Getting Better Reception with an IVR System

Remember the days when you dialed (yes, dialed) a company on the phone and a receptionist answered? You asked for a particular telephone extension, and she would put you on hold while connecting your call.

Being on hold can be infuriating for customers, and is unacceptable in this modern age. Fortunately, for businesses looking to maximize the customer experience, IVR (Interactive Voice Response) systems can provide a solution that improves customer relationships while saving money.

Interactive Becomes Proactive

IVR systems eliminate the customer wait time by automating interactions with customer calls. Wait times are virtually eliminated due to calls being answered immediately, and your customers are able to quickly access information around the clock, 365 days per year.

[tweetthis]Get Better Reception with IVRs #ivr #phonesystems[/tweetthis]

Not only that, it offers smaller companies the opportunity to appear larger, more efficient, and serious about providing excellent customer service.

IVRs provide a whole host of other benefits as well, including:

  • Building Customer Relationships: With calls answered on the first ring and transferred at the push of a button, customers spend less time waiting, and more time building a relationship with your brand. Customers can interact with your IVR system in any language you offer, and be confident that their calls are forwarded to the right party, every time. These features build brand loyalty and create advocacy among satisfied customers.
  • Scalable to your Needs: IVR systems can be completely customized to your business size, needs, and goals, providing a solution that is as unique as your brand. Also, a human can only answer, speak to, and forward one call at a time. IVR systems can handle a virtually unlimited number of calls simultaneously, and allow your team to be accessible via cell, landline, or another IVR system.
  • Easy Backend Management: By using the IVR’s simple user interface, you can make real-time changes to the system as your business evolves. The system is easily integrated into your existing CRM system, including your backend applications and databases, and can provide real-time monitoring and reporting.
  • Personalized – Yet Computerized: Enhance the customer experience even further by allowing log in via client id. This client id will connect to your customer database, giving your IVR system the ability to address the customer by name, offer appropriate prompts, and even wish them a happy birthday!
  • Amazing Cost Efficiency: Are you using a call centre? IVR systems can provide the customer with information without ever speaking to a human, cutting down on chargeable talk time. Also, because calls are always forwarded correctly, issues are resolved quickly without multiple transfers, allowing your representatives to help more people. If you currently rely on in-house reception, you can allocate these resources elsewhere and allow the IVR to handle all incoming calls.

Better Systems, Better Service

IVR systems are becoming more and more popular as businesses recognize how they can help them build better customer experiences, improve inbound call efficiencies, and save money.

Richard Todd,Editor's Desk,About Us,About The Editor's Desk

Richard S. Todd is President at The Editor’s Desk, providing professional content management and business copywriting services, as well as comprehensive manuscript editing and proofreading.

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5 Things I Learned About Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship. So many people dream about it. The freedom to choose your own hours, the relief of not having a boss, and getting paid doing what you love to do the most.

Yes, entrepreneurship is all that. And more. Much, much more.

More than I’d ever realized.

One year ago this month, we launched The Editor’s Desk as a full-service writing and editing business. Has it been a year of success and growth? Indeed. Has it been a year of mistakes? For sure. And have I learned from those mistakes? Without question.

If you’re in the corporate world (like I was), you’ve probably become accustomed to doing your job and collecting your paycheque. No problem, right? And you might expect that running your business would be much along the same thing, except that get to keep 100% of the profits your business earns.

As any entrepreneur will tell you, running a business not as easy as you might imagine. And as cognizant as I was of the challenges of entrepreneurship, I still thought that it would be easier than it turned out to be.

Late nights with little time off, endless networking, constant marketing, and always chasing that next big contract. And that’s just scratching the surface.

But would I have it any other way? Not on your life.

[tweetthis]Five things I learned after 1 year of entrepreneurship #entrepreneur #business[/tweetthis]

So if you’re thinking of starting your own business, you might be interested in the top five things I learned about entrepreneurship.

1) Strategic partnerships are paramount. Entrepreneurs need other entrepreneurs to partner with. You don’t need to try and partner with everybody, stretching synergy until it nearly snaps. A handful of talented folks with whom you can trade referrals, work together to serve customers, and consult with to solve problems goes a long way to giving you the support you need for success.

2) Networking is essential. And how do you find the aforementioned strategic partners? By networking, of course. You can network anywhere, from within your personal social circle to an organized networking event. Most of them are attended by other entrepreneurs looking to do the exact thing you are: develop new business.

Sometimes you need to think out of the box when finding places to network, even if it means speaking to people in line at the office supply store. Chances are, if they’re buying office supplies, they’re in business too!

3) The books contain your lifeblood. It goes without saying that cash flow is the lifeblood of your business. But for some new entrepreneurs,  the thoughts of doing the books can be daunting (unless you’re a bookkeeper by trade).

If hiring a bookkeeper isn’t in the budget right now, consider using an online tool like Freshbooks. If you can dedicate a certain time every week to update your records (say, Sunday night at 9 PM), it’s pretty easy to manage.

But try to keep on top of it, or it’ll get ahead of you. I let it lag for several weeks once, and it took me hours upon hours to catch up.

4) Market, market, market! You can have the world’s greatest website, but if no one knows it’s there, what’s the point of having it? So how do people find out you’re open for business? Marketing, of course.

From traditional media to digital channels, including social media, you need to get the word out. Networking is great, but you’ll only get in front of so many people at a time. With marketing, you’ll reach hundreds, or even thousands, all at once.

 5) Above all, be authentic. Your marketing efforts need to reflect not only your business offerings, but also your core business values. And, chances are your core business values will also represent your personal values.

So, you need to be authentic. You are your business. If people like and trust you, the better your chances of success.

What did you learn in your first year of business? Let me know in the comments below!

Richard Todd,Editor's Desk,About Us,About The Editor's Desk

Richard S. Todd is President at The Editor’s Desk, providing professional content management and business copywriting services, as well as comprehensive manuscript editing and proofreading.

repetitive strain injury

4 Moves to Avoid Repetitive Strain Injury!

For writers (or anyone spending several hours a day on the keyboard), there is a risk of incurring Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). The wrist, elbows and shoulders are areas commonly affected.

So how can you avoid the pain, inconvenience, and loss of productivity that’s associated with this condition?

Alex Teixeira, Owner and Head Trainer at Golden Fusion Fitness, has been generous enough to offer our readers some easy exercises to promote good health, balanced with a productive lifestyle.

Previously, he’s provided sound advice about neck and back stretches and working your core at your desk. This week, Alex offers four steps to help you avoid repetitive strain injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, elbow tendonitis and frozen shoulder, all while staying productive at your computer!

Read this first: Perform the following exercises either as a warm up before working on the computer, or during a midday break. When you first try them, find a space near your desk that allows a three-foot radius.

Once you are comfortable with the moves, you can bring the exercises to your desk space. I suggest standing, however, as not only do you have the advantage of space to work with, but you should also notice your core becoming engaged as it compensates for those fluctuations in your hand.

1) Flying FingersIn this exercise, you simply open your hands, fully extending your fingers, and then close them into a loose fist.

First, perform this exercise quite slowly, holding your hands in front of you at shoulder height. Do 10 repetitions. Shake out your hands.

Repeat the exercise three more times, now opening and closing as rapidly as you can for about 30 seconds. Don’t cheat! Make sure your fingers are fully extended and flexed on each repetition.

You can also try these different positions: out in front of you, above your head, or out to your sides, with your palms either up or down.

2) Waving In and OutThis is another opening and closing exercise. This time, the fingers will move independently of each other, one flowing into the next.

To get the motion, think about finger tapping on a desk in which the pinky-tip strikes the surface first, followed by the ring, middle and index fingers. Begin with your hands extended in front with your palms turned up. Wave the fingers in while simultaneously flexing at the wrist and elbow, bringing the hands toward you.

Once you are fully flexed, allow your elbows to wing outwards to allow your hands to continue their circle down, and then away from you as the fingers wave back out to a fully extended position. Repeat 10 times.

3) Shoulder FliesIf you are familiar with the shoulder press, this movement is quite similar, except that you provide your own resistance!

Raise your hands above your head, with your fingers together and your thumbs out, creating an “L” shape. Bring the hands together at head height with your hands locked at the webbing between your thumbs.

Now, press your hands together as you extend them in an upward direction. Release at the top, allowing your hands to drop back to head height.

Repeat and alternate between locking positions (left hand in front, right hand in front). Start with 30 reps, and work up to 100.

4) Front & back-strokeReady to hit the pool?

Well, if you don’t have time to really go for a swim, we can pretend by finishing with this relaxing move.

As the name suggests, this is exactly the motion of a front and back stroke. Maintain a straight elbow, and reach to your utmost extreme positions to the front, above, and behind.

Try 20 front strokes and 20 back strokes with each hand. You can do one hand at a time, or alternate as if you were actually swimming!

Have fun and live well!

Alex Teixeira is the owner and head trainer at Golden Fusion Fitness.

Richard Todd,Editor's Desk,About Us,About The Editor's DeskRichard S. Todd is President at The Editor’s Desk, providing professional business copywriting services, as well as comprehensive manuscript editing and proofreading.

strong core

Build a Strong Core Without Leaving Your Desk!

Ok, you might not get ripped abs typing away on your computer all day. But you can develop a strong core and improved wellness with these three simple moves.

Alex Teixeira, Owner and Head Trainer at Golden Fusion Fitness, has been generous enough to offer our readers some easy exercises to promote good health, balanced with a productive lifestyle.

This is part two of a five part series.

Last time, we touched on correct sitting posture. By focusing on this you’ve already begun to build that strong core! Just by keeping proper alignment while sitting, you are activating your postural muscles including the lumbar and abdominals.

So here are three more moves that can help with wellness, while being productive at work.

Belly Breathing: Our first exercise will take this correct sitting posture and add a type of belly breathing into the mix. Belly breathing is taught in dance, martial arts, singing, and other disciplines.

The majority of adults who have not been formally trained in belly breathing from one of these disciplines usually breathe using the expansion and contraction of the rib cage. This fills little more than the upper chambers of the lungs, just over a third capacity. To fill the rest of our lungs with vital oxygen we must consciously draw down our diaphragm by expanding your belly while inhaling.

To make the cleansing effect of our respiratory system extremely efficient, we must also come as close to completely emptying our lungs as possible when exhaling. To make this happen, simply flex those abdominals as you breath out until past the point you feel you have nothing left. Yes, this will help strengthen those stomach muscles. And what’s the wonderful side effect? How about increased blood flow to the brain even more rich in oxygen! Are alertness, thought power, and focus important to any of you?

Lounging: No, I don’t mean lunging. But lounging might not be quite as easy as it may sound either. More like edge-of-your-seat action!

First, shift forward in your seat so that your back is well away from the backrest. Now, slowly begin to lean back maintaining a straight spine. You should notice your abdominals are forced to flex, with the tension increasing the further you lean. Find a position that works for you and provides a sufficient challenge. Start with 30 seconds to test the waters, but you could potentially work to 20-30 minute stretches of this exercise rather quickly.

Knee Lifts: Alternating knee lifts will help you target your lower abdominals. Choose a time when you know you have a few minutes of reading or reflecting to do this exercise.

Push that keyboard drawer in and move back enough to give your knees some clearance. If you’re reading, adjust your monitor to make sure you are not straining your eyes in the process.

Now raise one knee towards your chest, as high as you can go before returning to the original position. Try to maintain a steady movement with a 3-4 count up and a 3-4 count down, consisting of about 10 reps each leg per set. You can alternate performing sets of the exercise by thrusting the knee as quickly and high as you can and gently returning it down.

WARNING: Do not throw your head and body forward to raise your knee higher! Keeping good posture throughout these exercises is paramount!

Bonus Move! Since the above exercise does require you to be slightly further from your desk, let’s look into another option you can even perform while writing!

You can also engage your core focusing on lower abdominals by extending your feet off the ground and away from you under the desk.

Begin by shifting forward until your sitting bones are close to the edge of your chair. When you hold your feet away from your centre, your core is forced to engage utilizing the lower fibres in order to counterbalance the weight. Your abdominals will receive a sustained isometric contraction building muscle tone and endurance.

Start with 10 second repetitions and work your way up. When you can maintain the hold for at least 30 seconds, try easing in some paddling with the feet (moving them up and down alternately).

A strong core will help you in your daily life, whether you’re lifting a child, carrying groceries, painting a wall, or delivering a presentation. Don’t neglect it!

Part Three coming soon!

Alex Teixeira is the owner and head trainer at Golden Fusion Fitness.

Richard S. Todd is President at The Editor’s Desk, providing professional business copywriting services, as well as comprehensive manuscript editing and proofreading.

neck and back

Office Wellness: Neck and Back Stretches

When you sit at your computer for long periods of time, often the only exercise you get involve your fingers clicking away at the keyboard. But prolonged periods of inactivity can lead to issues with joint health, repetitive strain injuries, and other complications associated with a sedentary lifestyle.

So what can writers do to avoid compromising their overall wellness without sacrificing blocks of precious writing time?

Alex Teixeira, Owner and Head Trainer at Golden Fusion Fitness, has been generous enough to offer our readers some easy exercises to promote good health, balanced with a productive lifestyle.

This is part one of a five part series.

Part One: Neck and Back

It is important to keep your back and neck supple. Some cultures even proclaim this to be the key to youthful longevity!

As a writer, or anyone spending a lot of their day in a fixed position, suppleness can be easily lost. You’re probably familiar with the mainstay methods of dealing with back health at the desk. For example, there are proper ergonomic angles associated with your workstation and its relation to your structure that are good as a general rule, and in itself can save a lot of injury. Your chair should be at a height that allows your hips and knees to be at 90 degrees. Shoulders relaxed and back aligned. Elbows around 90 degrees and keyboard height adjusted so that you can maintain your wrists in a neutral position. Take a ten-minute stretch break every 2 hours.

I believe that’s a really great start. But even sitting properly all day long isn’t going to cut it in the long run. Things get too stagnant. Muscles will spasm and vertebrae will seize. Lets look at some simple things to add to the mix to prevent this from happening.

The Slither:. Imagine you are a snake and your next idea lies across the field ahead of you. All you need to do is slither over and get it!

First check and make sure your back is in good alignment. Need help? Now begin by tilting your head slowly to one side (try to manipulate one vertebrae at a time). When it has reached its limit, fluidly allow the tilt to continue at the shoulders, then further down your back until your hip is about to rise off your seat. Now you can switch directions again starting by tilting your head to the other side.

Once you get the hang of it you can try adding in a small twisting motion and changing the size and speed of your slither. Not only is this an inspiring visualization, you will be flexing and extending the spine and all of its connective tissues laterally, giving your whole back a gentle stretch. Do it a few times on either side or as much as you need to. Remember, even when you speed it up a bit, this is meant to be a softer exercise.

The Flower Stretch: Another great stretch for the back and shoulder girdle is a modification of what I call the Flower Stretch.

Again, make sure your posture is on point. Hands on your thighs, eyes forward, breathe in deeply to the bottom of your belly. Slide your hands down towards the inside of your knees as you exhale, lips relaxed. Tuck your chin and round your shoulders spreading the shoulder blades away from each other. At this point, you should be feeling a good stretch in the upper back and neck.

Over the next few breaths, work your way down to target the lower areas. You can add a slight slither into this as well and cross your arms to use your fingers to crawl down your shins. When you are ready to come up, do so while inhaling slowly. Go past your original position, pulling your shoulders back and looking up.

Don’t miss this opportunity for a big smile!

Owl Stretch: Once again, begin by checking for proper alignment of your back. Next, simply rotate to one side beginning at the head, down to the shoulders followed by the remainder of the spine to the hips. Aim to achieve 180 degrees looking directly behind you. You may use your hands on your leg or the arm of your chair to assist the stretch. Hold for up to 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.

After completing these three exercises throughout your day, you may find yourself feeling like you’ve been out for a massage!

Speaking of being out, I can’t over state the importance of just getting out for a walk every once in a while. Not only are the physical benefits fully evident, it also works wonders to regain a creative flow when your thoughts are stifled.

Next up we’ll discuss core strength. Now that we know how to keep our backs loose and supple, we need to develop the necessary strength to support its structure!

Alex Teixeira is the owner and head trainer at Golden Fusion Fitness.

Richard S. Todd is President at The Editor’s Desk, providing professional business copywriting services, as well as comprehensive manuscript editing and proofreading.

to-do list,content marketing strategy,copywriting tips,contact us,copywriting services, seo copywriting,to-do-list

Have a To-Do List? Create a Done List!

A done list will motivate you to tackle that to-do list, and give you a better sense of accomplishment.

If you’re a first time entrepreneur developing your startup, you will likely have a to-do list.

And, chances are, it’s pretty daunting.

My startup checklist covered three months worth of tasks, covering simple jobs such as business registration and domain name purchase, to more complex projects like conducting a market research survey. And for every task I checked off the list, I added at least two more.

I could only see how much there was to do, and wasn’t appreciating all I had accomplished. It’s not very motivating to look at an ever-growing list every day, without taking the time to reflect on the journey I’d already travelled.

Until I discovered the done list.

Where the to-do list is all about planning, the done list allows you to evaluate how you executed the plan. It’s the perfect balance for the to-do list, giving you a rear-view mirror on how your startup is growing. It also allows you to compare your expectations and results and examine the entire process, empowering you to make better to-do lists in the future.

The done list is also a powerful motivational tool, as it shows you real results. You can pat yourself on the back because you’ve accomplished things! Not intangible goals or wishes, but actual things. At the end of the day, you can look back and be proud of all you’ve done, reenergizing you for the next day.

Your done list may never be as big as your to-do list, but you’ll get more satisfaction from the process by keeping track of both.

As they say, it’s not always about the destination. It’s also about the journey.

Richard Todd,Editor's Desk,About Us,About The Editor's DeskRichard S. Todd is President at The Editor’s Desk.

professional headshot

What Your Professional Headshot Says About You, Part 2

“If you’re a small business owner or entrepreneur, you’re a major part of what you’re selling…” Sara Shirley from Sara Elisabeth Photography, on professional headshots.

Last week, we spoke to Sara Shirley from Sara Elisabeth Photography about using professional headshots as personal branding images. She shared with us how entrepreneurs should approach professional headshots for their websites and social media sites.

This week, Sara and The Editor’s Desk President Richard S. Todd compare two images she took of Richard, and how each could be used in corporate or personal branding.

Image #1 – Traditional Headshot

Professional Headshot,Sara Elisabeth,Personal Branding

Sara: “This image is much closer to your traditional “professional headshot” in terms of the crop and the focus on the face. There’s not much in the image to distract from Richard, other than the bricks, which add in a bit of texture and pattern. The absolute positive aspects of this image are how comfortable, inviting, and confident Richard looks. He looks friendly, cool, and calm, and this image makes me trust him. I would still consider this a personal branding image because it exudes personality and the brand that Richard is trying to portray.”

Richard: “Agreed, this is the kind of picture one would normally associate with a professional headshot. Very simple, strong focus on the face with a relaxed expression. The bricks in the back not only add pattern, but also suggest building on a solid foundation. Building relationships, building partnerships, and strength in unity.”

Image #2 – Full Body Shot

Professional Headshot,Sara Elisabeth PhotographySara: “The second image is different in terms of composition and the look and feel of the image. It shows more environment and the reflection in the glass is relevant for a writer who is always thinking about the meaning behind words and ideas. This image is a great compliment to the first one for someone like Richard to add to their website. It would allow potential clients to see more of his personality via his body language.”

Richard: “I like the second because it’s not like the first! As it shows more than the head and shoulders, it will stand out among the crowd of traditional professional headshots while retaining the same relaxed image. The subject is not only someone you could do business with, he’s someone you could hang out with too! Sara also mentioned off-line that the reflection of the building suggests something that writers often do – reflect.”


Sara: “In summary, Image 1 could stand on its own as a personal branding image, but image 2 could not. Together, they make a great pair, allowing the viewer to understand more about Richard. Individuals should be moving towards having more than one great image of themselves to show potential clients. If you’re a small business owner or entrepreneur, you’re a major part of what you’re selling – people want to work with someone they like rather than with someone who is uptight and has no personality. Time to start thinking of how you want your personal branding images to look!”

Richard: “Image 2 certainly compliments the first image, but couldn’t stand on it’s own on a website or on professional social media platforms such as Twitter or LinkedIn. I’ve seen more than a few websites that feature something like Image 1, and then have secondary pictures just like it but with slightly different expressions or hand positioning. Something completely different like Image 2 would have been a better addition to the website.”

Follow The Editor’s Desk on LinkedIn and Twitter.

professional headshot

What Your Professional Headshot Says About You, Part 1

“Each person should be authentic with who they are in the professional world.” – Sara Shirley, Sara Elisabeth Photography, on the subject of professional headshots

Professional headshots are a must for online corporate profiles, professional social media sites, and anywhere where your public image has a stake in your business.

But how many headshots have you seen on corporate profiles that don’t convey the proper image?

This week, Sara Shirley from Sara Elisabeth Photography discusses the importance of personal branding images, and how they can impact your business. She also answers the question about whether or not to use a “selfie”.

1)   You have the ability to view professional headshots with a critical eye. When you see a headshot, what kind of things do they tell you about the subject?

I look at these images as “personal branding images” rather than “professional headshots”. After first noticing the technical aspects of the image, I notice the type of expression the subject has on their face. The person’s smile, the engagement in their eyes and small differences in posture and body language are some of the factors that contribute to making the subject look authentic. If someone looks stiff and uncomfortable in their picture (like often in the standard “professional headshot”), it shows. On the other hand, if the person is warm, engaged and authentic, people will view them in a different way. They’ll be seen as someone that people will want to work with. That is why some photographers prefer to use the term “personal branding images” – the images are supposed to be representative of how a person wants to be viewed by others.

2)   What are the most important things a subject should consider when posing for professional headshots?

Trusting one’s photographer is number one. People should make sure they select a photographer they have a good rapport with and that can show you some samples of their work. Together, they should pick a location that represents the subject and their personal brand (how they want to be seen by others).

Clothing choice is also very important. Subjects should choose clothing that is appropriate to their field, clothing that is clean, ironed, and lint-free, and clothing that is of a solid colour. People want to avoid anything that has a busy design (like floral print), or anything with logos or text on them (unless it’s their uniform).

Lastly, subjects should just allow themselves to let loose and have fun. Most of us don’t like having our pictures taken, but having a great-quality professional headshot that we love is important to our brand image and to our ultimate success. Subjects should let their photographer guide them through the process and don’t forget to smile.

3)   You deal with professionals with many different roles and from many different industries. How does one’s title and industry play into the headshot?

One’s title and industry definitely play a factor in the image, but I give my clients the ultimate decision as to how they want to represent themselves in their final image(s). Some high-level executives enjoy laughing with their employees and having a more equal relationship with them, and subsequently want to be seen as extremely warm in their image. Others prefer to be a little bit more serious and be seen as an authoritarian-type. There’s a full spectrum of choices for people to choose from. Each person should be authentic with who they are in the professional world.

4)   Should a professional ever consider using a “selfie” on their professional profile?

Professionals should never consider using a “selfie” on their professional profile because, whether it’s consciously or sub-consciously, prospective clients, partners or employers will not take them as seriously. Making a small investment in a professional photographer can set you apart from the pack. It demonstrates that the individual puts effort into the way they present themselves, which in turn demonstrates that they’ll put effort into other aspects of their professional life.

5)   I’ve seen more and more companies using the same photographer for their entire staff. It suggests unity through a common image. Do you see this as a growing trend as well?

More and more companies are opting to use the same photographer for their entire staff. Companies, large or small should consider hiring a photographer to capture professional branding images of their staff because it demonstrates unity and consistency in a world where the image is more and more important.

Read Part 2 of our discussion here, where Sara and Richard compare two different types of images.

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workplace engagement

8 Easy Ways to Execute Workplace Engagement

In life, you go through innumerable engagements. I don’t mean the one which involves that certain ring finger. I’m referring to the engagements that you carry out every day, such as those with your co-workers or the one with your barista. These daily engagements vary in scope, and range in intensity from the casual to the familiar.

But aside from the way you engage with your family and close friends, the one person you engage with that can have the most impact on your life is your manager.

It’s a no-brainer, right? You spend more waking hours at work than you do with your family. In many cases, your manager makes independent decisions on your vacation time, your business travel, and your income. All of which means that your manager can potentially have more control over your well being than anyone else in your life.

Don’t despair. There are ways to get that perceived control back while positively impacting your career.

One of those ways is to strategically engage your manager.

But what steps should you take to achieve this? More importantly, how can you use your relationship with your manager to not only strategically position yourself within the company, but also execute your own innovations to demonstrate your engagement?

Here are 8 easy ways to execute workplace engagement and help your manager help your career.

  1. Get to know them: This goes beyond learning the names of their spouse, children, and favourite sports team. When you know someone – really know someone – you get familiar with what makes them tick. You know how to speak to them, and how they will react to what you say long before you say it. In the long run, you’ll know exactly what they need to hear to make them happy, or ease their concerns during a crisis. You’ll also get a sense of their work style, so you can tailor your own to complement theirs.
  2. Ask for feedback: People in power love to share their opinions. And they’ve earned that right, haven’t they? The organization must have thought so, or they wouldn’t be there. Part of a manager’s duties is to mentor you. Give them the chance. They’ll be pleased that you’re not afraid to ask questions and are willing perform tasks to their specifications.
  3. Watch your language: This applies to both verbal and non-verbal communication. Using sarcasm, jokes, and profanity at inappropriate times can cause your manager to question your professionalism. Gossiping and blaming others for mistakes are also frowned upon in basic office etiquette. The same goes for your body language. Uncross those arms, smile, and be enthusiastic when speaking with your manager. And when they reply, don’t just pretend to be interested, actually be interested.
  4. Use your voice: Managers like to know that you’re engaged with your work, and you can demonstrate this by constructively voicing your opinion or pitching a new idea in line with the company’s goals. But when speaking up be sure to do so sparingly, only speaking to the topic at hand. Engaging in small talk, making jokes, or bringing up unrelated issues might indicate that you’re not “in the moment”. In other words, you should say something, but don’t just say anything.
  5. It’s all about your manager: Most managers are willing to accommodate some intrusion of your personal life into the 9 to 5. Sometimes you need to take a personal call. There are times when your child is sick and you have to pick him or her up from school or daycare. That’s life. But don’t kid yourself – that understanding boss considers these distractions just that: distractions. You might consider making lost time up the next day, and cutting down on lunch breaks to demonstrate that you’re not taking advantage of their generous nature. Communicating in advance about any outside appointments will also help you build up a level of trust. But keep an eye on the clock and be sure to get back to work as soon as you can.
  6. Show them appreciation: Ever had a boss who had bad manners but was a wizard with Excel? Focus on their wizardry. If you show them that you value their knowledge they will feel appreciated, and potentially reciprocate in some form. It touches on that old adage – treat one how you’d like to be treated. Besides, dwelling on their bad manners will only affect your morale, and that’s not good for anyone. Just avoid over-appreciating. Managers are suspicious of people who constantly compliment and praise them. Let them be more impressed when you deliver that project on time.
  7. Expect disagreements: Even the most loving of couples fight. You can expect some disagreements with your boss as well, but unlike your spouse, your manager’s relationship with you is unwaveringly vertical. Although it might go against your better judgment, remember that he/she is the boss. Even when they’re wrong, they’re right. Show trust, move on, don’t dwell.
  8. Stay big-picture focused: When making strategic recommendations to your manager, be sure to keep the entire organization’s overall goals in mind. This will not only demonstrate that you’re aware of your company’s objectives, but also that you’re a team player.

This last point is especially crucial within organizations that foster employee engagement. Grooming intrapreneurs who use company resources to execute their forward-thinking innovations creates leaders who are loyal to the organization.

And becoming an intrapreneur will not only make your boss look good, it can help fast-track you up the ladder.