Why You Need A Password Manager

What Exactly Does A Password Manager Do?

A password manager generates, keeps track of and retrieves complex and long passwords for you to protect your vital online information. 

It also remembers your PINS, credit card numbers and three-digit CVV codes if you choose this option. Plus, it provides answers to security questions for you. All of this is done with strong encryption that makes it difficult for hackers to decipher. It also remembers your PINS, credit card numbers and three-digit CVV codes if you choose this option.

What Options Are There For Password Managers?


This password manager will help you keep track of passwords and what sites they’re intended for. LastPass uses a master password or your fingerprint to identify you. 

After logging in to LastPass, you can view and edit your passwords and their associated sites, as well as your usernames and the website you’re accessing. 

A premium membership for LastPass costs $24 a year ($2 a month) and includes password sharing with those you designate. This membership also provides priority technical support if you need assistance. 


Dashlane is free and provides many of the same benefits as LastPass. However, if you want to sync your passwords to a mobile device or use two-factor authentication, you must pay $39.99 for their Premium Plan. They also offer a Business Plan for $48 a year that includes everything in the Premium Plan plus:

  • Smart Spaces™ for unlimited work and personal password storage.
  • An Admin Console with Custom Policies.
  • Secure Password Sharing with Group Management.
  • Easy Account Administration (SAML, MSI, Active Directory).
  • Extra 2FA Options.
  • A Dedicated Account Manager (for accounts 50+).


1Password offers a free 30-day free trial. After this expires a personal account costs $2.99 a month, or $4.99 a month for a family with five members. They also offer a “lifetime license” for $65.00. 1Password is the only password manager that allows you to store passwords locally via their Local Vault rather than in the cloud. 1Password 6 for Windows does not currently support local vaults, but 1Password 7 for Windows does. If you’re worried about losing access to the Internet, you might consider this. 

How Do You Set Up A Password Manager?

Using a password manager is pretty simple. When using a password manager, you simply download and install the software. You must also download and install the extensions for the different browsers you use. 

If you want to use these password managers on your smartphone, you must download their mobile apps. None of this is complicated and should only take a few minutes. 

To set up an account, you must provide your email address, and you’ll also need to come up with a master password—a long, random, complicated one, along with at least one security question. Then you must provide information about your various accounts. 

You can either import passwords that you have stored in your browsers or let the password manager store your username and password when you log in to a website. Once you get started, the password manager will help you along the way.

Do You Really Need A Password Manager?

Not necessarily, depending on who you are. You do not need a Password Manager if you can do the following on your own:

 1. Create long, complex, unintuitive strings of characters, unique for each account you access on a regular basis

2. Memorize each and every one of these passwords

3. Update them on a regular basis

Let’s be honest, though—doing all of the above on your own is a lot of work, and you’re likely to make a mistake at some point. That’s why it’s easier to simply use a manager. 

Don’t Let A Weak Password Be The End Of Your Practice

In the end, managing a strict password policy, creating strong passwords, and using password managers can be frustrating, but it’s incredibly important.  If you’re unsure about implementing these procedures, you can get a little help from our team

Privacy and security are major concerns for personal users and businesses alike these days, and so you have to be sure that you aren’t making it easy for hackers to access you or your business’ private data.

Get in touch with our team to start enhancing your password security. 

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What is Lorem Ipsum?

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

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Why do we use it?

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The point of using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters, as opposed to using ‘Content here, content here’, making it look like readable English. Many desktop publishing packages and web page editors now use Lorem Ipsum as their default model text, and a search for ‘lorem ipsum’ will uncover many web sites still in their infancy. Various versions have evolved over the years, sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose (injected humour and the like).

Where does it come from?

Contrary to popular belief, Lorem Ipsum is not simply random text. It has roots in a piece of classical Latin literature from 45 BC, making it over 2000 years old. Richard McClintock, a Latin professor at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, looked up one of the more obscure Latin words, consectetur, from a Lorem Ipsum passage, and going through the cites of the word in classical literature, discovered the undoubtable source. Lorem Ipsum comes from sections 1.10.32 and 1.10.33 of “de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum” (The Extremes of Good and Evil) by Cicero, written in 45 BC. This book is a treatise on the theory of ethics, very popular during the Renaissance. The first line of Lorem Ipsum, “Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet..”, comes from a line in section 1.10.32.

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The standard chunk of Lorem Ipsum used since the 1500s is reproduced below for those interested. Sections 1.10.32 and 1.10.33 from “de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum” by Cicero are also reproduced in their exact original form, accompanied by English versions from the 1914 translation by H. Rackham.
Where can I get some?

There are many variations of passages of Lorem Ipsum available, but the majority have suffered alteration in some form, by injected humour, or randomised words which don’t look even slightly believable. If you are going to use a passage of Lorem Ipsum, you need to be sure there isn’t anything embarrassing hidden in the middle of text. All the Lorem Ipsum generators on the Internet tend to repeat predefined chunks as necessary, making this the first true generator on the Internet. It uses a dictionary of over 200 Latin words, combined with a handful of model sentence structures, to generate Lorem Ipsum which looks reasonable. The generated Lorem Ipsum is therefore always free from repetition, injected humour, or non-characteristic words etc.

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What is Lorem Ipsum?

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

Why do we use it?

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The point of using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters, as opposed to using ‘Content here, content here’, making it look like readable English. Many desktop publishing packages and web page editors now use Lorem Ipsum as their default model text, and a search for ‘lorem ipsum’ will uncover many web sites still in their infancy. Various versions have evolved over the years, sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose (injected humour and the like).

Where does it come from?

Contrary to popular belief, Lorem Ipsum is not simply random text. It has roots in a piece of classical Latin literature from 45 BC, making it over 2000 years old. Richard McClintock, a Latin professor at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, looked up one of the more obscure Latin words, consectetur, from a Lorem Ipsum passage, and going through the cites of the word in classical literature, discovered the undoubtable source. Lorem Ipsum comes from sections 1.10.32 and 1.10.33 of “de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum” (The Extremes of Good and Evil) by Cicero, written in 45 BC. This book is a treatise on the theory of ethics, very popular during the Renaissance. The first line of Lorem Ipsum, “Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet..”, comes from a line in section 1.10.32.

The standard chunk of Lorem Ipsum used since the 1500s is reproduced below for those interested. Sections 1.10.32 and 1.10.33 from “de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum” by Cicero are also reproduced in their exact original form, accompanied by English versions from the 1914 translation by H. Rackham.

Where does it come from?

Contrary to popular belief, Lorem Ipsum is not simply random text. It has roots in a piece of classical Latin literature from 45 BC, making it over 2000 years old. Richard McClintock, a Latin professor at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, looked up one of the more obscure Latin words, consectetur, from a Lorem Ipsum passage, and going through the cites of the word in classical literature, discovered the undoubtable source. Lorem Ipsum comes from sections 1.10.32 and 1.10.33 of “de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum” (The Extremes of Good and Evil) by Cicero, written in 45 BC. This book is a treatise on the theory of ethics, very popular during the Renaissance. The first line of Lorem Ipsum, “Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet..”, comes from a line in section 1.10.32.

Why Managed Services Are The Most Cost-Effective Option Right Now

Can you really afford an internal IT department right now? Between the skills gaps, the rising standard of salaries, and the global supply issues, doing so will quickly overwhelm your budget.

Economic trends and market factors make building your own IT department an extremely expensive prospect right now.

That’s why outsourcing your IT needs to a third party is such an attractive option. You pay a simple, flat monthly fee, and they incur all the additional costs.

In this article, we’ll explore why independent IT management is getting so expensive. If you want to know more about what an IT company can do for you, set up a meeting with the Rea team.

3 Reasons Managed Services Are The Most Cost-Effective Option

  • IT Expertise Is In High Demand

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to find (and keep) qualified IT staff members.

  • IT Expertise Is Expensive

Tech-based salaries rose over recent years and continue to do so.

  • IT Assets Are Expensive

The ongoing hardware shortage is affecting the global supply chain, making acquisition especially difficult for independent organizations.

Rising Demand For IT Skills Is Leading To Higher Salaries 

As the IT industry continues to grow, the number of skilled workers available to fill the many new positions isn’t keeping up with it. 

According to a number of recent studies, 73% of  IT management professionals anticipate difficulty filling open tech positions.

Consider the fact that cloud computing is one of the most in-demand technical skills in the country, more so than mobile app development and social media marketing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment opportunities in the computer and IT sector will grow by 12% in the next ten years, far faster than the average expected rate of job growth. 

What about cybersecurity? As the fastest-growing sector of the IT world, cybersecurity skills are in high demand. 

Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be an adequate supply. Recent polling performed on behalf of Tripwire found even more troubling evidence:

  • 93% of polled IT security professionals say the skills required to be a great security professional have changed over the past few years, which is making it harder to find properly skilled cybersecurity professionals.
  • 85% report their security teams are already understaffed, and only 1% believe they can manage all of their organization’s cybersecurity needs when facing a shortage of skilled workers.
  • 96% say they are either currently facing difficulty in staffing security teams due to the skills gap or can see it coming.

As a direct result of the increase in demand for IT skills against the consistently low supply, salaries are going up as well. In order to keep their IT professionals on staff, companies have had to increase the compensation they offered. 

Don’t Forget About The Supply Chain

The hardware shortage stems from both growing demand and tensions between nations. The combined effect is a drastic drop in supply, amid rising worldwide demand.

At the start of 2021, semiconductor sales had already ballooned by 13.2%, due in large part to the number of people working from home for the first time. Supporting remote work environments required businesses to invest in up to two times as many computers and devices as they would normally need. 

Unfortunately, it looks like the chip shortage will not only continue but likely get worse as well. Manufacturers that rely on these components (Ford, Toyota, Apple, HP, etc.) are anticipating extensive delays in the fulfillment of new hardware and products. They expect the effects of the shortage to last at least into 2023, if not further. 

If you haven’t arranged an order for your replacement business hardware yet, now is the time to get in line. The process will be more onerous and expensive than ever before, but the sooner you get started, the better. 

As remote work-based demand increased, stressed relations between the US, Russia, and China prompted nations to begin stockpiling valuable materials, including semiconductors. Factor in the decreased workforce during the pandemic and extended timelines for production and shipping, and you get a critical disparity between supply and demand. 

As chip manufacturers struggle to produce a sufficient supply of these key components, prices will inevitably rise. TSMC plans to hike its prices in line with the limited amount of components they are able to produce. 

The automotive industry is already expecting a $210 billion loss in revenue over the course of the year because of this issue. While some more optimistic industry leaders like Elon Musk are looking to new manufacturing processes as a way to address the shortage, others will simply pass the costs on to the end-user. 

This has resulted in a bidding war among major manufacturers. As globally active brands like Toyota and Apple compete for vital components, they’ll have to pay much higher prices. Those expenses will fall in the lap of consumers like you. 

While prices may be high now, they’re only bound to increase over the next year. As the shortage continues and demand climbs, prices will increase in kind. That’s why you need to start placing orders now for the hardware you’ll need next year and the year after that. The longer you wait, the more it will cost you. 

The Cost-Savings Offered By Outsourced IT Services

Reduced IT Costs

Businesses that choose to outsource can convert unplanned IT expenses to fixed, predictable ones. This frees up capital for other aspects of your business. 

Hiring A Company, Not A Person

An in-house staff is subject to business hours, requires full salaries, benefits, and vacation pay, and will undoubtedly call in sick from time to time. By outsourcing your IT department, you leave the managing, training, payment, and other variables that come with actual employees to someone else. 

Reduced Downtime

Downtime is bad for business. And the main cost of downtime is not the fix itself, it’s the halt in your business’ productivity. If an IT-related or natural disaster occurs and takes critical systems offline, employees will be unable to complete their tasks, yet your normal business expenses will carry on.

The fact is that downtime is often the result of poorly supported IT. The best way to approach downtime prevention is proactively—you need to keep an eye out for system issues that can spiral into total stoppages. You need to implement backup technologies and best practices to prevent outages. You need to enhance your cybersecurity to protect against cybercrime. 

Verdict: Internal Or Outsource?

When you’re hiring in-house, it’s often less expensive in the beginning. As time goes on, you start to notice the many costs that come along with hiring someone who doesn’t come with a range of skill-sets and in-depth experience. 

Making any big change in your business can be a difficult step; but before you decide to stick with what you have, answer this one question—what happens when your in-house IT support person was out sick or on vacation, and you couldn’t get something fixed when you needed it?  

With outsourced IT services, you’ll have access to a team of IT experts with a breadth and depth of tech knowledge and experience—something most businesses could never afford with an in-house IT staff. What’s more, you’ll benefit from 24/7 Help Desk Support, to make sure your needs are quickly addressed, and information technology stays up and running at all times.

Save Money By Partnering With Rea

The Rea team is proud to offer a comprehensive suite of IT services to meet the specific needs of your business. Our team is dedicated to making sure you’re always leveraging the power of the most effective tools for your success.

How Microsoft Teams Supports Your Business Culture

Need help enhancing your staff members’ productivity, job satisfaction and general engagement at work? Try these Microsoft Teams apps.

Microsoft Teams is an increasingly popular collaboration tool that can help improve staff engagement and satisfaction. It allows teams to communicate, collaborate, and manage projects all in one place.

While Microsoft Teams’ range of standard features is extremely useful in the workplace, they’re not the only tools you should be using. Did you know that Microsoft Teams offer a range of add-on apps as well?

These apps, when properly selected, deployed, and managed, can do a lot to enhance your company culture. All of this has to do with your staff’s engagement in their work…

Why Do You Need To Support Employee Engagement?

Employee engagement, or the level of involvement and enthusiasm an employee has in their job, is a key factor in any successful business. A strong engagement strategy will result in employees that feel valued, respected, and motivated to do their best work. 

It is well-documented that engagement levels directly affect productivity and quality. Studies have shown that engagement leads to higher job satisfaction, improved morale, and better customer service. Companies with higher engagement levels are more likely to be profitable, attract and retain top talent, reduce staff turnover rates and create a positive work environment. 

Engagement goes beyond simply providing good working conditions; it’s about creating an atmosphere where employees want to come to work every day. This involves cultivating a sense of purpose in every worker by connecting them with the company mission statement as well as maintaining open communication between management and employees. When staff members understand how their role fits into the bigger picture, they tend to become more invested in their tasks which leads to higher engagement levels. 

In addition to this, businesses should provide opportunities for professional growth through ongoing training programs or workshops that teach new skills and help staff develop within their roles while providing increased job satisfaction. Recognizing employee achievements through public commendations or rewards can also help boost engagement levels as it creates a feeling of accomplishment while motivating others at the same time. 

Finally, fostering a culture of fun within the workplace can be beneficial for engagement levels by boosting morale and improving job satisfaction among staff members. Organizing team building activities or special company events can go a long way in helping create a positive atmosphere for everyone involved; giving people something enjoyable to look forward to on top of just their everyday tasks will help them become more vested in their role at the company overall. 

All these combined strategies contribute towards creating an engaged workforce capable of delivering outstanding results for both customers and employers alike; ultimately making employee engagement one of the most important components of any business’ success today.

3 Ways Microsoft Teams Supports Your Business Culture

Gauge Team Engagement

The first step in enhancing engagement is understanding the current state of your company culture. You can’t expect to make any progress if you don’t know where you’re starting from. 

Microsoft Teams add-on apps like SurveyMonkey, Betterworks, and Insight HR can help you keep track of employees’ engagement, demeanor, and priorities. You can create surveys to gauge how your team is doing, track progress of key tasks, and better inform your check-in meetings and performance reviews. 

Engaging with staff members and ensuring they are enjoying their work is an important part of any successful company culture. It is important to check in with staff members periodically, whether it be through surveys, meetings, or other forms of engagement. By checking in with employees, managers can gain a better understanding of how individual team members are feeling about their jobs and the company culture as a whole. 

When asking staff about their job satisfaction, employers should provide multiple ways for employees to express themselves in order to get the most accurate feedback. This could include multiple-choice surveys or open-ended questions that allow employees to provide detailed answers. 

Additionally, employers should use engagement techniques that are tailored to each employee’s needs; for example, some may prefer face-to-face meetings while others may prefer online engagement such as polls or video conferences. 

Regular engagement and assessment of job satisfaction levels is essential in making sure that employees feel valued and appreciated by the organization. Doing this can help create an environment where employees feel empowered to do their best work and reach their full potential. Furthermore, it helps ensure that teams remain productive and motivated since team members who feel satisfied and engaged with their work tend to be more productive than those who don’t.

Foster Social Engagement

Even if part of your team is working remotely, you can still maintain the social aspect of your work environment by encouraging them to post status updates and share their insights with Microsoft Teams add-on apps like AgilePolly, Decisions, and ScrumGenius.

Employee engagement and job satisfaction are key components of successful company culture. But it is not enough for employees to be engaged in their work—they must also feel connected to each other. Socializing with coworkers fosters a sense of camaraderie and belonging, which can lead to higher engagement, loyalty, and productivity from staff. 

It has been proven that when people make meaningful connections with those around them at work, they are more likely to stay in their job for longer periods of time. When employees feel like they fit into the culture of an organization, they will be more likely to continue contributing engagement and enthusiasm to their roles. This can ultimately result in lower turnover rates, better performance outcomes, and greater collaboration among staff members. 

Socializing is also important because it can help boost morale. When colleagues get together outside of the office environment, they have an opportunity to relax and bond over shared interests or experiences. It gives them a chance to see each other as real people rather than just co-workers—fostering relationships that can last long after any one particular project is finished or a team member has moved on. 

Facilitate Creative Brainstorming Sessions

You can gather ideas from your team in free-form digital spaces and on virtual whiteboards with apps like Freehand, Miro, and MURAL.

Digital whiteboard apps provide an invaluable tool to support staff engagement, collaboration, and creativity. By providing employees with a virtual platform to hold brainstorming sessions, companies can benefit from the engagement and creativity of their team members. Brainstorming sessions held in digital whiteboards can be conducted from any device, allowing for remote engagement and collaboration.

Using digital whiteboards for brainstorming provides an effective way for teams to generate ideas quickly, whilst being able to easily store them for future reference. Having the ability to save these sessions digitally also makes it easier for those who weren’t present at a meeting to refer back to the notes taken during the session. 

Digital whiteboards are also visually engaging due to the ability to draw or write on the board, along with supporting images, controlling audio presentations and even providing live chat functions that enable engagement with multiple parties in real time. 

The benefits of using digital whiteboards go beyond just engagement and collaboration; they can have a positive effect on company culture too. For example, by having a virtual platform where everyone can come together in one place regardless of location or time zone, it allows people to feel connected which strengthens team spirit and corporate identity.  

This then leads to encouraging job satisfaction as staff feel like their opinions are valued and listened to, making them aware that their contributions are appreciated within their organization. In fact, the Freehand by Invision app is now fully integrated, allowing users to use a virtual whiteboard for note-taking and brainstorming during Microsoft Teams meetings. 

Don’t Let Your Staff Become Disengaged At Work

Engagement is one of the most critical components of your company culture. Make sure you fully harness the tools available to you to help with the process.

Need expert assistance? Our team has extensive experience with Microsoft Teams and can ensure you optimize the way you use it at your business. Book a meeting with us to get started.

How To Build A Company Culture That Retains The Best Employees

So you’ve finally hired an experienced, capable new staff member. Are you sure you can convince them to stick around long-term?

Are you having trouble retaining your staff? To be blunt, the problem is undoubtedly company culture. 

The way your team feels at work every day, the way they’re managed and encouraged, and the people they work with directly influence their degree of satisfaction on the job. 

You’ll notice that I didn’t mention compensation—it may surprise you to learn that money is not the key determining factor in a given company’s culture or your staff’s job satisfaction. 

By developing the right social environment at your workplace, you can build real loyalty and engagement among your team members. I like to think our company has an effective culture, which we’re continuing to improve day by day.

Here are three key components to our process for doing so…

3 Building Blocks For A Winning Company Culture

Hire For Character Over Knowledge

A widespread effect of the pandemic is the mass retirement of older-generation professionals in the field. When faced with the prospect of pivoting to a fully virtual work environment, many of the experts that were only a few years from retirement decided to exit early. 

This has left us with a bit of a vacuum in terms of skills and experience. As novice professionals graduate from college and enter the industry, they won’t be able to directly take on the role of those who left with decades of experience. 

However, this isn’t as big of an issue as you might think. In fact, this is a great opportunity to think about the way you hire. Consider looking for new hires that have the right character, and match your culture. The rest can be managed through training and on-the-job experience.

Case in point: everyone knows you need smart people on your team to succeed, but it’s important to note that the intelligence trait is far more about EQ (emotional intelligence) than IQ (conventional intelligence), which is especially important in the IT industry, as well as every other field of work.

It’s so much easier to find someone with technical skills and education than it is to find someone that understands how to communicate effectively and empathize with others. That’s why we make such an effort when looking for a new hire to hold out for those that have just as high an EQ as they do IQ.

Make Sure Your Staff Is Motivated

Motivation is a vital part of a healthy workplace environment. Properly motivated people are healthier and happier across the board. They are more productive, and the work they get done is often of a higher quality than it would be otherwise. 

On the other hand, a lack of motivation can be absolutely crushing. It makes it more likely that you’ll procrastinate, waste time, and turn in a poor product at the end of it all. Unmotivated work can quickly lead to depression and worse.

That’s why it’s so important to think critically about the role motivation plays in your work and the work done by your coworkers or employees. If you can figure out what motivates you, you can ensure it’s a regular part of your daily life, helping to increase your workplace satisfaction and workplace culture as a whole. 

So, off the top of your head, what would you think is the number one workplace motivator? Social engagement? Business location? Money?

You might be surprised—TINYpulse recently anonymously surveyed 200,000 workers to find out what really motivates people in the modern workplace. The report, titled The 7 Key Trends Impacting Today’s Workplace, considered a number of different possible factors tied to and resulting from employee motivation, including employee engagement, retention, organizational culture, and more. 

Interestingly enough, the top five polled motivators for employees were:

  • Camaraderie and peer motivation (20%)

  • Intrinsic desire to do a good job (17%)

  • Feeling encouraged and recognized (13%)

  • Having a real impact (10%)

  • Growing professionally (8%)

It’s surprising, right? Expected motivators, like salary, or opportunity for promotion, didn’t even place in the top five. Instead, those polled showed that they are motivated primarily by the culture developed by themselves and their coworkers, as well as their innate desire to be good at what they do. 

It’s an extremely encouraging reality, especially compared to what most would assume. Rather than the ruthless and self-serving motivations you may expect from the majority of those in the working world, you find out that people actually usually have more heartfelt motivations.

Don’t Be Afraid To Invest In Your Staff

One challenge many managers have with corporate culture is the possible end effect of offering professional development. That is, if you invest in your employees so that they can grow and improve, won’t they just move on to another job that pays more, and benefits from your investment?

It’s a possibility—however, in the time that you have the employee, they’re likely to do better work than they would if you weren’t investing in them. I believe—and have found—that the opposite is true. 

The more you invest in your employees, the more valued they feel, and the more likely they’ll stay, as well as contribute to a high-quality service offering and an engaged workplace culture. That’s not to mention that I’m more afraid of not training my employees, and having them stick around. 

I may have saved a buck by not getting them that specific certification, but it’s not likely they’ll be contributing much to my business anyway. That’s what this is all about after all—I invest time and money in my employees, so they, in turn, invest their effort and loyalty into our company. Lastly, if you have a compelling enough corporate culture, that’s all the more reason for the employee to choose to stay with your business. 

Good Company Culture Is A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

The best part of this process is that your work recedes over time. Once you get the ball rolling, the culture improves itself every time you hire another contributing team member. When you add people to your team that appreciate and benefit from your positive work culture, they, in turn, contribute to it, which only helps it to grow. 

This is opposed to hiring people who are just in it for the money, who won’t have anything positive to add to the workplace environment. With an enthusiastic and engaged staff, I then had the opportunity to get them involved with initiatives that would improve our culture.

Also, while I may not be able to directly assist with the development of your company culture, I wanted to let you know that I can help with your team’s on-the-job satisfaction, specifically when it comes to technology. If your team is fed up with apps and hardware that continually fail to meet their needs, it can slowly erode their sense of satisfaction at work, greatly affecting company culture. 

My team and I can help—we’ll optimize the tools your staff uses every day to ensure they make their lives easier, not harder. Book a meeting with us to get started.

Why You Need Onboarding Software

So you’ve managed to hire an experienced and skilled new staff member. Are you sure you can keep them around? It all starts with your onboarding…

Employee Retention Stars On Day #1

The onboarding process is an integral part of the employee life cycle. It sets the tone for a successful relationship between employer and employee and directly informs the new hire’s comfort on the job. 

That’s why successful employee onboarding can improve your employee retention rate by as much as 82%.

Onboarding new employees should be a smooth transition that allows them to quickly adjust to their new work environment and become productive members of the team. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible, either due to a lack of resources or inadequate preparation—or both. 

Key Challenges With Employee Onboarding

To make sure your onboarding process is successful, you need to provide comprehensive training materials that are easily accessible to your new hires. 

This includes providing an up-to-date job description, outlining expectations from day one, and ensuring all safety protocols are in place before they start working. Unfortunately, this can be a lot to manage, especially when you consider these common obstacles to the process:

Undefined Roles

Smaller businesses often struggle with key managerial tasks, such as employee onboarding. If the owner is too busy managing the operations of the company and lacks middle managers or an HR department, they may not be able to devote the necessary time to the process. 

Out Of Date Materials

Furthermore, with no specific staff member tasked with managing and optimizing this process, it’s more than likely your training materials are out of date. This only further complicates the new staff member’s first days on the job. 

Unengaging Training

Lastly, if you lack an actionable strategy for the development and improvement of your training materials, they likely aren’t all that engaging. A boring binder of materials, a stale PowerPoint, an outdated video; none of this will excite your new hire about integrating into your company. 

The Secret To Optimizing Your Onboarding

If you’ve been struggling with these challenges, you’re not alone. Business owners across the country know how difficult this can be. After all, 88% of companies do not onboard their new hires effectively. 

Don’t worry, there is a solution, and it doesn’t involve hiring an HR team you can’t afford. You can optimize your onboarding process with the right software.

Onboarding Software Will Change The Way You Grow Your Staff

Onboarding software is designed to streamline and improve the onboarding process for both employers and new hires.

It allows an organization to:

  • Create personalized onboarding plans and guides
  • Automate paperwork processes
  • Provide access to important resources like training materials
  • Create a system for tracking tasks that need to be completed
  • Store all relevant onboarding data in one place. 

These tools make it easy to stay organized throughout the entire onboarding process. Organizations can easily create custom onboarding schedules with associated tasks and deadlines, assign mentors or supervisors to follow up on tasks, review progress at any time by accessing real-time reporting features, and use this data over time to refine their future onboarding strategies. 

As business owners implement new onboarding software, they often find that it helps reduce stress for new hires by providing all of the necessary onboarding information upfront. This increases employee engagement and job satisfaction while making it easy to answer common questions quickly and accurately. 

As a result, companies can create an enjoyable and positive onboarding experience while ensuring their new employees are well-prepared for success in their roles. 

3 Must-Have Features For Your Onboarding Software Of Choice

Like any software, onboarding solutions vary in features, capabilities, and price points. Make sure you find one that offers the following…

Integration With Your Systems

Don’t bother purchasing onboarding software without first ensuring it integrates with your systems. After all, this type of software is supposed to make your life easier, not add more work to get it to cooperate with your other applications. 

Before you make your choice, make sure it can work seamlessly with:

  • HR platforms
  • Recruiting solutions
  • Payroll & benefits systems
  • Reporting solutions

Gamification Options

Engaging your employees during their training can be as simple as adding a few interactive stages. Known as “gamification”, this is the initiative to improve other boring processes by incorporating quizzes, assigning badges, and displaying leaderboards.

Mobile Capability

The more mobile your workforce is, the more beneficial mobile integration is for your onboarding software. It allows new team members to participate in training and for managers to track progress in the manner most convenient to them. This will only serve to boost engagement and effectiveness. 

Don’t Let Your Onboarding Process Cost You Skilled Staff Members

In summary, onboarding software is an invaluable tool for companies wanting to streamline the onboarding process, increase efficiency, provide personalized support for new hires, and create a great first impression with potential staff members. 

By utilizing these tools correctly, employers can ensure that their organization not only recruits but also retains quality personnel in order to achieve long-term success. 

Do you need help selecting, installing, and managing the right onboarding software for your organization? Get in touch with our team today.

Hiring Crisis: 3 Lessons To Learn While Growing Your Staff

Hiring Crisis: 3 Lessons To Learn While Growing Your Staff

Amid a nationwide hiring crisis, it’s never been more difficult to recruit and retain quality team members. Consider the top three lessons we’ve learned over the past three years to better manage the new hires you bring into your company. 

How To Find & Hire The Right Staff Members

Are you having trouble hiring right now? You’re not alone. 

Month after month, new reports hit the headlines showing that companies across the nation are struggling to fill their open positions, keep people on staff, and manage their workload. The past few years have hit the working world hard in many ways, and one of the emergent and long-lasting effects is the ongoing labor shortage. 

3 Lessons You Need To Learn About Hiring New Staff Members

Priorities Have Changed

Far and away, this was the hardest lesson we had to learn while trying to hire new staff members of late. The simple fact is that so many of the people you’ll want to hire may not have the same work/life priorities that they had two or three years ago. 

The mass pivot to remote work demonstrated the possibility of a different work/life balance for millions of people around the world. These people had become accustomed to living a life that often prioritized work over the time they spent with friends and family or in recreation. 

When they switched to remote work, most of them discovered they were able to accomplish the same work without having to commute, pack a lunch, or deal with the other trappings of conventional work. 

The issue is that, while you’d like everything to go back to the way it used to, it’s risky to mandate in-office work. It could lead to a toxic work culture, or a workplace with a high rate of turnover—or, more likely, both. 

To be clear, this doesn’t mean to have to stick with a total remote work model. You can compromise with a hybrid arrangement instead. A hybrid work model is a great way to increase workplace productivity, flexibility, and agility. 

It allows employees to utilize both in-office and remote working environments, which helps them become more productive and engaged with their work. In addition, hybrid remote work helps employers like us better manage costs as it reduces the need for office space. 

Furthermore, it increases employee morale and retention, as employees have more flexibility and control over their work hours. It helps to promote a healthy work-life balance for employees, which can lead to greater job satisfaction. 

Overall, hybrid remote work is an excellent way to increase workplace productivity and employee morale while reducing costs.

Don’t Rely On Employment Apps

On the more direct and practical side of our advice, we want to ensure you don’t make the same mistake we did by relying on employment apps. You know the ones we’re talking about: Indeed, ZipRecruiter, etc. 

At first, these seem like wonderful tools for a manager trying to hire new staff members. You simply post a job description, and applications start flooding your inbox. However, as soon as your start reviewing the applications and reaching out to applicants, you’ll start noticing the issues:

Application Volume

Getting hundreds of applications for your job really isn’t a good thing. First of all, it’s a lot of work for you and your team to review these applications. The small portion of strong applicants will be hidden in a mountain of bad ones. 

The core issue is that these apps allow applicants to automate the process of applying to a job posting. They can upload their resume, and tell the app to send it to any open jobs that meet specific criteria. They never even need to review the job they’re applying for; the first they may hear about it is when you offer them an interview slot. While this automation may be convenient for the applicant, it makes your job that much more difficult. 

Applicant Interest & Investment

The other downside to the automated nature of these apps is that they do not engender any personal investment from the applicant. Instead of scouring job postings boards and seeking potential employment about which they can be passionate and excited, applicants are completely removed from the process. 

This results in a total lack of investment from the applicant. In practical terms, this means you won’t necessarily get a response when you reach out to them. 

If you do get a response and schedule a time to meet with them for an interview, they may not actually show up. In my experience, more than half of the applicants to which we offered interviews (and who confirmed the appointment), did not show up. 

Overall, this resulted in hours and hours of wasted time for the management team. This is why we don’t post jobs on these sites anymore. We post through our social media, we rely on our staff for word of mouth, and we utilize industry-specific job boards. 

Be Patient

This may seem obvious, but we think it’s a valuable reminder. If you want to find a talented new team member with the attitude and work ethos that fits your company culture, it’s not going to happen overnight. 

It’s important to understand that building an effective team that has real longevity is no small thing. It will take months, if not years. You need to be prepared to sift through the many applications you receive, to interview potential applicants multiple times, and to provide structured training once you’ve made your selection. 

Is it a lot of work? Yes, of course—but it is an investment. 

Over the course of a year or two of intentional and careful development of your team, you’ll start to see the fruits of your labor. In fact, it will get easier over time, as your currently established team and the culture they embody will actively cultivate itself in new additions to your staff. 

Don’t Get Discouraged

To whatever degree you may find these lessons helpful, we know they don’t solve anything for you immediately. There is no magic solution to this problem. 

More than anything else, we want to make sure you don’t get discouraged. Don’t just hire anyone because you need a body to fill a position; that’s a band-aid solution, and it won’t last. 

Lastly, while we can’t help with the recruitment or training processes, our team can assist with your onboarding process. Setting up new computers, configuring secure accounts and remote access, you name it—we’re here to provide technical expertise if you need it. 

Book a meeting with us to get started.

The Top 3 Considerations For Managing Your Remote Employees

Are you considering making remote work a part of your business’ operations long-term? Then make sure you keep these important considerations in mind going forward. 

3 Best Practices For Managing Remote Workers

Is remote work a permanent part of your business model?

This approach can take many forms. Maybe your staff follows a hybrid work arrangement, where they’re in the office some days and at home for others. On the other hand, maybe you have staff members that work full-time in the office, and a team of remote workers that operate on the other side of the world. 

To whatever degree you manage remote team members, one thing is clear—you have to do so carefully. 

The Pitfalls Of Remote Work

Plenty of managers and business owners have made big mistakes with remote workers. The process of giving up in-person managerial control of the workplace can be daunting if you’re used to it being that way. 

This often leads to remote team leaders micromanaging their staff members, scheduling too many check-in meetings, and tracking time down to the minute. We’ll make this clear: there’s no faster way to disengage a remote employee than by wasting their time with your managerial insecurities. 

However, with the right approach to your management strategy, you can fully activate your staff members while they work remotely…

4 Tips For Managing Remote Workers

Over Support & Under-Manage

The core issue at play with remote workers is obvious: when staff members are not in your office, how can you effectively manage them? The key is to make no assumptions about what they have, and make every assumption about what they will produce (until proven otherwise, of course). 

In other words, you should be committed to equipping your remote workers with each and every resource they need to succeed, and then trust them to deliver the services or goods they have agreed to. You should only micromanage the quality of their work experience; not their performance on the job. 

For example, ask about their home “workplace”. The space one works in is an important part of productivity. Make sure your remote worker is in a comfortable, distraction-free space that is as similar as possible to your normal workplace.

This may require investing in an office chair or a second monitor. Not everyone will have the necessary tools at home, and so, it’s recommended that you have a number of remote work bundles ready to go to maintain continuity and security:

  • Laptop
  • Monitor(s)
  • Keyboard and mouse
  • Phone system and headset
  • Business-class firewall 
  • AV Software

Promote Balance

Encouraging a balanced workday is important for the productivity and morale of your staff. Make sure that they are taking breaks to stay hydrated, relax, and stretch.

This will help them to be more focused and productive when they are working. Additionally, it is important to set a good example for your staff by maintaining a balanced workday yourself.

Keep in mind that this does not have to be part of a staff-wide social initiative. You do not need to schedule a group “desk yoga” break after lunch every day, as these types of activities will more often than not wear down the goodwill among remote staff. 

Instead, make sure you provide space for your remote team members to decompress. This may be a matter of encouraging them to take a walk after lunch or providing an employee-only social Slack channel (no management allowed!)

Make Sure Everyone Knows The Plan

You need to be sure that everyone is on the same page with respect to communication. Some staff members may update you multiple times per day, while others may not communicate at all unless there is an emergency. 

Establish a policy for when and how communication should take place, and make sure that everyone follows it. This will help to ensure that everyone is kept up to date with what is happening.

Our advice is to develop a culture of communication that is both ubiquitous and brief. This has the two-pronged benefit of ensuring regular communication is encouraged, without wasting anyone’s time in the process of drafting long emails or sitting through long meetings. 

Consider the following benchmarks:

  • Direct messages should be as short as possible (one-word responses aren’t rude—they’re efficient).
  • Emails should be 2-3 sentences.
  • Phone calls should be <5 minutes.
  • Meetings should be <30 minutes.

Essentially, whatever you or an employee needs to communicate should fit into this hierarchy. If you can’t address the topic in a DM, then fit it into an email. If it doesn’t fit into an email, then have a quick phone call. All of this should funnel up to your weekly or monthly staff meeting, which is likely the longest staff-wide event on the regular calendar. 

Activate Your Team While They Work Remotely

The bottom line is that managing a remote staff is largely a matter of surrendering the control you got used to in the conventional, in-person workplace. You cannot micromanage your remote staff, and so, it’s up to you to build an environment of trust, support, and productivity. 

We know that one big challenge for business owners when it comes to remote work environments is technology. What tech does your remote staff member need? How do you ensure they have secure access to company files? Is their home network secure enough to trust?

If you need expert assistance, allow us to help. Book a meeting with us to talk further.

Remote, On-Site, Or Hybrid—Which Work Model Is Right For You?

Are you looking into establishing a new work model for your business? Executed correctly, the right work model can come with a lot of advantages.

What’s your business’ current work model? 

Over the past two years, you’ve likely engaged in some degree of remote work for your staff. Going forward, however, you may assume you’re stuck with one of two potential scenarios:

  1. Your entire staff returns to work in the office
  2. All of your staff continue to work remotely

We want you to know there’s a compromise between the two: hybrid work. It’s a middle ground between the two options and offers you the best of both worlds. 

Striking A Balance Between Remote Work & The Office

The core aspect of the hybrid work model is that it lets you enjoy the benefits offered by remote work without sacrificing your in-office community. 

Employee by employee, one person may prefer remote work, and the other may instead prefer to work in the office. Instead of having everyone fit into one model, you can cater to both sides. 

After all, these two opposing models offer competing advantages. Remote workers have seen a number of key benefits:

However, for all the ways remote work is beneficial to both the organization and end-users, it’s not without its challenges. A study found that remote workers across the country encountered a series of challenges in their daily work life:

  • 19% experience loneliness
  • 17% have difficulty communicating and collaborating
  • 8% have trouble staying motivated

So how do you reconcile these many pros and cons that come with either option? Compromise with a hybrid work model. Doing so harnesses all the advantages and none of the disadvantages of both choices:

  • Employees spend a portion of their work time at home, focusing on key tasks and projects
  • The remainder of their hours are in the office, where they are available for meetings and can contribute to a social company culture

That said, it’s not as though hybrid work presents absolutely no obstacles to managers and business owners…

Key Challenges Associated With Hybrid Work

The most important consideration is your technology. Security is a complicated undertaking for work models that include remote work. In fact, 36% of organizations have dealt with a security incident due to an unsecured remote worker.

Continuing with a remote work model, whether entirely or in part, will require:

  • Enhancing security measures
  • Providing the right hardware for users working permanently from home
  • Implementing more permanent file-sharing, collaboration, and communication tools

How To Protect Your Hybrid Business

In optimizing your hybrid working model, make sure to consider the following best practices for your cybersecurity:

Identify Risks

In order to confirm your security capabilities, you need to conduct a cyber risk assessment along with a vulnerability scan of your systems. This will help you identify potential vulnerabilities, and develop the starting blocks to a secure long-term hybrid management plan.

Train Your Staff

As some of your staff will be working from home, it’s more important than ever to ensure they receive proper awareness training. Without proper supervision, they are at greater risk of compromising the security of your business data or falling for phishing scams. Make sure they understand how to maintain business cybersecurity from their home office. 

Deploy Security Measures

Your hybrid environment will require a combination of threat monitoring, firewalls, and antivirus solutions. These defenses will form a comprehensive cybersecurity posture to protect your office network as well as your employees while they work remotely.

Need Expert Assistance Managing Your Hybrid IT Environment?

If you plan to continue with remote work in one way or another, you may need to change your model of IT support. As you and the other C-level executives at your business have likely discovered since the start of the pandemic, your ability to work remotely depends directly on your IT support. 

We can help—we’ve developed extensive experience in helping our partners to launch, optimize and secure remote work capabilities. Now that the mad rush to go remote is over, it’s time to perfect your processes, and you don’t have to do so alone. 

Get in touch with our team today to get started.