4 ways your company can improve work-life balance in 2018

Work-life balance was a hot topic in 2017, and it's going to be in even more focus this year. As employee wellness becomes a greater business priority, companies are exploring how they can more effectively support their workers to have healthier workloads and better control over their time. 

Here are four ways your business can improve work-life balance in 2018:

1. Re-evaluate workloads 

The era of expecting employees to work overtime is over. Not only are labor law changes on the table, but companies are finally realizing the serious negative toll that working extra hours can put on their employees. Eliminating the need for overtime requires more realistic workloads, however, so collaborate with HR and department managers to reassess assignments and see where you can take the load off overworked employees. This may require hiring new talent to expand your workforce in 2018.

2. Embrace flexible working arrangements 

Allowing employees to work from home some or all of the time can support a healthier work-life balance, as people can skip long commutes or be home to pick up their children from school, for example. Video conferencing technology enables valuable face time with remote workers, bridging the distance and ensuring effective collaboration and communication can still happen. You could also permit employees to set flexible hours if home or family demands are interfering with work obligations and creating stress. 

3. Create the right culture 

Cultivate a culture at work where every employee knows that they are strongly discouraged from answering emails or taking calls after hours or while on PTO. This involves having company leadership practice what they preach and consistently communicate their dedication to supporting healthy work-life balance. You could also encourage employees to take breaks throughout the day or establish an unlimited PTO policy, as HR Daily Advisor noted. 

4. Eliminate categories of days off 

At many companies, employees have separate categories for days off, such as vacation days and sick days. The Balance recommends getting rid of the classifications and instead just offering blanket paid time off days that employees can use as they see fit. This move shows that employers trust and value their employees to manage their own time and communicates that they are encouraged and even expected to take the time they need to tend to pressing personal issues. 

A healthy work-life balance means employees who are happier, less stressed and more engaged when on the job. The tips above can help employers support their employees to lead healthy lifestyles and manage their time well. 

Why you should make your webinars interactive

Many people don't know that webinars can feature interactive elements, such as real-time chat questions and polling. However, these features can have a big impact on the number and quality of the leads your webinar generates. 

Let's take a closer look at why you should make your webinar interactive:

An opportunity for greater engagement 

According to a March 2013 Demand Gen Report reader survey, chat questions are used to engage the audience on 54 percent of webinars, while polls are used 34 percent of the time. While it's great that some people are using these features, there's even more opportunity for webinar engagement on a larger scale. These interactive features are essential for lead generation, as we'll see in the next section. 

Nurturing leads 

Webinars serve two main purposes: They help current and future clients learn useful information in an easy-to-digest way, and they help nurture leads. In fact, webinars nurture more qualified leads than other marketing channels. More than 60 percent of marketers are using webinars as part of their content marketing programs, according to the Content Marketing Institute. And a survey we conducted found that between 20 and 40 percent of webinar attendees turned into qualified leads

The key to transforming webinar attendees into promising leads is creating webinars that effectively engage viewers. Attention spans are short, and webinar hosts need ways to grab audience members' attention. Interactive features do just that. Chat questions and polling enable audience members to engage in the webinar, instead of just passively listening to information. Webinar hosts also learn instant feedback, which they can use to tweak the content of the webinar to make it more relevant to attendees' needs. Let's take a closer look at both the chat and polling features:

Chat
Real-time chat can be conducted over webinars through both chat boxes and audio. A live audio chat Q&A session at the end of your webinar can be a great opportunity for audience members to learn more about your company and for you to learn more about what's on your customers' or potential customers' minds. 

Polling
Polling helps you gain more in-depth knowledge about the people tuning into your webinar. You can get a sense of what problems, issues or goals your viewers have as you present information that can help address their common pain points. You can also ask questions that are designed to qualify leads, but these are best saved for the end of the webinar. 

Getting people's attention is the name of the game in marketing these days, and interactive webinars are highly effective ways to engage audiences. The benefits don't end there, however – these engaged audiences then have a better chance of turning into qualified leads. Make your webinars interactive to give a much-needed oomph to your marketing strategy. 

G2 Crowd: ReadyTalk ‘Leader’ in Colorado Tech Scene

One of ReadyTalk’s core values is constant improvement. This applies to the back end development of our products, the user experience, and even the way our employees bring their ‘A’ game to work. Earlier this month, we were thrilled to learn that G2 Crowd awarded ReadyTalk as a leader in the Colorado technology industry. Customer reviews have secured ReadyTalk’s spot on the map — and in a world where recommendations drive purchasing decisions, the results of this report were the ultimate high five.

“ReadyTalk has been identified as one of the best software and services companies in Colorado, based on its high levels of customer satisfaction and likeliness to recommend ratings,” said G2 Crowd Community Manager Levi Olmstead.

 

According to G2 Crowd data, ReadyTalk has received a 4.3 out of 5 stars based on its 145 verified real-user reviews in the web conferencing software category. Users point to ReadyTalk’s audio calls (92%) and video conferencing (84%) as its two top-rated features. It was also named a High Performer in the Winter 2018 Web Conferencing Grid Report from G2 Crowd.

Read ReadyTalk reviews on G2 Crowd

“The state of Colorado tech report recognized ReadyTalk and 24 other Colorado-based SaaS and service companies as the leaders of the state’s tech scene. Overall the report covered over 60 companies in the state,” added Olmstead.

“We’re excited to learn that so many of our customers have given ReadyTalk a great review. Our success as a tech company depends on the user experience and our interactions with all our customers. We will always do our best to meet and exceed their expectations.”

– Kevin Barnes, Director of Customer Care at ReadyTalk

Read the entire report to see the trends and how ReadyTalk is contributing to the overall state of the B2B Colorado tech scene.

 

 

New year, new skills: Methods to improve learning at your company

It'd be great if running a business was like riding a bike. You learn how to ride a bike once, and you acquire all the skills you need to know to ride a bike for the rest of your life. 

Unfortunately, running a company isn't quite like riding a bike. Learning new skills and honing old ones – or continuous learning, as it's called – is essential for a productive workforce and a competitive business. 

Amp up the education in your workplace in 2018 with the methods and strategies below:

Hold trainings and educational workshops often 

There are always things that you and your employees should be trained in, whether it's a new coding language, a new content management system or a new workflow. Holding workshops and other training events to teach these skills is far more effective than sharing how-to steps via email. Include free breakfast and coffee or free lunch at these events to make participation more enticing. 

Create a culture of learning

For continuous learning to truly flourish at your organization, you need to create a work culture that openly embraces the sharing of ideas and the development of new skills. You could incorporate learning and development into your company's mission statement or set of core values. Ensure that executive leadership, hiring managers and HR are all onboard with communicating with employees in ways that promote learning, not hinder it. 

Poll employees 

You're far more likely to have greater attendance at training events and workshops if you target these events toward subjects employees actually want to learn about. Polls and surveys can help you identify hot topics and skills that workers most want to learn about and develop. 

Use webinars for training 

To make sure your remote workforce doesn't miss out on the benefits of in-office learning events, conduct training via webinars. With their ease of incorporating multimedia materials, webinars make learning dynamic and fun. As an added bonus, they can be saved and archived in your company's learning library for future reference. 

Tweak your benefits

Demonstrate that your company truly values continuous learning by adjusting your benefits. Perhaps your company can offer to reimburse employees for tuition if they choose to go back to school, or can spend more funds to send them to industry conferences and events. You could also consider giving employees a personal day to work on their hobbies or interests. 

Continuous learning is the seed of innovation. Discovering different ways of doing things and honing new skills leads to success and productivity, and with the tips above, you can improve learning at your company. 

What are the best channels for promoting your webinar?

Imagine this: You've worked for days perfecting every little detail of your department's webinar. You've carefully designed the landing page, spiced up the slides to keep things interesting and brought on a team of great, charismatic people to pull it off. This sounds like the ideal webinar situation, right? Only if you've remembered to promote it! Otherwise, you might have done all this work for no one to stick around and enjoy it.

Webinars are a fantastic medium to connect with customers, gain valuable leads, conduct new product demos and train employees. With this in mind, you want to ensure you're doing everything in your power to reach a wide audience. To do so, here are three of the best channels you'll want to leverage to effectively promote your webinar:

1. Email
There are three main steps to promoting your webinar over email after people have signed up. First, you should send a thank-you email when attendees register online. This is not only demonstrating your company's good manners but also can serve as a way to put the date in their calendar or confirm their attendance. Second, you should send out reminder emails around a week or two in advance to not only remind them about your webinar's date but to keep them thinking about your company. Lastly, you want to send out a final reminder email the day before or the day of your webinar, as people get busy and forget.

2. LinkedIn
Sometimes emails are not the ideal way to promote your webinar, as people may feel overwhelmed with lots of reminder emails clogging up their inbox. Instead, consider reaching out to them over social media, more specifically, on LinkedIn. After all, LinkedIn reports that as much as 46% of B2B social media traffic comes from the site, so you don't want to miss out on this ideal marketing platform.

3. Twitter
If you want to go for a more casual promotional route, start marketing your webinar over Twitter! The platform provides a low-key approach to getting word out about your upcoming webinar without feeling overly pushy. You can start promoting the event a few weeks in advance and use inviting graphics and images to remind your followers in the days leading up to the webinar. Don't forget to include registration links in your tweets though!

Ready to spice up your lead generation process? Consider using webinars starting today!