Seventhman Blog

  1. Making Everyday an Employee Appreciation Day

    "employee appreciation"You might have missed it.  But just in case, March 1st is officially the Employee Appreciation Day.  Have you shown your team how much you value them lately?  While money is important, it’s proven that recognition works better in motivating your people to put their best foot forward.  Last time, I have shared with you Magnetic Outsourcing tips that will help you attract and retain top performers in your company.  This time, I will share with you simple ways on how you can run a lean business with ways you can reward your people without having to spend a dime.  Your employees are the lifeline of your business and making them feel good will always reflect back on your brand, where customer interaction is involved.

    Putting More Value on Your Team

    While your employees are crucial in making sure that you’re in the business of keeping customers loyal to your brand, engaging in scare tactics may backfire sooner than you think.  I’ve seen teams fail because people were made to fear taking risks.  Competition may be great for a short time, but it can create division in the long run.  Where do you strike a balance?  Simple.  You can try:

    1.  Sincerity

    There’s nothing bad with praise, only that when you give it indiscriminately – it looks cheap.  Instead, keep it honest. Your team had a difficult day completing a hard task so give praise publicly.  Send in a word of thanks, a note.  Value each person’s contributions and point out how each one have contributed to the team’s success.

    2.  Flexibility

    If thousands were enraged with the recent news of how Yahoo’s policy had put a lid on working flexible hours, you should know better.  So long as your people don’t abuse this privilege, it can build trust and stronger work relationship in the long run.  Flex time is always the easiest to give with most to gain.

    3.  Making Work Fun

    Try to be creative in thinking of weekly events that can boost your team’s morale.  Just because you’re working in a virtual setting doesn’t mean you can’t collaborate in real-time.  There are plenty of online tools out there that can bridge this gap.  If you’re sending out a monthly newsletter, try featuring your best workers for a change.  Be creative!

    4.  Reward Ideas

    Just because an idea didn’t work doesn’t mean that it should stop your team from producing new ones.  Why not host an annual award for the best idea?  Even if it’s not implemented, this can stimulate innovation and positive mindset among your team.  Also, if you need to correct an action, please coach privately and fix the problem without judging the person.

    5.  Ask for Feedback

    The best way to make your employees feel that their time and efforts are appreciated is to listen to what they have to say.  Besides, it’s tough to be always in control so turn the tables this time and let everyone take a vote in the decision-making table.  This way, you can open communication channels.

    Then, there’s the usual perk – in cash or in kind.  At the end of the day, it’s all about appreciating those who made a difference to your business and to your customers, of those who contributed to your success.  It doesn’t hurt to take off a few minutes each day to send out a meaningful compliment, without the BS.

    ** and to my team, Many Thanks… for working with me, through thick and thin.

  2. Empowering Your Mobile Workers Without Sacrificing Data Security

    "empower mobile workers"Just where do you draw the line between your worker’s right to choose and your business security?  In more than two decades of working with mobile teams across the globe, I have experienced firsthand how the global workforce is quickly shaping this new generation of mobile and motivated workers who are willing to work anywhere on computing devices of their choice.  Whether they use personal or corporate supplied tools to meet the company’s expectations, these workers still need to access your organization’s network and applications.  Now, this freedom comes with the risk of getting access to untrustworthy content online, other than losing visibility and control over what your team is working on.  How can you support this need for mobility and easy access to your business resources without sacrificing security of your data then?

    The Great Mobile Mindset Shifts

    Those who are doing business traditionally are still locked in old school ways where IT is concerned.  They may even be tied with the usual cycles of software development.  While you can engage your workers with questions to make sure they are the right fit for you, especially when you’re outsourcing, you will have to find that balance still.  These BYOD ( bring your own device ) workers are more diverse than you think and by developing a new set of policies that allow them to mix freedom with responsibility, you may just secure the agile business that you seek for – in the need to adapt to these consumerization of mobile devices and change as a whole.

    Being Proactive is the First Step

    Empowering your new breed of mobile workers means approaching your business in a new light.  You don’t have to risk information security in the need to innovate either.  Having a comprehensive policy will allow your team to work securely anywhere, even on virtual desktops.  While it’s your job to secure your business data and applications, you can also support your worker-owned smartphones, tablets, laptops, hybrids and netbooks.  You have to define how your mobile worker will provision for the tools and how they will use these devices for work.  Although most outsourced providers are equipped with their own, if you’re starting to open this option to your employees, you can offer some stipend to encourage buy-in or offer affordable plans that will encourage them to buy these tools of the trade with the service plans of their choice.  By having this shared ownership, you have to let your mobile workers know that there are certain limits where access to data is concerned, including passwords and encryption.

    Dealing with Consumerization and Innovation

    While consumerization and usage of these mobile devices can foster new relationships between your team and your business, know that an empowered worker can drive innovation to your cause.  They know that these gadgets are good and they want to use its fullest potential to help you succeed.  It might even surprise you that by supporting the BYOD concept, you may just stop your top talent from leaving.  It may sound simple, but it all takes careful planning as you:

    1. Secure enterprise services that allow your workers to connect from any device.  This means strong authentication where applications, VPN and Wi-Fi, are concerned. You have to make sure that your workers can utilize any platform to access data – securely.

    2. Draft a comprehensive plan that effectively ensures your mobile workers will comply, even over various geographic locations.

    3. Keep a backup of important data in case someone accidentally modifies or changes the one you share online with everyone.

    4. Train your workers on how to use data and applications safely as learning is the key to reducing risks.

    In short, keep the balance between human and technical so you can empower a flexible team to be at their most productive.  Are you ready to trust your mobile team?

  3. Synergy: Doing Business in Real-Time

    "synergy"It’s amazing to see the correlation between the rise in  remote work and the growth in virtual teams around the world.  A survey even shows that 77% of American adults feel that online meeting is on the rise.  When companies are in a boot-strapping mode so they can meet their business goals, just how can teams that are spread out geographically collaborate like they do in real-time?  Of course, online collaboration saves a lot on travel time and transportation cost, not to mention that participants are more focused meeting online than offline.  Even after years of working with virtual teams, I still face daily challenges in managing it and having an open mind is just a start.  The real question is:  How can you make your process work?

    When Real-Time Performance Feedback Counts

    If you’re working with people across different culture, you know that having a global mindset is the key to making everyone work seamlessly together.  Having a common language is not really enough.  You have to combine communication tools with real-time feedback to your team so they can learn and improve faster.  Most often, feedback come in a little too late and people end up with disagreements.  To engage your virtual workers, you have to give constant feedback that will encourage good habits and practices.  Thanks to online conferencing tools and social networks, this is not an impossible task.  I’m using Yammer to share constant updates with my team, to keep a friendly and healthy discussion, or when I need to implement a quick change.  Think of it as having your own knights-of-the-round-table in a click.  Slipping out a note of appreciation can work wonders too and yet, how many of us have sent a thank you note lately?  Call it your digital pat on the back and it’s time-tested to boost your workers’ morale, no matter how far they are.

    Keeping the “I” in Agile

    I.. for innovation, that is!  Just how can you mix quality time with real-time connectivity?  And if you can, will you create a synergy that will help bring you closer to your goals?  Creating a real-time feedback loop is a serious game that demands business agility, where people can excel at their skills.  Still, there are some who say that the Agile process is anti-innovation.  This can be true though if your user stories are not based on real scenarios that your business face.  The problem with online collaboration comes in when there are more than two users/players in the scene and most often, too much time is wasted on talking about things that are not related to the issue at hand.  To learn faster and come up with effective solutions of getting things done will require not only abstract thinking in a technological perspective, but innovative minds as well.  If you are transparent with your team about your plans and processes, you open the door to making better decisions for your business.

    Revamping Your Business Process Management

    With globalization, the demand to accelerate business processes to come up with real-time solutions is becoming a necessity.  In the name of growing a brand’s recognition and business profit, organizations will have to learn how to synergize by getting rid of information anxiety and empowering their team at all levels.  It will all come down to managing IT, the people.. and maximizing business value where tech is concerned.  These days, the fast will beat big and everyone will be forced to innovate.  Doing business in real time may simply mean alignment of strategies and performance feedback from day-to-day… and responding quickly to change.

    Are you ready to empower your team?