By Blanche Sheppard
Our very first blog post was about Yammer, a message board for the workplace. It made a huge difference in our organization because it was the right technological solution for the right people. Companies that do not stagnate by resisting change are also companies that are more flexible and adaptable, embracing the technologies and communication strategies necessary to each generation in the workforce. We are a company that embraces the tools that make our communication stronger and more efficient.
But we’ve also used Skype Messenger forever, sending messages to one another when we have a quick message that doesn’t necessarily warrant an email. We used Skype to let our coworkers know when we are available, and to ask if anyone wants to make a run to Natural Pantry for soup. It did its job adequately.
Until, one day, it didn’t. It wasn’t compatible with our move to RISQ Consulting, which meant that we had to quickly find an alternative to a program on which we all relied.
The first step was to address our needs: a basic messaging application. Well, finding that was easy. The problem was finding an application that fits with our user size, budget, and ancillary requirements. I did a lot of research and found Slack. It was free, based on how we would use it (although there are additional paid options), it would support our number of users, and it even had additional features that we didn’t even know we wanted! This was extremely exciting. I started a test group, found that it worked perfectly, and then rolled it out to all users several days later. Everyone began testing out the Emoji capabilities, but they also gladly learned that you can pin relevant documents to discussions, create Channels (we have a Food-Network channel for lunch logistics), and integrate other Apps like Google Drive.
There were a few other options, but Slack’s capabilities were right for this company. Yammer was right for this company. We found that Right Signature, an electronic signature application, allowed us to return documents quickly and with fewer errors. We found that Yammer allowed us to collaborate in one easily accessible location. And we found that Slack allowed us to message one another individually and as a group, which meant that everyone knows when it’s Food Truck day. Finding the perfect answer to your technological needs not only alleviates the headaches, but it also paves the road for other technological capabilities.
If you’re implementing a new technology in the workplace, I highly recommend the following steps:
- Do a lot of research. Many platforms look amazing at first glance, until you discover that they only support five users or that they don’t have a desktop application. Read the reviews about each application you are considering; most are brutally honest. 2. Test the application on a small group of users for a few days. Work out the bugs and discover the
capabilities. This also gives you time to train yourself on ideal user settings, notifications, etc. 3. Once you are ready to roll out the application to the entire team, make an announcement as to the
“live” date, general guidelines, and the date you are terming use of the old technology (if applicable).
At RISQ Consulting, we specialize in finding solutions to the problems preventing you from doing what you do best: running your business. We accomplish that by streamlining our own processes and taking advantage of the tools available to us. Finding the right technological answer is like a homebuilder finding just the right piece of granite, or a cook locating the perfect complement to each dish. It just makes life
Each generation has a distinctive set of characteristics and values, making choosing the right benefits for your employees an increasingly difficult task. Baby Boomers and Generation X share similar standards when it comes to employee benefits, which makes it relatively simple for employers providing benefits. Millennials on the other hand, have an entirely different set of ideals when it comes to employee benefits. Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) mainly value salary level, health insurance, and a retirement plan. Generation X (born 1965-1980) value salary level, 401k plan, and a work-life balance. Millennials (born 1981-1997) are the first generation to grow up immersed in technology, and a few things happened as a result. Millennials are always connected, whether that be to work, family, or friends. They are used to having access to everything they need, no matter where they are in the world. Millennials also have become accustomed to instant results and feedback, a result of being connected 24/7. That being said, unlike Baby Boomers and Generation X, Millennials are more interested in a work-life integration rather than a work-life balance. Therefore, it’s no surprise that when it comes to employee benefits, Millennials place the most value on the ability to work remotely, control over their schedules, and paid time off. Customized benefits is another demand for many Millennials. This generation doesn’t want to feel fenced in; they want the ability to change things up throughout the different stages of their lives. Millennials are the largest population in the work force so it’s important for employers to understand the new dynamics that come with this generation. They want to work for a highly technologically-integrated company that can respond instantly and understands that you can be just as productive from your home or a coffee shop as you would be in an office. Millennials appreciate flexibility and options – so, when you’re considering hiring a millennial, evaluate your company’s benefits. Make sure those benefits align with the demands of this generation rather than the preferences of other generations. Be willing to allow employees to work from home, have a flexible schedule, and offer a decent amount of paid time off. Doing so will help you ensure that you have a happy and productive employee.
brought to you by: RISQ Consulting By Joshua Weinstein, President and Employee Benefits Consultant
Welcome to The Vantage Point by RISQ Consulting- a blog offering you strategic advantages to run your organization. While this blog doesn’t have many commonalities with Vantage Point, the political action thriller starring Dennis Quaid, it is filled with actionable and enjoyable ways to help you gain more of that most precious resource – your time. I believe that the less time spent working in your business doing “chores” leads to more availability for nurturing whatever you value – growing your organization, realizing your mission, and perhaps even working less while being more profitable.
The Vantage Point is for you – our clients and friends. It’s all about making your business better. Well-run and educated businesses have fewer liabilities to worry about, so they pay less for insurance, and most importantly, they have unbeatable employee morale and infectious cultures. Check out our content; it’s friendly and generally not insurance focused.
How do the best businesses become the best? They have the courage to look at every action and interaction of their organization both internally and externally. They command excellence in their experiences, and they sort through the noise to figure out how to measure and change their processes accordingly. They attach a plan to their initiatives and innovate beyond their competitors. They create and invite competition. The Vantage Point takes a colorful and fun journey participating in and sharing such examinations.
Our authorship is our staff. All of us write the posts. Whether it was my personal experience “vacationing” in North Korea back in 2012, or Tonya’s discovery of an engaging, collaborative online workspace, our voices are as unique as we are. We invite you to join us, contribute, and comment. We grow together.
At RISQ, we help you define and achieve what you want. What wakes you up at night? Let’s talk. Why aren’t you obtaining and retaining the best talent? We can help. Where are you spending money that you shouldn’t? Let’s stop and figure that out together. Running a business is complicated, and RISQ Consulting makes it easier for you through our collaborative, intentional, and supportive processes.
Let’s get to know each better from The Vantage Point. The view up here is simply stunning.