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Monthly Archives: May 2013

Working Women Liberate The Corporate Bottom Line

hiercheuseAustralia’s mining industry promises job opportunities and the highest wages of any sector in the country, with average wages of $2,388.20 and an average hourly rate of $52.30, according to the ABS Employee Earnings and Hours Report.

Yet, despite the job opportunity, despite the high wages, and despite the skills shortages that make the industry unlikely to turn away anyone who can provide the necessary expertise, women still make up less than 15% of Australia’s mining workforce.

A factory at half capacity

In a speech at his annual shareholder meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, none other than Warren Buffet (the expert on good investments) claimed that the world was overlooking the most valuable investment of all by not doing more to incorporate women into male-dominated industries.

Buffest described the current state of society as being akin to a factory operating at only 50% capacity, and said that he can only imagine what humanity could achieve without having one hand tied behind its back.

Historic stigmas within certain industries need to be overcome, and greater support needs to be provided in childcare, as studies show that the salary gap between men and women widens to about 40% ten to fifteen years into their careers, which is the point at which many women start taking time off to care for children.

Tim Toohey, the chief economist at Goldman Sachs, claimed that incorporating more women into the workforce could contribute a further AU$180 billion to the Australian economy. Although there has been progress over the past 30 years, when only one in three Australian workers were female, the rate of female participation in the workforce still stands at only 59%. The mining industry is one of many sectors that will benefit from efforts to increase that number.

Breaking down social barriers

The solution begins at a grassroots level, in the educational institutions, where greater effort needs to be made to encourage female participation in engineering and other technology-related courses.

Currently only 18.2% of Bachelor of Mining Engineering graduates are women, according to Graduate Careers Australia. They make up a small proportion of the 250 mining engineering graduates per year – a figure that needs to be more than doubled to meet the demand for skills.

So, what is it that prevents women from joining the mining workforce?

The industry may be eager to welcome women now, but the social effects of their historical exclusion from the industry still need to be undone. Then there is the fact that having children makes women reluctant to pursue careers which require them to work at remote locations.

Whatever the predominant issues, they need to be addressed. The Australian Women in Resources Alliance (AWRA) is an initiative established by the Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA), which aims to do exactly that. Their aim is to increase female participation in the mining industry from 13.4% to at least 25% by 2020. Doing so will require measures to help them overcome both the social and economic obstacles.

Newmont Mining Corporation has taken steps towards this by encouraging female participation at their gold mine in Boddington. They invited local women to drive haul trucks while their children were at school and the truck drivers were taking their breaks. Of course, AWRA has higher aspirations for women in the industry then part-time truck driving, but it’s a means of at least encouraging female participation, and allowing women in the area to familiarize themselves with the mining working environment.

With 90,000 resource industry jobs estimated to be created by 2016, it’s necessary to address the issues brought about by the exclusion of women from the workforce if these industries are to achieve their full potential. These issues should have been addressed long before now, but perhaps having economic incentive to do so will make people more motivated to do something about it.

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Matthew Flax writes for Now Learning, a tertiary education portal that promotes TAFE courses in Western Australia (WA), as well as a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, including mining engineering, throughout the country.

 

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13 Hot Internet Marketing Trends in 2013

by Tom Shapiro
13 Hot Internet Marketing Trends in 2013

Internet marketing is now a critical piece of just about any company’s marketing mix. There are few marketing options with the speed, efficiency and reach as internet marketing. And so you should take the time to ensure you are focusing sufficiently on your internet marketing to maximize your revenue and growth.

The year 2013 will prove to be another year in which the array of internet marketing vehicles, tools and techniques will continue to increase. To help you capitalize on the opportunities, here are 13 hot internet marketing trends for 2013 that you should consider when planning your marketing initiatives throughout the year:

13 Hot Internet Marketing Trends in 2013

1. Design Matters

Design matters, because design sells. Just look at the success of ApplePinterestDesk.com or Nike. All four websites are stunning, and that’s no coincidence. Apple is the most valuable company of all time. It actually carries very few products, though. It’s the design that powers Apple’s value. Nike is a shoe and apparel company, yet pays just as much attention to the design of its website, videos and ads as much as to anything else. Focus on great design for all of your internet marketing in 2013.

2. Marketing Goes Visual

Similarly, communication through visual means is hot, and only getting hotter. Whether the explosion in infographics, or the dramatic rise in the popularity of Pinterest, or the redesigns of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, we are going through a visual revolution. Start figuring out how to make more of your marketing visual in 2013.

3. Parallax Design

Parallax website design incorporates special scrolling techniques whereby background images on the screen move slower than foreground images, creating an illusion of depth on the screen. You can see examples at the following websites: Volkswagon Beetle and Activate (be sure to scroll down the page!). If you are planning a website redesign in 2013, consider incorporating elements of parallax design.

4. Mobile Mobile Mobile

Wordwide, there are over 5 billion mobile users and 1.1 billion smartphone subscribers specifically. The iPad was the fastest growing technology product EVER! Wow, if you need further convincing that you should start planning how to connect with your audience via mobile channels for your business, you’re nuts!

5. Video Video Video

More than 4 billion online videos are watched every day. Sixty-eight percent of video watchers share video links. So it’s clear your audience likes video. On top of this, consider that after 72 hours, a typical person can retain about 10% of text that they’ve read, 65% of an image they’ve seen, or 95% of a video they watched. Think that video might be helpful with communicating your message to your audience? Just a bit, huh?!?

6. Cloud-Based Tools

To be uber-efficient with your internet marketing efforts, you should be using cloud-based tools. For email marketing, you might be using MailChimp. For SEO, you might be using SEOmoz. For landing page testing, you might be using Unbounce. For heat map analysis, you might be using CrazyEgg. For website analysis, you might be using BoostSuite. Check out all the unbelievably useful options available to you.

7. The Multi-Screen World

With 86% of mobile internet users actually using their devices while watching TV, and with more than 10,901 Tweets PER SECOND being issued as TV viewers watched Adele win Record of the Year at The Grammy’s, it’s clear that we all live in a multi-screen world. Make sure that your internet marketing accounts for not just desktops, but ALL screens.

8. Social Media Gets Smarter

Facebook has more than 1 billion users, and Twitter has more than 500 million. Social media is an opportunity for your business, but it’s been difficult for many businesses to make sense of it all and to gain solid business value out of it. With a growing number of marketing platforms such as Wildfire by Google and ShortStack, and with more granular social media analytics as provided by tools such asSproutSocialFollowerwonk and PageLever, extracting clear meaning from your social marketing will get easier over time.

9. Retargeting Goes Mainstream

Retargeting is a means of placing your advertisements in front of your audience after they have left your website without converting. What many marketers fail to realize is that retargeting is one of the most effective internet marketing techniques available. If you are already investing in your site and your marketing campaigns for more site traffic, then it typically pays big dividends to remind the people who left your website without a conversion of your value in solving their needs. Your options for retargeting include Google RemarketingAdRollRetargeter and also Bizo (for exceptional B2B retargeting).

10. Email Remarketing

In lead generation campaigns or retailer email marketing, there are always going to be occurrences of form or cart abandonment. However, it’s a waste to just let the prospect go without reaching out and finding out if you might indeed offer exactly what they want or need. After the abandonment of a registration form or online shopping cart, through email remarketing you can send out an automated email to give your brand another chance at winning the heart and mind of the prospect. According to SeeWhy, 26% of those who abandoned an online shopping cart will return to complete the purchase in the case they receive a remarketing email.

11. Search, Social & PR Collide

Organic search has been incorporating social signals for some time, and the integration of search and social has accelerated with the introduction of Google+ and the Google Knowledge Graph. With Google’s Panda and Penguin search algorithm updates, it’s become extremely clear that quality and value matter. That means high quality content, combined with sincere, transparent social marketing, combined with targeted PR is going to be a triad that’s hard to beat.

12. Attribution Measurement

If you run multiple forms of internet marketing, such as paid search, SEO, email marketing, display advertising, and retargeting, then it can be difficult to assess the value of each piece of your marketing puzzle. If someone encounters your brand five times in a given week through the different marketing vehicles, who’s to say how much credit to give to each of the different pieces. That’s where attribution measurement services come in, whether GoogleClearSaleing or VisualIQ.

13. The Hispanic Market

Hispanics are the fastest-growing segment of the US population. And as they represent approximately 25% of new births, expect them to have an impact on your future business. Research points to Hispanics spending more time online than non-Hispanics and being more active online than non-Hispanics. If you have been ignoring the Hispanic market, perhaps 2013 is the time to start providing the market with the attention and customization that it deserves.

Read more at http://www.startupnation.com/business-articles/9850/1/internet-marketing-trends-2013.htm#58r6Au4Ss0WAAwWF.99

 

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Mastering Life Balance: Achieving Greatness at Home and at Work

balancelifework5 Tips from Former Businessman of the Year

People are overwhelmed with the complexities of their own lives and are desperately seeking a way to maximize happiness in their home and work lives, says Gary Kunath, an entrepreneur, speaker and former CEO who works with some of the world’s top corporations and business schools.

“I used to be caught up in the spin cycle of thinking that net worth automatically afforded me life worth,” says Kunath, a speaker at top business schools and author of “Life … Don’t Miss It. I Almost Did: How I Learned To Live Life To The Fullest,” (www.lifedontmissitbook.com).

“I sacrificed time with my family with the justification that I was providing necessary material things, but at a certain point you realize that money doesn’t make you rich, it just allows you to buy more stuff.”

Priorities for professionals have shifted; now, U.S. workers seek family wellbeing above all else, he says. Companies need to recognize that it’s imperative to positively affect their employees’ lives, both inside and outside working quarters, he says.

“We need to bring humanity back to business,” Kunath says. “Leading corporations are aware that most professionals today – 70 percent – would trade a pay raise for an increase in personal wellness.”

But employers are struggling with that, he says, citing a new American Psychological Association survey released in March in which 48 percent of employees say their employers don’t value a good work-life balance.

More professionals are trying to find a path to life worth, rather than centering their behavior on net worth, Kunath says. He offers five ways career-minded individuals can achieve both:

• Look for signs you’re falling into the net-worth trap: For Kunath, those signs were clear. One day, he says, “it was like someone had smacked me on the head,” when his son, then 12, walked away in dismay after Kunath said he couldn’t play baseball with him because he was too busy working on a business proposal. “The look of disappointment on my son’s face was something I will never forget,” he says. Kunath dropped everything and spent the day with his son. “I promised that would NEVER happen again”. The next occurrence included a mental and physical breakdown after Kunath pushed himself to make an unnecessary business trip while sick.  After a 19-hour ordeal in a delayed flight to Spain, “…I knew in my bones that if I did not draw the line right there … I would ruin every part of my life that mattered to me.”

• Don’t be an employee, be employable: Unless you are self-employed, you are always vulnerable to someone else controlling your professional destiny, and therefore, your life worth. But employees can empower themselves by diversifying their skills so that they can have more choices about where and for whom to work.

• Bad things happen to good people: Adversity finds us all. No one enjoys the worst, most painful moments of their lives. Nonetheless, life events like loss of a loved one, financial ruin, divorce, addictions or illness tend to define us. We need adversity in our lives. Anyone can be a rock star when life is perfect. But when adversity strikes, then the “real” you is revealed. How you face adversity can either extinguish you or distinguish you.

• Believe in something bigger than you: There will be times when you are utterly helpless, with no control over an outcome. All the money in the bank and all the authority at work will do no good when it comes to, for instance, the death of a loved one. Believing in something bigger than you is an important part of having life worth; it helps you maintain your emotional health when you face life’s biggest challenges.

• Don’t Major in the Minors: As Henry David Thoreau wrote, “The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” For every evening spent late in the office there are moments professionals miss out on – and can never get back. Many of us spend time on things that ultimately don’t matter. “The three greatest gifts you can give to your family are: Time, Memories and Tradition,” he says. “These are things in life that matter.”

About Gary Kunath

Gary Kunath is the founder of The Summit Group, which is ranked among the top sales-training companies in the world by Selling Power magazine. His value-creation approach received the “Innovative Practice of the Year Award” by 3M worldwide. He was named Businessman of the Year for the United States and was recognized a dinner hosted by the president of the United States. He has lectured extensively at several prominent business schools, and he is currently an adjunct professor at The Citadel’s Sports Marketing graduate program. Kunath is as an owner of several professional minor league baseball teams along with his partners, Bill Murray, Jimmy Buffet and Mike Veeck. The group is famous for managing its teams around the “Fun is Good” approach.

 

 

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Growing old gracefully and western civilization, or, do you have parents?

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Both my parents were dead by the time I was 29 years old.  My father had Alzheimer’s, and by the time I graduated from college to come out and help my mother take care of him, it was essentially to put him in a rest home.  He died there one week later.
My mother, due to the stress of taking care of him, contracted lymphoma and died four years later.  Her sister was in a rest home with MS, and we had been visiting her there for years.  With my parents gone it was left up to me.  She had a daughter who lived back east, but she had stopped visiting 5 years earlier.  It was just too painful.  I must admit that the visits came to be less and less frequent.  She was in a new full blown rest home, and she was actually one of the lucky ones.  The place reeked of urine and feces, people were literally moaning and screaming and wandering the halls, mostly in their wheelchairs.  It was a difficult place to visit, and I used to have a few pops before I went up every time.  I think when she passed it had been nine months since I had seen her the last time.
This is how we take care of our old and disabled.
My grandfather was in the VA, and when grandma was alive we visited him almost every afternoon.  We did see hundreds of people in the halls, but most never had any visitors.  We use to walk around award from bed to bed and make sure everybody in there had a little bit of attention and some human contact.  I think I was six years old then, and I still remember how bad it was.
This was all over 30 years ago.  I can’t imagine what it is going to be like when we baby boomers all start dropping like flies.  The lucky ones of us will just die, the unlucky ones will have to live through it.
We go our entire lives assuming that we deserved Health Care, and then somehow it will be provided for us.  Regardless of Obama Care and all of the best intentions, without a major revolution there simply is not going to be any way to pay for our Health Care.
It will literally take a village.  Without it we will be lucky to be given enough morphine to ease the pain as we are left in a corner in her wheelchair to quietly wait for death.
Aside from local governments, I have only encountered one group that is trying to do something about it:  The National Compassion Holiday Petition group http://nationalcompassionholiday.com/ led by Michael  Villalpando is that group.
If you have parents, know of anyone disabled, or plan to ever come incapacitated yourself, you might want to pay it forward and at least sign this guy’s petition. It’s free,  unless you feel called to contribute, and only takes a second.  Your old age Karma might just depend on it.
 

 

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8 Things Productive People Do During the Workday

by Ilya Pozin

Forget about your job title or profession – everyone is looking for ways to be more productive at work. It’s time to set down your gallon-sized container of coffee, toss out your three-page to-do list, and put an end to those ridiculously long emails you’ve been sending.

Experiencing a highly productive workday can feel euphoric. But contrary to popular belief, simply checking tasks off your to-do list isn’t really an indication of productivity. Truly productive people aren’t focused on doing more things; this is actually the opposite of productivity. If you really want to be productive, you’ve got to make a point to do fewer things.

Recently I spoke with project management and productivity genius Tony Wong to find out the secret to a more productive workday. He provided me with some excellent insight into what he and other like-minded productive individuals do during their work week.

Harness your productivity by taking note of these eight things:

1. Create a smaller to-do list. Getting things accomplished during your workday shouldn’t be about doing as much as possible in the sanctioned eight hours. It may be hard to swallow, but there’s nothing productive about piling together a slew of tasks in the form of a checklist. Take a less-is-more approach to your to-do list by only focusing on accomplishing things that matter.

2. Take breaks. You know that ache that fills your brain when you’ve been powering through tasks for several hours? This is due to your brain using up glucose. Too many people mistake this for a good feeling, rather than a signal to take a break. Go take a walk, grab something to eat, workout, or meditate – give your brain some resting time. Achieve more productivity during your workday by making a point to regularly clear your head. You’ll come back recharged and ready to achieve greater efficiency.

3. Follow the 80/20 rule. Did you know that only 20 percent of what you do each day produces 80 percent of your results? Eliminate the things that don’t matter during your workday: they have a minimal effect on your overall productivity. For example, on a project, systematically remove tasks until you end up with the 20 percent that gets the 80 percent of results.

4. Start your day by focusing on yourself. If you begin your morning by checking your email, it allows others to dictate what you accomplish. Set yourself in the right direction by ignoring your emails and taking the morning to focus on yourself, eat a good breakfast, meditate, or read the news.

5. Take on harder tasks earlier in the day. Knock out your most challenging work when your brain is most fresh. Save your busy work – if you have any – for when your afternoon slump rolls in.

6. Pick up the phone. The digital world has created poor communication habits. Email is a productivity killer and usually a distraction from tasks that actually matter. For example, people often copy multiple people on emails to get it off their plate – don’t be a victim of this action. This distracts everyone else by creating noise against the tasks they’re trying to accomplish and is a sign of laziness. If you receive an email where many people are CC’d, do everyone a favor by BCCing them on your reply. If your email chain goes beyond two replies, it’s time to pick up the phone. Increase your productivity by scheduling a call.

7. Create a system. If you know certain things are ruining your daily productivity, create a system for managing them. Do you check your emails throughout the day? Plan a morning, afternoon, and evening time slot for managing your email. Otherwise, you’ll get distracted from accomplishing more important goals throughout the day.

8. Don’t confuse productivity with laziness. While no one likes admitting it, sheer laziness is the No. 1 contributor to lost productivity. In fact, a number of time-saving methods – take meetings and emails for example – are actually just ways to get out of doing real work. Place your focus on doing the things that matter most as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Remember, less is more when it comes to being productive during the workday.

What’s your secret to productive workdays?

About Ilya Pozin:

Founder of Ciplex. Columnist for Inc, Forbes & LinkedIn. Gadget lover, investor, mentor, husband, father, and ’30 Under 30′ entrepreneur. Follow Ilya below to stay up-to-date with his articles and updates!

 

 

 

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Don’t Forget Older Friends and Family

imagesBY: 

Mother’s Day has just passed, Father’s Day is coming up soon, and the same words are heard around the country…it is nice to have a special day for honoring our parents, but where are you the rest of the year?

San Mateo resident Michael Villalpando is acutely aware of the lack of human contact for so many older mothers and fathers. As the founder of the C.H.I foundation –Communities Health and Wellness Involvement— and a Tai Chi instructor at dozens of assisted living facilities, nursing homes and retirement communities all over California, he sees seniors and disabled adults who have basically been forgotten by friends and family. And he wants to do something about it.

Villalpando’s goal is to establish an awareness of the elderly, ill, and disabled people and encourage young and old alike to visit and spend time with those who live isolated lives in institutions and assisted living communities. He wants to establish a National CompassionHoliday on every March 15…a legal holiday where people will volunteer services at senior centers and care facilities, promote respect and awareness of these citizens and unite all in a spirit of compassion and public service. He is circulating a petition and says when he gets enough signatures, he will submit the petitions to Congress for establishing a day for those in need of compassion.

Interested readers can access petitions at www.nationalcompassionholiday.com. There is no charge and names will not be used for any other purpose. You can contact Michael with questions or support there as well.

As Villalpando says: “I see these people every day and know how just one person smiling at them or taking a few minutes to talk and value them as a person can make a difference.” He believes future generations will thank you for your support and reminds us, “this is not just about ‘them,’ it is about us. We will all be there some day.”

 

 

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The New Rules Of Customer Complaints Management

complaints managementCompanies in the business of dealing with people know how important customer complaints management is – after all, there are very few companies that do not interact with customers on some level; even if there is no direct interaction.

The rules have changed a lot over the past few years, and they are changing even more just about each and every month. What worked in the early part of the 2000s will not work in 2013 – consumers have a far greater soapbox now for one thing, and the way that we communicate in general has also changed greatly.

Customer Complaints in the Era of Technology

What exactly are the ‘new rules’ that need to be considered for our current era, and what should companies be doing to adhere to best practices on complaints management? Here are some important things to keep in mind…

  • Customers are no longer limited to posted letters, limited email and telephone calls. Now, they have all of those channels, as well as personal blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, consumer feedback websites, forums AND word of mouth. Worse still, feedback posted online that mentions your company will show up in internet search results when people are searching for your business online.
  • Customers are more likely to report on a bad experience than a good one. What this means is that even though the past 150 customers who have purchased your wildly popular gizmo via your snazzy online store are thrilled, not all of them will be shouting your praise to the world. The one or two customers who were not too happy about that gizmo (or your store, or even your delivery process) are another story. Those are the ones who will tell everyone they can just how terrible your company, products and store are – often, on multiple channels for good measure.
  • Customers can not only become happy again, they can even become your number one fans. This is however, provided that you deal with their complaints properly. Complaints should not be seen as a bad thing for starters – this is a chance to improve your services and goods for the better. For another thing, the way that problems are addressed makes a lot more difference than the actual issue in many cases. In order to effectively address the complaint, you first need to catch it early, escalate it properly and route it to the right person though.

As you can see, the rules continue to change pretty much all the time. What doesn’t change however is the fact that response time and reaction are both vital when it comes to making a bad situation into a good one.

Automating the complaints process with a good software tool is one way to improve your overall systems. You may also want to think about other tools such as competency testing for employees who deal directly with customers. Product reviews and preventative measures such as customer surveys, and also making sure that customers can easily air their views should be top of mind too.

At the end of the day you see, it is far easier to handle a small upset soon after it happens, than risk dealing with the public relations disasters that can (and do) happen overnight when customer complaints are left unchecked. Quite an easy choice really when you think about it that way.

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Christopher Stainow is actively involved in the streamlining of business quality processes and procedures through the use of quality management tools & document control software. Learn more at lennoxhill.co.uk.

 

 

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