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The Guide to Giving Gifts at Work


The Guide to Giving Gifts at Work

How do you want to be remembered at work? Do you want every day to be the same, boring routine that has no meaning whatsoever? Or do you want your coworkers to remember how much they appreciate your friendship and how hard of a worker you are by giving gifts to your work colleagues?

You can’t go wrong with any gift! We’ve compiled this guide to giving gifts at work.

Rules of Gift Giving at Work

It can difficult to know what gifts are appropriate for your friends and co-workers at the office. Here are few simple guidelines to keep you out of trouble.

  • When in doubt, ask the person what they want
  • Keep it small and simple
  • Make sure it is appropriate for the workplace setting
  • No food or drink gifts
  • Avoid anything that could be construed as sexual harassment

Here are some tried and true favorites for gifts you can give any colleague.

  1. A gift card to their favorite restaurant or store
  2. A nice pen or pencil set
  3. Tickets to a show or sporting event
  4. A spa day package
  5. Customized coffee mug with a photo and message engraved on it
  6. A basket filled with their favorite snacks
  7. An Amazon Kindle Fire tablet
  8. A new piece of jewelry Something handmade from your own crafty hands
  9. Framed art print of their favorite landscape or cityscape
  10. An ice cream maker for the summer months ahead

Special Occasions and Gift Giving

There are a few special occasions throughout the year when gift giving is appropriate in the workplace. Here’s a quick guide to what you should give your friends and colleagues during these times.

Birthdays

A birthday is a great opportunity to give your friend or co-worker something special. You can either go with a gift card or an item that is personalized just for them.

If you’re looking for birthday gifts for male coworkers, there are a lot of good options.

Similarly, you can find a lot of great birthday gifts for female coworkers if you’re willing to put a little thought into it.

Holiday Parties and Gift Giving

If you work in a large office, there will probably be some type of company holiday party. These parties can be intimidating to attend if you don’t know much about the other people who are going besides your own coworkers. If someone is throwing their first holiday gathering, it’s good to check with them before bringing any gifts.

Most people do not exchange gifts at office holiday parties, but it is always a nice gesture to bring something small for the host or hostess. If you are feeling generous, you could also buy a gift for the entire office staff.

Valentine’s Day

On Valentine’s Day, many people like to show their love for one another by exchanging small tokens of appreciation. This is also a popular day for office romances.

If you are in a relationship with someone at work, it’s typically best to avoid giving them anything too intimate or personal. A nice card or flowers will usually do the trick.

Boss’s Day

Bosses’ Day is a day to celebrate the hard work and dedication that our bosses put in every day. It’s also a day to show them how much we appreciate them.

A nice gift for your boss could be something like a gift card to their favorite restaurant or store. If you are feeling really creative, you could make them a custom mug with a photo and message engraved on it.

Secretary’s Day

Secretary’s Day is a day to celebrate the hard work and dedication that our secretaries put in every day. It’s also a day to show them how much we appreciate them.

A nice gift for your secretary could be something like a gift card to their favorite restaurant or store. If you are feeling really creative, you could make them a custom mug with a photo and message engraved on it.

Employee Appreciation Day

Employee Appreciation Day is a day to celebrate the hard work and dedication that all of our employees put in every day. It’s also a day to show them how much we appreciate them.

My Take on Giving Gifts at Work

Giving gifts at work can be a tricky thing to navigate. You want to give something that shows you care, but it shouldn’t go too far and make people uncomfortable.

If I were going to pick out a gift for any one of my co-workers at work, I would probably buy them an item from their favorite store or restaurant as long as the price didn’t go overboard. If I wanted to give something a little more personal, I would probably make them some kind of art or photo print with their favorite place/thing highlighted on it.

Remember, when you give someone a gift, you want them to feel appreciated and loved. So, when in doubt, go with a gift that is thoughtful and not too personal. You want to maintain the boundaries of your professional relationship even though you are giving them something special from the heart.

How to Prevent Fraud in Your Small Business


How to Prevent Fraud in Your Small Business

Small businesses are at a higher risk for fraud due to their lack of resources and smaller budget. Security consultants and other professionals can help small business owners reduce their risks and prevent fraud from happening in the first place, but it’s important that you take precautionary measures too.

There are three types of fraud that small business owners need to be aware of. These include theft, financial statement distortion and asset misuse. Each of these threats can result in economic loss for both the company as well as its customers if not handled quickly and properly. Having a risk mitigation strategy with contingency plans in place is crucial to minimizing the harm these incidents can have.

Why Small Businesses Are Susceptible to Fraud

Fraudsters usually target small businesses because they know that their resources are limited – this makes it easier to cover up any suspicious activity and less likely they will be caught. Criminals are also more likely to target small businesses because they typically don’t train their employees to recognize fraud, lack loss prevention policies and practices, and are often unaware of their overall risk.

Fraud can be anything from stealing inventory, tampering with financial records and creating fake invoices to pay off personal debt or for luxury items that aren’t related at all to the company’s expenses. Thieves will first steal inventory by either switching the original product with a counterfeit one or taking it completely. Scammers are also known to tamper with financial records, thus making it difficult for business owners to track their expenses and how much money they have left at their disposal.

Unethical employees are another way that fraud can happen. Illegal acts like falsifying invoices, creating fake refunds or discounts and even claiming to have worked hours on the job when they actually didn’t are some of the ways in which employees steal from their employers

Strategies for Preventing Fraud

Fraud prevention is not limited to installing security cameras throughout the business. Theft and misuse of company assets can happen everywhere, whether it’s online or in person. For these reasons, business owners must keep their eyes open at all times and be aware of any suspicious activity.

Here are some steps you should take to protect your small business from fraud:

  • Perform background checks on potential employees
  • Set up a strong password policy for all devices and applications
  • Train your employees about security best practices
  • Implement a foolproof sign-in process for remote employees
  • Monitor emails, social media accounts and phone calls as much as possible

Staying informed and up to date on the latest fraud prevention strategies is critical. Look for conferences where fraud speakers address strategies to keep your business safe.

Using Internal Controls Pays Off

Employees are often the main culprits when it comes to fraud and theft. This can be tough for small business owners to address because they often consider their employees as friends or family members. Keeping track of your company’s expenses and financial status is important, which is why it’s crucial to implement internal controls.

Internal Controls will help you stay in the know about how much money a person has access to at any given time as well as where that money goes. Accounting software with data integrity tools can help better track these issues so you don’t have any surprises.

Fraud prevention training for employees is also important to keep your business safe. Criminals are getting smarter every day, so it’s crucial that you stay ahead of the game and implement any necessary security measures as soon as possible.

Is a Bachelor Degree Worth It Anymore?


Is a Bachelors Degree Worth It

In the past, a bachelor’s degree was considered to be one of the most valuable degrees that someone could have. But with things changing so quickly in our society and technology, is it still worth it? In this blog post we will discuss some reasons why a bachelor degree might not be worthwhile anymore.

A Quick Review of Bachelor Degrees

The first reason that people think bachelor degrees are no longer as important is because many jobs now require more than just an undergraduate education. This means that people who only have bachelor degrees need to go back to school if they want a promotion or better pay rate. The second reason is because there are more options for non-traditional students these days, which means someone can get the same benefits without going through four years of college and without incurring the huge cost.

The most common objection that people have to this argument is the idea that all of those opportunities come at a price – they may not always be as stable or reliable as a bachelor’s degree might be over time. The second thing we hear from skeptics about this issue is how expensive going back to school can be; getting their bachelor’s could end up costing them twice what they spent on their initial education.

What is a Bachelor’s Degree

A bachelor’s degree, also known as an undergraduate degree, is a diploma that is awarded for a four-year college program. Graduates attend universities where they study a curriculum that was developed specifically for their particular major. Most bachelor’s degrees require students to complete courses in the core-curriculum. These core areas include a standard series of courses in English, the social sciences, Math, Chemistry, Biology, and Philosophy.

Does a bachelor degree really matter?

A bachelor degree can be worth it, but not for everyone. There are two reasons why someone might consider getting a bachelor’s degree: the first is because they’re looking to make more money and a bachelor’s degree will help them get their foot in the door of better-paying jobs.

Second, there are many other options now for people who want to go back to school that don’t require four years of college or incurring huge costs – so essentially those benefits can come at less cost or with greater stability than if you had spent all your time earning an undergraduate degree.

The most common objection we hear from skeptics about this argument is how expensive going back to school can be – having done all of that hard work already means another bachelor’s degree is a big step backward.

Well, it turns out that bachelor’s degrees can still come at a pretty good price.

What Does It Cost to Get a Bachelor Degree

Bachelor degree programs are affordable for most people. They’re not usually as expensive as you might think.

The average cost of tuition and fees to attend public four year universities now comes in around $14,000 per year (as of 2015). This cost varies depending on whether or not you live in state and which schools you choose between private or public institutions.

Keep in mind these prices don’t include living expenses like rent, food, etc., so when considering what college to go back to costs need to be considered alongside all your other financial obligations – including debt repayment plans if applicable. With this said, bachelor degree programs are still pretty good prices.

The Cost of Getting a High School Diploma

Did you know that the cost to graduate from high school is estimated at $269? That’s right, it only costs about $270 in total for one year (on average) to get your diploma!

Don’t let this price tag fool you though – not all high schools offer diplomas for just any student who completes their studies there. You’ll need to meet certain requirements before they will give you a document showing what classes and grades you’ve completed so far too. This restriction means that many people don’t receive a formal high school education, even after years of study and work towards graduation. And these same people can be left without

Does where you get your degree matter?

Another consideration for people considering getting an undergraduate degree is where should they go. Though there are some bachelor degree programs that can be taken online, those students will most likely have to relocate if they want a job after graduation.

There is no clear data on whether or not the quality of education you get in one school differs from another, but many people think it does based on anecdotal evidence and personal experience. For example, someone who has gone through school in a state college might see different expectations than what his peers were used to in a private school. Each university approaches education differently (and sometimes at varying costs).

Why Is a Bachelor’s Degree Important

A bachelor’s degree is considered to be important for many reasons. One reason is that bachelor degrees tend to come with a higher salary than those who only have an associate’s degree.

Another important thing about bachelor’s degrees is that they’re required for many positions today, especially in the technical field and most engineering jobs.

Many people think of college as being all four years of classes and nothing more, but it can be so much more. For example, if you study abroad during your time at school or join clubs on campus like theater club or chess club, then your experience will be so much richer and give you memories that last a lifetime.

Why do most jobs require a bachelor’s degree?

Many jobs require an undergrad degree, and the reasons vary by industry and job requirements. Reasons employers provide for requiring a bachelor’s degree include:

  • College graduates tend to be more mature
  • Advanced courses help students learn to think critically
  • Some jobs require good writing skills
  • Technical jobs want people with a solid grounding in the sciences

My Take on the Value of a Bachelor’s Degree

A bachelor degree can be costly and not worthwhile. But if someone has an established career as they go through their undergraduate years, then getting a bachelor’s might just be what’s been missing from his or her education. It all depends on your specific situation and goals – but I’m sure we’re all curious about whether or not this is still true today now that more people seem to have college degrees than ever before!

What Does Artificial Intelligence Really Do When It’s Proctoring an Exam


What Does Artificial Intelligence Really Do When It’s Proctoring an Exam

AI is Finding Uses Monitoring Live Testing Situations

AI in live proctoring works like a smoke detector, alerting humans to a potential problem, and then humans, not technology, make the judgments.

Artificial Intelligence—AI. It may sound scary. And it’s anything but perfect.

Individuals get terrified when people talk of utilizing AI in test and exam proctoring, in conjunction with a system that deters and detects cheating. That’s reasonable. But it’s also limited, and it ignores the breadth of what AI technologies can do—and, more importantly, don’t do—during remote testing monitoring.

Let’s take a quick look.

To begin, it’s a good idea to approach inquiries concerning AI in test proctoring with the knowledge that the AI tools and approaches utilized during an exam can differ substantially. The range of AI tools available ranges from none to a plethora of indicators that can correctly monitor and evaluate everything from background noise to keystroke accuracy and speed, among other things. The presence of a proctoring solution in a remote test does not imply that it employs AI.

It’s also crucial to remember that where a test falls in the range of review and monitoring methods is largely determined by what the test provider, the institution, wants. Remote test proctors adhere to the norms and procedures established by the schools or professors; they do not make up their own or utilize anti-cheating software that the schools do not approve of. To put it another way, if a test uses AI, it’s very definitely because the school requested it, and for good reason.

What Exactly is AI and What Does it Do

Let’s take a quick look at what AI is—what it does, keeping in mind that AI and test proctoring are not the same things and that schools, not proctoring firms, make such decisions.

AI is a machine that gathers and evaluates data. In that sense, it’s similar to an exam in that it collects data and scores it on a scale. What sets AI apart is its ability to “learn” from both its successes and failures. AI systems improve in accuracy as they are used.

That brings us to the point of what AI cannot accomplish during remote testing. It does not determine who is cheating, and I cannot stress this enough. Some acts are not “flagged” as cheating, and the student is not penalized. It doesn’t have a specific score for cheating vs. not cheating—look away from your screen twice in a minute and you’re good three times and you’re failing. That is simply not the case.

The reason for this is that the AI systems used in the test proctoring that we use simply alert humans. The decision is made by humans. Perhaps not every proctoring service follows this procedure, but they should.

Here Is an Example of AI Monitoring Test Takers

Let me give you an illustration. If a student answers complex engineering questions faster than 99.5 percent of other pupils, this could be cause for concern. It’s possible that they knew the questions and answers ahead of time. It could also mean that the person taking the test is a well-prepared engineering genius. In this case, an AI system might notify a test proctor of the unexpected event, but the proctor, and eventually the test-professor, takers will decide whether the test-taker is a genius or a scallywag.

That last sentence is crucial. Even if this hypothetical student sets off the AI alarm because of how rapidly they respond, and even if a reviewing proctor alerts the professor, the professor may determine it’s acceptable. Perhaps they are aware that the pupil is a top academic performer. Alternatively, they may decide that more investigation is required because the student has never attended a single class. Professors and school staff, not AI, decide what constitutes wrongdoing and what should be done about it.

AI is the Future

In this sense, AI functions similarly to a smoke detector in your home. Yes, it is smarter, yet it performs a comparable function. A smoke detector searches all day and night for one thing, and when it finds it, it sounds an alarm. However, a human must then decide if the meatloaf was left in the oven for too long or whether it is time to take the children and dogs and flee. AI, like a smoke detector, may warn people about situations they might otherwise overlook. People, on the other hand, make the decisions.

Furthermore, because AI “learns” from what it “gets right,” the tools will make fewer mistakes and provide fewer false warnings as they work. Whereas older AI systems may have detected an uncommon occurrence when someone sneezed, the system will fix itself after a few “corrections” by humans, and sniffling will no longer be highlighted. That’s a positive thing. We want AI systems—indeed, all systems—to be accurate and improve over time.

When actual people are combined with AI, the result can be pretty powerful. Humans can fix and improve AI, and AI may warn humans about things they might otherwise overlook. Humans and AI both improve throughout time as a result of the relationship. The dirty secret is that AI is utilized just as often to help our proctors improve as it is to “detect” cheating, especially in online proctoring.

There is no “score” by which an AI system can determine cheating in proctoring and evaluation. And there is no system in place that will use an “AI score” to decide a grade or academic outcome. Schools and instructors should not attempt to deploy proctoring or AI tools in this way without human decision-making. The systems were not built to do so, and they are unlikely to be able to do so.

My Opinion

The basic line is that AI systems utilized for online exam proctoring aren’t everywhere, they’re frequently highly specialized, and they’re never utilized in place of humans. Robocop isn’t watching anyone take a test, even though they can detect things that humans can’t. Big Brother will never let you down. That is something AI cannot do.

Use Continuous Improvement to Improve Your Company’s Bottom Line


Use Continuous Improvement to Improve Your Company’s Bottom Line

Apply an Old Business Idea- Continuous Improvement – to Your Business Operations

Whether it’s Six Sigma, Lean, or any of the various techniques organizations have used to get better at what they do, the concept of continuous improvement lies at the center of practically every business improvement model. It’s the concept of making tiny adjustments to processes, products, services, and learning that build up to greater overall good changes.

Use Continuous Improvement as Lever in Your Company

So, why would you want to create a continuous improvement culture at your company? And how can you use customized learning experiences to help you foster that culture? In this post, we’ll discuss how learning is ultimately linked to continuous improvement—and how a strong learning platform and methodology can aid in the development and support of those goals.

How Can You Use Continuous Improvement Concepts

Excellence is a continuous process and not an accident.
– A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

Continuous Effort

Big changes may be frightening and overwhelming for both corporations and their employees. Large-scale change initiatives take a long time to implement and may require project teams to be ramped up as well as cross-organizational communication and engagement to get everyone on board. Taking little steps toward a greater objective and tackling changes one at a time is sometimes more appealing and eliminates some of the bureaucracy.

Learn from Your Staff

Due to the nature of continuous improvement cultures, which rely heavily on people to find possibilities for improvement, they tend to produce engagement as a default. Because employees are closest to the business challenges you need to solve, this bottom-up strategy can be extremely effective.

Give Control to Employees

Asking staff to come up with suggestions for enhancing the company could provide some fantastic outcomes, but tasked them with expanding your product line or increasing margins is probably too broad a mandate. Instead, urge them to make suggestions for improvements to processes or to save them 10 minutes a day. Then give them the authority to make those changes—and, if appropriate, to roll them out to others inside the organisation. If five people each recommend a change that saves them ten minutes per day, and they each roll it out to 20 coworkers, you’ve suddenly saved a lot of time, and employees feel heard and empowered to make positive changes that they can see the effect on themselves and their coworkers.

Small Payments Reap Big Rewards

Employee-generated ideas in a continuous improvement culture are often inexpensive. They usually entail eliminating steps in a process, such as meetings, duplications of effort, or obsolete tasks, to save time, money, and energy. When you factor in the cost of resources and the consequences of these improvement ideas, you’ll find that they often generate a very high return on investment.

Leverage the Concept

You can’t just make little modifications and call it a win; you have to quantify the effects and, if it’s favorable, apply it to additional areas of concern. That is why they begin little and grow large because the nature of continual development can swiftly snowball into something greater than the sum of its parts.

Make Your Staff Life Long Learners

Foster a culture of continuous improvement through creating a culture of learning, also by the user can help L&D teams develop a culture of continuous improvement by building a culture of learning.

Continuous Improvement is Extremely Valuable to Businesses

The continuous improvement provides a framework for firms to work toward achieving higher levels of excellence, while also making people feel more connected, valued, and involved in the process. What’s not to like about that?

Perfection is impossible to achieve. We can, however, catch excellence if we pursue perfection. Vince Lombardi is a legendary football coach.

Continuous Improvement Increases Employee Involvement

The fundamental point of continuous improvement is to get people involved in making changes that recognize consumer demands, present problems, and solutions that reduce wasted time and frustration—not just for customers, but also for employees.

The continuous improvement provides a framework for organizations to progress to the next level of excellence, and it encourages employees to move beyond their current abilities and attempt something new. Employees get engaged as a result of the challenge and investment in their skills and expertise.

Reduce Attrition with Continuous Improvement

Continuous improvement is designed to empower employees to resolve problems that frustrate. We also know that engaged employees are more likely to stay with a company, so you can retain talent while saving money on hiring and training new staff.

Change the Culture of Your Company

You’ll quickly lag behind the competition if you keep working and learning the same way you did five years ago. The marketplace is constantly changing, and so is the way we utilize technology, interact with coworkers, and run our businesses. Take a look at the influence of COVID-19 on how the modern workplace operates to discover how huge and minor transformations are occurring all the time. A continuous improvement culture pushes employees and management to step outside of their comfort zones and look for new and better ways to conduct their tasks, necessitating the need for ongoing education. As a result, the circle is complete!

Almost every company improvement model revolves around the concept of continual improvement. Learn how a great strategy and bespoke learning experiences may help establish and support those goals through a commitment to the concepts outlined in this article.

Considering Online Training – It’s More Important Than You Think


Considering Online Training – It’s More Important Than You Think

Online Training is Crucial to Business Success

I can’t begin a personal perspective without admitting how challenging this year has been for my team, our higher education partners and teachers, and the kids we all serve. I’m appreciative for the ways my team has stood up for one another as a leader, a parent, and a human, and humbled by all we’ve been able to accomplish together in this challenging year.

What Happened in 2020

There has been much talk during the course of 2020 concerning what will and will not return to “normal” once COVID-19 has been defeated. I can’t forecast the future, but I think many of the innovations and developments we’ve seen this year will endure. And I know two things for sure: first, many students will return to in-person learning, but demand for high-quality online education and shorter, non-degree learning pathways—such as boot camps and short courses—will continue to grow as individuals upskill, reskill, and seek greater educational flexibility. Second, there will be an increase in demand for online undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Since the outbreak of the epidemic, millions of people in the United States have lost their jobs. According to recent Labor Department figures, 3.9 million people are unemployed for more than a year. According to Pew Research Center, 46 percent of lower-income adults say they’ve had problems paying their expenses since the pandemic began, and about one-third (32 percent) say it’s been difficult to make rent or mortgage payments. Many positions are no longer available. According to a Strada Education Network poll, more than a third of Americans believe they will require training or education in order to obtain new jobs.

Online Boot Camps and Certificate Programs

Alternative credentials like boot camps and certificates have developed as significant stepping stones to professions in the digital economy, and obtaining a bachelor’s degree from a recognized non-profit institution remains one of the clearest roads to social mobility and great job outcomes in the United States. Universities that can fulfil the expanding requirements of adult learners by providing high-quality, career-related, accessible, and affordable educational opportunities will emerge stronger and more relevant from the epidemic.

This unsteady year, that has been my steady ground: I still believe in the great non-profit university’s ability to satisfy society’s vital requirements, and I see higher education as more robust, adaptive, and innovative than most people believe.

Growth of Online Schools

This year, we witnessed it in action as schools and institutions competed to make remote learning a reality for students. Institutions with current digital education investments and plans were clearly ahead of the curve. Simmons University, a long-time collaborator, has offered online graduate degree programs since 2012 and just launched Complete Degree to give women with an affordable, career-enhancing, and academically demanding undergraduate degree online. In a year when women are being displaced from the labor at alarmingly high rates, this is noteworthy. Another long-time 2U partner, the George Washington University College of Professional Studies, helped us established a scholarship fund for local citizens from the Black and Latinx communities, as well as women and individuals from low-income households, in collaboration with a local workforce development agency.

These schools didn’t have to start from scratch in 2020 when it came to developing a digital and lifelong learning plan; they already had the connections, relationships, and investments in place to better fulfil the needs of students during this turbulent year. Given the massive blow to college finances that has been widely highlighted in the media this year, this is noteworthy. One of the issues we’ll encounter in 2021 is how colleges will find the resources they need to continue their digital transformation and meet students’ requirements. This is clear in my talks with university presidents and provosts, who recognize that more investments in a digital strategy and strategic alliances will be vital to developing a more sustainable future.

According to Harvard, there are now 700 colleges partnering with 200 partners to provide students with high-quality online learning. This is only going to get worse. Edtech companies that have established a commitment to quality and openness in their operations and outcomes can assist schools smooth the way by collaborating with them to develop long-term digital transformation strategies based on science-based learning frameworks. We can also help shift the debate about online education partners away from institutions’ value-add and toward students’ value-add, which is something I’d like to see more of in 2021.

Conclusion

In a recent tweet, James DeVaney, assistant vice provost at the University of Michigan, said that we “need to change from ‘what’s your rev share’ to ‘what value do you create?'” ‘What is your contribution to learning?’ is a question adapted to higher education. Reach, research, money development, reputation, and revenue are all important to me, but only in the context of learning. That’s the level of transparency we require.”