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7 reasons to hire a security service

7 reasons to hire a security service

There are many reasons why a business, private residence, or individual may choose to hire a professional security guard. But before we dive into the top 7 reasons to hire a security guard, let’s first review their role. 

What are security services important?
The role of a security guard is to help keep people safe in public and private spaces. Generally, criminals are less likely to target a business or area in which engaged, active security personnel are on duty. So in addition to managing and de-escalating potentially dangerous situations, security guards also provide a sense of assurance that crime that would have otherwise been committed will be deterred. 

The role of a security guard

A good security team must be:

 

  • Visible (deters crime)
  • Vigilant (keeps an eye-out for unusual activity)
  • Responsive (acting quickly when situations arise)
  • An authority (a presence that people will respect and respond to)
  • Actively engaged in the environment (understanding where, when, and why possible threats may arise)
  • Equipped (with the knowhow and tools necessary to perform the job effectively) 

Integrated (into the operations of the business or residence)

Here are the top 7 reasons to hire a security service:

 

  1. Prevent crime
    The presence of even one security guard can reduce crime rates significantly.

  2. Improve customer service
    Protecting people is essentially a customer service role. Security guards often become acquainted with patrons, adding a personal touch to their protective services.

  3. Promote order
    Security services control violations and maintain order.

3. Handle security matters swiftly
Professional security guards are trained to manage a range of issues and contain threats until the police arrive.

4. Onsite CPR and AED trained guards
Most security guards are trained in first aid, CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation), and the emergency use of an AED (Automatic External Defibrillator), which could save lives.

5. Free up your people from security-related activities
Leaves employees or others on site free to perform other functions more in-line with their skillset.

6. Peace of mind Having a team of professional security guards on staff reduces stress and leaves the management of unpleasant situations to the professionals. 

At The West Egg Group Security Services, we do security differently. We take a customer service based approach in partnership with our clients. Find out more about our areas of expertise and the positive impact our elite team can have on your business operations.

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A partnership in workplace and community safety: TTC employee screening

A partnership in workplace and community safety: TTC employee screening

At The West Egg Group (TWEG), we take pride in rising to the occasion to help our partners meet the evolving customer and industry demands. Over the past year and a half this has grown to encompass a novel approach to ensuring client, guest, and employee safety. 

 

New partnership announcement
In the spirit of services evolution, we are excited to announce a new partnership with the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). After a thorough RFP process and review, The West Egg Group was selected to provide systematic COVID-19 screening for employees at 16 Toronto-area bus and streetcar yards. 

 

The TTC placed their trust in The West Egg Group due to the extensive human resources structure, culture, performance, and reliability we have demonstrated over 17+ years working with clients across diverse industries — each with unique requirements and goals. 

 

Facilitated by The West Egg Group Staffing, the program began on Canada Day, July 1, 2021. With most yards operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, TWEG team is on-site alongside TTC employees to ensure thorough, yet swift and systematic COVID-19 screening for all TTC employees arriving for work — not matter what time of day. To meet this demand, we employ 230 staff across all sites. 

 

TTC employee screening is designed to keep other TTC staff members and TTC riders safe as we continue to navigate the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. Ensuring that employees who report for work are free of symptoms and have not been in close contact with an infected person helps to stop the spread of the virus — something that is of great importance as businesses and transit begin to return to the new normal of operations. We are humbled and honoured to be a part of this pivotal approach to safer transit operations. 

 

Building upon our experience

Screening for COVID-19 is not a new initiative for The West Egg Group. Recently, we have begun to deliver Ambassador services at several shopping centres. This program satisfies the government mandate to reduce the spread

of COVID-19 by ensuring that those entering the spaces were free from symptoms and exposure. 

The West Egg Group Ambassadors are stationed at the doors to the shopping centres across the GTA and are tasked with asking each shopper a predetermined set of COVID screening questions. Based on their responses, the Ambassador will permit or deny their entry. 


You’ll find our Ambassadors at busy shopping centres across the Greater Toronto Area, including:

 

  • Sherway Gardens Mall
  • Square One Mall
  • Fairview Mall
  • Upper Canada Mall
  • Fairview Park Mall (Kitchener)
  • Yorkdale Shopping Centre 
  • Scarborough Town Centre 
  • Manulife building 
  • Hillcrest Shopping Centre

We at TWEG have had the pleasure of retaining many of the existing screening staff who have months of valuable experience at the locations above for our new initiative at the TTC locations.

In partnership, we are making the TTC workplace safe, and increasing rider safety through these diligent screening practices.

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Host Services launch at Oxford Shopping Centres

Host Services launch at Oxford Shopping Centres

Beginning in June, Gatsby Valet, a West Egg Group company, launched an exciting new service at three Toronto area Oxford Properties: Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Square One Mall, and Scarborough Town Centre.

In response to Ontario’s staged reopening plan, each of these shopping centres are now providing dedicated outdoor patio space for casual dining.

With the mall eateries open only for take-out only, Oxford Properties wanted to provide patrons with a safe space to sit and enjoy their takeout meal. Using reclaimed parking lot space, each property has set up a patio space equipped with tables, chairs, and umbrellas — allowing shopping centre visitors to extend and enjoy their mall visit. 

To assist in the oversight and management of these spaces operating seven days a week, Oxford Properties enlisted the help of guest experience experts, Gatsby Valet, to host the space. Staffed by 3-4 Gatsby Valet/TWEG employees daily at each location, responsibilities include: 

  • Setup/teardown of patio umbrellas
  • Host/hostessing (welcoming guests)
  • Helping guests find seating
  • Manage ingress and egress of the space
  • Enforcing safety measures such as physical distancing and pedestrian traffic flow
  • General maintenance

Gatsby Valet’s host services draw upon the operational structure and success of another related initiative, Ambassador services provided by The West Egg Group. This program was born out of the need for the screening of guests entering the shopping centres — a government mandate aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19. The West Egg Group Ambassadors are stationed at the doors to the shopping centres across the GTA and are tasked with asking each shopper a predetermined set of COVID screening questions. Based on their responses, the Ambassador will permit or deny their entry. 

You’ll find our Ambassadors at busy shopping centres across the Greater Toronto Area, including:

  • Sherway Gardens Mall
  • Fairview Mall
  • Upper Canada Mall
  • Fairview Park Mall (Kitchener)
  • Yorkdale Shopping Centre 
  • Scarborough Town Centre 
  • Manulife building 
  • Hillcrest Shopping Centre

This host services contract with Oxford Properties is an extension of Gatsby Valet’s current partnership with the organization which includes valet services that drives a better first impression for shopping center guests.

With reopening plans ever-evolving, it is anticipated that the outdoor host services will continue through September and will become a seasonal feature at these shopping centres, allowing guests to enjoy the outdoor space and overall shopping experience. 

In the meantime, our teams delight in providing a better (and safer) guest experience for shoppers at these three locations. 

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Screening services and the emergence of vaccine passports

Screening services and the emergence of vaccine passports

We’ve all become accustomed to new kinds of screening processes. Whether you’re entering a medical facility for an appointment, patronizing a shopping centre, or planning a COVID-safe visit with friends, you’ve likely answered a distinct set of screening questions. 

When the pandemic began, The West Egg Group rose to the occasion, developing a professional and systematic screening system for a variety of our customers, allowing them to safely screen, then admit or deny entry to their facilities. 

We leveraged our expertise in both workforce management and the guest experience to implement Ambassador services at busy shopping centres across the Greater Toronto Area, including:

  • Sherway Gardens Mall
  • Fairview Mall
  • Upper Canada Mall
  • Fairview Park Mall (Kitchener)
  • Yorkdale Shopping Centre 
  • Scarborough Town Centre 
  • Manulife building 
  • Hillcrest Shopping Centre
  • Eatons Centre

What do Ambassadors do?
While this role can easily be adapted to suit the unique needs of each customer and location, our The West Egg Group Ambassadors recently assumed the role of providing COVID screening.

Stationed at each shopping centre entrance, our teams would conduct a brief yet thorough screening of all employees and shoppers visiting the facility to ensure that no one was permitted entry who may pose a risk to the health and safety of those inside. These services allowed numerous businesses to reopen safely and in accordance with legislation that aligned with the rapidly evolving pandemic situation.   

Gatsby Valet also adapted their services to offer Door Ambassadors stationed outside of luxury businesses and real estate open houses in partnership with STACS. These individuals screen visitors using a set of questions aimed at ensuring that visitors do not pose a threat to the spread of COVID-19 before entering the space. Additionally, they assist in the management of ingress and egress to maintain a predetermined occupancy rate and issue reminders of physical distancing while on site.

Similarly, our sister company Carraway has also contributed to pandemic relief efforts with large-scale operations across Peel region where teams manage the flow of people at vaccination clinics.

 

The future of screening: COVID vaccine passports
Around the world, there has been much talk about vaccine passports that prove one’s vaccination status. The idea is that they would be used to grant individuals entry to businesses, facilities, onto modes of transportation, etc.

These documents would confirm that a person was unlikely to catch or spread COVID-19 by verifying that the passport holder has been vaccinated, tested negative, or has recovered from it. 

While many countries are entertaining — and some implementing — such vaccine passports, Canada’s position is unclear. Currently,  Canada does not have any kind of vaccination passport or standardized document to show who has been vaccinated and who has not. Yet, there is growing pressure for Canada to establish some kind of certificate or passport, as many other countries begin to require this type of documentation for admittance onto airplanes and into their countries. Likewise, insurance companies are also beginning to ask for this information when insuring travellers.

Over 38 countries have implemented/issued COVID-19 passports so far, including: Austria, Barbados, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Sweden, Thailand, and others.

The pros and cons
The benefits of having, and being able to show a COVID vaccine passport are many. For those fully vaccinated, It will allow you to travel more freely, attend events, possibly accept work that would be otherwise restricted, and more.

As for the drawbacks, there are a few:

Privacy: This is a big one for many people. One’s personal health information is not typically made public. A COVID passport could mean that data is shared with outside companies and potentially be used in ways that are unfair, which brings us to:

Discrimination: Passports would be given to people who are vaccinated and presumed to have immunity, giving them the ability to do things that others cannot. Getting your full vaccination sooner could give you the opportunity to access more opportunities than others still awaiting their turn. Additionally, those opting out of getting vaccinated could lose out on opportunities. There is also the danger of stigmatization among individuals who lack certification.

Science: The vaccines have shown to have great efficacy in reducing the risk of hospitalisation and death for COVID-19, however since this is a novel virus and new strains continue to emerge, scientists aren’t certain if vaccination is enough to halt transmission entirely. We will continue to learn more as more individuals accept the vaccination.

These are just a few of the potential concerns surrounding screening that involve vaccine passports. As new regulations continue to emerge and the business and consumer landscapes shift to adjust, we at The West Egg Group are here to help you navigate the waters and implement a screening process that works for your business. 

Talk to us about how to prepare and implement a screening strategy today.

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The top 7 secrets of successful workforce managers

The top 7 secrets of successful workforce managers

High-performing workforce managers have a few things in common — key habits that make them successful. These behaviours, done daily, contribute greatly to the successful oversight and management of teams across all industries.

 

We’ve summarized the top 7 attributes and behaviours of top workforce managers:

 

#7: Checking and rechecking the data

Every project starts with data. A workforce manager’s role is to ensure that they understand the project requirements, obligations to clients and customers, their workforce metrics, business forecasts, and more. And since these things are always in flux, keeping a close eye on the numbers makes all the difference. 

 

#6: Incorporating agility into planning
A one-size-fits-all plan just won’t work. A great manager will have multiple plan options based on varied forecasts of workforce demands. Being flexible and able to respond quickly to changing client and project needs is a must.

 

#5: Calculating the downtime

Every workforce has unproductive hours, whether they be sick days, breaks, training, scheduled or unscheduled time off. Factoring these unproductive activities into the overall plan is important for accurate projections and planning.

 

#4 Aligning with other departments
Acting in a silo is never good for business. Great managers are aware of the activities and plans within other departments and their impact on workforce management. They have open lines of communication with other managers and seek to understand the bigger picture beyond their immediate responsibilities.

#3: Acting fast
When obstacles arise or there’s a change in the plan, it’s important for workforce managers to assess the situation and respond quickly with a clear action plan. They also know when to seek the advice and support of other senior leadership team members.

 

#2: Communication with their teams

Communication truly is king. Team members value open and honest feedback, insight, and direction. The best workforce managers are able to communicate to their team the impact that they have on the organization’s mission and success. Communication is a two-way street. Great managers solicit frequent feedback from their teams to better understand the employee experience and how they can improve it.

 

#1: Continued education

Leveling-up one’s skills is always a bonus. Managers who are serious about their personal and professional development will continue to look for opportunities to learn new things to better their performance and understanding of their craft.

 

Workforce managers at The West Egg Group are encouraged to set the bar high for themselves and to continue to hone their specialized skill set using many of the behaviours above.

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What is workplace wellness?

What is workplace wellness?

Workplace wellness is another set of buzzwords being used a lot these days. And with all of today’s pandemic-related stress and uncertainty, it’s no wonder that it is top-of-mind among both employees and organizations. 

 

What is workplace wellness?

Workplace wellness is any workplace activity or organizational policy designed to support healthy behaviours and practices in the workplace with the goal of improving health outcomes. 

 

Wellness, or well-being, as promoted within the workplace often includes activities such as: 

 

  • Physical and mental health education
  • Campaigns promoting an active lifestyle
  • Nutritional programs
  • On-site fitness programs or facilities
  • Access to information and physical resources
    …and more

 

Why do workplaces focus on wellness? 

A happy, healthy workforce is proven to be a more effective one. Employees who have a strong sense of well-being are often:

 

  • More productive 
  • More likely to stay in their jobs
  • More likely to recommend their organization as a good place to work
  • More engaged in their work/organization
  • Healthier, with improved disease management and prevention

 

All of these reasons contribute to lower healthcare costs for the employer as well. While all of the above is good for business, more and more organizations today are invested in wellness because they care about the well-being of their people. 

 

Plus, a greater focus on having a top-notch employer brand has also made organizations keen to develop employee benefits outside of the usual earnings and time off to help attract and retain top talent. Organizations want to be

perceived as modern, adaptive, and attractive. To employees and potential employees, an investment in employee wellness is a contributing factor and often influences their decision to join — or stay with — an organization. 

 

Tips for incorporating wellness initiatives in your organization:

  1. On-site fitness center or classes
    If you have space, consider investing in an on-site gym. If space is limited, think about how best you can use and transform areas like meeting rooms into a space for lunchtime yoga or meditation classes.
    Tip: Outsource your fitness initiatives to a professional who can run your programs, manage sign-ups, ensure that your people are exercising safely, etc.

  2. Create just-for-fun fitness challenges
    Generate some friendly competition among staff with a step-challenge or similar initiative that gets people moving (both at work and at home).
    Tip: Offer a prize to the top performers so that people have something to strive to achieve and to keep them motivated.

  3. Offer on-site paramedical services
    Many offices have monthly on-site services such as massage which allows employees to take advantage of their benefits without having to take time off of work.
    Tip: Survey your staff to see what they’re most interested in, then remember to promote the service and encourage employees to sign-up.

  4. Offer healthy snacks
    Stock the kitchen or cafeteria with healthy snack options. Not only does this help to keep your team healthier and boost energy levels, it also means that they won’t have to leave the building in search of snacks mid-day.
    Tip: If possible, offer access to free snacks like fresh fruit, granola bars, healthy cereals, and other low-cost but high-impact healthy treats.

  5. Offer employee assistance programs
    Wellness is about mind, body, and soul. Offering support and practical resources for things like stress management, depression and anxiety, family support services, financial planning services, etc. can go a long way to supporting your employees’ overall well-being.
    Tip: Research EAP providers to find the fit that’s right for your employee base and organization.

 

At The West Egg Group, we encourage workplace wellness and support organizations that strive for a better employee experience. 

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HR essentials for managing remote teams

HR essentials for managing remote teams

Many managers are struggling with finding ways to keep their remote employees engaged and productive. People leaders today want to get the most out of their teams while still supporting the well-being of their people, given all of the pressures of today’s work environment. 

 

We’ve assembled a list of what we consider HR essentials: tips and techniques to support managers as they work to support their teams.

 

Schedule check-ins
Being physically apart doesn’t have to mean that you’re disconnected from your team members. Schedule regular check-ins at intervals that make sense for you and your people. Ask your employees what they’re comfortable with. For some, a brief daily check-in may be preferred. For others, weekly or biweekly catch-ups will suffice. Each individual has different and evolving needs. 

 

During your virtual meetings, set aside time to talk about non-work related matters. Ask them how they’re doing, how they’re feeling, and what you can do to support them. Listening and taking action on what you hear is important too — employees will continue to be more communicative and forthcoming if they see that you take their needs seriously and are quick to address any concerns. And, it’s always good to humanize the face behind the screen. Share a bit about yourself and how you’re feeling about work and pandemic life. Being relatable is a key characteristic to being a great leader. 

 

Help with home distractions
Many of us can relate to the challenge of trying to be heads-down with work while children, dogs, cats, etc. run wild in the background. 

 

Some of your team members may also be operating with limited technology or a poorly constructed work space. If you have the budget to do so, consider extending a home office allowance to your remote employees so that they can invest in an ergonomic chair, desk, and other necessary supplies to make their space work for them. 

For those employees having a hard time blocking out the noise and distractions at home, offer them flexibility in their work hours. It may be easier for them to work early in the morning and again late at night. Listen to the unique needs of your team members and be flexible — we’re all doing our best. 

 

Focus on outcomes over productivity
To our last point, the work environment has vastly changed over the past year. Rather than trying to micromanage activity for activity’s sake, emphasize the importance of measurable outcomes. 

 

It’s less about hours worked and more about completed to-dos and goals achieved. First, be sure that the goals you’re measuring your employees against are clearly defined and that they have the training and resources required to be successful. 

 

Secondly, define the purpose and impact of the desired outcomes/output. This will help your team members understand the organization’s big picture and how their contributions help to benefit everyone. 

 

 

Stay tuned for more HR essentials: tips for managing today’s changing workforce.

 

Have an immediate need or workforce challenge? Talk to the experts at The West Egg Group

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5 steps to effective coaching

5 steps to effective coaching

There are endless approaches to workforce training, coaching, and leadership. But what truly works? 

 

For staff performing new employee onboarding, internal trainers teaching or reinforcing new skills and practices, and for people leaders looking to get the most from their teams, there are 5 simple steps to ensuring success:

 

Step #1: Read it
Reading helps many learners take-in and process new information.

Be sure to present new ideas, concepts, and processes in a visual way, such as using paper or a whiteboard to write it down or draw/map it out. Then, ask learners to rewrite what they see to help reinforce their learning. 

 

Step #2: See it
Some people need to see it to believe it — and to learn and retain it. 

 

Many learners benefit from watching a video that demonstrates the desired action or behaviour you are presenting. This helps them to visualize what it looks like and how it impacts them/their role at work.

 

Step #3 Try it:
Next, introduce your teams to the new process, action, or behaviour by allowing them to act it out at their own pace. This will help to reinforce the learning and allow them to demonstrate their understanding. It’s also an opportunity for learners to become comfortable with something new in a safe, controlled environment. 

Step 4: Feel it
Practice makes perfect. This is the step in which you’ll ask your teams to practice what they’ve learned on-site. Walk learners through the process within the work environment so that they can put into proactive their new skill set.

 

Step 5: Live it
This is where it gets real. The on-site practice has led your learners to on-the-job coaching. At this stage, your people leaders or trainers will act as mentors, helping learners to execute their new skills while in real work scenarios.

Remember to be encouraging and supportive, and to offer compliments alongside constructive criticism when an area of opportunity for improvement presents itself. 

 

Remember that each individual has their own learning style and pace. Using a singular approach to teach and reinforce new processes and behaviours will fail to reach each individual on your team. To ensure that you’re connecting — and making a positive impact — on everyone, the above holistic approach to leadership and training should be adopted. 

 

For help putting this system into practice, reach out to the workforce solutions experts at The West Egg Group

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How The West Egg Group’s Ambassador service is keeping shoppers and retail workers safe

How The West Egg Group’s Ambassador service is keeping shoppers and retail workers safe

As experts in both workforce management and the guest experience, The West Egg Group was pleased to implement its Ambassador services at busy shopping centres across the Greater Toronto Area.

 

The program, now at nine locations, has most recently expanded to Upper Canada Mall and Hillcrest Mall. 

 

What is the Ambassador service?
The program was born out of the need for the screening of guests entering the shopping centres — a government mandate aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19.

 

What does an Ambassador do?
Our Ambassadors are stationed at the doors to the shopping centres and are tasked with asking each shopper a predetermined set of COVID screening questions. Based on their responses, the Ambassador will permit or deny their entry. 

 

In addition to screening questions and enforcing COVID-19 safety protocols, they also assist with wayfinding — helping shoppers following the mall arrows to ensure a safe distance from other shoppers. 

 

Our Ambassadors are at the frontlines
We’re proud of the work our Ambassadors do with the public at the frontlines. With changing business operations rules, stores reopening, and a growing consumer demand for in-store shopping, the work that they do is paramount to ensuring the health and safety of retail employees and shopping mall guests. 

The presence of our Ambassadors, and the important screening questions that they ask, ensure that businesses can remain open and aligned with the government of Ontario’s bylaws around safe business operations amidst the pandemic. This creates a more positive experience for shoppers and a more prosperous one for retailers and shopping centers.

 

To date, we have served thousands — if not tens of thousands — of guests across the shopping centers we are stationed at. And we look forward to welcoming more shoppers in the weeks and months ahead and remain committed to facilitating a safer shopping center experience. 

 

Look for our Ambassador service representatives at these fine shopping centers:

 

  • Sherway Gardens Mall
  • Fairview Mall
  • Upper Canada Mall
  • Fairview Park Mall (Kitchener)
  • Yorkdale Shopping Centre 
  • Scarborough Town Centre 
  • Manulife building 
  • Hillcrest Shopping Centre
  • Eatons Centre 

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How to build a mission and vision statement for your business

How to build a mission and vision statement for your business

Before you can rally your workforce behind your organization’s purpose, you have to create it. And that can be more difficult than you think. 

 

Sure, you know what products or services you’re offering, but what is at the heart of what you do? What problems does your organization solve and what sets it apart? 

 

Here is a guideline on how to define your organization’s mission and vision, and create simple statements that employees can rally around.

 

The purpose of a mission statement
A mission statement describes the present. The who, what, and why of your business. In short, it describes why the business exists to internal and external audiences (i.e. employees and customers).

 

How to write a mission statement

Consider addressing three key elements within your mission statement: what your company does, how it’s done, and why. And, try to address what sets you apart.  

 

Examples:
Instagram: to capture and share the world’s moments

Tesla: to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.

 

How does a vision statement differ?
This statement is future-focused. It helps employees and other stakeholders understand the meaning and purpose of your business. It outlines the desired long-term goals and resulting effects of your organization’s efforts. It’s essentially what you want your business to be and to achieve.

How to write a vision statement
Although these statements should be only a sentence or two, they can be difficult to write. To get started, think about your organization’s long-term goals — this will be the foundation of your vision statement. 

 

Next, think about how you’ll interact with employees and customers and the impact you want to have on them. Don’t be afraid to be bold. Some of the best vision statements are a little bit daring.

Examples:
Microsoft (when it was founded): A computer on every desk in every home.
Alzheimer’s Association: A world without Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Why do mission and vision statements matter?
Mission statements are a great navigational tool for the organization. By identifying the purpose behind the work being done, you can align company goals and desired employee behaviors. 

 

Similarly, employees who identify with their organization’s vision are more engaged, and as a result, are more productive. They become brand ambassadors helping to move the organization closer to its goals.

 

So if you haven’t already done so, take some time to draft your mission and vision statements, or use some downtown to reflect on the ones you currently have to determine if they still reflect your business and where it’s headed.

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