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Is the Mental Wellbeing of Staff a CEO’s Responsibility? 

global trade mental health

Is the Mental Wellbeing of Staff a CEO’s Responsibility? 

It’s no secret that mental health issues are on the rise around the world, with one out of every two people in the world developing a mental health disorder in their lifetime. 

As taboos surrounding mental illness break down and the way we live grows ever more digital, it’s expected that the number of cases being reported isn’t going to slow down soon. 

With over 200 centers focused on burnout treatment in the US and many more across the globe, workplace burnout has been added to the list of mental health concerns for global business owners. 

Employers are now being looked to for answers but, as the CEO of a global business, is it your responsibility to look out for the wellbeing of your staff, or should personal lives stay personal?

Is staff mental health a CEO’s responsibility?

In all circumstances, the answer to whether or not a CEO should take responsibility for their staff’s wellbeing is a resounding yes. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you’re taking the blame for their mental illness or even confirming that the workplace is a contributing factor. 

What it does mean is that it’s your responsibility to do what you can to ease the impact of such mental health conditions and provide the right support when they’re at work.

Staff expect mental health support

Over 80% of workers said that they consider mental health support important when looking for a job and will actively seek positions where wellbeing is prioritized.

If you’re looking to hire top talent at your company, you need to have their mental health in mind. However, despite demand, work environments are the cause of a huge number of mental health problems and can exacerbate existing illnesses. Discrimination, electronic monitoring, and stress all contribute to poor wellbeing, and it’s up to you, as the CEO, to address these issues. 

Read also: Everything You Need to Know About Tech Recruiting Platforms

The demand for mental health support is set to increase, too, since Gen Z has entered the workforce. This generation ranks company values second only to pay when looking for a job and is more open and accepting of mental illness than any generation preceding them. As CEO, if wellbeing support isn’t fundamental to your workplace culture, your younger team members might be more inclined to vocalize that change is needed!

People are your company’s biggest asset

People are the most crucial resource that your organization has. Without staff, your processes halt leaving your clients unserviced and dissatisfied. 

Employees can make or break an organization, and providing the support they need to feel mentally well will directly affect the success of your business. Aside from the ethical reasons for supporting your staff, the threat of not looking after them should be motivation enough to create a strategy. 

What are the risks of not supporting your staff?

The more people struggling with mental illness, the more likely you are to see staff shortages and absences, along with decreased productivity and engagement. There could also be problems between staff, with increased emotions leading to arguments and team dynamic issues.

In worst-case scenarios, you may lose members of your team. When they realize that going to work puts their mental wellbeing at risk, they’re far likelier to resign without another job lined up. In fact, 1 in 4 employees has left their job due to mental health, showing just how impactful it can be. 

When word about your lack of mental health support gets out through word-of-mouth, you’ll struggle to hire new staff. Talented, experienced individuals simply won’t interview for a company that doesn’t value their health, leaving you with an incomplete team and skill gaps that can’t be filled.

Finally, you’re putting the lives of people at risk. Mental illnesses are complex and if the environment you’ve created is worsening someone’s illness, there can be a permanent impact on the individual’s life.

As CEO, that should be enough for you to take responsibility for your staff’s wellbeing whilst in your workplace.

Create a mental health support strategy

Once you’ve decided to take action on mental illness in your business, start by educating yourself. Understand how to spot the signs of different mental health issues, what they entail for the individual, and how you can help. 

Read also: 3 Steps Companies Can Take To Improve Mental Health In The Workplace

This training should involve your senior leadership team, too, and if possible be company-wide. The more people on board with your wellness strategy, the better results you’ll see from the wider organization.

Let your staff know that you’re available to talk, too. If they do come to you, listen to them and be ready to provide actionable support. This could include:

  • Offer a flexible work plan.
  • Adjust their workload and redistribute elsewhere.
  • Provide access to a qualified list of therapists or mental health treatment centers.
  • Giving them time off work where needed.

Sometimes, simply showing that you understand and won’t discriminate against them if they need to take time to focus on their wellbeing is enough to make a difference. 

It’s also important to lead by example. Show good well-being practices by not working too late, not replying to emails when at home, and being open about any self care practices you do. If you’ve had any experiences with mental illness yourself that you feel comfortable sharing, do so. Being open will make staff more comfortable coming to you and being honest about their own struggles, which is essential if you want to help them.

Final words

As CEO, there’s no doubt that the mental well-being of your staff whilst at work is your responsibility. This article should have shone a light on why it’s so important and given you some tips to start providing support. Just remember to educate yourself, be ready to listen, and always lead by example. 

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How Can Small Businesses Streamline Global Shipping Processes?

The international shipping process has faced a number of disruptions over the past few years, with political issues affecting the ease of moving goods around the world. But, just because sending products abroad is a little trickier doesn’t mean it’s impossible. 

Small businesses can maintain streamlined global shipping and build a multi-national brand, using smart logistics to make the process simpler.

Optimize your global operations with these tips for efficient overseas deliveries.

Understanding the Difficulties

Before looking into how you optimize global shipping for small businesses, it’s a good idea to get to grips with current situations that are making it harder to ship overseas. 

This isn’t essential, but it can help you plan for disruption and better inform your customers of why they may experience later shipments. 

One of the major issues involves the Red Sea, where unrest is causing shipping companies to avoid the Suez Canal and take longer routes to their destination. This can lead to delays of up to 14 days.

There are also problems throughout the Panama Canal, impacting delivery speeds both into and out of the West Coast of the US and the West Coast of Latin America.

There are port strikes, rising fuel costs, and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, too, all of which are affecting shipping.

Though it’s a somewhat turbulent time for deliveries, it shouldn’t put small businesses off expanding their market to other countries. Instead, we recommend looking into ways you can streamline global shipments taking into consideration current events, making for smoother deliveries around the world.

Streamlining the International Shipping Process

Logistics are a key part of successful global deliveries and the better you plan the more efficient your shipments will be. Get started with these top tips.

Set-Up Global Payment Systems

If you’re branching out into the global market, it’s important to set up a payment system for international deliveries. For small businesses already using a card reader, check to see if your device is linked to an online account that accepts global digital payments. This will ensure all overseas transactions are tracked right alongside in-person payments for simple cash flow management.

It’s also vital that you charge your customers accurately for global delivery to avoid losing money. Before setting costs, ensure you’ve received quotes from suppliers and have a good grasp on import and export fees. There are tools available, too, that will automatically calculate shipping fees based on the customer’s location, making it easy to generate accurate fees. 

Get to Grips With International Shipping Laws

The international shipping process relies on rules and regulations, making it important that your small business keeps up with compliance. This can be time-consuming, but it’ll make your deliveries much smoother and more likely to reach the customer without an issue. 

Maintain a knowledge of the import rules for any countries you ship to. Most governments will have a detailed guide of their shipping laws, like the UK’s guidelines, which state the steps you need to take to avoid your goods being seized.

If you’re struggling to understand the rules, speak to a government official or consultant. They’ll be able to check over your plans and guide you on ways to improve compliance for efficient shipments. 

Automate Compliance, Documentation, and Reporting

There’s a lot of paperwork involved when shipping internationally. Luckily, though, your small business can take advantage of advanced digital tools to automate a lot of the laborious processes.

Automating software is available for compliance, making it easy to arrange the correct classifications for your products and adhere to global regulations. You can also use automated software to correctly fill out documentation and reports, inputting relevant information based on data already in your systems.

According to a survey by Deloitte, almost all global trade professionals were using a global trade management tool to make cross-border operations simpler. As more industries turn to digitization, it’s smart to switch paper-based operations to high-tech software to keep up with your competitors.

Find a Reliable Shipping Company

Choosing a trustworthy, credible shipping company to deliver your goods will make all the difference to your logistics. They’ll offer services that go beyond moving packages from A to B, including:

  • Updating you on delays and maintaining good communication
  • Handling your goods with care
  • Answering your questions regarding compliance and delivery
  • Offering great customer service
  • Dealing with lost parcels swiftly and effectively

Finding a shipping company that helps rather than hinders your efficiency will have numerous knock-on benefits for your business, too, from improving customer satisfaction to increasing loyalty among your audience. It’ll also impact your brand image, making it well worth the search.

Plan For Delays

A shipping company that currently reports no problems or delays is a red flag. These are tricky times for international freight, and some of your deliveries will likely be delayed on their route to your customers. But, by preparing in advance, you reduce the impact they’ll have on your business.

Smart logistics is proactive, and planning a schedule that avoids bad weather, political events, and seasonal delays is a great way to keep your shipments arriving on time. For example, if you’re shipping at Christmas, anticipate slower deliveries and higher demand by sending earlier.

Even with great logistics, though, you can still experience delays. This is why it’s important you have a good line of communication with your supplier. A credible company will update you on any changes to the estimated time of arrival (ETA) quickly, and provide an explanation as to why they’ve occurred. 

Once a delay is registered with your small business, inform the customers. Send an email updating them that their shipment will be delayed, along with any additional information, including the cause of the delay. Be sure to let them know of the new ETA, too, and offer an apology gift if necessary – like a discount on their next shop – to bolster your brand image.

Manage Customer Expectations

Marketing your global shipping as quick and reliable might be tempting, but if there are delays this will only end up hurting your credibility.

Rather than leading with the ideal situation, manage customer expectations by being honest. People would rather know their package is likely to be delayed, and a realistic delivery time is far better than the disappointment of a late shipment. Give your ETA some wiggle room and you’ll have happier, more loyal customers.

It’s also a good idea to include some information on your website about why global shipping can experience delays. This keeps your customers informed, shows you’re taking delivery logistics seriously, and builds credibility for your small business.

Enable Product Tracking

A great way to keep both your business and your customers up to date on global shipments is with tracking. Many international freight companies will offer an option for tracked deliveries, giving you real-time information on where the product is and when it’ll be delivered. 

This transparency improves the customer experience and reassures them that their delivery is on the way, with 90% of people actively wanting to track shipments. It’s likely to boost their view of your brand, too, as you prioritize their knowledge of the delivery over the potential savings of untracked deliveries.

Final Thoughts

The international shipping process isn’t always easy to navigate, with regulations, compliance, and delays making global business deliveries a lot of work. But, once you’ve got the right logistics in place, reaching customers around the world becomes a lot easier.

To stay on top of global shipping news or learn more about logistics, be sure to keep up with Global Trade.

Author Bio

Harvey Holloway is a digital marketing specialist, with a 1st class honours degree in Digital Media Design. Harvey is now looking to connect with leading publications and share his experience with a wider audience. Connect with Harvey on Twitter: @HarveyTweetsSEO.

agility

How Modern Services Enable Agility, Elasticity and Mobility in an Enterprise

Organizations across the globe have been tirelessly working on improving their agility and scalability. Due to a sudden change in the business landscape caused by COVID-19, business leaders suddenly found themselves having to rise to the call to action. The results are staggering – the unanticipated impact and pace of the global spread of COVID-19 caught businesses off guard. Many failed to quickly adapt to the changing circumstances as they were not well-equipped in their ability to scale down impacted resources and operations in response to a halt in customer demand. Some were just not ready to operate their businesses 100% remotely.

Conversely, in sectors such as healthcare and other essential services, several organizations could not keep up with the unexpected rise in demand as they lacked means to quickly ramp up their operations. Most of these companies that could not adapt to the changing circumstances had one or all the three critical traits of the modern enterprise ecosystem missing – agility, elasticity, or mobility.

In this article, we’ll discuss how organizations can make their ecosystem agile and elastic and support mobility – and how these qualities are going to help organizations scale their businesses in the long run.

The role of elastic services in business agility

In today’s world, businesses are faced with a variety of challenges that require they quickly adapt resources to address a dynamically changing environment. After the pandemic declaration, organizations found themselves having to provision new remote working solutions in a matter of hours. Monolithic application architectures are designed for a certain level of capacity. Sudden changes in demand add stress to existing resources, such as a rise in network utilization due to the entire workforce requiring VPN connectivity to on-premise applications. These networks may have never seen these levels of utilization before, and therefore, become bottlenecked, resulting in poor user experience or worse, slow mobilization of resources toward an urgent demand.

Adapting elastic services to actual demand

In other situations, agility is needed to pivot and re-invest resources away from impacted operations or loss in demand. An organization can consume elastic services and managed services to deploy the minimum resources needed to service actual demand. Managed services providers can help business units in distress with predictable, recurring services at fixed annual terms, which allows leaders to re-prioritize full-time staff members to newer product lines or more strategic initiatives. A well-positioned product organization with a properly designed Cloud-Native Architecture can auto scale with the minimum resources needed to run an application and scale out to meet the demands of a growth spurt.

Source: AWS

Flexible, collaborative, and secure digital spaces enable enterprise mobility

In addition to agility and elasticity, the third critical requirement that came to the spotlight during the recent crisis is enterprise mobility. Previously, IT leaders have elected to utilize digital workspaces as a flexible benefit to augment in-person activities with remote capabilities, such as the occasional work from home. However, it was not until the current crisis that several organizations looked at full-scale enterprise mobility as highly differentiating, if not mission-critical to success.

However, full-scale enterprise mobility is not a switch that one can just flip. It needs technological, cultural, and behavioral changes. The workforce, particularly newer generation workers prefer to work from home and operate more on results, rather than “working a shift.” Managed services providers can help businesses design a flexible remote setup that can be further leveraged to drive a culture of collaboration.

How to implement elastic services: The three-step approach

Given the requirements of each business are different, there is no one-size-fits-all strategy to ensure the successful implementation of elastic services and guarantee agility, elasticity and mobility in an enterprise ecosystem. However, following the three-step process described below helps organizations design a custom implementation plan suited to their needs.

Step 1 – Discover: Identify the business goals the organization is trying to achieve by implementing these services and the potential risks that can jeopardize the effort.

Step 2 – Analyze: Analyze the business goals and map them to the desired outcomes. Perform capabilities assessment against the current architecture – mapping out demand versus usage patterns and identifying the opportunities for modernization.

Step 3 – Plan: Define the implementation roadmap. Enterprises can choose the buy, build or partner route to implement and operationalize a modern enterprise ecosystem.

Elastic services make businesses risk-tolerant and sustainable

Setting up modern infrastructure and developing it to an enterprise-level, especially during this time of crisis, is a demanding task. However, enterprises must not look at this exercise to combat only the current crisis. An agile, elastic and mobile enterprise ecosystem helps companies tackle new initiatives with less worry. Consumption friendly elastic services can allow organizations to pay-as-you-go with minimal up-front investment costs. This ability allows organizations that can mobilize with high agility a competitive advantage in the experimentation of new initiatives or expansion to new markets while having a risk-managed auto-scaling architecture to turn down resources to what’s minimally needed to keep a foot in the game. Most importantly, the decision to fail fast and stop investing becomes more attainable and less regrettable.

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Joey Lei is the director of service management at Synoptek, a global systems integrator and managed services provider. Prior to joining Synoptek, he was a lead product manager for Dell EMC’s Data Protection Division. Lei managed product lines contributing half a billion in annual product revenues and was a founding product manager for Dell EMC PowerProtect Data Manager, Dell EMC’s newest generation data protection and data management solution. 

Email address: jlei@synoptek.com