Ready…Set…Recycle! 5 Ways to Get your Kids Involved Now

Up to 75% of the American waste stream is recyclable, yet we only recycle about 30% of it.[1] Those are some disappointing numbers, especially considering how simple recycling can be. And the results are real; recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to listen to a full album on an iPod, and recycling 100 cans could light your bedroom for two whole weeks!

Recycling is a crucial factor in taking care of the planet for the future generation. And members of this very generation can play a key role in helping the environment – starting now, at home. As a family, when you think of recycling, you should really think about the whole idea: reduce, reuse, and recycle. If you don’t need it, don’t get it. If you have to get it, get something that can be used again, and if you get something that needs to be recycled by the professionals, put it in the recycle bin. [2]

So how can you best promote recycling to your kids? How do you accurately convey its importance? How can you generate enthusiasm? Accomplishing this all is as easy as placing that soda can into a certain bin rather than the garbage. Get started now with these helpful family tips:

1. Set the example

The fastest way you can get your kids interested in recycling is to serve as a role model. As we know, children are extremely observant, and if you don’t take a minute to recycle the packaging and containers you use, you can’t expect that your kids will either. Children tend to copy the behaviors of their parents, and if you’re a recycler, they will more likely become one as well. Make it obvious by pointing out when you’re recycling something, and watch how quickly your kids follow suit.

2. Home Recycling Center

Select bins, boxes, or containers that your child can decorate or label for the various recyclable materials. Use paint, markers, crayons, paper, etc. – whatever sparks creativity and interest.

3. Give specific responsibility

Ensure your children feel involved by giving them a role in your family’s recycling process. One idea is to make them the “recycling monitor,” responsible for making sure items are being put in the correct bins each day.

4. At-home demonstration

Kids will feel more encouraged to recycle if they fully grasp the concept. Consider making something new out of old materials. For example, make a guitar out of an empty tissue box and paper towel tube, a desk organizer out of cola cans, or a bird feeder from plastic bottles. Your child will see “trash” in a whole new light.

5. Time for a field trip

Take the at-home demonstration one step further. A good family outing for a Saturday afternoon is visiting a recycling center, and even a landfill. This will allow your children to see first-hand what’s going on behind the scenes, and the reality of the fact trash doesn’t just disappear. Enormous trash heaps present a clear case of why recycling is so important. Meanwhile, recycling centers demonstrate the other alternative, and how the work children invest in recycling does really play a significant role in turning the materials into new items.

These recycling tips work, and the best part is you can dive into them now; when it comes to our environment, there’s no better time. Instilling the importance of recycling into your child’s daily lives now will ensure it’s a lasting effort, and more importantly, one that makes a true difference.

[1] https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-recycling

[2] http://www.conserve-energy-future.com/Importance_of_Recycling.php

Online Security Concerns Affect us All – Even our Kids

security-RCT

When we think about online security breaches, usually what comes to mind is compromised credit card and personal information, or a retailer’s database being affected by an intrusive act. Initially, this may all come across as adult speak, but recently it has hit home that this type of situation can and has already affected our children.

For example, the popular Hong Kong-based children’s electronics manufacturer VTech experienced a data breach on November 14, which affected five million customer accounts, including the user profiles of the kids connected to those accounts. The swiped data includes names, email addresses, encrypted passwords, IP addresses, and physical addresses of VTech’s Learning Lodge customers. While credit card information was not impacted, it appears that VTech left at least 190GB of kids’ photos and parent chats stored and vulnerable on its servers.[1] Like many breaches, there is very little actual information about where the stolen data has gone.[2]

Our ultra-connected world has provided to children advanced ways of learning and extraordinary communication methods that we didn’t have the opportunity to experience in our own childhoods. However, with this great luxury comes a very hard-to-swallow truth: we all have to take our online security extremely seriously as our connected world can also be a scary place. As we promote and support kids in fully using the wealth of resources a digitally-driven environment can provide, we, as adults, must do our homework and also monitor exactly what’s going on as kids navigate their own explorations.

The VTech hack serves as a troubling reminder that the more connected devices we put into the hands of our kids, the more we expose them to the very grown-up problems of a world riddled with questionable cyber-security. Cloud-connected, kid-focused products increasingly fill toy store aisles, whether from VTech or other vendors.

Some experts have said that they anticipate seeing more breaches involving information collected through digital toys and other web-connected devices, a category of products referred to as the Internet of Things, or IoT. They noted that manufacturers in these industries lack the security experience and expertise that the computer industry has developed over the surge in Internet use during the past two decades.[3]

It’d be ignorant to think that security hacks now, and in the future, will be limited to only more adult-oriented sites such as Ashley Madison or Sony, and expert opinion and scenarios such as the current VTech breach exemplify this. While you’d never want to discourage your children’s learning from IoT toys, as a parent armed with this current knowledge, you really have to remember to stay up on things, and to continue monitoring this type of high-tech play closely.

[1] http://www.wired.com/2015/11/vtech-childrens-gadget-maker-hack-5-million-accounts

[2] http://techcrunch.com/2015/11/30/toymaker-vtech-leaks-millions-of-parent-emails-and-child-photos-in-latest-massive-breach/#.p4niyo8:eeOF

[3] http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/12/01/us-vtech-cyberattack-idUSKBN0TJ0B620151201#qe4DhWtmS2DDqIEQ.97

Online Resources for Executive Moms on Career, Family, and Fabulousness

Get a little help from your fellow female workplace champions.  They are out there.

Sometimes you just need someone to relate to how hard you work.  Or you need some pointers on finding a good babysitter.  Whatever it is you are seeking as a busy mom, you likely don’t have time to do endless research.  And somehow, that’s not the kind of research you want to assign to your assistant.

Well, don’t despair.   We’ve cobbled together a fantastic list of blogs, directories, chat rooms, and other goodies into one convenient, mom-centered list.  You’re welcome!


1. Title: It’s Working by Forty Weeks

url: http://www.itsworkingproject.com/

What you will find there: “It’s Working Project by Forty Weeks is committed to helping the private sector successfully bring new parents back to work with ease, as a matter of course and with a sense of pride.”

Why it’s great: This site has a ton of information on why private sector companies should be more welcoming to new families.  The project is designed to help parents transition into the workplace with easily implemented practices that benefit both employees and companies. 


2. Title: Campari and Sofa

url: http://campariandsofa.com/

What you’ll find there: This is beautiful lifestyle site that covers fashion, travel love, health, and current events.   

Why it’s great: Claudia Cevenini (camparigirl) and Sue Wildish (sofagirl) are consummate New York mommies on fire.  They write witty, up-to-the-moment personal reflections that are so relatable to modern parents. 


3. Executive Moms Society

url: http://www.executivemomssociety.org/

What you’ll find there: This is a member-based support group for professional moms, focused on business development.  

Why it’s great: The organization nurtures and empowers women in business and parenting with an extensive understanding of the challenges boss moms face. 


4. Title: Excelle

url: http://excelle.monster.com/

What you’ll find there: Great opportunities for career-minded women.  This site has job listings, articles, a salary calculator, and a leaderboard.

Why it’s great: Excelle has a great reputation for real-talk, a range of voices, and great writing on many subjects that are important to professional women.  


5. Title: Power to Fly

url: powertofly.com

What you’ll find there: Cofounders Katharine Zaleski and Milena Berry join up moms with special skills and remote contracts, part-time, or full time telecommute positions.

 Why it’s great: The requests are all vetted and pay competitively, the site is easy to navigate, and you can set up notifications for when specific kinds of jobs get posted. 


6. Title: Working Mother

url: http://www.workingmother.com/

What you’ll find there: this site has a really broad range of content types: style, family, career, feature articles on moms, research, and conferences.  

Why it’s great: the organization has done a solid job of propagating best practices for executive women and has some very fun quizzes and giveaways as well. 


7. Title: NAFE (National Association for Female Executives)

url: http://www.nafe.com/

What you’ll find there: This one is the go-to spot on the web for women to network and explore career opportunities.  

Why it’s Great: Because it’s a national organization, you will find so many women around you.  Network and reboot your career by joining and attending a local meet-up. 


By taking advantage of even a few of these groups, you will be tapping into a whole community of savvy, smart, ambitious women who are committed to helping each other succeed.  This is, after all, one of the things that women do best.  

7 Dos and Don’ts for Holiday Marketing Efforts

Holiday 2_L

 It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year (for Marketing): 7 Dos and Don’ts for Holiday Marketing Efforts

Thanksgiving kicks off a sometimes-crazy holiday shopping season; the days from Black Friday through Christmas pull in up to 100% more revenue compared to shopping days throughout the rest of the year.  Additionally, according to Statista and the National Retail Federation, the season accounts for around 20% of that industry’s total annual sales.

With such staggering statistics for retail and beyond, it’s no surprise that this time of the year can do wonders for your business.  But how can you best take advantage of this golden opportunity?  What exactly should you aim to do and what should you absolutely not do?

Let’s take a look at some important points to consider, as you make your list and check it twice:

DO:

1. DO think about charities.

While gift baskets for your clients can earn you good will, also think about directing that money toward a charitable event or needy cause instead.  You can even send a card to your clients stating that you’ve made a donation in their name.  Spread word to the community about your philanthropic holiday activities via social media, a press release, or even your online blog.  Once you establish this positive reputation, don’t coast on it.  Try to remain a positive community force year-round.  This doesn’t necessarily mean constant monetary donations; it can be hosting a fundraiser or encouraging company-wide volunteer days.  The holidays serve as the perfect time to start building this type of public-facing partnership.

2. DO host a contest or give-away.

The holidays are the perfect time of year to be generous – not just to charities but also to your invaluable customers.  Running a social contest or giveaway is one way you can give gifts to your loyal followers.  Make sure to pick something that’s juicy enough to be shareable, but not so generic that you fill your social profiles with new followers who will never become customers.

3. DO have a strong campaign with a clear outcome.

The best results from holiday marketing come from brands that utilize strong campaigns across all suitable online and offline channels.  From advertising and promotions to the product itself, if you have a strong campaign, you can focus all energy accordingly.  Be mindful to not piggyback onto Christmas marketing simply because you can.  Think about what you want to achieve (Improved brand awareness and exposure?  Increased online sales?), and incorporate the right metrics to measure your results.

4. DO have a clear message.

With countless other businesses competing for customer attention over the holidays, your brand message needs to stand out.  What differentiates you and what you have to offer?  Keep your goals in mind and your messaging consistent across all channels.  This results in a greater impact, stronger trust, and higher ROI.

5. DO use remarketing.

Remarketing isn’t just a general year-round strategy; it’s a technique that’s ideally suited to holiday shopping buying behavior.  Think about how you purchased gifts last year.  Did you click on the first ad you saw to buy the first product on sale at that first website you visited?  Of course not.  Chances are you researched and shopped around for the very best deals, just like millions of other people.  This presents a crucial opportunity for marketers using remarketing, as it allows them to capture “lost” traffic by capitalizing on prospects’ reluctance to buy from the first site they visit in the hopes of finding a better deal elsewhere.

DON’T

6. DON’T forget to reconnect with your target audience.

Social media is an ideal way to build an ongoing relationship with existing and potential customers, and the holidays serve as the right timing to take full advantage of this.  As part of Christmas campaigns, factor in one or two posts a day on appropriate social networks.  This allows you to show the personality behind your business.  If you build relationships first, sales will follow.

7. DON’T let customers get away from you in the New Year

Don’t throw your holiday marketing efforts away once the New Year has begun.  Find ways to capture information and continue to engage your target well into 2016.

In summary, this holiday season provides a wonderful opportunity to increase business and brand awareness, while earning new fans and attention.  Keeping these tips in mind will allow you to succeed in your efforts now, and into the profitable New Year ahead.

Go a Little Wild: 8 Attention-Grabbing Halloween Marketing Ideas for the Small Business

Indulge in the candy and the costumes; it will bring you business and make your customers smile.

Susie Almaneih small business marketing

Halloween marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season; ready or not, here it comes!  While Halloween is a holiday that focuses on kids, it’s also a time when adults let loose and spend, so therefore presents a great opportunity to businesses.

There are plenty of homegrown ideas to get people rolling in for your wares, some of them new, some of them as old as the holiday itself.  Don’t let the opportunity to draw more customer engagement and create some local excitement pass your business by this October.  Here are some handy marketing tips for you to consider as Halloween fast approaches:

    1. Join the festivities.  If there is a small business association in your town or city, make sure you are in on any events like trick-or-treating block parties or fairs.  This presents the perfect chance to get your presence and your brand out in front of the public.  It’s also a great idea to get to know fellow merchants heading into the busy season.  You never know when you made need change after the bank closes, and who knows, you might have the opportunity to partner with another business in a promotion or future event.
    2. Decorate!  A few half-hearted cobwebs aren’t going to cut it.  You have to get inventive and the more interactive, the better.  If you are an online retailer, disguise your avatar, change the look of your landing page, and post or share some timely video clips.
    3. Focus on branding.  Again, talking about social media, this is an opportune time to just get your brand identity in people’s faces.  A witty viral video or meme can put your company name at the top of the list when shoppers rev up for winter in a month or so.  Work on getting your brand recognized and associated with something fun and unique.
    4. Sweet treats.  Look, buttering up customers with a little sugar is totally above the board this time of year.  With bake sales, holiday parties, and of course, trick-or-treating, customers anticipate a little something delicious when they walk in the door.  Free samples and homemade seasonal goodies are always a winner.  Consider spiced apple cider, or pumpkin anything.
    5. Invite the kids.  Even if your business has nothing to do with kids, find a way to incorporate them.  Own a tattoo shop?  Do a promotion where you hand draw temporary tattoos on the little ones.
  • Encourage the fantasy.  One of the great things about Halloween is the way it lets our collective imagination run a little wild.  This is the magic of the holiday that everyone wants to believe in, so encourage your team to dress up, and get creative and excited.  A company-wide theme invites imaginative costumes, and then you can work in some deals around that theme.
  • Play games.  Just providing a little off-the-cuff fun like bobbing for apples, horseshoes, or a relay for a prize (gift certificates are always appreciated heading into the winter holidays) is a sure-fire way to extend yourself and your company to the public.  This is another opportunity with online games or contests that foster engagement and you can award the winners some in-store treats.  
  • Press the Flesh.  Don’t forget the most fundamental part of successful business: face-to-face impressions.  Building relationships with your community is a long-term investment that will reward your company with loyal customers.

Remember that the Halloween season is a big one; consumers are hungry for decorations, props, costumes, and candy.  As part of the larger autumn sales cycle, this is a time of year when people really get cracking on some of their home improvements, school projects are well under way, and work for many of us is in the final chunk of the year pushing to make goals and deadlines.  Get out in front of the momentum by investing some good-spirited energy in your community and give your customers a reason to come back.

Taking Your Business from Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t

Jim Collins uses a seminal 90s study of enterprise to determine the makeup of a successful venture.

While this book is 15 years old, it takes up a specific spot in the lexicon of business books.  The premise is simple: we settle for mediocrity and don’t make excellence the end goal.  The “Good to Great” study provides example after example of companies that exceeded expectations in unusual and instructive ways.

Coca-Cola, Intel, General Electric, and Merck were scrutinized based on a carefully selected set of criteria of long term success so as to determine what established them as such exceptional performers.  What makes this book such an engaging page-turner is that Collins’ relentless curiosity about what makes this companies tick is itself an innovative and fascinating process.  He really turns over each stone with some surprising results: “Those who launch radical change programs and wrenching restructurings will almost certainly fail to make the leap.”

Information courtesy of Amazon.com.

Road Map to Success: Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers

A rigorous study by Alexander Osterwalder and Dr. Yves Pigneur provides a comprehensive playbook for the entrepreneur.

Part of the problem with success stories about innovative ideas is just that: the very fact that they are innovative means these ideas reached the market by some unconventional means.  Can there be a road map to success in bringing a completely new concept to the marketplace?  

Actually, yes.  This handbook was co-created by470 “Business Model Canvas” practitioners from 45 countries, and offers a fresh glimpse at reproducible models, practical tools, and powerful strategies.  The narratives offer some eloquent and inspiring insights that help anyone with a potential solution a way to explore if from a series of vantage points, deepening understanding of value propositions, customers, distribution channels, and costs.

Why Women are a Better Bet in the Startup World

With all the money that goes into researching potential companies, investors are missing a tested success strategy that could mean big profits.

Susie AlmaneihEndless factors go into the final decision on whether or not to invest seed money in new tech companies.  After all, we are talking about millions of dollars and that’s just the beginning, hopefully.  With the market moving at a breakneck pace, it’s more important than ever that investment capital finds worthwhile ideas and organizations.  But one consideration has been largely overlooked – the untapped human investment is women.

It is clear from the results of numerous studies that women-led startups have a higher predictability of success, yet they only represent a narrow slice of the tech industry when it comes to founders, CEOs and executives.1  Let’s take a look at the numbers.

In preparation for the “Women Startup Challenge” happening in New York City on November 1, 2015, Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist who is co-sponsoring the event said, “Only seven percent of all investor money goes to women-led startups.  Yet, studies show that women-led ventures deliver a 35 percent higher return on investment and generate 12 percent more revenue than male-run startups.”1

Another study at Gallup states that women are better bosses than men for a few reasons: women bosses’ level of engagement was higher, and of the people queried, those who worked with female bosses overwhelmingly felt like their development was a priority for their female bosses.  This same study indicated that women bosses show their appreciation with feedback way more consistently than men.2

First Round Capital released a report on July 30, 2015 and found that among 300 portfolios examined, companies with at least one female founder did a whopping 63% better than all-male teams.  The data also showed that women are present in the top ranks of their ten most valuable companies.3

Why do women-led companies tend to perform better than all-male companies?

Engagement- Women tend to work with their employees’ strengths to facilitate growth, and that is a clear illustration of usefulness that motivates a team.  They naturally excel at seeing the big picture and enabling all the moving parts to function optimally.

Calculated risk- When it comes to taking risks, “women have the edge: 87% see themselves as financial risk takers, compared to 73% of men, while 80% of women say they are likely to see opportunities where others see risk, compared to 67% of men,” says David Prosser of Forbes.4

Ambition- Like any underdog, women feel the need to prove themselves in the market.  This means many of them eventually envision striking out on their own rather than remaining an employee.  They also tend to face adversity with more determination and resilience.

Playing the long game– Where men are more prone to make immediate and often short-term decisions, women, according to studies, are more likely to arrange their goals around the long term.  They prioritize for slow, stable growth rather than a boom and bust mentality.

Compassion is successful– If you look at some of the most successful launches in recent years conducted by women, they are often geared toward solving an immediate and high priority problem.  Take Jessie Baker of InPress who is developing a device that can stop post-partum hemorrhaging, or Tessa Lau, Co-Founder of Chief Robot Whisperer, who designs user-focused systems around the study of human machine interactivity. These companies have contributed valuable innovation and generated considerable profits, in part because they have larger social goals.

Self Interest vs. Reinvestment- Sarah Fink at the Centre of Entrepreneurs says “Women entrepreneurs are more likely to work toward controlled, profitable growth with relatively little interest in merely positioning themselves for lucrative exit.  They often prefer to re-invest business profits over equity investment to scale sustainably.”5

Venture capitalists really miss an opportunity for sustainable profitability if they do not actively seek out female entrepreneurs and developers.  Organizations that stress collaboration, creativity and communication are often unsurprisingly better performers, and women are contributing to this social shift in the workplace.  Women, it turns out, are good for business, and thankfully, more recognition and support are generating opportunities for the intelligence, innovation and hard work that women have to offer.

Resources:

  1. http://www.wset.com/story/29931583/women-startup-challenge-nyc-to-help-fund-women-led-startups-in-partnership-with-craig-newmark-of-craigslist-and-craigconnects
  2. http://www.gallup.com/businessjournal/183026/female-bosses-engaging-male-bosses.aspx
  3. http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidprosser/2015/04/20/five-reasons-why-women-make-better-entrepreneurs-than-men/
  4. http://fortune.com/2015/07/29/female-founders-better-vc/
  5. http://www.womanthology.co.uk/shattering-stereotypes-around-women-in-entrepreneurship-sarah-fink-head-of-research-at-the-centre-for-entrepreneurs/

Social Media Do’s and Don’ts: Aiming Your Target Marketing Campaign

There are no hard and fast rules for Internet marketing, but there are some tested strategies that can help you hit the bull’s-eye.

When twenty year olds are making a few million dollars a year just by posting videogame commentary to YouTube, and dozens of popup ads telling you that your fortune is just a few clicks away, social media marketing can be misleading.  Everyone is an expert and everyone wants to give you advice as to how to “find your audience” and convert contacts into sales.

It’s true that social media presents a highly personalized experience for the users and a highly trackable process for entrepreneurs, but for small businesses with limited resources, there are definitely some pitfalls to avoid, and some fundamentals to keep in mind.

Susie Almaneih

DO fully explore your product, purpose and brand.  Often the great idea or inspiration is followed by impulsive marketing decisions that end up inhibiting the product.  Companies or individuals that take the time to develop their voice, to assess the problem their product or service is trying to solve and get to know their target market have no problem putting together a successful social media presence.

DO be authentic. Unless you are selling gag gifts, consumers really resent being drawn in by the bait-and-switch.  Humor is a great tool for getting viewer attention, but do it in way that reinforces the authenticity of your brand.  What gets results is honest, people-centric impressions that stick, rather than the sales-oriented “act now” pitch.

DO seek out relevant communities.  Rather than casting a wide net that will catch no one, tailor your message to your audience.  Weave topical language into all your content so you are speaking your customer’s language and build a slow and steady following based on substance.

DO use evergreen content.  Blasts are effective too; we’ll get to that in a minute, but consider using content that will draw users to your presence over the long-term.

DO tie into current events and trends.  If something is happening in the world that resonates with your audience, contribute to the conversation.  Applying that previous rule of staying authentic, avoiding shock value or tragedy, but if an event happens that highlights the problem your product or service is trying to solve, jump into the exchange and readers will appreciate you have something valid to say.

DON’T succumb to sound bytes.  The notion that our attention spans are shrinking might be over-dramaticized; we can see many examples where long form, information-rich content is capturing big attention: radio programming, online education, even serial TV.  If your solution is complex, don’t try to dumb it down.  White papers, solution briefs and brochures that really articulate the offering will go way farther.

Susie Almaneih

DON’T overshare.  This can mean sending out too many emails that make people want to spam you. It can mean too many subjects in a single piece of content, or it can mean trying to cram too much material into one space.  And most importantly, if you are an independent contractor, too much personal information makes readers uncomfortable and can also leave you vulnerable.

DON’T forget to proof.  Nothing turns readers off faster than sloppy or inarticulate content– no matter what they are shopping for.  It’s almost implicit in building trust that your information is simple, high-impact and grammatically correct.

DON’T blow your whole budget on ads.  The strategically placed ad can do wonders, but the temptation is to put all your eggs in the advertising basket.  The social media phenomenon is based on the principle that your best referrals are your customers themselves; this is why reviews, polls and testimonials are so effective.  When considering placing an ad, make sure you are using platforms that supply you with metrics, like Google Ads or Outbrain, so you can see how many people you are actually reaching and how it is impacting your sales over time.

DON’T underestimate your first impression. You actually do get a second chance to make a first impression– potentially millions of them.  With every new message you put out there, try to look at it as if you were learning about your company for the first time.  Is it congruent with your voice, your values, your product?  Many repeat customers stumble across something they suddenly cannot live without everyday.  Make sure that accidental experience is just as resonant as the active search.

Shrewd social media marketing isn’t rocket science, but do your homework first.  It can help to research the spaces where your target market likes to spend time.  To use the teen example again, Vine has become a huge draw for Millennials, allowing them to post 20 second videos publically, so one way to reach that audience might be 20 second videos styled after some popular clips.  Or if you are looking to introduce a new tech solution geared toward medical professionals, you will want to view some related sites, cruise some forums and model your content in that more long-form and academic style.

Social media is about building a lasting, trustworthy impression, and there are several ways to go about it so consulting marketing experts is not a bad idea.  The more creativity and uniqueness you can add to your public image, the more you set your brand apart for the people who matter: your customers.

Diversity in the Workplace

Building a diverse workforce plays a large role when it comes to maintaining a successful business. Choosing employees with different sets of skills will not only help your company acquire a more well-rounded overall knowledge on individual activities, but it will help your company actually grow. Here are a few things to keep in mind in regards to diversity in the work place:

Susie AlmaneihFirst, be deliberate when it comes to diversity. This means that you should go out of your way to attract more women in your business along with employees with different ethnic backgrounds.  According to an article published by The Globe and Mail that speaks about why making an effort to bring diversity in the workforce was worth the effort for TribeHR, a cloud human capital management company that was founded in 2009:

“We’ve made a point of putting more effort into attracting and welcoming female developers and providing them strong opportunities to succeed. For example, we make sure we include one or more of our female developers at every recruitment initiative we do and that we have at least one female interviewer on our technical panel interviews,” (Fung, Why Building a Diverse Work Force is Worth the Effort).

Making an effort to implement strict changes is a vital part of company growth. Employees should all be treated equally, and it does takes change and charge to make sure that happens.

Next, always make sure your new hires feel welcomed and like a part of the team – even if they’re shy and nervous at first. Pairing a new hire with a buddy who’s been at the company for a while is a great way to help your newer employees feel in the loop. You can also try a catered company lunch, or a fun excursion with your team after you’ve gained some new hires.

In terms of events and activities that take place outside of work, ensure that everyone is included. TribeHR’s approach to diversifying social events is a great example to mimic:

“We want everyone to feel welcome attending our activities outside of work, so we ensure we have a diverse array of work-related events – athletic or entertainment, alcohol-free or drink-friendly, adult only or family and weekend or weekday. We have run events ranging from hackathons to baseball games, to circus classes, to pot-lucks, to golf lessons and even Arnold Schwarzenegger movie marathons. It’s easy to fall into a groove; it’s much harder to make sure that you cover all possible options,” (Fung, Why Building a Diverse Work Force is Worth the Effort).Susie Almaneih

Always remember that each of your employees are unique and like different activities. You don’t want to get stuck in a situation where a monthly happy-hour turns into only four of your employees going out for drinks. Switch it up, give your company something exciting to look forward to – you can even try sticking to season-related events if you live in a climate that allows you to do so.

Last, don’t be afraid to have a difficult conversation with your employees. Many times discrimination and bias get swept under the rug, which will often lead to employees leaving your company and an overall unhappy environment. Don’t let those things slide because you may not see everything as a manager or CEO of a company, so talk to your employees and make transparency one of your company’s most important quality.