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Are you struggling to work with a particular individual in the workplace? Here are some tips to help you deal with office bullies.

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Are you dreading to go to your workplace because of a certain individual, or multiple individuals? Do you think you are working with an office bully? Do you feel intimidated when in the presence of another coworker, or do you experience yells, they talk down at you during meetings, or they constantly criticize you?

Chances are that you have been on the receiving end of an office bully when you answer these questions in the affirmative. No one likes dealing with unpleasant people, and you might think you have left your bullying past in school – but you realize that adults are even worse bullies because it is so subtle, yet so powerful in its effects.

If your employer refuses to help you out, because chances are high that they will not – it is time to take action to deal with the workplace bully.

Bullies are everywhere

 

Data from the WBTI (Workplace Bullying and Trauma Institute) show that 19% of Americans (about 60 million) have experienced bullying in various forms – humiliation, threats, work sabotage or verbal abuse. The percentage of people who are aware that it happens is much higher averaging about 61%.

Most bullies are unfortunately the bosses, especially if they are men. In addition, because of the stigma attached to bullying, and the fear that one does not want to expose the person, 29% of the victims choose to stay silent about their experiences, leading to depression, anxiety, panic attacks and loss of their job.

However, you need to keep in mind that office bullying is a problem you must address ion your own, no matter how difficult or awkward the situation may be. Otherwise, it may end up becoming a more difficult situation for others or for you. You cannot just dismiss what is happening and hope for the best – the behavior of bullies gets worse the longer you take to address it, just like a drug addiction that rehab centers such as AZ Recovery Village can help you with.

Dealing with the problem

Set your limits

When you set this limit in your mind, make sure you exercise your rights – tell the bully to stop the behavior, and stand up for yourself. If it helps, you can rehearse it in your mind with a friend to make you comfortable with responding.

When telling them to stop, make sure you are objective – do not say how the bullying makes you feel (meaningless commentary that is unrelated to the job), simply inform them that it is interfering with your job, and tell them that you will not keep up with that behavior in future.

If the behavior persists, it is good to take up confrontation as a last resort – do not allow them to get away with that behavior.

Confront them with their own behavior

Let us be honest – every time you are forced to confront a bully, it is a scary situation. However, remember something important – bullies are only effective in one situation, which is being on solid ground. That means that you can remove that solid ground and make them stop.

For instance, when they are yelling at you because of a mistake you made in your job, calmly tell them that you will speak to them when they have calmed down, and leave the room. If it is over a phone call, you can hang up.

The point here is remerging that you are an adult who is dealing with a tantrum. Wise parents do not coddle their children or give in to their fits, because that leads to more fits. Bullies just want to get a rise out of you, so refuse to engage with them or give them room to attack you more. Make sure that you call out the bully on your conditions, and refuse to allow them to ruin your work or your reputation.

Note their actions

When you feel as though you are going through bullying behavior, note it down – document the time, date and details. If another employee has seen the occurrence, note it down too.

You will eventually need this information when seeking help from the HR department, and they will assist you on that. After all, the bully is not only sabotaging your career growth, but also are sabotaging the growth of the business or brand as well.

Are your co-workers targets too?

It is also important to know whether the bully targets your coworkers as well. When they can, inform them to note any bullying incidences and whether they see it happening in other instances as well.

This will help in building a solid case against the bully – when reporting them to HR or the other senior management officials, they can deal with the bully effectively. It can also help with evidence if you decide to take the bully to court. This is increasingly common, despite the low historical prevalence of employees suing their organizations or co-workers – mostly due to the increasing prominence of office bullying.

In addition, if you end up in the situation of employment termination or physical threats from the bully, this evidence will be helpful in suing them and bringing them to justice.

Inform the management about the behavior of the bully

If facing up to the bully is not helping, it is time to get external help. Ensure you report the behavior to the HR department, or go to the senior management.

Make sure you show them the impact the bully is having on the business and the brand itself, and file formal complaints as required. In all of this, always hope for the best conclusion to the problem, but also be aware of other options you can explore in case it fails to go through.

Part of those options may involve resigning from your job and moving somewhere else, for peace of mind. Sometimes, getting away from the bully is the best option for your safety, especially if they threaten you after you file a complaint.

 

Final thoughts

Dealing with bullies is generally not an easy thing – they are intimidating, and your self-esteem may be too low to deal with them. However, you need to face it head on, and that means you take measures to ensure it does not happen again.

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Business

10 quick SEO wins for your small business

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Getting SEO right has never been so important for small businesses. If you want to attract new customers: increase your digital footprint, increase your organic site traffic for the keywords that matter to your business, and outrank your competitors in the search engine results pages (SERPs). You have to put time and effort into your SEO strategy. We’ve compiled a list of 10 quick wins to kick-start your SEO efforts, but we recommend working with an experienced SEO agency to put some weight and expertise behind your plan.

  1. Target the right keywords 

    Your time is finite, so you should focus on optimising your website and content for the keywords that mean most to your business. They could be product keywords, niche specific phrases, or keywords you know lead to the most leads or sales.

  2. Craft unique and engaging content

    72% of marketers say that content creation is their most effective SEO tactic. Take inspiration from lifestyle brand Sheer Luxe and guitar brand D’Angelico, which produce engaging visual and written content to connect with their audiences.

  3. Refine your on-page SEO

    Title tags, meta tags, meta descriptions, image alt tags, image and video weight optimisation, quick-to-load page speed, responsive design – Google wants you to give your audience the best experience possible, and making sure these areas are in order is a great starting point for better SEO and ranking.

  4. Optimise and refresh existing content

    It’s all well and good creating new content, but don’t forget to audit and freshen up any existing content you already have. Google looks for content that is current, unique and relevant to your audience. If you’ve got old content on your site, leverage its existence and get it Google-ready by reworking the copy and making sure all of the on-page SEO areas are in order.

  5. Think mobile first

    Google indexes mobile first, which means it looks at the mobile version of your website first and uses that experience to help determine where your pages should rank when people search. Etsy is a fantastic example of a mobile web experience done well.

  6. Earn backlinks

    Every time a site links to yours, this is like a ‘yes’ vote to Google, telling it to trust you and marking your website as having content that is useful and worth sharing.  Try creating standout content that excites your audience and makes people want to link to it. Surfing website Rip Curl is a example of linkworthy content – it’s unique, engaging and speaks directly to its audience: the surfing community.

  7. Take a close look at your competitors

    If you’ve noticed your competitors rising above you in the search-engine ranks, do some digging around their website. What are they publishing? Which keywords are they targeting? Are they doing anything different to you? Take note of their activity and bring something better to the table.

  8. Make your listing as clickable as possible

    Your website meta description and title can be the first interaction your audience has with your website. It has to be clickable, to entice people to take the next step into visiting your website.

  9. Test different types of content

    Written, video, imagery, infographic, interactive – which type of content best engages with your audience and earns you those valuable backlinks? You won’t know until you test different formats. TED conferences shot to global fame because of fantastic content marketing, with video and podcasts working extremely well for them.

  10. Add your business to Google My Business

    This last point is really simple and really easy to execute. If you’re a business with a website, you mustlist yourself on Google My Business to give you as much visibility as possible within search-engine results pages.

SEO isn’t new. Many brands and businesses have spent years investing time and resource into their SEO strategy, so now is the time to get on board with your own search engine optimisation. These 10 quick wins will get your started on your SEO journey, but they are just the tip of the iceberg. Partner with an SEO agency to really understand the best way to approach your SEO strategy and how to build a plan that will set you up for future search-engine excellence and growth.

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Guide to the Best Online Loans Available

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When looking for the best online loans available, you must do your homework so that you’ll know exactly what to expect online lenders to be looking for when you request a loan.

Obviously, the best online loans won’t be the easiest to get; to get the best interest rates and terms, you must take time to thoroughly check out numerous online lenders. Your collateral will have to be worth substantially more than the loan requested and you need to understand up front that if you have bad credit you will probably be paying a higher interest rate than someone who has good credit. This is just the price that has to be paid in order to improve your credit score.

If you take the time to carefully consider all of your options and choose a loan based that will fit your needs, it’s very likely that you’ll have a positive experience with your online financing.

You’re Collateral

Secured loans will probably have the most desirable payback terms… this is because the lender is guaranteed repayment by the collateral so they are willing to offer interest rates and loan terms that wouldn’t be possible if the loan was unsecured. Lenders are more confident that they will be paid back if the loan is secured by your property. Using the internet to offer their services sometimes limits the forms of collateral that will be accepted. This is because of the paperwork that is involved.

It is sometimes possible to use the item that you are financing to secure the loan… this is especially true if you are looking for a home loan or a car loan. However, you are probably going to need a down payment. Once the application is done you will know how much cash you will need for the down payment.

Some online lenders will not advance loans for purchasing something. They tend to lead more toward consolidating your debts or improving your credit. These lenders will usually accept high-value home equity as a good choice of collateral because it is easier to handle and they do not need storage space as they do for physical properties like vehicles. It is easy to transfer the ownership because the actual property is not involved. It is simply a matter of paper work.

Options for Repayment

Just like any other financial transaction, the best online loans will have some repayment terms that will be agreeable for both the lender and the borrower. This is essential. Lots of online lenders offer automatic payments from the customer’s bank account. This is an easy method of payment and the borrower will not forget the due date or have to write and mail checks. Many customers will find an option on the website so they can choose to use a wire transfer or pay online. If you prefer, you can mail your payment to the physical address.

Doing the Paperwork

It is easy to apply for best online loan available over the internet, but there is still some paperwork that has to be completed and mailed or faxed to the lender.

To make things easier for everyone involved, the best loans do as much of the paperwork online as possible but there may still be, some forms that have to be printed out, completed, and signed. The lender will want a hard copy of all documents along with identification.

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How to organise your online content

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You’ve decided to embark on a content strategy – that’s a smart move, because it’s one of the most powerful and cost-effective digital marketing strategies. But now the hard work starts. Whether it’s just you producing and promoting content, or whether you lead a team of writers, keeping track can be tricky. If you’re not organised, you’ll quickly lose track of what you’ve released and what you haven’t, and what was successful and what wasn’t. This can be multiplied several times if your team is large.

Here we’ll take a look at some of the best ways to keep your content machine well oiled and organised – and ensure your five-star strategy has the best chance of success.

Create a content calendar

The first thing to do is create a content calendar. It should detail what you intend to write and when, as well as where you plan to publish the content. It sets out your strategy as actual concrete content, with deadlines to sharpen the mind and ensure you get things done. Undelivered content is worthless.

An effective strategy to help make things easier is to divide your calendar into content themes. Rather than flitting from topic to topic, this helps you delve deeper into particular subjects and reduce the time needed on research. The culmination of each theme can be an in-depth white paper you offer as a download in exchange for contact details to build your email list.

Depending on your strategy, you’ll also need to make sure you have a good balance between on- and off-site content – content calendars are the ideal way to ensure this.

Finding the right project management tools

There are a plethora of content project management tools (not to be confused with content management systems) out there, with a host of features. The hard part is choosing the right one – this image from Curata demonstrates just how complex the landscape is.

You need to set out what you want to achieve and the level of collaboration and workflow management you need. Chad Harwood-Jones, Managing Director of content marketing agency WooContent, says: ‘It’s ultimately about finding the right tool for your business. Recommendations help, but the most important thing is to define your objectives first then select the provider that can best help you achieve them.’

If you’re unsure, or just want to get going quickly, Google Drive is a great place to start. Google’s G Suite contains software to create documents, spreadsheets, presentations and more – all of the systems can be used collaboratively with everyone editing the same documents. Personal accounts are free, and business accounts can be more cost effective than more expensive alternatives.

Set the standard with templates

While you don’t just want to produce cookie-cutter content, using templates to promote consistency can save hours in edits and re-edits. By creating a template with the correct formatting, sub-headings and images, you’ll ensure your writers and collaborators are more likely to get the required results first time. Make sure people know how much they need to take the templates as gospel and how much they can use their creative licence.

Create toolkits, checklists and brand guidelines 

Another way to ensure cohesion between all content producers is to create documents that detail your identity and standards. Your brand guidelines should detail your company’s personality, writing style and visual identity, so will help new collaborators to produce content that meets your specifications.

This can then be extended to toolkits and checklists you can use for more detailed instructions on each channel, such as a blog-writing checklist or video-marketing toolkit.

Reporting on your success

A measure not to be overlooked, reporting on your success (or not) is crucial to learning and optimising your activity going forwards. If a piece of content is successful, great. Evaluate how successful it was, analyse why and replicate it. Maybe you could repurpose it into other formats?

If it didn’t work, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and make sure you don’t repeat the same mistakes! Effective measurement and reporting is the only way you’ll know what’s working and what isn’t.

Although it’s not the most exciting part of content marketing, without effective organisation, your content strategy is doomed to fail before you’ve even begun. Putting the time in to produce effective processes before delving headlong into content production will reap rewards in the long run.

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