The open office concept, for better or worse, is here to stay. However, with all we’ve come to love about it’s advantages (especially, impromptu collaboration and teamwork), it also has it’s drawbacks and detractors. Let's talk about five ways collaborative technology can ease the stress of an open office.
Unless you've been hiding under a rock, it’s pretty obvious 2017 will bring drastic shake-ups for both business and government. Whether you view the change favorably or not--it’s here and we’re all going to be impacted in some way or other. So we asked the Vocoli team to consider the major HR issues facing employers in 2017 and to come up with a few predictions given the generational, political, social and technological landscape we’re witnessing.
Ahhh. The holiday season. Trees, airing of grievances. Holiday cheer. And giving thanks. As the season starts in full tilt, it’s always a great idea to give thanks to the people around us who help us. Are there people in your lives who have made meaningful contributions? There are a few of the groups of people we here at Vocoli would like to recognize.
Does your company have an employee ideas program? Are you getting any? And more importantly, are you getting ideas that are showing a return on time and investment? Unfortunately, too often organizations start ideas programs with good intentions, only to see participation and idea volumes fall off a cliff. This results in resentment and frustration.
Unless your leadership team is committed to a drastic change in approach, your best bet may be to simply cancel the program as quietly as possible and walk away. By failing to operate the program in good faith, you could be doing more harm than good (essentially saying, “we really don’t want input from our employees”).
Ask any worker what words come to mind when talking about the annual employee engagement survey, and chances are they aren’t positive. More likely they’ll hit you with words such as painful, lip service or resentment.
Since almost the beginning of time technology has changed how we do work. From movable type to the cotton gin, to the invention of other mechanical devices such as ladders, the wheel and the pulley and the complex machines and systems they enabled, technology has driven changes to how people lived and worked.
You don’t have to look too far back to recall a time when most employees did most of their work in a traditional office setting. With the advent of technologies to help us connect remotely, many U.S. workers no longer report to an office on a regular basis, if at all. In terms of driving this change, there were several factors involved and some surprises in terms of the kinds of companies who have heavily supported the transition to a more remote workforce.
It is pretty obvious that innovation powers our modern knowledge economy. Innovation has become the main focal point of companies large and small, and has even led to the creation of popular shows like NBC's Shark Tank. But the question remains – how does one facilitate this innovation? Given that good ideas lie in abundance with a company’s employees, what is the best route for turning them into reality?
For large and highly bureaucratic industrial firms, the idea of fast paced innovation may seem far fetched. But as manufacturing giant Alcoa proved, seeking insights from employees can help to increase safety, streamline innovation and, in turn, create a far more profitable and successful organization.
Becoming an innovative company is no small feat, so when thinking about first steps looking to a company that has set the standard for innovation can help. Google is known far and wide for their unconventional practices to help boost innovation with their team. While not every Google practice will work in your organization, adopting a few of Google's unique methods can help set your team on the path for success in innovation.
When thinking about what is most important in a thriving technology company, innovation or investment, there is almost a chicken or the egg debate in the works. One company that has always been known for being the cornerstone of innovation and calculated risk is Apple. While Apple has been quite profitable since its humble beginnings in a garage in 1976, they have made a few head-scratching choices over the last few months.
Today's workforce has different wants and needs from their employer, and organizations that want to maintain a healthy pool of talent must be willing to adapt and change to meet these needs. If you’re one of the companies that ignores this change there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself without qualified employees in just a few years. And we all know that without an adequate talent pipeline, you’ll lose out on the driving force of innovation and engagement. Over the next several weeks, we’ll focus on four key aspects of change to the American workforce, what drove this change, and how your company can adapt to the change in values of today’s workforce.
Tech startups are hot right now and every company, regardless of industry is hopping on the "disruption" and innovation bandwagon that startups have been on for years. But can this kind of different and breakthrough thinking have a place in the world of banking where strict regulations and procedures come before all else?
It is becoming more and more common to remove excess layers of leadership in most organizations. However, one risky experiment by online megastore Zappos.com proved that at least one layer of management is necessary for happy and successful employees.
Most innovation does not happen overnight or out of a sheer moment of brilliance. Rather, many of the greatest inventions and innovations have come out of an idea, followed by many iterations of development and research. If your organization is struggling with taking the leap to becoming more innovative, read this blog to learn more about how one of today's most commonly used technologies came out of several iterations of innovative thinking. . .
The current landscape of the business world is tough: employees expect more from their jobs relative to benefits, compensation and recognition and employers in turn want more out of their staff. Longer days and increased demand are two common expectations of most companies, and often this is to the determent of other factors - like long-term happiness and engagement. New research, however, suggests a middle ground, where employers can find greater productivity without the expense of unhappy employees. . .
It's important for teams to be on the same page when going through the innovation process. However, being on the same page doesn't always mean being in agreement. Having one or two people on your team to serve as "Naysayers" or "Devil's Advocates" can help the innovation process by asking tough questions that can prevent long-term problems. Is your team willing to challenge the status quo to create innovations and new ideas that have been fully vetted?
Innovation is important for businesses in any industry. Countless examples of innovation can be seen in technology companies, government, product manufacturing, etc. But one industry that often gets overlooked is the insurance industry. Now, more than ever, insurance companies need to find ways to stand out among the masses, and innovation just might be the solution.
Technology guru General Electric has dominated the consumer products and innovation space over the last 30 years. But things haven't always been so easy for the multinational conglomerate. Growth for the brand was slow and steady until former CEO Jack Welch decided to take the idea of 'business as usual' and flip it upside-down. Take a lesson from GE and learn how better engagement with your company can lead to innovative success.
The shift from engaged and energized employees to clock punching 9-5ers can be a tough trend for any leadership team to curb. Many managers may turn to micromanaging or docking points on annual performance reviews to stir up more buy-in from their team. Instead, read our blog on motivating employees through a shared vision to find better tactics to take your team from phoning it in to all-in.
When discussing the modern work environment, two things become immediately evident: employee engagement and trust in management are at a low point. This is concerning as lack of trust in management can lead to resentment, high turnover and decreased production from employees. So what can leadership teams do to move their company beyond the current mindset of distrust? Click here to find out more.
2015 has been a big year for the Vocoli team. We have helped our clients to increase collaboration within their teams, become better at problem-solving and boost innovation within their company. After a really solid 2015 we also realized that we've come up with a lot of great blogs on everything from communication and employee evaluation to management and motivation. So, as our gift to you we've compiled the best of our best blogs into one easy-to-access page. Click here to brush up on these topics (and more) so 2016 can be a great year for your company too!
With the high level of turnover in most companies today, many executives are scratching their heads trying to come up with ways to retain employees for longer than a year or two. From defined contracts and graduated salary increases, to loyalty pledges - leaders have gotten pretty innovative with ways to ensure strong talent won't run for the hills at the first whiff of a new opportunity. But, does it really have to be that difficult? Or is there an easier way to keep your employees happier and around longer?
December is a time for focusing on your business strategy and revamping it for the following year. But before you start making a list of goals and to do's, brush up on the 5 strategies that successful companies will be embracing in 2016.
Most companies find value in employee feedback and ideas for innovation. Unfortunately, many don't know how to effectively capture and respond to these great ideas. Stop your company from taking a huge engagement misstep by brushing up on our tips on how and why you should launch a formal employee innovation program at your company.
From a young age, many of us were programmed to learn one way, through lecture. Education has long been a one-way street which often causes confusion, frustration and missed opportunities. Unfortunately, this structure has also carried on to the Modern American workplace. Bosses instruct, employees obey. But, is there a better alternative?
Is your current annual review process crippling your business? Traditional performance review programs can lead to disdain, fear and ultimately huge employee turnover in companies large and small, don't let the prospect of an annual evaluation send your employees running for the hills.
The Vocoli team has been hard at work this Fall in developing and creating new great features for the platform. Here are a few of the new features we've rolled out over the last few weeks. . .
Working in the tech sector has become increasingly popular over the last 15 years. In LinkedIn's recent release of the most in-demand employers, tech comprises 10 of the top 20 companies. So what is it that makes this sector so appealing? Is it increased pay and benefits . . . or something else?
Despite best efforts to save a long-standing staple of iconic sports brands, Boston's City Sports will be closing its doors for good after a 30 year run. But what steps could have been taken to save this business, and other small businesses like it, from going under?
The concept of innovation has long been thought of as coming up with the best new and market-shattering idea first. However, plenty of companies have found success not as the creator of the next best idea, but being the first to implement. Knowing when and how to implement your team's best ideas can often mean the difference between success and missing the boat.
Technological advances have made it possible to communicate with someone on the other side of the world with the click of a button. Messages that used to take days or weeks to send back and forth, can now be accomplished within a matter of seconds. This has opened many doors to organizations seeking to have employees in various geographic reasons. But, while technology has made communicating with widespread teams easier, one problem still remains - how to easily manage and integrate teams that are thousands of miles apart.
Most companies depend on the conveniences of technology to help increase productivity, communicate and stay ahead of industry trends. But, being a truly successful organization in the digital era means more than just having top of the line laptops, smart phones and the fastest internet speeds. Read more to see what tools your team is missing to be truly successful.
One of the biggest struggles that most companies face today, is a problem that has existed before the cellphone, email and computer age - effective communication! Technology has brought us out of the age of needing to pick up a landline to communicate with our teams, but too many emails, meetings and messages have taken us from under-communicating to inundated with info. How can your team communicate smarter, not harder?
When an organization is small, it is easy to communicate information throughout the team. This is one of the many reasons why small companies are able to move so quickly and efficiently. However, as a compact organization begins to transition from small to medium, or medium to large, there can be a lot of growing pains in keeping communication running smoothly. Read our 4 tips to help your growing team communicate like a small business.
It has long been thought that the primary reason why people go to work every day is for one thing: money. But successful organizations have begun to realize that employees are motivated by more than just fiscal drives. . .
Successful companies have always been concerned with the image that their brand and corporate values portray to the public. Everything from sustainable business practices, to sourcing ethical products and fair treatment of their talent has now fallen under the microscope. Because of this, keeping employees happy is no longer important just for the internal success of an organization, but for the public opinion of your company as well. A lesson learned the hard way, by one of America's favorite coffee brands . . .
Big box stores have always been known for their bulk-priced value and competitive membership benefits. But few people know that they are also a great example of the effect that corporate culture and having an employee-first mentality can have on the success of an organization.
Being a great manager goes beyond understanding your business and knowing how to inspire and guide others, it's also about knowing when to be involved and when to step back and let your employees take the reins.
With the job landscape tipping strongly in favor of candidates over employers, the risk of losing top talent is higher than ever before. What can your organization do to keep your highest performers from seeking better opportunity elsewhere?
Disruptive innovation can be scary, companies that are successful and relevant today can easily be forgotten by tomorrow. So how can companies that want to remain relevant stay ahead of the wave of disruptive change and not drown in the undertow?
"Employee engagement" has long been thought of as an HR issue - how to make employees happy, productive and focused on their work. But as the idea of engagement has shifted from focusing on individual employees, to bettering the organization as a whole, it is no longer just the responsibility of Human Resources to foster better engagement.
As the primary source of qualified candidates shifts from the tried-and-true Baby Boomer generation to the characteristically fleeting Millennials, many employers are pondering the question - is it possible to retain and engage long-term employees from such a fickle group?
Long ago the idea of the annual performance review was introduced, but as companies have begun to shift the way they view leadership and people management, discussing employee goals, performance and career pathing only once a year seems antiquated. More large organizations are seeing the light in changing the way they evaluate performance, is yours?
Few news stories have made as big a splash as the recent piece in the New York Times about workplace abuse at Amazon. The company, so recently the object of praise for surpassing Walmart in value to become the world’s largest retailer, found itself in full damage control almost overnight and was caught entirely flat-footed. But, after reading several blog posts, reactions from the public and news sources covering the story, one might be suspect as to who is really at fault in this situation. . .
The weekend is considered a time to unplug, relax and spend time with family and friends away from all things "work" but what most people don't realize is that what we do Monday through Friday directly impacts how enjoyable (or not!) our weekends are. . .
Employee turnover is a constant theme plaguing annual boardroom meetings, HR departments and leadership teams across the U.S. - how much is too much? Is low turnover a good thing, or maybe a constant flow of new employees can help establish a fresh perspective . . .
Healthy competition is a part of any strong company's culture, but when competition becomes unhealthy while still serving as the driving force for the organization - success can quickly dwindle.
Annual performance reviews have been long dreaded by management and employees alike. Is it time to do away with the archaic once a year, backward-focused progress report in favor of something new?
Sometimes the culture of small businesses can have great perks - small, agile teams of people who work seamlessly together, flexible work environments that suit a wide variety of personalities and even adjustable work schedules. But sometimes these appealing policies veer wildly off course. And, as some employees in the small business world have quickly learned the "no vacation policy" sometimes really means "no vacations."
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