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Employee or Contract Worker? Making the Right Hiring Decision for Your Business

Employee or Contract Worker? Making the Right Hiring Decision for Your Business 2560 1707 Alicia East

Accurate worker classification is a big deal. Full stop. Still, in light of a recent federal ruling, making the right decision is about to be more important than ever. Making the decision to classify a worker as in independent contractor versus an employee requires an in-depth understanding of the differences. The decision affects more than a business’s budget: It is crucial for legal compliance and operational success as well.

Contract Worker Versus Employee: What’s in a Name?

From the business’s perspective, the name a worker gets might not be too important as long as the worker gets the job done. From the Department of Labor’s perspective, the name (i.e. classification) of a worker is important enough to put federal attention toward getting it done right. Let’s start with the definitions.

Independent Contractors are self-employed contract workers. These individuals are contracted to perform work for another entity as a non-employee. They have the freedom to determine how to complete tasks, set their hours, and may work for multiple clients simultaneously. Contractors submit invoices for their services and are responsible for reporting their own taxes and procuring their own health insurance, retirement plans, and more.

Employees, on the other hand, work directly for a company and are under the company’s control in terms of how, when, and where their work is completed. Employees are on the company’s payroll, and the employer withholds taxes, pays wages, benefits (such as health insurance and retirement contributions), and adheres to labor laws (overtime, minimum wage, etc.).

So What? What Does That Mean in Practice?

From the business’s standpoint, the main implications of the classification are the legal and tax obligations (including risk and liability matters), the level of control, and the cost and commitment.

Employers have more legal, tax, and compliance obligations towards employees, including withholding income taxes, paying Social Security and Medicare taxes, and complying with labor laws. Independent contractors handle their tax obligations, reducing the administrative burden on businesses.

Employers also have more control over employees, dictating their work hours, location, and methods. Contract workers have more flexibility, as they control how they complete their work, though they must meet the terms of their contract.

Hiring an employee is a long-term commitment that includes salary, benefits, and other compensation. Contract workers may have higher hourly rates, but the overall cost can be lower since the company does not provide benefits or pay employment taxes.

Which Classification Costs a Business More Money and Resources?

While the general viewpoint is that employees are more expensive and carry a greater administrative load than contract workers, misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor can turn that so-called “formula” on its head because mistakes can lead to legal and financial penalties right along with an administrative headache to correct the mistake. It’s vital for businesses to correctly classify their workers based on federal and state laws both for legal reasons and business practicalities.

Main Aspects to Consider for Worker Classification Decisions

When determining whether to hire an independent contractor or an employee, companies should consider the following:

Control: Do you need to control not only the outcome of the work but also how and when the work is done? If so, an employee may be the right choice.

Duration and Scope: Is the work project-based or temporary, requiring specialized skills not available within your organization? Contract workers might be suitable. If the work is ongoing and central to your business, hiring an employee could be more beneficial.

Financial Considerations: Evaluate the total cost of employment, including benefits and taxes, against the cost of hiring a contractor. Consider your budget and the nature of the work.

Legal and Tax Obligations: Understand the legal distinctions and tax implications of hiring employees versus contract workers. Ensure compliance with IRS guidelines and local labor laws.

Risk Management: Assess the risks involved in worker misclassification. Consider the consequences of legal challenges or penalties.

Operational Needs: Determine if the role requires someone who will integrate into your company culture and collaborate closely with your team. Employees might be more suitable for roles that require a high degree of integration and long-term development within the company.

Flexibility: If your business needs fluctuate or you require specialized skills for short-term projects, contract workers offer the flexibility to scale work up or down as needed without the long-term commitment of an employee.

Benefits and Perks: Decide if offering benefits and perks is essential for the role you’re looking to fill. These are typically reserved for employees.

If your internal departments don’t have the administrative bandwidth or level of expertise to handle these decisions with confidence, consider engaging a partner whose core business model is to take on classification decisions as well as much of the related risk.

The Bottom Line

The decision to hire independent contractors or employees hinges on a variety of factors, including control, cost, flexibility, and legal obligations. Businesses must carefully assess their operational needs, project scope, and the level of commitment they can offer to make an informed decision. Correctly classifying workers is not only a matter of legal compliance but also aligns workforce strategy with business goals, ensuring long-term success and sustainability.

Combating Scammers and Cyber Criminals: The AI Threat and Cybersecurity Solutions

Combating Scammers and Cyber Criminals: The AI Threat and Cybersecurity Solutions 150 150 Alicia East

Gone are the days when the “Nigerian prince” is our greatest scam threat. While previous attempts to breach company security measures have been laughable, scammers are now using AI to make increasingly sophisticated and believable attacks. In our increasingly digital world, scammers and cybercriminals are continually evolving their tactics to infiltrate companies, compromise sensitive data, and wreak havoc on businesses. One of the most alarming developments in recent years is the adoption of AI (Artificial Intelligence) by these malicious actors. Since AI-driven attacks have the potential to be more sophisticated, they also have the potential to get past previously successful mitigation techniques. This evolution makes it vital for businesses to implement robust cybersecurity measures to evolve right along with the threat.

The AI Threat: How Scammers and Cyber Criminals Are Leveraging AI

  1. Automated Phishing Attacks: Scammers are now using AI to create highly convincing emails, messages, and even entire websites. While previous phishing attempts smelled fishy even to average individuals, these sophisticated measures make users much more vulnerable. That’s because the phony messages are indistinguishable from legitimate communications. In short, AI has made phishy communications smell less fishy.
  2. Advanced Social Engineering: AI-driven social engineering attacks can scrape the internet for personal information and craft convincing narratives to manipulate targets. Cybercriminals can build detailed profiles of employees or executives to exploit their vulnerabilities effectively.
  3. Brute Force Attacks: AI can accelerate brute force attacks, enabling cybercriminals to crack passwords and gain unauthorized access to systems or accounts more quickly than ever before.
  4. Automated Malware Generation: AI can generate new strains of malware, making it challenging for traditional cybersecurity solutions to keep up. Malware that constantly evolves can evade detection more effectively.

Scared Yet? Combat the AI Cybersecurity Threat With These 9 Measures

To protect your company from the evolving AI-driven threat, consider implementing the following cybersecurity measures:

  1. Employee Training: Nothing personal against your employees, but your people really are your weakest link. Invest in ongoing employee training programs to raise awareness about AI-driven threats, like advanced phishing and social engineering. Teach your staff to recognize the signs of suspicious emails and messages. Share the attempts that come through your systems.
  2. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Enforce MFA for accessing critical systems and data. Even if a cybercriminal obtains login credentials, MFA adds an extra layer of security to prevent unauthorized access. We know it’s nothing new. It’s just basic digital hygiene–like brushing your teeth twice a day.
  3. Advanced Threat Detection: Utilize AI-based security solutions that can detect anomalies and patterns in network traffic to identify and respond to potential threats. AI can help discern unusual behavior and respond promptly.
  4. Data Encryption: Encrypt sensitive data both in transit and at rest. This extra layer of security ensures that even if cybercriminals gain access, they won’t be able to use the stolen data.
  5. Regular Software Updates and Patch Management: Keep your software and systems up to date to address known vulnerabilities that cybercriminals may exploit. Automate the patch management process to minimize risks.
  6. AI-Powered Security Solutions: Implement AI-based cybersecurity solutions that can adapt and learn from evolving threats. These solutions can proactively identify and mitigate emerging threats, providing real-time protection. Scammers are evolving with AI. Businesses need to do the same.
  7. Incident Response Plan: Develop a robust incident response plan to address cyberattacks promptly. Practice drills and ensure that your team knows how to respond effectively in case of a breach.
  8. Vendor Risk Assessment: Evaluate the cybersecurity measures of your third-party vendors and partners. Their vulnerabilities can become your vulnerabilities, so ensure they meet your security standards. On a related note: Rest assured if PayReel is one of your partners. We take security extremely seriously.
  9. Continuous Monitoring: Continuously monitor your network for any unusual activity or anomalies. Early detection can prevent a minor incident from escalating into a major breach.

The Bottom Line

The threat posed by scammers and cybercriminals leveraging AI is real and constantly evolving. By staying vigilant, investing in the right cybersecurity solutions, and educating your team, your company can better protect itself against these advanced threats. Cybersecurity is an ongoing effort, and the investment in robust protection measures will pay off in the long run by safeguarding your data, reputation, and financial well-being.

Take Charge of Your Career Success With These In-Demand Skills

Take Charge of Your Career Success With These In-Demand Skills 2560 1707 Alicia East

Bonus: No college degree required. You can acquire any of these in-demand skills through alternative means. Here’s a look at some of the most sought-after skills in today’s market. They don’t require a college degree and we’ll talk about how you can put them to use in your career as well.

5 In-Demand Skills

  1. Digital Marketing: We’re at a point where, without an online presence, a business is gonna appear pretty suspect. You can learn the ropes of digital marketing, SEO, social media management, and email marketing through online courses, workshops, and self-study. This is a skill you can offer in tandem with other services when applicable to help companies expand their online reach, boost brand visibility, and drive sales.
  2. Graphic Design: Graphic design is an essential skill in marketing, advertising, and the creative industries. Many aspiring designers learn through online courses, YouTube tutorials, and practice. With a good eye for design, you can create visually appealing content for websites, social media, advertisements, and even print media.
  3. Data Analysis: Data is invaluable for businesses looking to make informed decisions. Learning data analysis tools such as Excel, SQL, or data visualization software can be done through online courses and resources. As a data analyst, you can work in various industries, helping organizations interpret data and make data-driven decisions.
  4. Content Creation and Writing: If you have a flair for writing, content creation offers numerous opportunities. Start a blog, freelance as a content writer, or create engaging videos on platforms like YouTube. With quality content, you can build an audience, collaborate with brands, and even monetize your online presence.
  5. Cybersecurity: With the rise of cyber threats, cybersecurity professionals are in high demand. You can acquire cybersecurity skills through online courses, certifications, and hands-on practice. As a cybersecurity specialist, you’ll protect organizations from cyberattacks and ensure the security of their digital assets.

The Bottom Line

Once you’ve acquired these in-demand skills, it’s essential to put them to use effectively in your career by creating an online portfolio ready to share, continue polishing up on your skills, and gaining certifications (if necessary). The modern job market democratizes many aspects of business and you can brush up on these in-demand skills without the need for a traditional college degree. You can leverage these skills to carve a successful and fulfilling career path in today’s dynamic workforce.

You Work Too Hard to Let This Cost Your Business

You Work Too Hard to Let This Cost Your Business 2560 1707 Alicia East

Most companies go to great lengths to set up ethical and legally sound practices for nearly every aspect of their business. They’ll have lawyers involved in their contracts and accountants monitoring every penny that passes through their channels. Still, there’s one area where we often see otherwise-diligent companies fall short because they mistakenly think it’s worth the risks: worker classification and compliance. We’ll talk about why it happens, why it could cost a business deals, and how to shore up this aspect of your business.

The Unjustifiable Cost of Inaction/Lax Compliance Policies

In short: because Business A was lax in its business practices, Large Company B was found guilty by association in the court of public opinion.

If you commit a compliance violation that lands your affiliates in hot water, it tarnishes all parties’ reputations and can deter top-tier clients and investors from doing business with you. Businesses that prioritize accurate worker classification and compliance practices demonstrate their commitment to ethical and legal practices, which can be a significant selling point. The big dogs don’t want to run with someone that could compromise their standing.

Engaging The Right Partners Protects You And Your Affiliates

For many companies, especially those that engage a contingent workforce, an Employer of Record (EOR) is a critical entity that helps manage employment-related responsibilities such as payroll, benefits, and tax withholding. An EOR takes on most of the risk of ensuring compliance with labor laws, tax regulations, and worker classification standards on their clients’ behalf. To secure top-tier clients and protect your reputation, your business should prioritize compliance and worker classification standards. Wouldn’t you rather know that your affiliates will be found “safe, sound and compliant by association” instead of guilty?

The Bottom Line

Taking care in how you approach hiring/paying workers and investing any necessary resources to make sure you’re compliant with applicable regulations protects all involved parties. Maintaining compliance and worker classification standards is not just a legal obligation, but a strategic advantage. As a fundamental element of long-term business success, accurate worker classification and compliant practices deserve every business’s attention. Have questions? We’re here for you!

Mastering the Art of Hybrid Events: A Guide

Mastering the Art of Hybrid Events: A Guide 2560 1707 Alicia East

When done well, hybrid events combine the best of both in-person and virtual experiences and can bridge geographical gaps, engage diverse audiences, and amplify your reach and impact. But of course we know they aren’t all done well. Have you ever attended a virtual event that was little more than a one-angle live stream? That’s just not effective. Orchestrating a successful hybrid event requires extra work up front because you are, in essence, planning two events. In order to make it worthwhile, you really do need to plan a custom experience to accommodate both virtual and in-person dynamics.

Here Are 8 Key Strategies For Producing an Effective Hybrid Event

Define Your Objective And Ask Yourself The Right Questions

Before you make any other decisions, you should clearly define your objectives and ask yourself the right questions. Your answers to these questions will guide the rest of your decision-making, so it’s worth taking the time to get it right. Consider whether you are aiming to increase brand visibility, foster networking, or deliver educational content. From there, you can address how long your sessions will run, how many sessions you will host per day, and whether you will you have different sessions for virtual versus in-person attendees. For example, will you be hosting an in-person networking session that virtual attendees won’t experience? You can also consider whether you want to offer on-site perks like exclusive networking events, face-to-face interactions, and hands-on activities.

Choose Your Technology

It may seem overwhelming to essentially plan two events, but your technology partner can help immensely. Invest in virtual event software that offers live streaming, interactive Q&A sessions, virtual exhibitor booths, and networking lounges. Ensure that the technology seamlessly integrates the two experiences and provides a user-friendly interface for both in-person attendees and virtual participants. The tech has evolved to meet this demand, so you’re in luck!

Design Your Content

This may seem like the logical place to start, but having your above considerations in place allows you to create captivating content that meets your objectives and also works from a technology standpoint.  Craft a well-balanced agenda that includes keynote speeches, panel discussions, workshops, and interactive sessions. Leverage technology to provide virtual participants access to real-time content, while also incorporating interactive elements such as polls, quizzes, and live chats. Encourage both audiences to submit questions and answer poll topics and provide outlets for them to interact with one another. Create opportunities for both in-person and virtual breakout sessions, so both have an opportunity to build community.

Tailor The Experience

A successful hybrid event hinges on catering to both in-person and virtual attendees and also integrating the two components. Ensure that the transition between the two is smooth by synchronizing schedules, coordinating speakers, and managing technical aspects effectively. Test all technology in advance to avoid any glitches during the event.

Provide Networking Opportunities

One of the best part of conferences and events is the networking and providing networking opportunities between both groups will be a major perk to your attendees. Facilitate networking by providing tools such as virtual meet-and-greets, and networking lounges. Encourage interactions among both groups, fostering connections that transcend physical boundaries.

Engage Virtual Participants

Keeping virtual participants engaged requires extra effort. Chances are, you’ve already attended something online where it was clear that the virtual experience was an afterthought. You might get something out of it, but there’s no doubt you could’ve gotten more if the virtual experience received equal consideration. Use techniques like gamification, live polls, and social media interactions to maintain virtual attendees’ attention and give them a worthwhile experience.

Consider Post-Event Engagement

Extend the impact of your hybrid event by maintaining engagement after it concludes. Provide on-demand access to event recordings, presentation materials, and other relevant resources. Encourage attendees to continue conversations on online platforms, fostering a sense of community that lasts beyond the event itself.

Gather Feedback and Analyze Data

Collect feedback from both in-person and virtual attendees to gain insights into their experiences. Analyze data on attendance, engagement, and interaction patterns to measure the success of different elements of your event. This information will be invaluable for refining your strategy for future hybrid events.

The Bottom Line

Your next hybrid event is a great opportunity to embrace the fusion of physical and digital realms. It can be a powerful tool for engagement, connectivity, and knowledge sharing. By setting clear objectives, leveraging technology, tailoring experiences, and prioritizing engagement, you can produce a hybrid event that maximizes its impact on both in-person and virtual attendees. The effort is worth it and one thing is for sure: When you wrap on a well-constructed hybrid event, you’ll earn any celebration you see fit and a good night’s sleep.

Three “Cheap” Things That Are Too Expensive (With Gifs)

Three “Cheap” Things That Are Too Expensive (With Gifs) 2560 2304 Alicia East

I love a good deal as much as any other Goodr-clad, middle-aged mom out there, but there are some cheap things I just won’t fork over any amount of money for. They just end up being too expensive.

Three “Cheap” Things That End up Being Too Expensive

High-Stakes Repairs: We recently had a leaky faucet. Since we’ve had a few basic YouTube-assisted home repairs under our belt, I stuck my head in the cabinets, and looked back and forth between the plumbing fixtures and the video. After multiple rounds of pausing and backing that thing up, I put the tools away and called the pros. If I’d carried on with my DIY repair, I ran the risk of doing more damage and ending up in the same place, but with a more expensive job. If the repair were lower stakes (i.e. not involving something like water or electricity), I might’ve endured a little longer. I’m just not gonna mess around with a repair that could turn our kitchen into a swimming pool or our house into the clock tower from Back to The Future. 

Low-Quality Products: I am very familiar with the allure of a deal, but it can be deceptive sometimes. For example, there’s a whole industry around fast fashion that is built to wear for Instagram one week and replace the next. But a little experience has served me well in this way and I’m much quicker to spend a premium for a product that will remain in my wardrobe for a few years and be the first I reach for every time I do laundry. That goes for clothes, home appliances, cars, and more. You’re just not gonna find me hanging out at many clearance racks anymore. They’re just too expensive.

One-Star Services: Have you ever hired the cheapest company and had to bring someone else in to redo the job when the work is subpar? I hear about it all the time. I don’t care how good the quality is of an iPhone camera, for example. If you don’t have a skilled operator behind it, you’re not going to get a professional-looking result. I promise you won’t be happy with the result if you hire an event videographer who has an expensive camera but puts as much care into their composition as your Aunt Janet puts into her Facebook posts. Sometimes, a premium service is worth setting aside the budget for. Counterintuitively, it could end up saving you money in the long run because you get it done right the first time.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that sometimes the “cheap” option turns out to be quite expensive after all. In what areas have you found this to be true? Do you agree with my top picks? What would you add to the list?

 

Here’s What Employers Are Responsible For During Record-Breaking Heat

Here’s What Employers Are Responsible For During Record-Breaking Heat 2560 1707 Alicia East

Early this week, a lightning storm caused a power outage in our area just as we were getting ready to eat dinner. We lit the candles, made a game of it with the kids, and tried to keep our refrigerator closed as much as possible. We endured a restless, sticky night without AC or fans and by morning, the novelty had worn off. We were just wishing hard for a hot cup of coffee and some refreshing air to flow through the vents. Our kids gave a big “Our lights can work!” celebration when we heard the devices ding and the HVAC system kick on around 8:15 AM.

It was a muggy morning from the nights’ storm and the temperatures were climbing. As I drove through my neighborhood shortly after, I was rerouted by the crew that had likely just fixed our power lines. They were working on the next downed line. They didn’t have the luxury of waiting for cooler temps. There were other families like ours, hoping the power would come back on before they were forced to make a random lunch of burgers, biscuits, and açaí bowls from their thawing freezers. I felt for them and it also made me hope the power company was taking its responsibility to protect them seriously.

Record-breaking heat waves are hitting Texas and beyond and there is just so much outdoor work that has to happen anyway. Unfortunately, heat-related illnesses are dangerous to all of us. It can land even the youngest and strongest members of that crew in the hospital with very little warning. If your company requires workers to be outdoors, you are responsible for providing adequate protections and preventing the conditions that cause heat stroke rather than only thinking about worker safety after something goes wrong.

As we head into the hottest months of summer, it’s a good time to talk about workplace safety. While your workers’ health is a good enough reason to take extra measures, addressing safety risks can also prevent fines and lawsuits.

Worker Safety in Extreme Heat

Protecting workers—especially those who spend extended time outdoors—requires a little extra forethought and attention. Staying compliant with OSHA’s guidelines on Occupational Heat Exposure prevents workers from getting preventable heat related illnesses. And of course that comes with a major bonus: keeping your workers from missing work and you from getting fined. Ensure worker safety so neither you nor your employees end up paying the price.

Proactive measures include getting all of your shade and hydration stations set up in the relative cool of the morning and instituting mandatory breaks with plenty of hydration. Stick to those breaks regardless of your schedule.

An on-site manager should be trained to monitor the heat index as well as the associated risks and to watch for and recognize symptoms of heat exhaustion. According to the Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration (OSHA), “Persons suffering from heat exhaustion might have cool, moist skin; sweat heavily; or complain of headache, nausea or lightheadedness.”

Bottom Line

I suspect the power company was getting a lot of calls and feeling the pressure of their consumers who’d endured a long night without power. Still, watching out for their workers’ safety has to be top priority. It’s not just about staying compliant with the letter of the law, but about truly doing right by the workers. Even if you can push them a little further to get the job done faster, it’s worth going above and beyond to provide a safe environment.

 

Waiting For Your Big Break? 3 Ways to be in Position For it.

Waiting For Your Big Break? 3 Ways to be in Position For it. 2560 1707 Alicia East

Jennifer Garner thought she was going to be a stage actor and only took her first TV role because she was flat broke. She also slept on a futon in some woman’s kitchen for 9 months while she was waiting (and working her tail off!) to hit her stride. She now has an IMDB page a mile long. You never know what will be your life’s best stepping stone. What you can do is be in position to take advantage of the breaks that come your way.

If you feel like you need a change or you’re looking for a career pivot, read on. Even if your current role isn’t everything you want it to be, it’s time to think differently about where you are now. It could be a stepping stone for where you want to be next. 

Three Ways to be in Position For Your Big Break:

1. See every role as a chance to sharpen your skills or try on different roles.

Jennifer Garner didn’t expect to become a screen actress, but taking a small TV role led her down the path that landed her in every American’s living room. Whether you’re just starting out and finding your way or you’re well established, but feeling a little stale, stay open minded.

Take each role you accept as a chance to get paid to figure out what you’re interested in and get some experience while you’re at it. As you go, you’ll find your lane. Then you can either keep running in that lane or take those finely-tuned skills to your next full-time job. Highly-skilled, well-rounded workers have a leg up on the competition.

2. Think of every role as a paid audition.

Even if you don’t land your dream job right away, anything that gets your foot in the door could end up being the story you tell of how you got your big break. If you love a business’s culture or brand, be open to a less desirable role and just see where it leads. You get to learn what you like with companies and people you enjoy and then have a built-in connection for future opportunities. If you do well enough on your “audition,” you’ll be in position for more work in the future. From there, it’s up to you to decide whether you want to accept an opportunity or keep working for yourself. The power is in your hands.

3. Make connections. 

Once you’ve shown yourself as a reliable, positive teammate, the world opens up. People talk about you and you organically build a robust network that includes both decision makers and people in related fields.

The Bottom Line

Many factors determine what career path is the right fit for your life. It’s rare you’ll start out in a dream role, but a not-so-great role may be exactly the thing that allows you to live the life you want to live. For others, one role might be the right thing, but only for a season. After a brief walk down one road, you may take all your experience and do a complete u-turn. Whether your current role is a stepping stone to your dream position or the long-term career path you didn’t even know you wanted, the best time to go for it is right now. 

Is Your Workplace Evolving? Get Back to Basics.

Is Your Workplace Evolving? Get Back to Basics. 2560 1707 Alicia East

In the movie Miracle, Coach Herb Brooks transforms a ragtag group of individuals from rival schools into the unlikely winners of an Olympic gold medal. During tryouts, many of the United States’ top hockey players made a show of their fancy skating. While some of the would-be Olympians hoped to be superstars, Coach Herb Brooks had something less glamorous in mind. He was building a team and picked the players he felt could come together and perform as such. He knew he would be going up against teams that had been playing together for years. He wouldn’t be able to compete in most aspects of the game. So he started with the basics: conditioning and building a team-oriented mindset. 

We’ve seen the workplace evolve as employees disperse to their home offices and fancy devices and face-to-face interactions yield to app-based means of communication. While we can’t predict all of the ways the workplace will continue to change, we know it will. Like our young, scrappy team from the 1980’s that went back to the basics, there are a few tried and true fundamental workplace principles that remain no matter what the changes bring.  A cohesive team will always have a team culture and effective communication. 

Whenever we get a little sideways or start to feel the distance growing between team members, divisions, and workers with various statuses, we can always come back to the basics and work on the human side of our business and shore up our communication as well. 

We’ve collected some resources for cohesively knitting teams with different structures. 

Taking Care of People/Team-building 

7 Ways to Make Employees Feel Respected

The Best Managers Are “Connectors”

Is Your Hybrid Team Losing Steam?

When Great Minds Don’t Think Alike

Fixing a Self-Sabotaging Team

Communication

Three Elements of Great Communication, According to Aristotle 

4 Distractions That Derail Meetings–And How to Handle Them

How to Design an Agenda For an Effective Meeting

Storytelling That Moves People

An Antidote to Microaggressions? Microvalidations. 

Bottom Line 

You can weather a lot of storms well if your foundation is solid. For a well-functioning business, that foundation is going to be built on taking care of your people and effective communication. What are your tried and true principles/tactics you always come back to?

Artificial Intelligence: The Month’s Top Headlines

Artificial Intelligence: The Month’s Top Headlines 2560 1920 Alicia East

There’s more to the AI conversation than the alarmist “It’s coming for your jobs” headlines. Fair warning: I did include one of those here, but there’s so much more to the story. Read on for a little intro for everything from the basics (i.e. what is it?) to the ethical concerns and how it’s affecting jobs, healthcare, and more.

AI in The News: Our Top Ten Picks

  1. Read this Washington Post article if you’re looking for an introduction to how AI works, the issues ethicists are wrestling with, and the companies leading the way in the recent AI boom.
  2. Read this Technology Review article if you’re looking for some positive news about how AI can be used to defend against Cybersecurity concerns.
  3. This Forbes article captures the alarmist “It’s Coming For Your Job” tone you’ve probably already seen. Be warned: it’s designed to make you feel a little unsettled about your future.
  4. But this one, also from Forbes, addresses AI’s limitations in hiring.
  5. This one, from the BBC, also approaches the topic with optimism, citing examples of people using the technology to advance their careers and creative processes.
  6. This article addresses AI from an investment standpoint.
  7. Read this one for news about “Apple’s Ambitions for AI.”
  8. The post addresses how AI affects Photoshop/Adobe.
  9. If you’re interested in how AI will affect healthcare, check out this post and this one.
  10. Read this for a taste of how lawmakers are thinking about addressing the legal concerns that come with this evolving technology.