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Oct

9

2017

The Well-Rounded Millennial: Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise

We’re now living in the generation of millennials—a breed of talented, passionate, independent, and tech-savvy individuals who’ve been setting the world on fire.

Demographically speaking, more than 30 percent of the Philippines’s population is comprised of millennials. By 2020, statistics predict that at least 50 percent of the global workforce will be from the ranks of millennials.

Indeed, the influence of the millennial generation is so wide and encompassing such that it gives millennials a rather confident spirit that they’re meant to save the world in the years to come.

But despite this seemingly bold nature of millennials, they have a traditional set of values and goals like previous generations that is to live a good life by being healthy, wealthy, and wise albeit on whole new levels. That said, we reflect on strategies that millennials or Gen Y could use to help them become well-rounded individuals who are physically, financially, intellectually, and emotionally healthy even at their early age.

How to Be Healthy the Millennial Way

In the workplace, millennials are the most sought-after job candidates because of their drive to explore and excel, which serves the company well obviously. They are labeled as achievers who know how to work hard and play hard. They have a conspicuous desire to achieve a work-life balance and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Yoga, Zumba, boxing, and triathlon sports are just some of the fitness trends that have invaded the millennial circle. They’re quite popular not only because of its health benefits, but also as a way for people to express themselves. Plus, you get to connect with peers who have the same interests as you do even though they have their own individuality under their skin. Unity in diversity is what they call it, and it’s one of the best stimulants for mental and emotional growth.

There’s also the concern of millennials regarding the food sold to them. Gen Y will have no second thoughts calling out food retailers that don’t support the cause of providing fresh and healthy food choices for consumers. Millennials are also very vocal about the need to empower local and organic food suppliers, which has paved the way for the rise of the Real Food Movement – a concept that focuses on sustainable practices in the food industry so that the body can derive energy and healing from consuming real food.

How to Be Wealthy the Millennial Way

Perhaps one of the greatest obstacles that many Filipinos are facing in life is financial freedom. It’s quite hard for the average Filipino to have the means to build an emergency fund for future use, let alone have enough money in their wallet to tide them over until the next payday.

There are a lot of factors at play here such as uncompetitive salary, socio-political issues, a deep-seated culture of relying on dole outs, and lack of financial literacy, to name a few.

But thanks to the wisdom passed on by baby boomers and Gen X folks, millennials are showing more financial preparedness as they try to make decisions on how they can better spend and save money.

At their young age, millennials recognize the importance of setting aside part of their earnings in savings or investment projects. Salespeople are consciously targeting millennials with their sales pitch, knowing that millennial investors have a long time ahead of them before they start building their own family, and thus, are financially capable of investing in property.

On top of good financial planning, millennials are also passionate about putting their knowledge or skills in a way that’s profitable for them. Many of them are doing freelance work on the side to give them extra income. They’re also budding entrepreneurs who are riding the wave of social media marketing by selling food, fashion, or novelty items online.

How to Be Wise the Millennial Way

It’s undeniable that millennials are reshaping the way people think nowadays. This outspoken bunch has no problems voicing out what they think or feel and expect their respective communities to have the same tenacity in making the world a better, safer, and fairer place for everyone.

And true enough, brands and businesses are heeding the call for positive change by offering new, innovative, and high-quality products and services that improve people’s quality of life.

It takes a lot more than looking at their social profile for us to understand the stuff that millennials are made of. They’re a complex, puzzling lot who appear too self-absorbed but are as human as the rest of us are.

They’re the first ones to go out on the streets to protest the wrongs and injustices they’re seeing around them. Their awareness on some of the most pressing issues in politics, the environment, and religion is also a source of inspiration for the leaders and citizens of their nation. Millennials are the world’s rebuilders, so to speak.

For millennials, the path to success is also a journey to self-discovery. They’re not the type to limit the perspective they learn in school. Instead, they go out, search for information, and try out different things on their own until they’re able to quench their thirst for knowledge.

And among the millennial generation, learning could happen anywhere, even in travel, which was once regarded only as a mode of rest and recreation. Traveling gives millennials a larger, more exciting, and more personal view of the world and its people.

 

Today’s generation of millennials believes in the value of life just like their counterparts in older generations. What sets millennials apart, however, is how they perceive health, wealth, and knowledge as the main components of a successful life.

One does not necessarily need money to create wealth, rather the combination of experiences, skills, talents, and values that can help you live your life with more meaning.

Sep

28

2017

Tech-Driven Techniques to Motivate Employees

Published by in category Uncategorized | Leave a Comment

Technology has made significant changes in the way we do work. Various workplace trends have appeared through the years like the rise of work-life balance, the popularity of remote work, and the importance of a work culture that improves employee productivity.

That said, managers still consider attendance and absence management as important factors to the success of a business. And while we’re on the topic of management, the issue of motivating employees to be better at work is also a popular topic of discussion.

While it’s your job to inspire your team as both a leader and a manager, it’s also your responsibility to see to it that they are hitting your goals and achieving results.

Luckily, technology now has the means to help managers improve the morale of their team. Here are 4 tech-driven techniques to motivate your employees:

 

Use collaborative tools to promote workplace flexibility

Working in office cubicles is the common picture of office work before. However, various software now allows workers to work remotely.

Collaborative file-sharing tools such as Google Drive allow employees to access critical files from anywhere, and absence management software allows management to keep track of the performance of each member. This setup keeps things systematic while empowering employees of their own time.

Besides, workplace flexibility is becoming a necessary feature of modern companies. Allison O’Kelly, founder and CEO of Mom Corps, says that companies who don’t have alternative work options are at a disadvantage, as talented professionals now have the luxury of choice when picking a company that aligns with their lifestyle.

 

Promote clear communication and transparency

Ignoring the importance of team culture is a big no-no if you want to inspire your team, which is why it’s important for managers to build a culture that promotes the values of transparency and clear communication among your team.

Cloud-based chatting apps like Slack allow your team to stay updated—from C-level executives to entry-level employees on all the important happenings around the office, and keep an open line among team members so they can easily reach one another whenever needed.

There are a lot of apps that offer different sets of features for businesses, and it might be daunting to find the perfect one that works for you. But while technology may heavily influence the workplace of the future, it’s the occasional human touch that keeps things fun and brings motivation.

One example of this is sending handwritten notes to new team members to welcome them into the group. Unlike emails or any other form of digital communication, handwritten notes speak of the effort in putting pen to paper and consciously writing letters of appreciation. Your team will appreciate you for it.

Whatever tool you use, it’s important that you abide by the same principles of honesty and transparency when communicating with your team. No one likes working for a company that chooses to withhold information.

 

Be flexible in communicating with your team

Despite the number of communication apps appearing nowadays, many professionals still use email for business purposes. If that’s the case with your team, then forcing them to comply and use the same communication platform as you may not be a step forward in motivating them.

In that case, choose a communication software that offers email integration like Basecamp to allow team members to join in on the discussion via email. Part of the power of technology is the flexibility it provides, and choosing the right tool to communicate with your team helps to facilitate effective communication.

According to science, having a clear understanding of what each team member needs to do is a big factor in raising morale and coming up with successful projects.

 

Practicing these techniques can help you motivate your team and inspire them to perform better. The future of work is going to depend on technology heavily, and businesses who keep on thinking creative ways to use technology to enhance their business will be the most successful ones.

Whichever tool you use, it’s important to remember that tools are only as good as the people who use them. Managers should realize that genuine human interaction is just as important as digital tools in keeping employees happy.

Sep

6

2017

How to Win at Digital Marketing in Emerging Markets

Both small and large companies are starting to focus their resources on emerging markets, and for good reason.

According to a Thomson Reuters study, 70% of the global GDP growth will be coming from emerging markets by 2025. Indeed, developing countries present opportunities to drive growth, and companies are quickly realizing that they need to learn how to serve these markets best to become a leader in their particular industry.

The Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) Emerging Market Index lists 23 countries. These developing countries or emerging nations are Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Russia, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey and United Arab Emirates.

Companies can penetrate new markets and emerging nations, and succeed using digital marketing strategies such as content marketing, email marketing, behavior targeting, social media marketing, and more.

If you want to win at digital marketing in emerging markets, here’s what you need to consider.

1. Study the Online Behavior of the Market

First, you need to determine which emerging market you would like to penetrate, and study the online behavior of that particular nation.

In the Philippines, for instance, content marketing has seen a dramatic shift in the last five years. As such, multinational brands such as Nestle and McDonald’s are increasing and improving their digital marketing campaigns to reach a wider consumer base.

When you’re targeting an emerging market, it’s important to analyze whether your digital marketing efforts will pay off. Factors such as internet penetration rate, connectivity, average internet speed, and mobile device ownership are crucial to your success.

Culture, language, and tradition also play a large part. Make sure that you understand your geotarget to localize your plans. For instance, China blocks user access to popular platforms such as social media sites, search engines, video sharing sites, and other media websites. That means that digital marketing in China may be a different ballgame altogether.

2. Learn Fast or Hire an Expert

Understanding different people, with a different set of culture and values, may not be as easy as you think. One of the top deterrents to effective communication and successful marketing is language.

No matter how you study a new language, you will not be able to use it as fluently as the locals. But, study up and learn fast about your target’s dialect and language, as this will help you craft a marketing message which people of an emerging market can best relate to.

If you or your team is not confident about effectively communicating your marketing message to your target audience in a new, emerging market, then it’s best to hire an expert or consider outsourcing services.

These agencies or local companies are familiar with the local culture and practices, and are very fluent with the local language. Partnering up with a third-party agency will help you understand your target audience better and know what communication style works best.

3. Experiment a Lot

Since you’re charting unfamiliar waters, you can’t expect your marketing campaign to be highly successful in the beginning. Allot time and resources for conducting studies and research. Experiment. See what works.

Data analytics tools are available to help you determine which areas of your campaign is working. Analyze your results, and make necessary changes and revisions according to the data.

As mentioned, language barriers can prevent you from sending the right message to the right people. While it’s recommended to utilize a singular brand tone and message across your global campaigns, your brand message may get lost in translation. The tone and voice that may work in a developed country may not work in an emerging market.

So, be bold and experiment with various creative solutions and marketing strategies. Consider it part of your research that will help you eventually create the marketing campaign that emerging markets appreciate.

4. Be Ready to Spend

Digital marketing includes nine disciplines under its umbrella. While it may be more cost-efficient than above-the-line advertising and marketing, it doesn’t mean that it’s cheap or free.

Consider that you may need to outsource a local service provider or partner up with a marketing agency, for starters. Are you going to open a local headquarters or an office in your targeted country or will you just be sending representatives from time to time?

Keep in mind that your new business venture will secure the future of your company. You’re investing in the growth and expansion of your organization, so capital will be needed.

Consider the advantages that each country’s economy has to offer such as the population, labor force, literacy rate, government support and so forth.

5. Monitor Your Results

Determine the key metrics needed to measure your results. Compute how much you’re spending and earning with regard to the digital marketing strategies you’re implementing to reach your new target audience.

Metrics such as cost per acquisition (CPA), conversion rates, engagement rates, and the like will help you determine whether you’re getting the most bang for your buck.

Before you start outsourcing services, make sure to study your target market first. Emerging nations operate and function differently from developed countries. Don’t dive head-first into a new endeavor without learning the intricacies involved.

Winning at digital marketing in emerging markets is no easy feat. Aside from the obvious culture and language barriers, there are many other factors you need to consider. But, companies that take the time to learn and understand everything they need are those that succeed in penetrating emerging markets.

Aug

23

2017

Guide to Getting Management Buy-In

Change is essential in every growing company. When applied and managed effectively, it has the potential to drive an organization towards success. However, rewards and risks come with change, and often, companies tend to focus on the latter and ignore the former.

When business leaders are already accustomed to the way things are, they resist change because they perceive it as a risk. This is a notion that needs to be altered, as change is necessary for an organization to grow and progress. Challenging the status quo, when done well, offers numerous possibilities.

If you’re a manager with a strong idea that can greatly benefit your company, communicating it with your superiors is an imperative. As an employee in the middle ranks, you are in the best position to identify and promote change in your organization.

Your chances of successfully pitching your ideas to the people who are in the position to implement them will depend on the timing and presentation of your proposal. To increase the odds of getting your bosses to say “yes” to your idea, remember the following:

 

Know your audience

Keep your audience in mind as you prepare your proposal. Know their goals and values, as these will allow you to shape your message in such a way that will resonate well with them.

Be mindful of their time as well by keeping your presentation concise but still engaging and informative.

 

Highlight gains and show value

According to a University of Michigan study, high-ranking executives often reject ideas from their employees when they fail to see its relevance to the overall performance of the company.

When pitching an idea to your bosses, make sure to highlight how the entire company can benefit from it. Address the needs and concerns of each layer in the hierarchy—from the employees, middle-rank managers, and executives.

If you can show how your idea can enhance the organization’s productivity and increase its revenue without additional costs, you will surely get the attention of your superiors.

 

Back up with strong evidence

Present strong evidence from credible and reliable sources to support your ideas. Beef up your proposal with compelling facts, statistics, as well as examples from similar companies.

If you want your company to invest in a certain product, for instance, you can back up your proposal with product reviews from customers. You can also cite other companies who are using the same product and demonstrate the benefits they have gained from it.

You can get more people on board with you if you can support your ideas with evidence that will prove the value of your proposal.

 

Keep up with trends

If you want to have a strong proposal, be up-to-date with the latest trends. Keep an eye out for the latest app developments and technological advancements, as you could use these tools to optimize business operations and increase the company’s overall efficiency.

Again, when using apps or other technological tools, emphasize the benefits they may offer and present evidence and statistics that will back up your claims.

Apart from reviews, you may also invite an expert who can talk about the product you wish to acquire for the company. These strategies will surely bolster your proposal and get the attention of your superiors.

 

Prepare for unexpected questions

Since executives have a keen eye for the so-called big picture that middle-rank employees often fail to see, make sure to prepare for unexpected questions that may come from your superiors.

Before you present, study and analyze your proposal well and try to solicit feedback from trusted colleagues.

 

Mind the timing

When proposing a new idea to your bosses, timing is of critical importance. Even if you have done everything right—from the preparation to the presentation, you can still get a “no” from your superiors if the timing isn’t right.

According to a study published in the Harvard Business Review, sensitivity to timing is what separates successful sellers from the rest of the pack. The best and most effective sellers, as reported in the article, are those who have a keen eye for when priorities shift in the organization and when more people are starting to notice and pay attention to certain issues in the company.

This is also where an eye for critical trends also come into play. Successful sellers have a good eye for trends that their company may greatly benefit from. This is especially true for important technological trends like artificial intelligence, m2m, and SaaS.

Executives may not entirely acknowledge new technologies such as these because of their complacency with the company’s current business operations. This is a challenge for sellers to make a compelling case for their proposal especially when the new product or technology will bring great rewards for the organization.

 

Focus on solutions

If you’re going to present problems, make sure to suggest thoughtful solutions. To successfully sell your proposal, avoid focusing on problems, as these may be perceived as an angry complaint from an employee.

If you propose meaningful solutions, however, it shows that you have the company’s best interests in mind.

 

Emphasize the urgency

When proposing a new idea, it’s important that you communicate its value and urgency. Demonstrate that your idea is not simply a luxury but a necessity.

In line with this, highlight how your idea supports the goals and values of the company. Remember that executives only pay attention when you can show them the relevance of your idea to the growth and success of the entire company.

 

Employees are often hesitant to promote changes in their organizations. In effect, the company loses the opportunity to grow because of these important and critical changes.

When proposing a new idea that your company can greatly benefit from, remember the following: do your research, back up with strong evidence, highlight the need and urgency, and tailor your message according to your audience’s goals and values.

Change can potentially propel an organization towards success. As the old saying goes, change is the only constant in this world and it’s both a risk and a reward. But with strategic planning and implementation, it can open a world of possibilities for the entire company and all its valued employees.

Aug

11

2017

7 Steps to Improve Diversity in the Workplace

Published by in category hiring | Leave a Comment

Diversity is not a modern-day concept. In the 1950s, Sloan Wilson’s best-selling novel The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit alluded to the ills of giving up one’s personal identity for the sake of conforming to social standards. At the time, conformity was perceived to define success, until a new way of thinking led to the counter-cultural movement in the 1960s.

To put things in perspective, you need to realize that diversity is not limited to cultural aspects. Rather, diversity encompasses many other factors such as age, gender, social class, disability, religion, political beliefs, communication style, and so much more.

Diversity in the workplace aims to manage individual differences to eliminate the gap between shortages of talent, regardless whether you need local or international candidates, and empowering companies to be competitive in the global market.

But, more than just a goal, diversity is also a process for creating change. It’s an initiative that should involve ongoing and simultaneous activities in policy making, education, collaboration, and evaluation.

Steps to Diversifying Your Workforce

Here’s a step-by-step guide if you’re looking to diversify your organization:

  1. Prepare for launch

    Top-level management should take the initiative in planning diversity efforts prior to officially introducing an organization-wide initiative. Here are the main things to consider in the planning stage:
  • Allocating budget
  • Sourcing educational materials
  • Forming a diversity committee
  • Setting a timetable for committee meetings
  • Hiring a consultant
  1. Establish a framework

    Your framework should provide a clear, definite direction for your diversity campaign. Your framework should contain:
  1. Implement the initiative

This phase sets the plan into action and provides insights to the diversity committee regarding issues, problems, and advantages related to the initiative. The following steps are crucial:

  • Engaging the services of a professional consultant
  • Conducting a needs assessment, reflecting on how current systems, policies, or procedures are working
  • Setting priorities and timelines for better diversity management program
  • Communicating accomplishments to the organization through newsletters, bulletins, meeting agendas, etc.
  1. Integrate people and activities

All employees are encouraged to join training programs and other diversity-related educational programs, as diversity committee members evaluate which activities are greatly contributing to the organization’s diversity goals. At this stage, your organization should be ready to:

  • Design effective training ideas and programs culled from professional and expert trainers
  • Collect feedback from training participants
  • Address possible reactions, especially those that signify resistance to overall diversity efforts
  1. Evaluate the practice

You’d do well to perform an informal evaluation, as well as a formal evaluation based on design and methodology to assess how your diversity efforts are impacting the organization.

Are your efforts showing progress, no progress, or unforeseen changes? To help you come up with an effective evaluation:

  • Focus on the pre-set goals and objectives
  • Gather data showing change among employees and within the organization
  • Identify barriers to and catalysts of change for future planning
  1. Reexamine the whole thing

Use your evaluation results to redefine goals, improve existing systems, add new ideas, and plan for the future. It’s also a good opportunity to renew collaborative ties with participants, partners, and planners of the program.

  1. Consolidate your efforts

Once you have identified which part of your diversity methodologies is the most effective, be ready to incorporate them into the overall culture of the organization. Then, work on areas where further improvement is needed.

How to Improve Diversity in the Workplace

Diversity is all about giving a fair chance in recruiting, hiring, and retaining employees, no matter who or what they are. Below are some dos and don’ts in enhancing your diversity efforts:
Diversity in Recruitment

  • When posting job ads, do not choose hiring networks where people with similar interests converge. Otherwise, you might achieve a culture of sameness in your current workforce.

    Your best alternative when sourcing diverse talent is local organizations in various communities. They have linkages with churches, colleges, and other institutions in their area. You can also approach nonprofit organizations, as they are primarily focused on incorporating diversity in fulfilling their mission.

  • Communicate in your job posts your organization’s policies against discrimination, and highlight why you support diversity. Personalize your statement to make it clear that you are seeking for diverse candidates to join your organization.

Diversity in Hiring

  • Do not focus exclusively on the candidate’s grades when setting your hiring criteria. Take underlying factors into consideration such as recommendations from former employers and awards or training received.
  • Be flexible in setting educational requirement. A Master’s Degree qualification may be interspersed with a Bachelor’s Degree title, alongside years or relevant professional experience.
  • Form a diverse hiring panel to conduct the interviews. This will ensure objectivity and fairness in the selection process.

Diversity in Employee Retention

  • Do not cluster diverse people in select departments in the organization. Put them in the creative department, as well as in technical teams. Then, allow employees to have opportunities for interaction and networking through social events or team building activities.
  • Design policies that promote a diversity-friendly work culture and environment. Offer flexible schedules, leave options, meal choices, recreational activities, and the like.

Diversifying the workplace is full of challenges and is a complex process, but it’s also replete with rewards. Your employees feel motivated, and your business gains a stronger foothold in people management and global competitiveness. No wonder, many companies are becoming more committed to this endeavor, and so should you.

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