Weekend Favs February 16

Weekend Favs February 16 written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

My weekend blog post routine includes posting links to a handful of tools or great content I ran across during the week.

I don’t go into depth about the finds, but encourage you to check them out if they sound interesting. The photo in the post is a favorite for the week from an online source or one that I took out there on the road.

  • Castup – Get professional help editing your podcasts and videos.
  • Dashly Popups – Create and test customized popups.
  • Changelogfy – Inform customers about updates to your products and services.

These are my weekend favs, I would love to hear about some of yours – Tweet me @ducttape

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Top10 Dynamic Entrepreneur: Anna Wright, co-founder, BindiMaps

Anna Wright’s BindiMaps mobile app has unlocked a whole new world for people with vision impairment by removing the barriers to mobility.

BindiMaps transforms the way people with vision impairment navigate complex indoor spaces.  The mobile app employs Bluetooth technology to locate a network of Bluetooth beacons combined with mapping and a route-guidance system to ensure people with vision impairment can move around safely. 

In the past 12 months, Anna has not only secured $1million in seed capital and support from Guide Dogs, but she has also been nominated for Australian of the Year.

“In running BindiMaps I have successfully highlighted a problem that many visual people have never thought of – how does a person who is blind know where the Braille sign is?”

Anna said that the BindiMaps technology gives people with vision impairment more confidence and independence as they navigate through complex indoor spaces such as shopping centres and airports.  The app also provides vision-impaired people with real-time information on hazard warnings and evacuation procedures.

“We empower people with vision impairment to navigate their world.”

Dynamic Business had a chat with Anna about being named in the Top10, her top tips and what is new and exciting about BindiMaps.

How does it feel to be named one of Dynamic Business’s Top10 Entrepreneurs? 

Thank you – what an honour.  I am so grateful to get the acknowledgement, and it feels a little weird – I’m just an ordinary person doing my thing and hoping to make a difference in other people’s lives!

What are the top three lessons you’ve learnt so far?

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
  2. Raising capital is hard, but if you don’t ask you wont get – so just dive on in
  3. Most people don’t realise how unfair our world is, but once they know about it they want to do something.  Imagine if I told you that there is a city in Australia, that because of race or gender or cultural background, that there are only certain buses that someone can catch?  There would be immediate outrage.  But this is what happens for ordinary Australians every day – ordinary Australians with a disability are excluded from so many activities that we all take for granted.

What is new and exciting about BindiMaps?

BindiMaps is making the world more accessible for everyone, especially for people who find it hard to use standard visual signage.  To be there at a product test where someone with a visual impairment is able to independently navigate an unknown internal space, for the first time in their life, is such an honour, and such an amazing feeling.

What are you currently up to in your business?

At BindiMaps we have launched our product, and are currently negotiating with large businesses all over Australia to have it installed.  We have just closed a large seed round, and have built an awesome team of staff to continue to make BindiMaps a reality around Australia.

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We need a 150 year vision into the future or we won’t survive.

The Future is Now. As a forward-thinking leader in the global construction industry, I’m passionate about future-proofing, but I feel anxious about the future of our cities and transportation, as I’ve realised that the industry and governments are not asking the right questions about the future or investment.

We need to adopt a futurist mindset that looks 150 years ahead, not ten, twenty or fifty years. To do this we must ask ourselves ‘what don’twe know’, and how to invest in that.

As it stands, the planet will not be able to sustain the population at current growth prediction of 10 billion by 2050 and our transportation doesn’t respond to future demands.A bold change in how we live is the only way to survive, so what is our vision for this?

The good news is we’re capable of imagining a new future, we’ve explored this before through many science fiction films and shows including in 1962 like The Jetsons. The Jetsons inspired a generation of entrepreneurs to turn science fiction into reality. It predicted mobile phones, internet, driverless cars and moving walkways.

Recently in Russia a 3D house was printed in only 24 hours. The 3D printer ‘printed’ self-bearing walls and partitions, allowing to save up to 70% on traditional construction techniques. By removing the need to bring in equipment to the site, oversee builders and risk of human error, the 38 m² house cost only $10k to build. This just shows what we can do when we embrace the technology we have.

We have this sort of technology at our fingertips to transform how we live, but we’re not thinking big or far enough, fundamentally held back by fear of changing our reality.

In the 20thCentury, visionary groups created transport solutions that would function for the next 150 years, the London tube (1863), the New York subway (1904) and the first high speed train (1903). Now we focus mostly on rail and road in transport projects, but they’re essentially obsolete; we need to focus on getting off roads and rail with the ultimate goal of teleportation. We need to be thinking nowabout what to create to meet our needs in another 150 years time.

Elon Musk, the mastermind behind Tesla, Paypal and SpaceX (the first commercial company offering travel to space) revealed plans for the Hyperloop in the US and in Australia, the vacuum tube transport system will shoot passenger pods in a tube at speeds up to 900km/h. It would carry passengers 615 km from Los Angeles to San Francisco, in about 35 minutes — less than half the time it takes to fly between the two cities – and from Sydney to Melbourne in less than 1 hour.

The UAE already has two hyperlink projects under development, one proposing a 12 minute-journey to get from Abu Dhabi to Dubai, rather than the usual 1.5 hours by car. Musk teases the Hyperloop will be a “cross between the Concorde, a railgun and an air hockey table.”

London’s announcement last month to ban diesel and petrol cars by 2040 to combat air pollution, is also pioneering and aspires to the futurist mindset we need to adopt.

What are you willing to embrace to build a 150 year future? 

About the author

Nick Deeks is the Managing Director WT Partnership, he is a regular corporate and industry speaker, aiming to help corporates understand what lies ahead and inspire a new way of thinking and investing.

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Getting smarter: why it pays to protect yourself and your data online in 2019

Once upon a time, it was the stuff of espionage and thriller films – a la Tron, Enemy of the State and The Bourne Ultimatum. These days, hacking and data theft are in the mainstream and in our faces, what seems like every other day.

Last year’s news agenda was heavy on stories of internet fraud, industrial scale data breaches and scandals featuring social media companies allowing third parties to harvest and analyse the personal data of millions of unsuspecting members.

At the same time, individuals are becoming increasingly aware their personal information is valuable and failure to protect it can leave them vulnerable in a range of ways.

What’s it worth?

We do it often and often we do it mindlessly. Entering personal information – names, email addresses, dates of birth, banking details – into online sites and assume the system is par for the course in the digital era. Many of us conduct a plethora of transactions online – everything from booking holidays to buying pet food – all of which require us to entrust our data to third party systems we hope are legitimate and secure.

So, what’s personal data actually worth to hackers and cyber-criminals who seek to use it for illegal purposes or illicit gain? The answer is, it depends.

One recent study put the value of a stolen driver’s licence at $20, a credit card at $8 to $22 and a complete medical record at a whopping $1000. All this information and more is up for sale in bulk, via the so-called Dark Web – the online marketplace where all things illegal can be bought and sold, using cryptocurrency

Giving it away for free

More commonly, we’re asked to give our personal data away for free. Buried in the clauses you’ll be asked to agree to before you download an app or report or access a discount coupon will be the declaration that clicking on ‘I Agree’ will confirm your permission for the company in question to use your data for a variety of purposes.

Just saying ‘no’ is an option but one that may restrict your access to resources and services many of us have become accustomed to accessing online. In fact, keeping personal data entirely private is almost impossible, particularly for individuals wanting to use the internet to its full potential.

Alert but not alarmed: tips for staying safe in a digitally driven world

It’s impossible to ensure every organisation you deal with will safeguard your personal information against loss or theft but there is a range of precautions individuals and small businesses can take to reduce the odds of their data falling into the wrong hands.

Staying up to date

Do you make a habit of ignoring those emails from software suppliers advising you to install their latest update? If you’re serious about protecting your systems and data you won’t. A significant proportion of successful hacking attempts occur when individuals and small businesses fail to patch their systems, despite having the remedy to hand.

Stronger and longer passwords

Remembering multiple passwords is one of the great challenges of the digital era. It can be tempting to pick something short and obvious, stick with it for years and use the same letter number combination across multiple sites.

Unfortunately, doing any or all of these things makes it all too easy for hackers to crack your password and, if you only have the one, log into every account you possess.

As highlighted during the recent attack on federal politicians, choosing strong and long passwords, or pass phrases, and changing them regularly can be your best hope of defeating their efforts to do so. Two factor authentication – the verification of your identity via more than one method – can also be your friend. More organisations are installing software that enables them to verify users and customers in this way and it makes sense to enable it whenever it’s offered to you.

Educate yourself

It used to be simple enough to spot a phishing email. If the poorly written English wasn’t a red flag, the crudely rendered graphics would likely give it away. But scammers have become increasingly sophisticated in recent years and many of their gambits have the air of authenticity that was formerly absent. It’s easy enough to get sucked in – which is why it makes sense to spend a little time reading up about the latest scams doing the rounds.

A back-up plan

Like software patching, backing up your data regularly is one of those computing chores that are all too easy to leave for another day You’ll be glad you didn’t if you’re unlucky enough to fall victim to a ransomware attack. Having a recent back-up means you won’t be at the mercy of the hackers who’ve hijacked your data and will be able to restore your systems with ease.

About the author

Michael Warnock, Australia country manager for Aura Information Security

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Announcing My Next Book: Lifescale, How to Live a More Creative, Productive and Happy Life

It’s Valentine’s Day, which makes this a good day to share the love.

I’m very proud (and relieved) to announce my next book, Lifescale: How to Live a More Creative, Productive and Happy Life. I’m also beside myself to share that it’s available to pre-order as of today!

Lifescale was written to help you break free from distractions, sharpen your focus, spark creativity and unlock new possibilities as a result.

This is my eighth book but first non-business book. It’s not the book I set out to write. It’s the book I needed.

Here’s a bit of the back story…

As you may or may not know, it’s been over three years since my last book X: The Experience When Business Meets Design changed how we think about experiences and how to design them for a modern world. I had planned to follow it up over a year-and-a-half ago. Well, that didn’t happen. And, that’s where this story begins.

I found myself struggling to dive deep as I did with previous books and creative projects. My brain was running at speeds I’d not realized, pulled in multiple, non-linear directions to keep up with the increasing array of work, communications, relationships, activities and all the devices, apps and networks that connected everything. In short, I traded depth, concentration, pace, patience, presence and the appreciation and contentment of it for a faster-pace, real-time, always-on, connected lifestyle.

Everything was fine until it wasn’t.

I didn’t realize the consequences of this digital life until I couldn’t write my next book. Even then, I didn’t realize the culprits of how I got there. I didn’t see the distractions or its effects. I immediately blamed writer’s block, workload and deadlines and the everyday pressures of life.

Like anyone, I Googled my condition and the results were helpful: Turn off your devices, detox, delete apps, use Calm and Headspace apps, use productivity apps, get a hobby go outside, practice yoga, meditate, go to Burning Man, etc. All good advice! But what I ultimately realized was that, by and large, each addressed the symptoms of the condition but not its root causes.

How did I get here? Why was I open to distraction? What changed that made me value this way of living?

The result of asking these questions and more lead me on a quest to find answers and solutions.

Lifescale is a journey of self-discovery and growth. Lifescaling is about getting back into balance, and mastering our destinies.

I wanted to share this with you in the hopes that you’ll join me on this journey.

More to come…

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Please consider pre-ordering the book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BAM | 800CEOREAD

Thank you.


binary copy trading

binary copy trading is principal analyst and futurist at Altimeter, the digital analyst group at Prophet, Brian is world renowned keynote speaker and 7x best-selling author. His latest book, X: Where Business Meets Design, explores the future of brand and customer engagement through experience design.

Please, invite him to speak at your event or bring him in to inspire colleagues and fellow executives/boards.

Connect with Brian!

Twitter: @briansolis
Facebook: TheBrianSolis
LinkedIn: BrianSolis
Instagram: BrianSolis
Youtube: BrianSolisTV
Newsletter: Please Subscribe

The post Announcing My Next Book: Lifescale, How to Live a More Creative, Productive and Happy Life appeared first on binary copy trading .

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Business Tax Issues to Consider with the New Tax Law

Every week as SmallBizLady, I conduct interviews with experts on my Twitter talk show #SmallBizChat. The show takes place every Wednesday on Twitter from 8-9 pm ET.  This is excerpted from my recent interview with Eva Rosenberg @TaxMama. Eva is the Internet’s TaxMama®. She answers tax questions, provides a TaxQuips podcast and a wealth of books and webinars to help you deal with your personal and business tax issues. Her latest book, The Trump Tax Cut: Your Personal Guide to the New Tax Law, is a practical explanation of the key tax provisions that affect you and your business. For more information, check out www.TaxMama.com .  

SmallBizLady: We got a new tax law at the end of 2017, but very little other tax legislation. Does that mean this will be an easy tax filing season?

TaxMama: I wish I could deliver good news. Sadly, this will be the worst filing season ever – for many reasons.

  1. The IRS is still trying to write up procedures for many of the law changes in the TCJA (Tax Cuts and Jobs Act).
  2. Congress never passed their annual “extender” bill – so many tax breaks were not extended to 2018.
  3. The government shutdown has severely impacted IRS services and access to information and help.

SmallBizLady: Tell me something easy – especially for small businesses – what are the mileage rates for 2018?

TaxMama: Thanks for an easy question. The 2018 mileage rates are:

  • 54 cents per mile for business miles driven.
  • 18 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes.
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.
  • 25 cents per mile is the depreciation on the vehicle.

While we’re at it, here are the mileage rates for 2019, so you can work on this year’s expense reports and vehicle planning.

  • 58 cents for every mile of business travel driven.
  • 20 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes.
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.
  • 25 cents per mile is the depreciation on the vehicle.

SmallBizLady: You mentioned that there was a good reason to put business tax returns on extension. Why wait?

TaxMama: Several reasons.

  • As ever, companies are still scrambling to get all their W-2s and 1099s filed and sent out on time. So expect them to be late.
  • Since the IRS is clarifying procedures, one or more of their announcements might be to your benefit.
  • As I mentioned, we didn’t get an “extender bill” yet. But we probably will – and it could affect your tax returns.
  • And, since there were major flaws in the new tax law, it’s quite possible that Congress will issue some legislation to correct those flaws.

SmallBizLady: Why not just file now and amend later?

TaxMama: Those 1040Xs are scrutinized by people, instead of just being processed by computers. An IRS reviewer might see other issues in that amended return – and it could turn into a full-blown audit. If you’re confident that everything in your tax return is correct, amending is just fine.

SmallBizLady: You mentioned that we should wait for the extenders. Let’s see if they are worth waiting for?

TaxMama: These tax provisions expired as of 12/31/17. It’s quite likely that only the first two items on the list will affect many individuals.

  • Mortgage insurance premiums treated as qualified residence interest.
  • Above-the-line deduction for qualified tuition and related expenses.
  • The $500 deduction for the non-business energy credit.
  • The credit for new qualified fuel cell vehicles.
  • The credit for 2-wheeled plug-in electric vehicles.
  • Exclusion from gross income of discharge of qualified principal residence indebtedness.
  • Special write-offs for certain television and live theatrical productions.
  • Certain Empowerment Zone tax incentives.

SmallBizLady: Last year, we talked about a new problem for employees with unreimbursed business expenses. Apparently, with the new tax law, they can no longer take any deductions. Did you come up with any solutions?

TaxMama: You’re right. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminated all miscellaneous itemized deductions that are normally reduced by 2% of adjusted gross income. This year, Form 2106, Employee Business Expenses, has been eliminated altogether.

Who’s affected?  All outside salespeople, as well as people who use their own tools and supplies at work, and all employees who pay for these kinds of expenses, out of their own pockets: meals, entertainment, travel, supplies, education, computers, office in home, even union dues. The good news is, these deductions are not eliminated for businesses or entities – folks reporting income on Schedule C, LLCs, partnerships, S corporation and C corporations, and trusts.

SmallBizLady: For employees that will lose these deductions, is there something they can do? After all, losing deductions for, say, $25,000 of unreimbursed employee business expenses can mean extra federal and state taxes of $6,000 or more.

TaxMama: Yes, there are still three options for an employee:

  1. Re-negotiate their job with their employers, so the employer does reimburse them for their expenses. A good way to handle this is to use an “accountable plan” where they submit their mileage and receipts to the employer. Then the employer reimburses them. The employer gets all the deductions – and the employee doesn’t pay tax on any of those reimbursements. I have an on-demand course to teach you how to do this and how to make the increased wages fair to the employer available at http://taxmama.com/tax-quips/webinar-the-trump-tax-plan/.
  2. Negotiate an arrangement where they can become freelancers, under contract to the employer. That means the employee goes into business for him/herself. This can make all the expenses deductible – but the employee could lose so very much in the process. I have information about this at
  3. Get another job with an employer who will be cooperative with step #1.

SmallBizLady: I hear with the new tax law we can’t deduct entertainment expenses anymore. What’s going on?

TaxMama: Yes. Effective January 1, 2018 – everyone, including business owners, loses all deductions for entertainment expenses. That means no concerts, no plays, no sporting events, etc. Not even if it’s part of a business meeting or discussion. Having Apple buy up a stadium and bring a big-name entertainer to a convention – not deductible.

SmallBizLady: What about meals? We still get to deduct those, right?

TaxMama: There are some changes to the deductions for meals. We still get to deduct our meals when we go out with a client. If we just send them out to dinner on us – no deduction. We must be present with them.

We got one carrot – when it comes to entertainment events. If you separate out the cost of the meal, you can still deduct that part of the cost. Be sure to get a separate invoice from the facility’s provider.

Another thing we lost with the new tax law: employers who provide on-site meals (lunches, breakfast, dinner for late workers, etc.) used to get a 100% deduction for the cost of those meals. That has been cut to 50%. But if we have a special event, like the occasional company picnic, that’s still 100% deductible.

SmallBizLady: Let’s get back to businesses – some people are talking about becoming C corporations with that new low 21% flat tax rate. Is that a good idea?

TaxMama: For some people, especially those with a long-term plan for their businesses, corporations might be a great idea. With the right planning and finessing, the amount of profit, retirement benefits, wages, and dividends, you could end up paying less tax than you have been paying for the business.

For someone who’s planning to take their business public, C corporations are the best way to go, for many reasons. But the tax reason? If you do it right, you can avoid paying taxes on up to 10 MILLION DOLLARS of capital gains when you sell your stock. However, if you don’t set it up correctly from the very beginning, you’ve blown this special benefit.

If you enjoyed this interview, please join us live on Twitter every Wednesday from 8-9 pm ET. Just follow the hashtag #Smallbizchat, and don’t forget to follow @SmallBizChat on Twitter.

Click here for directions to join the weekly conversation. 

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Financial literacy gurus join forces to educate Australians to be money smart


There is an alarming number of Australians who are financially illiterate, which is why financial services experts Theresa Mills and Catherine Birchall have joined forces to launch a financial wellbeing program.

Following two years of intensive research and digital development, Money 101’s Financial Wellbeing program will be introduced into Australian workplaces.

Money 101 founding director Catherine Birchall pioneered the development of the financial literacy program and is pleased to welcome industry veteran Theresa Mills as CEO.  Theresa is on the Australian Government’s Financial Literacy Board and has 30 years experience in the commercial financial services sector.

“Theresa will lead the introduction of a new Financial Wellbeing program into Australian workplaces.  She has significant Financial Services expertise and experience and we are delighted that she will lead the continued expansion of Money 101,” Ms Birchall said.

Ms Mills said Money 101 was an industry leader in the production of engaging digital content and facilitating Financial Wellbeing in the workplace was a logical expansion.

“The 110 contemporary modules which make up our Financial Wellbeing program include engaging best-practice content which we know works,” Ms Mills said.

“We know and understand financial literacy competencies as well as the technical, legal and compliance aspects of financial education provision.”

She also said there was ‘an alarming lack of financial capability nationally’.

“People with money worries and poor financial literacy can benefit hugely from our Financial Wellbeing program.

“Those benefits flow through to employers, with research showing financially fit staff are healthier, happier and more productive.  We are already experiencing early demand for the Money 101 solution from large employer groups.

“We know that people want and need to understand much more about money and we are excited to be expanding our reach through our existing and new Partnerships”

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Why Your Site Must Switch to HTTPS (And How to Do It)

Why Your Site Must Switch to HTTPS (And How to Do It) written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch on HTTPS

Every website in the world is carried across a protocol known as HTTP. Recently, though, we’ve seen more and more websites switching over to HTTPS, which is the secure version of that same protocol.

A site that is carried on HTTPS is encrypted, meaning that all of the data and information on the site itself is protected from hackers. Not only that, but the sensitive information that you gather from prospects and customers—whether that’s their email or credit card information—is encrypted, too.

Why Should I Switch?

Every website owner should be migrating their site to HTTPS. Google has put incredible emphasis on ensuring that sites are secure. They recently made updates to their Chrome browser so that HTTPS sites appear with a lock symbol in the browser bar. Those that are just HTTP display the words “Not secure” in red next to the site’s URL. Having warning text associated with your website does not make a great first impression on visitors.

Not only that, Google is making HTTPS a ranking factor, so if you want to ensure that your site is well positioned in Google results (and you do), then you need to be thinking about securing an HTTPS certificate.

Even if you don’t collect any customer data through forms, your site is still vulnerable. Every time someone visits your website, there is a transfer of information between their computer and your site. If your information is not encrypted, it’s there for hackers to see and attack on the backend.

How Do I Switch?

Fortunately, it’s really easy to make the switch to an HTTPS site. WordPress offers a number of plugins to make the change, and most web hosts offer HTTPS certificates to their clients (either for a fee or, more often than not, for free as part of their service).

Hosts like Pressable and WPEngine, who work specifically with WordPress sites, offer HTTPS certification to all of their customers.

If you have a particularly old site that’s built in HTML it might be a bit more work to migrate, but there are plenty of consultants who can guide you through the process.

What Happens After I’ve Switched?

Once you’ve made the switch, you’ve essentially created two versions of your site: one that is HTTP and the other that is HTTPS.

Most hosts will automatically eliminate the HTTP version, so that even if someone types your site’s URL into their browser with “http://” as the start of the address, it will convert to the HTTPS version. However, if both the HTTP and HTTPS sites remain active out there, then you’re still leaving some content vulnerable, and you’re also confusing Google, leading them to believe you have two identical sites.

After you’ve gotten your HTTPS certificate, go to your Google Search Console and update your sitemap in order to instruct Google to look only at your HTTPS site moving forward. Within a week of the switch, Google will have moved away from your HTTP site and will only show the HTTPS version in results.

While this is a technical topic, it fortunately doesn’t take a lot of technical expertise to do the right thing and acquire an HTTPS certificate. A quick call to your web host and an update to your Google Search Console is all that’s needed to get your site compliant and ensure that the valuable information you hold about your business and your customers is all secure.

Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!

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This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by Klaviyo. If you’re looking to grow your business there is only one way: by building real, quality customer relationships. That’s where Klaviyo comes in.

Klaviyo helps you build meaningful relationships by listening and understanding cues from your customers, allowing you to easily turn that information into valuable marketing messages.

What’s their secret? Tune into Klaviyo’s Beyond Black Friday docu-series to find out and unlock marketing strategies you can use to keep momentum going year-round. Just head on over to klaviyo.com/beyondbf.

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Let’s Talk: Staff Motivation

How to motivate staff to ensure they’re giving your business all they’ve got.

Let’s face it; staff motivation is one of the biggest challenges for employers today.  And yet, surprisingly, money is not the main influence when it comes to keeping staff motivated.  In fact, several business leaders agree that staff development, well-being and a connection to their work are among the biggest factors in keeping staff enthusiastic.  However, according to HubSpot’s managing director, Shahid Nizami, it’s not as simple as providing free snacks and ping-pong tables.  “True motivation comes from feeling a sense of purpose around the work being done … you can’t expect your teams to truly care about the work they are doing if they don’t feel connected to the company’s mission.”

In this week’s Let’s Talk we asked several business leaders ‘how to motivate staff to ensure they’re giving your business all they’ve got’. 

Troy Martin, General Manager APAC, Instructure

The most successful employee-manager relationships and staff motivation initiatives today have focused a great deal on the increasing need and desire for personal development. Gone are the days where financial incentives alone will suffice in retaining staff – this is particularly so with younger generations, many of whom prioritise career advancement over money.

Employees are consistently looking at ways they can reskill and upskill, especially in a technology-driven era where today’s skills may no longer be relevant for tomorrow’s workforce. By creating a meaningful culture of continuous learning and helping staff grow in their jobs, businesses have a golden opportunity to really engage, motivate and retain employees all year round – whilst saving costs required to hire new employees with the desired skillsets.

To put things into perspective, Australian businesses spend millions of dollars a year recruiting new employees. Majority of these investments could be saved if organisations better understood the correlation between meaningful employee development and staff motivation levels.

Rafael Moyano, CEO, Australia, The Adecco Group

Businesses that offer workplace benefits and invest in staff development will see increased engagement and productivity. Constructive feedback through performance reviews, and the setting of KPIs, will give employees a clear path that keeps them motivated.

Incentives outside of salaries are also needed to attract, motivate and retain staff. Increasingly long commutes, paired with pressure to be always online, can quickly lead to burnout if not monitored carefully. Whether an employee is a millennial with family commitments or a baby boomer transitioning to retirement, flexible working policies can have a dramatic effect on work-life balance. Staff will have a far more positive approach to work if they are happier overall.

Work-related training can motivate staff members by growing their knowledge, but it’s important to consider activities outside of the day to day. Initiatives that teach financial literacy, improve overall wellness and encourage social interaction, can boost morale and create a sense of community that makes people feel valued.

Emma Bannister, CEO, Presentation Studio

How to motivate staff to ensure they’re giving your business all they’ve got passion and purpose are your two best friends when it comes to motivating staff. Where possible, tapping into each staff member’s passion and linking that with the purpose of your business ensures a united and driven team. Invest time and energy into understanding the specific passions and interests of your staff individually, or as a whole. Then, you are assured a personal connection as you communicate your purpose. This approach makes your staff feel known and heard and helps them to direct their efforts towards a shared goal!

Alan Manly, CEO, Group Colleges Australia

Motivation starts at the interview where each party enters into a business agreement.  The employer makes the offer of a paid task and the employee proposes that they would be suitable to do the task. The next element of the business agreement requiring negotiation is for each party to conclude that this new partnership will be mutually beneficial. The most common successful agreement is when the employer can honestly offer the next step in the employees career and the employee can understand that this job offer is not just a job but of professional and personal value to them. If both parties can see a personal advantage in the new relationship mutual respect will develop and the employee is motivated to give your business all they’ve got.

Darrell Hardidge, CEO,  Saguity

Motivation requires a consistent external force to cause change, such as coaching, training and accountability. Inspiration is self-generated by aligning values and merely requires support and guidance to keep momentum. To achieve the greatest team output you must connect inspiration with their desire to achieve, it must have a ‘what’s in it for me’ focus in order to have alignment on the business goals. Often the focus of money fails, as it doesn’t connect with the individual values. Sometimes it’s just the ability to take the kids to football practice every week is all that’s required to achieve results.

Vu Tran, Co-Founder, GO1

It’s a cliché, but JFK’s “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country” comes to mind. When we look at the increasing representation of millennials in today’s workforce, sense of belonging and identity play a pivotal role in our day-to-day lives. Whether it be our increasing connectivity through social media and the internet, through our association with family and friends or even what sporting team we barrack for, a sense of belonging is something that often not only unites us but drives us at an individual and collective level.

The workplace is no different. In a start-up, incentives, share schemes and bonuses play a role but in great workplaces a common vision is often what brings people together. At GO1 our shared vision is the sense that we change the world through learning. It is therefore only fitting at this time of year to bring teams together and reaffirm our collective vision with each and every person and to remind them – as Simon Sinek says – of the “why”.

Glenn Bedford, Head of Global Sales, Cohort Go

As the leader of a global sales team, one of my biggest challenges is getting the best out of my team every day.

Recently, I was lucky to meet Dave Alred, a performance coach of elite athletes such as former English rugby star, Jonny Wilkinson. Dave’s approach to modifying behaviour in his clients stems from his observations of how human self-incentivisation systems change over the course of childhood and into adulthood.

A child attempting to perform a new task will persist until they are successful, generally ignoring the failed attempts along the way. Each success is rewarded with a big emotional reaction – a beaming smile, a fist pump or a celebratory “Yes!”. As adults, the same learning moments occur, however most of the time our emotional reactions favour the failures. We berate ourselves for making mistakes, whilst ignoring the successes because these are expected. This behaviour teaches our brain through incentivisation to fail.

While Dave’s approach is related to sport, it easily translates to business. While, of course, there is always a place for traditional monetary incentives and tangible rewards, celebrating our successes is a big focus for me this year and I will be encouraging my team to train their brains to recognise success and use this to drive elite performance.

Ruth Hatherley, Founder and CEO, Moneycatcha

It starts when you initially recruit team members – you must have a clear vision and culture framework, and your recruitment process must include an assessment of alignment with these because when the going gets tough, we always refer back to what it is we’re collectively trying to achieve. You can change up the way to you provide praise and feedback. Email is the normal communication medium these days so do something different each week with at least one individual or team. Make a surprise call or visit to personally convey your message of appreciation. Recognise small wins and celebrate big ones, and publicly acknowledge progress and momentum.

Dr Jana Matthews, ANZ Chair in Business Growth, Director of the Australian Centre for Business Growth

There’s a lot being written about how to motivate staff to ensure they’re doing whatever they can to make your business successful. But I don’t believe you can motivate people. Instead, you need to hire people who are already motivated, and whose values are aligned with your company’s. Then, you need to make sure you don’t de-motivate them.

A lot of people think that money is the most important way to keep people motivated, but managers, co-workers and a company’s culture actually play a bigger role. People want to be compensated fairly for the work they do, but even more important is a manager who communicates expectations, helps professional development, and recognises contributions.

The bottom line is to recruit and select people who are motivated and who can see how working with your company enables them to achieve their personal mission. Keep them motivated by providing opportunities for additional learning and personal development. Don’t de-motivate them by failing to communicate expectations or ignoring high performance. Recognise a ‘job well done’. Writing a quick note or e-mail thanking them, calling out their great performance at the weekly team meeting, or providing an award for extraordinary performance are all ways to maintain motivated employees.

Adam Noall, APAC Channel Director, BlueJeans

The start of the year is a great time to sit back and look at business morale, and in particular, how the company’s org chart is influencing it. According to the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer research, Australians are placing more trust in their CEOs than ever, but that’s only the case when staff see transparency from the top down.

While advocates of company culture, leadership efforts can fall short if employees feel out of the loop through real or perceived knowledge gaps. Part of the disconnect comes from a lack of accessibility; part of it comes from misunderstanding the intentions of leadership.

One effective way to promote honest feedback between staff and leadership is by encouraging and providing the right tools for open forum discussion, from any endpoint in the world. Employees need an effective means to ask questions – especially during all-business meetings – and allowing interactivity by using any-to-many video streaming is an excellent way to do that.

Heidi Rossi, Chief People Officer, Ansarada

At Ansarada, we believe in our people. We pride ourselves on a culture that emphasises transparency, collaboration and work-life balance, and our values are care, courage, change and curiosity. We encourage this by supporting flexible work practices, utilising collaboration tools, and taking time each week to reflect on our successes and learnings as a team. This has helped increase productivity by creating a system based on trust that makes our team feel truly valued for their ideas and the work they do.

We’ve found our workspace has a significant impact on the team’s productivity and overall wellbeing. We keep up with the latest technology, have designed our offices with collaboration in mind, stock our cupboards with healthy snacks (AKA brain food), and put on free breakfasts and lunches each week. We firmly believe employees doing great things starts with them coming into a great place to work every day.

Shahid Nizami, Managing Director, HubSpot

Employees are the lifeline of a company and if businesses want to grow better they need to invest just as much time and effort into empowering and motivating their teams as they put into marketing, sales, and customer service.

While perks like ping-pong tables and free snacks are great for boosting morale, true motivation comes from feeling a sense of purpose around the work being done. Businesses do a lot to encourage their employees to chase targets, but you can’t expect your teams to truly care about the work they are doing if they don’t feel connected to the company’s mission.

When your leaders can clearly and genuinely communicate the company’s mission, vision, and values, your employees are likely to feel motivated to contribute to it. And when your employees genuinely care about the work they do, your customers will undoubtedly feel it too.

Lisa Stephenson, CEO, Who Am I Projects

We all know that motivation is a feeling, and normally something that passes quickly.  It’s a real challenge to create a motivated culture, whether you are a small business or global organisation. If you want to be sure that your staff are bringing their full potential to their role, then consider what you are asking them to commit to.  There are two critical questions to consider:

  1. Do your staff know what the vision for success is, and their role in that?
  2. How are you creating a strong sense of belonging for every individual?

When people feel like they are part of something that is bigger than them, you’ll see commitment skyrocket!

Rohan LePage, co-founder and COO, ShareRing

At ShareRing, we are big on flexibility in the workplace. As we are a global company, time zones can make meetings difficult. All our staff can work from where they like and with flexible hours. If home is a productive place, we are happy to facilitate. This has a very measurable motivational impact on our staff.
Our office runs a Monday morning breakfast smorgasbord to start the week.  There are always smiles when there are scones or fresh fruit and yogurt to fuel the first day of the  week.
Our culture is supportive and approachable, and we encourage employees to get involved across all areas, employing just as much on company fit as skill and experience.
We offer incentives to encourage our employees to talk to and sign up businesses in the sharing and rental economy and are always open to listening to new ideas.
ShareRing is open to improving employees’ personal and academic experience through training and understanding of personality types and working styles.
As such, this year we will also be introducing team bonding and development days that will be held across different locations. This is to give the team the opportunity to brainstorm ideas, while experiencing a change of scenery.

Alex Hattingh, Chief People Officer, Employment Hero

Communicating a strong purpose for the year ahead is vital for motivating your employees to understand where their role and work contributes to the purpose and mission of what you are trying to achieve on a larger, more strategic level.
The beginning of the year is also a great time to communicate the annual business strategy, as this again motivates your team members as individuals to understand the link between what they are doing and what the business is aiming to achieve in 2019.
Rewards and recognition that reinforce your company values also drive individuals and teams to strive harder to achieve goals. For example, at Employment Hero we have awards linked to each of our four values that team members can award to peers. We celebrate these awards and recognition on a daily basis when they occur. It helps teamwork too.
We also have a Thank A Hero on our platform as part of our announcements module. This allows any employee at any time to thank another employee for their work or congratulate them on an achievement. It is really important that we have leadership play a strong role in getting involved in recognising employees. This has been a fantastic avenue to drive on-going daily recognition for team members.
Employees are also asking for flexibility in their work more and more. By providing this and illustrating your trust in employees, they will be incentivised to appreciate what a great employer you are and will be more committed to their role and deliverables. This is all about the individual and allowing them the flexibility to live their life and enjoy the benefits. For example, being able to attend a weekly sports practice session for their kids, or leaving early to grab a team sports game for themselves.
Perks and benefits are also important. The new year is a great time to remind employees about the perks you have, such as wellness initiatives where you may have free yoga or personal training sessions or breakfast, as we do here at Employment Hero. Or, even being able to bring your dog to the office for a day…we find having dogs in the office makes for a really fun day, and gets everyone smiling!   

Isabella Zamorano, Senior Employment Relations Adviser, Employsure.

Every business owner, manager and supervisor in the country wants their employees to work hard — but it’s not as straightforward as it sounds.

Some employers think it’s all about money; they throw salary raises and cash bonuses at their employees to improve productivity; and while that might be cause for temporary improvement, consistent raises may actually decrease morale and productivity, making employees complacent in a predictable environment where performance means little.

Instead, Employsure’s State of Work Research Report 2018-19 shows that one of the true secrets to employee productivity is counterintuitive – autonomy.

Autonomous workers are able to make decisions for themselves, without the need to run every decision “up the ladder” or submit it to management. This makes employees feel more in control, especially over their own responsibilities, and less subject to the direction of others. When employees feel like their ideas and contributions matter, they’re willing to contribute more frequently, and with more effort. Autonomy trusts workers to accomplish their goals and motivates them to give all they’ve got.

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Why finding ‘great’ people versus ‘okay’ people makes all the difference

Your business is doing well, and it’s time to find someone to help you with running operations or another addition to the team. Whatever the circumstances, inviting someone to work in your business can at times feel scary. Who can you trust? Who is worthy? Will they work hard? Do they understand how important your business is to you?

Afterall, your business is your bread and butter – for them it’s probably just a job.

For your business, each new hire has a tremendous impact and influence on your business culture far more than a new hire at a 200- or 500-person company. The stakes are high, so you need to ensure that each of your new hires is a passionate, engaged and committed team player.

Getting you head around matters like industrial relations, workers’ compensation and adequate insurance is one thing, but the uneasiness of never truly knowing how long revenues will continue to sustain the new employee can ramp up nerves to a whole new level.

Great people versus okay people is the difference between success and mediocrity, because one rotten apple in a small business can create far more damage and distraction than a rotten apple in a large enterprise where incompetence can more easily hide.

Hiring new employees can be a tricky process, especially for small business owners, who may not recruit new employees all that regularly. As a result, the hiring and onboarding experience can make all the difference in the world for SMEs.

Types of Employment

Before hiring staff, it is important for any business owner to consider the structure of the business and then only decide on the type of employment required. While permanent staff may be the default option for most employers, having the right mix of employment types assists to ensure that day to day business needs are met while ensuring that the business has the capacity to increase output during peak times.

The minimum wage and entitlements vary dramatically depending on whether an employee is permanent, casual, or a contractor, it is worth considering all the options before advertising for a role. By having a sound understanding of the different employment types available, the process of determining the best fit for the business becomes easier.

Advertising Vacancies

It is good to do some introspection before advertising for a position. Identify your company’s needs, the job specifications and the overall cultural fit you’re seeking. You will also need to identify whether you are looking for a highly skilled employee, junior, apprentice or trainee. Below are the details you should include in your ad:

  • Job title
  • Reporting procedure
  • How to apply
  • Location of the job
  • Duties and responsibilities

You may also include pay and benefits, skills required, experience and qualification, and an application deadline.

Interview Process

Be certain of your company values before heading into any interview and keep these front of mind when speaking to applicants. Plan your interview questions in advance and take the time to review the candidate’s CV so you can ask specific and relevant questions. It is a good idea to ask both skills-based questions and behavioural questions.

Watch Employsure’s Interviewing Best Practice Webinar.

Always end the interview by asking the candidate whether they have any questions about the role or the company. This gives them the opportunity to clear up any misunderstandings and to give the candidate a clearer picture of the role. If the candidate is a good fit, and you decide to offer them the position, it is essential to have a thorough contract.

Induction and onboarding

It is essential to map the right journey for your employees from the very start of their employment. This begins with onboarding. Onboarding is the process for new employees to learn the necessary tools and knowledge to perform their job well. It also aims to integrate them with an existing organisation and its culture successfully.

Check out Emplosyure’s Onboarding Toolkit.


Job creation is one of the most important aspects of entrepreneurship and it should be rewarding to know your business the engine room of job creation in Australia.

While hiring a new employee can be a tricky process, it’s best to get expert advice from the small business workplace specialists, Employsure. Visit Employsure or call 1300 651 415.

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