When Is It Appropriate For A Business To Conduct Drug Tests On Its Employees

Each individual business will have its terms of employment and for those companies that have policies relating to drug use, there are likely to be references to when it is entitled to require its employees to undertake a drug test. For more enlightened employers, this might not necessarily be to catch an employee with a view to firing them for drug use, but instead show its willingness to help employees, for example by supporting them if they need to enter a drug rehab program.

There will be companies, which, given the nature of the type of business they are, the products and services they offer, and for some regulatory and legal reasons, have no option but to have a zero-tolerance policy on drugs use. Examples of the business sectors that this might apply to include childcare. the police, the armed forces, and medical care staff, although that does not preclude any other business type from having the right to have a ‘no drugs use’ policy in place.

This brings us to the subject of this article, which is drug testing, and when an employer has the right to drug test their staff, and the reasons why they might do so. On a positive note, testing could be part of the employer’s wish to ensure that all employee’s health, safety, and welfare are given the necessary focus. This can apply both to the person who might be using drugs and to their colleagues. Appropriate circumstances for drug testing employees include the following:

Google Adwords Statistics and Best Practice

Google Adwords Statistics and Best Practice

Google is so much part of our everyday lives that it makes sense that businesses advertise on it to find new customers. Whether it’s gigantic multinationals or local tradespeople, Google’s search algorithms do an amazing job of matching searches with relevant ads and then serving them all up on the results page.

But just how effective are Google Adwords (or just ‘Google Ads’ after a recent rebrand) and what is the best way to use them?

Google Ad Statistics

In terms of effectiveness, Google Ads are hard to beat. In fact, they have a ‘click through’ rate of about 8% which means that of every 100 ads, 8 are clicked on by browsers. That might not sound like much but if compares very favourably to other methods like email marketing or in-person marketing like print media.

In addition, paid ads get about 65% of all clicks, compared to other types. YouTube (a Google-owned company) is equally impressive, with about four out of 10 consumers saying that they’ve made a purchase based on something they’ve seen in a Google Ad.

Five Techniques for Dealing with Age Discrimination

Although racism and sexual discrimination are the two forms of discrimination we see in the news most often, age discrimination is actually a huge problem throughout Australia. It happens to people in all industries across all sectors when their perceived value becomes less due to their age.

Fortunately, though, there are a few tried and tested techniques that you can use to deal with age discrimination. Never sit back and accept things as they are. Instead, take a proactive approach and eliminate all forms of workplace discrimination before it has a chance to take hold.

In the rest of this article, we’ve outlined our top five strategies for dealing with age discrimination in the workplace. These include:

  1. Seeking Professional Advice

If not dealt with promptly, age discrimination can have significant mental health effects. It’s therefore crucial to seek professional advice where necessary. If you’ve already lodged a complaint with your HR department with no action, it could be time to speak with a lawyer. Remember, your HR officers do work for your employer, and they may be encouraged to cover up and complaints.

The 7 Core Principles Of Ethical Marketing

The 7 Core Principles Of Ethical Marketing

One charge that is often laid at the doors of businesses, is that their marketing and selling tactics are unethical, and in extreme cases, they can be accused of outright lies. This can mean that business owners feel they are in a legal minefield when it comes to marketing their business, and why they often seek the guidance of a commercial lawyer to confirm or not if their marketing plans stand up to ethical scrutiny.

It is true that the vast majority of businesses are honest and often any criticism of their marketing efforts comes as a result of their lack of understanding marketing ethics, rather than any deliberate attempt to hoodwink the public. So, to give you a steer as to what you need to do to be seen as marketing ethically, here are 7 top tips.

Transparency: The more open your marketing is, the more trust you will build with potential customers. This extends to being open about any downsides to your product or service. The second prospects think you are hiding something or being deliberately vague, the trust disappears almost immediately.

Honesty: A close relation of transparency but this is a stage further because being transparent does not necessarily mean that you are telling the truth. By all means, paint your product or service in the best light possible so that it attracts buyers, but never, ever, saying anything untruthful or make claims about them which are dishonest.

Free Delivery at Myer - is it too little too late?

Free Delivery at Myer – is it too little too late?

Myer today announced that it is offering free shipping for online orders. According to the news.com.au report, currently $5million is spent on the Myer website annually, and there are ambitions to drive this closer to $50million.

Will free shipping make a difference?
But is it too little, too late? Australians are already shopping online at local and overseas retailers, but to achieve the ambitions stated by Myer, surely more than saving a few dollars on shipping will be required.

To counter the volume of online sales occurring at overseas retailers, some of the major retailers tried to pressure the government to lift the restrictions that allow purchases under $1000 to not have to pay GST.

It remains to be seen whether the small differences of free shipping or perhaps adding 10% to purchases if the GST was applied, will make Australians any more likely to shop online with local retailers.

The internet introduced transparency to the Australian shopper – it is incredibly simple for shoppers to gain an understanding of comparable prices, particularly at overseas retailers. Although retailers can explain away why they have to charge high prices, due to high local retail rental, higher local wages, ultimately many Australian shoppers still feel that prices are too high.

Is Online Retail A Threat Or Opportunity To Retailers

Is Online Retail A Threat Or Opportunity To Retailers?

A recent article by The Sydney Morning Herald cited a retail industry body claiming that 88,000 jobs would be lost in the retail sector if the government did not levy GST on all goods bought online (currently any purchases bought overseas below a value $1,000 AUD do not attract the 10% Goods and Services Tax levied against items bought in Australia).

While some retailers and industry bodies are busy using tactics to try and protect their eroding revenue and market share they aren’t looking at the bigger picture and assessing why the trend is growing for consumers to purchase online. They also need to assess what they can do to serve these consumers. This is standard business management and something businesses do regularly, retail in Australia should be no different.

Complaints on Facebook - does it matter how you respond Or if you respond

Complaints on Facebook – does it matter how you respond? Or if you respond?

Social media is a great vehicle for companies to communicate with their customers and prospects. There are a number of companies using social media really well, and perhaps many more not using it at all or not using it well. We can watch and learn from the experts, but it is just as important to learn from what companies aren’t doing.

Many companies use social media as a channel for customer service, encouraging their customers to use social media as an alternative way of airing customer service issues and getting them resolved. Other companies are very sales focused, and use the channel to promote their latest offers. While the focus may be on one area, there still needs to be attention paid to all elements of the customer experience in social media engagement, in order to ensure that something important, and meaningful to the customer or prospect, isn’t missed.

Catch of the Day is very much focused on the use of social media to promote their offers, and with the type of time-limited offers they have, social media is a perfect fit for them. However it is interesting to note how they aren’t using social media.

COTD don’t seem to be very engaged in community management and the management of the comments that flow on their Facebook wall. While the offers are promoted on the wall, and there are lots of positive comments about them, and notes of positive experiences, there are also a lot of comments about negative experiences.

The Facebook wall isn’t only open to existing customers, prospective customers are also looking at these comments, and the negativity can create reluctance to deal with the company. Although negative comments could be removed by the administrator of the wall, this isn’t the best way to create an honest transparent relationship with fans or followers. However, we’re surprised that COTD hasn’t done more to try and address the negative comments, and use the opportunity to turn around the sentiment of these customers (and re-assure nervous prospective customers)

As a new prospective customer, the sentiment from these types of messages indicates that dealing with COTD might be risky, take a long time, or that the goods I order might not be satisfactory. While there may be plenty of evidence to the contrary, nervous first time online shoppers, or those new to the COTD model, may be more easily influenced in a negative direction, rather than a positive one.
On the day we reviewed this, the community manager at one point does step in to address one specific customer query, but the dozens of other negative sentiments in the stream are not addressed.

3 Reasons to Benchmark Your Online Marketing

3 Reasons to Benchmark Your Online Marketing

Why benchmark your online marketing activities? It’s a fairly simple question and there are a few compelling reasons why every organisation should take the time to regularly benchmark what they are doing.

Three of the main reasons to benchmark are:

1. Is your Online Marketing effective?

It’s the most obvious reason but still worth stating. Benchmarking allows you to measure your online marketing activities and understand your current state; – where you are – against where you want to be, assess how you are progressing against your strategic goals or objectives and determine if you are achieving the expected return on your investments.

Through benchmarking you will gain insight into your strengths and weaknesses and identify what’s working and what’s not in your online marketing activities. You’re then in a position to decide how to move forward.

Fundamentally this is the reason we carry out benchmarking in online marketing, but it’s not the only reason.

Broken website Quick – Tweet it!!

Broken website? Quick – Tweet it!!

Westpac’s online banking was experiencing problems during business hours. Having tried to use it around 9am, there was definitely some issues with logging in and it was very slow.

Westpac customers who are following Westpac on Twitter were made aware of this by a tweet.

Planned outages on the site would normally have obvious banners throughout the site, warning customers that the site was down for maintenance, so we can only assume this was an unplanned issue, especially given the timing of it.

Westpac were quick to announce to customers via Twitter that they were experiencing problems with online banking, and also responding directly to customer queries.

Why use Twitter rather than the website?

Twitter is a much faster way to get the message out to customers as Westpac is likely to have very structured release cycles that don’t allow for them to quickly change messages on the website.
But they are also trying to quickly respond to the volume of queries or complaints about online banking being unavailable.

This is a good example of using social media to quickly get messages out to customers. But this only seems to translate to the Twitter channel – as there was no mention of this on Westpac’s Facebook page.

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