Benefits

7 Business Benefits of Engaging a Keynote Speaker

Think keynote speaker and you envision a charismatic, motivational speaker who is the center of attention at conferences and leads with riveting ideas about entrepreneurship and how to make a success of your business, career, and personal life.

If you could invite this professional to come in and speak to your employees at a prestigious company event, wouldn’t that be great? He could inspire and motivate your workers, and educate them on the ethos of your company, its mission and objectives. In short you could hire a keynote speaker who is also trained in business strategy and can make your people understand the importance of what they do.

Does Your Business Really Need Professional Help?

It does if you take a close look at these statistics cited in an article on the Forbes magazine. Studies show that at least 60% to 70% of employees are not engaged enough in their jobs or are disinterested in the tasks assigned to them. Gallup data also reveals that inefficiency and low productivity levels cost the U.S. losses amounting to $ 450 billion.

Still wondering if you need a professional to motivate and engage your workforce?

7 Key Business Benefits of Hiring the Perfect Keynote Speaker

1. Add Credibility to Your Company

A keynote speaker like Arman Sadeghi who has the relevant expertise will not only resonate well with your audience, but also credibility to your event. A top expert in his field will make your event more worthwhile for attendees and seem more important for all stakeholders. The added credibility may enhance chances of third parties boosting your reach.

For instance, news agencies may report on your event. Celebrities may mention and even attend, while collaborators and financiers may increase their support. You see all of this happening when Arman delivered his keynote speech at a conference attended by the U.S. Marine Corps.

2. Boost Registration Numbers

Keynote speakers are by definition engaging individuals and authorities in their field. They generally command a following of dedicated fans. The right leadership motivational speakers can mobilize this fan base to greatly boost the number of attendees at your event. With the explosive combined power of diverse social media platforms, your event can be sold out well in advance. In addition to your own employees, you will have prospective customers and vendors looking to book a seat to hear your keynote speaker talk about why working with your company is a great idea.

3. Provide Your Workers with a Fresh Perspective

C-suite managers and heads of departments are sometimes called upon to deliver the keynote speech. Company owners from Glerups Slippers or Google reason that they’re a good choice because they are familiar with their audience and the company’s needs. However, what you need is a professional who can not only provide a fresh perspective, but also a new face.

Often times, workers associate a particular manager or supervisor with the roles he plays in the company on a daily basis. And, getting them to see the same person in the new light of an expert is just impossible. Familiarity breeds contempt and they may not see him as a credible source of information.

4. Inspire Your Team

Should you read this article on Fast Company, you will learn that workers need to know that the work they’re doing is a means to a goal. They need to know that their efforts mean something and they ARE making a difference. The keynote speaker will impress on your employees about the mission of the company and how every task they complete helps accomplish that mission. He will also let them know that the management is appreciative of their dedication and commitment to the company.

5. Build a Community out of Different Departments

Most businesses have various departments and teams working on different levels. At times, this results in disconnected messages and concepts coming across to employees and clients. A keynote speaker can work to tie in all these dissonant messages into a coherent concept. This works to fire up your audience, drive them in a particular unified direction, and to solidify your brand identity. In place of individual departments and workers focusing on their tasks, you’ll develop a community of people with each being well aware of how they fit into the big picture.

6. Promote Sales, Upsells, and Cross Sells

The main agenda for any business is to help their clients fulfill their needs. This usually happens by providing valuable products at competitive prices. If it’s part of the event objectives, a keynote speaker can help drive sales of the company’s products, upsell customers to higher value products, and cross sell complementary products. This can increase profit margins and result in viral word of mouth marketing well beyond the event day/venue. Generate widespread interest in your company and its products by having a notable expert talk about them.

7. Break the Monotony of Set Routines

Read this research paper written by Richard Thackray for Psychosomatic Medicine and you will learn that nothing is more stressful and detrimental to employee productivity than monotony and boredom. A good keynote speaker can also act as a motivational speaker encouraging workers to think about and develop new ideas to perform better at their jobs. Employees can also be encouraged to initiate discussions about new product ideas and how to provide better customer care. Remember, a motivated employee is also a loyal employee and will strive for the success of your business.

Maximize Your Business Results with a Corporate Keynote Speaker

These 7 key benefits can grow your business if you engage a corporate keynote speaker.  You need someone who’s comfortable with your kind of crowd and knows his subject content.  Choose an experienced professional who delivers that content in an engaging manner. A results-driven keynote speaker will direct the event’s agenda towards achieving the event’s main objectives. Remember to set out all your goals in the contract and align it with the speaker’s service-level agreement.

The post 7 Business Benefits of Engaging a Keynote Speaker appeared first on Social Media Explorer.

Social Media Explorer

Facebook Place Tips: check-in benefits without checking in

Place Tips

Facebook just released a new feature for mobile called Place Tips that has a very familiar ring to it.

You stop for lunch at a popular restaurant near your work and suddenly a notification pops on the top of your Facebook mobile news feed. Tap and you get information about the very restaurant you’re sitting in. Dig deeper and Facebook will serve up all the reviews, photos and videos your friends have posted about the location so you’ll know to avoid the Clam Chowder and go with the Cranberry Walnut Salad instead.

Could be a lifesaver.

In order to serve up this feast of relevant info, Facebook has to first determine your location and that’s going to rile some people up. But there’s no need to worry. Place Tips is not a check-in service. Your location is not going to post to Facebook if you access the offered data. But you can bet that Facebook is going to use your location data for other purposes such as local advertising. And why not? If they know where you are, doesn’t it make sense to offer you a coupon for $ 5 off your lunch or a free appetizer with dinner?

Let’s look at this from the flip side; the person getting the information is getting a benefit from the service. What about the people whose accounts are being accessed to serve up the data. Is that something to worry about? I post about my trip to Universal Studios last month and you’re handed my post when you visit this week? For anyone trying to generate more views on their content, this feature could deliver a big audience – except for one thing – it looks like it only works between friends, so unless you have a ton of followers it’s not going to help at all.

There is one exception; in addition to posts from friends, Facebook Place Tips will also serve up posts from the businesses’ Facebook Page as well as scheduled events and other Page info.

In other words, Facebook Place Tips gives you all the benefits of Foursquare without having to actually check-in to a place in the first place.

 

 

Marketing Pilgrim – Internet News and Opinion

Content Delivery Network Benefits Other Than Site Speed

The loading time of a website can determine its success or failure. According to an infographic at KISSmetrics, a second delay in loading time decreases conversion rate by 7%.

You can argue about a small detail affect the impact of your website. But you cannot deny that speeding up the loading time of your site is a priority.

This is one of the reasons why developers use a content delivery network (CDN) for their sites. Relying on your hosting service alone is not enough to ensure the best performance of your sites.

If your site receives a spike in traffic, your hosting may not be able to withstand the surge of visitors. Your site may not load fast enough, leading to lost traffic.

Worse, this may cause your site to go down. Just as when thousands are eager to see your site, visitors will be as disappointed to see your site break down.

With a CDN, you can be sure that visitors see your sites at the fastest times possible and without a hitch.

When a site using CDN experiences heavy traffic, it draws data from distributed servers. This helps ease the load from the closest server where most of the traffic is coming.

More than one server is working to fulfill the request of visitors. They make the site loads faster on the browser of users.

ffe88d7a96dff15d063ebcb714a13dffThe purpose of CDNs is to serve content from the closest geographical location to the end user. This serves to speed up the loading of scripts, stylesheets and images which are typically static, particularly for users that are located in territories that are relatively far away from the location of a website’s server. – Yusuf Bhana for Smart Insights (Link to actual quote)

This is the common reason why developers are using CDN for their sites. But there are others benefits that CDN brings to the table. Below are reasons that you should start using them for your self-hosted sites.

Improved SEO

Search algorithms consider site speed as a ranking factor. Sites that load faster have a higher change of ranking for their keywords.

Using CDN helps you reach this goal for your sites. As mentioned earlier, it makes the site load faster on the end of the user.

Aside from site speed, there are other reasons how CDN contributes to your SEO campaign. Most CDN services offer bot blocking. This prevents bots that are out to steal your content and drop spammy comments on your posts.

Activating this feature on your CDN service will keep your sites clean from attacks.

htt85MBTThis is why we, the SEOs, must leverage website security services as another tool in ours (already heavy) tool belt. After all, with each passing day more and more sites sign up for security and CDN services and none of us can afford not to be as fast and as protected as the competition. – Igal Zeifman, Incapsula’s Community Manager (Link to actual quote)

Click Here to Tweet!

Added layer of protection

The main function of CDN is to optimize your website. But it has protection features as well. As mentioned, one of those is blocking malicious bots from entering your site

More sophisticated CDN services have protection against Denial of Service (DoS) and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. Both attempt to create many requests to the server or network resource. By piling up request, it overloads the server, which can render it unavailable over time.

A person with a computer and internet connection can launch a DoS attack. People who launch this attack have a grudge against the site owner or a competitor who wish to take your site down.

A DDoS attack follows the same approach as a DoS attack but is much more damaging. Instead of just one device as the source of the attack, a DDoS attack comes from many sources. This makes a DDoS attack much more difficult to counter. You will have to trace all the sources to halt the attack.

Choosing the CDN network that allows protections from these attacks will save you a ton of money. Never mind that you may have to pay for the protection. The lost site traffic and revenue will cost more than buying the protection in the first place.

“If you spend more on coffee than on IT security, you will be hacked. What’s more, you deserve to be hacked.” – Richard Clarke

Better UX

Whether you are running an education, business, or e-commerce site, there is no reason for you to not use a CDN. It helps decrease loading time and reduce downtime of your sites.

If you host large files or lots of files, the CDN will manage the load by distributing it to different servers. Having a CDN will make user requests from their end faster to process. This results to faster loading time, which helps in increasing visitor retention.

Users will feel relieved to browse your fail-safe and fast-loading site. They will stay longer and browse more pages on your site.

Final thoughts: If buying a CDN is not your priority before reading this post, it should be now. Protection and security are site factors developers should strive to achieve. Visitors will have a much better experience with a high performing site. This could lead to more visitors and higher sales.

To meet all these, you need to use a CDN.

More on content delivery network:

Publishing High-Quality Digital Media on the Web

7 Tips to Speed Up Responsive Websites

The post Content Delivery Network Benefits Other Than Site Speed appeared first on SpyreStudios.


SpyreStudios

Content Delivery Network Benefits Other Than Site Speed

The loading time of a website can determine its success or failure. According to an infographic at KISSmetrics, a second delay in loading time decreases conversion rate by 7%.

You can argue about a small detail affect the impact of your website. But you cannot deny that speeding up the loading time of your site is a priority.

This is one of the reasons why developers use a content delivery network (CDN) for their sites. Relying on your hosting service alone is not enough to ensure the best performance of your sites.

If your site receives a spike in traffic, your hosting may not be able to withstand the surge of visitors. Your site may not load fast enough, leading to lost traffic.

Worse, this may cause your site to go down. Just as when thousands are eager to see your site, visitors will be as disappointed to see your site break down.

With a CDN, you can be sure that visitors see your sites at the fastest times possible and without a hitch.

When a site using CDN experiences heavy traffic, it draws data from distributed servers. This helps ease the load from the closest server where most of the traffic is coming.

More than one server is working to fulfill the request of visitors. They make the site loads faster on the browser of users.

ffe88d7a96dff15d063ebcb714a13dffThe purpose of CDNs is to serve content from the closest geographical location to the end user. This serves to speed up the loading of scripts, stylesheets and images which are typically static, particularly for users that are located in territories that are relatively far away from the location of a website’s server. – Yusuf Bhana for Smart Insights (Link to actual quote)

This is the common reason why developers are using CDN for their sites. But there are others benefits that CDN brings to the table. Below are reasons that you should start using them for your self-hosted sites.

Improved SEO

Search algorithms consider site speed as a ranking factor. Sites that load faster have a higher change of ranking for their keywords.

Using CDN helps you reach this goal for your sites. As mentioned earlier, it makes the site load faster on the end of the user.

Aside from site speed, there are other reasons how CDN contributes to your SEO campaign. Most CDN services offer bot blocking. This prevents bots that are out to steal your content and drop spammy comments on your posts.

Activating this feature on your CDN service will keep your sites clean from attacks.

htt85MBTThis is why we, the SEOs, must leverage website security services as another tool in ours (already heavy) tool belt. After all, with each passing day more and more sites sign up for security and CDN services and none of us can afford not to be as fast and as protected as the competition. – Igal Zeifman, Incapsula’s Community Manager (Link to actual quote)

Click Here to Tweet!

Added layer of protection

The main function of CDN is to optimize your website. But it has protection features as well. As mentioned, one of those is blocking malicious bots from entering your site

More sophisticated CDN services have protection against Denial of Service (DoS) and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. Both attempt to create many requests to the server or network resource. By piling up request, it overloads the server, which can render it unavailable over time.

A person with a computer and internet connection can launch a DoS attack. People who launch this attack have a grudge against the site owner or a competitor who wish to take your site down.

A DDoS attack follows the same approach as a DoS attack but is much more damaging. Instead of just one device as the source of the attack, a DDoS attack comes from many sources. This makes a DDoS attack much more difficult to counter. You will have to trace all the sources to halt the attack.

Choosing the CDN network that allows protections from these attacks will save you a ton of money. Never mind that you may have to pay for the protection. The lost site traffic and revenue will cost more than buying the protection in the first place.

“If you spend more on coffee than on IT security, you will be hacked. What’s more, you deserve to be hacked.” – Richard Clarke

Better UX

Whether you are running an education, business, or e-commerce site, there is no reason for you to not use a CDN. It helps decrease loading time and reduce downtime of your sites.

If you host large files or lots of files, the CDN will manage the load by distributing it to different servers. Having a CDN will make user requests from their end faster to process. This results to faster loading time, which helps in increasing visitor retention.

Users will feel relieved to browse your fail-safe and fast-loading site. They will stay longer and browse more pages on your site.

Final thoughts: If buying a CDN is not your priority before reading this post, it should be now. Protection and security are site factors developers should strive to achieve. Visitors will have a much better experience with a high performing site. This could lead to more visitors and higher sales.

To meet all these, you need to use a CDN.

More on content delivery network:

Publishing High-Quality Digital Media on the Web

7 Tips to Speed Up Responsive Websites

The post Content Delivery Network Benefits Other Than Site Speed appeared first on SpyreStudios.


SpyreStudios

A Primer to Scalable Vector Graphics: Advantages, Benefits, Resources, and More!

Scalable vector graphics (SVG for short) let designers create high-quality images using  XML by describing two-dimensional graphics.

Users associated graphic files with JPEG and GIF. But the advantage that SVG has over these most popular graphic file extensions is that it retains its quality when zoomed in or out using your desktops or tablets. As a result, SVG prints in higher resolution and is easier to compress compared to other file types.

More importantly, unlike any other image file, SVG can be edited using Notepad since it is made using XML.

History

SVG has been around as early as 1999 with companies like Apple and Abode developing this new file format. But in 2001, SVG was retooled to include mobile profiles and other features.

SVG was first supported by web support in 2004 by Konqueror. All browsers supported SVG in 2011. There is mobile support for SVG but other smartphones accommodate SVG Tiny, which has other features that SVG doesn’t have like non-scaling strokes.

The Basics

Like any markup languages, the SVG element requires an opening and closing tag (or self-closing) so it shows properly on your browsers:

<svg></svg>

or

<svg/>

Specify the width and height of the element so that it will have a predefined size. Without indicating its width and height, the SVG will occupy as much space as it can.

<svg width="100" height="100"/>

By entering the number for each axis, the browser will interpret this as pixels or px. You can enter measuring units such as pt, mm, em, cm, and in.

You can create basic shapes using SVG with rect, circle, ellipse, line, and other tags.

<rect width="100" height="25"/>

Specify the coordinates of the SVG element in your page by indicating the x and y axis.

<rect x="50" y="50" width="100" height="25"/>

In this command, the rectangle will appear 50 pixels away from the default position, horizontally and vertically.

For the circle tag, use cx and cy to determine the coordination of the circle’s center in the page. Use r to specify its radius.

<circ cx="50" cy="50" r="50"/>

For other commands for basic shapes, style, and layering and drawing order, read this informative post by Scott Murray.

Benefits of using SVG

Aside from its high-resolution, small file size, and ability to be edited using a markup language, SVG is also easier to load on your browser. Instead of requesting the server for JPEG or GIF files to be loaded onto the browser, SVG can be embedded in the HTML of the page. This reduces HTTP request by the browser to the server, which means faster and more efficient loading of your site.

Best examples

SVG also works best on JavaScript and CSS to create dynamic website content for presentations.

svg wow.org camera camera.xhtml

In this demo video by Vincent Hardy, SVG is used to create the graphics in this Flash presentation that plays on your browser. It also contains audio synchronization and JavaScript to create an exceptional visual experience. You can create something similar to showcase your design skills or use as a resume.

www.paulirish.com work videooo.xhtml

Using SVG filters, as seen in this post by Paul Irish, you can achieve the desired effect in your HTML5.

The ability to create user interfaces based on vector is a reason why Flash was popular with designers and developers. But due to the changing screen resolutions of mobile devices and tablets, developers are looking for more efficient ways to provide UI components without compromising the content’s quality.

To learn more about the other benefits of using SVG on your web properties, read this post at CreativeBloq.

Tutorials and inspiration

SVG – Introduction
Jakob Jenkov

This Youtube video is a visual tutorial of what has been mentioned above and more. Aside from this video, Jacob Jenkov has created a 13-video series about other aspect of SVG that you can view here. Topics include browsers display SVG, the SVG coordinate system, and more. A must-see tutorial for beginners.

SVG Files: From Illustrator to the Web
tuts+

For image source, click here.

For image source, click here.

SVG can be edited using Notepad or graphics editing software. In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a SVG file using Adobe Illustration and how to embed the file in your web page. It deals with the step-by-step process of modifying the options from Illustration and taking the XML code of the file onto your HTML page.

Using SVG with HTML5 tutorial
EduTech Wiki

Using SVG with HTML5 tutorial   EduTech Wiki

 

This comprehensive Wiki entry covers the basic aconcepts between using SVG on HTML5.  Includes how to embed SVG with different tags (img, ojbect, and iframe), using SVG image tag to adapat SVG graphic, and more.

SVG Scripting
Jacob Jenkov

SVG Scripting   tutorials.jenkov.com

This tutorial focuses on how to script SVG using JavaScript. It won’t explicitly explain JavaScript, so you will need a good understanding on how it works in the first place. Here’s a list of JavaScript tutorials for those who need the basics.

The SVG tutorial includes changing attribute values and CSS properties, animating SVG shapes, and more.

Once on the page, you can refer to the left sidebar for more SVG tutorials.

HTML5 Tutorials #19 – SVG Inline and CSS Styling
LevelUpTuts

This tutorial proves why SVG is an easy tweak in your HTML and CSS styling that makes a big difference in your web page’s performance.

jQuery SVG Tutorial Plugin & Tutorials with Example
jQuery Rain

80  Best SVG Tutorial with Examples

The site features different tutorials for scalable vector graphics using jQuery plugins and JavaScript. Covers the basic and advanced techniques to achieve interactive and animated. Incudes posts about dialog effect, spinner loader animation, and more.

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO SVG
Webdesigner Depot

The ultimate guide to SVG   Webdesigner Depot

The latest and arguably the best guide for SVG, author Ezequiel Bruni covers the basics and advanced techniques on how to use SVG the best way. Includes best practices, additional tutorials and how-tos, and tools, among countless others.

Final thoughts: SVG is a very useful image file extension to create more dynamic and interactive content without compromising its quality. Strange thing is that not a lot of designers are familiar with using SVG. With this post, we hope that you have a better understanding on how to use and why you should implement SVG in your website and content.

More on scalable vector graphics:

Vector Design Workflow Between Photoshop and Illustrator

Adding Vectors and SVG Images into Website Layouts

The post A Primer to Scalable Vector Graphics: Advantages, Benefits, Resources, and More! appeared first on SpyreStudios.


SpyreStudios

The Benefits of “No”

Liz Danzico on discovering the fringe benefits of saying “no”:

When I say no (e.g., conference talk invites, “pick my brain” invitations, jury solicitations), I immediately add my regret to the No List. I nurture this growing list of no-things, adding category data like dates events would have happened, themes, and date turned down.

Suddenly, I’m making list of cities not seen, airplanes not embarked, and time saved, rather than time taken away. Several months later, I have a made a substantial something. It’s how I’ve marked time.


Jason Santa Maria

Employment Dynamic Has Shifted: Understand Benefits of ‘The Alliance’

Employer-Employee Relations photo from ShutterstockCompanies are in constant competition to attract and retain talented employees. One dynamic which challenges todays workplace is the flawed relationship between employers and employees.  Many new and successful companies assert that this is because the relationship is based on an outdated model. The older model is a throwback to a more stable time  when employment was considered  permanent. In today’s networked world, employees are more mobile and more connected. The best employees today can work as free agents (constantly scoping the market for a better opportunity). In order to keep employees satisfied and motivated management needs to consider what they want.

Top talent in today’s workforce craves more from their employers in terms of job enrichment, training, support, feedback and career experiences. Companies seeking to retain their best employees need to be alert to what their competition offers and try to stay a step ahead in terms of offering employees avenues for growth, advancement, and flexibility at work. The companies who are consistently featured as “best employers” recognize that  their employees are their firm’s most valuable resources. They provide a culture and an environment that’s so desirable employees are enticed to stay longer and reluctant to leave. In fact, when top employees feel it’s a big risk to go out on their own, it’s often due to the fact that they are well cared for at work in terms of salary, benefits and career development opportunities. Companies can reduce the risk of losing an employee by incorporating strategies that make it hard for employees to consider leaving.

Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn Chairman and Co-founder and co-author of the New York Times BestsellerThe Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age offers management a new employment model to reduce the disillusionment, disarray, disengagement and disloyalty in the workplace. He introduces a realistic loyalty pact between employer and employee and develops a radical new framework to rebuild that lost trust; Employees are encouraged to express their true career aspirations to management so managers can help them develop their skills so they can leverage them in their career. This talent management strategy is based on transparency and a relationship between employer and employee where both parties trust each other enough to commit to mutual investment and mutual benefit. Hoffman calls this new framework for attracting and retaining entrepreneurial, creative talent as  ”The Alliance.”

Hoffman wrote the book  because he believed there’s an underlying broken notion in thinking about how an employer and an employee relate to each other. “There is a breakdown in that conversation, the company and employee are lying to each other. Both know that’s not the modern world. We’ve swung to the opposite extreme of one-day employment contracts, where either side is ready and willing to cut off the relationship whenever convenient. The lack of trust hinders innovation and long-term collaboration.”

Hoffman Describes a Model that Builds Mutual Trust and Benefit

“The Alliance” is a new employment framework that facilitates mutual trust, mutual investment and mutual benefit.  This framework encourages employees to develop their personal networks and act entrepreneurially without becoming free agent job-hoppers. In an alliance, employer and employee develop a relationship based on how they can add value to each other. Employers need to tell their employees, “Help make our company more valuable, and we’ll make you more valuable.” Employees need to tell their bosses, “Help me grow and flourish, and I’ll help the company grow and flourish.”

Employees invest in the company’s success; the company invests in the employee’s market value. Bigger payoffs come to both sides through building a mutually beneficial alliance. Employees invest in the company’s adaptability; the company invests in employees’ employability. As former Bain CEO Tom Tierney used to tell recruits and consultants, “We are going to make you more marketable.”

Hoffman suggests management improve employee retention by  creating opportunities for career growth and education which employees could leverage for a career with the firm or elsewhere. He encourages a framework where employees can speak openly and honestly about the type of growth he seeks (skills, experiences, etc.) and what he will invest in the company in return by way of effort and commitment.

Hoffman says that when a company and its managers and employees adopt this kind of approach, all parties can focus on maximizing medium and long-term benefits, creating a larger pie for all and more innovation, resilience and adaptability for the company. Both sides set clear expectations and the team develops a winning culture.  The “alliance” might involve building and launching a new product, re-engineering an existing business process, or introducing an organization innovation. This is a trust agreement handled by direct mangers rather than by H.R.

Don’t Think of Employees as either Family or as Free Agents 

As a career coach I am in touch with many highly talented employees who are great at what they do and have outstanding performance reviews yet they’re seeking a career change (or a new job) because they don’t feel they’re challenged enough at work or they don’t see possibility for career advancement. Many clients express that their bosses aren’t interested in knowing their career aspirations and therefore they’re reluctant to express what would motivate them at work. When I ask what it would take for them to stay at their current job they often mention the following things:

  •  Better feedback from their immediate superior
  •  Flexibility to adapt their work schedule so it meets their personal needs
  •  Opportunities for training in skills that could help them advance their careers
  •  Experiences in other disciplines to broaden their skills
  •  Opportunities for creative work
  •  Opportunities for innovating and collaborating with other top talent

The surprising thing is that these employees are all highly motivated, extremely bright and yet feel they’re being under utilized at work.  They want to contribute more and are being held back because of out dated management systems. They don’t want to lose their fervor to make a difference at work and therefore want to try something new. They like their industry and they like their co-workers. That situation could be turned around and they could be more engaged at work if management would truly take interest and invest in helping them achieve their career aspirations within the firm. They feel that management doesn’t really care if they leave as they were told early on at work by either a manager or someone in H.R. that it’s so easy to find new talent. This obviously causes a breakdown in the employees’ loyalty to the firm.

Transform Your Company for the Future: Care About What Drives Your Employees

This positive transformation will happen only if both sides trust each other enough to commit to mutual investment and mutual benefit. Sadly, trust in the business world has never been so low. Reid’s strategy is based on knowing that people want to have meaningful work and they yearn to be appreciated for adding value. He says that money really isn’t the sole motivator in keeping people happy and nor are the well-meaning incentive programs that offer trophies and plaques. His idea taps into the psychology of what makes a person feel fulfilled at work. When employers show genuine interest in their employees personal and career goals, that inevitably leads to  higher levels of productivity engagement and overall motivation at work.

Show Concern For Your Employees’ Career Aspirations

Kevin Scott, Sr. VP for Engineering at LinkedIn, asks perspective new hires “what job do you want after LinkedIn?” His intent is to open the conversation to hear what the candidate might really need in order to motivate him. It could also give the employer the opportunity to develop a career path for a new hire within the firm. If you learn something you don’t like about a candidate it could give you an idea that something may or may not work in this investment. This says Hoffman is also a good thing.

Netflix’s contract with its employees is an example of what these new arrangements can look like. In a famous presentation on his company’s culture, CEO Reed Hastings declared, “We’re a team, not a family.” He gave managers this advice: “Which of my people, if they told me they were leaving in two months for a similar job at a peer company, would I fight hard to keep at Netflix? The other people should get a generous severance now, so we can open a slot to try to find a star for that role.” The new contract isn’t about being nice. It’s based on an understanding that a company is its talent, that low performers will be cut, and that the way to attract talent is to offer appealing opportunities.

Develop Your Network Using Employees Who Leave

Hoffman encourages managers to develop a rapport with employees so even if they leave the firm you have people you have good relationships with go to other places. The company can benefit from using the previous employee’s network because when the relationship continues, that network can be used by the employer. He even established a LinkedIn alumni group to perpetuate the relationship between employees and employers even if they move on to another firm.

Establish a “Tour of Duty”

Hoffman debunks the idea that employers can promise  lifetime loyalty: Sooner or later, most employees will pivot into a new opportunity. Recognizing this fact, companies can strike what he calls, “incremental alliances.” When Reid founded LinkedIn, he set the initial employee compact as a four-year tour of duty, with a discussion at two years. If an employee moved the needle on the business during the four years, the company would help advance his career. Ideally this would entail another tour of duty at the company, but it could also mean a position elsewhere.

How does the tour of duty work? The company gets an engaged employee who’s striving to produce tangible achievements for the firm and who can be an important advocate and resource at the end of his tour or tours. The employee may not get lifetime employment, but he takes a significant step toward lifetime employability. A tour of duty also establishes a realistic zone of trust. Hoffman says that “Lifelong employment and loyalty are simply not part of today’s world; pretending that they are decreases trust by forcing both sides to lie.” During the Tour of Duty employees learn practical skills that could be used within the firm or transferred to another workplace.

It usually lasts two to four years. That time period seems to have nearly universal appeal. In the software business, it syncs with a typical product development cycle, allowing an employee to see a major project through. He says that consumer goods companies such as P&G rotate their brand managers so that each spends two to four years in a particular role. Investment banks and management consultancies have two to four-year analyst programs. The cycle applies even outside the business world—think of U.S. presidential elections and the Olympics.

Properly implemented, the tour-of-duty approach can boost both recruiting and retention. The key is that it gives employer and employee a clear basis for working together. Both sides agree in advance on the purpose of the relationship, the expected benefits for each, and a planned end.

The problem with most employee retention programs is that they have a nebulous goal (retain “good” employees) and an indefinite time frame (indefinitely). The lack of commitment and clarity in both of these areas destroys trust: The company is asking an employee to commit to it but makes no commitment in return. In contrast, a tour of duty serves as a personalized retention plan that gives a valued employee concrete, compelling reasons to finish her tour and that establishes a clear time frame for discussing the future of the relationship.

What Can Managers Do For Employees

Hoffman suggests that management think of employees as allies in order to rebuild their trust and loyalty to your firm. He makes a strong case reinventing the employer-employee relationship framework; Managers may not be able to guarantee employees lifetime employment, but you can give them lifetime employability. “That’s when you have been awesome to your people. This bold but practical guide for managers and executives offers tools to recruit, manage, and retain the kind of employees who will make your company thrive in today’s world of constant innovation and fast-paced change.”

“The Alliance” creates a model for work that encourages companies and individuals to invest in each other. In this ideal world, managers and employees have honest conversations about each other’s goals and time tables. These conversations allow managers and team members to define jobs that match their values and aspirations. When management matches the right talent to the right opportunity in a company with the right philosophies, amazing transformations can happen for your employees’ careers and for your company. This is an ideal worth working towards and a risk worth taking in today’s competitive economy.

http://www.slideshare.net/reidhoffman/the-alliance-a-visual-summary

http://www.bloomberg.com/video/reid-hoffman-disucsses-his-new-book-the-alliance-2KyFnJkFSNqUFNOcqSxcqQ.html


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