Unique Ways to Optimize Retention, Engagement, Productivity


Appreciating your unique teammates in unique ways to optimize retention, engagement & productivity


As strategists, especially when we’re in the startup world, we don’t want to reinvent the wheel. We want to use evidence-based practices and constantly check our progress with data, metrics and KPIs. When it comes to people, some things are not so black and white – their needs and motivations are all different shades of gray. Therefore, ways to recognize them are not one-size-fits all, meaning each employee will need something different to stay in the job, to remain engaged, and to be productive, according to a study from Walden University’s College of Management and Technology earlier this year. Ways to recognize them are even more tough if your team is remote.

In comes the trend of personalized employee recognition. C-Suite need to consider that not all employees FEEL recognized by the same things. One may love to be part of the growing team. Another may like to share their ideas and feel heard. Yet another might really enjoy happy hours and holiday parties. And the remaining employees might like praise, a hand-written note, or a massage, respectively.

Building on the popular book of Gary Chapman, The Five Love Languages, which explores how you can show your mate they are loved, now Appreciation at Work is looking at how signs of appreciation (instead of love) are felt differently by different people in the workplace.

Words of affirmation: regular one-on-one, and public recognition such as sending an email highlighting a win or simply saying “Thank you” or “I appreciate what you did – it was a huge help.”

Acts of service: team efforts such as support during a project or group trainings and opportunities for professional development. 

Quality time: team building such as in-person team events and/ or virtual happy hours. 

Gifts: using rewards to recognize employees such as personalized gift cards or hand-written notes.

Physical: encourage feedback opportunities such as consistent 1-on-1 meetings with employees. If they can’t be in person – they should be held via zoom with the camera on, to nurture this one. Fistpumps, high-fives and hugs (real or emojis) fall under this one.

If you don’t know how your team members feel appreciated or can’t get them to take the quiz right away, consider the trends based on data gathered at SurveyMonkey.com:

Most people feel appreciated with Gifts (33%) and Words of Affirmation (32%).

While words are more straightforward, gifts might still be a challenge. One company called PERKS, is looking at how to personalize digital gift cards for employees, using these three examples:

A working mom might appreciate childcare (Care.com), meditation (a Headspace membership), and snacks (Pressed Juicery).

A career guy might most appreciate tools (a laptop stand), training (an Audible membership), and Fitness classes (Crunch Live membership).

Finally, a digital nomad might most appreciate a flexible workspace (WeWork Pass), personal development (Duolingo membership) and experiences (Lonely Planet guides).

So remember that people are complicated, but with a little observation and planning, you can show them they are appreciated, in order to optimize retention, engagement, and productivity – even in a remote and/or growing team.

Cashing in on crisis and utilizing space

Cashing in on crisis and utilizing space

Cashing In On Crisis And Utilizing Space

Whether it be commercial, residential or industrial, there’s always money to be made in real estate investing.

If we take a snapshot look at Seattle, the average house price in the year 2000 was $176,300. Millennium speculators will now be sitting pretty on any investment worth more than 5 times that much, with the average price setting back prospective buyers $915,340 – or a cool million when considering agent fees, taxes, Uhauls etcetera.

Getting A Solid ROI On An Investment

So how does a Seattleite seek a solid ROI on a million bucks? Attracting travelers to rent out your property is a sure-fire way of generating a passive income and there is no more popular platform than vacation rental giant, Airbnb. The site provides a simple, clean and concise way of linking your property with anyone globally and at a time and date of your choosing. 

real estate outlook 2022

Airbnb Listings Have Been Super Profitable In Recent Years

Last year, Airbnb listings generated a massive $48.9 billion in gross revenue for the company and its hosts, an increase of 76.6% from 2020 when gross revenue sat at 27.7% billion. During the global pandemic coupled with travel restrictions, consumer needs changed, catapulting the company to dizzying new heights.

With travel costs now further increasing due to inflation and rising fuel costs, many Americans are opting for cheaper staycation trips and if you are lucky enough to live in a location with beautiful surroundings such as Seattle, you can expect to make a pretty penny in peak seasons and weekends. Renters can also enjoy the flexibility of being a host or renting out the full property. So if you are a single homeowner, clear out the clutter in that spare bed and create a cozy space for weary travelers to rest. There is no obligation to feed your guests, but the smell of freshly baked cookies wafting through your home will be sure to add an extra point to your feedback score.

PRO TIP: Read this blog post on the Startup Tandem blog about finding an accountant in Santa Monica CA! It will help you decide on whether or not your startup needs a bookkeeper!

What Are You Waiting For?

So what are you waiting for? Get your design hat on and make profitable use of spare space and start your side gig today, all from home.

With interest rates being so volatile, it will be interesting to see what happens in the real estate market for the second half of 2022.

Business tip: On a rental using Airbnb, short term rentals can give you two or three times that amount your monthly mortgage is. Variable factors that can affect are depending on the location and the season. As a tax benefit, if you rent your home for 14 days out of the month you don’t have to pay state or federal taxes.

PRO TIP: Contact Startup Tandem if you want help with anything financial! We offer a range of service packages and can help with everything from bookkeeping to Fractional CFOs.

Updates on Domestic and Global Economic Outlook – May 2022

Updates on Domestic and Global Economic Outlook – May 2022

Updates on Domestic and Global Economic Outlook – May 2022

Takeaways: –

  • FOMC, or Federal Open Market Committee has projected a 2.8% rise in GDP in 2022, along with a 2.2% rise in 2023, and a 2% rise in 2024 from the information gathered at the meeting on March 16, 2022
  • The FED, or Federal Reserve reported an estimated unemployment rate of 3.5% for 2022. The rate is expected to remain stagnant in 2023 and increase to 3.6% in 2024
  • BLS, Bureau of Labor Statistics, is predicting the level of employment to increase by 11.9 million jobs between the dates of 2020 and 2030, which factors in the pandemic and the effects it’s had on employment, as well as structural change within the economy due to an aging population of Americans. 
  • The Federal Reserve Board reports that the core inflation rate is to be 4.1% for 2022, then reducing to 2.6% and 2.3% in 2023-24 respectively. The ideal inflation that the FRB is targeting is 2%
  • As inflation rates increase, the buying power consumers have is reduced, as product costs rise without a rise in income. 
  • For the first time since 2018, the Federal Open Market Committee is raising rates, to combat inflation rising. The overall increase was 25 basis points, going from 0% to 0.25% then again to .50%.
  • In an attempt to stop inflation from rising, on the 4th of May 2022, The Committee raised the target range of the Fed Funds Rate from .75% to 1%, and expects continued increases in the target range will come. Along with this, the FOMC will start to reduce its holding of treasury securities, agency mortgage-backed securities, and agency debt as of June 1. This is in the Plans for Reducing the Size of the Feds balance sheet that was issued alongside this statement. (refer to Chart 1)

PRO TIP: Please read our article on the importance of consumer confidence. We know you’ll enjoy it.

Industrial Reviews: –

  1. Consumer Packaged Goods, or CPG
    • The global CPG market is expected to reach $2382260 million US dollars by 2027, an increase from $1938120 million US dollars in 2020, at a compound annual growth rate of 3% through 2021-2027, as reported by Global News Wire.
    • US Consumer Packaged Goods industry expanded 3% in 2021, according to IRI,
    • The supply restrictions that affected competitors allowed small consumer packaged goods to enlarge their market share (as shown in Table 2)
    • The bottlenecks within the supply chain are being cited as the main force behind the rise of inflation and has been forecasted to ease into a slower pace.
  2. Technology
  1. The technology market within the United States makes up 35% of the total marketplace worldwide
  2. The United States tech industry is estimated to reach a TMV of $1.6 Trillion by the end of 2021
  3. The U.S. technology sector has contributed  roughly 1.8 Trillion dollars to the country’s GDP, taking up a space of 9.3% of the total GDP for 2021
  4. 7.9% of the workforce within the US is contributed to Tech employment
  5. The overall budgets of tech companies are anticipated to increase in 2022
  6. There are three high-growth areas of technology, according to Zippia: Virtual Reality, Blockchain DeFi, and Artificial Intelligence
  7. Zippia also cites Blockchain DeFi has a compound annual growth rate thru 2025 of 67.3%, while AI is at 40.2% and VR is an astounding 100% compound annual growth rate

PRO TIP: Read this article to learn whether or not your startup really needs a bookkeeper.

Chart 1

This chart shows the bond interest rate changes of the US long term bonds. The rate has stayed rather low and stable, showing that it hasn’t responded much to current volatility or inflation. This is an predictor that current hikes of the interest rates are a piece of monetary policy action to curb rising inflation in the coming future, per Fisher’s investment analysis. Based on the holding of the long term bonds within the market, market volatility is expected to ease after mid term elections in November of 2022.

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Chart 2

Economic trends in 2022

  1. Digital transformation is changing the world, and also the economies within
  2. Drivers behind global growth include Asia and emerging markets
  3. The demographics that impact the costs of healthcare are changing
  4. Fiscal and Monetary intervention are rising
  5. The workforce and what drives them is rapidly changing
  6. ESG projects are changing how the economy operates
  7. SPACs are becoming mainstream

In summation of all that has been mentioned, the pandemic in 2020 has caused a series of issues that have risen inflation and as a result, volatility of the economy is seen both within the U.S. and abroad. All eyes are on midterm elections and geopolitical concerns as uncertainty of the future grows ever closer. The market has pre-priced in opinions and the biggest driver of the future of the marketplace is how consumers feel about it. 

Please reach out to us at Startup Tandem with any questions you may have. We look forward to hearing from you.

Importance Of Consumer Sentiment And Confidence

Importance Of Consumer Sentiment And Confidence

Why consumer Sentiment and Confidence is Important in the Economy

 Consumer Sentiment- What is it? 

Statistical measurements of the overall economic health that has been determined by consumers. That is what consumer sentiment is. Keep in mind that this will also take how people feel into account. This means that how people feel towards how they are doing financially matters. It will also take the short-term health of the current state of the economy and what is prospected in the long-term for growth. Plus, this is used to be one of the best and most-useful indicators for the economy. 

PRO TIP: Visit our site to learn more about important topics related to consumer sentiment and confidence.

Consumer Sentiment- How to Measure It

Consumer Confidence Index or CCI and Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index or MCSI are two of the key measures that will want to know and express how the consumer is feeling about their purchase plans for the future and how they feel about the economy as a whole. 

Sentiment Indexes- What are They? 

These are the indicators that will help measure the many changes in the future of the economy. These indexes are based on how well an investor and consumer feel about purchasing items. Their interest and willingness to do this will be considered. Before indexes are made, many consumers are interviewed beforehand. 

PRO TIP: Read this blog post to learn more about the 2022 real estate outlook.

Consumer Confidence Versus Consumer Sentiment 

Both of these are simply surveys. They are two short surveys for two months. They will be from various sources. However, both are going to judge the confidence that Americans have. This will be judging what Americans feel about their financial security, status, and expectations. They are wanting to know how they feel about the future, good and bad concerns. This is how they determine how confident people are spending money on purchases in the near future. 

Why Consumer Confidence is Important for the Economy Indication

Consumer Confidence Index will happen once a month. There are about fifty questions, give or take. These questions will track many aspects of the attitudes of customers towards the future of the business. It will also track how consumers feel about the current and future conditions of employees as well as the income for families in the next few months. 

When the economy expands, consumer’s confidence will rise. When the economy decreases, people will start to contract. Keep in mind that the consumer information may not be perfect. This will cause the measure to become what is known as a lagging indicator for the performance of the stock market. 

How to Approach/React to Uncertainty in the Economic Condition 

 Data and research have shown that people will react based on their emotions before they think reasonably. This is going to be certainly true for those who are worried about the investments that have been made and how the economy is going to look in the future. In the long run these fear-based decisions usually do not end in the favor of the investor. 

You should seek advice from professionals before investing if you are concerned about any aspect of it. They will help you understand the state of the current economy and help you understand what the future looks like. They can help with both pros and cons of investing with a certain stock. This can help you assess what your risk and potential losses could be. 

PRO TIP: Check out our service packages here. You can also read our blog post to learn if your startup needs a bookkeeper.

Consumer Confidence Index Chart:

The chart has allowed us to conclude that the consumer sentiment is in fact, an important part to consider when monitoring because it can impact the economy heavily. June 2021 was the highest index since 2020. This was because people would start to travel again because the restrictions due to Covid were being lifted in many areas. This is what is called a post-pandemic situation. It allows the consume to feel better about the economy and the future of the economy. This is due to the positive outlook that is currently happening causing them happiness and to be emotional. Increased emotion could cause increased confidence. In return, this leads to more spending within the economy and activities. 

Real Estate Outlook 2022

Real Estate Outlook 2022

2022 Real Estate Outlook 

Here we will go over the 2022 real estate outlook. Read along to learn some important information that can help you with your next real estate investing venture and financial planning. You can find similar articles on the Startup Tandem blog!

real estate outlook 2022

Real Estate Investing- What is it? 

Before we get into detail, you must know that real estate can fall into several diverse categories. This can include commercial, industrial, or residential properties. Investing in real estate will involve purchasing, managing, or selling/renting your real estate to gain profit. 

A subspeciality of real estate investing, also known as real estate development, is the improvement of a property. This is usually done with real estate that has already been rented to improve the property for a better financial gain. 

If you do not want to personally manage or own a property, you can be part of what is known as passive investments. You can invest in real estate without having to do anything with the property. To do this you will want to invest in REITs or real estate investment trusts. Another way to do this is to invest in items such as crowdfunding. It will allow you to be part of the investment without having to commit your entire bank or manage the property.

PRO TIP: Learn which startups are the most profitable in this post! 

What to Take Away in 2022 

Despite the many setbacks that occurred during the pandemic, the outlook for the real estate investing was positive at the beginning of the year. However, mortgage interest rates became extremely high in 2022. In fact, between January and May it rose over two percent. 

As of June first, of 2022, the average rate of a fixed 30-year mortgage was 5.42 percent. The APR would be 5.43 percent. With that said, it is predicted by the end of 2022, the rate could be anywhere between four and a half percent and seven percent. For those who are on a 15-year mortgage the rates are expected to be between four and six percent.

Why are Mortgage Rates Rising? 

Inflation is currently over eight percent and that is causing the mortgage rates to rise. The Federal Reserve’s federal funds rate has increased. This rate is expected to keep hiking higher throughout the year. 

The globe is unpredictable. This is directly related to the war happening in Ukraine and the stock markets. The stock market is as unpredictable as it can be right now. 

Mortgage rates will raise at least another five times this year. This is simply due to the inflation happening across the country and world. 

When to Expect Rates to Stop Rising 

It is not looking good for mortgage rates in the next few years. It is expected that the mortgage rates are going to continue their upwards climb through the next years. However, when inflation slows down, the mortgage rates will not be rising as fast as they have been. 

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Some of the best places to purchase real estate in 2022 are the following areas. 

  1. Tennessee
    1. Nashville 
  2. North Carolina
    1. Raleigh
    2. Durham 
  3. Arizona 
    1. Phoenix 
  4. Texas 
    1. Austin 
    2. Dallas 
    3. Fort Worth
  5. Florida 
    1. Tampa 
    2. St. Petersburg 
  6. North Carolina 
    1. Charlotte 
  7. Georgia 
    1. Atlanta

Wrapping Up : 2022 Real Estate Outlook

Based on what has been stated as facts and what is projected, the mortgage rates are going to continue to rise. This also means that real estate investors are going to be extra cautious before investing. Many investors are going to opt in for REITs. This will allow them to invest without having to own or manage an entire property. They can invest and make money without having to do as much work and spend as much money. This means that if it fails, there is less money lost. This helps reduce the risk of losing money.