We all set personal resolutions to try and stick to in the New Year. Just as important is setting business resolutions, and sticking to them, will benefit your company in a number of ways in 2014. There are always areas that can be changed or improved, whether this is marketing strategies, product development or customer care. Changing the way your business tackles everyday challenges will help to refresh otherwise repetitive tasks, streamline the way processes are completed and spruce up your marketing efforts.
Create a happy and healthy working environment
Everyone knows that a happy employee is a productive and loyal employee. Making sure that your workforce is happy and healthy will, in turn, decrease recruitment and absence costs considerably. A healthy employee will take fewer sick days and a happy employee is far less likely to look elsewhere for employment.
As well as retaining healthy staff, you also benefit from employee referrals and a strong brand and employer image. If your employees are spreading the word about your company in social media and with friends face to face, then their doing your marketing for you!
There are a number of initiatives that can be implemented to improve the working environment, as well as the happiness and health of your employees. These include:
- Live plants in the office
- Ongoing wellbeing programs (gym membership, social events, sports clubs)
- Flu jabs
- Flexible working and working from home policies
Speaking with, and listening to, your employees will help you to decide the best types of schemes to improve employee wellbeing. By speaking to your workforce, and implementing suggestions, you will also gain the trust of your employees and ensure that the new initiatives are the best fit for your company culture.
Get social and transparent
Social media is big business, brands interact with customers, both current and prospective, on a daily if not hourly basis, and reap the benefits. If your brand isn’t using social media marketing then it should start in 2014. It’s unlikely that you’ll need to join and update every social network. Time and consideration should be given to your marketing strategy prior to signing up on every site. Concentrating your efforts on the networks that work best for you, and your brand will avoid wasted effort and time. The ‘big 5’ social networks are:
There are, of course, a number of other sites that can be utilised in order to build an online presence and influence. These include:
Each social network has it’s particular advantages and features which should be considered when building your social marketing plans. Allowing access to behind the scenes information, sharing social news from within the business and promoting transparency you will build trust and interest in your company brand, as well as appearing more approachable and trustworthy.
Mix it up a bit
Changing the mundane processes that may have been ingrained into your company’s daily routines can have very positive effects. The way things are done may just be because “that’s the way they’ve always been done” and may not necessarily the right and best way. Introducing new and improved processes, and one’s which make employees lives easier, is a great way to increase productivity while making your employees happier by freeing up their time to concentrate on pro active tasks. Some common areas that could be improved include:
- Out of date/unsupported software updated
- Remote access to allow working from home
- Collaboration software
- Weekly breakfast run
- Paper based processes that should be automated online
Sometimes the smallest of changes can have dramatic effects on staff morale.
Focus on productivity
Making sure that every employee has the tools and training to perform 100% is a must for any successful business. An employee that doesn’t have the necessary tools and training will become frustrated and non productive over time. Ensure there’s a process, clearly defined and communicated, to enable employees to request the equipment or training that they require to do their job. CIPHR Net allows for this type of process and also includes a verification stage, allowing the manager to check requests and action as appropriate.
Company wide productivity tools will also help to ensure each employee is performing 100%. Ensuring that the workforce can communicate and collaborate effectively and easily will improve cohesiveness and the team spirit among your employees, as well as the obvious benefits in terms of general productiveness. Some great online productivity tools include:
Get more visual
Read any online marketing statistics article and you’ll see that social updates which include images and video are much more likely to attract interaction and ‘call to action’ than those without. With this in mind any marketing strategy that you have for 2014 should include visual elements. This could include any one of the following:
The right content for the above should also be high on your priorities. Recycling old content is not a good use of time and fresh original articles/graphics are what will get you the clicks, interaction and conversions. Content should be suited to the social channel and use the appropriate visuals.