How to Enhance Workplace Communication


As an employee, the road to becoming a successful communicator begins your first day on the job. As an employer, it is your responsibility to provide your employees with the proper tools in order for them to thrive in all aspects of the job. Unsure of where to begin? No matter which end of the spectrum you land on, a great place to start facilitating a working relationship is through communication.


Communication can be broken down by being either one-way or two-way. One-way communication means that the delivered information is meant to only be digested. In other words, the recipient is only meant to read the message is not required to respond immediately if at all. Two-way communication is the exact opposite. A message is delivered and should be met with an immediate discussion. Utilizing both types of communication facilitates a strong overall organization for more reasons than one:


  1. Unites the Team(s): Good communication practices allow all members of the organization to communicate in a productive manner. This aids in setting clear goals and expectations for all of those working toward a common goal.
  2. Reduces Miscommunication: Frequent communication means that there are numerous opportunities for messages to be discussed and elaborated on. Not only does this leave room for questions to be asked, but it also means that opinions and constructive criticism can be given to further benefit a given conversation or topic.
  3. Improves Efficiency: Being able to communicate effectively using both the written word and verbal communication is vital. The more opportunities there are to communicate, the more clear and concise messages will become.


So how do you come to enjoy the communication benefits listed above?


Utilize the Internet


Strong workplace communication starts when employees are given multiple channels of communication to accomplish day-to-day tasks. There should be avenues that support both one and two-way communication. In this digital era, we have set the standard for instant and constant communication. This is much in part due to the internet and its capabilities.


Utilizing the internet to better connect employees and customers is the most direct avenue businesses can take. Communication methods such as email, instant messaging, and video conferencing are the first things that come to mind. However, as of late, standard phone services can also be attained through an internet connection. Employers can utilize VoIP, or Voice Over Internet Protocol to enable employees to utilize typical phone functionality through a simple internet connection. This is a benefit for many reasons. Perhaps the most important being that all employees really need to communicate with each other is a computer and an internet connection.


Set the Standard


Each workplace has likely established multiple channels of communication that are available to employees. It is important to standardize which channels are appropriate for different types of messages. This may vary by department or even team, but in order to obtain a streamlined communication process, here are some things to keep in mind:


  1. Person-to-Person


As stated previously, we live in a digital age where we have the resources to communicate using different messaging platforms and apps. However, there is a unique level of clarity and understanding that is achieved when you are able to interact with a person face-to-face in real time. In-person communication creates strong working relationships among coworkers because you are able to digest more than just the written word.


Body language and tone of voice allow recipients to have a deeper understanding of the message that is being communicated. Not only that, they are able to ask questions and provide commentary instantly that can change the directory of a conversation. Person-to-person communication:

  • Sets the foundation of all working relationships
  • Demonstrates importance
  • Personalizes messages through nonverbal cues
  • Allows for immediate response and commentary on the receiving end


Once a familiarity between coworkers and teams has been established, communication becomes much more clear and concise.


  1. Email


Email is typically used as a form of one-way communication. It is a great tool to use when recapping previously discussed or agreed upon objectives. With that said, email is most effective when used to:

  • Provide brief updates regarding team and project initiatives
  • Send attachments including relevant and detailed information
  • Be a source of reference
  • Serve as a record of communication


It is not effective when used to:

  • Share new information that has not been previously discussed
  • Share high-level instruction
  • Share messages that require a direct and immediate response


  1. Instant Messaging


Instant messaging, much like its name describes, is used for instant communication. It can almost be viewed as a hybrid for face-to-face and email messages. Users have the ability to communicate with the written word, but also have the concept of instantaneous responses through chat. This is a great channel to adopt when you have established an understanding of your team’s personality and the tone of the messages that are being transmitted. Instant messaging provides the benefit of:

  • Real-time communication no matter where your team is located
  • Hosting one-on-one or group conversations
  • The ability to multi-task and not have to halt work on a project to be immersed in a conversation elsewhere






‘It’s hard to recruit talent but the challenge for employers is to hold on to it’

THE IRISH TIMES by Mon 18th March 2019

A Special Report is content that is edited and produced by the Special Reports unit within The Irish Times Content Studio. It is supported by advertisers who may contribute to the report, but who do not have editorial control.


Feedback, coaching and recognition are essential for retaining employees

Talent retention has moved to the top of the agenda for many organisations

Talent retention has moved to the top of the agenda for many organisations


With the labour market at its tightest for many years, talent retention has moved to the top of the agenda for organisations. “Unemployment is at its lowest level since 2007 and turnover has been creeping up and has now reached 11 per cent,”says Chris Kerridge, employee engagement expert with MHR UK and Ireland, a specialist provider of HR, payroll and analytics software and services.

“It comes down to engagement levels in organisations. One of the key issues is around employee and job alignment. If the job or the organisation is not what the employee perceived it to be or if there is no alignment with the culture, they won’t stay. Linked in with that is feedback, coaching and recognition.”

Kerridge believes employees need regular feedback on their progress in their jobs and on their contribution to the organisation reaching its goals and objectives. “On the flip side, if employees are not progressing and not receiving feedback on why and not receiving help to develop that will ultimately lead them to disengage.”

John Goulding, founder of employee engagement and internal communications company WorkVivo, points to some of the positive aspects of employee engagement. “It’s hard to recruit talent and the challenge is to hold on to it,”he says. “Employee engagement is one way to do it. We know if you get it right good things happen.”

If you get employee engagement right good things happen
If you get employee engagement right good things happen

He cites research by Gallup and Gartner indicating 37 per cent less absenteeism, 65 per cent lower employee turnover and 30 per cent greater customer satisfaction in highly engaged organisations.

That improved customer satisfaction is a natural function of high levels of engagement and retention, according to Kerridge. “An organisation with low turnover levels will gain a highly skilled workforce with detailed knowledge of the company’s products and services; the customer experience improves as a result.”

Recognition is also important, and can be small. “It doesn’t have to be a big thing like an award or a bottle of champagne,” says Kerridge. “A simple thank you or a pat on the back to say well done will do. If employees are not getting that it leads to unhappiness.”

Goulding agrees. “Lack of recognition is one of the reasons people become disengaged. It can be very quick and easy to recognise people for their contribution. You don’t need formal awards.”

Chris Kerridge:“unemployment is at its lowest level since 2007”
Chris Kerridge:“unemployment is at its lowest level since 2007”

The negative impacts of poor engagement and high staff turnover levels can be significant. “High turnover impacts morale and motivation,” says Kerridge. “Employees will be concerned about what’s happening in that situation. That diminishes productivity. One of the main negative effects is cost, as the average cost of recruiting a new hire is around €30,000.”

Goulding believes the key to good employee engagement is communication. His company’s internal communications platform looks and feels like a social media site and facilitates two-way communications between organisations and their employees.

“Companies need to invest the time to connect with their employees,” he says. “They have to explain the goals and objectives of the organisation and bring them alive. They have to explain why the goals are important to the organisation, and not just monthly or quarterly. Communication has to be constant. This facilitates recognition and improved engagement.”

If employees know they have a future they will be more likely to stay

There are other things employers can do to improve engagement. “Companies can support personal development and set out clear career paths within the organisation,” says Kerridge. “If employees know they have a future they will be more likely to stay. They can offer things like flexible working. Attitudes to the work life balance are changing. Employees now expect a level of flexible working.”

Measurement is also critical. “Employers should measure the impact and success of these things through regular surveys. They should do regular pulse surveys weekly or even monthly rather than just once a year.”

Indeed, the very act of carrying out the surveys can lead to a feedback loop which generates improved engagement.

And these steps can be taken by any company, regardless of size, Kerridge concludes. “Feedback and recognition don’t cost anything. Putting a career roadmap in place can be done at little or no cost. Flexible working such as working from home or starting earlier and finishing later needn’t cost a lot to implement. All these things help.”

25+ Google Tricks (Guaranteed You Won’t Know All of Them!)


Maximize your time with these lesser-known commands.

By Larry KimCEO of MobileMonkey@larrykim
CREDIT: Getty Images

Think you know everything Google is capable of? 

Think again. 

Google is so much more than a search engine.

You can use it as a unicorn tool do everything from converting currencies to tracking your physical location, all without ever leaving the confines of Google.

Keep reading to discover Google tricks, including lesser-known hacks, time-savers, Easter eggs and search shortcuts.

1. Use Google as a Timer and Stopwatch

You can use Google as a timer or stopwatch with a simple query.

Enter a search phrase like “set timer for 15 minutes” and you’ll see Google do just that.

2. Pinpoint the Time of Sunrise and Sunset


Enter “sunrise in” or “sunset in” followed by a geographic location in Google to find out what time you can expect the sun to rise or set.

For example: “Sunset in Los Angeles.”

3. Weather Forecast

Check the weather to know if it’s a good time to go out or do something outdoors.

Enter “weather in + geographic location” in Google.

For example: “Weather in New York.”

4. Use Google to Calculate a Tip

Search for “tip calculator” to have Google help you with calculating exactly how much you should leave as a tip.

5. Convert Currencies

Google can help you with how much one currency is in another currency.

Type in “amount + currency A to currency B.”

For example: “20 USD to JPY.”

6. Books Written by Favorite Authors

If you’re looking for books by a specific author, simply type in “books written by + author name.”

For example: “books written by Salman Rushdie.”

You’ll get a carousel showcasing their work.

7. Calculator

You can use Google as a calculator if you don’t have one lying around.

Just type in a formula and have Google calculate it for you.

8. Find the Origin of Any Word

Want to know the etymology of a word?

Google can help with that, too.

Put “Etymology + word” to discover the origin of any word. 

9. Use Double Quotes to Find an Exact Search Phrase

If you wish to make your search more exacting, you can enclose your search phrase in double quotes.

That will make Google search for results that contain only that exact phrase.


10. Results from a Specific Site

Use “query +” to get search results only from that specified website.

For example: “marketing tips”

11. Use OR Operator to Find Two Different Things At Once

Search for two different things at once with the OR operator.

For example: “Iphone OR Android.”

12. Use AND Operator to Get Results Containing Two Specific Items

If you’re looking for search results that contain both two of your queries, use the AND operator.

For example: “chatbot AND messenger.”

13. Search by File Type

You may be searching for a particular file type on Google.

Enter “query + filetype:extension.”

For example: “Truecaller filetype:apk.”

14. Find Related Websites

If you’re looking for websites related to a specific website, use “”

For example: “”

15. TBT: Google in 1998

Type “Google in 1998” and the search engine will automatically show you what the search engine looked like the year it was created.

16. Discover Fun Facts

Are you bored at the moment?

You can type “fun facts” or “I’m feeling curious” in Google and get some awesome trivia factoids.

17. Do a Barrel Roll

If you haven’t tried this yet, get on it.

Type “do a barrel roll” into Google and watch the magic unfold.

18. Look at Old Accounts with Inactive Account Manager


Google’s Inactive Account Manager lets you look at accounts you may have in Google that are not being used.

You can then delete accounts you’re no longer using or make them active again.

19. Adjust Your Ad Settings

Did you know you can choose what type of ads you want to show up on your browser.

Head to ad settings and adjust the ad types you see. 

20. Report a Gmail User

Unwanted or abusive emails on Gmail can be problematic.

You can report them to Google using this form and Google will deal with the problem for you. 

21. Use Startpage

StartPage isn’t actually a Google-owned trick, but it’s still a good service to know about.

StartPage is like an incognito version of the Google search engine — your searches there are totally anonymous, and StartPage pulls results from Google itself.

Unlike the incognito version of Google, however, your IP address is not tracked or stored, giving you more security. 

22. Download Search History

You can obtain a list of all the search queries you’ve entered throughout your history of using Google.

This is super helpful if you’re trying to track down a particular webpage you visited but can’t recall the name of. 

23. Make Sure Your Downloads are Safe


Google’s safe browsing site status tool can check if a file you wish to download is safe.

24. Google Newspaper Archive

Google Newspaper Archive is pretty much the most comprehensive online news file there is.

You can read newspapers from 1798 to present day from all over the world.

25. Google Timeline History

You can use Google Timeline History to see where you have been at a particular date and time.

If you need to be able to track your own whereabouts, then this is a powerful tool.

26. Google Trends

Google Trends is an excellent tool for identifying the hottest topics at the moment from around the world.

Digital marketing mastermind Neil Patel considers it one of his top seven marketing tools.

Like Neil, you can use Google trends to identify topics to incorporate into your content strategy.

27. Google Password Manager


Google Password Manager is one of the most convenient features on Google.

You can have Google save passwords for your various online accounts.

It makes having different passwords for different accounts easier to manage.

Just make sure your Google password itself is both secure and easy enough to recall.

This post was inspired by All Tech Share’s infographic. Check it out here for even more Google tricks.

Like this column? Sign up to subscribe to email alerts and you’ll never miss a post.

Personal Loan Rates for March 2019

Loan reason

Debt Consolidati …SoFi



5.99 %

with AutoPay


     Larger Loan Amounts


     No Application Fees


     No Prepayment Penalties

  • Fixed interest rates start at 5.990% APR when you enroll in AutoPay¹
  • Loan sizes between $5k-$100k¹
  • Loan repayment terms: 3,4,5,6 and 7 years

6.14 %

with AutoPay


     Larger Loan Amounts


     Lower Rates


     Quick to Fund

  • Loans from $5,000 – $100,000
  • Rates from 6.14%* APR w/AutoPay depending on loan purpose
  • Funds as soon as today†

6.95 -35.89 %

with AutoPay


     Minutes to Apply


     No Prepayment Penalties

  • Personal loans from $1,000 to $40,000
  • Easy online application takes minutes
  • Low fixed rates and fixed monthly payments

5.99 %


     Lower Rates


     No Prepayment Penalties

  • Borrow $10,000 to $40,000
  • Rates as low as 4.99% APR – terms apply
  • No prepayment fees ever

6.95 -35.99 %


     Quick to Fund

  • More than $10 billion loans funded through Prosper
  • 9 out of 10 customers would recommend Prosper to friends or family*
  • Consolidate debt, finance a large purchase or pay off medical expenses

7.74 -29.99 %


     Larger Loan Amounts


     No Prepayment Penalties


     Quick to Fund

  • Personal loans $1,000 to $50,000
  • Check your rate online in minutes
  • Pay loan off any time with no prepayment penalty

5.99 %


     No Prepayment Penalties


     No Application Fees

  • No prepayment penalties, application fees, late fees, or hidden fees. Because no one wants to do that
  • You can consolidate all your credit card payments down to one monthly, affordable, fixed-rate payment between 5.99% and 24.99% APR

15.49 -34.99 %


     Quick to Fund

  • Personal loans from $2,000 to $25,000
  • Checking your loan offer won’t affect your credit score
  • Loans funded quickly, as soon as next business day

5.99 %

3 or 5 year term


     Quick to Fund


     No Application Fees


     No Prepayment Penalties

  • Personal loans up to $35,000 with fixed APRs from 5.99% to 29.99% for a 3 or 5 year term
  • Get money in as little as one business day
  • Join more than 420,000 customers at a trusted company with an A+ BBB rating

9.95 -35.99 %


     Quick to Fund


     Minutes to Apply

  • Personal loans from $2,000 to $35,000 online.
  • Competitive rates from 9.95% – 35.99% APR and terms from 24 to 60 months
  • Checking your loan options has no impact to your credit score.

5.74 -18.99 %


     Lower Rates


     No Prepayment Penalties


     No Application Fees

  • Borrow up to $35,000
  • Low, fixed rates starting at 5.74% APR¹
  • Loan terms of 36, 48 or 60 months

7.99 %

with AutoPay


     Larger Loan Amounts


     No Prepayment Penalties


     Quick to Fund

  • Personal loans of up to $50,000 with low fixed rates that will never change*
  • Affordable monthly payments that fit your budget, and no prepayment penalties
  • Fast Funding. Money is sent to your bank account within a day of clearing any verifications

What is a personal loan?

A personal loan is defined as money loaned to individual borrowers by banks, credit unions, or private lenders. The money can be used for just about any purpose. Personal loans are paid out in a single lump sum, and often repaid over a number of years. The typical personal loan is repaid in monthly installments over an agreed-on period of time and personal loans are typically unsecured, meaning they aren’t backed by collateral (homes, cars or other types of property).

“A personal loan is a convenient borrowing alternative, often at a lower rate than a credit card and with funds disbursed much more quickly than getting a home equity line of credit.”

Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate’s chief financial analyst.

Personal loan rates

Interest rates for personal loans are largely determined by your credit score. Your annual income and the amount you wish to borrow are important, too. Interest rates for unsecured personal loans generally range from 5%-36%. You can apply for a personal loan through a bank, credit union or finance company, including online marketplace lenders.

Average Personal Loan Rates by Credit Rating
Excellent 720-850 9.8%
Good 690-719 15.0%
Average 630-689 21.3%
Poor 300-629 28.2%

Why do people take out personal loans?

Some of the most common reasons for considering a personal loan are:

Even if these reasons don’t apply to you, you may still benefit from a personal loan. Bankrate’s personal loans marketplace can help you find the best loan and the best lender for your situation.

Pros and cons of personal loans

Know the advantages and disadvantages of a personal loan, which include:


  • The convenience of receiving the money upfront in a lump sum
  • You can get the money quickly — in as little as one day, depending on the lender
  • They’re easier to apply for than mortgages or personal lines of credit


  • You’ll likely pay a higher APR with an unsecured loan
  • A low credit score can make it more difficult to get the lowest available APR
  • You may have to pay an origination fee to process the loan

Frequently asked questions about personal loans:

What is APR?

APR stands for Annual Percentage Rate. APR refers to the extra amount borrowers pay in interest and fees on an annual basis. Lenders calculate APR on a yearly basis, but borrowers are most often responsible for paying APR on a monthly basis.

For more detail on how APR can affect your monthly payments, check out our loan calculator.

What’s the difference between a secured loan and an unsecured loan?

Secured loans are backed by a piece of the borrower’s property as collateral, typically a vehicle or house. Because the borrower stands to lose personal property if they default, secured loans tend to have lower interest rates.

Unsecured loans are not backed by collateral, but instead by the borrower’s creditworthiness. Because the lender takes on more of a risk with an unsecured loan, interest rates tend to be higher. Lenders also require that borrowers seeking an unsecured loan have a higher-than-average credit score.

What’s a repayment term?

A repayment term refers to the length of time borrowers have to repay their loan. A personal loan’s repayment term can vary between one and ten years, depending on the lender.

How does my credit score affect my offer?

Because personal loans are often unsecured, they may come with higher APRs. With unsecured loans, lenders tend to pay extra attention to a borrower’s credit score.

The lower a borrower’s credit score is, the more they’ll have to pay in APR. Lower credit scores can lead to APRs in the double digits.

Loan rates differ by lender, but often opting for a secured loan can help lower APR, even for someone with bad credit. In some cases, secured loans can offer up to 8% less in APR than unsecured loans.

What’s the difference between fixed-rate and variable interest?

Depending on the loan and the lender, you may have a choice between fixed rate (which stays the same over the life of the loan) or variable (which can rise or fall depending on changes in the market).

The interest on a variable rate loan often starts low but may increase over time. The terms of the loan agreement will specify how often the lender is allowed to raise the interest rate, and some loans cap the maximum rate at a certain percentage. By contrast, the payments and interest charges on a fixed-rate loan will remain the same.

Base your decision on whether you prefer the stability of a fixed rate or the possibility of saving on interest with a variable rate.

COMPARE PERSONAL LOAN RATES: Enter your information in the Your info/Loan info box at the top of the page to see offers from Bankrate lending partners.

Transitioning from College to Career: A Guide for New Grads

college graduation celebration

Transitioning from College to Career: A Guide for New Grads

Graduating from college, while a great achievement and cause for celebration, can put many young adults in a difficult position. Expectations are high for landing the right entry-level position, while for many the threat of student debt and rent create a feeling of financial instability.

This guide is here to help you figure out what you need to know to get on your feet and keep moving, as your academic development turns into professional development.