Is Your HR Department Ready to be Reinvented?

 

Chief Employee Experience Officer

Chief People Officer

Chief Engagement Officer

These job titles didn’t exist a few short years ago, but now they are a common occurrence in the workplace. But, why?

It appears that all the buzz surrounding the importance of employee engagement has turned HR departments everywhere upside down. They are going mad trying to capture that “secret sauce”, which motivates employees and makes them more collaborative and productive.

So far, many companies have tried exploring different benefit options and employee perks like free gym memberships, free lunches, flexible work policies, and even bring your dog to work days. But, even with all of these perks, there is still a gap, a silo, that is getting in the way of their employee engagement goals.

Sure, employee recognition programs, fun perks, and flexible policies help employees feel appreciated; but real change begins with meaningful everyday interactions and connection to goals. Sadly, “only 40% of employees are well informed on company goals, strategy, and tactics.” The flow of this information is often stifled from reaching lower level employees and they quickly become disjointed from the rest of the company. Gallup’s chief scientist of workplace management, Jim Harter, said that “it comes down to showing people how their work and contributions impact the success of the entire firm. Disengagement starts with having a confusing job.”

To solve this problem, Airbnb has appointed individuals who act as “ground control” to make sure their company’s mission and culture are brought to life everyday. They have dedicated much time and effort into a project called “workplace as an experience”, where their main focus is “tapping into the physical, emotional, intellectual, virtual, and aspirational facets of how an employee is engaged in the workplace.”

 

workplace as an experience

 

Airbnb realized that their employees needed an immersive experience with more touch points and more visibility. The problem was, one siloed department couldn’t possibly ensure that experience was taking place for every employee. So, their Chief Human Resource Officer became their Chief Employee Experience Officer, in order to fulfill the vision of an integrated employee work experience. Their hard work paid off too, because 90% of their employees now recommend them as a great place to work! 

So, if your HR department is ready to be reinvented, take notes from the companies who are doing it right, and learn what works best for your employees along the way.

How Successful Teams Collaborate in the Digital Workplace

cloud-tools

“U.S. team members waste up to 9 work weeks per year trying to collaborate on projects using an average of 4 partial tools” *

These days, most employees have to act as project managers by coordinating and communicating with multiple people on multiple projects. The problem is, most employees are not project managers, and they do not have the time or expertise needed to manage team communication.

Teams in today’s complex and fast moving business environment thrive when they mutually understand when, where, and how to successfully collaborate with each other. With an increasingly mobile workforce and more dispersed teams, employees rely more on technology as a support system, but the way this technology is utilized makes all the difference. It is up to companies to supply, setup, and support employees in their quest for the most successful day to day communication.

Many companies are providing employees with one tool for communicating, planning tasks, and managing resources in order to streamline collaboration and remove the burden employees feel when trying to figure it out on their own. The all-in-one collaboration tool is quickly becoming the go-to solution to the new digital workplace.  And here’s why:

Better accessibility and visibility – A survey by PGi found that 79% of knowledge worker respondents had the ability to work remotely at least one day a week. So with remote work on the rise, it is more import than ever for companies to empower employees to work how and where they choose.

A tool that offers a wide variety of features is the most ideal for remote workers because it’s versatile enough to meet their needs, but structured enough so that all communication is centralized. So, each employee is given the freedom to choose how they utilize the tool, yet there is still some control over where all communication is accessed. It’s a win-win situation for managers and employees.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” – George Bernard Shaw

Scalability – It is important to consider how a tool or a process can support a company as it grows. There are many companies who grow so rapidly that the tools they implemented early on can no longer support their new operational demands.

Most all-in-one tools allow companies to easily scale from a startup to a large corporation. They offer the utmost flexibility and versatility for growth.

Save time –  IT departments will celebrate with the time they save in technology support and maintenance. They will only have to deploy and ramp up a single tool and dealing with one vendor also reduces the time spent contacting customer support departments.

HR departments can join in on the celebration because one tool means a streamlined and simplified onboarding process as well as a faster learning curve for new employees.

Saving all this valuable time means saving money too!

Happy collaborating!

America Needs a National Vacation Policy

american flag

America is an amazing country, full of opportunity and freedom, and the biggest celebration of our freedom and independence is only a few days away. Many Americans will be vacationing, spending time with friends and family, BBQing, and blasting fireworks, all to commemorate freedom.

But, there is a not so celebratory reality about holidays and vacation time in America. We are the only developed country in the world which doesn’t require companies to give employees time off. Which means for some Americans, it will be difficult or impossible to participate in this weekend’s celebration of freedom.

 

american worker paid leave

See, not so celebratory.

On top of having no vacation rights from our government or the law, many American workers who have time off are too worried to take it. An article released by CNN last year described five reasons why American workers skip vacation days. It turns out that many people are worried about their job security and some are already overworked so any time out of the office means even more work when they return.

Here are a few other eye-opening statistics facing American workers:

American Worker Holiday

So, raise your flag this weekend with the Caboh team if you believe that vacation time in America should be a right, not a privilege!

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Center for Economic and Policy Research, CNBC, The Atlantic

15 Statistical Benefits to Flexible Work

 

working at coffee shop

 

If you want happy employees, consider this: a recent study revealed that “nearly half of all employees prefer flex work over a pay raise, [and] nearly one-third said they would change employers if offered flexible work elsewhere.”

Avoiding a stressful and time-consuming commute, achieving better work-life balance, being more productive, and finishing work they can’t complete at the office, are just a few of the reasons why workers are now demanding flexible work opportunities.

But, in case you need even more convincing, here are 15 recent stats on remote working:

  1. Telecommuting increased 79.7% from 2005 to 2012
  2. 79% of U.S. workers say they would like to work from home at least part of the time
  3. Among the 15 largest U.S. metro areas, San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos (CA) has the highest concentration of people who consider home their primary place of work (4.2%)
  4. A typical telecommuter is 49 years old, college educated, a salaried non-union employee in a management or professional role, earns $58,000 a year, and works for a company with more than 100 employees.
  5. The federal government has the highest proportion of teleworkers
  6. Approximately 69 percent of the employees surveyed cited higher productivity when working remote, and 75 percent of those surveyed said the timeliness of their work improved.
  7.  According to Cisco’s Internet Business Services Group, the company has generated an estimated annual savings of $277 million in productivity by allowing employees to telecommute and telework
  8. In 2008, Cisco teleworkers prevented approximately 47,320 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from being released into the environment due to avoided travel.
  9. Cisco employees report a fuel cost savings of $10.3 million per year due to telecommuting.
  10. More than 91 percent of the Cisco employees surveyed said telecommuting is somewhat or very important to their overall satisfaction.
  11. According to The Anywhere Office, 72% of U.S. employees say that flexible work arrangements would cause them to choose one job over another.
  12. Enabling employees to work remotely makes it possible to reduce the corporate real estate portfolio by as much as 40% – 50% by offering employees an opportunity to work from home full- or part-time
  13. Multiplied out across the U.S. economy (for the 40% of the workforce who could function remotely), “workshifting” (coined by Citrix Online) could save employers over $650 Billion per year.
  14. After 18 months, SCAN Health’s alternative work program received 40% return on investment for program development and deployment
  15. SCAN also reduced the cost of workforce support by 38% as a result of its distributed work program.

Sources: Image from Flickr, “People At Work” by Jay“; Telecommuting Statistics”, Global Workplace Analytics; Cisco Newsroom; “Work Unchained the Competitive Edge of the Anywhere Office”, Workshifting

 

5 Videos Showing the True Power of Teamwork

 

We all know how important teamwork is in business. We hear it all the time. And, all the most successful businesses in the world seem to have it mastered. But to truly master it ourselves, we have to understand what teamwork really means.

Straight out of dictionary.com (because my paperback now lives at Goodwill), teamwork is a cooperative or coordinated effort from a group of people who are acting toward a common cause. Some other words which describe teamwork are: collaboration, unity, harmony, participation, partnership, and synergy.

So, with these terms fresh on your mind. Let’s discover the many different ways teamwork is demonstrated.

The following videos show the true power of teamwork, carried out in very different ways.

 

1. This time lapse of a huge barn being built over just a few hours, really captures the harmony that results from amazing teamwork.

 

2. A man’s life was saved from the quick thinking of one person and the help of many others to carry out the rescue plan. This demonstrates how important a clear purpose is to success. Everyone knows what they need to do to help.

 

3. An athlete who is struggling with her studies, while in training gets some much needed help and support from her friends. This kind of teamwork demonstrates camaraderie and having each other’s back. Helping just to help.

She says, “If you want to go fast you go alone, but if you want to go far you have to go as a group”.

 

4. A marching band gets creative and works in unity to perform this awesome display. Their coordination is very impressive!

 

5. Great teamwork occurs all the time in the animal kingdom and sometimes it could mean the difference between life and death. This video, called “Battle at Kruger” shows a struggle between a pride of lions, a herd of buffalo, and 2 crocodiles at a watering hole in South Africa after a baby buffalo is attacked. The herd of buffalo stand strong together in their common cause of saving the young victim.

 

 

An Easy Way to Gain Employee Buy-In

improve_employee_satisfaction

 

Many successful companies have learned how to nurture potential buyers throughout the sales cycle, but few have mastered how to nurture new employee so they buy-in to their company. And, isn’t that what leaders really want, employees who have “bought-in” to the company and are invested in making it better?

The truth is: engagement begins from the very first time a person reaches out to your company, whether it is for a sales opportunity or a job opportunity.

Many companies use content marketing to attract and engage with potential buyers. They realize how important it is to share your company’s voice and establish some level of rapport with your audience before expecting them to really listen to you, especially in an online environment. So, these companies share interesting and relevant information with their potential customers with the goal to establish rapport, thought leadership, and brand awareness. But beyond these goals, offering a free service like content sharing will demonstrate a company’s desire to help others. So, you are not just helping people grasp what your company stands for, you are also proving authentic goodwill, which drives buyer engagement.

Like your potential customers, employees can also decide whether or not they will actively engage with your company, and some of their engagement needs are very similar.

Employees also need to grasp what your company stands for and why. They look for acts of goodwill and other proof that their company’s main goal is to help people, including employees. For total buy-in, however, they need to be more than just recipients of company information; they need to be active participates who are invited to provide feedback, aid in decision making, and influence meaningful change.

Employees need both understanding and participation in order to identify their purpose and connect with the big picture. Any exclusion from company news, activity, or progress, will keep employees from participating in any meaningful way, because they don’t really know how to help.

By sharing more information, ideas, and knowledge internally, companies can shift their culture to one that is supportive and inclusive. It is a culture strategy which promotes open, effective communication and provides clear channels for feedback. The numerous benefits of which include: increased employee engagement and employee advocacy, discovery of SMEs(subject matter experts), and higher overall performance.

*Image sourced from: lineshapespace.com

New Caboh Groups Make Teamwork a Breeze

 

We are excited to announce our new Caboh groups!

This new feature allows teams, departments, groups, or clubs to communicate and collaborate within their own shared workspace. Our fresh look offers a clean and responsive design with an all new navigation menu and group activity feed.

 

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 1.55.30 PM

 

Help bring order and simplicity to teamwork. Check out the many benefits of new Caboh groups!

 

Organize group work, with everything in one place

Successfully working together requires a lot of communication and resources, which can all be scattered across many different platforms/tools. Caboh’s goal is to alleviate the collaboration challenges that many teams face by bringing order and simplicity to the way teams work.

 

Simplify communication with new group sharing

Your team can communicate more effectively by instantly sharing resources or ideas and receiving timely feedback. Sharing can be as simple as the click of a button!

 

Keep everyone in the loop by capturing all team activity

The new activity stream creates an interactive timeline for all the communication happening within a group.

 

Easily manage, store, and recover shared resources

Group file sharing provides a common place for team members to quickly share and access any of their resources.

 

10 Quotes Proving Collaboration Drives Business

People playing with tangled string

Image Source: Getty Images

 

“Collaboration is the best way to work. It’s the only way to work, really. Everyone’s there because they have a set of skills to offer across the board.” – Antony Starr, actor

People are the heart and center of every business. People working together and applying their individual experience and creativity to team and company goals will drive a business forward. Every interaction that takes place is an opportunity for change, growth, and innovation.

 

“Effective collaboration is about maximizing time, talent and tools to create value. The old way was the pass-along approach. I do my job and then pass along my work product to you.” – Evan Rosen, author The Culture of Collaboration

Effective teamwork is so valuable. It is the new competitive advantage, which all successful businesses have mastered. Leaders need to dedicate themselves to enabling their people. The result will be greater efficiency all around.

 

“Politeness is the poison of collaboration” – Edwin Land, cofounder of the Polaroid Corporation

People struggle to be honest and polite at the same time. It is challenging to be graceful about delivering negative feedback, but it is so important to address the negative along with the positive. When a company values transparency and honest communication, it allows collaboration to happen naturally. By rewarding honesty and making people feel safe, they can be their authentic selves without worrying about possible consequences.

 

“The purpose of life is to collaborate for a common cause; the problem is nobody seems to know what it is.” – Gerhard Gschwandtner CEO of Selling Power

It is so important to relentlessly communicate vision and goals because people who collaborate without understanding “why” waste precious time and energy. Leaders need to link everyday actions back to overall goals, so people understand their true purpose.

 

“Peering succeeds because it leverages self-organization—a style of production that works more effectively than hierarchical management for certain tasks.”― Don Tapscott, author Wikinomics

Whenever possible, allow people to work autonomously. When people are really in control of their work, they are more accountable and driven to perform. Within a team environment that is more flexible, people can discover their preferred work style. A style which allows them to be the most creative and productive.

 

“Training often gives people solutions to problems already solved. Collaboration addresses challenges no one has overcome before.” ― Marcia Conner, author The New Social Learning

Every time people come together to share ideas and tackle problems, growth and innovation can happen. Every problem a business encounters is an opportunity, but people must come together and ask the right questions in order to discover and exploit the opportunities that come along.

 

“The secret is to gang up on the problem, rather than each other.” — Thomas Stallkamp, Former Executive from Chrysler Corporation

Culture plays a huge role in employee moral. A collaborative culture takes the focus away from all the politics which tend to divide people, like job titles, seniority levels, and favoritism.

 

“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” — Andrew Carnegie, Scottish American Industrialist

Alignment within a complex business is not a random occurrence that happens out of chance or luck. It takes a lot of work to get the right people, working on the right projects, toward the right goals. But, it is worth the effort because alignment is a prerequisite for effective collaboration.

 

“After mutual respect and understanding are achieved, it is possible to establish real, sincere relationships, which is the foundation of a solid long-term collaboration.” ― Ron Garan, author The Orbital Perspective

Team building is a great way to bring people together to form stronger relationships. Activities which don’t focus on performance outcomes, help people open up so they can grow to understand each other on a deeper, more personal level.

 

“The organizations of the future will increasingly depend on the creativity of their members to survive. Great Groups offer a new model in which the leader is an equal among Titans. In a truly creative collaboration, work is pleasure, and the only rules and procedures are those that advance the common cause.” – Warren Bennis, author and American Scholar on Leadership

When structure is kept to a minimum, there is more freedom for creative energy to thrive. Some rules, policies, and procedures might be necessary to maintain accountability and order, but stipulations can get in they way and slow you down. We live in a fast-paced world and flat organizations are becoming more and more common, so try to be as flexible as possible.

 

Advice for Leaders: How Jimmy Fallon Engages His Followers

 

Are your followers satisfied, or engaged?

There are so many innovative leaders raising the bar so that feeling satisfied is no longer enough to keep an audience. People are searching for and following the leaders that excite them and encourage them to take action.

When your followers are more than just satisfied, they are engaged and driven to act. And, that’s where the real power lies!

Leaders can learn a few things from Jimmy Fallon, because you need followers to lead and Fallon has plenty of those! And surprisingly, it took much more than a primetime show to get all of them.

So, how does Jimmy Fallon get and keep so many followers?

Here are a few pieces of advice we can learn from him:

 

Jimmy Fallon with Audience

Know your audience.

Fallon really understands his audience of mostly Millennials. More specifically, he knows where they spend their time and understands how to effectively engage with them.

Millennials love finding and sharing authentic, fun, interesting content. They love voicing their opinions and becoming a part of the conversation or experience. And, Fallon gives them the whole package. He captivates his audience by emotionally connecting with them. He makes them laugh, cry, and reminisce. Then, he goes a step further, and invites them to act upon that emotion by commenting or sharing on social media.

“We’re not trying to ignore the fact that people are in front of a computer at work and surf the Web all day long, or that kids check the Internet when they get home from school. We want to exploit that, and have fun with it. I’m on Facebook and I’ve been on Twitter just talking to my fans. It’s amazing!”

—Jimmy Fallon, prior to the show premiering in 2009

By leveraging his social media presence, Fallon continually engages with Millennials to keep them interested in what he is doing.  “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” YouTube channel has nearly 7 million subscribers, and the @jimmyfallon Twitter page has an astonishing 24 million followers!

Take Away: Who is your audience? Most likely they are your customers, potential customers, and even your employees. Where do they spend their time? What are they interested in hearing from you? All of these groups are vital to you or your company’s success, and all of them are looking for a reason to follow you.

 

Jimmy Fallon with muppets

Keep it fresh and get creative.

Beyond knowing his audience, Fallon is always doing something new and creative. Yes, it helps that he has plenty of resources to work with, including: an in-studio band, producers, writers, celebrities, politicians, and musicians. But, resources aren’t everything. Talk show hosts from the past had all of these resources too; they just didn’t get very creative with them. Their guests and topics changed, but the format stayed the same.

A new talk show format required a shift in focus from “What should I share with my audience?” to “What does my audience want me to share, and how?”.

Fallon was chosen to host because of his diverse abilities in acting, performing, and comedy. He was the guy who could keep viewers interested with variety and enthusiasm.

Take Away: If you want to inspire others into action, you have to present them with something new to keep them curious and interested. Mix up your approach. Try to avoid referencing and sharing the same types of content. And most importantly, ask your followers what they want and need from you.

 

Jimmy Fallon Christmas Sweater

Don’t do all the talking. Seek active participation.

Fallon doesn’t just talk at his audience, he interacts with them, in studio, on screen, and online.  He engages people in the most simplistic and powerful way, through constant interaction. By definition, an interaction is a reciprocal action or influence. It requires participation from two sides.

Take Away: When you ask people to interact with you or to get involved in what you are doing, they have to pay attention. They become engaged by their responsibility to listen and respond. So, don’t do all the talking and be authentic and inviting.      

 

Jimmy Fallon and Justin T

Know what you do best.

Fallon has changed the status quo in talk show entertainment (and a changing demographic deserves something new). He showcases his improv and impersonation skills, and by playing off of these strengths, his show created an authentic way to connect with people. People enjoy watching him because he is a performer in his element.

Take Away: It is so important to understand what you do best. Bring your experience and excitement to the table, and people will want to follow you.