6 Tips to Become a Successful HR Manager

13 Feb 6 Tips to Become a Successful HR Manager

6 Tips to Become a Successful HR Manager


The decision to become a good HR Manager does not just come out of blue skies. Many factors actually inform one’s decision to become an HR Manager nevertheless, becoming good at it and improving the life of employees makes an HR Manager standout.

It takes something more to be a true professional in HR management. Here are 6 things to consider:


Be as specific as possible

Transparency and clarity are key to being an effective HR manager. Whether you’re explaining duties to a new hire, assessing the processes your team follows or dealing with the dreaded grey areas of company policy, you need to be specific and clarify exactly what you mean and what needs doing.


Be open to hearing what others think

Just because you’re enforcing policy doesn’t mean you should be dogged in its pursuit. Be open to hearing what others think about both it and anything else they may have a problem with, and always take feedback on board.


Stay organized

Although it’s another blanket term, staying organized is a vital piece of the HR puzzle. Whether you’re looking at your physical or digital workspace, take the time (even just a half hour every week) to sort out your task list, organize your resources and process your inbox.


Lead by example

You need to be just as accountable to your own policies as everyone else, if not more so. Leading by example is challenging, for sure, but doing so can provide a template which your team (and all other employees) can then follow.


Be tough, but firm

As an HR manager, you’ll be tasked with sorting out internal disputes and/or dealing with problems concerning how your employees conduct themselves and perform their duties. This means that you need to be tough but fair, especially when concerning company policy.


Communicate regularly

Communication is vital in every profession, but especially so in HR. You need to regularly touch base with both your team and the rest of the company in order to keep tabs on everything and make sure the whole operation stays on track.


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Employee Absenteeism, Tams human resource solution

06 Feb Eradicate Employee Absenteeism with TAMS Human Resource Solution

Eradicate Employee Absenteeism in the Workplace with TAMS Human Resource Solution

Employee absenteeism is the intentional or habitual absence from work. While employers expect workers to miss a certain number of work days each year, excessive absences can equate to decreased productivity and can have a major effect on company finances, morale and other factors. Just as a Doctor’s absence poses threats to the life of a patient or patients during in a life-threatening emergency, so also is the effect of employee absenteeism to an organization.

Employee Absenteeism can be caused by many factors, the situation is nevertheless new to organisations and several panaceas like the TAMS Human Resource Solution is what many organisations have employed to eradicate this problem.




Causes of Employee Absenteeism

Causes of absenteeism in the workplace can be grouped into two…

Personal Factors

  • Burnout, stress and low morale: Too many workloads, stressful meetings/presentations and a feeling of being unappreciated can cause employees to avoid going to work.
  • Children and eldercare: Employees may be forced to miss work in order to stay home and take care of a child-elder when normal arrangements have fallen through or if Child/elder is sick.
  • Depression: This is one of the leading cause of absenteeism.
  • Disengagement: Employees who are not committed to their jobs. More likely to skip work simply because they have no motivation to go.

Workplace Factor

  •         Illness/Mental health
  •         Lack of job satisfaction
  •         Boredom on the job
  •         Poor working environment
  •         Poor supervision and inadequate leadership
  •         Low level of staff motivation
  •         Personal problems such as financial, children etc.
  •         Workload and stress

Ways TAMS Human Resource Solution can eradicate Absenteeism in the Workplace

1. Create Attendance Policy

Formalize the organization’s expectations for attendance by writing an attendance policy. Include in the policy the definition for being tardy and what constitutes excessive tardiness or absenteeism.

TAMS Human Resource Solution has an attendance policy which integrates with the payroll in order to penalize lateness and absenteeism. This policy then becomes a measure of good performance.

2. Set Clear Attendance Expectations

Excessive absenteeism can be caused by a number of things – personal problems, employee performance issues, lack of clear expectations or a dysfunctional work environment. Share the attendance policy with employees as part of the new employee orientation process and discuss what your expectations are for attendance.

Also discuss how to notify the organization, and who the employee should contact, when they will not be coming to work.

Employees should know and understand what is acceptable by the organization when it comes to unplanned absence. They should know specifically how many times of missing work crosses a performance line and what the consequences will be for excessive absenteeism.

For example, the employee performance appraisal form should have a dimension for attendance.

The shift Management module would calculate the total expected work hours and day of employees juxtaposing it with days and hours eventually worked by employees for a specified period

3. Reward Good Attendance

Some organizations reward good attendance by giving employees a bonus for having no unplanned absences in a 12 month period. And, when attendance is incorporated into the annual performance appraisal process, employees can also see rewards in the way of merit increase.

Another approach is to provide adequate paid time off so employees have the option of planning for absences by using a predetermined bank of hours.

Lastly, TAMS Human Resource Solution rewards good attendance from the metric generated from punctuality and productivity ambassador initiative. Such employee can also be celebrated when productivity complements the good attendance with the TAMS Ambassador initiative.

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Fill and Sign a PDF Form




To fill and sign a PDF form or document, just follow these simple steps below.


Here is how to fill and sign on a PDF document:


1. Within Acrobat, open a PDF file

2. Click on the Fill & Signtool in the right pane


Quick Steps to Fill and Sign a PDF Form Online


3. Click on a text field, then type on the form. Your data will be saved so you can use it again in the future if desired.

Quick Steps to Fill and Sign a PDF Form Online


4. Click Sign in the toolbar at the top of the page.

5. Draw or type your signature, or use an image.

6. Click Apply and place the signature on your form.

Quick Steps to Fill and Sign a PDF Form Online


7. Click Save in the upper right corner to save your form.

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Safety and Health at Work

28 Jan Employee and Supervisor Roles in Ensuring Safety and Health at Work

Employee and Supervisor Roles in Ensuring Safety and Health at Work

Adequate safety and health at work cannot exist on best practice guidelines and policies alone. A safe and healthy working environment is based on how well employees and supervisors adhere to and communicate about safe and healthy standards.


Itemised below are employee and supervisor roles in ensuring safety and health at Work.

Employees’ Health and Safety at Work

  • All employees must know their rights and responsibilities regarding their safety and health at work.
  • They should be aware of the general laws applicable to them.
  • All employees have an entitlement to rest breaks and vacations.
  • In the case of corporations that produce large items, the health and safety at work for their staff may involve the right foot gear, shades, ear protectors and other protecting apparel.
  • Safety and health at work for those employed by a legal company or accounting company would involve confidentiality and cover against pissed off clients.
  • Health and safety at work for those in the medical field involves proper disposal of dangerous waste, ensuring to sterilize areas after patients have used them and consistent private cleanliness to avoid spreading contagions.


Related: 8 Safety Tips for the Workplace – Corporate Safety Tips


Supervisor’s Role in Employee Safety

Supervisors Must:

  • Monitor their workplaces frequently to identify unsafe or unhealthful conditions
  • Take prompt action to correct hazardous conditions
  • If a serious hazard is detected take immediate interim action to safeguard employees
  • Encourage employees to report unsafe or unhealthful conditions
  • Seek suggestions from employees for improvement of workplace conditions Investigate workplace accidents:
  • Investigate workplace mishaps and take prompt corrective action necessary to ensure the safety and health of employees
  • Institute actions to prevent recurrence of accidents Ensure employees are adequately trained to perform the work safely
  • Inform employees of the procedures to follow in the event of an emergency
  • Inform employees of any unique hazards in the workplace and how to identify them
  • Inform employees of how to report unsafe or unhealthful conditions
  • Inform employees of actions to take in the event of a work-related injury
  • Take prompt action to correct any unsafe or unhealthful actions or behavior.
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Security Awareness Training

24 Jan 9 Security Awareness Training Topics for Employees in 2019

9 Security Awareness Training Topics for Employees in 2019


With prevalent employee-focused cybercrime in organisations, information security awareness training can no longer be pushed aside but embraced. It is a known fact that security awareness training can reduce a company’s exposure by up to 70%

It is for these reasons; companies now take the needed steps of prevention over cure when it comes to these types of employee-targeted attacks – making way for information security awareness training to improve their cyber resilience.

Here are so most important information security awareness topics that your employees need to be educated on:

#1 – Email Security/ Phishing

As one of the primary tools in the corporate world and daily work life, cybercriminals use email as their primary attack method when targeting organisations. Phishing emails, malicious URLs and attachments riddled with malware are all commonplace in these attacks.

Security awareness training topics should focus on educating employees on how to distinguish the disparity between a safe email and a harmful one. It’s just as important for employees to know the different types of phishing emails, whether it be spear phishing or business email compromise, as well as where to report their suspicions.

#2 – Social Engineering

Even with expensive firewall equipment in place, it is a fact that no level of technology is capable of fully fighting the longstanding battle of human manipulation. Attackers will attempt to gain access through any loophole available in order to obtain access to sensitive information, often by impersonating someone of a trusted source.

Employees need to be educated on security awareness topics that cover the most common social engineering techniques and the psychology of influence (for instance: scarcity, urgency, and reciprocity), in order to combat these threats.

#3 – Passwords

More than 80% of people often reuse the same password over multiple sites and platforms. Weak passwords credential sharing and reusing login details are a growing issue for businesses.

Your workforce needs to understand why passwords are so vital and why it is important to never share them. Also, training topics also need to cover the best practice of choosing a complex password, as well as implementing two-factor authentication (2FA).

#4 – Social Media

The social media is a place where a great number of unknowingly employees’ share sensitive personal information without a second thought, giving attackers the opportunity to research a potential victim for social engineering. There’s also the risk of accidentally sharing sensitive corporate information, often found in the background of pictures in the workplace.

As annoyingly addictive as social media is, it’s important for employees to be aware of the growing use of social media for targeted attacks. Effective security awareness training around this topic should also cover what not to share, key warning signs for fake profiles and company pages, and the risks of taking and sharing photos in the workplace.

#5 – Mobile Security

In an information age where we constantly require data on demand, the use of cloud-based platforms and mobile devices are increasingly used to make the daily task easy to accomplish. Each of these mobile devices represents yet another potential point of compromise.

That is why it is critical for your employees to understand a range of security best practice around their devices, including the risks around installing applications, using public Wi-Fi hotspots, password security, and the importance of VPN usage when using new networks.

#6 – Working Remotely

With flexible working being offered by more and more businesses, the risks of working away from the security of the corporate network continue to give IT department’s sleepless nights. There are many benefits to employees working from home, but there is a lack of control of the devices and data used and accessed by employees working remotely.

Lost or stolen devices, connecting to weakly-secured public Wi-Fi, and even the threat of shoulder-surfing are all more than worthy subjects when it comes to this security topic. Educating employees on how to better safeguard when in such scenarios will offer an invaluable added layer of protection.

#7 – BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)

The security topic BYOD seems to be the centre of attention for many companies, due to its effectiveness and improved quality of work from employees. BYOD makes it easier for employees to work and employers to not spend money on devices and fixing them.

However, with the many benefits, there are also quite a few risks associated with BYOD in the workplace. For example, lack of security updates on a personal device, poor password security and potential risk of lost or stolen devices can put an organisation’s data at risk.

One training topic that you must cover is BYOD, your employees should be able to understand how to correctly use their devices in the workplace, have an understanding of the various BYOD risks and how to mitigate them to protect their personal and corporate data.

#8 – Physical Security

Physical security is the protection of personnel, hardware, software, data and networks. Physical security tends to get overlooked in businesses, even though it’s equally as important as online security. Like everything in any organisation devices and infrastructures are vulnerable to damage.

Every organisation, business or home will be protected by some form of physical security, with most security measures being part of everyday lives its common for them to be overlooked. Physical security is ever changing simply to adapt to growing threats. It continues to be modernised to maintain its value and effectiveness.

Your security awareness topics need to focus on how physical security is used in your employees’ day to day schedules and the many risks that can occur if precautions are not taken. Whether it is human error or malicious intent that causes the devices to be destroyed it’s important to know how to prevent these risks before they even occur.

#9 – Removable Media

Another security awareness topic that is used daily by companies is removable media. Removable media is the portable storage medium that allows users to copy data to the device and then remove it from the device to another and vice versa.

As well as understanding the risks your employees need to know how to use these devices safely and responsibly in your business. There are numerous reasons a company would decide to use removable media in their environment. However, with all technologies, there will always be potential risks. As well as the devices themselves, it’s important your employees are protecting the data on these devices, whether it is personal or corporate, all data has some form of value.

A few common examples of removable media you and your employees might use in the workplace are:

  • USB’s
  • SD cards
  • CD’s
  • Smart Phones
  • Music Players

This security awareness topic should be included in your training and cover examples of removable media, why it is used in businesses, how your employees can prevent the risks such as lost or stolen removable devices, malware infections, and copyright infringement.


Security awareness training is not something that should happen once a year; your employees will learn nothing. A good security awareness program will train your employees on a regular basis. Doing so will fill in any knowledge gaps and increase their general awareness of security risk and how to prevent them.


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Tracking time and attendance



As technology continues to revolutionize the way we do business, small business owners time and again neglect a vital aspect of their business: their employee time tracking system. Time and attendance systems based on paper time cards or sheets, memory recall of the past week’s schedule and “buddy punching” lead to hundreds of hours and millions of naira lost each year. A paradigm shift towards an automated time and attendance software that employs the use of a biometric system like TAMS HR Solution will help you track your employees’ time, leading to a more productive, efficient and happy workplace for all involved.

Towards the end of each month, HR Managers spend long hours preparing payroll for organisation’s employees – a time-consuming task that can be carried out effectively with an automated payroll management software in little time.

The advantages of upgrading from a manual time tracking system to a dedicated time and attendance system are always obvious and are neither farfetched. Here are benefits of tracking time accurately:


The most basic benefit to your business is that less time will be spent; both by employees and HR, tracking, recording and processing their time spent working each day, week and month. By upgrading, some businesses cut their time calculating payroll each month by up to 70%. Employees can focus on their respective jobs, rather than the additional task of accounting for themselves.


Time theft can include everything from taking a longer lunch than allotted or clocking in for a friend when they are late to work, otherwise known as “buddy punching.” The American Payroll Association estimates that over 75% of businesses lose money from buddy punching. Whether intentional or innocuous, time theft can be costly and automated time and attendance systems like TAMS HR Solution prevent it altogether.


Nobody is perfect, not even if they have a calculator, spreadsheet or other computation devices handy. Even the most accurate typist makes one mistake for every 300 keystrokes.  One misplaced digit or decimal can lead to accounting errors that need to be corrected, or worse, are left uncorrected and can affect your bottom line negatively.


An all-too-common question for those working in HR is how much time off an employee has left this year, or whether they have any sick days remaining. Rather than letting discrepancies cut into work, quality time and attendance software will allow employees to access that information on their own at any time.

Allowing employees to see their time records on demand will help them see how well they’re utilizing their time at work. The insight gained from seeing how much time is spent on particular projects or at certain sites can be invaluable and will help them eliminate inefficiencies.


Merely sorting through, organizing and processing paperwork can be time-consuming. Additionally, the cost of replenishing the items needed to maintain an old-time and attendance system, paper, pens/pencils, printer ink, and toner, etc. can be prohibitive in the long run.


State and federal labour laws regulate things like overtime pay and record keeping, both of which can be problematic to track if you have a manual time and attendance system. Rather than opening your business up to future lawsuits, which can result in millions of dollars awarded in back wages, stay on the right side of the law with accurate time tracking.


A paper-based system may work, in some respects, for your small business now. If you expect your business to grow, and who doesn’t hope for the best in that regard, you’ll want a system that can grow with you as you hire more employees and have more information to track.

Rather than beginning the search for an upgrade before it’s too late, get out ahead of the curve and upgrade while your timekeeping needs are still manageable.


If your company is spread out across multiple offices or sites, it’s much easier to calculate payroll via a system that is standardized for all employees. This creates a central database, with guaranteed practices, that can be accessed from anywhere, including on the go.

The disadvantages of relying on time-consuming and outdated methods of employee time-tracking are numerous, it costs time and money; it can get you in legal trouble; it can lead to stress-related illnesses for those who have to spend hours each week collecting, correcting and calculating timesheets; it distracts employees from completing the tasks they were hired to tackle each week. Rather than staying in the past, embrace the future by switching to quality time and attendance system, and let your company enjoy the benefits of accurately tracked time.


You can also use the time-tracking software to find out how well some projects and duties are being carried out. For instance, if you recognize that normally a particular task takes two to three hours to complete, but a worker took five hours this will be a sign indicating that there is a problem. You can engage the employee and discover if they require further training to make the project easier. You can realize if somebody else had delayed part of the project or the material that was necessary to accomplish the task. Utilizing the records from the system will alert the employer about potential setbacks that need to be resolved. You can identify these issues at the initial stages of the project and thus wind up using time more resourcefully to attain the company goals.

How would adding an automated time and attendance system save your company money each month? Contact Us today and let’s hear from you.


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5 Business Technology Tips to Boost Your New Business

We live in an advanced society where new ventures can start with little money and a big idea can carve out a successful business. While it is true that not every new business will survive, there are some simple techniques that can be utilized to make the most of your money, resources, and time.

When it comes to managing the technology side of your new business, you should definitely keep these tips for starting a small business in mind.

Store data in the cloud to reduce IT cost

When you’re starting out, you want to keep costs low. A great way to save money on IT costs is by using cloud storage instead of a physical server.

Cloud storage is particularly well suited to small businesses, and you can easily keep track of your spending as you will only ever be charged for the space you use. Best of all, cloud storage doesn’t require the same IT capacity or expertise, so you won’t need to hire an entire IT team. Just be aware that as you expand, you may need to spend more or make the switch to a dedicated server.

Get the best and cheapest Internet

Whether you work from home or sell physical goods in a store, a good business internet connectivity deal is essential.

The best bookkeeping apps and inventory management software are now cloud-based, so connectivity is very important. Most business packages offer priority service as a standard, meaning your providers are obliged to get your connection up and running immediately should something wrong. You will also want to look for a deal that offers optimum speeds for your area, as well as a comprehensive security package.

Be realistic about your social media presence

You may have big plans for the marketing side of your business, but just remember that less can be more when it comes to social media. If you don’t have the time or resources to commit to maintaining several accounts, just stick to one or two. A single Twitter account that is updated several times a day and has a healthy following is far more valuable than a trio of Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr accounts which were last updated six months ago.

You can hire someone to manage your communications in the later on. But when you are starting out, stick to one channel and do it justice. And do not forget that scheduling tools like Hootsuite, TweeDeck, and Postfity can seriously optimize your time.

Plan your website’s purpose and structure

To make the most of your website, think of it as an extension of your real-world business. It should use the same tone of voice and branding so that when any visitor ends up on your site, they can quickly grasp its purpose within seconds. It’s also important for the user journey to be clear and straightforward.

Try it out yourself — how many tabs or buttons do you have to click to engage with the service? Don’t forget that the average person only has an attention span of eight seconds, so you need to grab them quickly!

Make sure your website is mobile-friendly

In 2015, Google made a big change to its algorithms, meaning they now prioritize mobile-friendly websites in the rankings. Give your website a real chance on the search engine results page by making changes that streamline it for mobile and tablet technology.

Key features of a mobile-friendly site are a simple design, fast loading speeds, and mobile-optimized features such as “call-to-action” buttons. If in doubt, opt for a mobile-responsive design when building your site.

Lastly, don’t forget that the specific needs of every business are different. Spend some time deciding which technology tip or tools will benefit your site the most and do not rush into anything you can not easily reverse.

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Safety Tips for the Workplace

30 Nov 8 Safety Tips for the Workplace – Corporate Safety Tips

8 Safety Tips for the Workplace

Workplace Safety is a huge topic for all organizations, both big and small. The most valuable assets in the company are the employees, making safety the highest priority. It is a way of living and working for you and everyone around you. Your company may have its own set of safety procedures and guidelines, but here are some general safety tips that can help create and promote a safer work environment.

  1. Observe and practice the correct procedures established for your job. Many companies have set safety procedures and guidelines for employees to follow, but some positions may require extra safety precautions. Review the safety procedures required of your position and make sure you are following them correctly. If you have a question or concern, contact your supervisor or manager for further instruction, guidance, or training.
  1. Report any unsafe conditions or acts to your supervisor. If you see anything out of place or someone doing something incorrectly, tell your supervisor or management. It is important that hazardous conditions and acts are reported immediately to avoid anyone getting hurt.
  1. Report any sickness or injury to your supervisor immediately. This is just as important as reporting unsafe conditions or acts. If you get sick or injured on the job, no matter how minor, you should tell your supervisor right away. Your safety and health should be your number one priority, so don’t take any injuries or sickness lightly. Near misses are just as important to report, so we can build on lessons learned.
  1. Keep your workspace clean and organized. Whether you have a desk job or you work in a warehouse, keeping your area neat and tidy is important for workplace safety. Keep items off the floor, put all personal items in a safe place, and keep any and all distractions to a minimum.
  1. Ensure a clear and easy route to emergency exits and equipment. Do not block fire extinguishers or alarms. Make sure all emergency exits are easily and readily accessible. Both emergency equipment and emergency exits should be regularly maintained to ensure they are in proper working order. It is also important to practice fire drills and talk about what to do in the event of an emergency.
  1. Be attentive at all times to your work surroundings. Remain awake and alert in your workspace. Being attentive and alert can prevent any workplace-related injuries. Be conscious of others around you and what they are doing so you don’t pose a hazard to them and vice versa.
  1. Dress appropriately for your specific workspace and/or task. If your position or a certain task requires you to wear protective equipment, make sure you have and wear safety glasses, protective headgear and foot gear, safety harnesses, etc. As a general rule, you should be following the general guidelines for dress code set forth in your employee handbook.
  1. Make safety a team effort. Make sure everyone is educated about the safety requirements established by the organization. Participate in workplace safety training if necessary and work together to develop emergency plans and procedures. Remember to always keep communication lines open with your co-workers, employers, and employees. Open communication can promote and maintain a safe environment.

Safety is no accident! It is a lifestyle, and it begins with you!

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productivity hacks for 2019

27 Nov Top 27 Productivity Hacks for 2019

Top 27 Productivity Hacks for 2019

As 2019 gets closer, many professionals focus on what they can do better next year. Increasing productivity at work is a common New Year’s resolution, as there is almost always room to improve anyone’s practices. To help you get started, here are 27 productivity tips to begin 2019 right.

  1. Build up your energy.

Highly productive people seem to be brimming with enthusiasm, but that doesn’t come naturally to everyone. To help you get your energy levels up, take a moment every morning to write down your purpose, or the why behind your current pursuit. It serves as an excellent reminder as to why you’re giving your work your all and can function as its own source of motivation.

  1. Control your calendar.

While working in an environment where everyone can view your Google or Outlook calendar can be convenient, it can also set you up for problems if you don’t take control of your time. Others may view empty spaces as opportunities to schedule meetings, even if you intended to use the time for other tasks.

Instead of leaving your calendar in the hands of others, block out the time you need to handle critical tasks. That way you won’t be derailed by an unexpected meeting request.

  1. Create a mini crisis.

Some people thrive under pressure, allowing them to accomplish more than they originally thought possible in the time frame. You can recreate that sensation by blocking out less time than you actually think you need. Often, you’ll find your focus improves when you begin working and ultimately finish on time.

  1. Ditch your Smartphone notifications.

While completely shutting down your Smartphone isn’t always practical, managing your notifications is. Frequent pop-ups are distracting and almost guaranteed to pull your attention away from the task at hand.

When you need to complete detail-oriented work, shut noncritical notifications off so you can focus with greater ease.

  1. Schedule email time.

Email notifications are another notorious concentration-breaker, so giving in to every alert is guaranteed to make a heads-down task a challenge. Don’t let email take over your day. Instead, schedule time at the beginning and at the end of the day specifically for email. Then, unless something especially critical is coming in, feel free to ignore it the rest of the time.

  1. Put time-suck websites in time out.

If you find yourself losing time to sites that aren’t essential for work (and use a Mac), consider blacklisting them for periods using the SelfControl app. Websites you add to the list will be automatically blocked for the selected time, ensuring you can’t distract yourself with your hunt for a perfect unicorn meme to share with your friends.

Windows users can try similar applications, like StayFocusd for Chrome or Cold Turkey for additional controls.

  1. Avoid lyrics.

A lot of professionals enjoy ambient sound when they work, but music with lyrics (at least those in languages you speak) can actually be distracting. Choose either instrumentals for ambience or white noise to block out sound instead, and you won’t be as tempted to stop and sing along with the tune.

  1. Tackle must-dos first.

While it seems like common sense, many people forgo certain must-dos in favor of more straightforward, though less critical, tasks. But this can leave you scrambling if you don’t allow for enough time to get the work done.

To break the cycle, always start with essential projects first, no matter what. You’ll thank yourself for your diligence come the afternoon.

  1. Take on two-minute tasks second.

Small tasks can make your to-do list seem insurmountable. So, to pare things down, after handling your must-dos, head straight to your quick tasks. You’ll get to check items off your list, which is rewarding in its own right, and make the rest of your day feel less encumbered by minutiae.

  1. Get into a groove.

Whenever possible, group like tasks together. When your brain is already engaging in a particular way, use it to your benefit by focusing on similar activities in rapid succession.

  1. Cut meeting times by 25 percent.

While meetings can be vital to your business, they have a nasty habit of expanding to fit the available time slot, even if those extra conversations don’t provide value. To avoid the meeting version of scope creep, cut the time by 25 percent. You’ll still tackle the important topics but be less likely to have unnecessary discussions.

And, if getting together in person isn’t completely necessary, consider eliminating the meeting entirely. Your staff will thank you.

  1. Consider standup meetings.

When people settle into a chair, they’re more likely to get comfortable in the space. If you need things to progress quickly, embrace a standup format, forgoing chairs completely. This keeps people from settling in and encourages them to get to the point and move on with their day.

  1. Perfect is the enemy of good.

When it comes to your business, you probably want to make sure everything is perfect. But perfection can ultimately be the enemy, and is often an illusion, especially if you keep pushing to improve something that is already good. Don’t drill away at something that is in respectable shape. Instead, move on to other tasks and accept that good can be good enough for success.

  1. Know when to delegate and outsource.

Most business owners want to keep everything in their hands, but this can leave you overloaded. Learn which tasks truly require your input and which can be handled by properly skilled professionals. Once you split up the work, delegate or outsource quickly so people can get started on their to-do lists.

  1. Don’t neglect professional development.

Regardless of your position, there is always more to learn. Professional development helps you acquire new skills and perspectives, letting you be more effective. If a new competency allows for a higher level of productivity, then work to gain it.

You can take a class or explore free resources online, depending on your schedule, so make a commitment to learning something new today.

  1. Embrace automation.

In today’s technological world, there are many options for automating processes, such as emails and proposal or quote delivery. If there’s a task you can automate, look into it. It can shrink your to-do list significantly.

  1. Unsubscribe and unfollow.

If a newsletter or Twitter feed isn’t providing you with value anymore, then unsubscribe or unfollow immediately. This will clean up your inbox and feed, letting you find helpful information quickly and lessening the time you must dedicate to inbox maintenance.

Repeat the process weekly or monthly for optimal effect.

  1. Check in with yourself.

At least once a week, check in with yourself by assessing how you’re feeling, and then make plans to remedy any negative emotions that may be lingering. Self-care is important for productivity, so don’t continually neglect yourself in the name of getting more done at the office.

  1. Have a “no” strategy.

Saying yes to every task leaves you overwhelmed, but saying no can be its own source of stress. To make saying no easier, create a strategy in advance, including email templates or scripts, to simplify the conversation. This will decrease the amount of time you spend in the discussion while ensuring your point gets across effectively.

  1. Invest in dual screens.

Having two full-size computer screens is incredibly beneficial, especially if you have to refer to a report while creating a document, or any other resource plus activity combination. The larger screens make text easier to read, and the dual monitors prevent constant switching between pages or applications, making it worth the investment.

  1. Don’t fixate on where you start.

When people begin a project, they often default to starting at the beginning. But if you’re stuck, don’t be afraid to abandon the introduction and instead focus on another segment. Sometimes, it’s easier to start in the middle of a document, or even at the end, so don’t restrict yourself to a particular order if it just isn’t working.

  1. Use templates.

If you are repeatedly creating the same documents, you’re wasting time. Instead, create or download templates for your most commonly used formats and content types. Then you can simply start with a template instead of reinventing the wheel.

  1. Save, save, save.

If you’re working on a long document or report, hit the Save button as often as possible. While many programs have autosave features, the delays can be quite long. To preserve your work, make a habit of saving after every key point.

You can click the icon or use a keyboard shortcut to get the job done, either of which only takes a second. But, if it saves you from having to rewrite paragraphs of information, it’s worth it.

  1. Learn the keyboard shortcuts.

Speaking of keyboard shortcuts, make it a priority to learn them. They’re incredible timesavers and are available in almost every program. Start with those associated with your go-to applications and expand from there to get the most value.

  1. Ignore the news.

Trying to keep up with the news is essentially impossible, allowing it to generally function as a time sink. Plus, it can be trivial and even unreliable and isn’t necessarily great for your brain. Do yourself a favor and ditch the onslaught of news that can easily take over your life. It’s worth it.

  1. Stop multitasking.

Ultimately, multitasking is a myth that many of us fall for at some point. Instead of dividing your attention and rapidly switching between activities, commit your focus to the task at hand and you’ll see your productivity rise.

  1. Get everything you can out of Excel.

Microsoft Excel is everywhere, and most people encounter it regularly during their career. But few professionals are truly Excel power users. In as little as an hour, you can learn to use advanced features such as pivot tables, graphing, and vlookups, all of which give you access to business analytics capabilities that help you visualize data in just minutes, which are capabilities that shouldn’t be ignored.

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23 Oct School Safety Tips You Need To Know

School Safety Tips You Need To Know

As teachers start to memorize names and students remember what classroom homeroom is in, one thing that must also be remembered is school safety. Educators, administrators and other faculty members who work in schools not only teach students about the world but have to protect them from some of its most unpredictable situations as well. As you head back to school this fall, don’t forget these 8 school safety tips to make your students’ learning environments as safe as possible.

  1. Implement an ID Badge Policy

Positive identification badges for administrators, staff, visitors and even students can help foster not only a safer environment but a friendlier environment as well. The first thing you can do to improve school safety is to ensure ID badges are easily-identifiable. It is also important to implement a protocol for how to handle unidentified individuals within the school.

  1. Set Clear Rules & Limits for Students on Violence

Ensure your students know from day one what constitutes unacceptable behavior in regards to violence. Outline that pushing, shoving and even threats count as violence and will be dealt with according to your school’s rules. School-wide assemblies once per marking period are also a good way to keep rules and limits clear for students.

  1. Bully-Proof Your Classroom

#BackToSchoolTips bully-proof your classroom CLICK TO TWEET

In recent years, focus has shifted from physical violence to verbal violence and bullying. Bullying is a crisis affecting schools throughout the U.S. and it is important as educators to say “no” to bullying from day one. Take a proactive approach against bullying by engaging students in team-building activities, responding instantly to hurtful behavior and involving principals and parents when appropriate.

  1. Keep Your Classroom Organized

Another way to improve school safety is to keep your classroom, hallways and other school areas organized and free of hazards. Check that classroom tools and objects are easily accessible for students and not on top of high cabinets or shelves. That way, you eliminate any chance of a student falling while trying to reach an object.

  1. Raise Fire Safety Awareness

While fire drills can seem repetitive at times, practicing them seriously can be the difference between safety and danger in the event of a fire emergency. Besides running fire drills in accordance with your state’s requirements, include fire safety awareness refreshers every month or so in the classroom. Go over the escape route(s), extinguisher locations and fire safety tips like staying low when there is smoke.

  1. Plan for Severe Weather

#BackToSchoolTips Plan for severe weather CLICK TO TWEET

Tornadoes, hurricanes, snowstorms and floods affect schools every year so it’s important for all schools to be prepared. Keep an eye on the latest weather developments or utilize a team of meteorologists to help make weather-related decisions. Don’t forget to protect your students and student-athletes from deadly lightning strikes with a lightning alerting system.

  1. Develop Resources for Depressed or Stressed Students

Many instances of violence in schools involve students who previously have shown signs of depression or other stress. Make counseling services readily available for students and know when a student should be referred for emotional and/or mental help. The U.S. Department of Health Services has an extensive resource center for educators regarding student mental health.

  1. Maintain Locks on Doors and Windows

In the unfortunate event of a school emergency requiring a lockdown, properly working locks are of the utmost importance. Regularly check classroom locks and report any faulty equipment to school maintenance crews for immediate repair.

While these tips are great for improvements, they certainly do not cover every area of school safety. Therefore, if you have any other school safety tips to share with fellow educators, please include them in the comment section below!

If you’re ready to up both weather safety and learning at your school this year, you should really give WeatherSTEM a try. Want to see STEM education in action? Get more information on WeatherSTEM today and see how easy it is to integrate meteorology into your curriculum.

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