| Train Your Employees For Profit Growth

Posted in Staffing at 9:00 AM by Loftis Consulting

Managing your employees is a lot more than simply attracting the right people for the jobs and paying them each month. Employee management is both an art and a science. You need to strike a fine balance to make sure that you get the best out your employees and that, in turn, will help your business to grow. Your employees are your greatest asset so you need to know how to look after them properly. Employee training, on an ongoing basis, is a key aspect of employee management and has many benefits for both the employee and your business profits.

Reasons Why You Need to Invest In Employee Training

A trained employee is a happy employee. There is no doubt that employee training results in improved job satisfaction and increased morale. Employees are more motivated and enthusiastic when they have been trained and that results in more sales and more profit. Your organization becomes more efficient because employees are not wasting their time on outdated techniques and modalities that do not work. Overall, your employee turnover decreases and this has massive financial benefits for you because recruitment costs a lot of money and is very time-consuming and disruptive.

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The Best Training to Provide Employees

There are some types of training that bring maximum benefits to your business. Top of the list has got to be sales enablement best practices training which will give your employees the best practices, tools, technologies, and processes to use in increasing productivity and performance. The focus on inbound marketing includes detailed instruction on sales coaching, onboarding, performance analysis and content generation leaving you with a highly skilled and highly effective workforce who can generate profits for your business.

Computer skills are also highly relevant to all businesses. If you are able to train a designated employee to deal with your IT issues you could save a lot of money in outsourcing the work or buying in a consultant. Your employee will have a better understanding of what your business needs in terms of IT equipment and connectivity. They work in your organization every day and so they will be able to spot where the problems are arising and where improvements can be made. They are also on site and readily available, with a working knowledge of your equipment, should things go wrong.

Health and safety is an important aspect of all business and without a good knowledge of the best working practices, you could be putting your employees at risk. The law requires you to safeguard the health and safety of your employees and providing health and safety training is a key aspect of this. Start by finding out what the law requires you to provide as a minimum. This will differ between industries. Then go above and beyond what is required. Your employees will appreciate that you have their welfare at heart and you will see this reflected in productivity rates.

Invest in training your employees now and reap the benefits in the future!

| Getting The Most From Your Workforce

Posted in Staffing at 9:00 AM by Loftis Consulting

As a business owner, you’ll know that you need to squeeze as much as you can from your resources. Every single thing that contributes to your business is going to have 100% effort, and input asked of it in some way shape or form. This is unavoidable and if a business wants to succeed this always has to happen. Certainly, some bigger businesses will be able to cut the slack simply because things are a bit easier for bigger businesses – they’ve already ‘made it’ you see.  You’ll have to make the best user possible of your working space; you’ll have to push your ideas to the limit, you’ll need to make sure that every single penny counts and of course, you’ll need to ensure that you are getting the most from your staff. This is tough work! But you’ll have to do it if you want to get anywhere in the world of business

Make the most of your staff? Yes – indeed you will. Using your workforce in the right manner is critical to the productivity of a business. You need to get the most from your staff so your business can run well. However, there’s an issue – your staff will never be able to give you 100% of their effort. It’s impossible. It’s well known that even on a good day, you’ll be pushing your luck if you can get staff members to devote 75% of their full effort to working. Some staff members will devote their life to giving 100%, but this cannot be expected from the vast majority – and that’s ok – we’re all human – you, as a business owner need to account for this at all times and do your best to engage your workforce to ensure they are doing what they can to ensure the business is operating well.

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Engage your workforce? Yes – a survey showed that only 13 percent of employees are engaged at work. That’s worrying. That means your productivity suffers because of human nature – so that means that you need to work extra hard to ensure your staff is engaged in their work. Easier said than done? Maybe.

You need to ensure that your staff is educated about workplace policies. You need to develop your staff and work with e-learning companies to deliver learning materials that can help them do their job – or learn new parts or techniques of it. IF your staff are trained, they can perform their job to a better standard and they might be more engaged with the role.

You also might believe that compensation is enough to ensure your staff get on with the job. This is not always true – even when staff are paid well, your workers might believe that they are underpaid. These thoughts are a natural flaw of our thinking, but it still happens. You’ll have to do a lot of deep digging within your business to get your staff engaged. Ensure your workers are not overworked and stressed out – ensure that their roles are enough for them to handle. Stress will destroy your workforce. There are plenty of ways to get staff engaged, but the solution isn’t always clear. You’ll need to find it to succeed – though.

| Maximize On Your Small Office

Posted in Staffing at 1:00 PM by Loftis Consulting

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Has your cramped office been getting you down? If so, you need to figure out how you can maximize your limited office space so that you can make your work area as efficient as possible. Here are some great tips that should help you do just that!
Have Stand-Up Meetings

Stand-up meetings are becoming very popular with companies for numerous reasons. One is that they encourage meetings to be very brief and to-the-point as no one wants to be on their feet for too long! But they are also very useful if your business as limited space in the office. People can just stand in the middle of the office or walk around if you don’t have the space for a dedicated meeting room. One great advantage of walking meetings is that they get everyone’s blood flowing, which can really help generate inspiration!

 

Use Light Well

There are a few ways you can create the illusion of space in a tight office, one of which is allowing as much natural light in as possible. Don’t worry if you don’t have enough windows for this, you can just be clever with artificial lighting instead. For instance, you should use LED spotlights that illuminate the whole floor space, rather than just illuminating the ceiling. This can help make the room feel a lot larger than what it actually is.

 

Reduce Your Paper

Clutter is going to make your office feel significantly tight on space, and one of the main sources of clutter is paper. You can try and reduce all of this by printing fewer documents and contracts, instead store them in the cloud. Alternatively, you might want to think about using document storage services. These firms will collect all of your sensitive documents and contracts and store them in their warehouse for you, which can save you a whole lot of space!

 

Think Vertically

In a large office, you would be able to add quite a few filing cabinets and drawers. However, you just won’t have the space for this in your small space. Because of this, you need to start thinking vertically and seeing if you can add some shelves to your walls. You might also want to add some wall hooks for coats and jackets. These will save the space that would be taken up by a standing coat rack.

 

Don’t Use Too Much Art

Art can really brighten up your office space and add a touch of your own personality to the space. However, if you use too many busy patterns and go overboard with the wall hangings, you might find that it feels like the walls are closing in! Rather than adding lots of different artworks to your walls, you should stick to one bold color for an accent wall. This will attract attention and help your office space look very stylish!

No office is ever too small once you start to use these tips! You might be surprised to find just how spacious you can make yours feel!

| 4 Tips For Managing Freelance Contractors

Posted in Staffing at 1:00 PM by Loftis Consulting

When you are running a company that hires freelance contractors for independent work, you have a lot of things to manage. Thankfully, this doesn’t include equipment or full-time expenses like permanent staff do. Outsourcing can be wonderful for a business, especially financially, but it can come with its pitfalls.

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Sometimes, outsourcing trade freelancers are difficult to manage when you consider time, cultural differences and distance. Even when you are hiring freelancers, you should make sure you are aware of what qualifications, potential police checks, references and trade insurance they should have before working on the job. We’ve collated four tips for you so that you can be confident in managing the freelance contractors on your books:

 

  1. Finding the right people can be difficult. You can advertise trade freelancers on jobs boards and if you personally know any, grab recommendations from them for others who may need work. When you use a freelance platform to recruit for your company, it can be easy for some as all your contractors are in one place to communicate with. You may prefer to use phone or email to communicate with your contractors, which is just as efficient as a platform.
  2. Bringing on the right freelance contractors can take some time. Not only do you have to do the right background and criminal records checks, you have to ensure that they are responsible for their own insurance and taxes. Some contractors may not be used to working through a company, so there will be an adjustment period while you both get used to each other. Don’t make the mistake of switching through your list of freelancers at the first hurdle; it takes time to get to know the way someone works.
  3. Communication is one of your biggest tools when you are bringing on freelance contractors. It’s important for you as a business leader to be able to be open and communicate with your contractors in both a positive and a negative way. Always over-explain where you can and spell out all the instructions necessary in the plainest way possible. Freelancers do not work one to one with you as they are in the field, so you need to be clear and concise at all times.
  4. The last thing you really need to worry about is the productivity of your freelance contractors. If your employees are unhappy in any way, this can affect their ability to keep motivated in their role. Freelance work is self-employed, meaning that they work harder and accomplish things faster when they feel productive in their jobs. Positive feedback and reinforcement on how they do their role is helpful and getting reviews on their work from the businesses they complete work for is also a way to make them realise they’re doing well.

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Ideally, you will have everything in place for your freelancers to work safely, productively and that keeps them insured at the same time. Protecting your employees is important, whether they are permanent or freelance.

| Don’t Make Your First Employee Your Last: The Best Boss Guide

Posted in Staffing at 1:00 PM by Loftis Consulting

If your business has got to the point where you need to employ, give yourself a pat on the back. This is what dreams are made of, and all your hard work is finally paying off with expansion. But becoming a boss isn’t all about celebration. It’s important to note that your business is about to become a different beast. You are going from an entrepreneur to a manager, and those are two very different things. The chances are, you put some thought into this when you started out. But, with the time finally here, we’ve some tips on how best to move forward.

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WHAT TEAM DO YOU NEED?
First, it’s important to consider what team you need behind you. This includes every aspect of employment, from the types of people to the size of your team. The chances are that, though things are on the up, you don’t have much money to waste. So, it’s important you don’t employ too many people at this stage. Work out a skeleton crew. You can always get more people if need be. Think, too, about which types of people you need on your team. It may be that you value qualifications more because you need someone skilled. Or, it may be as simple as hiring someone you warm to. This is important if the job is not a skill specific one, but the two of you will be working in close proximity. You could even consider hiring freelance workers instead of physical ones. This is often a good idea at first because it means you don’t have to worry about paying for holiday or working out taxes. Plus, with Skype and other programs, it’s never been easier to make this work. At the end of the day, your business is your baby. It’s important to take time considering who you want to hand it to and how.

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MASTER MANAGEMENT

It’s also important you get up to speed on management know how. It may be worth doing something like an online masters in management. Studying remotely means you can continue to work, and earn, as you go. But, a course like this will help you know everything you need to about being in control. Having the know-how will help you stay calm under pressure, which is a skill every manager needs. It’s also worth turning to the internet for information about legal responsibilities. Not having that knowledge could end with your getting sued.

TREAT COLLEAGUES KINDLY
We all have an experience with mean management at some point. Make sure to remember any bad experiences you’ve had to stop you doing the same to your colleagues. A lot of power is about to fall into your hands, and it’s easy to get carried away. But, if you let the power get to you, you could find yourself with staffing problems. Be kind to your employees. Try to strike a balance between being the boss, and also being a friend. Nice bosses get better results!

| Effective Ways To Increase Productivity And Retention At The Same Time

Posted in Staffing at 9:00 AM by Loftis Consulting

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A study conducted in the UK by Oxford Economics found that to replace an employee, it will cost an average of £30,614 (or about $40,000). The reason for this is that there are of course logistical costs. Placing an ad is one thing, but if you want to attract the sort of people that you want to work with, you may have to advertise on expensive websites. Secondly, you have to interview all of the prospective candidates which costs both time and money. Thirdly, your HR department will need to agree on all of the details of your new employee’s contract. However, another major cost associated with finding someone new is all the money that you do not make in lost productivity. Training someone to the level of the person that they are replacing also takes time and money but until they reach that stage your business will not be as efficient or productive as you may be used to. This problem is compounded by the fact that the turnover rate for American businesses now is 15.1%. Employee retention should; therefore, be a major concern for every business owner. Not only that, employees can be rather capricious. Another study found that a massive 35% of people said that they would look for a new job in the next year if they did not receive a raise. If you cannot afford to pay your employees more but you also cannot afford to lose them, here are a few ways that you can keep your staff while making them more productive at the same time:

  1. Incentives come in many different forms. One that obviously appeals to a lot of people is earning more money, but there are other benefits that you can offer your employees too. For instance, you can agree to pay for their college tuition in return for them staying with you for a certain number of years. This may sound expensive, but if you offer to pay for a course such as msc accounting online for instance, you can keep your employee and make them more valuable to you at the same time.
  2. Another way to increase productivity is to have a strong, open company culture. A lot is said about company cultures and it can easily seem like a rather vague idea. However, it simply means that you employees need to know why they are doing what they do. Profit is one thing, but if you instill in them the idea that they are offering an excellent service and improving the lives of their customers, they may be more motivated to stay and work hard.
  3. One of the simplest things you can do to keep people turning up every day is make the environment in which they work more appealing. This may mean investing a little more in comfortable chairs or covering the costs of the company cafeteria yourself. Either way, if people look forward to going into the office, they will want to do it for longer.
  4. Lastly, while it may not seem conducive to an adult workplace, you need to make your employees feel valued. Tell them that they have done a good job when they deserve it. You will be amazed at how effective simple praise can be.

| Company Staffing Problems You Need to Avoid at All Costs

Posted in Staffing at 9:00 AM by Loftis Consulting

Staffing is a major issue that all businesses have to deal with. If you don’t have a plan for how you’re going to keep your business fully staffed, you’ll have problems. Having the wrong staff, not enough staff or staff with too many gaps in their knowledge and skill set will only lead to your business suffering big problems. You can’t let that happen if you want your company to do well and find long and lasting success.

 

Training and Development

You need to train your employees and give them every chance to develop and improve themselves if you want to get the most out of them. That’s just how it works. And if your business makes the mistake of letting your employees stagnate in their roles, you will pay the price for this. You should always be on the lookout for new ways in which you can improve your employees and get more out of them. You could send them on training courses a few times a year. Or you could give them more control over the new things they want to learn about.

 

Hiring People Who Are Bad for Your Business

Hiring people is always risky, and it’s very hard to get it right every time. You should try to do everything possible to avoid making appointments that damage your business. You should check references every time, find out as much about the candidates as possible and run checks to see if they have a criminal record. In certain industries, that final point is massively important. There is plenty of information online to help you learn more about running these kinds of background checks. Hiring someone with the right history and career background will help you avoid bad appointments that damage your company.

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Managing Seasonal Workflow Fluctuations

For some companies, their workload increases and decreases throughout the year. This fluctuation often occurs according to the season. Some companies do better business in the summer and less in the winter. This presents particular problems for your staffing policies. It can be very tricky to get your approach to staffing right when you needs change throughout the year. Hiring people on a short-term basis or incorporating more flexibility into your hiring processes are ideas that are definitely worth considering. There is no reason why seasonal workflow fluctuations have to spell disaster for your staffing policies.

 

Finding Skilled People at an Affordable Rate

Skilled workers are often in short supply. When you want the kind of person that every other business in your sector also wants, and those people are few and far between, you will end up having to pay more. It’s up to you to work out the cost-benefit analysis of this situation. Is it worth paying out that money to hire a person with all the skills, experience and attributes? Or should you hire an alternative who’s not as skilled or able but a lot cheaper? The answers to these questions will vary depending on your business and what your needs are.

| Not Another Day Off! Top Reasons Why Your Employee Is A No-Show

Posted in Staffing at 9:00 AM by Loftis Consulting

It’s common for employees to have a day or two off sick every year. After all, sometimes it can be hard to avoid illnesses that are spreading around. And it might be the truth that they are very unwell. But if it starts occurring more often, it could be a sign something else is going wrong. And not only can days off jeopardize your company’s wealth, but it can bring down the morale in the office. After all, everyone else will have to pick up the workload which will leave you with unhappy employees. And if the staff member is constantly missing meetings with clients, it can leave them disgruntled too. However, there are some things you might be able to do to ensure they turn things around. After all, here are some of the top reasons why you staff member is not showing up (and some of them are your fault!)

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They Are Not Enjoying Their Work

One of the top reasons why people start calling in sick for work is down to them not enjoying their work anymore. They can’t face coming in anymore to do their role. They might find it all too stressful and overwhelming. Or they might find that they are struggling to do the work as it’s too complicated. Or it might even be that they are finding it tedious and want more of a challenge. Whatever the reason, it’s time to chat with them for the sake of the productivity of the business. Ask them if they are happy with their current role. Hopefully, they might open up and tell you how they feel about the job. If you think they won’t talk to you, it might be wise to ask another senior employee to speak to them about how they are feeling. After all, they might trust them enough to tell them. You might want to ask their colleagues how they feel the employee is faring in the role. They might tell you what they are unhappy about so you can make changes. And once you make some changes to their role, you might find they turn things around as they will be happier and less stressed out in their position!
They Don’t Feel Respected At Work

It’s a sad fact that over half of employees don’t feel respected by their boss at the workplace. And it can bring down morale in your company, as well as make your employees not try as hard at work. After all, why would they want to do a great job if they find no appreciation after they have tried their best. And if they don’t feel respected, you might find that they start ditching work more often. After all, they are unlikely to show you respect if you are not showing the same back. So they might not try as hard to come to work and make a big effort every day. Therefore, to ensure you have happy employees again, make sure you show them that you do respect and appreciate them. It might be that you organize an event for them to celebrate their hard work. Or even look at giving them a small pay increase down to their hard work. And even speaking to them regularly to let them know where are they going right and wrong with their work can give them a boost. After all, it shows you are taking note of their work and want to help them improve in their job.

 

They Are Getting Sick Due To the Work Environment

It’s so easy to not keep on top of looking after the workplace. After all, you are all so busy trying to make a success out of the company that the condition of the office can go on the backburner. But it could be down to the work environment that could be making your employees sick so often. After all, if it’s not being kept in the best condition, they are going to pick up bugs a plenty. Therefore, make sure you hire a cleaning company who will come out to ensure all dust is removed before it starts causing your employees problems. Also, you need to make sure the air is filtering well in the office. After all, you don’t want poor ventilation which will make your employees unwell. Therefore, keep an eye on this and look at HVAC air filter replacement if things aren’t working properly. If you have a healthier work environment, you will soon find that absences reduce!

 

They Have Had a Disagreement with a Colleague

Even though you are busy trying to keep your business afloat, you do need to be aware of what is happening in the office. After all, if certain employees are not getting on, it might bring down the morale in the company. And the work being achieved might not be the best quality. After all, teamwork is so important to ensure the business is a success. After all, you are all working towards the same goal. And you might notice some staff members are off regularly due to their disagreements. After all, they might feel like they can’t face the other employee, so they don’t make it into work. Therefore, call the two employees in and try and find out what’s happening. Allowing them to both get their opinions out might help them to resolve the issue. If the issue can’t be resolved, it could be a good idea to move one of them to a different department. That way, they can both work separately without being involved with each other on a daily basis. And remember work bullying is a common issue. So make sure you go through the proper procedure of disciplining the staff member if they are making the other employee’s life a misery. Don’t just ignore the issue as it can become a lot worse if left undealt with!

And make sure they have plenty of space to work in the office. After all, they won’t want to come in if they have little room and feel crowded at work. In fact, it can bring down productivity if there is not enough workspace for people to do their job properly. Therefore, ensure they have a good sized desk and equipment to complete their role.

| The Neglected Qualities To Look For In A Prospective Employee

Posted in Staffing at 1:00 PM by Loftis Consulting

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If a business is to survive, it’s important that great people are found at every level of its structure. Not only are these the people who will manage the daily functioning of your business, but they are the ones promoting your brand image, interacting with the public and other businesses, making sure everything you do is above board and documented, and also providing ideas for long-term growth and profitability.

If you neglect your staff, you neglect your brand. This is why every company sees the importance of hiring good staff and looking after them. You may hire yourself or you may delegate that responsibility to trusted individuals. But are you really ensuring that you’re bringing the absolute best people into your business? Are you overlooking some simple factors that can determine if hiring them is a good choice or not?

It’s easy to be punctual and look good in your first, second or third interview. But does the specified individual have the temerity and inner character necessary in order to flourish in their role? What follows are the most important, lesser understood factors that can help you identify the resource you’re really after.

 

Are They Familiar With The Subtleties of Their Role?

This is role dependent, but it’s still something to look out for. Instead of only quizzing your prospective employee on how well they’ve familiarized themselves with your business (easy to do online,) how much do they actually know about the role they are asking to undertake? Do they know the subtleties? For example, do they know how to buy b2b leads? Are they familiar with the psychology of marketing? Drawing up a list of the lesser known aspects of the role you’re advertising and quizzing them about one at random can give you an idea of how well they’d learn.

Not knowing how to perform what you’re asking isn’t necessarily a downside either. If they’re forthright that they don’t know the topic at hand, and honestly seem like they’re enthusiastic to learn, that can be a great resource in itself. Remember, this is someone you’ll be interacting with for a while. Getting a good judge of their character at every opportunity will be advantageous.

 

How Do They Interact With Those In The Waiting Room?

This is a sneaky trick, but one to think about. If you’re interviewing a number of people that day, consider placing someone outside to wait in the hall with the potential recruits, posing as an interviewee. This might be a better way to get a grip on someone’s character, as they’re more likely to be honest about how they truly feel about the process and job. This will only work if you can justify paying someone to sit in a room all day, but if you do, it might yield interesting results.

 

Do They Have A Sense Of Humor?

This is a great quality to look for. Dependent on your personality, it might be interesting to drop a light comment or joke and see if your employee runs with it. Nerves might abate their response, but if they make an awkward attempt to continue the humor, this might be more of a positive sign than someone who decides not to for risk of ‘blowing it.’ This could also show an ability to take risks, which is invaluable. As we all know, offices that joke together stay together.

Keep this list in the forefront of your mind in order to profit the most from your interviewing process. You never know, it might just help the day become that little bit more interesting.

| Your Employees Will Feel So Valued They’ll Think They Can Fly

Posted in Staffing at 1:00 PM by Loftis Consulting

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There was a time when people went to work to get paid. They started young, got into a company, worked their way up the corporate ladder for 45 years, got themselves the house with the white-picket fence and retired. But these days have gone. People want more than just a salary and, as their employer, you should want them to want more too.

You see, if your employees have a passion for what they do then they will be more productive, more efficient, and more effective. But how do you encourage this passion? Simple. Give them recognition, show them your appreciation and forever encourage them.

Here is a list of ways to really make your employees feel valued:

 

Give Them the Power

One of the best ways to give your employees some worth and sense of value is to allow them to take control and make decisions. You could even go one step further and allow them to come up with their own strategies. This trust will see them become more engaged because of the level of responsibility placed on them. You will help them feel that much more appreciated because you trust their opinion and value their expertise, and that will go a lot further than a simple, “good job, Bruce.”

 

Let Employees Reward One Another

When you hear about reward ceremonies, even big ones, such as the PFA awards, the one award that people want to win is the one that is voted for by their colleagues. As such, speak to a company like http://namebadgesaustralia.com/corporate-awards-plaques.html about having some plaques made up, and then put the power of recognition and reward in your companies hands. Not only will this see people become more engaged and see people value the rewards more, but you will have an understanding of who is putting in the effort, and who is valued among the front line. You’ll be shocked too.

 

Everyone Likes Surprises

These can big small, medium, big, wild, simple or whatever. The choice is endless. But offering them as surprises will make staff feel like their work is appreciated all year round. Take certain people or teams out for lunch randomly, let them go home early when the sun is out, send them on activities together or team building days, hand out vouchers. All of these things are little things, but they will go a huge way in making staff more valued, and maximizing their output.

 

Be Specific With What You Say

This one should be obvious, but all too often it is ignored. Yes, saying something like, “Great work, Fiona” is praise, but it is so generic that it won’t have any effect whatsoever. It will feel like a cop out like you are just saying it for the sake of saying something positive. So be more specific. Praise someone for their role on such and such account, and how they managed to turn what looked like an impossible situation around, it was exemplary. As https://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/the-9-elements-of-highly-effective-employee-praise.html explains very well, detail adds meaning. It inspires people. It gives them something positive to build off and raise the rest of their game.


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