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The Importance of Employee Handbook – ReadWrite

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Milosz Krasinski


Most corporate employers have an employee handbook, but many do not realize how important it is for their company. On the other hand, smaller businesses often don’t have a company handbook when they definitely should have one.

An employer’s handbook can be a great resource in the event of any disputes that arise between employees and management.

In addition to outlining policies on topics such as break times, dress code, and benefits, the book should also provide information about things like workplace safety and harassment prevention. Employees need to know what they’re getting into when they start a new job — so having a comprehensive employee handbook can help them understand what is expected of them at work.

When hiring someone new or transferring from one position to another within your company, it’s always best practice to offer a copy of the employee handbook before going over any other paperwork with the employee. This is a good time to go over the handbook with them and answer any questions they might have about the policies outlined in it.

Anyone that has been working for your company should already have a copy of the handbook.

What is an Employee Handbook?

An employee handbook is a set of guidelines and policies that govern the management and conduct of employees and management within a company. For example, the handbook typically sets out the organization’s expectations and values and information on how to dress or what to do in emergencies.

It also details disciplinary procedures for staff who disobey the policies, including warnings, sacking, and criminal prosecution. But, most commonly, it’s the managers, executives, and lawyers who write the handbook.

Why is an Employee Handbook important in a business setting

An Employee Handbook is important in a business setting. It provides employees with the guidelines and policies that govern their employment. The handbook usually sets out expectations, such as how to dress or what to do in emergencies.

It also includes disciplinary procedures for staff who disobey the policies, including warnings, sacking, and criminal prosecution. This helps everyone understand what is expected of them. It also makes it easier to fire (and hire, too!) people by clearly outlining the rules. Again, this reduces an organization’s liability.

How does an Employee Handbook affect an organization?

An Employee Handbook allows companies to communicate with their employees. It helps the company protect itself from legal liability by clarifying how the company or business wants its staff to behave in certain scenarios. In addition, a handbook can provide a reference point for managers on disciplinary procedures, while maintaining consistency throughout the organization.

For example, it can help managers decide whether to warn an employee before disciplining them, or if they should be immediately fired. It also helps employees know what is expected of them and how their behavior affects the workplace. On top of procedural information, the handbook can help with employee engagement, motivation, and burnout prevention, even in the toughest industries.

What an Employee Handbook should include

An Employee Handbook should include:

  • What the company expects from the employee in terms of dress code and conduct

An employee handbook needs to include what the company expects from the employee regarding dress code and conduct. It sets the expectations for employees. If a company doesn’t set out expectations, then confusion can arise. Confusion can happen when an employee starts asking questions about what is allowed or not allowed in the workplace.

A handbook keeps information clear and concise by providing a reference point for managers on disciplinary procedures.

The handbook helps maintain consistency throughout the organization. It also clarifies to employees what is expected of them and how their behavior is monitored in the workplace.

  • How to handle emergencies or disciplinary procedures when an employee is not following rules outlined in your handbook

Employees will now know what an emergency is, how they should report it, and who they can and should contact in the event of an emergency. The handbook should also have how disciplinary procedures are handled.

  • Whether or not workers are allowed to work from home

The employee handbook can help to prevent misunderstandings for most of the company or business issues.

The handbook will answer questions about whether or not workers can work or keeping when they go home. For example, if a specific team does not allow for working from home — or taking equipment home — it should be noted in the handbook.

The company might also want to specify if there is a need for an employee to travel. It’s also worth stating if there are any restrictions on job-related activities outside of office hours. These questions are very pertinent in many industries.

  • What technology is prohibited in the workplace

Defining what tech is allowed or not allowed at work can help ensure that employees abide by company policy. It can also help to demonstrate that employers are reasonable. Also, this paragraph might make the employee feel like they will still have some freedom outside of work hours.

  • Medical leave and paid vacation policy

An employee should know the employer’s policies when it comes to medical leave and paid vacation.

Knowing and understanding policy can help employees feel more confident about their work environment if they know that the employer considers other aspects outside their work hours.

The handbook can also provide general information about what is not allowed in the workplace — including social media or other non-work-related tasks outside of office hours.

Employees need to know who they can contact when there is a problem with the workplace.

If an employee or lower management doesn’t know who to speak with or how to file a complaint, it can affect their work performance and morale. Therefore, the handbook should include a step-by-step process of what-to-do-when scenarios. With these explanations in place and plainly written, employees can feel confident knowing somebody listens to their concerns and, ultimately, addresses them.

Apart from filing a complaint, your handbook should note how to give employee feedback and where.

Employees should know their company’s code of conduct and what the consequences are if they violate it. In addition, a code of conduct may assist an employee in feeling that the employer is sensible by setting standards for treatment and professionalism.

  • Antiharassment & antiretaliation

One of the crucial aspects of an employee handbook is to include information on anti-harassment and antiretaliation.

All employees should know that they are free from harassment or retaliation when it comes to their work environment. This information makes people feel more confident in their workplace and, in turn, makes them more productive in their tasks. An employee will also feel like they don’t have to worry about anything with regards to their job security because employers consider these things in an employee handbook.

  • What benefits does your organization offers, such as health insurance or alternative work arrangements

Having information about health insurance, savings plans, and alternative work situations can be important because an employee can make a subjectively bad decision when it comes to their work situation.

For example, they might decide not to take a promotion or accept an offer of employment because they are disqualified for the benefit the company offers. Therefore, it’s beneficial to have this information in the handbook so that employees don’t have to ask about these questions, thus causing extra stress about these types of decisions.

All questions are right there in the Employee Handbook where they should be.

  • Any additional disclaimers

When drafting an employee handbook, it is important to include any disclaimers that you deem necessary. For example, some organizations may choose to include a disclaimer about their commitment to the environment. Others can have a disclaimer about certain situations.

Most beneficial in the Employee Handbook is a declaration of company values and an acknowledgment or assertion about their commitment to treating people with honesty and respect. Some companies may wish to give examples of how to follow the company’s set of values.

Just about anything that fits with your company values can be listed in your Employee Handbook.

How to make your Employee Handbook easy to read and understand

It’s necessary to include explanations that are easy to read and understand so that the employee handbook isn’t hard to follow.

If your Employee Handbook is too difficult to read — or too long — people will either not read it or they will only skim through the information and might miss some important details.

You can also categorize some of your rules into different sections so that people only have to look at specific parts of the handbook instead of reading the entire thing.

It’s also important to make sure that it is easy on the eyes. You can use bullet points, headings, subheadings, and images to make your employee handbook easier to read. Any part of your handbook that helps with readability issues will help your people comprehend the rules more efficiently.

You will want your employees to be able to follow along with your organization’s policies in the easiest way possible, and you can give examples in your handbook.

What to do if someone violates the rules of the handbook

When someone violates the rules of the handbook, management must reprimand in some way. If possible, try to help the employee understand why they were wrong and what they should do instead. Some examples should already be in your handbook as an illustration of what you expect in behaviors.

When a leader or manager can explain what went wrong and how to correct the behavior, this procedure is helpful for both management and employee. It shows that you’re willing to work with them to improve themselves for the future. It also might be helpful to offer an alternative action so that this doesn’t happen again in the future.

Finally, the Employee Handbook is a living document

As your company grows and changes, it’s important to make sure you’re updating your employee handbook accordingly. This includes:

  • Adding new services or products.
  • Highlighting specific company values that haven’t been mentioned before.
  • Changing benefits associated with prospective employees joining the organization.

Digitizing the handbook is also a good idea. Digitization will make it easier for the employees to read it. You can also have a digital copy for new employees to check that they have read the information in the Employee Handbook as part of their onboarding process. This process will save many questions and issues down the road.

Conclusion

We hope that this article has given you some useful insight into the importance of having an Employee Handbook. An employee handbook can help your company clarify its policies for employees. Answer any questions your employees might have about their work environment or daily tasks. An Employee Handbook saves a lot of time and prevents many uncertainties on both sides — it’s a great thing to have as a staple in your business.

Image Credit: provided by the author; wavy bus single; freepik; thank you!

Milosz Krasinski

Managing Director at Chilli Fruit Web Consulting boutique London based digital PR agency. Co-Founder at Sigma Digital Oxford. International SEO consultant, speaker. Sometimes blogging at miloszkrasinski.com

Politics

Top 10 Tips to Improve Your Website Traffic

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Top 10 Tips to Improve Your Website Traffic


Are you looking for ways to increase your website traffic? If so, you’re in the right place!

In this post, we will discuss tips that will help drive more visitors to your site.

Traffic is essential for any business – without it, your website won’t be able to generate sales or leads.

1. Have a Business Blog

A business blog is one of the best ways to generate traffic to your website.

By creating quality content relevant to your target audience, you will be able to attract readers interested in what you have to say.

Not only will this help you increase traffic, but it will also help you build relationships with potential customers.

Here are a few tips for creating a successful business blog:

  • Write quality content that is interesting and informative
  • Use keyword-rich titles that will help your posts rank in search engines
  • Promote your blog articles through social media and email marketing
  • Engage with your readers by responding to comments and questions

2. Create Engaging Visuals

People are visual creatures and are more likely to remember something if an image accompanies it.

When you create blog posts, include images, infographics, or videos to help your readers understand and remember your content.

In addition to using visuals in your blog posts, you can also use them in your email marketing and social media campaigns.

By creating engaging visuals, you will be able to increase traffic to your website as well as improve your conversion rate.

Here are a few tips for creating engaging visuals:

  • Use high-quality images that are relevant to your content
  • Make sure your visuals are attention-grabbing and easy to understand
  • Include a call-to-action with each visual
  • Test different visuals to see what works best for your audience
  • Use a mixture of visuals in your marketing campaigns

3. Leverage the Power of Video

Video is one of the most powerful tools you can use to generate traffic to your website.

People love watching videos and are likelier to watch a video than read a blog post or article.

In addition, videos are more likely to be shared on social media than other types of content.

If you want to increase traffic to your website, start creating videos that are relevant to your target audience.

Here are a few tips for creating successful videos:

  • Create videos that are informative and entertaining
  • Keep your videos short and to the point
  • Optimize your videos for search engines
  • Promote your videos through social media and email marketing
  • Post them on platforms like YouTube and Vimeo
  • Engage with your viewers by responding to comments and questions

4. Target Long-Tail Keywords

If you want to generate traffic from search engines, you need to target the right keywords.

Most businesses make the mistake of targeting short-tail keywords that are highly competitive.

While there is nothing wrong with targeting these keywords, you will have a much easier time ranking for long-tail keywords.

Long-tail keywords are longer and more specific, making them less competitive.

For example, if you sell shoes, a short-tail keyword would be “shoes.”

A long-tail keyword would be “women’s size 11 black dress shoes.”

Here are a few tips for targeting long-tail keywords:

  • Use keyword research tools like Google AdWords Keyword Planner and Moz Keyword Explorer
  • Identify what your target audience is searching for
  • Create content that is relevant to your target keywords
  • Include your target keywords in your title, meta tags, and header
  • Use keyword-rich titles that will help your posts rank in search engines

5. Build Backlinks

Backlinks are links from other websites to your website.

They are an essential ranking factor in search engines and can also help you generate traffic.

The more backlinks you have, the higher your website will rank in search results.

In addition, backlinks can help you build relationships with other webmasters and influencers.

Start building backlinks if you want to generate traffic and improve your search engine ranking.

Here are a few tips for building backlinks:

  • Identify websites that are relevant to your niche
  • Reach out to webmasters and ask for links
  • Create informative and engaging content that other webmasters will want to link to
  • Submit your website to directories and web listings
  • Participate in forums and discussion groups

6. Use Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is a type of marketing that focuses on using influencers to promote your brand.

An influencer is someone with a large following on social media or another online platform.

They can help you generate traffic, leads, and sales.

To use influencer marketing, start by identifying relevant influencers in your industry.

Then reach out to them and ask if they would be interested in promoting your brand.

Here are a few tips for using influencer marketing:

  • Identify relevant influencers in your industry
  • Reach out to them and ask if they would be interested in promoting your brand
  • Create content that is shareable and relevant to their audience
  • Offer them something in return for promoting your brand
  • Monitor your results and adjust your strategy as needed

7. Build an Email List

Email marketing is a great way to generate traffic and leads.

Email marketing lets you stay in touch with your target audience and promote your brand.

In addition, email marketing can help you build relationships with your customers and prospects.

If you want to use email marketing to generate traffic, start by building an email list.

To build an email list, you must collect your target audience’s email addresses.

There are a few ways to do this:

  • Use sign-up forms on your website and blog
  • Include a call-to-action in your emails
  • Offer something of value in exchange for email addresses
  • Be sure to include a call-to-action in your emails so that your recipients know what you want them to do.
  • Make sure your emails are informative and engaging.

8. Use Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is great for generating website traffic, building relationships, and improving your search engine ranking.

When you guest blog, you write an article for another website in your industry.

This gives you exposure to their audience and can help you build relationships with other webmasters.

In addition, guest blogging can help you generate traffic and improve your search engine ranking.

Here are a few tips for using guest blogging:

  • Identify websites that accept guest blogs
  • Reach out to them and pitch your ideas
  • Write informative and engaging articles
  • Include a call-to-action in your bio

9. Use Social Media

Social media is great for generating traffic, building relationships, and improving your search engine ranking.

When you use social media, you can connect with your target audience and promote your brand.

In addition, social media can help you build relationships with other webmasters and influencers.

Here are a few tips for using social media:

  • Identify the social media platforms that are relevant to your niche
  • Create informative and engaging content
  • Engage with other users on the platform
  • Include links to your website in your profile
  • Monitor your results and adjust your strategy as needed
  • Use hashtags to reach a wider audience
  • Participate in groups and forums
  • Use social media ads

10. Track, Analyze, and Repeat

The most essential part of any traffic-building strategy is to track your results.

You need to know what is working and what is not.

Without tracking, you will not be able to improve your results.

There are a few things you should track:

  • website traffic
  • leads
  • sales
  • conversions

To track your results, you need to use web analytics tools.

Many web analytics tools are available, but Google Analytics is the most popular.

Once you have set up tracking, you need to analyze your results.

Look at your web traffic and see where it is coming from.

Then look at your leads and sales.

Finally, look at your conversion rate.

Once you have analyzed your results, you need to adjust your strategy.

Make changes to your website, content, and marketing campaigns.

Then track your results again and repeat the process.

Final Words

Website traffic is essential if you want to succeed online.

There are many ways to get more visitors, but not all of them are effective.

To build traffic that converts, you need to focus on creating shareable content, building relationships, and tracking your results.

Following these tips can generate the traffic you need to succeed.

What are your favorite traffic-building strategies? Let us know in the comments below.

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Politics

RUSSIA’S DEFAULT IS A REALITY AS GRACE MONTH IS OVER

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ValueWalk


Russia’s default has finally arrived on its sovereign debt in foreign currency for the first time in more than a century. Moscow has been unable to pay the interest on two bonds in dollars despite having enough foreign exchange reserves to do so. Investors assure that they have not received payment after the grace month.

Russia’s Default

Russia is showing the consequences of the sanctions the West has massively imposed on it after the war against Ukraine.

 

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For months, the country has managed to find ways and shortcuts to wade through the measures that tried to isolate the government of Vladimir Putin and make the country fall into technical default. In the end, the West has achieved its goal, albeit somewhat later than expected.

Although Russia had the capacity to meet this payment, leading economic indicators —the composite PMI sank in March and remain below 50, indicating that the economy is contracting— reveal that the country is facing one of the major economic crises of recent decades.

With double-digit inflation and several leading companies on the way out, Russia will face a deep recession and perhaps years of economic stagnation.

The one-month grace period expired on Sunday on around $100 million of trapped interest payments due May 27, a deadline that is considered an event of default if not paid in the correct currency, according to Bloomberg.

Data

Russia’s default is also backed by other data. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) reveals that the Russian Government had a debt of around $40 billion in hard currency at the end of 2021 —a relatively small amount.

Although the total foreign debt exceeds $470 billion, only part of that amount is in foreign currency and a smaller part is still a liability to the Russian Government.

This is a clear symptom of the rapid transformation that the country is facing, both financially and economically. Russia will have to go on without the foreign capital flows that have historically helped finance investments in emerging countries.

The nation’s Eurobonds have been trading on the secondary market at very low levels since early March, while the central bank’s foreign exchange reserves remain frozen. Russia’s largest banks are cut off from the global financial system, leaving the country in isolation.

Published First on ValueWalk. Read Here.

Image Credit: by Happy Donut; Pexels; Thank you!

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Take Inspiration From Trending and Successful eCommerce Businesses

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Take Inspiration From Trending and Successful eCommerce Businesses


Believe it or not, online shopping has become a massive trend nowadays, and its popularity is increasing daily. Of course, we were already in the era of digitalization, but this entire pandemic situation has made eCommerce industries flourish more than expected in the last few years.

Nowadays, everything is digitized as people buy food, groceries, cosmetics, clothes, and even electronic gadgets online. This digital revolution has made it easier for creative founders to convert their dreams and ideas into a waking reality.

Old ways and patterns of handling businesses are changing every day, and business owners need to adapt to the fluctuating market trends. And in this, some trending eCommerce businesses have taken this eCommerce industry to a whole new level. They are ruling and conquering like a boss.

Here in this blog, we will be discussing such inspiring eCommerce businesses. So, keep reading to find out more and cope for the better.

What are The Types of eCommerce Businesses?

E-commerce businesses are not limited to one particular business model. Instead, there are various sorts of eCommerce business models as per their business offerings. So have a look at some of the highly prevalent eCommerce models.

  • Business to Consumer (B2C): The process of selling from business to customer comes under B2C type E-commerce.
  • Business to Business (B2B): The buying and selling process between businesses comes under the B2B type of E-commerce.
  • Direct to Consumer(D2C): This new idea of selling directly to end customers without the involvement of any retailer comes under D2C type E-commerce.
  • Consumer to Consumer (C2C): Consumer-to-consumer sales on platforms like eBay, Etsy, Fiver, and many more come under C2C type E-commerce.
  • Consumer to Business (C2B): An individual selling their services to different businesses comes C2B type E-commerce.

Examples of Successful E-commerce Businesses

1. Warby Parker

Warby Parker is popularly known for producing designer, reliable and inexpensive frames for eyeglasses. An MBA student, Neil Blumenthal, and 3 of his friends launched this eCommerce company in 2010. They proposed the idea in 2008, and took nearly two years to implement.

Their idea of business was something very essential at that period because Luxottica (Another eyewear brand) was one of the few companies that used to sell designer and reliable frames, but they were costly as compared to Warby Parker.

Warby has a free try-on policy with free shipping and numerous return offers, and this is what the brand has adopted to stand out from the crowd and appeal to its customers.

2. Leesa

An online Mattress retailer is helping people sleep better and comforting their sleep cycle. The whole idea behind this business model was to help people realize the importance of sleep and how an adequate amount of sleep can increase their productivity and quality of life.

Their first-ever mattress was “Universal Adaptive feel.” It was so flexible that it could easily adjust to all body types.

The 100-night free trial policy worked well for their customers and made the business model a huge success. Leesa had traditional showrooms at first, but with time they also opened online stores.

3. Modcloth

ModCloth is an eCommerce company launched in 2002, selling women’s clothing worldwide. They sell fun and quirky clothes that are not so exclusive but are comfortable and budget-friendly.

Everything about their store is creative and exciting – which customers nowadays love. The copies describing their clothes are also fun to read because every product has a name and story behind it – now, this is something very catchy.

ModCloth became a brand within a few years of its launch because of its targeted marketing strategy. They know who their target audience is and what requirements they have. Knowing this has made their business reach exceptional heights within a short period of time.

4. Amazon

Mostly we know Amazon was launched in 1995 as an online bookstore and has been flourishing since then. Now amazon is not limited to books anymore because now it sells almost everything you can think of. From groceries to clothes and even jewelry, Amazon has it all.

Right now, Amazon is one of the largest eCommerce stores by revenue worldwide. Though amazon started with no competitors, now it has Walmart as one of its biggest competitors. Last year Amazon made a revenue of $470 billion.

Amazon has adopted a stellar marketing strategy, which is targeting the right customer and offering products at comparatively lower rates.

5. Shopify

Shopify is a SaaS (Software-as-a-service) company that provides all the tools needed by a business to run its eCommerce business smoothly. It helps them with website building, marketing, payment processing, financial tracking, and everything in between.

It is a tech infrastructure that supports more than 2 million merchants and various operations ranging from mom-and-pop businesses to global brands. Shopify made $389 million in revenue in 2016 to $4.6 billion in revenue in 2021.

The profitability of Spotify has been improving with time because, just like every SaaS business, it has also scaled up.

6. LARQ

LARQ is a business model that makes self-cleaning water bottles that are reusable, rechargeable, and also have some advanced features. For example, it has UVC technology used to eliminate viruses & bacteria from water bottles.

LARQ has the initiative to provide clean water to everyone. They also raised $1.7 million for the same. In addition, LARQ donates 1% of its earnings to help maintain clean water worldwide.

The product was so unique and exciting that it attracted numerous customers. As a result, many environmentalists and aware citizens switched to these LARQ bottles and saved their money from buying single-use water bottles.

7. Beer Cartel

Beer Cartel, as the name suggests, is Australia’s number one beer subscription service. It is said that some ideas sell themselves; the same was the case with this one.

Beer Cartel sells beers from all around the world to their subscribers at their doorstep. This online store gives people the freedom to select their unique beer bottles at a price better than traditional stores.

One of the significant reasons for Beer Cartel’s success is that they offer exclusive taste under budget. In addition, they have a wide range of varieties that keeps their customers interested and coming back.

8. Berlin Packaging

Berlin Packaging is well known for sourcing, designing, and even distributing containers and closures for companies like fortune and various family-owned startups.

They have always provided products at a lower cost to their customers to increase the overall efficiency of their enterprise. One interesting fact about it is that it is not a new startup; it is 80 years old, in fact. But Berlin Packaging has somehow still managed to bring their customers the latest and top-quality beer.

They started this eCommerce business model to keep up with the times, which worked out well for them.

9. Bonobos

With the introduction of eBay, Bonobos knew that the eCommerce business was getting more competitive with each passing day. So, they introduced a unique business model targeting only a super-specific audience.

This strategy of narrowing down to a particular audience helped them make loyal customers who also flourished their business in the long run. Bonobo’s success made everyone realize that focusing on the competition is not good for your business’s health.

They should focus on the value they provide to their customers, and they will reach greater heights of success.

10. TOMS

The name of the company seems fascinating, right? Well, so is their initiative. TOMS is an eCommerce company that sells its customers quality shoes that are reliable, comfortable, designer, and inexpensive.

What separates TOMS from other similar eCommerce is that with every transaction, they will help one in need. Yes! Not only this, but they also run various social media campaigns with hashtags like #withoutshoes and many more to stand out from the crowd.

Everything about their business model is catchy and interesting, making it easier for them to drive more traffic to their online shop.

What are the Biggest Benefits of eCommerce?

Shopping in the comfort of home: eCommerce has made shopping easier and more convenient for our customers. Buying and selling things is a child’s play nowadays. As a result, our purchases are simpler, faster, less time-consuming, and not so hectic.

Markets are globalized: Now, you can shop from anywhere around the world at the convenience of your home. The impact of eCommerce on the planet can easily be visible. There are no limitations or barriers to buying from a different state or country.

Building startups is not so expensive anymore! Yes, in this era of digitalization, anyone can set up their online store at a meager cost. In addition, the operating cost is minimal because both buyers and sellers are now digital.

Conclusion

Technologies are evolving rapidly because of this, eCommerce businesses have to see a lot of changes frequently.

If you have an eCommerce business that is not growing as expected, you must adapt to new business models that add value to your customer’s life and your e-commerce services (my business: krishaweb dot com).

Image Credit: Provided by the Author; Thank you!

Parth Pandya

“Nothing Is Impossible” – is a quote that guided me to climb up the toughest peak of my professional journey. Having a great zeal for excellence and ambitious nature to reach the peak, leads me uninterrupted to provide the best content to all the visitors. I like to read and share contents which are related to Technology Solution and Digital Marketing.

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