Is your Website Performance up to Par?

???????????????????????????????We live in an omni-channel, always connected world where a consistent website performance is not only expected by consumers, it’s crucial to the very existence of any business with a digital focus. Both profits and reputation take a hit when a site experiences downtime—the nemesis of every company invested in online marketing. A service that monitors for downtime will minimize the dollars lost to this it-happens-to-everyone-at-some-point annoyance. Common sense says do everything possible to reduce downtime.

But what about overall website performance?

Well, as long as it’s live… right?

While that’s a super easy trap to fall into, it’s also a dangerous pit that can rob your business of untold potential. Consumers are a demanding lot because they CAN be. With so many sites to choose from, in most cases, customers can afford to be picky which means website performance cannot be an afterthought.

It’s time to take a hard, honest look at the key components that factor into a website’s performance.

  • Load time

While the actual load-time for any website will depend on a variety of factors, the “faster the better” is the mantra web users live by. Try accessing your site from a computer you’ve not used to access it previously. Test each feature and note the time it takes for each application to load. Let your IT team or website provider know you’re interested in the timeliest experience possible for your customers.

If an APM strategy lacks strength, digital performance will suffer. Issues will crop up and threaten to leave customers glaring at a non-responsive page. Schedule a “load test” for every new application, allowing plenty of time to address any issues that might arise when the app faces high traffic or heavy use.

  • Simplicity vs. Complexity

Complicated over-the-top technology does not necessarily make a better website. In fact, extra bells and whistles not only complicate the consumers’ experience, they can rob resources from the applications crucial to complete the customer’s transaction. As more is expected from websites in the number of scripts needed and the push for real-time notifications, prioritize resources to give consumers the most satisfying experience.

Monitoring and Testing Options

In the pursuit of the optimum website experience, testing for speed and overall performance has to be a priority. Many free sites offer a variety of testing options.

Google’s PageSpeed Tools offers web developers the means for analyzing and optimizing loading speeds in addition too other resources such as browser extensions for staying up-to-date on the latest rules and functionality for continuous optimization. Because, in layman’s terms, everyone knows faster is better.

Pingdom Tools offers both free and several levels of fee-based services that go beyond monitoring for downtimes, to include an array of performance parameters to ensure optimum end-user experience. Contact via email, Twitter, of SMS will alert subscribers if issues are detected.

Brand equity and loyalty depend on digital performance. Customers know that high-performing apps and websites reflect the honesty and integrity of the host company. Reward their faith and loyalty with the best website performance and monitoring possible.

At B. Loehr Staffing, we take time to share valuable information with our clients and prioritize our website’s performance to better you better. Our number one priority, however, is filling our clients’ employment needs, matching them with the best field associates for every position. Contact us today. We are the best because we have been giving our best – since 1898.

3 Keys to Effective Decision Making for Leaders

b loehr - decisionsThis is a tale of two executives, Mr. D and Mr. G., and their different approaches to leadership and decision-making.

Mr. D arrived at XYZ Company eager to “get the lay of the land”, make connections with the department heads and staff, and get a feel for the people, the place, and the atmosphere. He observed and listened, and observed some more. He did not introduce new ventures and ideas right away but over time, shared his insights and philosophies. Mr. D led with a decisive, yet very approachable style. While he preferred to “bring people on board” rather than rule with an iron fist, when warranted, he could and would exercise his clout as CEO.

When approached by his secretary with relatively routine requests, he typically responded with “Give me a minute.” and then retreated to his office. An hour later, Mr. D would relay to the secretary his decisive, well thought out answer. His leadership team and staff both appreciated and had confidence in his “give me a minute” approach.

Mr. G succeeded Mr. D at Company XYZ. He arrived on the scene with a mile long list of ambitious plans and dreams. He jumped in with both feet, wasting no time in asserting himself as “head honcho.” He changed up everything, waving off suggestions and protests alike. His leadership style resembled that of an Army General who had little regard for the opinion of his troops, who were often caught in the crossfire following one of his rapid-fire, ill-suited decisions.

Once, when it was clear that he would have to significantly dial back his lofty plans, Mr. G remarked in a rare moment of clarity, “I often try to squeeze size 10 plans into size 5 shoes.” No truer statement had ever been uttered. Unfortunately, rather than allowing the experience to be a pivotal moment in his leadership journey, the moment passed with no changes to his think-on-your-feet approach. The next day found him shooting from the hip as always, with almost no regard for the fallout.

I bet you can easily guess whose years of leadership yielded the most growth at XYZ Company. The Company thrived under the confident leadership and thoughtful decision-making of Mr. D. The same could not be said of Mr. G’s often panic-mode-driven time at the helm.

Strong, effective leaders recognize the need for an iterative process when it comes to making decisions. The three key components of this repetitive strategy include:

  • Observation
  • Interpretation of the observed findings
  • Determination of appropriate interventions

Too often, either internal or external forces – sometimes both – push for an answer too quickly. As deadlines loom, patience grows thin and nerves become frayed. It’s times like these that prove the old adage, “haste makes waste” true. Hasty decisions waste time, money, and resources. They create weariness and stress that filter through the ranks.

The time it takes to back away and observe from a distance is worth the perspective it will yield. From a step away, the issues of concern are magnified, while elements operating smoothly also rise to the top. It’s like “getting on the balcony” to view what’s happening on the “dance floor” below – it allows a much clearer assessment. This “big picture” perspective can shed new and important light that will lead to a more effective decision.

At B. Loehr Staffing, we recognize how important decision making is – especially when it involves making the right hiring decisions for your company. Contact us today – we will match you with our best-fit Field Associates for all your staffing needs. After all, we aren’t the best because we’re the oldest – we’re the oldest because we are the best.

 

Restarting a stalled career

b loehr - stalled careerYou’re career has stalled. It could be a temporary plateau… but what if it’s a deep slump? What if a swan dive looms just around the corner?

For a plethora of reasons, careers goals can fizzle. That dream position that started out with such great promise no longer shines as it once did. You feel unappreciated – almost invisible. The career path you chose years ago no longer fulfills or challenges you.

Other signs that spell a definite stall include:

  • People are being promoted all around you
  • Your job responsibilities and duties have decreased
  • Your input is no longer sought after
  • You dread each day
  • Family and friends have grown weary of your job complaints

Don’t beat yourself up about it. That is, unless you choose the do-nothing-but-whine approach; in that case – then smack away.

The fact is, careers stall. It probably happens a lot more often than you think. Step out of the comfy familiar, yet limiting, “victim” shoes and choose to take action.

  1. It’s time to talk to your boss

Approach the one-on-one meeting with a positive, I’d-like-more-challenge-responsibility-input attitude. Refrain from blaming, pouting, or getting defensive. Your boss may be unaware of your career goals OR unaware of the shifts in the scope of your job. Be specific about what changes you’d like to see in your present position. Inquire about other positions suited to your particular skillset. Broach the subject of upcoming openings you would qualify for if you agreed to seek additional training.

  1. Volunteer to learn the new system/take on the next project,, or to troubleshoot the latest issue

Initiative and an eagerness to learn will get you noticed. If in the past you opted for a behind-the-scenes approach, take a more active role in leadership, brainstorming, or mentoring. Plunge into whatever area best suits your skills and become noticed.

  1. Consider both short-term and long-term educational opportunities

Maybe a certification program requiring a relatively minor commitment will position you for a promotion within the department. If the job you really want requires extended training, however, or possibly a specialized degree, consider the reality of making that type of commitment at this time in your life. Will family responsibilities allow you to return to school? Are you up to the challenge of meshing work/family/school?

  1. Re-evaluate your specific career goals

Over time, your aspirations may have shifted. New priorities may have replaced what once seemed important, or even crucial. Grab pen and paper and put your re-ordered goals down on paper. Mull over the list for a couple weeks – months if it takes that long. An adjusted set of career goals are necessary to bringing fulfillment back into your employment world.

  1. Seek a mentor who can guide you toward achieving your newly ordered career goals

Choose someone in your field or the field you aspire to enter – someone who will be committed to seeing you succeed. Be teachable and remain open to constructive criticism.

At B. Loehr Staffing, we’ve been specializing in jumpstarting careers in the fields of office/administration, accounting, medical, clerical, and light industrial since 1898. Contact us today for excellent opportunities to further your career.

 

 

6 Networking tips for Introverts

b loehr - networkingDo you shy away from the noisy, crowded environments that your co-workers seem to love? Are you overwhelmed when prodded to mingle in a large crowd? Welcome to the world of extroverted networking expectations.

Networking doesn’t have to be painful, paralyzing or petrifying. But it may be if you try to fit into a mold that isn’t you. The key is to recognize that being an introvert doesn’t mean you can’t network. It simply means you connect both socially and professionally with people in different ways.  If you find an approach that works with your personality and comfort level, you too can benefit from networking opportunities.

Consider these networking tips for introverts:

  1.  Start small

Choose to attend the smallest group setting of the networking opportunities available. Tackle one event at a time, focusing only on the present. Banish nerve-wracking thoughts of next month’s multi-company mixer or the huge year-end shindig.

  1. Practice

Rehearse small talk and conversation starters with a friend who can also walk you through some Q and A scenarios. Jot some notes on an index card and slip it into your pocket. With practice, you can learn to steer conversations. Additionally, feeling prepared will ease the fear and anxiety climbing up your throat.

  1. Allow yourself time to recover

Recognize the need to recharge between meetings or events. Unlike extroverts who thrive on back-to-back networking events, you’ll drain your people-battery fast by connecting events too close together.

  1. Connect online ahead of time

Making contact online before the upcoming meeting with a bit of email or Facebook back and forth will ease the “complete stranger” fears. It’s especially helpful to be able to match a name with a face, thereby eliminating those panicked moments of trying to determine which of the fifty mingling people is your contact.

  1. Take down the details

Make the most of this event you convinced yourself to attend by saving the details for future reference. On the back of the index card in your pocket or on your phone, note details about the person and the conversation. This will help eliminate, or at least reduce, worrying about remembering who said/did what.

  1. Take the reins and set-up your own events

If you prefer minimally stimulating events over loud, crowded settings, then take the planning into your own hands. A meeting over lunch, a small dinner party, even an afternoon coffee break “chat session” can provide you with networking opportunities that don’t send your pulse racing.

Professional interactions don’t have to be torture. Discover what works for you, personally, and reclaim the benefits of networking.

Take the torture and uncertainty out of finding a job by teaming with B. Loehr Staffing . We get it right the first time. Contact us today and utilize our comprehensive services – we’ve beeen finding Candidates/Field Associates the perfect job placements since 1898.