man in glasses and suit smiling

Redefining Addiction Recovery

Dan Hostetler of the Above and Beyond Family Recovery Center, has been honoured with the title of Most Influential CEO 2023 – Chicago (Non-Profit Organization Management). We wanted to find out a little more about the history of this outpatient addiction treatment facility, and the man at its helm.

Above and Beyond Family Recovery Center is a licensed (Level I and Level II) outpatient addiction treatment facility with a focus on serving the communities, both at large and those who are disenfranchised, in West Chicago. It is a not-for-profit organisation, funded privately which ensures no one is ever turned away because of an inability to pay for treatment. The treatment centre was built by an artist/builder using repurposed materials to create a uniquely modern, eclectic industrial space. The building is inhabited by original furniture pieces and art. The clinic believes that many of these discarded pieces retain value, and can be transformed into something useful and beautiful. This is very fitting as it’s the same sentiment the facility applies to the lives of its clients, believing they too can be transformed. Its goal is to offer a place that evokes order and pride in the people it serves. 

The clinical services it provides are conducted in group sessions, as well as on an individual basis. Its certified and licensed counsellors and clinicians are a handpicked team, all solidly grounded in the traditional techniques of addiction therapy. Its CEO Daniel Hostetler has more than 30 years of experience in corporate consultancy and non-profit management under his belt. This includes serving as president and chairman of the Board of Directors of the Southern European Division of an International Consultancy for 10 years, where he managed more than 300 consultants. In the light of his award announcement as Most Influential CEO 2023 – Chicago (Non-Profit Organization Management), we have taken the opportunity to catch up with Dan, and dig a little deeper into his past.

“To be honoured with this recognition is quite strange to me. I accept it with deep gratitude and humble disbelief, both, because the role I fulfil as CEO looks very different than what I believe most onlookers would expect.”

Dan explained what a long journey it’s been for him, beginning when he was a young boy at the Cub Scouts. When the Den Mother asked who would like to volunteer as the leader, the Den Chief, Dan raised his hand. He looks back on that moment now as the beginning of his life in, mostly, inglorious servitude to his masters. He can imagine now how his business school professors might scoff or even openly mock this vision of his young self. But ever since that first tentative step forward, Dan has continued through the epochs of many leadership opportunities.

Even as a ‘leader’, Dan has always answered to someone else, a higher human power as it were, whether this be the board, a president, a donor, benefactor, or constituencies. It is very rare that he has ever had time to indulge in other interests, as the rigours and constant vigilance that come from being a conduit for someone else’s mission has never allowed for such an indulgence. In the 40 years or so that Dan has spent tackling challenges and fulfilling a wide variety of leadership roles across the United States and the world, he’s learnt a few things. He’s been able to clarify his primary role as being that of a balancing pole between defining reality and providing hope; sharing credit and taking responsibility; providing a living wage and being able to keep the doors open; simultaneously serving the stockholders and the constituencies; being a boss while remaining a human being.

The key for Dan has always been to stay centred and true to himself, but he has borne witness to many colleagues become unglued and lose their footing over shifting principles and wavering loyalties. For him, the gauges of progress and success have always come from the attitudes of his constituencies, something that has always been easy for him to read. His guiderails have always communicated their satisfaction or dismay loudly and clearly. The only thing that’s not been so easy to pin down is how their satisfaction was won. In the end, age and experience has revealed the answer comes down to his employees and designees. He’s realised if they’re happy and satisfied in their job roles and environment, that positive energy will be transmitted vicariously to the constituencies. This creates a win-win sort of contagion, spreading joy on contact.

This means that for Dan, his primary and overarching purpose as CEO is the long-term, measurable, and sustainable well-being and outcomes of his patient populations. The secondary priority is the overall well-being of his staff, something that is obviously well-served by successful achievement of the primary priority. In fact, this is very much a chicken/egg situation, so closely linked are the outcomes dependency on each other. Dan sees it as a paradox on most modern perceptions of leadership.

The other factor to consider for any company is of course the need for survival in good fiscal and governance health. Without satisfying the stockholders, the auditors, and the ogres of compliance, all other endeavours are rendered meaningless. This is another set of skills requiring constant monitoring and balancing, ensuring the pressures and anxieties of the business side of operations don’t invade or infect the provision of the services. One side usually doesn’t understand the other, so they both stand at bay to one another, leaving Dan as the middle-man connector and balancing pole once more.

This strategy has become Dan’s go-to policy, with the majority of his attention being focused on the superior functionality of a well satisfied staff. This is the key to producing unequivocal business outcomes throughout all constituencies, almost without exception. He has also found it works equally as well in both for-profit and non-profit settings. In his moment of reflection on past leadership positions, Dan has been filled with gratitude for all the many thousands of lives he’s had the opportunity to improve. His positions have included President and Board Chair of an International Business Consulting Firm, Operations and Finance Director for a national refugee resettlement non-profit, and Executive Director and Spiritual Leader of a 100+ year old international spirituality organisation. And now, of course, there’s his current position as CEO of one of the most innovative addiction treatment centres in the United States and maybe the world.

Throughout it all, the most consistent key to untangling the collective messes he’s been faced with has been to put his ego aside and work in deft, intuitive servitude to those around him. He has a need to help those that depend on him to navigate the dense fog of uncertainty and doubt, and deliver them to a better destiny without any personal gain or self-aggrandisement. For Dan Hostetler, the gains and rewards he’s received have exceeded his expectations, and reassured him that whatever gifts he possesses they have been put to good and proper use.      

For business enquiries, contact Dan Hostetler from Above and Beyond Family Recovery Center on their website – http://anb.today/

Industry pipeline transport petrochemical, gas and oil processing

Shar Woehl: Supporting Women’s Success in Oil and Gas

Established in January 2023, Atta Gurl Consulting is a sales agency that offers both full-time and contract-only representation to companies within the oil and gas industry. As well as providing its clients with the support they need to thrive and succeed, the agency aims to advance the representation of women in a largely male-dominated field. At the helm of Atta Gurl Consulting is Founder and CEO Shar Woehl, who has recently been named Oil & Gas Consulting CEO of the Year, Texas, in the CEO of the Year Awards 2023.

Historically, the oil and gas industry has been dominated by men at all levels, from leadership positions in major corporations to manual labour-based jobs in mines and oil rigs. The sector has been slower than many others in embracing gender diversity, which may be attributed to the long-standing stereotype that physically demanding jobs should be reserved for men. Due to the persistence of this outdated view, women have long been hindered in the oil and gas industry, preventing them from advancing in or even entering the field.

Shar Woehl, Founder and CEO of Atta Gurl Consulting, experienced this struggle firsthand. Having gained experience in a variety of client-facing roles, she decided to leverage her outstanding customer service skills to pursue a career in sales. Being based in Texas, known as the heart of the USA’s gas and oil production, Shar eventually entered the oil and gas industry, taking on sales positions at numerous companies in the sector. Whilst she was confident in her abilities as a salesperson, Shar always felt that she was underappreciated in these roles. She soon found herself unable to advance, held back by her gender.

Inspired by her past experiences and determined to be a catalyst of positive change, Shar set out to establish Atta Gurl Consulting in 2023. Her goal was to create a sales agency for the oil and gas industry that would focus on hiring talented women to create a workforce that consists almost entirely of women in sales roles. She hoped that the business would not only increase female visibility in the oil, gas, and mining industry, but also provide women with a unique working environment in which they are supported and empowered to succeed.

Being based in Midland, Texas, Atta Gurl Consulting primarily serves clients in the Permian and Delaware Basins. The company caters to almost every niche in the industry, including drilling, completions, production, construction, maintenance, pipeline, facilities, and plants. Over the last 12 months, Shar has worked hard to establish close relationships with many vendors in these fields, spanning across Texas and beyond. Through this, she ensures that Atta Gurl Consulting is equipped to serve as a one-stop-shop for everything related to oil and gas, offering the best prices to customers and driving business growth for vendors.

Shar created this distinct strategy, known as The Vortex, while she was working in the real estate industry. It features three elements: the vendor, the customer, and the sales representative. The strategy outlines that, if all parties pull their weight, are honest, and are not greedy, everybody will achieve the outcome they want. This means that the vendor will gain increased sales, the customer will get the best price, and the salesperson will receive a healthy commission for their work. By utilising this strategy, the agency aims to make the journey for all vendors and customers less expensive, more efficient, and as profitable as possible. Shar came up with the name “The Vortex” when she noticed that all three elements strengthen each other, contributing towards their collective long-term success.

In everything it does, Atta Gurl Consulting strives to maintain the highest level of integrity whilst delivering the best standard of customer service. To achieve this, Shar invests significantly in the personal and professional development of her excellent team of “Atta Gurls”. With a rich background in sales, she understands the importance of rigorous training and is passionate about ensuring that her sales representatives are equipped to reach their full potential. As part of the agency’s intense training programme, they are not fed to the wolves but rather armed for battle, mentored, and inspired to do their best.

As well as personally overseeing the training of all Atta Gurl Consulting’s representatives and consultants, Shar utilises her diverse experience and abilities to equip her senior representatives with the skills they need to train future juniors. This fosters a culture of knowledge-sharing and mentorship throughout the organisation, enabling all Atta Gurls to thrive and help each other succeed.

For her innovative spirit and her exceptional leadership of Atta Gurl Consulting, Shar Woehl has been named Oil & Gas Consulting CEO of the Year, Texas, in the CEO of the Year Awards 2023. In the years to come, she plans to streamline the agency and its work by splitting its team into specialised divisions with expertise in a particular niche. Each of these teams will be headed by a long-time expert in the field, enabling the agency to better serve its clients and fulfil their needs.

We are thrilled to congratulate Shar Woehl on her success in the CEO of the Year Awards 2023 and look forward to seeing what the future holds for her and her team at Atta Gurl Consulting.

For business enquiries, contact Shar Woehl from Atta Gurl Consulting on their website – attagurl.com

Shar Woehl

How CEOs Can Make the Most of Private Jet Travel

CEOs, in their pursuit to amplify productivity and efficiency within their business operations, now strategically employ private jet travel. The unparalleled benefits that private jets present enable these executives to metamorphose travel time into precious working hours; this contribution ultimately fosters the triumph of their enterprises.

A Mobile Boardroom in the Sky

Time is precious for CEOs, and private jets make travel productive by doubling as flying offices. With space, comfort, and connectivity tools, they can conduct meetings, review documents, and make key decisions mid-flight, ensuring non-stop business efficiency.

Flexible Scheduling for Time Optimization

The flexibility that private jet travel offers in scheduling stands as a key advantage for CEOs: unlike commercial flights, CEO-operated private jets accommodate last-minute adjustments and spur-of-the-moment travel decisions. This flexibility–a crucial tool for seizing business opportunities, attending pivotal meetings, and responding swiftly to market dynamics–eliminates the constraints imposed by rigid airline schedules; hence empowering CEOs at an unprecedented level.

Reducing Travel Fatigue for Peak Performance

Traveling by private jet allows CEOs to avoid the fatigue of commercial flights. They skip crowded terminals and security lines, preventing travel stress and staying sharp for essential business engagements. These benefits help sustain top performance during vital corporate events.

Enhanced Security and Confidentiality

CEOs hold paramount concerns for security and confidentiality; private jet travel, comprehensively addressing these issues: it allows them to swiftly–and discreetly–navigate the often crowded terminals of commercial airports. In terms of onboard discussions, a private jet charter prioritizes confidentiality—thus creating a secure environment suitable for sensitive business matters that require discretion.

Time-Efficient Routes for Maximum Impact

CEOs, through private jet charters, enjoy the flexibility to select the most time-efficient routes for their journeys; this includes direct flights–without layovers or connecting flights–to destinations. Optimizing travel routes allows CEOs not only to reduce transit time but also ensures them an on-time arrival at crucial meetings: a strategic advantage in business events. This strategic approach to travel planning enhances overall time management.

Personalized Concierge Services for Seamless Travel

Private jet charters understand the significance of offering CEOs with seamless, customized travel experiences; after all, these executives typically juggle demanding schedules. From coordinating ground transportation to accommodating specific dietary preferences: private jet concierge services meticulously shape every aspect of the journey around their high-profile passengers’ requirements – a detail-oriented approach that significantly enhances travel efficiency and minimizes stress.

Strategic Networking Opportunities at Altitude

CEOs harness the unique networking opportunities that private jet travel presents: sharing a jet with key business associates–partners or potential clients, they cultivate relationships and engage in strategic discussions within an intimate setting. The exclusive environment of a private jet—unlike traditional business settings—facilitates not only connection fostering but also meaningful conversations; these are often challenging to initiate elsewhere.

Embracing Work-Life Integration

CEOs, embracing a more holistic approach to work and life through private jet travel, benefit from the convenience of conducting business while in transit. They optimize their travel schedules for balanced commitments: professional duties are harmonized with personal priorities. By using private jets–attending crucial family events or immersing in personal activities becomes possible; at the same time—they ensure efficient fulfilment of work obligations.

Cost-Effective Time Management

Private jet travel, often synonymous with luxury, holds a different connotation for CEOs: it’s about cost-effectiveness–a recognition of their time’s value. The investment in private jet charters is justified by the capacity to optimize productivity; seize business opportunities; and sustain peak performance during travel. Efficient time management—CEOs comprehend—directly translates into business success.

Concluding, CEOs now view private jet travel as a strategic tool to maximize productivity and efficiency; they no longer perceive it merely for luxury. The amalgamation of a mobile boardroom–with flexible scheduling: reducing travel fatigue, bolstering security measures and offering personalized services—elevates private jet charters into the essential toolkit of forward-thinking CEOs. Embracing the benefits that private jets offer allows these executives to navigate their role demands with agility: every journey then becomes an indispensable contributor towards organizational success and growth.

8 Tips for Businesses To Improve Social Media Advertising Results

This article delves into essential strategies and tips for successfully navigating the dynamic world of social media advertising, a powerful tool that has emerged in the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing to connect marketers with their target audience.

Crafting Compelling Content

Crafting compelling content stands as a fundamental aspect of any successful social media advertising campaign: marketers must concentrate their efforts on generating visually attractive, engaging material that strikes a chord with their audience. Whether one opts for eye-catching images; captivating videos—or concise copy—it remains imperative to ensure alignment between the brand’s identity and its values in all forms of online communication. Key to engaging consumers is authenticity: they are more inclined towards content that exudes a sense of genuineness and relatability.

Understanding Platform Dynamics

Marketers must tailor their approach to match the unique dynamics of each social media platform: Instagram’s visually-driven nature; Twitter’s concise messaging–and LinkedIn, with its professional network. It is crucial that they understand these platforms’ nuances: adapting content to align with a platform’s culture guarantees an audience-targeted message in a resonant format.

Targeting the Right Audience

Advanced targeting options in social media advertising empower marketers to reach specific demographics, interests, and behaviors; therefore, defining and targeting the appropriate audience is crucial for maximizing campaign impact. By employing data and analytics–understanding your audience’s preferences, behaviors, and demographics become possible: this enables precise targeting that augments engagement likelihood as well as conversion rates.

Strategic Use of Ad Formats

A variety of ad formats – sponsored posts, carousel ads, and stories – are offered by social media platforms. Strategically choosing these is a crucial task for a marketer or digital marketing agency, they must base their selection on two key factors – their campaign goals and the nature of their content. To illustrate this point further– let’s consider Instagram stories; a visually-oriented brand could potentially find success through utilizing them. Similarly: Facebook sponsored posts could serve as an advantageous tool for service-based businesses to leverage. Experimenting with different formats allows marketers to identify what resonates best with their audience.

Effective Use of Hashtags

The critical role of hashtags in broadening the social media content’s reach cannot be underestimated: marketers must undertake industry-specific research–identifying relevant hashtags–and strategically weave them into their posts. This approach augments not only the discoverability of such content, but also eases engagement from users who harbor an interest towards those particular topics. Nonetheless, one must exercise caution in the excessive use of hashtags; such a practice can dilute the message and render content seemingly spammy.

Monitoring and Analyzing Performance

Continuous monitoring and analysis of campaign performance are crucial for a successful social media advertising strategy. Track metrics such as reach, engagement, click-through rates and conversions using the analytics tools each platform offers. Regularly assess performance data to pinpoint effective strategies–and identify areas requiring potential adjustments. This data-driven approach allows marketers to optimize campaigns in real-time and allocate resources effectively.

Building Relationships through Engagement

Inherently social, social media surpasses the mere broadcasting of messages for successful advertising. Marketers must actively engage their audience by responding to comments and messages; they should also partake in conversations. By building relationships around the brand, a sense of community flourishes–this fosters increased loyalty and advocacy. Additionally, positive interactions with customers contribute to a positive brand image.

Adapting to Algorithm Changes

Frequent algorithm updates by social media platforms significantly impact content visibility. Marketers must remain vigilant, keeping themselves informed about these changes and preparing to adapt their strategies accordingly: this could entail tweaking content formats; adjusting posting schedules–or even exploring new features introduced through the platforms. To ensure the effectiveness of advertising efforts in a dynamic digital landscape, one must stay agile and promptly respond to algorithm changes.

In digital marketing, social media advertising is a powerful tool. To succeed, marketers should create engaging content, know platform specifics, and target the right audience. Using varied ad formats and hashtags, monitoring performance, building relationships, staying updated on algorithms, and adhering to ad policies are crucial. Following these guidelines allows marketers to unleash the full potential of social media ads and achieve significant results by connecting with their audiences.

10 Advantages Of Engineered Fabric Buildings For Commercial Applications

If you’re exploring options for your company’s next commercial building, it’s time to consider an engineered fabric structure. These innovative buildings are constructed from advanced coated fabrics rather than traditional materials to provide functionality that outperforms conventional buildings.

From rapid construction timelines to crisp natural lighting and open floor plans, fabric buildings are engineered to meet commercial needs while affording owners major advantages over other structures. Significant cost savings also make them extremely appealing options for retailers, warehouses, recreation centers, etc.

If you’re considering engineered fabric buildings, consult a provider early to start the project right away. Also, understanding the key benefits can help inform your decision. So, let’s explore the ten top advantages of engineered fabric buildings for commercial use.

1. They’re Easy To Construct

Engineered fabric buildings utilize standardized frameworks and modular components that expedite construction timelines compared to traditional buildings. You can expect to have your structure fully erected and enclosed within 4-8 weeks on average. That’s 3-4 times faster than conventional construction.

Since minimal foundation work is required and many building parts are prefabricated offsite for rapid onsite assembly, your business will be up and running in your new facility almost immediately after breaking ground. The accelerated timeline gets your operations commenced quickly.

2. You Get To Customize The Design

Engineered fabric buildings are highly customizable, enabling you to create a structure tailored to your commercial needs. Work with reputable fabric building manufacturers to design a building that fits your desired layout, incorporates mezzanines or multi-story spaces if required, and has a roofline matching your vision. The flexibility of the materials makes unique designs possible.

3. They Maximize The Clear Span Space

Unlike traditional buildings supported by interior columns and beams, engineered fabric structures employ arched roof frameworks to enable clear-span interiors uninterrupted by vertical supports.

This provides excellent open floor plans ideal for warehouses, distribution centers, athletic facilities, retail stores, and more. You can optimize the layout without working around columns.

4. You’ll Save On Construction Costs

Engineered fabric buildings utilize prefabricated components offsite and are simply assembled onsite to complete structural frameworks rapidly. This minimizes onsite labor, customized fabrication, and specialized equipment needs compared to traditional buildings.

With less intensive foundations required as well, significant cost savings apply. You can expect to invest around 50-66% less on a square footage basis compared to conventional steel or wood buildings.

The budget-friendly nature makes fabric buildings feasible and economical options, allowing more allocation towards core business operations.

5. Low Energy Costs Are Feasible

Properly designed engineered fabric buildings incorporate extremely well-insulated fabrics that prevent heat gain and loss exceptionally well. Combined with ample natural light from standard translucent roof panels, this translates to structures with very low lighting, heating, and cooling costs. For budget-conscious businesses, energy efficiency is impactful.

6. They’re Suitable For Challenging Sites

Constructing traditional buildings on sites with difficult soils, high water tables, or other issues can require extensive preparations, which are expensive and time-consuming. The lightweight nature and minimal foundations needed by engineered fabric buildings make them perfect for environmentally sensitive sites, condensed urban locations, and other problematic properties.

7. You Can Relocate Or Expand Them

Should your business outgrow your current engineered fabric building, require repositioning on your property, or need reinstallation at a new location entirely, fabric structures can be dismantled, moved, and re-erected with relative ease.

Unlike permanent conventional buildings, the versatility of fabric buildings accommodates change, upgrades, and mobility. Modular expandability is also possible.

8. They Provide Good Lighting Conditions

Engineered fabric buildings utilize translucent panels in the roof system to allow ample natural daylight into the interiors. By eliminating dark spaces, the structures create bright, comfortable environments ideal for retail, office, athletic, and industrial spaces.

The lightweight roof also enables extensive open ceilings without view-blocking beams and rafters. Combined with the lack of interior columns, sight lines are clear wall-to-wall. You can expect crisp illumination, reduced energy costs, and minimal shadows for optimal working, playing, or occupying the space.

9. You’ll Appreciate The Durability

Today’s engineered fabrics boast:

  • Impressive tear and puncture resistance
  • Withstand hurricane-force winds when properly anchored
  • Shed heavy snow loads

Reputable manufacturers even offer insured fabric structures guarded against collapse or fabric failure. The durability rivals traditional buildings.

10. They’re Sustainable And Recyclable

Lastly, engineered fabric buildings are admired for their environmental merits. High strength-to-weight ratios minimize raw materials needed for construction, factories utilize renewable energy sources to manufacture the fabrics, and the structures even give deconstructed coal ash and reclaimed fibers renewed purpose. At the end of life, the fabrics can be fully recycled rather than landfilled.

Final Thoughts

Consider embracing fabric architecture for your next retail space, office complex, athletic center, or other venture to capitalize on the myriad benefits. With custom fabrication and insured structures available, engineered fabric buildings check all the boxes for business owners seeking practicality and budget consciousness. Let the possibilities inspire your vision!

Mitigating Environmental Risks: The Importance Of Reliable Control Units

Industrial facilities are at the forefront of environmental protection, facing immense challenges in safeguarding our environment from harmful emissions and discharges. However, they’re not without their vulnerabilities. Malfunctions of pollution control equipment, for instance, can lead to the unintended release of toxins, resulting in regulatory violations and environmental harm.

Thus, it’s essential for these facilities to invest in high-quality control units. Such investments serve as a critical line of defense, helping mitigate risks, maintain regulatory compliance, and promote a safer environment.

Let’s discuss how dependable control units contribute to reducing environmental risks:

1. Prevent Excess Emissions With Reliable Air Pollution Controls

Air pollution control units are designed to remove harmful particulates, gases, and vapors from industrial exhaust streams before they’re released into the atmosphere. Key components of these systems include scrubbers, catalytic converters, baghouses, and precipitators.

To ensure compliance with clean air regulations, these units must operate continuously. By choosing an environmental control unit with redundancy and real-time monitoring, facilities can ensure reliable operation and prevent excess emissions during unexpected upsets. These units also provide climate control and environmental protection in military and other operational contexts.

2. Maintain Proper Discharges With Effective Water Treatment

Before wastewater can be discharged, it must undergo stringent treatment to remove pollutants. This process involves several stages, including clarification, biological processes, filtration, and disinfection. The reliability of the treatment process is vital to minimize the environmental impact on receiving waters.

Durable water treatment components can withstand heavy use, while online analyzers enable proactive maintenance to avoid upsets. Automated controls are also in place to maintain proper treatment levels at all times, ensuring the discharged water meets regulatory standards.

3. Enable Proper Waste Disposal Through Efficient Handling

Safe disposal of hazardous wastes is another critical aspect of environmental protection in industrial facilities. These facilities rely on storage tanks, containers, and conveyance systems to collect and transfer materials with containment. The equipment used for waste handling is chemical-resistant and built to stringent standards to enable reliable operation without leaks and spills.

Monitoring systems for tank levels and system pressure are used to catch potential failures early, preventing environmental contamination. By ensuring robust waste handling, facilities can protect the environment and comply with waste disposal regulations.

4. Guard Against Leaks With Double Walled Tanks

When dealing with hazardous materials, it’s crucial to have storage solutions featuring dual-wall construction with leak monitoring. These tanks are designed to prevent inner tank corrosion and failures that could lead to soil contamination.

In case of a leak into the interstitial space between the walls, alarms are triggered, allowing for rapid response. By opting for double-walled tanks equipped with quality monitoring systems, facilities can mitigate environmental release risks.

5. Isolate Incompatible Materials With Proper Secondary Containment

In industrial operations, the handling of dangerous substances requires careful planning. These substances must be segregated from incompatible materials during storage and transfer to avoid potentially hazardous reactions.

High-quality secondary containment systems, such as dike walls and double-walled piping, provide an essential layer of protection. These systems ensure isolation even during leaks or releases, preventing contact between incompatible substances. This proactive approach minimizes risks of fire, explosions, and additional discharges, thereby safeguarding the environment.

6. Maintain Facility Protection With Advanced Seal Systems

Moving on to facility protection, extensive seals and barriers are employed to guard against environmental releases. Regular maintenance, such as quarterly seal inspections and annual upkeep, ensures these remain leak-tight.

Moreover, upgrading to the latest mechanical shoe or magnetic seal systems provides enhanced reliability over older liquid or strip options prone to leaks. These advanced seals better contain risks, contributing to environmental safety.

7. Control Drainage Through Stable Retention Basins

In water management, retention basins play a crucial role. They safely manage stormwater and prevent runoff pollution. Their reinforced concrete designs withstand heavy rainfall and consistent use without developing leaks over time.

Regular inspections for erosion and sediment buildup verify their proper functioning to rating specifications. Through the use of well-built basins, we can control drainage effectively, further protecting the environment.

Final Thoughts

Industrial facilities make significant investments in rugged, reliable pollution control equipment and practices as part of their commitment to environmental stewardship. However, the responsibility doesn’t stop there. Incidents stemming from preventable equipment failures can lead to environmental damage, regulatory violations, and a loss of community trust.

Therefore, it’s imperative to prioritize system dependability. This involves selecting quality units, implementing preventative maintenance, and maintaining vigilance in operations. By taking these steps, facilities can effectively reduce risks and protect our planet.

Changes are Coming for Reporting Employment Benefits from April 2026 in the UK

Back in January 2024, HMRC – of the UK government – announced a series of new measures it intends to bring in to help ‘simplify and modernise the tax system’ of the country. While many of these measures are still in respective consultation phases, a notable part of this package of updates of measures was ‘mandating the payrolling of benefits in kind’ – which it has specified must be via payroll software from April 2026.

Here we’ve taken a closer look at this, considering what it could mean for UK businesses and what steps you may need to take with your firm to get up to speed with these impending regulatory changes.

The changes at a glance

The existing process involves businesses having to report employee benefits annually using Forms P11D. These are submitted manually to HMRC by July 6 of the following tax year said employee benefits were given. Those familiar with the process will be able to confirm this can require a great deal of paperwork, even for typical benefits such as medical insurance.

In simple terms, the changes here will require UK businesses to instead handle this process digitally via payroll software.

The benefits of the changes

As alluded to above, the main benefit of this will be making the overall tax system easier to manage. However, from the official statement by the government, the wider benefits should be felt by both businesses and HMRC in terms of an overall smoother and more time-efficient filing and reporting process:

“Mandation will simplify the tax affairs of 3 million people and reduce the need for them to contact HMRC…This measure will reduce administrative burdens for thousands of employers and HMRC by simplifying and digitising the process of reporting and paying tax on all employment benefits. It will remove the need for 4 million end of year returns to be submitted to HMRC”.

Considerations for the transition

While 2026 may seem like a long enough timeframe in which to manage this transition, there are still many considerations you can have as a business owner, especially if you’ve yet to use any form of payroll software, like PayCaptain..

Here are a few areas you may wish to investigate before the 2026 deadline:

  • Payroll software itself 

Whether you use payroll software or not, you need to make sure you have something in place that can handle these new tax requirements.

  • Your current employee benefit policies

You may need to update your employee benefit policies to legally reflect these new requirements, or at least make it clear which benefits are affected by the new regulations.

  • Training for the new tax processes

As with any process digitisation, you may need to provide additional training for your payroll and/or finance teams so they are prepared for the changes and will be in a position to handle them.

  • Additional updates from HMRC

As the months go on and the full requirements become clearer, it’s likely that HMRC will release more information about what businesses are required to do to be compliant. So you should do your best to be up-to-date here to avoid missing any important details.

Final thoughts

While this might seem like more admin for you, the way to look at this is that the sooner you can ensure you have what you need in place, the better the position your company will be in for 2026.

However, if you find yourself unsure of all of this, or you feel you need additional guidance on what you need to have in place, the best approach is to seek support from financial experts.

man in suit smiling

Investment Management Bolstered by the Lucky Number Seven

In 2019, Seven Investment Management (7IM) welcomed Investment Management CEO of the Year 2023 – London awardee Dean Proctor into the role, based off of his 25 years of direct experience and true passion for the industry. 7IM was established more than two decades ago back in 2002, driven by the goal of helping individuals, families, and advisers to efficiently manage their capital in order to fulfil all financial needs and aspirations. From the beginning to today, this has been achieved through an ethos that focuses on listening to what it is that clients want, and then tailoring these services to fulfil those specific needs. We have the pleasure of catching up with Dean, who tells us more about his career, experiences, and successes within the investment sector.

7IM has established a stellar name for itself within the investment and wealth management sector, and in just over 20 years of operating, has proudly amassed more than £23 billion in client assets. Just like every business, 7IM has its financial metrics, and the company starts out each year with a business plan and the necessary goals to reach these. The finished result is the output of a team’s effort, but for CEO Dean Proctor, it is the input that a company should concentrate its efforts on. He explains, “it’s important to have the right culture, values, and behaviours, of which you want yourself and your colleagues to embody, and we’ve done a lot of work with that over the last few years.”

Dean understands all too well just how varied the role of CEO can be but recognises that at the heart of the position is a responsibility to direct the firm and provide leadership, as well as operating at all times with a high degree of accountability. The emphasis, however, should be on helping all parties, whether these be clients or colleagues, on a daily basis, fully understanding the company’s purpose and giving the relevant direction to help it in the achieving of its aims. Taking over directly from the founders, it was initially difficult to navigate this period of change, but more than four years later, Dean is proud to be in a position where his colleagues are driving the change and leading from the front.

Leadership style is often something that evolves with time, and this is certainly the case with Dean, who explains, “I suspect when I first entered management roles, I was probably a little bit more directive than I am now.” This does not mean that he has sacrificed on any of his values, though, and Dean remains as driven now as ever. “I like the idea of 7IM being the best company in our space. I like the idea of it being the best place for colleagues to work  and clients to entrust their money with.” Aiding the company in achieving this aim is something called “Vision, Purpose, Values, and Personality (VPVPs)”, something which 7IM’s colleagues collectively built and continue to live by.

The company serves both B2B and B2C clients, with 7IM’s B2C offerings focusing primarily on private client work, having a network comprising more than 6,000 private clients, whereas its B2B services consist of a range of intermediary solutions that are designed to support the c. 6,000 financial advice firms, and their financial planners, in the UK. Even though these services are primarily intangible, Dean is determined for the firm to successfully demonstrate its ability to differentiate. He elaborates, “you can differentiate in many ways, but for us, one of the key things is to make sure that our people are fully equipped and of the highest quality to deliver to our customers the outcomes and experiences that they would expect.”

At present, many of the issues that 7IM is facing stem from the fallout of global and macroeconomics, impacting everyone living in the UK. These include such areas as the cost-of-living crisis, a reduction in the disposable income of people, and increases in interest rates, with this trio combining to have a massive effect. The market has also faced its fair share of difficulties, and whether this be the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic or some of the international events taking place at present, there are rightful concerns about what the future of the market may look like.

It is for these reasons that Dean and the team strive to constantly provide a clear proposition that takes all of these contingencies into account. Dean eloquently explains, “after a relatively benign decade, that last two to four years have been far from that”, with massive changes in the landscape being felt as a result. An increase in demand has been apparent, especially in the digital sphere, with people aiming to access their wealth, view their portfolio, and have access to guidance and support on a 24/7 basis. Technology thus needs to change at an increasingly faster rate to keep up with this demand.

Moreover, regulation is too an area where change is being felt, with this ever-evolving field requiring extensive management time to understand and ensure that the most up-to-date policies are present across the business and its practices. Last but not least in painting a relevant picture of where the financial services space is at the moment is competitiveness, with this nature driving increasingly disruptive behaviour. For Dean, this results in “better customer proposition, product, and outcomes. So, when things come together, you generally see an industry that is involved in some pretty rapid innovative change.”

Looking ahead to the next 12 months and even further beyond, 7IM is currently preparing for completion of a sale, with its current majority owner Caledonia Investments PLC having agreed to a sell to Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, an investor on a global scale, that, pending approval, will become the firm’s majority owner in the near future. With this sale comes new opportunities for growth and development, yet Dean remains clear that, “our focus is always on our clients, to make sure we are delivering the service and performance levels that we aspire to for those clients.” It is thus an exciting time for Dean and the team, and it will be a great achievement for them to secure a new majority shareholder that is sure to support the firm’s strategic ambitions.

As for his career specifically, Dean has no plans to go anywhere for this next chapter in 7IM’s story and is both excited and committed in the continual carrying out of his duties. A fan of management and strategy books, Dean is always seeking out new ways to implement what he has learned, as well as learning through observation, recognising the work done by other great leaders in the industry. Dean continues, “I’m naturally a bit of a change agent. […] I believe leadership has a responsibility to keep driving positive change to ensure better outcomes.” In summary, Dean tells us, “there’s nothing better than knowing you’re doing right by your colleagues and your clients.”

Ultimately, 7IM is a unique firm, providing clients with the necessary advice and plans to meet their goals, with the services and solutions for advisers and planners to make their businesses more efficient, delivering the best possible outcomes overall. With plans to significantly invest in cutting-edge technology, the next few years are sure to be as pioneering for the firm as these first 20, and with Dean Proctor at the helm, trusted and long-standing relationships are sure to be formed, the digital age and all of its avenues fully embraced, and clients left happy and confident with their choice. For these reasons, Dean is more than worthy of this award, and we wish him and everyone at 7IM the best of luck for the future.

For business enquiries, contact Dean Proctor from 7IM on their website – https://www.7im.co.uk/

Management

Maximising Efficiency: How B2B CEOs Can Harness Pallet Delivery for Bulk Orders

When it comes to shipping bulk orders, any savvy CEO will understand the importance of choosing the right logistics solutions. One such solution that stands out for its numerous benefits is pallet delivery.

In this article, we will explore why pallet delivery is a game-changer for B2B operations and how CEOs can leverage its advantages to optimise their supply chain.

Understanding the Power of Pallet Delivery

Pallet delivery offers a multitude of advantages for B2B bulk orders. First and foremost, it’s cost-effective. By consolidating multiple items onto pallets, businesses can save on shipping costs compared to individual shipments.

Pallet delivery also streamlines logistics by simplifying the loading and unloading process, reducing handling time and labour costs. Additionally, it enhances efficiency by allowing for larger quantities to be shipped at once, resulting in faster delivery times and improved customer satisfaction.

Key Strategies for Success

1. Choosing the Right Provider: Selecting a reliable pallet delivery partner, such as Pallet2Ship, is crucial. CEOs should consider factors such as reliability, tracking capabilities, and service offerings tailored to their business needs.

2. Packaging Best Practices: Proper packaging is essential for minimising damage during transit. CEOs should ensure goods are securely packed and strapped to pallets to prevent shifting or breakage, ensuring the safe transit of goods.

3. Efficient Warehouse Management: Optimising warehouse layouts and implementing robust inventory management systems are key to efficient pallet delivery. This ensures smooth movement of pallets, accurate tracking of stock levels, and timely replenishment of inventory.

4. Clear Communication and Proactive Customer Service: Providing customers with accurate tracking updates and addressing inquiries promptly are essential for managing expectations and building trust.

Embracing Innovation

Embracing innovation is vital for maximising the benefits of pallet delivery. CEOs should explore technologies such as route optimisation software and automated warehouse management systems to further enhance efficiency and productivity.

Additionally, choosing a pallet delivery partner with quality tracking capabilities allows businesses to accurately monitor the status of shipments, providing peace of mind and enabling proactive management of any questions that may arise.

Overcoming Common Challenges

While pallet delivery offers numerous benefits, it has its challenges. Common issues such as delays, damages, and inventory management discrepancies can arise, impacting the smooth flow of operations.

To overcome these challenges, CEOs should implement robust processes and procedures, have a comprehensive understanding of pallet shipping standards, and maintain open communication with their pallet delivery provider. This will ensure that businesses can minimise disruptions and ensure a seamless shipping experience for their customers.

In conclusion, pallet delivery presents a valuable opportunity for B2B CEOs to optimise their supply chain and drive success in their businesses. By understanding its advantages, implementing key strategies for success, and embracing innovation, CEOs can harness the power of pallet delivery to streamline operations, reduce costs, and deliver exceptional service to their customers.

Boss screaming at employee in office

Cultivating a Positive Work Environment: A Manager’s Guide to Preventing Toxicity

Have you ever been part of a toxic work environment? Did you feel like your higher-ups were failing to protect staff from bullying and harassment? Toxicity in the workplace comes in many different shapes and sizes but, with a number of high-profile claims appearing in the news in recent months, managers throughout the UK must act to prevent a toxic work culture from forming.

So, how can you ensure that you’re doing everything you can to protect your workplace and workforce? Lisa Branker, Head of Employment and HR at specialist employment solicitors Beecham Peacock, reveals some of the best ways you can discourage toxic behaviour and ensure that your employees feel valued.

Key findings

  • At the end of December 2023, 60 senior women at the Ministry of Justice complained of a “hostile” and “toxic” environment. 
  • 44% of respondents to a survey of the UK astronomy sector had suffered workplace bullying or harassment in the previous 12 months.
  • In November 2023, a BBC investigation into McDonald’s found that the fast food chain experienced an average of one or two sexual harassment claims every week.
  • 32% of respondents to the Oak Engage report revealed that they had experienced toxic workplace behaviour in the form of being forced to work long hours.
  • 33% of respondents to the Oak Engage report found that it was middle managers perpetuating the toxicity in their workplace, rather than top-level management.
  • 12% of respondents to the CIPD’s People Management and Productivity Survey said their managers had received no training on managing people. This occurs most often in smaller workplaces.
  • Setting healthy boundaries ensures positive relationships are maintained between your team and their jobs.
  • Proper recognition of good behaviour – and condemnation of bad behaviour – is essential to maintaining a positive atmosphere.

Are toxic workplaces becoming more common?

Part of the issue with referring to workplaces as toxic, notes Branker, is that the word “toxic” is such a loose definition. “In recent years,” she says, “such a wide variety of workplace offences have been referred to as toxic, that it has become difficult to quantify which behaviours fall into that bracket.”

The UK government defines toxicity in the workplace as “workplace bullying and harassment”. However, other definitions have also been applied typically pointing to some combination of “negativity, discouragement and disrespect.”

Widespread cases of hostility and harassment in various sectors and international businesses have made the news in recent months. At the end of December 2023, 60 senior women at the Ministry of Justice complained of a “hostile” and “toxic” work environment. 

MPs recently also heard of the “shocking” levels of bullying and harassment present in the UK’s astronomy sector, where 44% of respondents to a workplace survey had suffered workplace bullying or harassment in the previous 12 months.

Perhaps most high-profile of all was the BBC investigation into McDonalds’ culture of toxicity, which found that the fast food chain experienced an average of one or two sexual harassment claims every week.

Branker notes that many workers are unaware of the “protections in place for people dealing with discrimination and harassment at work.” The onus to protect employees must lie with a company’s management team, who should be doing everything in their power to ensure that toxicity is not allowed to thrive in the workplace.

Allow room for mistakes

In any workplace with a human workforce mistakes are inevitably made at some point or another. Giving your team room to make mistakes can help reduce the likelihood of toxicity arising. When an employer is overly harsh or punitive in dealing with their employees’ mistakes, tension surrounding day-to-day tasks increases.

“Give your team the chance to make a mistake in the first instance – this is how people learn!” says Branker. “Repeated mistakes mean sloppy work, which requires a separate conversation. But excessive punishment for first-time mistakes means employees will be walking on eggshells from the start.”

Set healthy boundaries

Workplaces where employees have to work excessively long hours – and particularly hours outside of their standard working hours – commonly fall into the “toxic” bracket. Management may be consistently asking employees to work more hours than they should, or to be prepared to respond to client enquiries on evenings or weekends.

32% of respondents to an Oak Engage report on toxicity reported that they had experienced toxic workplace behaviour in the form of being forced to work long hours.

Healthy habits from the top down

33% of UK respondents to the same Oak Engage report that had experienced a toxic workplace culture found that it was middle managers perpetuating the toxicity, rather than top-level management executives. Similarly, 34% of respondents felt that their business’s working culture was not aligned with how the company would like to represent themselves.

This disconnect highlights the importance of implementing proper working practices at all levels of the company. “Management must be trained on how to properly interact with the workforce and handle issues properly when they arise,” says Branker.

12% of respondents to the CIPD’s People Management and Productivity Survey said their managers had received no training on managing people. This occurs most often in smaller workplaces, rather than larger companies.

Upper management must take an active interest in the company’s people policies and culture and implement training to ensure positive values are passed on. As such, the results can trickle down through all areas of the company.

Celebrate successes

Though much of toxic workplace culture is rooted in negative attitudes and responses to negative events, failure to recognise positive performance can be another indicator of toxicity.

One commonly held gripe arises when employees feel their work is not recognised by management. Often, there’s a significant disjoint between how well managers feel they are rewarding their team and how well their employees feel that they are being rewarded. In fact, 80% of managers believe they provide good recognition to their staff, while just 40% of employees feel they are adequately recognised for their hard work.

Gary Chapman, in his book Rising Above a Toxic Workplace: Taking Care of Yourself in an Unhealthy Environment, notes that “people thrive when they feel appreciated by their colleagues and supervisors – and that means they sense the appreciation is heartfelt and authentic.” Peer recognition is 35.7% more likely to positively impact performance than recognition from management.

Hold people accountable

In certain workplaces, the culture of toxicity may not be created by management but will be tolerated by them. It’s important that you and the rest of your management team hold other members of the team responsible for their actions and their conduct. This approach will establish an understanding that these issues will not be tolerated.

Spotting these indiscretions and failing to take action gives the offender confidence that their behaviour is fine or can be tolerated – leading to the worsening of workplace bullying.

“Lead by example,” comments Branker, “and the overall culture will benefit. Speak up when you see bad behaviour taking place without intervention. It’s important that any other members of the team who have witnessed the harassment taking place understand that such behaviour won’t be tolerated.”

If you’re currently working in a toxic workplace with limited support from management, it’s important that you’re aware of the options and facilities available to you, as well as the legal precedent set in the event of similar events taking place.

Understanding whether you have a case against your employer, or those members of staff perpetuating your toxic working culture, is key and may require legal advice from a dedicated employment solicitor.

Equally, if you are an employer who is concerned about toxicity in your workplace, HR support and management training from a specialist employment law and HR specialist can help to tackle and prevent such behaviour. It’s absolutely vital that employers create a culture where any workplace bullying, harassment or toxicity is not tolerated.

Reducing Carbon Footprint for Travelling CEO’s

Being a CEO of a company often involves travelling to a variety of workplace locations and, depending on the nature of the business, this can be both nationally and internationally. But with significant travel comes the issue of carbon footprints.

With sustainability creating an advantage for businesses, it’s no surprise that company directors and those in charge of businesses are looking for ways in which to minimise their carbon footprint while still maintaining their responsibilities. And there are many ways in which this can be achieved.

Embrace sustainable transportation options

There are a range of options when it comes to national travel. Choosing eco-friendly alternatives can help reduce carbon emissions. Consider investing in electric or hybrid company vehicles if you and your employees travel regularly and ensure they’re fitted with the most appropriate and efficient car tyres for those models.

The most popular workplace scheme for sustainable commuting has to be the Cycle to Work scheme. This is a UK government initiative aimed at encouraging people to cycle to work, thereby reducing congestion and pollution, promoting healthier lifestyles, and supporting sustainable transportation.

Another option is to encourage car sharing amongst colleagues and the use of public transport, especially when travelling short distances such as across the city. If your business is in a city centre, consider offering discounts or perks to managers and employees who use trains or buses to commute to work.

Offset carbon emissions

Some carbon emissions might be unavoidable and, in this case, it’s a good idea to invest in initiatives that help to offset these. Some examples include environmental conservation projects, tree planting and using renewable energy. Many businesses also choose to use easily recyclable materials to reduce waste, with paperless operations a huge factor. Carbon offsetting can also act a useful marketing tool for companies looking to showcase their green credentials.

Optimise travel efficiency

Technology has enabled the world to become more connected than ever before so it’s wise to use this to your advantage. Most, if not all, meetings these days can be carried out online via virtual technology such as video conferencing.

Prioritise these remote tools and create an environment where employees are encouraged to communicate virtually where possible, rather than having to commute long distances.

In situations where this is not possible, try and schedule in-person meetings within the same time frame to avoid making multiple journeys.

Advocate for corporate sustainability policies

If you and your business are committed to corporate sustainability practices, it’s important to engage with employees and stakeholders to create an environment that harnesses a collective effort.

Ask staff for ideas and feedback about policies and create short and long-term goals based on your sustainability aims.

Not only will your business build a strong reputation for commitment to the environment and the future, it will attract a range of talent who prioritise sustainability when it comes to an employer.

Although carbon emissions can’t be reduced overnight, with a combined effort and strict practices, you and your business can contribute successfully to a greener future.

Role delegation

The Important Role Delegation Plays in Business Success

By Gary Das, Founder and Director of Active Success

Five years ago, I was trapped in a mindset that many business owners find familiar: “No one can do it as good as me.”

I struggled with delegation, often confusing it with abdication. I failed to empower my team, and often resorted to reprimands rather than rewards. The truth is I am far from isolated in this experience. In fact, data from London Business School has revealed that just 30% of business leaders can delegate affectively, as affirmed by their workforce.

Those who delegate are not only able to rid themselves of a never ending ‘to do’ list but are also able to focus on the bigger picture of their business – driving future strategy, direction, and growth as a result.

However, the main challenge is not only shifting their internal narrative around the importance of delegation, but also taking the practical steps to achieve this on a consistent basis for maximum impact and results.

Why Delegation is a Game-Changer for Leaders

Amongst the successful business owners I work with, mentor and speak to, I hear a common theme – none of them are the smartest in their team, but they are all phenomenal at one thing: delegation.

Leaders that delegate well not only have an average 33% increase in revenue, but also a significantly lower employee turnover as their team members are made to feel empowered and valued through individual responsibility.

It’s a hugely challenging skill, but indispensable for business growth and can be achieved through one of the following top three delegation frameworks:

The 80/20 Rule

The 80/20 rule or the ‘Pareto Principle’ requires you to identify the 20% of your tasks that produce the highest impact and ensure you make them your main priority.

The rule was developed by Italian economist, Vilfredo Pareto in 1896, who found that 80% of the land was owned by just 20% of the population, igniting his theory on power law distribution between two quantities, in which a change in one quantity results in a relevant change into the other.

In order to achieve the mighty 80/20 split in your workload, regularly review your calendar to focus on your ‘superpowers’ while empowering the rest of your team with 80% of the tasks you can and should delegate.

The 70/20/10 Model

The 70/20/10 Model is used in a multitude of ways, but when applied to leadership and professional development reinforces that we as individuals learn most effectively through challenging assignments and on-the-job experiences, with the split divided as follows:

  • 70% through challenging assignments and on-the-job experiences.
  • 20% through coaching and mentoring.
  • 10% through formal education and training.

This shows the majority of learning comes from doing and often failing or getting it wrong, so not only should leaders feel confident in delegating tasks to their teams as this will help drive and improve their performance – but the model will also improve their own performance through the act of delegating and increased focus on higher value tasks.

Eisenhower Matrix:

The Eisenhower Matrix enables individuals to categorise tasks that they should complete themselves, delegate or eliminate. I prefer to use my own adapted version of ‘do, diarise, delegate, or delete’, but the original version is listed as follows:

  • Urgent and Important: Tackle these yourself.
  • Important but Not Urgent: Schedule or delegate.
  • Urgent but Not Important: Delegate if possible.
  • Neither Urgent nor Important: Eliminate or delegate.

Not only does this help business leaders in understanding what tasks are the most important, but it also helps in effectively managing your team’s workload while driving the future growth and progression of the business.

Empower Your Team, Scale Your Business

Ultimately, improving the way you delegate is not just about offloading tasks, it’s about empowering your team, optimising productivity, and scaling your business to the next level.

There are only two things that will drive scalable business growth, being:

  1. More Leads.
  2. More Team.

To achieve this and to make the transition from a doer to a true leader and delegator, you need to master the art of delegation and unlock your full potential, together with that of your team and your business.