Employee engagement is a vital tool for businesses – engaged employees are notably more productive, happier, and more likely to act in ways beneficial to the company. Despite this, many businesses aren't ensuring their employees are engaged – and they're especially ignoring the women in the company.
But just how can you engage your female employees? The secret is less complex than it seems.
Be Their Ideal Company
This sounds like a challenge, but many women still face harassment and other insidious forms of sexism in the workplace. From being passed over for promotions because 'they might have children' to not seeing many other friendly female faces every day in the office, women may feel undervalued in comparison to the men in the company. How can you fix this? Simple – make an active effort to address these issues within your company. If your company becomes known as a place that enacts positive change for women, they are more likely to be engaged, productive – and not to leave.
Now you know the major secret, let's look at some practical ways you can implement this.
How do you talk?
How do you talk to your employees when in meetings (both group and individual)? Many business leaders draw on traditionally masculine metaphors – lots of sport-themed talk. Whilst many women enjoy sport, it still highlights a masculine environment, so try to use more neutral metaphors and you'll find many women speak up far more.
How flexible are you?
Whilst both women and men work better with flexible work arrangements, it's vitally important for women – especially those with children. If a woman has to take the day off with a sick child, how does your company respond? If it's counting it as an unpaid sick day, then you're losing a brilliant chance to increase employee engagement. If it's possible for them to work from home for a day, then they can remain engaged in their job as well as in their home life – leaving you a happy, productive employee who feels valued within their role.
Making goals or making time?
Which do you prefer your employees aim for – a certain amount of work done per day, or a certain amount of hours. People of all genders work better in goal-orientated companies, as it gives flexibility. As mentioned above, this is especially important for the engagement of women employees. This is not necessarily practical in customer-focused jobs (such as retail or catering) but in admin, computing and other similar jobs, if an employee can finish the necessary amount of work in five hours, then they shouldn't be penalised for this – but rather encouraged.
How many employees can do their job?
There's a fine line to walk here. An employee should never feel as though they're unneeded – it shouldn't be possible for them to leave and someone else to just step into their place. However, they also shouldn't feel pressured to come in regardless of their situation. Cross-training is an excellent solution to this – if employees can cover each other for a few days, it allows them to feel like they have flexible options. Women who may need to pick a child up early from school or similar situations aren't pressured to come in and this lack of stress increases employee engagement.
Who are you promoting?
Are you hiring senior positions from inside or outside the company? The best way to maintain employee engagement is to promote internally, as it increases the career improvement options for your employees – meaning they're less likely to look elsewhere. However, in a primarily male company, the opposite is true. Women feel less engaged if there are few senior women, so hiring externally to increase to number of visible, competent, senior women is a great way to ensure your company is the ideal company for women to work at.
Whilst most employee engagement tips will work for all genders, focusing on flexibility, giving women vital roles and consciously creating a neutral, rather than masculine atmosphere will increase the happiness and productivity of your female staff.
Trying to balance work, family, fitness, and free time proves to be a challenging task. It often seems like there just are not enough hours in the day to accomplish all your tasks, forcing prioritization. Often, fitness, or overall health, falls by the wayside. If this is the case for you, check out these quick and easy ways to integrate exercise into your schedule and boost your health!
2) Stay Hydrated
Dehydration is linked to common issues like headaches and fatigue, things that can be hindrances to our productivity and mood at work. Experts suggest that we should consume half a gallon a day and we should be consistently sipping! This step is an easy way to stay on top of things, considering how readily available water is; simply keep a water bottle with you at work and you are good to go!
4) Modify and Make Mini-Workouts
It may seem strange, but implementing quick workouts in the office really does work! Taking walks during conference calls, busting out a quick set of pushups in-between tasks, or simply stretching thoroughly are all do-able fitness exercises to add into your daily routine.
5) Disinfect and Protect
They say cleanliness is next to godliness, and at the office this rings especially true. Have a supply of disinfectant wipes at the ready, and wipe down common areas and appliances daily! In addition, studies show that a supply of Vitamin D helps ward off infections, so keep your immune system boosted with the help of the sun!
6) Give Yourself Some Alone and Quiet Time
Noise and lack of privacy greatly impact the office dynamic. Studies found that even low key noise leads to elevated levels of norepinephrine, keeping the body at a constantly heightened level of "fight or flight" response. Lack of privacy also leads to increased stress levels and work tension. Give yourself some quiet time in a secluded area to relax and recharge during your workday.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Although there are some skeptics, few people challenge the value of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). At its core, SEO is based in an algorithm that determines whether (or how well) your site meets certain core criteria. The criteria the algorithm evaluates is: technical factors, on-site factors, off-site factors, content factors, and links. That being said, here are some ways you can master your own SEO practices.
1) Keyword Research
There are many tools out there to help you track your keyword use and rank such as iWebTool and Google AdWords Keyword Planner. Try using different words or phrases and then making a spreadsheet of frequency and competition. The trick is finding words with high frequency but low competition. Once you find your best words, place them in the title, introductory sentence, and closing sentence of your piece that way search engines will be more likely to pick it. Watch this MACsWomen In Business video tutorial.
Whenever you list your business or any personal information online, make sure it is uniform throughout. Include the same name, phone number, email, etc each and every time. Additionally, make sure your URLs are not too long and, if they are, rewrite them.
Google will penalize pages that have less than 600 words as being too "thin," so make sure your content meets that limit and is also highly specific. That being said, try to keep the content under 1,500 words so your reader will stay focused and not be intimidated by length.
4) Web Performance
Utilize google's family of Page Speed tools which work to identify the best performance practices for the highest "visitor engagement, retention, and conversions." Shoot for a score of at least 85 and implement changes to raise the score if it is below that bar. This will come in especially handy for attracting traffic from mobile devices that run slower than a computer.
5) Annual Audit
SEO is constantly evolving and can be hard to keep up with on your own. Therefore, hiring a quality auditor to check for penalties and to ensure your site is running smoothly would be a wise business move. Any money you would spend on an auditor would make up for itself in the Search Engine Optimization penalties you would avoid.
Many companies and HR executives recognize that one of their major challenges is attracting and retaining highly skilled employees and managers. Older workers are heading toward retirement, and younger people often have different attitudes and expectations when it comes to work. Increasing employee engagement is an excellent way to make employees happier and less likely to leave.
Working with women can be a lot more challenging than working with men. Due to the sensitive nature of their character, women can’t always cope with a stressful environment; therefore, they won’t hesitate to leave. How can companies retain women? How can they keep them motivated and involved? Here are some tactics to boost engagement.
Create a positive work environment
The work environment is a product of corporate culture, and it starts at the top. If your business has a high stress, cut-throat environment, where employees feel like they must work long hours and unpaid overtime, then many of them will be unhappy and feel like looking for other employment.
Women are especially concerned about family responsibilities, and it can be hard to juggle the demands of a family and career at the same time. If you create an environment where it's easier for them to balance work and family, then they will be more likely to stay with your company. Management training is essential to ensure that consistent practices are followed throughout the organization.
Provide career development
Employees near retirement age may not care about development, but younger people you bring in will typically care much more. In male-dominated companies, women may be concerned about advancement opportunities. Many employees view career development as just as important as salary in determining what job opportunity to choose.
If managers work with individual employees to discuss their career path and growth opportunities within the company, employees won't feel that they need to jump ship in order to advance their careers elsewhere. Work with every person, so that they don't feel they are stuck in a dead end position. Development plans can give each employee a roadmap to follow to gain the skills they need to move ahead in their career.
Get women employees involved
When people can be involved with a company beyond just the scope of their individual job responsibilities, it makes them more engaged, and they feel a greater sense of commitment to the organization. Find ways to solicit women employee ideas and suggestions. You may find that employees have valuable suggestions for ways to improve your operations. Encourage everyone to get involved and participate. The next step is to act on some of the suggestions that you get. If people contribute with ideas, but see that they go nowhere, then your efforts could backfire.
Recognize and reward
You want employees to do their best on each project, and to take pride in producing quality results. If you want to foster that behavior, then recognize people for that type of effort, and reward those behaviors. While any employee would appreciate a big cash bonus, you don't have to limit yourself to monetary rewards. Although financial incentives are important, women would prefer to feel valued and appreciated in exchange.
Some simple public appreciation of a job well done will boost an employee's feelings of accomplishment, and make them feel that they are appreciated and respected for the work they do. Point out and celebrate excellent performance at staff meetings, and any other time you have an opportunity.
Encourage women to become leaders
Companies should encourage their female employees to become leaders. This is a certain way of keeping them engaged, too. When women feel valued and appreciated by those around them they feel alive and willing to go to extreme lengths to attain their goals. Allow them to make important decisions, share essential company information with them, and invite them to official meetings.
More business women would want to take risks at the workplace. Unfortunately, they’re not always allowed to do that, especially if the people in their companies are mostly men. The good news is entrepreneurs and business owners can change all that. Men shouldn’t feel superior at the workplace. As long as women are appreciated by those in charge, they will feel engaged. That’s everything they need to prove that their skills go beyond their pretty faces.
By Steve Brown and Peopleinsight.co.uk!
Questions To Stir Your Soul - by Lisa Nichols.
"I came here to ask you some questions that will stir your soul. To share some stories that might open your heart. Give you permission to play bigger. Because it's your assignment. Because you'll never be at peace until you say yes to your big picture assignment."
- Lisa Nichols, Bestselling Author, Public Speaker and Star of "The Secret"
Social media is no doubt the new-way of marketing your business and staying connected with family and friends across the world. It is not a big deal to just have a website these days; most business owners do. The new exciting wave in marketing and reaching your ideal client is in having a presence on the top social media platforms and connecting with your ideal customers there. Maximizing the visibility of your brand.
Twitter is great for news and real-time buzz. But Instagram is now bigger, and according to new data, it’s the definitive place to be for brands who want to engage with their communities.
In the latest social media news according to a New York Times article, Instagram announced that it now has 300 million monthly active users, up 50 percent in just nine months.
That makes the service, a photo- and video-sharing app owned by Facebook, more popular than Twitter, which had 284 million monthly active users as of the third quarter. More than 70 percent of Instagram’s users are outside the United States, the company said.
Instagram’s rapid growth, while impressive, is hardly surprising. Visual posts, and especially video, have become the hottest growth area in social networking. With this exciting news of Instagram currently being more popular than Twitter, (You can follow along here and double-tap with us!) is your business there? It makes sense that you give your business a presence on this fast growing global social media platform. Remember, people are visual and visual content gets more engagement than text status updates. You've heard the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”.
The number one social media platform, Facebook, has been changing its news feed over the past year to better showcase video content, and Twitter is focusing more on building up its Vine short-video service. Advertisers are also demanding more video options, and online services are hustling to meet that demand.
Instagram users are highly engaged with the service, with users interacting with posts at 18 times the rate they do with Facebook posts, according to a report issued last month by the research firm L2.
If you would like support with setting up your Instagram page or maintaining your social media marketing, let’s chat. We would love to help you grow your brand visibility and increase profits! Schedule your free discovery session here: Business Marketing and Support Strategy Session.
In business we have many triggers that keep us motivated. For some of us they are things like $$$ (money), accomplishment, recognition, community service, our families, financial challenges and the list goes on....
As a motivator and creator of the MACsWomen's Group, I enjoy reading articles and books about business, self-development and how to maintain a positive mindset, which are crucial topics in the success of your business. Which leads me to share with you a new book I discovered by Gabriele Oettingen:
Rethinking Positive Thinking: Inside the New Science of Motivation
Gabriele talks about a four-step plan she's come up with from her years of research.
What is your dearest wish and what holds you back from achieving that wish? - Oettingen
Wish: First, define your goal. "Think about a wish that is dear to you," Oettingen said. "What is it you really want? This could be a big, New Year's–resolution-type ambition, like running a marathon or losing a certain amount of weight, but it doesn't have to be. "I do it every morning for the next day," Oettingen said on the podcast. Your wish doesn't have to be huge; it just has to be real, something you truly want.
Outcome: Here's where a little bit of positive thinking sneaks back in. Keeping your goal in mind, ask yourself: If this wish of mine is fulfilled, what is the best possible outcome? "Very often, it is a feeling," Oettingen said. "You define that outcome, and you imagine that outcome. And once you've imagined the outcome, really immerse yourself in these daydreams."
Obstacles: The previous step tends to be where people naturally stop — daydreaming feels pretty nice, after all — but Oettingen isn't done yet. After you've let yourself fantasize for a little while about what it will feel like when your goal is accomplished, bring your mind back down to reality. "Then you say, What is it in me that holds me back from experiencing that wish, that outcome? " Oettingen said. "Very often it's an emotion, it's those same old habits. ... And you imagine that obstacle."
Plan: "Once you've imagined that obstacle," Oettingen said, "you'll understand what you need to do to overcome it." Come up with an if/then plan — if this obstacle pops up, then you'll do X to get around it and keep going after your goal.
Oettingen's research has shown that this method has helped people eat more fruits and vegetables; it's also helped students achieve better grades in school, and it has even helped people act less insecure in their romantic relationships. Added but important couple of bonuses: (1) It's just kinda fun to say. WOOP! and (2) If this method has helped people of all ages in other areas, it could help you in your business too! WOOP!
As opposite to men, women are more willing to leave their companies and move on. Why are women so unhappy at the workplace and how come the number of unhappy female employees keeps growing? Well, for starters we should point out that women face a lot of frustration as far as equality as the office is concerned. Some of them feel they’re underpaid and undervalued, while others sense that they’re not getting equal chances for mentoring and upward development.
Many women see their careers from a broader perspective. Rather than work in the same company for years, they would accept work opportunities in other industries as well. Also, when a woman decides that it’s time to quit her job and look for something better, she informs the family but doesn’t feel she’s letting them down; men on the other hand, are more worried to quit their jobs because they don’t want to disrupt the family dynamics.
Women are high-achievers
The number of unhappy female employees keeps growing because of their tricky personalities. As opposite to men, they’re high-achievers and they don’t like to settle for less than they deserve. Several industry strategists foresaw that 50% of working women would leave their jobs right away to try something else. That’s because women get more excited when it comes to changing workplaces; men don’t like change and some would rather remain with a company for decades rather than start interviewing again and try to fit in a different work environment.
Unhappy female workers triggers fallouts
Companies that don’t care if their female employees are happy or unhappy are likely deal with business fallouts at some point in the future. An official analysis performed in Europe and the US, highlighted that companies with more women workers have greater chances of success. Additionally, a 19-year old study performed by a US university, found that several Fortune 500 companies that hired female workers outperformed their competitors by over 40%.
Promoting women is good for business
Women employees work harder than male employees; however they don’t always do it for pleasure. Some female workers feel that they’ve got something to prove, while others consider that they’re being unappreciated by their managers and supervisors. It’s time for women to stop being so insecure and realize that they’re just as capable as men at attaining greatness. Why should feel apprehensive in a work environment surrounded by men, when your performance level is just as good as theirs?
Some leaders can’t retain women employees because they can’t gain their trust. So basically they end up spending a lot of money, time and effort on hiring female workers who won’t hesitate to leave if they’re not pleased with the offered working conditions. On the bright side, women can show stability just as well as men. Yet, recent studies have proven that the number of unhappy women at the workplace is constantly growing. Why? Because they’re not settlers and they always thrive to achieve more. If a work space is enticing, interesting and engaging, then women are more likely to remain with that company for extended periods of time; but when they’re forced to do the exact same thing for years in row, they can’t cope with the pressure they would rather quit.
What should a company do to engage women employees?
The only way a company can retain women employees is to keep them engaged. Sadly, it can be tough to live up to the expectations of a woman, so unless you’re willing to make some serious changes, you should stop trying right now. First of all, company leaders must involve female employees in all kinds of activities; allow them to make important decisions, organize weekly seminars and training sessions, and let them be in charge.
In spite of a growing number of unhappy female employees, companies should focus on the bright side – the whole situation can be fixed. Women want to have the same rights as men in a work environment; they don’t want to feel inferior and they want to be appreciated for their efforts. Fortunately, there are many companies out there willing to hire women, and that’s because women are more capable than men; they’re more organized, meticulous and more attentive to details.
By Steve Brown and PeopleInsight.co.uk!
With each new year, big conferences are planned for business women seek out these events to attend to broaden their networks and increase the client base. Conferences in NYC are great places to connect, learn and share new business ideas.
The conference quote:"For me, conferences are like little mental vacations: a chance to go visit an interesting place for a couple of days, and come back rested and refreshed with new ideas and perspectives. " Erin McKean
We can all learn more from reframing our brains through hearing and allowing new ideas and thought processes to permeate our sometimes clouded or one-way of thinking strategy. We strongly believe in the theory that no one succeeds alone and it is through fresh, new ideas and the shared best practices of others who've accomplished what you are trying to accomplish that will help facilitate your growth.
Jane Fonda, advises us as business women to: "Seek women mentors. If you're a businesswoman, look at the TEDx conferences. There's a lot of businesswomen that speak there. I find them extremely inspiring." And we agree. Find conferences like ted that support you as a business woman and attend them. We not only attend events but we are the proud producers of the MACsWomen Connect Summit . An annual conference that supports women business owners acorss the New York Tri-State area at-large; held in Westchester County, New York on the first Saturday in October, each year.
How Conferences Connect Business Women Using Social Media Sites.
As a business woman attending a conference, you can use social media sites to connect long before you attend the event. Here are a few ways:
If you have already registered to attend this October's MACsWomen Connect Summit, let us know with a tweet using the hashtag #MACsSummit and follow the summit's new Instagram page at http://www.instagram.com/connectsummitandexpo! We look forward to getting to know you well before the event. Registration is open, sign up here!
Now tell us, are there business conferences in 2015 you know of that might be of interest to our readers of female entrepreneurs? Share a bit about the conference and a link in the comments below. Let's spread the love!