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Conflict resolution tips for leaders

Posted on December 14, 2018 by admin

Workplace conflict is inevitable, which is why you must manage arguments between your staff to keep your office environment professional and productive. Establish office rules of engagementYour code of conduct and workplace policies should make your job easier as a manager. Clear expectations for how staff interact with one another is key to setting the tone for workplace discussions, especially when they get heated. Encourage employees to resolve conflictsAs a manager, you will not have time to get involved in every argument that breaks out in the office. You should encourage your staff to practice their conflict resolution skills so that in the future they will be able to solve their problems with their colleagues. Referee the conflictIf your employees cannot resolve their dispute, you may have to step in. If you see that the conflict is escalating, bring the employees into your office for a face to face chat. You may help resolve the conflict by forcing each employee to listen to the other side and encourage a collaborative solution.

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Authority for super complaints introduced

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The new Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) will make it easier for individuals and small businesses to make complaints about their superannuation financial firms. The Coalition government has responded to criticisms of previous dispute resolution bodies by creating a new financial disputes framework. AFCA has been described as a “one-stop shop” that will improve outcomes for consumers and increase the efficiency of the dispute resolution process. AFCA’s jurisdictionAFCA has been given authority over a range of complaint areas including: Superannuation annuities Corporate, industry and retail super funds SMSFs (handled under investments and advice jurisdiction) Approved deposit funds Small funds Retirement savings accounts Trustees, insurers and decision makers of relevant super bodies What you can make complaints aboutYour super complaint to AFCA must adhere to its governing rules. AFCA has specific time limits for complaints but no monetary limits. You can make complaints about: The advice you were given about a superannuation product Fees or costs that were incorrectly charged or calculated Information you weren’t given about the product including fees or costs Errors in the information provided to you; for example, if your benefit statements are incorrect Decisions your super provider has made Payment of a death benefit Giving instructions […]

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Avoid these small business tax errors

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Unwanted attention and penalties from the ATO can jeopardise your small business. Protect your business by avoiding these common small business tax errors. Not using an accountantTax laws frequently change, and compliance requirements can be time-consuming and demanding. A registered tax agent will streamline your financial processes, provide advice on maximising your finances and keep you compliant. Inaccurate tax returnsSmall businesses that do not declare their income and deductions accurately will attract the ATO’s attention and financial penalties. All foreign income, capital gains tax, business sales and bank interest must be declared. You must also have legitimate evidence supporting your tax deduction claims. Poor record keepingBusinesses that fail to keep accurate records will struggle to remain compliant. It is vital to keep: Cash, online, EFTPOS, bank statements, credit and debit card transactions Records showing when you use business purchases for private purposes to provide evidence for tax deduction claims Incorrect superannuation paymentsThe ATO will sanction employers that fail to pay their employees’ superannuation correctly and on time. Make your mandatory quarterly payments are paid at the correct rate of 9.5 per cent of your employee’s pay. The cash-flow benefits of delaying super payments and missing deadlines are not worth the […]

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Reducing your bounce rate

Posted on December 7, 2018 by admin

If customers are quick to jump off your landing page before you have even had the opportunity to convert them, your website has a problem. A high bounce rate can jeopardise your profit and may indicate that you are falling behind the competition. These tips will bring your bounce rate down and your conversions up. Build an engaging landing pageLanding pages with blocks of text will have your website visitors back on a search engine in seconds. You should make sure your text is broken up with suitable pictures, sub-headings, easy to understand language and icons. That way, the customer can easily find the information they seek and are engaged rather than deterred by your web content. Make your website mobile friendlyBrowsing on the go is more common than ever so if your site is not mobile friendly you are alienating a large segment of your market. Smart formatting tools will make sure your settings are up to speed. Reduce loading timeChances are if your website takes longer than two seconds to load your visitor will lose interest and leave your site. Optimising your site, using caching and sizing your images can all make your website faster.

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How small business can compete with major corporations

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Small businesses should not feel intimidated by their corporate competitors as they have many unique advantages that can help them gain a sizeable market share. Small business owners should focus on specific areas, so they can go head-to-head with large companies with more resources. Customer serviceSmall businesses have the opportunity to build a stronger relationship with their customers through the delivery of friendly and personal customer service. Businesses that provide superior customer service to their corporate competitors will build a loyal customer base and grow their business through word of mouth. Tap into niche marketsSmall business owners are directly involved with their customers, which means they have a greater insight into what their customer base values. Take advantage of this by innovating more quickly than corporations, whose decision-making processes are slower. You may provide a service that corporations cannot feasibly implement. Build a strong staffThe expansive corporate chain of command is far more likely to have a weak link than a small business. Small businesses have greater quality control over the selection of their staff and the standards and expectations of performance. Build a competent team that outperforms your corporate competitors.

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Employer SuperStream checklist

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Employers must make superannuation contributions on behalf of their employees. SuperStream is the ATO’s electronic and standardised solution that streamlines the super payment process. Using SuperStream for employers means: You can use one online channel to pay multiple funds Less room for error during data entry, due to fewer steps Transactions reach funds faster ObligationsYou must make contributions to a super fund through a SuperStream solution unless you are eligible for the following exemptions: Personal contributions if you are self-employed or a sole trader and make after-tax contributions to a super fund for yourself Contributions to your SMSF where you’re a related party employer. For example, if you are an employee of your family business and your super guarantee contributions go to your SMSF. Step-by-step guideOnce you have decided that SuperStream is right for you, the following steps will help you stay compliant: Choose an option: you can choose from a payroll system, your super fund’s online system, a super clearing house and a messaging portal Collect information and update your records: refer to the ATO for an exhaustive list of the information you will need from your employees Pay the SuperStream way: pay as soon as possible so you […]

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Getting to know the ATO Business Portal

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The ATO has introduced the Business Portal to allow small business owners to manage their tax affairs online at their convenience. Connect your ABN to your myGov account or a compatible AUSkey so you can access the business portal. The portal is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The portal can be used for the following services: Registering for GST or PAYG withholding Lodging, revising or viewing activity statements Requesting refunds or transfers between accounts Updating your business details Tracking the progress of refunds or transfer requests Communicating with us through a secure mailbox Refer to the ATO for direct links that will step you through how to use these services successfully. If you still have trouble with technology it may be worth consulting a registered tax agent to help you fulfil the ATO’s compliance requirements.

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Employer’s legal responsibilities regarding sexual harassment

Posted on November 29, 2018 by admin

An employer can be held vicariously liable if they fail to take all reasonable steps to prevent workplace sexual harassment. Implement a sexual harassment policy consistent with discrimination legislation to avoid legal ramifications. Discrimination legislationThe Sex Discrimination Act is a Commonwealth statute that applies to all of Australia. The Act defines sexual harassment as unwanted or unwelcome sexual behaviour, which makes a person feel offended, humiliated or intimidated. Sexual harassment is not interaction, flirtation or friendship which is mutual or consensual. Examples of sexual harassment include: Staring or leering Unwelcome touching Intrusive questions or statements about one’s personal life Requests for sex or repeated unwanted requests to go out on dates Inappropriate advances on social networking sites What you can doEmployers should take reasonable steps by drafting a sexual harassment policy. The courts will judge the policy’s efficacy should an employee bring a claim against you. The policy should contain: Adequate details defining sexual harassment Be endorsed by the employer through workplace education and training on procedures Outline the disciplinary courses of action should a breach occur

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Staff bonding tips

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A tight-knit staff will work more effectively as a team and provide a positive impact on your workplace. Encourage your employees to bond with each other through a range of activities so you can reap the benefits of a friendly office. Staff karaoke nightTake your Friday night staff drinks to the next level by booking a karaoke room. It might sound silly, but karaoke allows employees to let their professional guard down. This promotes a more personal relationship amongst staff that will benefit their teamwork. Escape roomsAn after-work escape room can boost office teamwork and problem-solving skills. Escape rooms require a group of people to solve a series of riddles and puzzles to exit a room. Your staff can discover new talents, learn that it is ok to experiment and make mistakes in a consequence-free zone and bond with each other over a fun activity with a shared goal. Sports activitiesWhether it is a 5km fun run, a tough mudder course or a workplace basketball team, nothing brings a group of people together like sport. The key values of teamwork, cooperation and support evident in sport, will show themselves in the office in no time.

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Credit card do’s and don’ts

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Credit cards are useful financial tools that can help you manage cash flow but can run you into debt if you are not careful. Before you swipe your first credit card consider the following do’s and don’ts, so you gain all the advantages without the headache of a tarnished credit rating. Do’sThere are several actions you can take that will help you manage your credit card. Follow these rules: Try to repay the whole amount owing by the due date to avoid interest mounting up Switch up your payment methods with debit cards to keep your credit owing manageable Be selective about the credit card you apply for Arrange your money so you can reap credit card benefits like frequent flyer points by paying on your credit card and then transfer the money across to your credit account Don’tsCredit cards can accumulate debt with ramifications for your credit score and loan applications down the track. Avoid these standard blunders, so you do not end up regretting your credit card: Do not pay the minimum repayment amount as you will incur interest which can become unmanageable if it compounds weekly or even daily Do not have multiple credit cards if you […]

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