Archive for the ‘General’ Category

How to Enhance Productivity in the Workplace

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

Employee motivation and workplace productivity go hand in hand; if your employees are motivated, they perform their tasks at their highest level. Nevertheless, as a team leader, it’s inevitable that you’ll find a number of factors along the way that could decrease employee motivation and weaken business productivity. WeĂ­ve come up with a shortlist of clever tips for avoiding these productivity-killers, while enhancing employee motivation in the workplace. Take a look:

Tip 1: Get Rid of Factors that Affect Motivation

First and foremost, you must get rid of the factors that affect motivation as soon as possible. Typical motivational killers include toxic people with lack of organizational vision and abrasive personalities. Poor communication systems, absence of opportunities for professional development and autocratic management styles also affect employee motivation.


Tip 2: Show How Much You Care

Do you want to deal with low morale in your workplace? Show your employees how much you care for them and, most importantly, how much they are worth to your business. How about showing appreciation with motivational coffee mugs? Last year we used this online printerĂ­s awesome coffee mugs to reward our team members for going out of their way for a project in particular. They loved it!

There is a wide array of affordable printed items that can work as special gifts. Just keep in mind that you need to tell each employee what you liked about his or her performance on each project in detail. This way, they will rise to the occasion on the next project, trying to win those special gifts and show their team members that theyíve got some competition. How about giving them recognition with custom printed mousepads that read things such as ìyou made a great difference on the project,î ìthanks for all your helpî or ìgood jobî? Theyíre sure to be a hit if you personalize them!

Tip 3: Take Some Time to Relax

Do you sometimes feel you need a break from all the stress of the job? We all do! If you want employees to have an even stronger connection, itĂ­s nice to have a drink after work or have lunch together every once in a while. By sharing a few laughs and being spontaneous, your employees will feel connected, thus working together collaboratively at the workplace. As you can see, itĂ­s a win-win situation – so try to include one after-hours outing every month to connect with the team.

It can be anything from going to a sports event, to practicing tag at the local park. Be creative and ask your employees what they would enjoy the most, sometimes a simple casual Friday with pizza will be enough!

We hope this information comes in handy. Keep in mind that, even if enhancing and maintaining productivity in the workplace may seem difficult, you can just try some of these simple tips to boost motivation that is vital to keep up morale and productivity.

Do you have other tips that have worked with your employees in the past? We would love to hear your thoughts. Please feel free to kindly leave a comment below.

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Boost Productivity and Employee Morale with These Simple Ideas 

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Don’t let your small business fall victim to bad morale and everything that comes with it. If you want to watch your business grow and thrive, pay attention to your employees needs and make every effort to demonstrate your gratitude for their hard work and dedication.


Building morale and boosting your productivity does not happen by chance, it takes thought, creativity and hard work. Put practices in place that highlight employee achievement and stress the importance of teamwork. After all, no business can reach its goals on the shoulders of just one person.

Here are some simple team boosting ideas any small business can implement into their workweek:

  • Inspire excellence – It is easy to let the doldrums of everyday life get the best of us. To avoid an unpleasant work environment, fill your walls with inspiring messages from great leaders, athletes, famous comedians that will get staff refocused and put a smile on their face during the most difficult days.

A great way to accomplish this is by ordering custom wall decals, like the ones shown here. Transform your sales room, conference room and staff lounge for just under $50!!!

  • Celebrate teamwork – Find ways to build team spirit. If your goal is to boost the productivity of your sales force, why not encourage them to work together to reach their target instead of pitting them against each other. Create a board, like this dry erase wall graphic, and keep a record of their daily sales with their weekly goal written in large print at the top.
  • Reward hard work – We human beings like praise and rewards for our efforts; it really helps us do our best! For a great sales week, busy holiday season or 60 hour work weeks, reward your employees with movie tickets, gift cards, celebratory dinners, or midweek bowling nights (also a great team building idea).
  • Build community – Encourage your employees to give back to the community by granting them paid time each month for charitable endeavors. Whether it’s working at a food pantry, teaching literacy or planting a garden oasis on a city block, employers can impact their surrounding community and customers in a positive way and help their employees reach their personal goals.
  • Encourage ideas – As the old saying says ìevolve or dieĂ®. For a small business to survive in this global market, they have to evolve with the changing needs and trends of their customers. No one understands what your customers need more than your staff, after all they are the ones speaking to them regularly. Tap into their knowledge by devoting one day a month where employees can share their new product ideas and promotions in a fun and collaborative setting.

Building a team work ethic and increasing your productivity take some innovative ideas that will get your staff motivated. Showing your staff that you appreciate them and the value they bring to your business creates a bond and loyalty that will positively impact your growth.

Let us know how you motivate your staff. How have you fostered team spirit within your staff? We want to hear all about it!

Image courtesy of Startup Stock Photos

Building the Perfect Team for Your Small Business

Monday, March 9th, 2015

Do you want your staff to be more productive? We all do! Unfortunately, even if you take advantage of great equipment, apps and cloud services like the ones offered by RingCentral, RingSky or VoIPSwitch to boost your business productivity, technology can only take you so far. Team Building is extremely relevant. The perfect team can help you tap into new markets, expand your business model and come up with inspiring solutions for issues or projects, creating a powerful core for your business.


In order to put the most productive team possible, you must be perfectly aware of your business goals. Think about which kind of attributes and people can enhance your team. We’ve come up with a shortlist of clever tips than can help you put together the best team ever, helping your small business thrive. Here’s a look:

Tip 1: Look For Leadership

According to SkillsYouNeed, ìThe ability to lead effectively is based on a number of key skills. These skills are highly sought after by employers as they involve dealing with people in such a way as to motivate, enthuse and build respect.Ă® As you can see, leadership is relevant in all kinds of situations, especially when a small team is working to finish a big task. Look for candidates who have prime situational leadership skills, such as organizing teammates when someone is missing or running daily meeting. When at least half of your group has some kind of leadership experience, discussions will take place magnificently, as no one’s personal opinion will be lost.

Tip 2: Go For Creativity and Versatility

Look for candidates who are resourceful in considering alternative solutions, critical thinking and aren’t scared of taking on tasks outside their area. Make sure to ask job candidates what their niche abilities are. What have they been able to do in the past that no one else has done? By digging deeply into the challenges the job candidate has overcome, you can evaluate who is right for your team. Candidates with versatility can provide the team with more sense than those with more experience but who lack this trait.

Tip 3: Check Out the Person’s Social Media Intelligence

If you’re seeking job candidates online, check to see how connected they are on social media. Any person’s online presence indicates that he or she has an enhanced sense of technical knowledge, self-promotion and communication skills as well as social media intelligence. Individuals who stay on top of the latest trends in social media can improve your small business strategy, promoting your brand by cultivating an online presence for your company.

Tip 4: Think About the Complementary Talents

If you want to build and innovative team, it is crucial to pair people who have complementary talents. For example, if one individual is a great speaker but can’t write a proper speech, pair him or her up with someone who writes competently but doesn’t like to give oral presentations. This allows teammates to play to their strengths, learn from each other, improving themselves. In addition, this encourages trust, bringing about wonderful ideas.

We hope this information comes in handy. Keep in mind that you must follow this framework whenever you are looking for people to build the best team possible as these characteristics drive efficiency for your business. Which characteristic do you think is the most relevant when building a powerful team? Why? We would love to hear about it. Please don’t forget to leave a comment below.


How Can a Phone System Improve my Business Customer Service?

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

headset-309669_1280A study by InfoQuest found that a totally satisfied customer contributes 14 times more revenue than a somewhat dissatisfied customer. Satisfied customers become loyal and spread the word about your brand attracting new customers to your business, which results in higher revenues. Top-notch customer service is key to success. There is no doubt about it. Plus, it separates you from your competitors.

Customer service is a constant concern for business owners. They strive to look for innovative strategies to improve customer care. But before going any further, lets step back and analyze the importance of a communication tool that gives customers direct line to your business: Your phone system. Have you thought about the role your phone system plays in your overall customer service? Check this out:

Business Phone Systems Simplify Customer Contact

Have you ever contacted a company that transfers your call from one department to the other? I bet nothing angers you more than having to explain your problem over and over again. The worst part is that it still happens. Clients want to be transferred to the right extension the first time. How can you avoid being one of those companies with poor customer care?

By getting a VoIP phone system like this one (from the leaders in the telecommunications industry), which allows callers to reach the person they wish to speak to faster even if the staff member is not at the office. Call forwarding allows calls to be forwarded from an office phone to a mobile device- improving responsiveness. Additionally, this feature can ensure that incoming callers never receive a busy signal; they can be automatically forwarded to the next available representative.

Unified Communications Speed Up Service

Research shared by Forbes found that 69% of people interviewed defined good customer service as receiving a quick resolution to a reported problem and 72% of respondents blamed their frustrations on having to address an issue to multiple employees at different times. Does your phone system allow you to provide faster and more efficient customer service?

During your commute, it is complicated to concentrate on multiple tasks such as answering calls, checking emails and listening to voicemail messages. Thanks to voicemail to the email transcription feature your team can receive a transcribed voicemail along with a Wav file.

The email ensures voicemail messages will be checked as soon as they arrive- employees do not need to wait until they are in the office. On the contrary, they can take immediate action to respond to customers needs and solve problems more efficiently and in a timely fashion. Voicemail to email capability will speed up response times.

VoIP Phone Systems Enhance Availability

Being available, accessible and willing to help your clients is no longer an option; it is a requirement if you want to provide remarkable customer support. By downloading a VoIP softphone app you can get access to your business phone system no matter where you are, making it easy to support customers whenever they need it. You can even consider the 24/7 approach.

Provide Multilingual Customer support

If you want to expand your business to global markets, make use of tools to compete on a global scale. A VoIP phone system allows you to communicate all over the world at inexpensive rates, so you can build a remote workforce to provide multilingual customer support.

We hope this information comes in handy. How has your phone system helped you deliver excellent customer support? Please share your thoughts with us.


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R2-D2 Approves

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

R2-D2 just sent out a tweet saying: *daat doot daat deet doot* #ketchupweek

4th Annual Ketchup Week!

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

I’m very excited about the 4th year of Ketchup Week. This has been an exciting year for me, and I’m ready to spend some time catching up on projects before it ends!

Why is Ketchup Week at the end of the year? The answer is simple: I first came up with the idea right before Christmas, in December 2005. At that time, a friend had joked that it was a good week to “catch up.”

The time between Christmas and New Year’s is also perfect for catching up on side projects of any sort. Work on customer projects or just take the week to catch up on sleep, it is your choice!

December 26-31 is often distraction free because clients are often taking a holiday, and don’t expect you to be at work. What a great week to get stuff done!

So here’s to another year — I hope you have a productive week, and a productive new year!

Logo Buttons

Friday, December 12th, 2008

If you’re interested in helping us spread the word about Ketchup Week, feel free to grab one of these logos and use it on your blog post or article. Please email us if you need a logo in a special size or format that you don’t see here.

Logo on white background:
Ketchup Week
Ketchup Week
Ketchup Week

Logo with beveled button on white background:

Ketchup Week
Ketchup Week
Ketchup Week

Thank you for helping us to promote Ketchup Week! Now, go be productive!

Gearing up for a terrific Ketchup Week ’08!

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

We’re excited about this years Ketchup Week which starts on December 26th and lasts through the end of the year. But best of all! This year you can play an active part in spreading the word about Ketchup Week. We’re going to have video, interesting articles, and will be actively posting on Twitter.

Ketchup Week is all about productivity. The idea behind it is it let’s you “catch up” on all of your personal projects that you’ve been delaying all year. Nobody expects you to really get much work done right after Christmas and so you have a bit more leeway to get things done.

I’ll close by including a cool trick you can show your friends.

Have a great Christmas and check back here on December 26th and all week during Ketchup Week for some cool articles.

Productivity tips from Tornado!

Teamwork Day 2

A Series of Stresses or a Series of Adventures

Productivity Day 3

Five Ways To Stay Productive In Your Mobile Office

20 Time Savers Day 4

Twenty Time Savers: Plus, the 80/20 Rule

The Purchase of Alaska Day 5

The Purchase of Alaska: Making Decisions

Don't Multitask Day 6

Don't Multitask: Stop Wasting Time

Looking for more? Check out Brainfuel, our design blog.
Read our productivity blog.

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