check their rewards account balances online and to share your program with their friends and family members on social media so they can reap the rewards, too.
4. Create customer spotlights and case studies
The proof is in the pudding, and you can use email marketing to show your audience how you’ve helped local customers just like them. It’s a great way to prove you understand their needs and can deliver solutions. Ideas include:
Customer spotlights and testimonials
Case studies that detail exactly how you solved a common local problem
Before and after photos for a visual experience that highlights your capabilities
Customer spotlights, case studies and photos help you show off what you know, which motivates customer responses.
5. Gain customer insights
Polls and surveys can help you learn more about your local audience, which can, in turn, inform future email marketing and boost ROI. Try these ideas:
Send a poll or survey to get customer feedback on local trends
Report the results in a follow-up email. Local residents will no doubt find them interesting, and it presents a perfect opportunity to promote a relevant product or service
Share the results with your local newspapers, radio stations, television stations, popular bloggers and other media members — a fantastic way to get free PR
Your polls and surveys can ask about customer behavior, favorite products and trends, or even get opinions about local hot button issues. Start by determining which questions you want to answer and if those insights will have local appeal — and if there is a natural segue to your business. If so, you have a winning poll or survey idea. (By the way, VerticalResponse makes surveying customers quick and easy.)
6. Send special offers
Email marketing is an easy way to send special offers to your subscribers. You can:
Send promotional emails with a single, time-limited discount to motivate quick sales
Include a special offer at the end of every email newsletter
Subtly embed references to your products and services throughout your email content
Email is a great way to reach local customers with valuable content intertwined with timely, relevant promotions that drive local customers to your door.
How to get local subscribers
These are all great local email marketing ideas, but you can’t implement them without a subscriber list. The good news is building one won’t add a ton of work to your already busy schedule. In fact, you can automate nearly everything with email marketing tools. Here are ideas for building a local email subscriber list.
Automatically enroll customers, loyalty card members, callers and people who email or fill out your contact form into your list. Make sure cashiers know to collect email addresses during checkout
Invite Facebook and other social media followers to subscribe to your email newsletter. Sweeten the deal with an instant incentive
Add a form to your website, either in the sidebar, in the content or as a pop-up. Offer a discount incentive or go with a lead magnet to boost your subscription rate
Partner with other local businesses to create a community deals email list, or share subscribers with one another (just make sure they know they’re signing up for a community-wide list that will deliver great content and offers from multiple businesses)
Once you get your feet wet, you can take advantage of these advanced strategies to get more out of your email marketing.
A/B split testing: Test multiple versions of the same email to see which performs best. Then, send the winner to your entire list.
Segment lists: Most businesses have different types of customers. Segment your lists by interests or demographics to send the most relevant information and offers. Doing so can increase responses exponentially.
Automate email marketing: Create a series of emails designed to nurture leads over time, then send them on schedule with an email autoresponder program. Set it and forget it!
Measure response: Use email analytics to measure open rates and clicks. Identify which emails work best, then emulate those efforts for future campaigns so you can improve your email marketing over time.
Email is a powerful and affordable tool local small businesses can use to boost sales. Use these tips to connect with local customers, earn referrals, beat the competition and keep business coming through your door.
[firstname.lastname@example.org] The following is just one of nearly 300 tips and tecniques from Litwin ABCs of Strategic Communication
The Applicant or Summary is similar to an elevator speech – A strategic message (about 30 seconds – 75 words) with two or three key message points – that can be delivered quickly – even during an elevator ride.
The “elevator pitch”is a short description about your company that you can convey in the time it takes to ride an elevator.And not an elevator in a skyscraper,either.Your elevator pitch must be clear and concise and show that you understand the core aspects of your business. Because it must be short,you have to decide what facets of your company to leave out.Often,these can be the things you’re most excited about – a new technology,a great location,outstanding customer service,etc.
But if they’re not central to the core or success of your business, they don’t belong in an elevator pitch.
You should touch – very briefly – on the products or services you sell,what market you serve,and your competitive advantage. You must be brief and clear.Unless you’re in a highly technical field,your neighbor or grandmother should be able to understand your business well enough to describe it to someone else.After all, you want grandma marketing for you too,don’t you? People you meet need to quickly understand the nature of your business if you want them to send business your way. Make sure your employees,investors,even vendors know your company’s elevator pitch.Have your employees practice your company’s elevator pitch so they’re able to network for you as well. It’s often a good idea to use an analogy,especially if you’re in a new or difficult-to-grasp field. “We’re the Google for car buyers”is a good shorthand way to say that you’re trying to create a search engine for people wanting to purchase an automobile. Think in these terms (sort of like a mission statement): • This is who we are;
• What we think about ourselves;
• What we want to do;
• Why we deserve your support
You’ll find you use your elevator pitch often – in e-mails to prospective customers and investors,to introduce yourself at organizational meetings or when running into an old friend at a ballgame.Who knows? You may even use it if you meet a potential customer in an elevator. So go out and find a three-story building with an elevator,ride up and down and practice your pitch.That way,you’ll be prepared the next time some one asks you,“What do you do?”