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Ways to Lessen Stress to Ensure High Performance at Work

Friday, September 8th, 2017

The concept of mental well-being at the workplace should not be taken lightly. Since mental well-being plays a key role in developing one’s potential and enhancing his or her performance, it is the responsibility of employers to promote employees’ mental well-being to retain more talent while increasing productivity and innovation among their workforce. In fact, mental well-being is also a major criterion when applicants consider job positions. Oftentimes, people opt for a work environment that ensures a healthy mental balance over other perks and benefits.

As much as it is important to ensure a heightened level of profit and productivity, it is also important for workers to maintain a healthy frame of mind. Whether one is stressed out due to the Monday blues, anxieties related to meeting deadlines, and worries about family and finances, severe levels of stress and anxiety can have a negative impact on the productivity.

Such stresses and strains wreak a havoc on an employee’s coping mechanism, which affects his or her ability to contribute positively to his or her community, personal relationships, etc. Many times, employees fail to leverage an upcoming promotion and other career opportunities because of the pressure involved in the new work profile and their shortcomings in effectively dealing with the mental pressure.

Living life in the fast lane

Living in a fast-paced environment where technology has become an indispensable part of life, many employees work to a point that they lose control over their life.

Additionally, the status of the job market, health of the economy and a volatile political atmosphere can also indirectly affect a worker’s stress and anxiety levels. These psychological stressors not only decrease work productivity but may also diminish one’s performance. Additionally, one’s self-esteem and identity get adversely impacted due to his or her poor mental health.

Here’s a list of evidence-based methods to keep stress and anxiety at bay while reaping the maximum gains in terms of productivity:

  • Taking a stroll: A brisk walk and stroll strengthen the ability of the brain to deal with stress in a better way and reduce anxiety. Moreover, taking a stroll outside during daylight is known to lower cortisol levels that increase during stressful periods. Similarly, a short walk can also improve a person’s creativity, decision-making capacity and other cognitive skills.
  • Exercising: Physical activity is beneficial for both body and mind. Several research and studies suggest that a few minutes of intense exercising can assist in the release of the hormone endorphin that makes a person feel happier. In addition, it is proven that exercise is a great way to bust stress along with improving focus, memory and mental sharpness.
  • Taking deep breaths: Taking out time from one’s schedule to focus on breathing can have a broad range of physical and mental benefits. It reduces stress, anxiety and blood pressure while also providing relief to body and joint aches. The build-up of stress is known to suppress a person’s immune system, which has the potential to increase his or her susceptibility to cold, depression, anxiety disorders and other illnesses.
  • Maintaining a gratitude diary: There may be more than it meets the eye when someone says, “count your blessings.” A noteworthy experimental study found that individuals who took out time to write down the things that they were grateful for on a weekly basis were found to be happier and more optimistic than those who did not keep a gratitude diary. Other related studies suggest that writing down one’s goals and aspirations brings him or her many steps closer to achieving his or her dreams and in being happy, productive, and successful. A person need not let the world know about the things he or she has jotted down, but the mere idea of penning down things incite a pleasant effect on his or her personal and work life.

Daily stress leaves the mind in a mess

The fight-or-flight instinct is a stress response mechanism, which if frequently activated can have a broad range of physical and mental consequences. It can also weaken a person’s immune system and leave him or her vulnerable to other mental disorders, such as depression, mood disorders, etc. Therefore, seeking early intervention, preventing such psychological stressors from getting out of hand and getting the best out of one’s productivity at work are some of the effective steps to overcome all mental health problems.

Trade Finance As A Business Development Strategy

Friday, September 8th, 2017

Without trade finance, there wouldn’t be Indian spices, clothes, or jewelry in the United States. Or Apple’s iPhones in China, much less any other international product at any respectable distance from its origin.

In fact, according to Investopedia, the World Trade Organization (WTO) estimates that international world trade has expanded 80%-90% thanks to trade finance.

For this to continue, companies need to include trade finance in their business development strategies.

How do you do that? Learn how you can incorporate trade finance into your business development strategy.

Incorporate Inland Trade Finance in Market Penetration and Market Development

Market penetration and market development are key parts of a business development strategy. Market development involves selling more of your service or product to repeat customers.

While market penetration is about expanding your product or service to other cities and provinces, it can involve inland trade finance. As you may have to renegotiate local and provincial trade deals.

For instance, let’s say you sell jewelry. A business from a neighboring city may purchase your jewelry and sell it to its customers.

You have a long history with this client. And know that your product is selling quickly in your customers’ shop. In which case, you could propose selling the client more jewelry for a bulk price.

After negotiating, the client agrees. However, despite the long, positive history you’ve had with the client, the client may not feel comfortable paying you before you export the jewelry.

This is where a trade financier or banking institution comes in, providing a letter of credit promising that you will export the jewelry upon payment.

Consider the Internet and Brick-and-Mortar Stores

If you’re already selling more of your product or service to clients, perhaps it’s time to branch out to another channel such as the Internet?

If you run a successful e-commerce store, maybe it’s time to start a brick-and-mortar store as well?

That way, your customers have more options where to buy your products.

Especially when it comes to brick-and-mortar stores, trade finance can help you secure new import and export trade deals-especially when there are multiple currencies involved.

Creating a New Product or Service for Repeat and New Customers

With repeat customers, you’re doubling the number of products the repeat client is importing.

And, with new clients, your new product or service will expand your client base. It’s important that you first create new products for your repeat customers before jumping to new customers, as it involves more risk.

Again, trade finance can help cultivate more trust during this period of growth. Since trade financiers or banking institutions can create letters of credit, laying out the terms the importer and exporters must follow.

Final Thoughts About Your Business Development Strategy

Know that growth doesn’t happen in a day; it’s harder for businesses to jump from market penetration to supplying new products to new clients.

This is why we recommend that you approach growth slowly. However, know that trade finance may help increase the number of clients you trade with, no matter where they are.

What’s your take on trade finance? How has it helped your business? Share your thoughts, comments and responses with us.