Skip to content

Month: August 2016

Taking Better Care Of Your Workers – 5 Top Tips

Every business needs excellent workers at its core to succeed. Your employees might drive the sales. They represent your company in customer service or manage your administration. Each function is essential to keep your business running. Without people power, your business would simply fail. So how do you make sure that your people are performing as well as they should be and can continue to do so for years to come?

Develop Yourself

Looking after your employees should be every manager’s priority. Of course, nobody is born with a built-in ability to manage and lead effectively. It takes time to acquire the experience. It also takes time to acquire to achieve the level of skills you need to be as effective in your role as you want to be. Reflective practice is a great way to self-develop your managerial skills. Beyond this, aim to continue your education and training with continuing professional development.

Keep On Top

Use online and computer-based apps or systems to keep on top of your staff development, vacations, and performance reviews. There are plenty to choose from. Some HR software is available for free, so you can keep on track with the needs of your employees. It helps you to schedule key meetings, and ensure there are enough human resources during holiday periods. Most importantly, it means you can stay on top of your recruitment program and applicant tracking.


Many companies review their benefits packages annually. Usually, these are carefully crafted to attract the best talent while caring for the needs of your employees. You might choose to include things like gym memberships if many of your workers are office-based. You might operate a diversity in the workplace policy. Still, many companies find that parents of school-aged children make up the majority of employees. In this case, you might prefer to add childcare support to your package.

Health & Safety

Small startups can’t always afford to hire a specialist health and safety officer. This means it is down to you to ensure all employees are trained and working safely. Accidents and illnesses often have to be reported to official bodies. How do you handle that sensitive administration? How do ensure that employees are in good health and enjoy good levels of fitness? Of course, there are interpersonal clashes that can occur too. The physical and mental well-being of your team should be your utmost priority.


Ultimately, your employees work for you as part of their career aspirations. Are you supporting their progress or hindering it? If you’re unable to offer continuous professional development, pay rises and promotion, you’ll suffer a high turnover of personnel. The cost of recruitment is much higher than working to retain your current employee list. It’s not just money that motivates a worker to perform well.

Taking better care of your workers should always be on your mind as a manager or business owner. They are the force that drives customers to your business and converts them to revenue. You workforce keep your business running and help you to grow it, develop it, and make it a success. What more can you do today?

Vital Employee Issues You Seriously Can’t Afford To Get Wrong

Running a business isn’t easy, and usually, it’s a crash course in humility and work ethic for any entrepreneur looking to expand their initial idea. Once the initial success has been hard won and the team starts to grow, your business considerations only serve to become more difficult, as opposed to easier. Despite having a team under you who you can now delegate tasks to, this is paid for not only with salaries but with the responsibilities that come from being a competent leader.

If you have never managed people before, this can be a daunting prospect. While money is the golden capital that moves every operation you have, it’s also true that the human resource of your firm is essential to the entire smooth running of your firm. An unmotivated, disenfranchised or simply ineffective employee might lack in effectiveness in many different ways, and all the results of these attitudes are compoundingly negative. For this reason, it’s important to help optimize the happiness and health of your employees.

Luckily, this article is here to help you focus on the ‘do nots’ so you can then focus on imbuing team with inspiration in your own personalized way.

Irregular Or Unreliable Shift Patterns

If your team must take on differing shifts during the week, or work overtime, you need to have laser precision when crafting a working schedule for your employees to follow. Let’s say that you run a busy inner-city restaurant. Putting a chef on too many ‘early morning opens’ followed by ‘late night closes’ drains them of their sleeping hours, and while chefs are known for working hard, you need to be respectful of their time.

Even regular workers can quickly become drained, demotivated and even spread that attitude among the staff if working too much overtime. Conversely, even the opposite is true. An employee feeling as though you are not meeting the hours listed in their contract will only cause them to look for work elsewhere, robbing you of precious talent. Using shift planning software can help you plan around the nuances of employee commitments and availability, while also giving them a regular, calculated and easily amendable shifts to trust and plan around.

Neglecting Workplace Drama

Employees can butt heads from time to time. It’s just part of working in a confined area with other people for upwards of fifty hours a week. There might be times where you want to apply a sharp tongue to one of your employees. It is never, never, never worth it. Workplace drama and in-fighting serves to create a horrible working atmosphere that can suffocate a firm from the inside. You must also consider your relationship with your employees, and do everything you socially can (within reason) to improve it.

A strong workplace policy with a zero bullying tolerance and also open door acceptance to anyone wishing to voice complaints to you anonymously MUST be implemented. However, you must also remember that in this case, it’s not your job to try and govern the proper behavior of your staff. You are paying them, and they are required to bring professionalism to the role because of that. Whatever you do, keep a sharp observing eye aimed towards any difficulties that arise. Neglecting them can quickly turn into a much bigger.

With these two tips, you’ll be avoiding the most commonly found mistakes employers make in the business world.

WordPress Security from WordCamp Asheville 2016

One of the coolest things about WordCamp is that they post videos of each talk and presentation on for viewing afterwards. It give you the chance to see all the great presentations you may have missed, or to revisit the ones you attended.

With so many WordCamps happening all over the world, it is a great resource.

My presentation from WordCamp Asheville 2016, titled WordPress Security: Don’t Be a Target, is now live on

Educate Yourself To Ensure Your Online Business Doesn’t Crash

Technology has done amazing things for us all. In our personal lives, it’s increased our knowledge, and made sure we can communicate with anyone, at any time. And, the good news doesn’t stop there. Technology, namely the internet, has also done amazing things for businesses. Now, a small business has a huge reach the moment they start. All it takes is a website and a little online knowledge. In no time, you could have a decent customer base. Better, you can do so from anywhere. As such, small enterprises find it easier than ever to get going, with so many resources on how to start an online business available these days. Many would hail it as the best invention of all time.

But, the digital business world isn’t all plain sailing, whether you are figuring out how to earn money online or you have a business that relies on its website. It’s no surprise when you consider that the digital age is still young, as things go. And, constant developments mean that technology can be unreliable. But, what does this mean for business owners? Hopefully nothing. The chances of technological errors damaging business are small. When you compare them with the benefits, they’re infinitesimal. But, it would be naive to disregard the risks altogether. To save you dwelling on the issue, we’re going to look at the risks your digital business faces, and a few ways to avoid them.

Website Issues

Instead of physical stores, many companies now operate online only. Even supermarkets have been jumping on this band wagon, with the first customerless stores opening their doors. This saves money and, as stated above, makes it much easier for entrepreneurs to start up. But, basing your business online can have risks you wouldn’t find in a physical store.

In the past, except for a tragic fire or some other such unlikely event, your business space was a stable. Online, things aren’t so clear cut. Web host servers are far off being free from errors. So, it’s not beyond the realm of reason that your website could crash, or become unavailable. This could mean big issues if the error goes on for more than a few hours because you’ll have no way to sell anything.

How do you get around the issue? You do your research. You don’t need a computer degree to make online business work, but knowing the basics is important. Find out what to do if you’re suffering from an “Error establishing a database connection” problem on your blog. Know who to contact if your web server crashes. And, make sure you know how to get your online shop back up and running if things go wrong. Preparation is essential.

Leaked Information

It’s also important to acknowledge how security issues have changed since things moved online. In the past, security priorities focused on protecting products. CCTV and tagging devices were installed only to protect your goods. Online, your products themselves are the least of your worries. Instead, focus on the risk of hackers gaining customer information. In an online shop, people will need to enter their address, and card details. If hackers manage to get their hands on such information, you could take the blame. Not to mention that you’ll find it hard to get people to trust your company after a breach like that.

One way around this issue is to use a payment site like Paypal. This ensures customers don’t have to enter card details directly. It’s also important to invest in top quality antivirus equipment. That way, hackers will find it much harder to gain access to confidential information.

Lost Files

When all your business files are stored on a computer, there’s also the risk of losing everything. If your computer crashes or your files become corrupt, you’ll have no way to retrieve them. As such, this could set your business back in a major way.

The good news is, this is an easy issue to solve. The chances are you already take steps to protect your personal files. This is no different from a business standpoint. Backing files on a daily basis is crucial. And, with inventions such as Cloud computing, you don’t even have to do this manually. It may also be worth printing off hard copies of important files. It may seem somewhat old fashioned, but the more copies of your data you have, the better. This is especially important when it comes to accounting. You’ll need thorough proof of all payments in and out. Losing those could see you losing out in a big way. Not to mention that such losses would make it near enough impossible to keep on top of your accounts.

The Apple Mac: Is It Really Virus Free?

Irony laws in life usually dictate that if someone brags about how they never, ever get sick due to their indulgence in kale smoothies and before the dawn exercise pursuits, that they will eventually succumb to a serious case of the flu. This stuff happens, we all get ill and need to lie low for a week or so – it just cannot be helped, even if you’re super fit! Heck, chasing a keto diet will even enforce an illness on you! Keto flu. Things that brag about not failing end up failing. Failing is a part of life and it’s acceptable.

So, when a big selling point of the Apple Mac is that it’s less susceptible to viruses and the like – when it does come crashing down because of some bad browsing habits, it can come as a bit of a shock.

In short – a Mac, as in the Apple MacBook or iMac can get a virus. It will get infected. It will get exploited. It is vulnerable. The kicker? Not many people are developing malicious programs for Apple products simply because there are less of them. The rewards in exploiting Windows computers which make up the majority of computer usage worldwide are bigger – and easier. It’s harder to write a virus to take advantage of the Mac OSX, simply because it’s not as common as the Windows OS in computing. More people are hacking Windows, so there is more help available. As Macs become more popular, there will be more viruses. It’s just part and parcel of popularity.

Just because there’s a lower chance of a viral infection on a Mac doesn’t mean you’re safe. There are plenty of threats out there that could see your computer crippled and in need of some serious Mac repair, plug-in attacks, scams, hoaxes and a lot of other attacks can leave your computer vulnerable. Browsing habits can leave you exposed, just like on a Windows computer – and hey, if you give your bank info away in a phishing scam, the platform that you used to do so won’t matter much at all. You still need to work safely on an Apple Mac as you would do with anything.

A Mac will be safer, in general, than other computers – but this doesn’t mean you can be carefree. Viruses are out there for the Macs and you can still be a victim of fraud online. You cannot take liberties with the safety of your computer, even if it does pose itself as a ‘virus free’ option. No computer is going to be one-hundred percent secure, especially if the owner is an online risk taker.

What this means is that you need to be careful about your browsing online and to ensure that you equip your MacBook with anti-virus and browser security. Just because there’s less chance of something happening does not mean that will not happen at all! Protect your computer at all times, no matter what the logo is or what it claims to be!