Dallas Business Consultant Elijah ClarkDallas Business Consultant Elijah Clark

Organizational Stress: Positive or Negative?

I consider occupational stress negative and generated by a lack of productivity, which can be triggered in the work area by factors including disruptive technology, communication, and a competitive environment (Mitut, 2010). Stress is known to affect employees and employers’ ability to work efficiently (Mitut, 2010). Work overload, uncertainty of future employment, punishment, lack of feedback, and powerlessness are additional causes of stress and can lead to imbalances between employer and employee (Mitut, 2010; Selart, & Johansen, 2011).

Stressful organizational situations have a large negative impact particularly in situations that involve punishment and lack of rewards (Selart, & Johansen, 2011). Stress can cause decision makers to cut corners, become more prone to incidents, abuse, and deception (Selart, & Johansen, 2011). Several studies have connected stress to memory loss due to an increase in cortisol production. Moreover, employees can often respond to stress in a negative manner, and stress is known to lead to unethical decision making (Selart, & Johansen, 2011).

Data from a study conducted in 2003 by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions entitled “Working Conditions in the Acceding and Candidate Countries (Report)” explains that stress is the second largest health problem within work organizations, with 22% of organizational members reporting having been affected by occupational stress (Mitut, 2010).

The main causes of occupational stress according to Mitut (2010) are caused by:

  • Unstable conditions for work activity, which can cause job insecurity.
  • Dissatisfaction – common in crisis situations where job restructuring results in a higher level of stress.
  • Work hassle – dealing with situations that damage self-esteem and depression. Can be caused by violence and intimidation.
  • Imbalance of time – caused by work overload, which affects the time for personal desires and needs.
  • In addition to emotional stress, stress can generate high cost for an organizations (Mitut, 2010). Stress causes financial loss for organizations, as
  • well as absenteeism, decreased productivity, accidents, legal cost, medical expenses, and staff replacement (Mitut, 2010).

Organizational stress can be assessed by implementing stress management programs, which will teach employees techniques for preventing and coping with stressful situations (Mitut, 2010). Stress can be minimized by providing employees with roles that are clearly defined and encouraging communication between manager, employee and other departments (Mitut, 2010). Manager and employee meetings can also be implemented in order to discuss employee expectations, roles, and concerns. By promoting motivational strategies that influence esteem, security, social, and self-achievement, organizational members could feel less stressful within the work environment (Mitut, 2010).

I often experience organizational stress throughout my normal workday as a marketing consultant. However, I consider stress to be a normal part of my job and I have been able to adjust easily by simply taking a time-out. By putting the stressful task aside and doing some mental problem-solving, I tend to find solutions to my problems and release the stress by taking a break. A break could either be a walk outside to get fresh air, a nap, or simply getting away from my desk and pacing in my office. The goal for me is to remove stress by occupying my time and doing something other than the stressful task. In addition, I use similar techniques when dealing with stressful clients, outsourced workers, and businesses.

Success of an organizational depends on not disturbing occupational stresses that can create frustrations, low motivations, personal conflicts, dissatisfaction, and a drop in productivity (Mitut, 2010). The manager is responsible for reducing the effects of stress and creating an organization that is efficient and stress-free, and that focuses on maintaining and building the organizations performance (Mitut, 2010). As a manager, my role would be crucial in preventing stress. To properly control the climate of the organization, I would try to seek relationships with employees in order to better understand their personal stressors and work capabilities. It would be my responsibility to remain with a positive attitude and be a motivational influence to the employees. Being able to control the climate, I would need to create jobs that are compatible with employees and prevent work overload (Mitut, 2010).
Credits

Selart, M., & Johansen, S. (2011). Ethical Decision Making in Organizations: The Role of Leadership Stress. Journal Of Business Ethics, 99(2), 129-143. doi:10.1007/s10551-010-0649-0

Mitut, I. (2010). Managerial investment on organizational stress. Romanian Economic and Business Review, 5(3), 89–99. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1150119513?accountid=14872

Leader-Member Exchange

Leader-member exchange is when a relationship is created between task behavior and relationship behavior (Graeff, 1997). Leader-member exchange originates from research and literature on transformational leadership. The formalization of the Leader-member Exchange theory stems from “Vertical Dyad Linkage (VDL), a notion developed by Dansereau, Graen, and Haga in 1975, with their paper, “A Vertical Dyad approach to leadership within formal organizations”  (Avolio, Walumbwa, & Weber, 2009). Leader-member exchange theory asserts that relationships between leader and follower will likely motivate followers to commit to organizations and leaders’ goals. This type of leadership is said to potentially elevate knowledge sharing between leader and follower. Leader-member exchange and knowledge sharing are considered to be positively linked with creative work involvement. In business, employees tend to enjoy a leader-member exchange relationship with high-quality. This type of leadership allows employees to engage in open and creative work processes and encourages climate perceptions (Hassanzadeh, 2014). A leader-member exchange relationship requires both leader and follower to agree and accept shared goals that will fulfill mutual interest (Graen, & Uhl-Bien, 1995; Hassanzadeh, 2014).

Leader-member exchange theory focuses on the relationship between the leader and follower (Northouse, 2013). The theory is that followers and leaders develop exchange relationships that positively alter the impact of organizational outcomes. A leader-member exchange occurs when leaders and followers develop a relationship that results in mutual interest being satisfied (Avolio, Walumbwa, & Weber, 2009). Within organizations, there are considered hierarchy’s labeled as in-group and out-groups. The groups are determined by how well the leader and follower work together. Followers that are favored by the leader are placed into the in-group, and followers that are not favored by the leader our placed within the out-group. To become favored, the follower must express their organizational dedication to the leader by exchanging activities that go beyond the normal job description (Northouse, 2013, p. 163). A leader-member exchange relationship is not designed to intentionally create inequalities. However, the style and favor system has created a questionable situation. (Northouse, 2013, p. 171)

Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook Leadership

The purpose of this post was to examine the leadership style of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Media sources were extracted as resources for uncovering how Mark Zuckerberg’s leadership style has an effect on the company’s success and employee satisfaction. The blog further examines Facebook employees by including interviews with current and former Facebook employees. As a transformational leader, Mark Zuckerberg has learned from his mistakes, takes risks, and has grown his company as a visionary leader. Through determination, self-awareness, and by the help of mentor’s, Mark Zuckerberg has been placed on the top 10 CEOs list and has built the most popular social network in the world.

Uncovering Leadership Styles

Transactional leaders focus on maintaining normal workflow of operations. These types of leaders will use disciplinary powers, awards, and an array of incentives to motivate employees to perform their best. These leaders are focused on satisfying quotas on a day-to-day basis. Transformational leaders tend to go beyond the normal day-to-day and focus mainly on creating a solid team of employees by promoting team building. Transformational leaders motivate their employees through setting goals, implementing incentives, and providing opportunities for personal and professional growth (Northouse, 2013). Mark Zuckerberg embodies the characteristics of a transformational leader. He is known as being a motivator who inspires his staff of employees with a clear vision of the company’s future. He further defines the steps necessary to achieve such goals needed. His ideas are disruptive, and his confidence, courage, and vigor makes him a transformational leader that employees relish following (Duggan, 2014).

Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg was born in 1984, in White Plains, New York. His father was a dentist, his mother was a psychiatrist, and he has three sisters. During his sophomore year at Harvard University, Zuckerberg dropped out of college to focus on a social network that he created called Facebook. The company setup their first offices in 2004, during which Zuckerberg had turned down major offers from corporations interested in buying his project. Zuckerberg later explained that the reason he did not sell his company was that he was not interested in the money, but motivated by his passion to produce an open information flow for people with his social network. With the guidance of Apple Inc.’s founder, Steve Jobs, Zuckerberg put together a management team that focused on building Facebook into a high quality business. Zuckerberg is known to have a goal-oriented mindset and is fully focused on leading his team to produce the best social media platform in the world. Today, Mark Zuckerberg is the youngest billionaire on earth and Chairman/CEO of the world’s most popular website, Facebook (Woolley, 2014).

Facebook Environment

At its headquarters in MenloPark, California, each Friday Facebook holds a question and answer session for its employees and users. This forum is as open discussion where Zuckerberg is known for sharing his personal thoughts on the company’s direction. Interns at Facebook, typically make $67,000 yearly, which is $25,000 more than the average U.S. citizen. On a yearly basis, the company puts together a birthday bash for its employees where everyone is given a present for their birthday that took place in that year. The café at facebook offers employees gourmet meals within a setting designed by a team that built a four-star hotel in New York. The Facebook work environment also includes an on-site doctor, chiropractor, and physical therapist. It includes vending machines stocked with computer accessories where users can swipe their identification card and get items such as a new computer charger, batter pack, or keyboard. Once a year, Facebook rents a local park and allows their entire office staff to play games such as dodgeball, kickball, and soccer. In the Facebook work environment, employee comfort and happiness is paramount. Facebook believes that if its employees are comfortable and happy, then they will be more productive (Smith, 2013).

According to an employee study done by Glassdoor (2014), Mark Zuckerberg is rated as number 10 on a list of top 50 CEO’s to work for. Glassdoor is a website were employees voluntarily go to post ratings and reviews on their employer’s and companies in which they work for. Based on the question, “Do you approve of the way this person is handling the job of leading this company?” Facebook employees approved of Mark Zuckerberg’s leadership on an average of 93% out of 100%. The results were calculated based on the ratings between the months of February 2013 and January 2014.

 Working for Mark Zuckerberg

The interview process at Facebook is designed to select employees that fit the culture of the company. Once hired, the employees must learn fast and complete intensive training courses on coding, and hacking. Employees, are not assigned projects, but are allowed to choose the projects in which they are most interested. This method of leadership gives the employees power, courage, and freedom to choose their action of success. Zuckerberg believes that great people who work with clear direction can produce positive results. He believes that employees should be hired based on their passion and not their skillset. He explains that, “skills can be taught, passion can’t,” (Walter, ).

According to Yishan Wong, a former employee at Facebook, as a boss, Zuckerberg began as being cutthroat, and sometimes awkward. His leadership style eventually matured through the five years while Wong was employed with the company between 2005 and 2010. Wong explained that Zuckerberg expected debate, wasn’t sentimental, and he pushed people beyond what they thought was possible of themselves. Wong further explained that in working for Facebook, you must be self-motivated, confident, emotionally secure, and willing to accept the challenges (Carlson, 2012).

To help with building his leadership style, Zuckerberg sought-out mentors, who eventually helped him create a clear vision for his company (Samson, 2013). Andrew Bosworth, a current software engineer at facebook, described Zuckerberg’s leadership as fearless, tireless, and challenging, but with good reason. The results of his leadership, expose unthinkable talent within the employees (Bosworth, 2010). As described in Belscher (2012), Zuckerberg’s leadership style can be considered demanding, aggressive, and encouraging to employees.

Conclusion

Zuckerberg’s transformational leadership style continues to move Facebook to a promising future. He has flourished as a leader and he understands and motivates continued growth within his company (Namin-Hedayati, 2014). Mark Zuckerberg is known as an entrepreneur, programmer, and philanthropist. His transformational leadership style can be described as aggressive, demanding, innovative, and encouraging. As a leader who appreciates friendly debates, he grants his employees opportunities to offer product improvements and suggestions for Facebook (AdviseAmerica, 2014). Zuckerberg understands and admits that he has made many mistakes within his company, but as a transformational leader, he strives to turn those mistakes into growth opportunities (Rasing, 2011).

 

Credits

AdviseAmerica. (2014, May 27). Mark Zuckerberg Leadership Style. Retrieved November 6, 2014, from http://www.adviseamerica.com/mark-zuckerberg-leadership-style/

Belscher, B. (2012, December 29). The Management Style of Mark Zuckerberg. Retrieved November 6, 2014, from http://stylemeceo.wordpress.com/2012/12/29/the-management-style-of-mark-zukerberg/

Bosworth, A. (2010, March 4). Working with Zuck. Retrieved November 6, 2014, from facebook.com/note.php?note_id=339013388919

Carlson, N. (2012, January 25). Confessions of a Facebook employee: What It’s Really Like Working For Zuckerberg. Retrieved November 7, 2014, from http://www.businessinsider.com/confessions-of-a-facebook-employee-what-its-really-like-working-for-zuckerberg-2012-1

Duggan, T. (2014, May 23). Transformational Leadership Examples in Business. Retrieved November 6, 2014, from http://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/transformational-leadership-examples-business-4571.html

Glassdoor. (2014, January 1). 50 Highest Rated CEOs. Retrieved November 9, 2014, from http://www.glassdoor.com/50-Highest-Rated-CEOs-LST_KQ0,21.htm

Namin-Hedayati, F. (2014, March 5). Mark Zuckerberg’s Leadership Qualities. Retrieved November 7, 2014, from http://www.centerforworklife.com/mark-zuckerbergs-leadership-qualities/

Northouse, P. G. (2013). Leadership: Theory and practice (6th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Rasing, M. (2011, March 8). Mark Zuckerberg: Transformational Leadership in Action. Retrieved November 6, 2014, from http://ezinearticles.com/?Mark-Zuckerberg:-Transformational-Leadership-in-Action&id=6053695

Samson, N. (2013, November 7). 6 Leadership Lessons from Mark Zuckerberg. Retrieved November 7, 2014, from http://www.mensxp.com/work-life/leadership/21016-6-leadership-lessons-from-mark-zuckerberg.html

Smith, K. (2013, April 18). This Is What Life Is Actually Like Working For Facebook. Retrieved November 5, 2014, from http://www.businessinsider.com/what-its-like-to-work-at-facebook-2013-4

Walter, E. (2014, May 14). How to Lead Like Zuck. Retrieved November 6, 2014, from http://www.inc.com/ekaterina-walter/as-zuckerberg-turns-30-leadership-lessons.html

Wei Xi, S. (2013, July 4). Mark Elliot Zuckerberg. Retrieved November 6, 2014, from http://greatmindgreatleaders.wordpress.com/2013/07/04/mark-zuckerberg/

Woolley, P. (2014, January 1). Why We Desperately Need More CEOs Like Zuckerberg | Leadership Principles. Retrieved November 5, 2014, from http://socialleadershipdevelopment.com/leadership-qualities-1/mark-zuckerberg-ce

Management and Leadership: Defining the Relationship

The functions of management are planning, organizing, leading, and controlling (Lopez, 2014). Management is about coping with complexity. Good management brings a degree of order and consistency. Leadership, by contrast, is about coping with change (Kotter, 2001). Leadership is a behavior that predicts the attitude of the leader when facing a given situation. Leaders are individuals who are visionary and able to influence and motivate others (Lopez, 2014). Exhibiting leadership means not only influencing others but also doing so in a manner that enables the organization to attain its goals (Vroom & Jago, 2007). Managing and leading organizations effectively takes more than meaning well and supporting only popular causes.

Church (2014), ask the question of whether or not leaders can be developed or is their leadership a given natural trait. A traditional organizational development answer to this question might be that everyone has potential and that all employees deserve and need development. According to Kotter (2001), leaders can be developed from current employees with leadership potential. A successful business will understand and recognize employees with leadership abilities and should dedicate current leaders the responsibility of building the future leaders. Through careful selection, nurturing, and encouragement, dozens of people can play important leadership roles in a business organization. Organizational effectiveness is often taken as a strong indication of effective leadership (Vroom & Jago, 2007).

Leadership and management are two distinctive and complementary systems of action. Each has its own function and characteristic activities. Both are necessary for success in an increasingly complex and volatile business environment (Kotter, 2001). Of course, not everyone can be good at both leading and managing. Some people have the capacity to become excellent managers but not strong leaders. Others have great leadership potential but, for a variety of reasons, have great difficulty becoming strong managers. Not everyone has the potential to be both a leader and manager. Each must have the potential or capacity to influence others and be able to make the right decision and ensuring that they are completed (Vroom & Jago, 2007; Kotter, 2001).

 

Credits

Vroom, V. H., & Jago, A. G. (2007). The role of the situation in leadership. American Psychologist, 62(1), 17–24.

Kotter, J. P. (2001). What leaders really do. Harvard Business Review, 79(11), 85–96.

Church, A. H. (2014). What Do We Know About Developing Leadership Potential?. OD Practitioner, 46(3), 52-61. Retrieved from Walden Library databases.

Lopez, R. (2014). The Relationship between Leadership and Management: Instructional Approaches and its Connections to Organizational Growth. Journal Of Business Studies Quarterly, 6(1), 98-112. Retrieved from Walden Library databases.

Managing a Product-Harm Crisis

A crisis management is the method in which a person or business handles an emergency situation. In business, a crisis can be anything from having to recall a defective product or dealing with an economic change that causes a drop in sales and brand trust. Within this article I will attempt to examine a product-harm crisis and how management can affect whether or not the company can recover once a crisis happens.

Having the ability to understand and react promptly when a crisis arises is vital for maintaining a businesses market share, trust, and reputation. Improperly managing a crisis can have the potential to damage carefully developed equity, and spoil consumers’ quality perception (Chen, Ganesan, & Liu, 2009). When dealing with a crisis, all companies need to be involved in the recover and rebuilding process. To properly manage a product crisis, the company must be prepared to do so. Without preparation, time, finances, and consumer trust will likely have negative impacts. In order to sustain reputation, and prevent a major financial loss, the company must react promptly, honestly, and clearly. I will address what a product-harm crisis is and how to manage it effectively.

A Proactive Strategy

Chen, Ganesan, and Liu (2009) explains that a product harm crisis and recalls have the potential to damage a company’s brand, spoil consumer perception, and ruin a company’s reputation along with cause market share losses. During a 12-year study, it was discovered that a proactive product-recall strategy could likely hurt a company financially more than a passive recall strategy. This is because the tools used by financial market and investors will predict a likely fall in value. This differs from research done by Vassilikopoulou (2009), which explains that there is a sensitivity of dealing with recalls. Being proactive, honest, and financially strategic on resolving the recall is paramount for success. Vassilikopoulou (2009) further stated that a product-harm crisis can impact a company’s sustainability. Ranking factors and relative importance do have an influence during a product-harm crisis. Understanding the likelihood of a crisis could also help create a more accurate crisis management plan. The article explains that corporate social responsibility, organizational response, time and external effects are crucial in managing a crisis. While there may be only a small chance of a crisis occurring, all employees and managers should be prepared and ready to effectively respond if needed.

Maintaining Consumer Trust

In the case of the Fitbit Force, a wrist-worn product that tracks fitness activity. After the launch of it’s new product, 1.7% of more than 100 million users began developing skin rashes where the device was being worn. CEO James Park, responded almost immediately to the news, delivering an apology and product recall with a full refund for all of the devices. Later test results showed that users were likely experiencing allergic contact dermatitis, which is when an itchy rash is caused by a substance that comes into contact with your skin (“Contact Dermatitis,”, 2014). The likely cause for the rash was users not properly cleansing the area beneath the all-day worn device and their skin. The Fitbit company could have easily blamed the rash on user error, but instead decided to take full responsibility and issue a recall. Instead of dealing with a consumer backlash because of their lack of responsiveness, the company continues to do well and consumer trust was sustained.

On the other end, there was the Kryptonite bicycle lock crisis in 2004. After an Internet video surfaced of a user hacking the well-respected company’s lock, many more videos and complaints began forming. The videos showed that the lock could be easily unlocked by jamming it with a plastic pen. Krytonite eventually did address the situation weeks later with a product recall and explained that the issue dealt with all types of cylinder locks including those associated with vending machines and some automobile ignitions. Because of the extended time for the company to respond, media and consumers had been staining the company’s brand for days. This eventually led to consumer trust being lost. Beyond the cost of the recall, millions of dollars had been spent in order to rebuild the company’s reputation.

The Consumer Relationships

Yannopoulu, Koronis, and Elliot (2011) examined more than the brands’ reputation and timeliness, they also examined consumers’ trust during a brand crisis. Yannopoulu et al. explained that dealing with a crisis is focused around brand trust and risk. A crisis should be maintained through a direct experience like that of Fitbit where users received an email from the CEO about the recall, versus mass social media. Conducting and analyzing 22 in-depth interviews and content analysis that explored consumers’ experiences throughout a crisis concluded these results. The key finding is that media outlets and third parties can either preserve or damage consumer to brand trust. Relationship and brand trust are essential during a crisis and companies cannot afford to neglect media aspects if they want to retain customers. Cornelia and Mihaela, (2011) agree that relationships are important and marketing strategies should focus on consumers’ proximity to customers, needs, and their interaction. In addition, the company should remain close to the customer, remain adaptive and present a human and friendly language. According to Cornelia and Mihaela (2011), marketing may be just the solution for many companies to get out of the crisis.

Conclusion

Research has indicated that a proactive strategy may have positive consequences on consumer perception if the crisis is responded to with a constant, active, and firm response (Chen, 2009). The business affected should respond quickly to the crisis and should focus their attention on building and strengthening consumer trust. During a crisis, marketing strategies should be analyzed and focus on resonating emotionally with the consumer through a human, friendly language (Cornelia & Mihaela, 2011). Without proactively managing the crisis, the risk of negative impact rises. The challenge of a crisis is how the information is used once the company receives it. If the company chooses to take the lead and get out in front of the negativity or potential negativity, then they can manage some level of control. To successfully manage a business crisis, the company’s voice must become the trusted channel of information.

 

Credits

Chen, Y, Ganesan, S., & Liu, Y. (2009). Does a firm’s product-recall strategy affect its financial value? An examination of strategic alternatives during product-harm crises. Journal of Marketing, 73(6), 214–226.

Vassilikopoulou, A., Lepetsos, A., Siomkos, G., &.Chatzipanagiotou, K. (2009). The importance

of factors influencing product-harm crisis management across different crisis extent levels: A conjoint analysis. Journal of Targeting, Measurement, and Analysis for Marketing, 17(1), 65–74.

Yannopoulu, N., Koronis, E., & Elliot, R. (2011). Media amplification of a brand crisis and its effects on brand trust. Journal of Marketing Management, 27(5/6), 539–546.

Cornelia, M., & Mihaela, B. (2011). About the crisis marketing and the crisis of marketing. Journal Of Academic Research In Economics, 3(3), 311-316.

Contact Dermatitis. (2014, July 16). Retrieved October 7, 2014, from

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/contact-dermatitis/basics/definition/con-20032048

Backlinking

To help build the authority and rank of your website, you should establish quality backlinks on niche websites, and not just broad or directory websites. By including links on sites relevant to your own, you will positively help your website ranking and attract new customers. In addition to niche websites, your backlinks should include sites with a high page rank. Link building strategies can easily come from participating in blogs, online forums, and local event groups. When placing a backlink on these sites, you should utilize unique keywords and descriptive anchor text. Another option to find credible backlinks is to search your competitors’ link groupings. A link grouping is a page on the internet from which all, or most, of your competitors get incoming links. By searching your targeted keywords, common backlinks of your competitors can be located. Once these backlinks are identified, you should visit and include your website link on these websites if possible. If these websites are a relevant niche to your business, it should produce favorable results.

Relationship Marketing

Strong customer relationships are essential for your business if you desire to increase sales and generate a positive brand reputation. Customers frequently recognize their relationships with businesses similar to personal connections. In analyzing whether customers looking for relationships with businesses actually desired a genuine personal relationship with the business, it was found that a majority of business-to-customer (B2C) relationships were inauthentic when contrasted with genuine person-to-person relationships.[1]

The foundation of relationship marketing includes four essential elements of relationships that include commitment, trust, comprehension, and quality. In an examination of 306 online surveys, researchers confirmed that each of the four elements of relationships influenced customer loyalty. Nevertheless, the customer’s perception and comprehension of quality and value influenced the relationship and purchase intentions. [2]

As a business, you need to identify your target customers by analyzing their lifestyles, psychographics, income, spending capabilities, and mentalities so that you may offer them relevant products and services. For example, knowing that individuals from lower income groups would never be interested in, or have the means to buy, expensive and luxurious products is beneficial in that it allows your business to focus its attention on the likely buyers of your product or service. Trying to sell a Mercedes or a luxury watch to someone who finds it difficult to make ends meet would definitely be a disastrous marketing technique.

 

[1] Bettencourt, L. A., Blocker, C. P., Houston, M. B., & Flint, D. J. (2015). Rethinking customer relationships. Business Horizons, 58, 99-108. doi:10.1016/j.bushor.2014.09.003

[2] Jussila, J. J., Kärkkäinen, H., & Aramo-Immonen, H. (2014). Social media utilization in business-to-business relationships of technology industry firms. Computers in Human Behavior, 30, 606-613. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2013.07.047

Website influence

A website gives your business the opportunity for exposure 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. There is no other medium that allows consumers to discover all of the benefits of your business, at their convenience, and provide a source for direct correspondence from the user to you in real time. The benefits of a website are limitless.

Building Process. When building a website, make certain that you design the site for your customer and not for you or the graphic artist or designer. Design for the individuals that will use the site. By building for your customers, it allows you to target who is actually going to be viewing, and hopefully purchasing, from the website. Don’t design for looks, but for a purpose. If customers don’t like the colors then, no matter what you or your designer may think, those colors need to be changed. When building a website, you need to focus on attracting your target audience and making the site user-friendly.

A properly built website requires an effective title and meta tags, incoming links, and a strong architectural design. In addition, you should implement social media strategies through the use of proper link baiting, keywords, and creating a pay-per click campaign that will increase customer conversions.

A strategy that I have found to work well in improving website conversions includes adding an online blog or newsgroup. This method has shown to be a positive step in influencing conversions as well as conversations. In addition, it helps to generate a higher domain authority when utilizing unique content which can benefit the site’s ranking within search engines. Furthermore, blogs and news updates elevate customer satisfaction and attract traffic to your website.

Another question that should be asked when building your website is, “Does my website compete with my competitors?” and “Does it target my desired customer group?” If you don’t have your website built by a designer who understands your industry, then the answers are likely to be, “No.” Your website needs to represent you and your business. If it looks cheap, so will your business. If you try to cut corners, your customers will know. It’s better to have no website at all than a badly designed, poorly built website that doesn’t represent your business in a positive light, doesn’t serve the needs of your customers, and doesn’t drive traffic.

Resources for Understanding Occupational/Organizational Stress

Stafyla, A., Kaltsidou, G., & Spyridis, N. (2013). Gender differences in work stress, related to organizational conflicts and organizational constrains: An empirical research. International Journal Of Economic Sciences & Applied Research, 6(1), 91-101.

The author of this study explains that stress is normal and routine within workplaces. The study was conducted of 231 Greek adults within different workplaces, using a poll research to collect data. The average age of the 231 volunteer Greek adults was 37.5 years. 94 respondents were men, and 137 were women. The study was done to examine ways in which different gender types witness stress. The test employees completed a questionnaire with two different scales of measurement that consisted of 15 questions. The results of the study found that men express stress differently than women. Men express work stress in an organization constraint scale and not just interpersonal. Men are involved in more disagreements and treated with rudeness more often than women. In addition, men have a more difficult time completing work task due to incorrect instructions, inadequate equipment, or lack of information. Based on this information, the author concludes that how organizations function may be the differentiator between genders and how they express stress.

Considering the study was conducted during an economic crisis, it may have been best if the study were not completed within the workplace as there may have been increased fear and stress of a layoff. Another limitation to this study was that there was a lack of questionnaire validation of the American translation into Greek. In addition, the study was not conducted by analyzing workplace satisfaction and workplace stress or by considering work ethic, reward, and whether or not employees were regarded for their efforts. Monitoring the work ethic would help in understanding individual responses to work demands and organization attachments, aspirations, dedications, and expectations. The study failed to include information for understanding the femininity and masculinity type of individuals outside of gender. The study should be examined again in the future considering these setbacks.
The authors’ findings could be beneficial in understanding and reacting to different gender types within organizations. Based on similar stress studies, this study is unique in identifying gender-specific stressors and concerns. The research can be useful in understanding welfare issues and stress prevention. Considering men and women are naturally different in nature, this study was successful in identifying whether or not their differences would affect their stress levels in the workplace. A future study could further analyze gender stress within an organization by including the relationship between workplace satisfaction and stress levels.

 

Mirela, B., & Madalina-Adriana, C. (2011). Organizational stress and its impact on work performance. Annals Of The University Of Oradea, Economic Science Series, 333-337.

This study examines how an economic crisis affects managers and entrepreneurs’ stress levels. The author explains that work related stress is a growing concern, and excessive stress can influence productivity. The study included Romanian managers and entrepreneurs from Bihor County. The research method used was an online questionnaire, which included 75 managers and entrepreneurs. 40% of the respondents were entrepreneurs, and 60% were managers at all levels. In addition, 40% of the respondents were women and 60% were men. Ages ranged between 18 – 64 years with 73% of the respondents being within the 18 – 24 age range. Each participant answered 35 structured questions about stress. The conclusion of the study was that organizational stress is produced by a multitude of outside influences including social status, family, relationships, and personal problems. 85% of the respondents considered work to be the main factor in their stress lives.

The study can be used to develop professional skills of managers and entrepreneurs. By promoting their skills, leaders can be prepared to adapt to new technologies in the organization. The study failed to examine the social status, education, and family matters of the respondents. The study also did not mention the work environment, whether or not the work was fast or slow paced, external stress factors, how the respondents interact with one another, or how the respondents perceived stress and their work task. Knowing this information would show how different situations influence respondent’s perception of stress in their organization.

The authors did consider many factors during their study, and the results were informative in highlighting how common stress is within organizations. Moreover, the results were impressive at presenting the number of respondents who came to the realization that they had no measure of combating their stress. By further demographically segmenting users, the study would show better results that could be filtered by the respondent’s social status and personal stress factors. The study was successful at examining stress from a different perspective of leadership type versus employee outlook. Considering leaders have different stressors than employees, this information can be useful in creating or improving leaders’ health and satisfaction within the workplace.

 

Yong, M., Nasterlack, M., Pluto, R., Lang, S., & Oberlinner, C. (2013). Occupational stress perception and its potential impact on work ability. Work, 46(3), 347-354. doi:10.3233/WOR-121556

The study was conducted to examine perceived employee stress levels with different occupations measured by the Work Ability Index (WAI). The study was done to investigate the impact of stress and workability. The study was completed through a survey questionnaire among 867 volunteer participants in Ludwigshafen, Germany. 653 of the participants completed the 38 close-ended questionnaires, which included questions directed at the individuals perception of safety in the workplace, health status, frequency of stress, job demands, time pressure, and work life balance. The study showed that occupational stress was perceived different within occupational groups. While some participants felt stress from health concerns, others felt stress tension from time pressure, and work life balance. Perceived occupational stress did show to have an impact on WAI.

A concern with the study is that the demographics of the users may have had an influence on the results. Among the 653 workers included in the analysis, 11% were managers, 39% skilled worked and 50% frontline operators. 80% of the managers and professionals were 40 and over in age, and only 20% were women in administration and 10% in management. Combined with additional studies, the results have been inconclusive, and this may be attributed to the employee’s occupational status. The study failed to mention the hours worked by respondents, the social status, lifestyle, or if they had health issues that may influence the results. Considering the study was given to only volunteers, rather than random selection, the results were likely not as effective or reliable.

The authors are experienced leaders and educators with previously published work on a similar organizational stress subject that focuses on occupational stress perception and its impact on employee’s health. The research and study done by the authors did present good material, particularly in examining the respondent’s perception of stress. However, without properly examining the lifestyle, and social status of the respondents, it would be difficult to validate the points within this study. Nonetheless, because of the vast number of respondents, the study was successful with comparing personal pressures, and perception of the respondents to organizational stress.

Sell what sells

Give them what they want

As a business, you need to focus your marketing campaigns on what generates sales. The best campaigns are those that influence product purchases. If consumers dislike the campaign, but it sells products better than favored campaigns, then the advertisement would be considered a success.

The goal of any campaign is to generate sales. The ideal campaign should build trust, influence sales, and generate brand awareness. Your business should target and adapt your marketing strategies to focus on what consumers want and will purchase. The consumer is the ultimate power broker within any organization.

Your business should structure its marketing efforts on identifying and meeting the consumers’ individual needs. Those needs must be met within all aspects of the business, including price, customer support, and overall value.

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