Day: May 15, 2019

Why You Need to Tell Your Employees (and Maybe Yourself) About Prize-Linked Savings Accounts

May 15, 2019


Of course, odds are that your employees who are playing the lottery are just throwing their money down the drain. Right now, the odds of winning Powerball’s Jackpot are 1 in 292 million. Even the odds of winning Powerball’s lowest prize – a $4 payout – are 1 in 38.2, on a $2 ticket. So, on average, you’d need to spend $76.40 to win that $4 prize.

Taken as a whole, state lotteries offer a negative return of $0.52 for every dollar spent. If one of your employees spends $600 on state lottery tickets, they’re likely to end up $288 in the hole.

Not a great investment strategy, but why should you care what your employees do with their money?

Well, because research shows that financially stable employees are better employees. Studies show that financial stress decreases productivity, is associated with poor health and causes missed work days. On the flipside, employers who care for their employees’ financial health earn loyalty and can give themselves more flexibility in overall benefits packages.

Don’t think your employees are experiencing financial stress? You might want to think again. A study last year found that 40% of Americans don’t have enough savings to cover an unexpected $400 expense.

So, how can you help? By pointing your employees toward tools that make saving easy and that can turn the money they’re wasting on lottery games into a healthy emergency fund.

A new type of savings account – called prize-linked savings accounts – is designed to do just that.

How it works

The idea behind a prize-linked savings account is that the more money you deposit into your savings account, the more chances you earn to win cash prizes.

Take the recently launched Big Prize Savings account from American First Credit Union in California. …

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5 Reasons Remote Teams Are More Engaged Than Office Workers

May 15, 2019


But what about for businesses? In an effort to retain talent, attract candidates and stand out in today’s tight labor market, more organizations than ever are allowing members of their teams to work from home some or all of the time. In fact, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests the pattern will continue, with 73% of all teams having remote workers by 2028.

What’s less clear is the impact of these arrangements on organizations’ bottom lines. Do remote environments impact worker productivity? Is it possible to nurture both flexibility and increased engagement within your organization?

The short answer: yes. Remote workers regularly meet and exceed objectives, identify new processes, and contribute to company culture just as much as anyone in a traditional brick-and-mortar setting. In fact, they tend to accomplish more. According to a two-year study by Stanford University, remote workers are, on average…

  • 13.5% more productive than their office-based counterparts,

  • 9% more engaged in their jobs, and

  • 50% less likely to quit    

This may seem counterintuitive, but the stereotypical image of a virtual worker – someone sitting around in their pajamas, prone to distractions, and in desperate need of a shower – has little basis in reality. Instead, imagine a diverse community of empowered, autonomous, and entrepreneurially-minded professionals.

Consider a few reasons why remote, at-home working arrangements increase team engagement – and, by extension, organizational productivity:

1. A remote workforce is a more inclusive, higher-quality workforce

Common human resources wisdom states that engagement starts with recruitment. To maximize job satisfaction (and therefore, job performance) you need to hire the most qualified, relevant candidates. Unfortunately, businesses are frequently limited by their local talent pools.

Call center positions, for example, are typically entry-level jobs with high rates of turnover. It’s not that employers don’t care, …

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Entrepreneurship Defined: What It Means to Be an Entrepreneur

May 15, 2019


The road to entrepreneurship is often a treacherous one filled with unexpected detours, roadblocks and dead ends. There are lots of sleepless nights, plans that don’t work out, funding that doesn’t come through and customers that never materialize. It can be so challenging to launch a business that it may make you wonder why anyone willingly sets out on such a path.

Yet despite all these hardships, every year, thousands of entrepreneurs embark on this journey determined to bring their vision to fruition and fill a need they see in society. They open brick-and-mortar businesses, launch tech startups, or bring a new product or service into the marketplace.

So what motivates entrepreneurs to venture forth when so many others would run in the other direction? Though each person’s motivation is nuanced and unique, most entrepreneurs are spurred on by one or more of the following motivators:

Autonomy – Entrepreneurs want to be their own bosses, set their own goals, control their own progress and run their businesses how they see fit. They recognize that their business’s success or failure rests with them, yet they don’t view this responsibility as a burden but, instead, as a marker of their freedom.

Purpose – Many entrepreneurs have a clear vision of what they want to accomplish and feel compelled to work tirelessly to make that happen. They genuinely believe they have a product or service that fills a void and are compelled by a single-minded commitment to that goal to keep pushing ahead. They abhor stagnation and would rather fail while moving forward than languish in inactivity.

Flexibility – Not everyone fits into the rigidity of a traditional corporate culture. Entrepreneurs are often looking to free themselves from these constraints, find a better work life/balance or work at times and in ways that …

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Rethink Corporate Social Responsibility and Turn Social Good Into a Business KPI

May 15, 2019


They have generally shown earnest efforts to reduce their carbon footprints, improve equality in the workplace, and extend the sustainability of their resources.

That’s no longer enough though. In a world of ever-widening social, economic, and environmental gaps, corporations must step up and take on much bigger roles to make a more meaningful impact on society. Whether it’s tackling poverty, hunger, discrimination, education, healthcare, climate change, or sustainability, corporations can and should do exponentially more to improve these global conditions while still maintaining their competitiveness. Our future depends on it.

A perfect storm for more dramatic change is brewing. In a recent Edelman Trust Barometer survey, 73% of respondents stated that they expected a company they worked for to “take specific actions that both increase profits and improve the economic and social conditions in the communities where it operates.” 

From research and personal experience, I know that employees, customers, and partners all want to work for and with organizations that share altruistic values to do more social good. And millennials, in particular, an increasingly larger percentage of the workforce, want to work for organizations that make a positive difference in their communities.

Unfortunately, while employees, activist investors and increasingly customers are driving large corporations in this direction, it is still hard to find Fortune 1000 companies (Dannon is a notable exception) among the 2,500 B-Corporations that balance purpose and profit. Moreover, we still see very few CEOs even mention social issues in their regular communications, and even fewer are integrating societal goals into their primary corporate strategies.

It’s clear the time for a dramatic change is now. But how? I think the answer is to begin incorporating quantitative business metrics into CSR programs, whether it’s key performance indicators (KPIs), executive incentives, or positive outcomes from technology and innovation programs. …

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Salesforce Certification Guide: Overview and Career Paths

May 15, 2019


Salesforce.com holds the gold medal when it comes to customer relationship management (CRM) products for small business, though companies of all sizes utilize Salesforce for CRM. You’ll find Salesforce products and services in use across a wide swath of industries, from automotive and healthcare, to nonprofits, retail, media/communications, and finance.

Initially offered as sales automation software, Salesforce is now best known for its Intelligent Customer Success Platform, which provides cloud solutions for sales, communities, service, analytics, marketing, platform, apps, the internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence. [Read related: The Best CRM Software 2019]

Salesforce also offers several other cloud-based products. One is Heroku, a platform as a service (PaaS) solution. Another is Force.com, a more specialized PaaS built specifically to integrate custom apps with Salesforce cloud offerings. Salesforce also offers Data.com (a cloud-based business directory), Desk.com (a cloud-based help desk system for small businesses) and Pardot (for business to business marketing automation), among other solutions.

These days, with the implementation of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) back in May 2018, businesses may find Salesforce’s Pardot offerings – which include auditing and configuration tools to foster compliance with GDPR – particularly compelling.

Salesforce certification program overview
Unlike other programs, you won’t find certification tiers or hierarchies, such as associate, professional or expert, within the Salesforce certification portfolio. Instead, Salesforce certifications focus on various job roles, or tracks, common among Salesforce professionals:

  • Administrators
  • App Builders
  • Developers
  • Architects
  • Specialists (implementation experts)
  • Marketers
  • Pardot Experts
  • Consultants

Salesforce presently offers 23 credentials, most of which target Consultants and Architects. 

Salesforce certification exams
Most Salesforce certifications are achieved by passing a 60-question, multiple-choice exam. Depending on the certification, you can expect the exam to last between 90 and 120 minutes. Exams for administrators, app builders, developers, marketers, consultants, Pardot experts, and CPQ specialists …

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