The Rewards of Mentoring (for Both the Mentor and Mentored)

The Rewards of Mentoring (for Both the Mentor and Mentored)

If you’re a fresh graduate and you get a job in a company, it doesn’t take a long time for you to realize that the courses you took in college weren’t quite enough to actually let you work well without assistance. You will still need additional training, and that usually involves some sort of mentoring. Without such guidance, you’re likely just floundering along and your productivity can languish.

Many employees recognize the value of mentorship. One survey of millennials found that 79% of them regard it as important for success in the workplace. Fortune 500 companies recognize the value of such initiatives, which is why 51% of these top companies have mentorship programs. It’s all for the benefit of the company too since employees who have mentors are twice as likely to stay for at least 5 years in a company, compared to those employees who didn’t have a mentor.

Anyone Can Be a Mentor

Sometimes a mentorship relationship can be fleeting, but they can still be valuable. If you’re a new employee, you can approach more experienced employees and ask if you can use them as sounding boards for your ideas. You don’t have to limit yourself to a single sounding board either.

Such an approach gives you a greater diversity of opinion and it can open your eyes if you’re an employee. If you’re a “minority” (such as if you’re black or female), then you shouldn’t restrict your mentors to similar minorities. You need to broaden your network.

You Can Be the Mentor or the Mentored at Any Time

The common idea of mentorship is like the Dumbledore/Harry Potter bond, where you have the wiser and older mentor and the young and inexperienced ward. Yet you can get yourself a mentor even if you’re already an experienced worker. You can also be a mentor even when you’re still a new employee, as you bring fresh perspectives to the table.

Initial Challenges

Mentorship programs are like any other initiatives—you can’t expect fantastic results quickly. Sometimes the mentor and the mentored just don’t mesh well together. A single meeting won’t bring about a dramatic improvement. Sometimes the personalities of the mentor and the mentored fit very well, but their schedules can clash.

What you have to expect is that this isn’t a magic pill, and there are no overnight successes. Yet despite the probability of failure, it’s not futile. It’s still worth a try.

Fantastic for Companies

The majority of companies that have implemented mentorship programs have admitted that it benefited them greatly. Employee retention improves, and the company employee turnover rate drops. Job performance is boosted, and those who enter a positive mentorship relationship tend to become dedicate and engaged employees. These improvements affect both the mentors and the mentored, and the business ultimately benefits.

All these facts point to the crucial conclusion that it’s good for everyone if you’re an employee who goes through mentoring—and that you become a mentor, too.

LA Startups Crew
Los Angeles Startups
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.
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LA Startups Crew
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LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.

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How to Maximize Your Digital Marketing Budget in 2019

How to Maximize your Digital Marketing Budget in 2019

Many businesses don’t really regard themselves as digital companies, because they may offer “analog” consumer products and services. After all, they’re not selling high-tech products and software programs. Common small businesses include restaurants, arts, and crafts sales, and plumbing services. So since these are traditional businesses, often they employ traditional marketing strategies—and that’s a mistake. Instead, digital marketing must be at the forefront of any sensible marketing strategy these days.

It’s true that many of these old-school marketing departments have now added more modern online marketing elements like mobile marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, and website operations. Yet often the focus is on traditional marketing methods like print ads and retail store promos. The digital marketing teams receive a far smaller share of the marketing budget.

If you’re running your own business, you have to increase the budget for digital marketing. In fact, the bulk of your marketing budget should probably go to digital marketing instead. Your digital marketing team should be at the forefront of your marketing efforts, leading the charge in promoting your brand and gathering data about your customers.

If you’re not convinced, here are some facts that should change your mind:

  • The vast majority of your customers are online. In the US, about 89% of the people use the Internet. Among the Internet users, 77% go online every day, 43% are online several times a day, and a staggering 26% are online almost constantly. The percentage of the constantly connected jumps to 39% for the 18 to 29 age bracket.
  • According to expert consumer marketers, the most effective marketing tactics include digital marketing techniques like social media, email newsletters, videos, mobile apps, website articles, and blogs. Online marketing is quite versatile, as it can also include webinars, webcasts, online presentations, white papers, infographics, and case studies.
  • With so many digital channels, it’s your responsibility to make sure that the message stays consistent throughout. Every platform should have the same information regarding your business, such as your location and your contact information. Your prices and promos should also appear the same for each channel. Your offline channels must also fall in line with your online promos, though this can be a challenge when you’re prone to quick reactive promotions.
  • The speed of digital marketing is significantly faster compared the traditional offline channels. This is in terms of fulfilling consumer demand for information. Direct mail and even telephone channels can’t compare to having all the information readily available on your website. You can also chat with your consumers and respond quickly via forum posts and emails.
  • The analytic tools for online marketing are also superior as you’re able to really track your marketing ROI. These tools can track how each digital marketing method is actually contributing to your bottom line. You can find out which methods are increasing your brand visibility, increasing your website visitors, and boosting your sales.

The basic truth is that all business these days are digital. You may offer traditional services like food products and plumbing services, yet marketing today must be online.

LA Startups Crew
Los Angeles Startups
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.
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LA Startups Crew
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.

100 Best Coworking Spaces in Los Angeles

100 Best Coworking Spaces to Work in Los Angeles

Coworking spaces these days are all about well-designed, health-conscious zones styled to look more like a members’ lounge than a meeting room. It’s no wonder freelancers, creatives and startups are turning to coworking spaces as an alternative to the traditional office. The communal environment and the amazing amenities are definite perks, but mainly for the sheer beauty of the spaces themselves.

We have compiled a complete list of the best coworking spaces in Los Angeles for you to work – HERE

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Founder, Editor-in-Chief
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.
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LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.

Changing Careers: How to Find the Right Career to Switch To in 2019

Changing Careers: How to Find the Right Career to Switch To in 2019

It’s very common for people to think about switching careers. We think about working in a field we are excited about, in contrast to the dull industry we currently find ourselves. But often this sort of job dissatisfaction changes with your mood. So how do you know if you should change career in the first place? Which career should you choose next? To help you make an informed decision, here are some steps you need to take:

Is It Time to Change Careers?

Sometimes thinking about changing your career is just a passing thought. But you may want to seriously consider your career options right now if you find yourself agreeing to these statements:

  • You’re only staying in your current job because it pays well, or it gives you a prestigious title.
  • You actually hate the thought of waking up the next day to go to work.
  • You feel blah and unenthusiastic about your tasks.
  • When you succeed or fail at a project, it doesn’t really matter to you.

All these point out to a deep dissatisfaction with your current career path. When you’re with certain people, tasks, or workplaces, it’s normal. But when you simply don’t care about your industry anymore and about your place in it, or when the culture of your particular industry no longer suits you, then it’s probably time to take your career musings more seriously.

Which Career Will Be Right for You?

Now that you know that you don’t like your current career anymore, what do you like instead? This can be an overwhelming step because it feels like a wide-open quandary. How exactly do you narrow down your options?

The first step is to identify what gets you excited. There must be something that gets you going. What are you passionate about? What topics make you care? Knowing what motivates you can then help you identify the industries and jobs that can bring back the passion you’ve lost.

The next step is to do research on your motivations. Now you find those industries and jobs that will make you feel excited again. Internet searches are easy to do, and your research can then give you quick facts. You’ll know about possible jobs in other industries, expected salaries, the culture to expect, how all these can mesh with your career goals.

After your online research, go to job fairs and other career networking opportunities. Find out about job openings, and ask questions about the industry and the work.

Pursuing Your New Career

Once you’ve identified the new career you want to try out, be serious about starting the process. Go active on LinkedIn. Reach out to local businesses. Find mentors. Attend various industry events to widen your network.

You may find that your new career won’t require you to go back to school for the next 4 years. You may need some new training, but such programs may only take a few months instead of a few years. After that, you may be ready and you may find yourself looking forward to going to work instead!

Check out these 50 hottest startups to work for right now.

Founder, Editor-in-Chief
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.
×
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.

6 Things Employers Need to Know About Mental Health at Work

6 Things Employers Need to Know About Mental Health at Work

Mental health in the workplace is a touchy subject even though it shouldn’t be. If you’re quite clueless about the basics, here are six things that you should know about it.

How many years has it been since the World Health Organization declared that mental health problems are classified as serious illnesses? It has been a while, for sure, but it can’t be denied that the diseases under this category still carry a stigma. People who are diagnosed with such are still treated with doubt and suspicion as if their health problem is not as bad as other ailments.

While there have certainly been some improvements over the past decade when it comes to treating mental illness, we’re far from handling it properly. A lot of people are working hard to change this but if not everyone is willing to make an effort, we’ll still have to wait a long time for things to change.

Mental Health in the Workplace

It’s no secret that the workplace can be the most nerve-racking places for people with mental illness. They can be too competitive, too alienating, too unwelcoming. Because of this, a lot of talent and potential are wasted.

If you don’t want your workplace to experience the same thing, you should work on educating your people about mental health. Handling these diseases properly start from understanding the condition and their sufferers better, so it’s always a good idea to start there.

As there’s just so much to learn about this problem, it’s best to start small. We won’t talk about the technicalities of mental health as that might prove to be too complicated for some. Here are six of the most basic things that you should know about mental health, however:

1. Mental illness is present in every workplace

One of the most important things that everyone should know about mental health issues is that they come in different forms. They do not manifest in the same way in every sufferer because there are so many different mental health problems that plague the general populace. This is why even if it doesn’t look like it, it’s highly likely that you have an employee or co-w0rker that is suffering from one right now.

Mental illness has a lot of faces so it’s not the easiest thing to detect. However, it is said that 1 out of 5 Americans is diagnosed with a mental illness yearly. Because it’s just like physical health where you get sick from time to time, people can also get a mental illness on occasions.

What you should note, however, is that 1 in 25 of them suffer from a severe case. Most people won’t be able to tell even if they’re working desk neighbors is one of them. As some mental illnesses are not always debilitating, most sufferers pass off like their normal selves even if they’re not 100% there.

However, just like physical ailments, it can be just as costly to businesses. Some experts estimate that mental illnesses cause losses that amount to a staggering $193.2 billion in earnings yearly so it’s important for enterprises to address the issue head-on.

2. Employees with mental illnesses are protected by the law

There are a few things that employers should and shouldn’t do with their employees that are diagnosed with mental health conditions. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, employers should:

  • provide the necessary accommodations for employees with mental health conditions; and
  • not fire, force them to stop working or deny promotions based on mental health.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness also says that employees can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave when dealing with a mental health crisis. While the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act makes sure that health insurance policies provide similar coverage to mental health conditions just like they do with physical health conditions.

3. Talking about mental health in the workplace would be beneficial for everyone

Mental health concerns are always some of the biggest elephants in the room, especially in workplaces. This is why creating spaces to talk about them would be a good idea for employers. This will help you educate your team about the issue at hand.

It can also be a positive thing for your employees who are suffering from a mental illness. Activities of this kind will provide support to your team members which is exactly what they need during such tough times.

With the help of the right organizations and experts, you can create a friendlier working environment for those who are struggling with their mental health condition. Open conversations between the employee and management is also a great thing to have.

4. Employees have access to assistance programs

It’s not common knowledge that there are employee assistance programs (EAP) for mental health issues. These are usually available in the form of hotlines for employees to call whenever they need support for their mental health condition.

The best part? The sessions are kept confidential. Employers will not be informed so you can be confident that their condition will not have an effect on their employment.

5. Mental health conditions are mostly treatable

As mentioned above, some mental illnesses can come and go just like physical ailments. Not a lot of people know this for a fact so it’s important to spread the word.

Even severe cases of chronic mental illnesses are largely treatable. With the right resources and ample support, it can certainly be done.

6. Employers and colleagues can make a huge difference in one’s struggle with their mental health condition

Employers can certainly take the right measures in supporting their employees with mental illnesses. For one, they can educate their employers about mental health and even train them how to react to emergencies. Corporate seminars on this topic are offered by various institutions so there won’t be a problem in finding resources for such.

With the right information, colleagues can then provide good support for those with mental health conditions. As they spend a third of their days together, colleagues tend to develop a certain bond and mutual trust. They can then use this to provide excellent support to each other in times of crisis. So if a workplace is well-versed in mental health issues, it won’t be difficult for them to provide support to a co-worker that is struggling with one.

Mental health shouldn’t stay as a touchy subject in workplaces if you want your business to progress. As there are tons of ways how to handle this topic, employers should make an effort to address this pressing concern.

Check out these mental health apps

LA Startups Crew
Los Angeles Startups
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.
×
LA Startups Crew
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.

5 Best Ways to Motivate Your Employees in 2019

5 Effective Ways to Motivate Your Employees in 2019

Every entrepreneur should know just how crucial motivation is in the success of their business. This inner drive can easily push your business to reach new heights as it’s the very key to productivity.

While you might have all the reasons in the world to work hard for your business, your team members might not be in the same boat as you. Your employees can be motivated by lots of things to do well in their jobs but there are instances that they lose sight of what drives them. This can then cause some lagging in your venture’s progress.

Effective Techniques to Motivate Your Employees

What can you do when you hit a snag like this? The first thing would be to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Try to determine whether you’re providing an ideal work environment for your workers.

It is said that it’s all about balance if you want to stay motivated.

Just think about it: lots of leaders and entrepreneurs get to enjoy a good balance between work and rest because they have already achieved a certain amount of success. The relative freedom that comes with success is pretty much a reward for the hard work required for the achievement.

As a result, you’re freed to focus on other things and even relax a bit since you don’t have to do everything anymore. This gives you ample free time to balance work and play to help you stay leveled and in good shape to focus with work the next day.

Not all workplaces offer the same thing to all of its employees and it can kill their motivation and hurt their productivity. So how do you remedy such an issue? Here are five ways that you can try:

1. Offer a salary increase

If your employee has consistently worked hard to provide great results for your company, then, rewarding them with an increase in salary would be the best way to keep them motivated. This is the most popular form of expressing your appreciation for their efforts.

By providing a slight increase in their salary, they’ll know that their hard work is not in vain. They’ll feel fully acknowledged for persevering to achieve and exceed company goals.

As a lot of experts say, your best investment is your people, so you should look at this technique as another solid investment for your business. With a group of highly motivated and highly productive people, you can be sure that your business will move forward.

2. Incentivize regularly

Can’t afford to increase your team’s salary just yet? Then incentivizing achievements could be a great alternative. This doesn’t have to come in monetary form all the time, though. Sometimes you can just host a fun activity or a celebration instead. It can also come in the form of vacation days and even small gifts.

The best time to incentivize your crew is when they successfully achieved something as a team. If it’s not exactly a major feat, hosting a celebration of sorts would be a good way to express your appreciation for their hard work. You can take the whole team out for dinner, drinks, or even an actual vacation. You can decide depending on what their accomplishments are.

Small incentives can also be great motivators. Some companies like to give out gifts to their top performers from time to time so you can also do that if your business requires individual work.

Giving your team ample time off can also be a good way to keep them in high spirits. This will help them achieve a healthy work-life balance, so you should also look closely into this kind of incentive.

3. Be expressive in your appreciation

Commending your team members when they did a good job is possibly the simplest way to keep your people motivated. It’s also one of the most overlooked techniques, so as a team leader, you should keep this trick in mind.

The most effective way to execute this trick is by having one-on-ones with your team members after they performed well. Doing this can easily validate their hard work which can work wonders on their mood and how they look at their job. These talks can also help you establish a better connection with your employees and improve your professional relationship so it’s a win for everyone.

4. Offer free food

If your operations allow it, why not offer free food as well? It’s proven that free food can lighten the mood in any setting, so it would be a great idea to add it to your workplace.

Being well-fed while taking on important challenges can really help boost a person’s mood. It can make your team feel like they’re being cared for. It can also provide some financial ease since they don’t have to spend money to fill their stomachs.

5. Create learning opportunities

Aside from accomplishing tasks and getting recognized for it, it’s also important to make your team realize that they’re not headed towards a dead-end. They shouldn’t feel like they’re stuck or that their careers are headed nowhere. This will make them lose all of their motivation and it will be tough to gain them back again.

Countering this shouldn’t be a tricky thing to do. You can always find ways to show them the bigger picture that they’re a part of. Your employees can surely see how the business is progressing thanks to their hard work.

Aside from this, you should also create opportunities for their growth. This is the very reason why companies send their top people to seminars and training. These can better hone their skills and teach them new skills that can be beneficial for the business.

Promotions are also essential. Even in smaller businesses, it could help if you can increase the responsibilities tasked on your top performers. This will not just make them feel rewarded for their hard work but it can also help them move ahead in their professional life.

Motivating your employees may be tricky but it’s highly necessary if you want your business to succeed. All of your efforts will prove to be well worth it in the end if you do manage to motivate your employees as it can lead to productivity and low turnover numbers.

Here are a few other ideas

Founder, Editor-in-Chief
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.
×
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.