Every Day is International Women's Day at GreenOrbit

Posted by Kath McNiff on Mar 8, 2019 7:40:00 AM

Here at GreenOrbit, we use Jira (project tracking software by Atlassian) to schedule our tasks and track our work.

This morning, as I waited for the caffeine to kick in, I set about arranging the tasks on my board in aesthetically pleasing ways - left, right, up, down - until one item broke through my procrastinatory haze.

"Write blog post for International Women's Day"

It caught my attention because it's a pleasant departure from the tech-focused material I usually write. But, I have to admit, it scared me a little too.

Although I've been a woman for decades now, I haven't given International Women's Day much thought. Shameful but true.

Caught up in the busyness of life - working, parenting, juggling - I've never really stopped to consider what the day meant.  

Until now.

Towards a Gender-Balanced World

The theme for this year's International Women's Day is #balanceforbetter.

As I look around the office, I see this in action everywhere - amazing women spanning the spectrum of age, culture, experience and expertise.

There's Sai Chalermsan - a genius designer who loves to sing. Taryn Korman, a campaign manager who paints masterpieces in her spare time. Nina Wan, a tech wizard and web developer who loves rabbits.

All great women - led by the switched-on Terri McKinnon, who manages young kids (and us) without ever dropping a ball.

TarynandSai 1

Across the room, I see Lesley Maea - intranet guru and accomplished pianist. She's sitting beside Jasmine Clapton an amazingly knowledgeable project expert and Carmen Duncan, a problem-solving Support Analyst.

We're a diverse group of women but we love working together. We celebrate our differences, take turns at mentoring and being mentored, collaborate constantly and - best of all - we laugh (and eat) whenever possible.

women at greenorbit

I'm starting to realize that the meaning of International Women's Day is playing out in my workplace, before my very eyes.

I decide to go deeper.

Celebrating Women-in-Tech

Women at GreenOrbit make up close to 40% of our total workforce. Most of us are in tech or tech-adjacent roles - so it makes sense to consider International Women's Day through this lens.

Only 14% of all CTO positions in tech companies belong to women - that makes our own CTO, Josie Mangano, something of a unicorn.

As ambassador to women in mathematical sciences at ASMIJosie is keenly aware of the forces at play. 

"You won't be what you can't see. We need to tell young girls about the opportunities in tech and show them that the tech space is broad and women can play a major part in it."

Josie leads a global team of technology experts, many of whom are women. I decide to draw on their experience and wisdom - asking them how we can encourage more women to choose careers in technology.

Hey Girls - Tech is Fun!

Anuradha Sardesai, a Product Owner in our Pune office, was intrigued by the infinite universe as a child - she loved solving puzzles and tricky mathematical problems.

Anurada Casual

Anuradha believes young girls need role models who can teach them to appreciate technology - and who can downplay the perceived complexity. We need to show girls that tech can be a rewarding (and cool!) career.

Ketaki Kulkarni takes a similar view - suggesting that initiatives like, Teaching Girls to Code and encouraging girls to study STEM subjects, can help us get more women into technology.

As a young girl in high school, Ketaki was fascinated by the ways technology could change the world. She sees gender diversity as crucial to a company's success.

Ketaki

Back in our Melbourne office, Sarah Reynolds loves combining the technical with the creative in her role as Lead UX Specialist. She'd like to see more information being given to young girls so they can see what it means to work in tech and the possibilities that exist.

Like Sarah, Andrea Boundy (who leads the UX team) is passionate about demonstrating how much fun tech can be:

"Tech still has this image of the nerdy guy who sits and plays with computers, but really tech is about being on the bleeding edge of what’s coming and what’s new and what’s possible. Plus it’s really creative – you get to MAKE things".

AndreaandSheena

Our Lead Software QA Engineer, Sheena Shoby, believes that more women would work in tech if they could see that it offers great work/life balance - including flexible hours and work at home options.

We're incredibly proud of these inspiring women who are kicking goals and paving the way for young girls to follow. 

This year's International Women's Day is about forging a more gender-balanced world - and these women are embodying that goal every day. 

Making Life Easier

As women, we're especially attuned to the ways GreenOrbit can make life easier for our sisters-in-arms:

  • Giving them access to the tools they need, no matter when or where they need them.

  • Automating the boring admin so they can focus on people, innovation and success.

  • Making it easy for them to connect, share ideas and support each other - having fun along the way.

Cracks in the Glass Ceiling

As far as the workplace goes, it's fair to say I've been around. 

I know that women have come a long way - particularly in tech. Unfortunately, while climbing the male-dominated ladder, we haven't always been kind to each other. But times are changing.

The glass ceiling may not be broken yet - but the cracks are definitely showing.

I get it now. This day isn't an abstract concept celebrating a lofty idea. It's about real women who are out there getting work done and making things happen. Women who are supporting each other every step of the way.

So from all of us at GreenOrbit - Happy International Women's Day!

 

 

Topics: team culture, workforce, company intranet, international women's day

Top 5 Digital Workplace Challenges in 2019

Posted by Kath McNiff on Mar 1, 2019 1:00:00 PM

 

It's official. The conversation around Digital Workplace has gone mainstream.

No longer the secret realm of enterprise IT departments and power-house technology vendors - 'digital workplace' as a Utopian ideal and practical reality is resounding through the halls of government, retail, manufacturing, hospitality, education and healthcare.

  • In Singapore, the SkillsFuture program is training thousands of regular people to adapt to the changing digital workplace - introducing participants to the potential of technology.

  • The Estonian government has reinvented itself as a digital workplace platform - where 99% of the public services are available online 24/7 and where 30% of Estonians use i-Voting - saving 800 years of bureaucratic working time.

  • Hotels in the U.S. who are struggling to attract and retain their traditional teen workforce are pinning their hopes on interactive and engaging digital workplace tools. 

Digital transformation is not new - and organizations across all kinds of verticals have been struggling for a decade to get it right. What is new - is that 'every day people' have joined the conversation.

The general population is becoming increasingly tech-savvy and, quite frankly, the digital natives are getting restless.

blur-businesswoman-caucasian-941555

Companies know they need to adapt - and adapt quickly if they want to win the war on talent, reduce time to market, and innovate their way into a secure future.

So what's holding them back? Why does an effective and seamless digital workplace seem so slippery and elusive?

1. Dealing with Legacy Applications

The transition to a streamlined digital workplace is especially difficult for large enterprises invested in complex technology stacks and legacy applications.

Gartner predicts that from 2018 to 2020, organizations will have spent three times as much on modernizing their legacy applications as they have on digital transformation. Doesn't seem like money well spent.

Despite being out of step with their increasingly mobile and tech-literate workforce, many organizations continue to upgrade and renew antiquated platforms - pushing out key apps on desktop computers. 

Why? Because it's hard to connect siloed systems and untangle old technology - but it's even harder to change entrenched processes and stubborn mind-sets.

tracy-thomas-56810-unsplash

Current debate suggests that CIOs can lead the charge by taking a broader view - focusing on the value IT can deliver to the business. Not as technology evangelists, but as champions of productivity, innovation and agile processes.

To do this, they need a clear data-driven picture of what's happening on the ground - what do employees expect and what tools do they need to get work done?

What about shadow IT - the apps that employees bring in through the back door to get work done?  It's up to organizations to figure out how to give users what they need in a more secure and compliant way.  

2. Moving to Cloud

The phenomenal rise of mobile is forcing many organizations to soften their anti-cloud stance. 

A Cloud Vision Survey, conducted by LogicMonitor, reports that 83% of enterprise workload will be on the cloud by 2020 - with 41% of the workload running on public cloud platforms.

Despite this trend, many organizations remain cloud-shy.

Reliability and data security are often cited as top concerns - and it's easy to understand why. Data breaches and cyber attacks feed the media machine and most CIOs want to avoid making those kinds of headlines.

The reality is that large-scale cloud providers like AWS can provide a more reliable and secure infrastructure than could ever be achieved in-house.

As far as cloud-based intranets are concerned - it's important that organizations understand the security measures that vendors have in place.

The questions to ask include:

  • Who is the cloud provider? Amazon (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google are the main players.

  • Can I unify authentication processes across business applications?

  • Can users have a single sign-on across devices via a recognized standard (like SAML or OAuth)?

  • Does the platform offer multi-tiered, permission-based security?

Moving to the cloud makes organizations more nimble because they can side-step the cost and time required to maintain complex systems. What's more, backups and viruses become someone else's problem.

If worries about data security are keeping you from realizing the potential of a cloud-based digital workplace - download this eBook for a deeper dive:

email-cta-1

3. Getting Senior Executive Buy-in

Workplace technology specialists can get all the elements right - finding out what users need, sourcing the best solutions, taking an agile approach - but if senior leaders can't see the value or are distracted by the cost, then the outlook for success is grim.

According to the 2018 Digital Transformation Index, 35% of companies see the CEO as their main obstacle to digital transformation.

This concept of senior executive buy-in was a common thread running through many of the presentations at the recent Digital Workplace Summit in Melbourne.

Speaking from hard-won experience, Jen Goeldner from Transurban explained the importance of "setting senior leader expectations" at the get go. Without management buy-in and support, the road to a successful digital workplace can be a bumpy one - it may even lead to a dead end.

In a similar vein, Rebecca Jackson from NextDC stressed the importance of getting stakeholders on board early in the process - and avoiding the 'big bang' approach. 

Bringing departmental silos together and communicating the value of a seamless digital workplace are keys to success - they can't be overlooked in the rush to implement the latest and greatest technology.

4. Driving Adoption

Closely aligned to challenge number 3, is the concept of digital workplace adoption. Because, let's face it - there's nothing worse than throwing a party where nobody comes.

delaney-dawson-130928-unsplash

In an ideal world, your employees are chomping at the bit - waiting for the ultimate digital workplace to solve their productivity, collaboration and communication issues.

But the reality rarely measures up for a number of reasons: 

  • Resistance to change - if it's not clear how the new platform will make life easier or if the learning curve is too steep, employees will be reluctant joiners.

  • 'New Tool' fatigue - knowledge workers are in application and information overload. New solutions need to be easy-to-use and as frictionless as possible.

  • Poor communication - deployment of the new digital workplace must be underpinned by clear, engaging and consistent comms.

  • Lack of adoption strategy - planning cannot stop at roll-out. An adoption strategy, developed with input from stakeholders across the business, will keep everyone moving forward.

  • No clear business case - technologies fail to gain traction when users don't actually need them. Reduce the risk by taking a human-centered approach to digital workplace planning and design.

5. Measuring and adjusting

A digital workplace is not a set-and-forget proposition - it's a long-term commitment that needs to be monitored, measured and improved.

Metrics and key performance indicators should be part of the overall digital workplace strategy - ensuring that the business understands how users are responding; including which elements are working and which are not. Without this information, it's impossible to calculate or communicate digital workplace ROI.

Usage metrics are a good place to start. Monitoring page visits, devices used, average time spent, bounce rates and locations can give organizations a quantitative view of uptake. However, these measures don't tell the whole story.

arie-wubben-1383803-unsplash

To track user satisfaction and get a feel for what people are thinking, organizations need to run regular surveys, conduct qualitative interviews or take an ethnographic approach by observing users as they work.

Gathering data is well and good but acting on it is the challenge. Whose job is it? How does it feed into the digital workplace roadmap? Taking an agile and iterative approach, with frequent stakeholder touchpoints, can help.

After all, the digital workplace is a journey, not a destination.  

Do any of these challenges resonate with you? We'd love to hear your digital workplace story in the comments below.

 email-cta-1 

Topics: digital workplace, digital transformation, company intranet

Digital Workplace Summit 2019: Key Takeaways

Posted by Taryn Korman on Feb 22, 2019 4:46:26 PM

Last Wednesday, a team from GreenOrbit attended the first day of the Digital Workplace Summit - a great event at Maia, Docklands in Melbourne.

Intro Conference

We were lucky enough to attend the conference but even more thrilled to be a sponsor!

What Did it Cover?

The Digital Workplace Summit was a two-day conference with two tailored streams running simultaneously. The digital workplace stream focused on:

  • Discussing the core challenges in achieving a flexible and collaborative digital workplace 

  • Implementing a technology strategy to support the future of a digital workplace

Who Was There?

The session drew 129 attendees who were a mix of IT professionals in roles such as:

  • Heads of Digital Workplace

  • Digital Experience Managers

  • Enterprise Technology Specialists

  • Chief Architects

All looking to undergo a broader digital transformation in their organisation.

Throughout the event we heard engaging talks from leaders of top organisations such as NAB, ANZ Bank, Coles, Monash University, Atlassian, SpaceOS, Tabcorp, NextDC, Transurban and REA Group on key insights, experience and their success stories on topics ranging from:

  • Business cases for investment

  • Improving UX through technology

  • Aligning technology, people and place

  • Collaboration tools and platforms

  • Driving operational efficiency through technology

  • Future of work

Stand Out Session

A highlight of the conference was hearing from key note speaker Miranda Kovacic, Domain Lead, Employee Experience ANZ Bank.

Miranda emphasised how important it is to embed employee experience into the heart of workplace technology strategy.

She explained how ANZ Bank put adaptability, curiosity, learning and customer centricity at the core of their initiatives and take a human centred design approach.

miranda kovacic 1

Remote Work Round Table

Our own CTO, Josie Mangano, ran a round table discussion backed up by Lesley Maea, Director of Customer Success.

The topic was ‘Using technology to engage a distributed workforce - the challenges of remote and mobile workers’.

Josie encouraged attendees to open up about the obstacles they have trying to engage their remote workers. Surprisingly, some organisations are still struggling to put their HR documents and leave requests online. It seems so simple but this is still a real issue for many companies.

Josie shared tips and solutions that the attendees could implement in their own digital workplaces. We got so much out of this session - stories about what happens on the ground from a range of user perspectives. Insights that help us to understand how work is changing and the ways GreenOrbit can help.round table

Networking Opportunities

The morning session was broken up by getting all attendees and speakers to participate in an exercise called Speed Networking - similar to speed dating without the awkwardness!

It was an effective way to break the ice, network and to understand what people wanted to get out of the conference.

Speed Networking 2

Key Takeaways

The biggest takeaway from the conference was learning what hurdles people and organisations are still facing with their digital transformation. The common trends across the board are:

  • Engaging a mobile workforce

  • Getting senior buy in, changing mindsets and improving adoption of technology

  • Measuring the ROI and the success of a digital workplace

  • Moving to the cloud – implementation and security

This was such an engaging and informative conference.

It was inspiring to get a glimpse into how the boldest and brightest are designing and implementating amazing digital workplaces. 

I highly recommend you get yourself to the next Digital Workplace Summit by ForeFront events  - particularly if you want to keep pace with the ever-evolving future of work!

 

Topics: digital workplace, company intranet

The Top 15 Digital Workplace Conferences for 2019

Posted by Kath McNiff on Feb 5, 2019 10:34:40 AM

 

If the calendar of upcoming conferences is anything to go by - excitement around the #futureofwork is reaching fever pitch.

HR, Comms, and Digital Workplace professionals from all over the world are joining forces in an attempt to understand, leverage and shape the technologies and processes driving workplace transformation.

 

So - get out your calendar, book your flights and join them!

As well as witnessing thought leaders in action, you may get a chance to hob-nob with celebrity keynoters like Oprah, Martha Stewart and Garry Kasparov.

These 15 conferences from around the globe will challenge you, inspire you and drag you (kicking and screaming?) into the new world of work.

ATD TechKnowledge

WHEN: Feb 6-8

WHERE: West Palm Beach, Florida

HASHTAG: #ATDTK

atdtk

TechKnowledge is a learning technologies conference for talent development professionals that delivers practical how-to’s, advanced strategy and solutions, and everything in between. 

Keynote Speakers

  • Dean Kamen - inventor of the Segway Human Transporter

  • Shaili Chopra- Founder of SheThePeople TV and Award-Winning Journalist

  • Ben Nemtin - Number 1 New York Times Bestselling Author, Star of MTV's The Buried Life

Digital Workplace Summit

WHEN: Feb 13

WHERE: Melbourne, Australia

HASHTAG: #digitalworkplace19

ForeFront-DW-Summit

The Digital Workplace Summit gathers leaders of Digital Workplace and Employee Experience to explore the latest thinking around collaboration, UX, technology and the future of work. 

Keynote speakers include:

Digital Workplace 24 

WHEN: Feb 26-27

WHERE: Online

HASHTAG: #DW24

DW24

Digital Workplace 24 is a unique digital workplace insight event, broadcasting from around the world over 24 hours. Hosts from Europe, North America and Asia Pacific take you live into the digital workplaces of the world’s leading organizations, with live tours, demos and guest interviews (including one with US presidential Candidate fo 2020, Andrew Yang)

Studio Guests:

Ragan Internal Comms and Culture

WHEN: March 6-8

WHERE: Chicago

HASHTAG: #RaganInternalComms

ragan2019

This conference focuses on how to keep employees engaged and build a culture that withstands any upheaval. It looks at ways to revamp outdated channels, break into new platforms, improve executive communications and demonstrate ROI.

Keynote Speakers

  • Theresa Ludvigson - Senior director, global onboarding Salesforce

  • Ally Bunin - Vice president, employee engagement Brighton Health Plan Solutions

Intra.NET Reloaded

WHEN: April 04 – 05

WHERE: Boston

intranetreloaded

Intra.NET Reloaded Boston provides organizations with insights into new developments in the digital workplace landscape and covers strategic and technical aspects of employee communication, as well as change management strategies.

Keynote Speakers:

  • Yuri Aguiar - Director of Innovation and Transformation Ogilvy Group

  • Brooke Buchanan - Former SVP of Communications and Government Affairs, Whole Foods Market

ATD International Conference  

WHEN: May 19-22

WHERE: Washington, D.C.

HASHTAG: #ATD2019

ATD2019

The ATD International Conference & Exposition is the largest event for talent development professionals worldwide.

It focuses on the knowledge, strategies, and solutions organizations need to effectively attract, develop, and retain top talent. 

Keynote Speakers

Gartner Digital Workplace Summit

WHEN: 29-30 May

WHERE: Orlando, Florida

gartner

A conference focused on the technologies people use to get work done in today’s modern work environment.

Featured Speakers:

  • Matt Cain - Vice President Gartner

  • Jeffrey Mann - Research Vice President for collaboration and social software at Gartner Research.

  • Helen Poitevin - Research Director with a focus on HCM technologies

2019 IABC World Conference

WHEN: 9-12 June

WHERE: Vancouver

HASHTAG: #IABC19

IABC

The 2019 International Association of Business Communicators World Conference explores challenges and opportunities facing the communication profession. The event draws over 1300 attendees from around the world.

Keynote Speakers

Festival of Work

WHEN: 12-13 June

WHERE: Olympia London

HASHTAG: #festivalofwork

CIPD

The CIPD Festival of Work brings together business leaders, technologists, people professionals and learning and development experts to explore, debate and celebrate why the future of work is human after all.

It explores ways of leading, harnessing technology and equipping employees with the skills to succeed in the future of work.

Keynote Speakers

  • Garry Kasparov - Former World Chess Champion, Chair of the Human Rights Foundation, Best-Selling Author

  • Neil Harbisson - World’s first Cyborg Artist and Co-founder of the Cyborg Foundation

Enterprise Digital Workplace Summit

WHEN: 17 June

WHERE: The British Academy, London

Enterprise Digital Workplace Summit

Hosted at the British Academy in London, the Enterprise Digital Workplace Summit is a European event which brings together professionals to discuss the future of work with the digital workplace. The summit includes keynotes, lessons learned, case studies and workshops.

Keynote Speakers

Digital Workplace Experience – DWX 2019

WHEN: 17–19 June

WHERE: Chicago, USA

HASHTAG: #DW2019

Digital Workplace Experience Conference

Digital Workplace Experience (DWX) is an interactive event for the global community of intranet and digital workplace professionals that is a collaboration between Digital Workplace Group and SMG/CMSWire.

Discover how organizations like NASA, H&R Block, The Scottish Government, Walmart and Southwest Airlines run their digital workplaces.

Keynote Speakers:

SHRM19 Annual Conference and Exposition

WHEN: 23-26 June

WHERE: Las Vegas

HASHTAG: #SHRM2019

SHRM

This year's Society for Human Resource Managers Conference focuses on creating better workplaces. It delves into technology, innovation and the changing landscape of work. 

Keynote Speakers 

  • Blake Mycoskie - Founder and Chief Shoe Giver, TOMS

  • Vineet Nayar - Founder Chairman of Sampark Foundation

  • Brené Brown - Author and Researcher, University of Houston

  • Martha Stewart - Emmy Award-Winning Television Show Host, Entrepreneur, Bestselling Author

Digital Employee Experience (DEX) 2019

WHEN: 18-20 September

WHERE: Sydney, Australia

HASHTAG: #DEX2019

DEX

Digital employee experience (#DEX) considers every touchpoint between staff and their employer. This conference brings together intranet teams, digital teams, internal comms, IT and HR to explore what great DEX looks like.

 

HR Technology Conference and Exposition

WHEN: 1-4 October

WHERE: Las Vegas

HASHTAG: #HRTechConf

hrtech

A conference focused on the HR technology market - with this year's theme being Women in Technology.  It looks at the ways HR and IT executives can leverage technology and secure their pivotal roles in overall company success.

Keynote Speakers:

Boye 2019

WHEN: Nov 4- 7

WHERE: Aarhus, Denmark

HASHTAG: #boye2019

Boye19

This digital leadership conference is a blend of keynotes, workshops, sprints, customer stories and analyst talks. 

Speakers:

 

 

Topics: digital workplace, workplace, conference

The 5 Enemies of Effective Workplace Collaboration

Posted by Kath McNiff on Jan 23, 2019 5:28:39 PM

Collaboration is king in the new world of work.

Disruptors like Uber and Airbnb and have shown that small teams of diverse thinkers are capable of toppling industries and building breakthrough products that change the world.

With the #futureofwork on our doorstep, collaboration has become more important than ever - it's the secret sauce of innovation and is vital for business survival and success.  

As Jason Fox (wizard rogue and author of How to Lead Quest) says:

"To find futures, we need to venture into the angst of uncertainty and systematically and collectively use our imagination to explore what's possible."

But collaborating (especially amidst uncertainty) is not as easy as it sounds and organizations can struggle to get it right.

For specific ideas on creating a space for collaboration, you might want to check out our White Paper:

Get-Your-Team-Going_Call-To-Action-1For now, let's review a few of the barriers that get in the way of collaboration and look at ways of jumping them.

Lack of training

Businesses build break-out rooms and setup team messaging tools in the hope that collaboration will just happen.

But like any other skill, collaboration requires training - tailored to a company's unique challenges and goals.

To collaborate effectively, teams need to understand how to

  • Actively listen

  • Have challenging conversations

  • Use collaboration tools

  • Develop effective partnerships

  • Manage accountability

HR leaders can build a truly collaborative workplace by helping people to understand the art (and science) of collaboration - including how it plays into everyday processes and broader business goals.

5-enemies-of-collaboration-training-5

Those damn Silos

A recent survey from My Customer.com, reveals that 40 percent of employees feel unsupported by their colleagues because "different departments have their own agendas."

When departments hoard information and focus on their own goals, the business at large misses out on the convergence of perspectives and potential improvements that a more collaborative approach would provide.

In her book The Innovation Formula, Dr. Amantha Imber shares a funny yet telling anecdote about a lingerie company where "bras didn't talk to panties"  - two ridiculously siloed departments that led to mismatched underwear and significant customer frustration. 

One of the problems is that different departments tend to favor different tools and processes - so getting on the same page in a digital sense can prove difficult. This is where a central platform for communication, cooperation, and coordination can help to break down the silos and bridge the information gaps - and voila, matching undies! 

Senior leaders need to bring departments together regularly - to set complementary agendas, share challenges and reap the benefits of cross-pollination. 

5-enemies-of-collaboration-silos 3

Fragmented Tools

Collaboration tools are hot right now - and they'll stay hot according to a recent report via Computer World.

 "...collaboration software has become an increasingly integral part of how work is both organized and carried out".

But the sheer volume of disparate tools can defeat the very purpose they're intended to serve.

Email, Skype, Slack, comments in Word docs and PDFs - with so many conversations going on all over the place, it can be hard to keep track of collaborative efforts.

The proliferation of collaboration platforms shows no signs of slowing down so the challenge will be to consolidate and find a simpler, more holistic solution -  one that engages workers, organizes collective knowledge and ignites the collaborative spark - or as the recent research from Deloitte suggests:

"HR organizations must work with IT to bring their expertise in team management, goal-setting, and employee development to help make using the new wave of connectivity tools productive, simple, and engaging."

5-enemies-of-collaboration-holistic 5

The 'T' Word

According to PWC's Global CEO Survey, 50% of CEOs worldwide consider a lack of trust to be a major threat to their organizational growth.

Trust is at the heart of every great collaboration - it starts at the top of an organization and filters down.

It practical terms, it means that people can depend on each other to:

  • Follow through and do what they say they will do

  • Put skin in the game (share the risks and rewards)

  • Acknowledge good work

  • Compromise where needed

  • Show vulnerability

  • Empathize

  • Share opinions without fear of ridicule, reprisal or idea-theft

  • Overcome personal biases and default ways of thinking

Research has shown that people working in trust-based cultures are 60% more likely to enjoy their jobs and 70% more aligned with their companies' purpose - the perfect storm for collaboration and innovation.

5-enemies-of-collaboration-trust 6

The Other 'T' Word

Collaboration? Who's got time for that?

Time is precious and there's so much work to do. Dr Jason Fox calls this relentless busyness "the curse of efficiency" and goes on to explain how it crowds out time for collaboration, innovation, and good strategic development.

Operational efficiency is crucial to business success but it doesn't drive change or push the boundaries.

So, why do we continue to focus on it? Because we're good at it, because it feels comfortable and because it's less frightening than tackling the big problems or seeking new horizons.

Organizations can free up time for collaboration by automating the busy work - using their intranet for online forms, workflows and tick-the-box compliance requirements. 

To carve out time for intentional collaboration (instead of just hoping it will happen in an ad-hoc or serendipitous way) organizations can set particular days of the week as 'Collaboration Days' - where people plan to be in the office for team meetings and brainstorming sessions.

Or, like Atlassian, they could run regular ShipIt Days where teams can drop what they’re doing and collaborate to "make something awesome.”

Get Collaboration Going

From building an International Space Station to mapping the Human Genome or composing Hey Jude - collaboration is key to our greatest leaps forward.

The same is true for your business.

For a deeper dive into the challenges of collaboration and how your intranet can help, download our White Paper. 

 Get-Your-Team-Going_Call-To-Action-1

 

Topics: Collaboration, esn, innovation, company intranet

Summer holidays, kids and work: The great juggling act of the modern parent

Posted by Terri McKinnon on Jan 14, 2019 12:29:00 PM

The New Year’s bell has now tolled and I’ve been back at work for well over a week now. The holiday break was welcomed, but it is now all hands on deck and the workload certainly didn't get the memo that it's summer, and to settle the pace. Not to mention, the kids!

parent-son-work-83405368-small

For the best part of six weeks, Australian school children are on summer break, and parents need to accommodate the minding of them during this time, usually a mix of leave taken by each parent to balance the care, play dates at friend’s houses, calling in the grandparents to help, or sending them off to camps and holiday programs.

Each of these options have been utilized by me to keep my children occupied and as a remote worker, the juggle of keeping them entertained whilst working becomes a blurred line in work/life balance.

I feel very fortunate, that GreenOrbit is a flexible workplace allowing employees to work remotely and flexibly as required. Recognizing that many of my friends, due to their occupations, do not always have the same options.

Summer holidays for me means early morning starts at 6am where I check in with projects that are happening in the US and keep in contact with the day-to-day there. As I work remotely, it's the company intranet which is my lifeline to the files and information that I need to get work done.

My children will rise and help themselves to breakfast popping their heads into my office to say good morning - then proceed to binge on every possible streaming service for the few hours, as I tell myself that their brains won't turn to mush, and I continue to work.

By mid-morning we discuss the plans that they want to do, riding bikes to friends’ houses, or visiting grandparents who live close by. They enjoy having a little independence to go do their exploring without my watchful eye. No helicopter parenting here.

By lunchtime, my work moves poolside and with the laptop setup, any number of friends could be at our house to enjoy the water.

pool-2

In starting early, I have the ability to finish earlier and enjoy some quality time with them and they appreciate that I’m not always working.

This would not be possible without the technology to support my working environment and an intranet that provides the communication and collaboration facilities to keep in contact with colleagues and continue to work.

My apologies to those that don’t have the ability to access this flexibility. I’m just very grateful that this is an option in my workplace.

What tips do you have for working at home while your kids are on holidays? I'd love to hear...

Topics: digital workplace, organising, mobile intranet, wellbeing, workplace, communication tools, company intranet

The Future of Work - Popular Posts and Workplace Trends

Posted by Kath McNiff on Dec 23, 2018 10:01:00 AM

 Ok, 2018 happened. And what a year it was!

Royal weddings, under-water cave rescues, Zuckerberg apologies, and the unstoppable tide of workplace transformation. Royal-wedding-king-s-church-international-671140-unsplash

Here, at GreenOrbit, we've had the most extraordinary twelve months. 

We spent it refocusing on what it takes to get work going - on what it takes to drive ultimate collaboration and productivity in the new world of work.

But it looks like we're not the only ones interested in how work is changing.

Our top 5 most popular blog posts tell the story - they're  like breadcrumbs leading the way to what preoccupied readers in 2018.

BLOG POST #1

7 Habits HR Needs to Break

Intended as a round-up of the 2018 AHRI National Convention - this post asks HR to take a long hard look in the mirror and do some honest self-appraising.

Awkward.

banner-jason-fox-AHRI-2018

Speakers across the conference called on HR to stop:

  • Age stereotyping and using generational labels like 'millennials' and 'baby boomers' - Lynda Gratton pointed out that people are more than just their age.

  • HR-splaining - using jargon in contracts, policies and other types of communication.

  • Conforming to the status quo - don't continue doing what got you here because 'it won't get you there'. Herminia Ibarra called on HR to shake things up and innovate.

  • Getting tied up in busy work - Dr. Jason Fox said we should look for ways streamline and automate 'administrivia'.

  • Sitting in your ivory tower - Fiona Michel implored us to get out and see what work is really like for people on the ground.

BLOG POST #2

Employee Engagement: The Ultimate Crash Course

Employee engagement continued to be a hot topic in 2018 - this post aggregates all the amazing information out there into a digestible crash course.

banner-employee-engagement

The crash course includes 10 lessons:

  1. A definition of 'employee engagement' - including what it means to senior executives, managers, and individuals.

  2. How employee engagement differs from 'job satisfaction' or the broader concept of 'employee experience'.

  3. Reasons why employee engagement has become such a hot topic - fears of disruption, challenges of a blended workforce, sobering statistics and a changing economic landscape. 

  4. Who is in charge of employee engagement - senior execs, HR leaders, internal comms and ultimately, all of us.

  5. The neuroscience behind engagement including an exploration of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Michael Csikszentmihalyi's concept of Flow and Daniel Pink's work on human motivation.

  6. Practical strategies for getting started with employee engagement - think onboarding, surveys, mentors and cohesive digital workspaces.

  7. A round-up of the companies who are winning at employee engagement - based on the Glassdoor's top places to work in 2018.

  8. The risks of ignoring employee engagement (hint: bad for productivity and overall business outcomes).

  9. Which tools are available to support and drive employee engagement  - everything from pulse surveys to data analysis tools and digital workplace solutions.

  10. The leaders and influencers in the employee engagement space - and a handy list of hashtags to follow (#FutureofWork, #hrtech, #worktrends...)

BLOG POST #3

Welcome to GreenOrbit

This post explained our interstellar journey from Intranet DASHBOARD to GreenOrbit.

Rebrand-in-action

The post is a behind-the-scenes look at:

  • Our new direction: a renewed focus of what employees need to get work going. 

  • Our new name: a name that reflects our adventurous spirit (orbit) and our down-to-earth approach (green)

  • Our new look: bold and decisive with images of people looking outward to a bright future - embraced by swirling orbits of neon green.

  • Our expanding global footprint with offices across North America, Europe, Australia, India, and Asia.

BLOG POST #4

Centralizing communications: Thou shalt not have broadcast email

banner-shall-not-to-broadcast-email-article

Email fatigue is real and this post struck a chord with our readers.

It explains how the Financial Services organization, VicSuper redirected information and knowledge away from bloated inboxes and into GreenOrbit's centralized platform.

Pushing collaboration away from email and into GreenOrbit meant several conversations could take place concurrently through news posts, forums, pages and activity feeds – getting messages out at the right time to the right people.

Read the case study to find out more.

BLOG POST #5

Enterprise IT as the Torchbearer of Workplace Productivity

This post explores the ways IT teams can meet user expectations and drive productivity throughout an organization. 

Enterprise-IT-chaos

It focuses on doing user research to benchmark the digital employee experience - and using it to make evidence-based improvements.

IT experts should be freed-up from endless support tickets so they can think strategically and build a collaborative and productive workplace. 

To get a head start with improving productivity in your organization, download our free ebook: 

5 Barriers to Productivity in the New World of Work.

Are we ready for 2019?

What trends can we expect to see in the new year?

Here a few that spring to mind:

  • An upturn in employee engagement stats - the needle is moving.

  • Greater focus on overall 'digital employee experience'

  • 'Work-life-balance' repositioned as 'Work-life-blend'

  • Greater emphasis on 'people analytics' to inform decision making

  • Digital workspaces to calm the chaos of 'tool overload'

  • Continuous learning 

  • Death of the performance review

  • Diversity and inclusion reign

  • Increased transparency in business culture and practices

  • HR focus on reskilling employees for the future of work

What are your predictions?

What's worth exploring in our upcoming blog posts?

Share your thoughts in the comments below - we'd love to hear from you! 

5-barriers-to-productivity

 

Enterprise IT as the Torchbearer of Workplace Productivity

Posted by Kath McNiff on Dec 20, 2018 2:00:00 AM

 

We expect a lot from our digital workplaces - that's because as tech consumers and smartphone aficionados we know what's possible.

From paying bills, to booking appointments and bingeing on Netflix - we've grown accustomed to smooth interfaces and predictable digital experiences. Things just work - and if they don't, well... there's an app for that.

Enterprisee-IT

Chaos vs Control

Jumping between apps is fine for us as individuals, but spells chaos for the IT professionals in charge of modern digital workplaces.

At the office, collaboration is king and organizations need a cohesive way of getting things done. If some people are on WhatsApp and others are on Messenger - how can they share ideas and get work going?

This dichotomy leaves Enterprise IT caught between a rock and a hard place.

Employees want to use their flavor-of-the-month tools and, since the IT procurement team don't want to rain on anyone's parade or halt real productivity gains, they may turn a blind eye or add the tool to the already congested software register.

Thing is, this tool might be great for one department but a nightmare for another, and there's a good chance it'll be thrown to the curb when the next shiny thing comes along. 

Enterprise-IT-chaos

At the other extreme, Enterprise IT might put their foot down and get serious about which tools are allowed and which are not - because how do you manage security and maintain a level of assurance in an 'anything goes' software scenario?

To maintain control, the organization might have a well-defined process for selecting software solutions - and refuse to stray from the Preferred Vendor playlist. They may even stick with tired legacy infrastructure because it represents a significant financial investment and "is the way things are done around here".

In the first scenario, IT is left picking up the pieces of an impossibly fragmented workplace - while in the second they're being blamed for forcing everyone to use outdated and inflexible technology.

Is there a happy compromise?

The Middle Ground

Tim Flower, Director of Business Transformation at Nexthink, believes there is.

In a recent webinar via CMSWire he said the answer lies in taking a step back and spending time on research, reflection and strategic thinking.

The key to an exceptional digital workplace is not about the latest shiny app or complicated technology stack - it's about people and the tools they need to get work done.

Flower suggests that IT teams need to benchmark the current digital employee experience and look for evidence-based ways of improving it.

He says they need to spend less time responding to isolated issues and more time empathizing with users and understanding what a typical day is really like.

This involves taking a holistic view of the digital workplace backed up by quantitative and qualitative data - what are people doing and how do they feel about it?

Flower's company, Nexthink, makes a nifty device that gathers this intel as people go about their day-to-day work.

Oscar Berg - the webinar's co-presenter and author of  Digital Workplace Strategy and Design - shared this slide to emphasize the power of asking users to "tell me how you really feel":

Enterprise-IT-slide

No sugar coating that. Email overload hurts productivity but no one considers complaining to IT about it.

He goes on to explain that productivity takes a nose dive when workers are faced with "interruptions, inconsistently designed systems and bad performance".

As both experts rightly point out - once IT teams truly understand the barriers to productivity in their organization - they can make informed decisions about the best way forward.

They can take a proactive stance and look beyond the issues that cross the help desk: "I'm stressed out by the number of tools I have to use" said no support ticket ever.

5 barriers to productivity

Making Informed Choices

To calm the chaos of disparate communication tools, Enterprise IT might choose to deploy a digital workplace that has everything built in. One that gives users the social and collaborative features they crave without the distractions of platform-switching and multiple sign-ons. 

To free themselves from the tyranny of support tickets and reactive problem solving, IT may look to implement a digital workplace that's secure, cloud based and easy to maintain - and do away with the complexities of shared licenses and messy payment cycles. 

Focusing on the Big Picture

By implementing a digital workplace that's high on productivity but low on maintenance, IT professionals free themselves up to focus on what really matters - providing a digital employee experience that delivers true business value and measures up to the expectations of today's tech savvy workforce.

The correlation between effective collaboration and productivity is well documented - and Enterprise IT is uniquely positioned to ignite this flame.

Starting a fire instead of always putting one out!

To get a head start with improving productivity in your organization, download our free ebook: 5 Barriers to Productivity in the New World of Work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Topics: Collaboration, productivity, workplace

7 Ways to Maximize an Offshore/Onshore Development Team

Posted by Josie Mangano on Dec 14, 2018 11:44:43 AM

LAST

A great acronym for a conference, right?

It stands for Lean, Agile, and Systems Thinking - three concepts close to my (nerdy) heart.

The LAST Conference is an invaluable forum for sharing software development stories and I was thrilled to be a speaker earlier this year.

I talked about the challenges of engaging and mobilizing a global development team - a situation faced by an increasing number of technology companies.

Here are 7 key takeaways from my presentation – I hope you find them useful.

Setting the Scene

A few years ago, GreenOrbit (formerly Intranet DASHBOARD) faced the all-to-common conundrum of implementing an extensive development roadmap within the confines of a fixed budget.

To address this, we chose to expand overseas while at the same time retaining our Australian team (many of whom worked remotely).

Instead of contracting the offshoring work to an external organization, we decided to handle recruitment and project management ourselves.

This decision forced us to re-examine our work culture and day-to-day processes – and we’ve learned some valuable lessons along the way.

Global

1. Commit to your decision

Taking ownership of offshoring gives you complete control (including the ability to mess things up).

At the outset, it’s crucial to make sure leaders are on the same page and 100% committed. 

Do all you can to encourage onshore teams to support the decision. This involves articulating and reiterating what you’re trying to achieve and then supporting your people through the journey.

2. Choose a winning location

Choose an offshore location that you and your onshore team are eager to visit. Make sure it’s close to the airport and easy to get to - with good universities and similar companies nearby.

Take time to explore the options for offices, infrastructure and internet access.

Choose an area where staff are keen to live.

go-team-8

3. Take an agile approach to recruitment

Conduct face-to-face interviews – you want prospective staff to get the best possible impression. Learn about the language, culture, job market and university intricacies.

Figure out how to ask the right questions – this will become clearer as you review and adjust your interview approach.

Technical know-how is a top priority, but it must be combined with communication skills and cultural fit. It can take time to find the right people.

Don’t give up!

go-team-7

4. Build multi-locational teams

As far as possible, include someone from each location in every team. Foster the habit of video meetings – this forces all team members to speak-up and communicate clearly.

Run these meetings at a time that works for all locations.

Encourage team members to get to know each other outside of meetings.

Your company intranet is great platform for this – use channels like #MyWeekend and #MyFamily to break the ice and build relationships.

go-team-6

5. Aim for frequent face-to-face contact

Visit the offshore team as often as possible.

Immerse yourself in what they’re doing, thinking and feeling. Run team days, celebrate company milestones and observe cultural holidays.

When you can’t be face-to-face, talk frequently and ask direct questions.

Provide ample opportunity for staff to voice concerns.

6. Focus on strong leadership

For offshoring to work, leaders must share and commit to a united vision.

They should visit offshore staff regularly and be present in all locations.

Look to promote from within (including offshore employees) and clearly define what you expect from a leader.

go-team-8-1

7. Treat everyone equally

From a company culture perspective, it’s important that onshore and offshore staff feel equally valued (even though you may pay them differently).

Keep everyone in the loop and enjoy the ride!

GreenOrbit is an intranet solution with everything you need built in. It empowers businesses to communicate, collaborate and get real work done.

To see how GreenOrbit can get work going in your organization, download our eBook: Steps to Building a Great Intranet

 

Topics: offshoring, software development, teams

A Day in the Life of a Strategic Intranet

Posted by Kath McNiff on Nov 29, 2018 11:23:03 AM

 

If I asked you to describe your current intranet in four words or less, you'd probably say something like:

  • Bloated and clunky

  • Chaotic and unloved

  • Old school

  • Wait. We have an intranet?

You're not alone - according to  survey by Prescient Digital Media, only 13% of employees report participating in their intranet daily—31% say they never do.

Why?

Is it because employees have no use for tools that make collaboration and communication easier? Is it because they enjoy using a million different platforms to get things done?

Not likely. 

Fast and effective communication is more important than ever. It drives productivity, innovation and employee engagement - a must-have trifecta in today's competitive market place.

Maybe it's time to flip the script on intranets. Maybe it's time to stop thinking of them as dumping grounds for stale documents and, instead, focus on the value they are perfectly positioned to deliver.

For a deep dive into leveraging your intranet - check out our e-book:

3 Ways Your Intranet can be a Launchpad for Success.

Set the Scene

So what would a day with an effective intranet look like?

Let's say you're a designer - working on a logo for your company's latest new product.

You can't work in a vacuum. What steps do you take to get communication and collaboration flowing?

1. Go gather your team

You know that you'll need buy-in from stakeholders across the company - so you start to build a logo taskforce. 

Searching through your intranet's profile directory, you easily zero-in on the right people. 

GreenOrbit-Staff-Directory-Search02

2. Make a collaboration space

Next, you setup a separate space in your intranet where your stakeholders can come to discuss requirements and collaborate on ideas. To kick things off, you welcome people to the new group and explain its purpose.

You upload the brand guidelines, along with inspirational images from your mood-board - a great way to get the logo conversation started.

blog- Mood-board11

3. Book a brainstorming session

You know that face-to-face contact is important too - so you use your intranet to book a meeting room and invite your new taskforce to a brainstorming session.

blog_calendar01

Then, you post the agenda in your private group so that everyone is on the same page.

blog_agenda11

Your post sparks a few comments - people want to add items to the agenda. 

During the actual meeting, ideas begin to flow and you capture them on a whiteboard. At the end of the session, you take photos of the whiteboard so you can upload them to the private group later on. 

4. Gather Feedback

Back at your desk, the creative juices are flowing and the logos begin to take shape.

You settle on three potential designs and upload them to your intranet to see what people think.

For fun, you create a Quick Poll to see which one is most popular.

 blog Quick Poll

 

Most people seem to like Logo1, but they have a few comments related to color, size and font. The conversation continues back and forth - you take the feedback on board and refine the logo (uploading changes as you go).

5. Spread the Word

Finally, you have a logo that your stakeholders love!

You create a News article on your intranet to share the final version company-wide.

blog-news

In the article, you explain the thinking behind the logo and show its evolution from a whiteboard scribble to a polished work of art.

You sit back and smile as the Likes and positive comments come rolling-in.

6. Celebrate!

The Product Owner is excited about the new logo and decides to celebrate with a delicious lunch. He posts an invitation on the #celebrate channel and adds the event to your intranet's company calendar.

blog-celebrate-success01

Now, you deserve a break.

How do you apply for leave? Use your intranet of course.

blog-annual-leave

Your intranet is key to success

This is just one scenario where an effective digital workplace can be the wind beneath your wings.

It's time to take your intranet seriously - don't put up with a bloated digital workspace that slows everyone down.

Look for an easy-to-use platform that has everything built-in. One that drives productivity and delivers real competitive advantage.

Want to learn more about leveraging your intranet for better business outcomes?

Read our e-book - 3 Ways Your Intranet can be a Launchpad for Success.

Topics: communication tools, company intranet

Get our take on the latest intranet trends

Explore our perspectives on the intranet best practices, trends, and tips you need to get your organization going.

Subscribe Here!

Recent Posts

Posts by Tag

See all