Friday, 31 July 2015

How Staff Wellbeing At Workplace Can Lead To Business Development

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With rising levels of stress and increasing need for better work-life balance among employees, more and more companies are trying to follow the model for developing creative and fun workplaces like Facebook and Google. Let's take a look...

Why Staff Welfare Is Important?

Currently, the American Institute of Stress predicts that sickness related to stress costs companies around $300 billion per year. The truth is now businesses simply cannot afford this fact and invest in improving the wellbeing of their employees as it is beneficial for both the companies and their staffs.
In a recent article, Saurav Chopra, CEO and co-founder of UK-based start-ups and small businesses benefits provider Huddlebuy & employee benefits scheme Perkbox , wrote,

“A year ago, Perkbox dived headfirst into the world of ‘team happiness’ with employee rewards. At the same time, our team went from about a dozen people to an office of over 50 strong, so we know first hand that when growth happens, it can happen fast. Keeping everyone happy and managing that same degree of quality of service you had when you first started, can be very tough.”

This is perhaps the reason why the companies who focus on the well-being of their employees get so much media attention. However, there are still only a handful of companies that genuinely and actually care about the happiness of the employees. But it gains a lot of focus from business leaders when it proves effective in developing a strong and highly productive team.

Advent Of A “Caring Revolution”

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Currently, a silent revolution is at play. Companies are now striving hard to build a reputation for themselves as businesses which care. As a result, these firms are truly being regarded as inspiring work destinations and as examples that other need to follow. These companies are able to retain better talent, keep their staff motivated and productive and building a motivated, inspired and loyal workforce.

According to the Harvard Business Review, organisations which care about their staff tend to experience around 31% rise in productivity and about 37% boost in sales. Focusing on the happiness of your employees and treating them well, which was considered illogical and unreasonable previously, is now being considered as one of the factors for success. Chopra further wrote,

 “’s this very pool that the so-called happiness pioneers are tapping into.”

What Businesses Can Learn

This now raises some important question, what does it mean by creating employee happiness at work? What can other organisations, irrespective of their size, learn from the business who have pioneered this movement? Chopra added “We looked at some of the world’s top companies and saw something intrinsic: the teams that perform the best all work towards a common goal - they care about the work they do and they understand how their role advances the business.”

Companies need to imbibe the values of empathy, praise, respect & trust so that these will become the core of the work culture. Moreover, employers need to complement this “no-cost offering” further with practical, recreational and creative benefits and incentives. “This symbiotic balance of empathy and physical rewards is important,” he wrote.

The Bottom Line 
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This goes to show the contented and collaborative work environment companies wish to create and exhibits an understanding where employees are considered as “real people with real families and lives” who have an existence beyond work.

What do you think? Add to the discussion by sharing your own views with us. Simply comment below.

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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Postgraduate Diploma in Business - How Can It Help Entrepreneurs

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Are you an entrepreneur? Do you want to expand your business? But do you have what it takes to run a successful business? Don't get me wrong! I am not judging your abilities as an entrepreneur. But the fact remains that starting and managing a company on your own for years requires that you possess the right management and leadership skills.

Apart from this, you also need to have a strong knowledge about your industry and the global market to make the most of opportunities and to counter threats. In fact, your journey will become even more challenging when you start growing your business. But there is no need for you to get discouraged as I am here to show you an excellent way to boost your business knowledge and hone your management skills.
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 Hone Your Skills To Boost Your Business

Today, the business world is getting increasing complex and competitive as the global market is changing constantly. Hence, it has now become imperative that aspiring and new entrepreneurs pursue business education. Studying for a business degree will not only teach you about the core concepts of business, but it will help you better understand how a business works and how to lead your team towards success. However, for most entrepreneurs it is simply not feasible to study a full time business degree as you need to invest a lot of time and money.

In this scenario, the best option for you is to pursue an online postgraduate diploma in business. As online business diploma courses are highly flexible and affordable, you can choose to work on expanding your business during office hours and focus on your studies during your leisure or while you are on the go. This will enable you to immediately apply your recently obtained knowledge at the workplace and boost your skills further.

Why Pursue A Business Diploma

An online business diploma will give an edge over the competition and help you establish your brand in the market. As running & managing a business needs various skills and abilities, studying business management will empower you to reach the next level. Moreover, as you will interact with fellow learners and professors from different parts of the world, you will gain a strong understanding of different economies and develop new networks. This will allow you to explore new markets and grow your business in new territories. 
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Learn New Skills

A business diploma course will help you acquire a wide range of essential skills like problem solving, critical thinking, leadership skills etc. You will also learn about finance, budgeting, economics, marketing, personnel management and other core topics.

Communicate Better

To run a successful business and lead it towards growth, you will need to possess excellent communication skills as an entrepreneur. If you want to partner with other organisations and gain new clients, you will need to learn negotiation skills, hospitality skills and people skills, which an online business diploma will teach you.

Know About Your World

Studying business will equip you to conduct in-depth research regarding your industry and market so that you can improve your perspective and enhance your business acumen. It is only by considering every aspect of your external environment, you will be able to maximise your productivity and profit.

The Bottom Line

So if you are gearing up to grow your business, then earning an online business diploma would be a great place to start. You will have all the crucial skills to support your decisions, strategies and actions to help you explore the global marketplace.

What do you think? Share your views and opinions with us by commenting below.

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Friday, 17 July 2015

Higher Education - Can It Prepare Today's Youths For The Job Market?

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Did you know that there are 73 million youths worldwide who are currently looking for employment, even though numerous vacancies are still unfilled? In the US, 5 million positions remained vacant in May 2015; where as over 8 million people were searching for jobs across the country. Recently the OECD surveyed a number of countries and in those nations, 39 million young individuals are presently not in education or employment (NEET). The data provides a rather gloomy view of today's world.

What Employers Want

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Sebastien Turbot, Curator and Director of Content and Programs at WISE (World Innovation Summit for Education) , recently wrote in an article,
“Universities around the world are incessantly churning out qualified graduates but employers say there is an acute shortage of skilled workers. For employers, a college degree is no longer the only criteria that counts.”
Then what do employers want from candidates?

In the current technologically inclined economies, there is a strong demand for labour with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) skills and it is growing further. Moreover, demands for candidates are transforming to “savoir-ĂȘtre” from “savoir-faire”, with a rising requirement for non-cognitive and soft skills. A number of studies and surveys reveal that organisations across the globe are want to recruit candidates who possess the 4 main traits, namely creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication.

Meeting The Demands Of Job Market 
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Turbot wrote,
“...millennials are expected to make up 75% of the workforce by 2025, though a significant number will never be employees in the traditional sense. So as we transition into an era where machines will perform mundane tasks, we need to build a workforce of 'creative entrepreneurs', who will be innovative, empathetic and equipped to tackle ambiguous challenges. ”

Does this mean that higher education is empowering our youths for the demands of the job market? As per the Education to Employment report by McKinsey, 70% of surveyed educators think that current graduates are effectively prepared for today's competitive job market. However, it seems that less that 50% fresh graduates and employers tend to agree. But who is actually responsible for this skills gap? The teachers or the employers? Or is the learners who might have opted for the wrong subjects?
Turbot added,
“In my opinion, before delving deeper into this raging blame game, we need to address the “perceptions gap”. The McKinsey report is just one of the many indicators to reflect that educators, entrepreneurs and young graduates are not on the same page.”

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Need For Proper Collaboration

I believe we should start by getting the educators and employers to collaborate and work together in order to narrow the gap between the education our students need and the education our students have. Next, we must include the students as a crucial part of this discussion and help them gain real world experience. This will enable them to get the right information regarding what the employers want from them and what educators are offering them.
Sebastien Turbot concluded,
“...before we set off to redesign a new curriculum or decide that corporate universities and programs are the only to resolve the job market’s real needs, educators, learners and employers have to step into each other’s worlds.”

What do you think? Add to the discussion by sharing your views and opinions with us. Simply comment in the box below.

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Thursday, 9 July 2015

Free Online Education- Can Academic Conventions Be Broken Away

We are living in an era, where we have the opportunity to cherish all kind of conveniences, be that time, technology or even education. Previously the educational course, which used to be barred to attain by the lack of time, money and personal as well as professional responsibilities, today, thanks to the evolving time and technology, that academic degree can be achieved easily. It is actually the  radically evolved online learning, that equips modern students to accomplish a four years long programme within only 2 years.

The E-learning – The Possible Replacement Of Traditional Education

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 We have passed the time when a classroom used to be synonymous to blackboard, chalk, benches, and a group of students. But the time has changed, so has the face of education. A study by The National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) shows that, 32% undergraduate students prefer to pursue their study while maintaining their full time job. All a modern age student seeks is an accessible, flexible, innovative and job-oriented education programme.

Now the question is, why the majority of undergraduate learners seem to incline towards the ventures of online education? What does this new mode of education provide students with? Well the e-learning programmes not only deliver a world of education without boundaries to students, but they also bestow an abundance of aspects that make students seek online graduation degrees.

  • The limitations of time & place gets minimized by Online education programmes.
  • For those, who already started to go ahead with their professional careers, online graduation courses make the resources and technologies affordable and approachable.
  • This breakthrough in education allows people from all over the world to acquire not only a degree but also excellence.

However, some contradictory opinions are there to challenge the online learning models, stating that, there will remain a need for traditional college education as it provides students with a plenty of important benefits like students-teacher interaction.

MOOCs - The Mighty Impact

Since their advent in 2011, MOOCs have been creating an immense impact on academic world, becoming a genre of their own. The absence of tuition fees, flexible courses and a without boundary study system have increased the number of students per course. Today MOOCs are hosted by many eminent universities around the world , such as Harvard, MIT, Stanford and so on. 

HarvardX & edX 
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One of the prominent platforms, that have partnered with MOOCs, is edX and HarvardX is one of the 29 institutions, whose contents appear on edX. Inspite of the its unsteady scale, edx's software, Open Response Assessment (ORA), provides about 2.5 million students with grades and contents. After being skilled and equipped about the ideas that usually come from students , ORA can provide with feedback to students' questions. Commenting on edX and ORA, Piotr Mitros, edX’s chief scientist, states, “ If you asked me, ‘Do you want a school experience where every single piece of text is graded by machine?’ I’d say, ‘That’s a straw-man. Nobody is proposing that.”

What To Say Finally

A letter, published in The Chronicle Of Higher Education, witnessed the view of the philosophy faculty of San Jose State University that described the MOOC as a “serious compromise of quality of education”. Their fear was that MOOC will soon replace flesh-and-blood teachers and the traditional classroom will go into extinction soon. This letter prominently convey that MOOC renders a huge access and flexibility of online learning to the people from every genre.

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Saturday, 4 July 2015

Serving An Artist Can Be A Lucrative Job For Arts Graduates

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Do you know that art graduates can now do part-time jobs and thereafter march ahead towards bright career paths? Well, it’s a misconception among many new age learners that qualifying for arts in a renowned university would make them the bread earner in their families. However, reality says that the employment market is not so supple that would easily get you a well-paid job on merely judging your credentials. Experience too counts importance when it comes to acquiring an esteemed position in a world class organization.

So, Why Not Go For Part-Time Jobs? 
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Part-time jobs in this respect can be great. To be precise, you can easily bag some extra cash on taking up such jobs and hence keep bettering your chances to prosper in the field of arts. Usually, artists prefer conducting their finances either by hunting for a lucrative sideline that can fetch them enough money to live life king size, or, by earning money in businesses related to arts. Keeping these two options in mind, it not only helps one to study and work together but rather lets one become more employable.

The concept of dual education works wonders in some of the German art colleges. Here the time period of studying arts is amalgamated with an apprenticeship. This rather helps students achieve technical skills that prove to be extremely profitable for their careers. So, by acquiring skills like stone carving or metal casting, you can either make art or might utilize these skills to earn money and finance your art-making.

  Trying Other Part-Time Jobs Is A Wise Idea
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There are other part-time jobs which students can also apply after they complete their studies at universities. In fact, art students can also get such part-time jobs that can look far different from the degrees they have earned. Graduates with the help of artworks also find easier to work as freelance video editors and commissioned writers. Believe it or not, acquiring work experience in a company in the same field without having any connection to whatever you do after university can instead be a great way of grabbing a sideline source of income.

Work As An Assistant – It Helps!!
What students should do now is try seeking jobs related to helping artists. In fact, working as an assistant would give them the opportunities to not only learn new skills but they can also earn some cash at the same time. One of Newcastle’s students and part-timer, Eddy Robinson, who works as an assistant’s artist, said, “My first job was for Neil Bromwich and Zoe Walker. I helped them make the work for their solo show at the Baltic. Then I helped Andrew Burton: he makes loads of little bricks out of ceramics.”

Therefore, the job of serving as an assistant while studying will prove to be extremely helpful in terms of one’s career. Moreover, plenty of working professionals today prefer taking up online courses so that they can continue working and gather considerable work experiences.

So, whether you are an arts graduate or a master degree holder in any other discipline, a part-time job would play a key role in boosting up your career prospects to no end. That’s a guarantee!!