The Importance of Training Employees During This Pandemic

It might be tempting to cut corners at a time like this to save your business money. But one area where you should not skimp is on employee training. Read on about the importance of keeping your employees properly trained to handle the specific circumstances surrounding the pandemic.

 

This pandemic is challenging for all of us, but especially for small businesses. If you are open, you have new costs for cleaning supplies and other items in order to stay open. But you also may have less business so your bottom line is suffering. 

Your first reaction may be to cut costs elsewhere. I want to clearly stress that while keeping costs in line is extremely important, there is one critical area where you should not cut costs and that is in your employee training. During this especially stressful time when there are political issues, safety issues and people are experiencing COVID fatigue, there is a reasonable chance that you or your employees may encounter a workplace situation that calls for knowing how to properly handle and diffuse the situation.

We’ve all seen the videos of people pushing employees or customers, people assaulting people, spitting or coughing on people and other acts of violence from customers and even co-workers. Training your employees to know how to detect and diffuse the situation can possibly mean avoiding both safety, health and/or legal repercussions that might arise if the situation is not handled properly. Spending money to train your employees to understand the importance of empathy and how to apply it in a difficult situation can go a long way to diffusing a hot or crazy client, co-worker or customer. It may prove to be one of the most important investments you can make. If you don’t know where to go for help in this, there are many companies such as mine that offer employee training in how to diffuse an aggressive situation. 

When dealing with difficult situations remember that perspective makes the conflict. The way in which we view and address the person and the situation is key to understanding and to diffusing a difficult situation. Learning how to do this is best accomplished thru specific training that can teach you physical and verbal indicators, how to be responsive and not reactive and much more.

In the interim, here are a few tips that may help:

  • Observe the person’s body language—this can help determine their level of anger.
  • Keep your body language non-aggressive in appearance.
  • Attempt to sincerely address the other person’s concern.
  • Do not ever confront an angry person.
  • Practice active listening and show empathy.
  • Don’t take it personally—it’s not about you, it’s about the situation.
  • Maintain your sense of humor—it can go a long way to diffusing a situation.
  • Try to find common ground.
  • Apologize sincerely—let them know you really mean it. 

Conflict in life is inevitable, especially right now. Knowing how to minimize drama and de-escalate conflicts as quickly as possible is an investment in your business and in keeping everyone safe.

Timothy A. Dimoff, CPP, president of SACS Consulting & Investigative Services, Inc., is a speaker, trainer and author and a leading authority in high-risk workplace and human resource security and crime issues. He is a Certified Protection Professional; a certified legal expert in corporate security procedures and training; a member of the Ohio and International Narcotic Associations; the Ohio and National Societies for Human Resource Managers; and the American Society for Industrial Security. He holds a B.S. in Sociology, with an emphasis in criminology, from Dennison University. Contact him at info@sacsconsulting.com

 
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  • Next up: Improve Your Lead Generation with Interactive Content Marketing
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  • Improve Your Lead Generation with Interactive Content Marketing

    Content marketing is all the rage these days, but many people are simply littering the Internet with text, infographics and lists that are either just skimmed over or completely ignored. Gone are the days where writing general, broad or vague material can impact an audience. The future is engaging users with immersive, interactive content. 

    Content marketing is all the rage these days, but many people are simply littering the Internet with text, infographics and lists that are either just skimmed over or completely ignored. Gone are the days where writing general, broad or vague material can impact an audience. The future is engaging users with immersive, interactive content.

    Some examples of interactive tools are product configurators or calculators. A marketing budget calculator is a way for you to provide information or solutions to customers in highly personalized and engaging ways. Compare the experience of using this calculator to just reading a boring article about how to set a marketing budget. Most people just skim headlines anyways. An interactive tool gives them something to do. Learn how to go big and get better leads.


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  • Next up: Inbound Shipping: 4 Easy Ways to Keep Your Costs Down
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  • Inbound Shipping: 4 Easy Ways to Keep Your Costs Down

    With more freight being shipped than there are drivers on the road, taking steps to ensure your business is effectively managing its supply chain is as important as ever. And as you assess the overall health of your supply chain, keep these four money-saving tips in mind, courtesy the shipping pros at Ascent Global Logistics.

    1. Understand shipping instructions and payment responsibility.

    Before you create a purchase order, ensure that all instructions and payment responsibility have been negotiated and submitted. This will help your company avoid any excess costs and inefficiencies that might crop up because of miscommunication.

    2. Take control of inbound freight charge.

    Generally speaking, you’ll want to have control over shipping, handling and processing fees because the party responsible for freight charges has control over your shipment’s route. Some vendors have identified freight control as an additional stream of revenue, which means you might pay above a fair market rate for that service. But if you partner with a 3PL—such as Ascent Global Logistics—you can take control of inbound freight by creating vendor compliance programs and providing technology to ensure the best rate, route and mode.

    3. Don’t use “Best Way” as a shipping instruction.

    Economy, delivery time, risk of damage: There are a lot of variables that go into shipping freight. The “best way” might be least expensive, but it doesn’t mean it is the best value when it comes to the delivery of your freight on time and intact.

    4. Plan ahead.

    Placing shipments with plenty of load time will you help save both time and money. High traffic, weather and breakdowns can create havoc on your shipments and prove costly, especially when everyone is trying to ship at the end of the month.

    How can I leverage these tips to improve my own supply chain?

    Ascent Global Logistics is happy to answer any further questions you might have about how to manage inbound freight costs. Contact Ascent Global Logistics to leverage these tips to improve your supply chain. 

    Check out Ascent Global Logistics’ 4 Tips for Controlling Your Inbound Freight Costs, and their eBook titled Inbound Shipping 101: The Secret to Saving Money for more on how a properly managed inbound shipping program can help you save.

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  • Next up: Innovation, Security, Disruption Key Themes at CIO Symposium
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  • Innovation, Security, Disruption Key Themes at CIO Symposium

    Innovation, security and disruption took center stage during the opening session of the OHTec CIO Symposium last week, which brought together about 200 top tech leaders from around Northeast Ohio. The OHTec CIO Symposium was a full-day conference with four focused, intense breakout sessions and four, distinct, eclectic, strategic Tech Talks by regional and national IT thought leaders.

    Innovation, security and disruption took center stage during the opening session of the OHTec CIO Symposium last week, which brought together about 200 top tech leaders from around Northeast Ohio. The OHTec CIO Symposium was a full-day conference with four focused, intense breakout sessions and four, distinct, eclectic, strategic Tech Talks by regional and national IT thought leaders.

    Innovation

    Innovation is a top-of-mind issue at the Cleveland Museum of Art, said Jane Alexander, the museum’s CIO. She told the crowd about the museum’s installation of technology that allows a visitor to draw an image on one of the museum’s walls, and then that image can be matched to an item in the collection. “It’s magical,” she said during the event, which was hosted by OHTec, COSE and the Greater Cleveland Partnership.

    Information about the museum’s collection can also be beamed directly to a user’s device. Why did the museum invest in such technology? Alexander said it’s a crucial part of creating an atmosphere at the museum and also a way to engage with guests at a deeper level.

    “We don’t want gadgets,” she said. “We want to create things that heighten the visitors’ experience.”

    The technology wall is continually updated so that it always has the freshest information for guests. “We’re in ongoing beta,” she said.

    Security

    Data security is an ongoing concern for many businesses. Sean Gallagher, CIO at NASA Glenn Research Center, said one way to take stock of a company’s tech defenses and also potentially foster innovation is through the advent of “hack-a-thons.”

    Such events can help businesses design custom solutions to any number of challenges they might be facing, he said.

    “We engage citizens across the globe in some of our innovation efforts,” he said.

    Disruption

    Greg Flanik, CIO at Baldwin Wallace University, said disruption has taken root in the education industry. He pointed to start-ups such as Packback that allow students to rent textbooks by the day.

    In an effort to protect their business model, Flanik said universities launched massively open online courses, which is a model that aims to deliver courses to anyone interested in taking them on the Web. While Flanik said the so-called MOOCs haven’t been as successful as universities might have wanted, technology borne out of the initiative could help universities take their space back from the disruptors.

    For example, he alluded to adaptive learning techniques that delivers more educational content as students grasp an idea or concept as a way university business models could potentially evolve.


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  • Next up: Innovative Tech Companies Pitch at Tech Week
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  • Innovative Tech Companies Pitch at Tech Week

    We have a great Tech Week partnership with our friends at the Northeast Ohio chapter of the Society for Information Management (NEO-SIM).  Since 2012, we’ve partnered on Pitch Night, a unique event to bring together interesting, innovative local tech companies and IT execs from the region.

    We have a great Tech Week partnership with our friends at the Northeast Ohio chapter of the Society for Information Management (NEO-SIM).  Since 2012, we’ve partnered on Pitch Night, a unique event to bring together interesting, innovative local tech companies and IT execs from the region.

    Together, we select a group of companies to make ten-minute business pitches to the audience.  It’s a great way for these companies, a mix of early stage and mature companies, to get tome exposure to an influential, important audience.  And just as important, it’s a great way for local IT execs to hear innovative tech stories from companies right in their own backyards.

    So, we’re excited to announce our 2015 Pitch Night companies:

    • WiTuners 
    • Crowdentials 
    • 360 Safe Solutions 
    • Digital Animations for Kids 
    • remesh 
    • e2b teknologies 
    • Big River 
    • 1 EDI Source 
    • Event38 

    Pitch Night will be held on Monday, April 13 as part of our 5th annual Tech Week.


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  • Next up: Internet Security: 11 Tips to Keep Your Company Safe
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  • Internet Security: 11 Tips to Keep Your Company Safe

    In the wake of the WannaCry Ransomware attack, here are a few things companies should keep in mind when it comes to Internet security.

    Internet Security is becoming one of the top most important aspects of workplace security. You need look no further than the recent WannaCry Ransomware attack as proof. These issues can cost companies large of sums of money to incorporate and protect. The costs are even more devastation if and when you have an internet security problem or breach.

    RELATED: Here’s how you can protect yourself from WannaCry

    There are many security issues related to your internet connections and use of email by all of your employees. The number of data records stolen almost doubled between 2015 and 2016 to 1.4 billion. This increased factor did take place due to several reasons; cyber hackers, accidental data breaches, employee mistakes and malicious insiders, according to Gemalto’s Breach Level Index Report.

    The statistics do not stop here and it is not just big business that is being breached. Nearly half of all cyber-attacks globally last year were committed against small business. Ransomware attacks rose more than an astonishing 300% in 2016. Lastly, every second 12 people online become a victim of cybercrime, according to System Care.

    So, what can the average day to day employee do to help protect the company and themselves from being breached while working with all their electronic gadgets? Remember that in the last two years, 60% of companies have had a security breach that can be traced back to poor email security practices by employees.

    11 Simple Employee Good Cyber Habits

    • NEVER click on a link in your email. Make a phone call to the source in the email or look up there “real” email and utilize more safely.

    • NEVER reply to a suspicious email. If you are even slightly not sure, don’t respond in any fashion. Once again verify by phone or researching who or what they are.

    • Avoid free Wi-Fi to protect against hackers. There are ways now to work around Free Wi-Fi or limit any work done to simple correspondences and do not engage in anything that needs protected such as bank accounts, charge cards, company confidential files, etc.

    • Spyware on your system will show signs; unwanted pop-up ads, sudden sluggishness, freezing, failure to boot, crashes or internet connection failures.

    • Be aware of “phishing” which are emails that appear to be legitimate and they request you to click on a link or fill out a form.

    • Spot “Generic Greetings” such as “Dear Customer”.

    • Don’t get caught up in “Alarming Statements” urging you to act immediately.

    • Beware of emails that ask for personal information.

    • Spot misspellings and grammar errors.

    • If you find a thumb drive laying on the floor or the ground outside do NOT plug it in and explore the contents.

    • Do not leave your passwords out in the open on sticky notes and change your passwords at least twice a year.

    Imagine 20 years ago, “cybercrime” was barely a thing and certainly was not a major concern, but current estimates are that now it is costing our country and businesses as much as a half trillion dollars per year in financial losses!

    The total security prevention solution starts with each person at each desk and the cybercriminals have found small businesses to be more and more lucrative to attack and breach. There is a strong need to educate our employees on the simple mistakes we are committing each day.

    Timothy Dimoff

    President, SACS Consulting & Investigative Services, Speaker, Trainer, Corporate Security Expert

    Timothy A. Dimoff, CPP, president of SACS Consulting & Investigative Services, Inc., is a speaker, trainer and author and a leading authority in high-risk workplace and human resource security and crime issues. He is a Certified Protection Professional; a certified legal expert in corporate security procedures and training; a member of the Ohio and International Narcotic Associations; the Ohio and National Societies for Human Resource Managers; and the American Society for Industrial Security. He holds a B.S. in Sociology, with an emphasis in criminology, from Dennison University. Contact him at info@sacsconsulting.com.

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