employees

Company Culture: Steps You Can Take to Improve Yours in 2021

2021 is the year to rethink your company culture. The pandemic has efficiently put society on reset, and your company values are likely to need updating, especially if you’ve been around for longer than a decade. Unfortunately, there’s no detailed guideline on how you can revamp your company culture to fit the times. After all, no two organizations are the same, and one method that works for a similar company might not work so well on yours. There’s no shortcut to this, and a trial-and-error phase is likely your best option. That said, there are general steps you can take to make sure that your efforts don’t go to waste.

Effective and up-to-date company culture is founded on similar things. Maximize the following ideas and slowly find ways to customize them for your team.

Build on Transparency

Now more than ever, your employees are looking for leaders they can trust. Numerous businesses have shut down in the course of one year, and knowing that they can rely fully on your company’s management can give them the sense of security they seek.

Creating a culture of transparency is the first step to getting their trust. You can begin by improving the communication in your leadership teams and across departments so that everyone is in the loop. Of course, you also have to be careful about what information you disseminate and how. Having a guideline to refer to can make it easier to handle this task responsibly. Included in this must be the protocol for sending company-wide emails and making sure that everyone has duly read them.

Reinforce this with an open-door policy to make your leadership team more accessible to the rest of the company. Now is the best time for your leaders to step up and invest in meaningful relationships with the people under them.

Assess Employee Engagement

Just as companies invest in measuring their sales and finances, so must they invest in measuring their employee engagement. If you’ve done this before, you must do it again since the overall corporate scene has been negatively impacted by the pandemic.

Now is also a good time to attune to the conflicts and difficulties that have arisen in your organization due to layoffs, shifting work schedules, and unstable economic landscapes. When you have strategies to nip the problem at the bud and guarantee that all your employees feel heard, you can create avenues to improve your talent retention and performance.

To get accurate results that you can build on, consider hiring a third party. Professionals in this field can give you customized solutions and improve your employee engagement scores. This is a cost-effective means to see immediate changes in your employee satisfaction and, consequently, their overall productivity.

employees

Endorse Flexibility

Everybody knows it’s possible. The world was forced to transition to remote work setups overnight, and the trend is persisting even with vaccines at hand. While remote work is not completely ideal for every company, there are numerous ways to incorporate flexibility into your employees’ work life.

If not through remote work, it could be flexible working schedules to accommodate the changing health protocols in their area of residence. You could also consider allowing them to report on-site three days a week and work from home for the remaining two. This gives them the confidence that your company will give them the leeway they need to care for their personal needs without sacrificing their professional careers.

Make Time for Celebration

Your team needs you to initiate the celebration of certain wins. It’s important that they feel recognized for their efforts and the milestones they contributed to. Moreover, it also encourages them to develop an owner’s mentality. When they cultivate a sense of ownership for the company, they’ll be more motivated to work hard and consider the company’s victories as their own.

It doesn’t have to be grand, but it does have to be timely and inclusive. If you want to be sure that they’d enjoy it, include them in the planning. This is a simple but foolproof way to let them own their moment and make them feel appreciated.

Pay Attention

Ultimately, developing your company culture today depends on your ability to pay attention and take hold of opportunities as they arise. The more you invest in this endeavor, the more you’ll be able to make improvements that will give your company the boost it needs to be successful amidst a global pandemic.

sports team

Becoming a Good Sport: Ways to Teach Kids Good Sportsmanship

Sportsmanship is an important trait that children must learn at an early age. In the context of sport, it refers to treating others fairly and with respect, especially competitors. This quality should be demonstrated to everyone regardless of age, position in life, beliefs, and other factors.

It can be argued that humans are naturally competitive. No one likes losing. This is apparent even among kids. For example, while playing a game with their peers, a preschooler might throw a tantrum or sob on the floor when they lose. In the media, being competitive in school is often depicted by someone sabotaging another person. One popular example is Rachel Berry from the show Glee. She often sabotaged her peers to get her way.

The Importance of Sportsmanship

Parents and teachers must instill the value of sportsmanship in kids early on.

A child who knows good sportsmanship will be a graceful winner. They will know not to brag about their win, which may upset their friends. Winners should also know to still congratulate others for their efforts instead of bringing them down. Meanwhile, if a child loses, they will learn to accept their loss and not throw a fit.

Of course, children should be allowed to express their emotions freely, whether they win or lose. Winners might yell out of joy while losers may cry. But they know that their reactions shouldn’t be at the expense of their peers.

Also, if children know how to compete healthily, they will become more confident in themselves. They won’t be discouraged even if they don’t win during friendly competitions. Sportsmanship will also help kids learn to respect others and treat them with compassion.

Teaching Kids to Be a Sport

Teachers should include games that teach kids sportsmanship within the classroom. For kids who learn from home, parents must create substitute teacher plans that include opportunities to teach sportsmanship, such as games with siblings.

Here some things that things teachers and parents must keep in mind:

Enforce the Rules

The teacher or parent must first explain game rules carefully before the beginning of a game. They should ask children some questions to check if they’ve understood the rules. For example, in a game of hide-and-seek, ask kids what they need to do when they are found by the “it.”

When the game begins, the teacher or parent must monitor the game carefully. When children are found by the “it,” the guard should ask them to stay on the sidelines while the “it” looks for the other participants of the game.

Also, if someone breaks the rules, the guardian should carefully explain the mistake to the child and kindly take them out of the game. Doing this will help reinforce that they shouldn’t cheat.

Give Everyone a Chance to Play

children playing

The teacher or parent must encourage all kids to participate in the game so that they don’t feel left out. If a kid expresses that they don’t feel confident about joining, the guardian should reassure them. It will also be helpful if the other kids approach their classmates and encourage them.

Letting kids participate at play despite their self-doubt can help them build their confidence. They’ll also realize that they should try things they’re afraid of

Avoid Excessive Celebration

Kids who win games will want to celebrate. That’s normal, of course. But when it gets excessive, as stated earlier, players who didn’t win may get upset. As children grow up, they might develop the practice of gloating and taunting others after a win. This is not good behavior.

To prevent excessive celebration, the guardian should focus on other aspects of the game when they talk about it with the kids. For example, the teacher or parent can ask kids if they had fun during the game, what they learned from it, and if they made new friends.

Shake Hands at the End

At the end of a game, the guardian should make the children shake hands with each other. If the game played was one between two groups, the students will line up according to their group. And then they will shake hands as they pass by each other.

This practice will ensure that the game ends positively and that there are no hard feelings between the kids.

Children who learn sportsmanship at an early age will grow up to be adults with positive relationships. This is because they know how to treat others with care, inside or outside of a competitive setting.

man cleaned an ac unit

Home Health: Smart Ways to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

When we think about air pollutants, we often refer to the quality of air found outside our homes. However, if we’re not paying attention, the air inside our homes can be just as bad as the ones outside. Breathing safe and healthy indoor air is vital for you and your family’s overall wellness. If we let dangerous pollutants enter our living space, it can cause long-term health complications and even certain types of cancers.

Fortunately, there are numerous ways for you to improve the air quality inside your home and protect your family’s health. Read on to know the best methods to reduce sources of irritants and allergens throughout your space.

  1. Maintain a healthy level of humidity

If there’s one thing that mold and dust mites love the most, that is moisture. If the air inside is damp, it can create conditions where mold, a respiratory irritant, can grow. Make sure to control the humidity indoors and keep it at a healthy level. You can use a modern humidity control system to keep allergens under control and reduce indoor moisture.

A whole-home dehumidifier would be a better choice since it can function without too much noise, unlike traditional ones. Other ways to dehumidify your home are by opening a window or exhaust fan when bathing or cooking, venting your clothes dryer outside, emptying your window AC’s drip pans, and fixing plumbing leaks.

  1. Switch to natural fragrances

We do love to make our house smell good as it is often associated with orderliness and cleanliness. For instance, a piney or lemony scent is linked to a clean kitchen. However, if you’re using commercial synthetic fragrances or air fresheners, you’re likely bringing in more chemicals inside your home.

With that in mind, avoid using conventional fabric softeners or laundry or air fresheners in whatever form, as they typically emit volatile organic compounds and derived from petroleum products. Look for naturally scented or fragrance-free laundry products and mild cleaners. And instead of using aerosol sprays, open your windows or use a filtered AC system for room ventilation.

  1. Keep the floors fresh

Uncleaned floors can accumulate dust, leading to allergens and chemicals. To get rid of toxins, allergens, or lead concentrations inside your home, use a good vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, which ensures the dirt and dust won’t be blown back into the exhaust. Make sure to wash your filter regularly and vacuum at least thrice a week.

Mopping is a simple yet effective way of picking up dust your vacuum left behind. Instead of traditional mops, it’s best to use new microfiber ones to collect more dirt and dust. Lastly, the simple habit of removing your shoes when entering your space can reduce the amount of dirt or pollutants from getting inside.

natural fragrance

  1. Clean your filters and ducts

If you don’t have a whole-home air purifier, you can still keep your indoor air clean with just your HVAC system. Just be sure you’re changing the filters regularly and using higher-quality ones. Apart from that, the ducts of your HVAC system also need regular cleaning to avoid the accumulation of air pollutants. It can be a hub for rodent droppings, animal dander, mold, dust, and dirt.

If you have an older property, it’s better to have professionals check and clean your ducts. Aside from cleaning, these experts can help ensure that indoor air is distributed efficiently, saving you money on energy bills.

  1. Get houseplants

Among the best natural ways to purifying the air inside your home is having houseplants. Plants are generally helpful in controlling the humidity indoors, making it safe for human health. They can also emit oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide, and help refresh the air. Aside from cleaner air, houseplants also offer numerous health benefits such as boosting positive feelings, reducing stress levels, improving concentration and productivity, and even faster recovery from mental exhaustion.

Some of the best air purifying plants you can bring into your home include pothos or devil’s ivy, dwarf date palm, philodendrons, peace lilies, spider plants, chrysanthemums, and so on. Most houseplants help remove toxic chemicals like formaldehyde, ammonia, xylene, benzene, and carbon monoxide.

We indeed face various health risks wherever we go, but it should be a lot different in our homes. It should be a sanctuary where our safety is guaranteed, our health is protected, and our quality of life is great. By taking note of these tips, you can have better, safer indoor air quality in your home.

summer concept

Things to Make Summer Productive for Kids

Many parents have always been in a quandary on what their kids can do over the summer. And with summer around a month away, they may be looking for activities their kids can do safely, especially with the pandemic still not yet over.

While the authorities already administered more than 230 million doses of the virus, it’s still uncertain when life would get back to normal. Despite this, children can still have a productive summer even if they stay home for the most part.

Here are some things that children can do to make their summer productive.

Attend Summer Class

During the school year, the children had to learn the fundamental subjects of mathematics, science, reading, language arts, and social studies. But for summer, they can learn the things they like to do after classes, like drawing, cooking, or even coding.

The children can learn to play the piano from teachers who know how to handle kids. While it can be challenging to learn this musical instrument online, it can happen if the teacher lives nearby and already received the full dose of the vaccine to ensure the children are protected.

If the children are quite advanced for their age, they may even consult with an expert at the US Geological Survey when they start their rock collection. An online reading club is also a good idea for children who are voracious readers. The important thing here is that the children acquire a new skill over the summer to make them productive during the break.

Volunteer for Nonprofit Organizations

Parents who want to teach children some life skills can encourage them to do volunteer work. While volunteering in these nonprofits may depend on the situation when summer comes, it offers many benefits for the children. Volunteering is not simply helping other people who have less in life. It is also one way for the children to learn life skills that they will need in the future.

Volunteering allows the children to connect with people from different walks of life. It also allows them to make new friends outside of their school and neighborhood. The knowledge that they made a difference in another person’s life can also make them happy. It also builds their self-confidence and gives them a sense of purpose. Therefore, volunteering offers many benefits for the children as much as they can help other people.

Volunteer work does not always mean the children have to go to the site to help. They can help other people even if they stay at home. For instance, if they have a 3d printer, they can make mask extenders for people who have to wear a mask the whole day, such as medical personnel.

Make a Podcast

kid learning online

Technology has made it easier for children to do a lot of interesting things over the summer. One thing they can do is to make their podcast. While this is ideal for older kids, younger children can still do it with the help of their parents.

A podcast is similar to an internet radio that people can access at any time. This is a medium that kids can explore to put out their stories for the world to hear. They can even combine their love for reading with making a podcast. They can use the podcast to talk about their take on a book they read recently. The kids can even create a podcast about their hobbies. Podcasting is a great way for the kids to delve deeper into their hobbies.

But one thing they should remember is to avoid giving too much information about their personal lives on the podcast. They should avoid giving personal information such as where they live or their phone numbers. The kids can limit the podcast to their interests or hobbies. They can also make a podcast with a friend or a neighbor.

Decorate the Room

Since the kids are not keen on cleaning their room, the parents can let them decorate it instead. They can give the kids a bit of leeway when they decorate the room and give them the responsibility of ensuring it stays the way it looks. The kids will feel a sense of independence when their parents allow them to decide on how they will decorate the room.

With this, the kids will have the urge to clean and maintain it since they will feel proud of how they decorated the room. Additionally, the parent will not have to tell the kids to clean up their rooms anymore because, at this point, the kids will do it without any prodding from their parents.

Even as the pandemic has limited the kids’ summer activities, they can still make it productive through different activities they can do in the comfort of their homes.