7 Tips For Leading A Successful Virtual Team

[Questions: larry@larrylitwin.com]

From:

#1. If Possible, Start With A Face-To-Face Meeting – When working with a newly created team, it’s always best to have everyone meet face-to-face. Unfortunately, the expense of organizing an in-person meeting and current health restrictions often makes this impractical. A Zoom videoconference can be the next best thing. Offering virtual employees the opportunity to introduce themselves and meet others on the team will begin building team unity.
#2. Be Mindful Of Time Differences – With a virtual team, recognizing time zone differences is vital. Whether making a call to a team member on the opposite coast or scheduling a meeting with employees in other countries, you must be considerate about time differences. Maximize time differences by creating an overlapping schedule where everyone is working in their respective time zone.
#3. Use Online File Collaboration – For virtual teams, collaboration is vital. Often team members will share files and may work on documents simultaneously. Using a secure collaboration tool such as Microsoft Teams, Google Drive or Dropbox is essential to helping ensure everyone is on the same page.
#4. Set Up A Project Management System – E-mail can be a great communication tool. But relying on e-mail alone to track a virtual project can quickly become disorganized. While online collaboration tools help, an even better solution is establishing a project management system. With these systems, project documents and communications are organized into one central location. This makes tracking a project’s progress easy (and reduce project bottlenecks).
#5. Check-In With Your Team – To make sure everyone is up-to-date with company changes and other issues impacting your project, schedule weekly or monthly team calls. These calls also help to build a good rapport with the whole team. Keep calls short – no longer than 1 hour.
#6. Hone Your Meeting Skills – As the team or project manager, you need to keep your meeting and project management skills sharp. Having a clear plan for team calls is essential. Consider using screen-sharing to point out issues or to support your points visually. Create supporting documentation as a follow-up.
#7. Stay Connected – When in need of a quick answer to a question, virtual team members don’t always have the luxury of talking over a cubicle wall or walking a few feet into their manager’s office. Using chat programs, such as Skype, Microsoft Lync, or Google Chat, is a great way to foster instant communication among you and your team members. And, of course, the old-school phone is still the best tool for staying connected to the team.
Executive Summary: For your virtual team to work efficiently, you need to consciously build a good rapport with the whole team. Taking advantage of the latest technologies will not only help to manage projects more effectively but also keep the lines of communication open. Staying connected helps ensure the whole team is productively working toward the same goal.
[Questions: larry@larrylitwin.com]

8 Tips For Generating Repeat Business

[Questions: larry@larrylitwin.com]

From:

  • Word Count: 619
  • Time To Read: 2.5 Minutes @ 250 Words Per Minute
No matter where you are in your business cycle, more and more businesses are hyper focused on driving repeat business. Why? Because it represents a huge revenue stream to top-line sales. But with so many options out there for decision-makers to choose from, how can you ensure that your existing clients will keep coming back for more?
#1 Use A Client’s First Name – Treating each client as a unique individual is the key to good customer service. When you or your customer service team speaks to a client, be sure to address them by name throughout the conversation.
#2 Make GREAT Customer Service A Priority At Your Business – A bad customer service experience will not only affect how a client feels about your business, but it can impact how that client talks to others about your business. With social media becoming an ever-more popular way for customers to vent, one client’s dissatisfaction could mean widespread negative publicity for your company.
#3 Communicate Missed Deadlines – Sometimes, circumstances arise that will cause you to miss a deadline, such as a promised delivery date. In these cases, it is always best to let the client know as soon as possible. While an apology can go a long way, consider offering a discount on the current product/service or a future product/service.
#4 Incorporate Up-Selling And/Or Cross-Selling – Use client requests for products or services as an opportunity to discuss other related products and services your company offers. This is not only a great way to increase sales, but it also shows clients that you have experience and knowledge in other areas that could meet their needs.
#5 Follow Up After An Initial Order Is Placed – When orders are placed, be sure to capture contact information, including name, address, phone number, and e-mail address. Then follow-up immediately with an e-mail or a phone call to thank the client for the business.
#6 Ensure Customer Support Information Is Readily Available – There is nothing more frustrating for a client than not being able to talk to a live person when they have a question. Make your contact information readily available and easily accessible. Display a customer service contact number prominently on your website.
#7 Reduce The Perceived Risk – Clients want to be rest assured that they will receive a high-quality product or service at the best possible price. By offering a guarantee, you will lower the perceived risks and gain your clients’ trust. This ultimately increases the chances of return business.
#8 Assess Your Company’s Performance – Be sure to offer customer surveys to assess the level of your clients’ satisfaction. If survey results shed light on an issue, take the proper steps to resolve the problem quickly.
Executive Summary: A happy client is more likely to become a repeat customer. With this in mind, it’s essential to make good customer service a top priority. Remember, if you are not making your clients happy, your competition will be waiting in the wings to do a better job.
[Questions: larry@larrylitwin.com]

Audience Segmentation (ISPR) vs Audience Fragmentation (IFPR)

[Questions: larry@larrylitwin.com]

Check out Larry Litwin’s The Public Relations Practitioner’s Playbook for (all) Strategic Communicators. It is available from Amazon or Authorhouse Publishing.

• Identify
• Segment/Fragment (demographically, psychographically,
geodemographically, behavioristically, benefits)
• Profile
• Rank
– Audience Power Structure
• Elite (Key Communicators)
• Pluralistic or Diffused
• Amorphous/Latent
Audiences are I(S)FPRd as matters of understanding and economics. Public relations practitioners and their clients may have limited
resources. Audiences must be I(S)FPRd to help determine which are
most important and how much time and money will be allocated
trying to reach them to either change, maintain or reinforce behavior. All four steps (I[S]FPR) are imperative to a successful PR plan.

[Questions: larry@larrylitwin.com]

Great Careers for Veterans

[Questions: larry@larrylitwin.com]

From ZipRecruiter and The Courier-Post:

  1. Security Guard
  2. Emergency Medical Technician
  3. Computer Support Technician
  4. Truck Driver
  5. Supply Chain Manager
  6. Project Manager
  7. Sales Representative

[Questions: larry@larrylitwin.com]

 

11 Ways To Help Manage Your Year-End Stress

[Questions: larry@larrylitwin.com]

From Dale Carnegie Training Newsletter

By Anita Zinsmeister, President

Dale Carnegie Training of Central and Southern New Jersey

With the holidays right around the corner, they can frequently bring stress from year-end projects, annual reviews, shopping, cooking, and travel plans. In fact, a poll by the American Psychological Association shows that 8 out of 10 people anticipate increased stress over the holidays.

11 Ways To Help You Manage Year-End Stress.

1. Set Attainable Goals – You have to be honest with yourself about your projects and to-do list. Let’s say you have a project due for a client, but you need information from them. To help address the management of something, develop a timetable that manages all action items.

2. Manage Your Budget/Expenses – Holidays can put a lot of stress on your budget due to gifts, luncheons, and dinners. Since holiday bonuses are not a guarantee, you should try to live within your current salary/income. Before spending money you don’t have, you should create a holiday budget.

3. Eat Smart And Sleep Well – Many people have used most of their vacation time, especially at companies that do not allow employees to carry vacation time over to the following year. Additionally, over-committing to holiday events and eating those holiday treats quickly leads to a lack of sleep and weight gain. Combat that trend by eating healthy and finding time to recharge your batteries.

4. Physical Activity – With life getting busy and days feeling shorter, it is easy to not take care of yourself. However, a bit of activity can help you keep extra weight off and reduce stress, even if you only have time for a 15-minute walk during lunch.

5. Better Time Management – We all have things that need to be done by year-end, from holiday shopping, visiting friends to connecting with clients and co-workers. If you want to stay ahead of your stress level, it’s best to address them BEFORE they are due.

6. Address How You Are Feeling – Feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work you need to complete by year-end is natural. Although this feeling is quite common for many of us, it might be helpful if you confide in a family member, friend, or co-worker to unload these feelings.

7. Volunteer Your Time Or Make A Donation – Everyone gets the holiday blues, but helping others is a great way to relieve stress and just feel better. If you find that you and/or your organization has some discretionary funding available, it might be helpful to spend it on a cause that you feel is important.

8. Socialize With Your Co-Workers – Most of your co-workers are probably feeling the holiday stress, too. To combat holiday stress, do something fun like a simple holiday gift exchange or luncheon even if it is over Zoom.

9. Relax – Don’t forget to take some time to yourself and do something relaxing. Are you interested in reading, yoga, or tinkering? Make time for your hobby to help get rid of your stress.

10. Maintain A Sense Of Humor – It’s easy to forget to laugh during the holiday season with so much work to get done and so many things to prepare. Take a laugh break. Look up some holiday jokes on Google and share them with others.

11. Plan Ahead – The holidays are incredibly hectic. However, you can reduce your stress by planning ahead. Instead of simply marking off events such as “family dinner party,” plan out your preparation by scheduling time to “shop for tomorrow’s family dinner party.”

Key Points:

·       The proper planning will go a long way to help reduce your stress.

·       Limit your food and alcohol intake during the holiday and always make your last few drinks water.

·       At the end of each day (or the start of one), take some time for reflection.

[Questions: larry@larrylitwin.com]

5 Ways To Help Your Team Feel Appreciated When Working Remotely

[For more: larry@larrylitwin.com]

From:

Dale Carnegie Training Newsletter
By: Anita Zinsmeister, President
Dale Carnegie® Training of Central & Southern New Jersey
Employee engagement increases in companies that have strong teams. Likewise, a competent team can singlehandedly cut operating costs and reduce the amount of workplace stress.  A team that communicates frequently develops skills that lessen the chance of mistakes that are typically the result of a disjointed team.
 
5 Tips To Help Create A More Effective Remote Team
 
1. Empower Your Team Members – Encourage your team members to be self-managed and a contributing member to the team. Doing so will boost their productivity; however, you do have to encourage and monitor your staff by assigning specific responsibilities and due dates.  Doing so will help promote and foster a culture that harnesses forward-thinking strategies and generates results.
 
2. Ask Everyone For Their Opinion – An “open-door policy” isn’t compelling enough at soliciting frequent feedback from your team.  Establish a system for generating direct and candid feedback.  Furthermore, when evaluating your employees, promote an environment of positive discussion by communicating in a clear and focused manner. To help augment the opinion process, set up a brief meeting with all team members to get their opinion on what is and isn’t working.  Additionally, it might also make sense to have individual meetings to help better solicit each member’s opinion. 
 
3. Get Your People To Buy Into A Team – Team members should understand that the success of their individual career is tied directly to the trajectory of the group and company.  Team-building exercises are great opportunities for every member to feel included and valued. Encourage team members by complimenting positive examples of teamwork as you see them happen.  A team is most effective when it acts as a united front, and every member should be supported, so they feel like they are part of the team.
 
4. Focus On Efficient Execution – Consider the structure of your organization before your team-building exercise commences.  Large teams might need to arrange a central leadership team to make planning and execution more manageable.  Each sub-team requires equal time, treatment, and resources.  Monitor each team to make sure no one person is taking on too much control, responsibility, or the feeling of being overwhelmed.
 
5. Conduct Team Building Activities – Remote team-building activities are great ways to build camaraderie between employees.  As you introduce a team-building activity, structure, or exercise to your employees, be sure to include the expectation for the activity.  Not only should you explain the rules of the exercise, but you should also provide team members with the goal they should achieve.
 
Executive Summary:  A strong team works more effectively and efficiently — all in an effort to increase productivity and results.  The key to encouraging individuals to operate as a team typically comes down to healthy communication.  Make your expectations known and promote direct and candid feedback from team members.  Empower your team by putting them in a position to succeed and encourage everyone to take part in problem-solving to encourage positive attitudes and results. 

[For more: larry@larrylitwin.com]

Who is hiring now? (According to ‘Zip’)

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By ZipRecruiter.com

Job openings are still well below pre-pandemic levels, but they rose steadily in July and August – particularly in industries that have received an unexpected boost due to the crisis.

E-commerce sales growth has accelerated for several years.

And home improvement supplies stores are benefiting from the stay-at-home economy. Video game retailer GameStop made a debut on ZipRecruiter’s “Who’s Hiring” list in August buoyed by record sales of video game consoles and consumer electronics.

These 20 companies had the most job postings in the ZipRecruiter Marketplace in August.

1. Amazon

Examples of job titles: Driver trainer, package handler, operations manager, pharmacist, area manager, buyer, truck driver, merchandiser

2. Lowe’s

Examples of job titles: Assistant store manager-operations, loader, service associate, assistant manager

3. Oracle

Examples of job titles: Data architect, solutions architect, sales consultant, sales director, inside sales representative

4. DoorDash

Examples of job titles: Delivery driver, manager

5. Anthem

Examples of job titles: Project leader, business consultant, recovery specialist, pharmacy technician

6. Home Depot

Examples of job titles: Cashier, delivery driver, store support, merchandising associate

7. Walmart

Examples of job titles: Merchandiser, cashier

8. Humana

Examples of job titles: Engineer, analyst

9. GameStop

Examples of job titles: Retail staff, retail manager

10. Starbucks

Examples of job titles: Barista, shift supervisor, store manager

11. IBM

Examples of job titles: Mobile application developer,

systems administrator, data center technician, project manager, software engineer, designer, technical support representative, security analyst, help desk agent

12. Domino’s

Examples of job titles: Manager, delivery driver, customer service

13. FedEx Ground

Examples of job titles: Operations Manager, Package Handler, Courier, Technician

14. Walgreens

Examples of job titles: Pharmacy technician, pharmacist, pharmacy

typist, customer service, greeter

15. CVS Health

Examples of job titles: Pharmacist, pharmacy technician, registered nurse, warehouse associate, delivery driver

16. McDonald’s Restaurants

Examples of job titles: Crew team member, manager, human resources assistant

17. UnitedHealth Group

Examples of job titles: Analyst, medical coder, consultant

18. Wells Fargo

Examples of job titles: Mortgage consultant, customer success specialist

19. Deloitte

Examples of job titles: Consultant, engineer

20. TJX Companies

Examples of job titles: Merchandise associate, store manager

[larry@larrylitwin.com]

As seen in the Courier-Post on Sept. 27, 2020

Advice from ‘The PR Playbook’

[Questions: larry@larrylitwin.com]

A tip to succeed: “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.”

Check out Larry Litwin’s The Public Relations Practitioner’s Playbook for (all) Strategic Communicators. It is available from Amazon or Authorhouse Publishing.

[Questions: larry@larrylitwin.com]

Finding a job in a recession

[larry@larrylitwin.com]

By ZipRecruiter.com as seen in the Courier-Post on Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020

Arecession can be a scary time to start a job search. But here are some tips to help you find a good job, even in the toughest job market.

1. Create a computer-proof resume

There is a strong chance your resume will be screened by a computer. So avoid fancy formatting, columns and tables, and ensure that your resume can be read by a bot.

2. List the right skills

Think carefully about the soft skills and hard skills you bring to a job. As a helpful exercise, you may want to list them all and explain why they are important.

If you worked at a restaurant before COVID-19, you might think your skill is food preparation. But chances are your job skills also include face-to-face communication, customer service, problem solving, time management and teamwork.

Clearly list your job skills in your resume, using the same language used in the job postings for which you are applying, where appropriate. A strong match between the skills on your resume and the skills in the job description will help you rise to the top of computer ranking algorithms.

3. Focus on growing industries

Nobody knows exactly what the future holds, but projections by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics have a strong track record of success.

For example, the Bureau’s 2008-18 projections correctly guessed which industries would grow and which would shrink 91% of the time.

Find the BLS’s most recent projections for the 2018-28 period at bls.gov/ooh.

4. Develop in-demand skills

When employers receive 100 applications for a single vacancy, objective criteria – like certifications and credentials – can help them decide. Especially now that in-person recruitment efforts are limited due to the pandemic, employers have to evaluate you on paper. Being able to list a recently earned Microsoft Excel certificate is far more compelling than merely listing “Excel skills,” for example.

The same goes for any software program or platform.

5. Stay positive

If at first you don’t succeed, try a different approach. Come up with a daily goal – say, a target number of job applications to submit – and reward yourself for meeting your goal.

Try a new search strategy every few days. Doing so can help keep things interesting and expand your search. Here are some to consider: • Search for employers with the greatest need. Using a keyword search, look for job postings where the employer reports an “urgent need” for candidates. Employers who need to fill vacancies urgently are more likely to respond quickly and agree to an immediate start date.

• Search for the best companies.

Search for job postings where the hiring company describes itself as being one of the “fastest-growing” or “top-rated” organizations in its industry.

• Search for household names.

Spend a few days exploring vacancies at large companies with household names that are always hiring across a wide range of roles.

• Search for well-funded startups.

Keywords like “venture capitalbacked,” “VC-backed” or “Y Combinator-backed” can find innovative, exciting companies that investors think may be the next big thing.

• Search for your terms related to your passions and hobbies. Do you love animals? Is music your hobby?

Are you passionate about nature conservation? Do you love listening to podcasts? An unemployment spell could be an opportunity to turn your passion into your career.

[larry@larrylitwin.com]