Working in a Learning Environment – and a Shout Out to Spinal Tap

By | BlueFletch Culture & News

Finding the right workplace setting for yourself is entirely subjective. There’s no doubt that certain career paths are better than others, but if you’re not personally in a position to capitalize on what is before you, then opportunity is wasted.

What have I found that works for me?

David St. Hubbins and Nigel Tufnel may have put it best – “It’s such a fine line between stupid and clever.”

While this might not sound applicable to the world of company culture, all of us have worked in situations where the knife’s edge of this line is traveled repeatedly.

At various times in my past I’ve worked at organizations where the leaders had a 3-strike policy on typos, claimed (in all seriousness) that they could outbox Mike Tyson in his prime, and staged impromptu spelling bees during work hours.

I’d like to think the intention behind all of these actions came from a good place – attention to detail, encouragement, self-discipline and fun. But it was never really made clear. Guiding principles and core purpose can’t be derived from spelling or eating donuts for cash (something I’ve also witnessed).

The manner in which these policies or statements manifested themselves in culture didn’t really do much to foster a culture of substance or put a unified direction on an approach to how its employees should strive to improve or work the greater good of the organization.

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Making Product Usability a Priority

By | Enterprise Mobility, Thought Leadership

Many enterprise organizations are operating on systems that were created decades ago. They know they need to update, but it’s just not that simple:

Lingering memories of over budget or poorly planned technology migrations make updating seem more daunting than it should be, and the result is employees languishing in the doldrums.

All of us have witnessed technologies fail in the workplace. Convoluted screen share or conferencing tools, bizarre ordering or inventory software, or just plain old, uncool technology that is frustrating to use.

How many of us have simply used our cell phones rather than deal with the jumble of wires in the middle of the conference table?

What if a significant portion of your workforce is obligated to use unusable tech to complete critical pieces of their tasks? They’re not going to be excited about interacting with it, and a negative attitude makes for subpar performance.

Too often the budgets and processes for IT infrastructure are not aligned to the business objectives and employee needs. Just because the IT department knows a system well doesn’t mean that the teams who use it daily like it or understand it. Read More

Coming to Terms with Introspection

By | Ideas For Your Business

I have a confession. I am a convert to the employee evaluation. I wasn’t even open to the idea of them.

My initial (misguided) mindset was that I didn’t particularly look forward to sitting in a room with one or more people who took turns telling me about my shortcomings. I mean, don’t we have enough neuroses already?

I was at organizations that utilized poorly realized, infrequent, or the non-existent “real-time” evaluation.

At BlueFletch we have a working solution in place. I’m not saying we’re perfect. Far from it. But by becoming involved in regular, constructive reviews as both a participant and facilitator, my opinion has changed. With a proper structure in place reviews are a valuable asset to the company and its people.

The employee evaluation on its face solves simple needs. It allows both the employed and employer a chance to openly talk about their respective views, progress and goals.

It’s not rocket science, but that doesn’t mean it takes care of itself. Why can they be so hard for organizations to conduct them regularly and constructively, and how can that be fixed?

Prioritize

The first thing to get kicked to the curb in any business where people are billed out based on the time they spend on work product is the non-billable. Put 2 or 3 people in a room for 30 to 60 minutes and multiply that by the number of employees in an organization, and the time spent on evaluations can be enough to keep some from even attempting it.

But maybe you’re not thinking about it right. What if spending 30 to 60 minutes made your company more productive, insightful and a better place to work? Consider that versus trying to overcome 25% churn in your employees since the last quarter.

High costs are relative.

employee review, enterprise mobile app development atlanta

Guide

Providing a framework for people to self-evaluate allows for a much less daunting process. At the beginning of the year lay out themes by which everyone in the company can measure him/herself. The range can be broad (self improvement, business writing, attention to detail, etc), but it gives people a starting point.

You also get an opportunity to learn how your team members think. You’ll be pleasantly surprised when you ask a group of sharp folks to focus on specific intention for review.

Form(alize)

Much like the thematic guide, literally provide your team with a form to use. Just because we’re sitting in a room talking about ourselves doesn’t mean we can’t still be consultants and give people something concrete to complete.

Ask everyone to submit the form to their reviewers 24 hours before the meeting.  

employee evaluation, enterprise mobile app development atlanta

Measure

When reviewing employees regularly, give them goals against which to measure success. As an example – ask them to self-identify 3 to 5 items to work on until the next review.

This gives a natural segue into check-ins throughout the interim period between reviews and also allows employees to gauge their improvement velocity.

Push

Oftentime people don’t know they have the freedom to do things like attend training seminars or acquire new products without prodding from the company.

Make sure that they are aware of this and set it as an expectation to be discussed during the reviews.

These building blocks take initiative to put in place and maintain, but the immediate and long term effects will prove positive.



The Search for the Best Path

By | Ideas For Your Business

It’s a given that every client engagement is going to differ, in some ways, from what was originally envisioned or scoped.

Nearly everyone who works in professional services for even a short while knows this. A big part of the service you provide comes by making sure that the risks are mitigated and a successful outcome is the end result.

Since this reality is no secret, it can’t really be used as an excuse for not getting things done.

Rather than allowing less than perfect elements of a project to get in the way, make sure you empower yourself, your team and your client to continue moving forward no matter what.

backwards

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