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!

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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.

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

GreenOrbit (formerly Intranet DASHBOARD) Accelerates Growth Expansion on Three Continents

Posted by Terri McKinnon on Jun 21, 2018 5:42:13 PM

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At GreenOrbit we are experiencing unprecedented growth.  Recently we've opened three new offices across the USA, Australia and India, marking a significant leap in our company’s growth strategy.

Stewart Bairstow, CEO said, “This is an incredibly exciting time for GreenOrbit. By laying roots down in these regions, we are able to build even stronger relationships with regional clients and increase our presence in local markets,” 

“Another benefit will be the opportunity to leverage the density of technology talent in these areas and expand our dynamic team of development, consulting, marketing and management professionals.”

Our business now operates from nine locations throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Australia and services clients across six continents.

 

Topics: digital workplace, intranet, intranet dashboard, INTRANET INSIGHT, roi, sales, workforce, workplace, business growth

5 Processes to Automate Right Now

Posted by Annabelle Willis on Apr 19, 2018 1:28:49 PM

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Considering we conduct almost all of our personal transactions via digital devices, it seems peculiar to come to work and deal with so much paper. However, every day we meet with businesses that are facing this exact challenge. Not only are paper processes expensive for our patience, but for our pockets and productivity too.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that even these days, excessive paper consumption is an issue plaguing offices around the world:

  • 45% of the paper printed in offices ends up trashed by the end of the day.

  • In the US, companies spend more than $120 billion a year on printed forms, most of which outdate themselves within three months’ time.

  • More than 70% of today’s businesses would fail within three weeks if they suffered a catastrophic loss of paper-based records due to fire or flood.

For the wellbeing of your business (and the environment), it’s time to say goodbye to paper.

Fortunately, your intranet could offer an effective alternative to paper-based forms and processes. A strong intranet solution should make it easy to set up forms and workflow in minutes without the help of IT staff.

Here are five processes you could shift online with GreenOrbit (formerly Intranet DASHBOARD) today:

Vacation Request/ Annual Leave

This is one of the easiest and fastest processes to digitize, and a great first step to digital transformation. Traditionally, this process would require printing, signing and sending paper for both the employee and employer. Using Online Forms, staff can swiftly submit leave requests in seconds. Set up the form to go to the relevant manager/s for approval and once accepted or declined, the submitter will be automatically notified.

Incident Report

As much as we try to avoid them, sometimes incidents happen. Things break, things go missing and unfortunately sometimes people get injured. By lodging an incident report with an Online Form via your company intranet, you can quickly capture important information and instantly push it to the relevant contacts. Not only will this ensure quick, accurate reports- you’ll always have a record of submissions to ensure compliance and peace of mind.

Onboarding

A strong onboarding process is key to engaging new employees from the get go. In fact, O.C. Tanner research shows that 69% of employees are more likely to stay with the company for at least 3 years after a great onboarding experience.

We worked with iconic retailer Lowes to digitally transform a plethora of business processes, including onboarding. Prior to GreenOrbit, new staff were supplied with a physical, overflowing folder of paper work that they had to read and learn. This made it difficult to track compliance and to identify employees’ comprehension and understanding.

Their new intranet has enabled a complete digitization of the onboarding process, replacing the bulky ‘onboarding folder’ with an online training module and questionnaire using Online Forms, Workflow and Notifications. Now, head office can track who has or hasn’t completed training, plus monitor staff understanding of the material. In the long run, this will empower new staff to provide a higher level of operational and customer service.

Staff Training

Meaningful education within an organization is key to engaging and empowering people to do their best work. While face-to-face learning will always have its place, it isn’t always easy (or affordable) to coordinate.  Online training offers a great alternative, allowing staff to complete training when and where it’s most convenient. 

Supply Orders

Whether you work in an office, a hospital or a factory- you need supplies to do your job. Create an online form to allow staff to request materials quickly, so they have more time for the stuff that matters. Set up a monthly reminder to departments to submit supply orders so they’re never caught out without the tools they need.

By moving these five processes online, you’ll be well on your way to reducing your paper consumption, gaining productivity and some serious intranet ROI.

Financial services organization Vic Super estimate they’ve cut paper use by 30% companywide and saved their HR team more than 10 hours a week- that’s 520 hours a year that can now be focused on more strategic objectives. 

Book a demo with one our intranet specialists today to see how you can automate processes and get your organization where it needs to go.

 

Topics: challenges, digital transformation, digital workplace, education, intranet, intranet dashboard, INTRANET INSIGHT, processes, workflow

How to Spring-Clean Your Intranet

Posted by Lesley Maea on Apr 10, 2018 2:32:00 PM

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For those of us in the northern hemisphere, spring has officially sprung. The leaves are returning to the trees and the sun is staying up longer. At work, the craziness of Q1 has been and gone, and now it’s time to make sure you’re on track for a successful year ahead. And where better place to start than your intranet?

It’s the perfect time to review and reflect on how your company intranet is performing, and how you can make small changes to improve it. An intranet spring-clean doesn’t need to be a huge undertaking- even just a few simple changes could be transformational for your business.

Investigate

First things first, you’ll need to establish what is and isn’t working within your site. Consulting both qualitative and quantitative data will provide you with a strong basis to implement people-centric changes. So, it’s time to put your detective hat on and find out what your staff really think about their intranet.

  • Survey - Create a survey to gauge what your employees love and the stuff that needs some work. Ask a range of open and closed questions regarding the site structure, the content, the effectiveness of tools and the outcomes they facilitate. Do they actually enjoy using the intranet? Is it making their life easier?

  • #Channel- GreenOrbit #Channels are activity feeds based on the topics of conversation that matter to your business. Create an #IntranetFeedback channel so that staff can post their experiences and ideas, when and where they arise. This is a super simple way to receive feedback from employees that can be incredibly effective. When it’s time to spring-clean, you can simply visit the #Channel and review the contributions that are already there.

  • Intranet Analytics - Validate your employee feedback with some cold hard facts. Which pages are being viewed the most and least? What does the overall site traffic tell you?

Review

Now that you’ve done your research, it’s time to put it to good use. Revise your intranet strategy and KPIs and adjust accordingly. Establish priority tasks and how they will be completed. Once you know ‘what’, move on to the ‘who.’ Who will be responsible for which tasks? Who will need to manage the new content moving forward?

This phase will include removing the redundant intranet content. If you have an existing policy regarding the deletion of digital assets then you’ll obviously need to follow this. If not, archive the old content initially to ensure no information is lost before there is an approved plan in place.

Get Inspired

A large body of the work will come from improving existing items and simple changes- which is great. But don’t forget to be bold. Come up with one exciting, innovative idea that’s going to give your intranet the X-factor and engage users. It might be the introduction of a monthly CEO Podcast, an employee recognition initiative or a mindfulness campaign. Get creative!

Plan Your Maintenance

With your spring-clean complete, you’ll need to figure out how you’re going to keep things tidy. If you don’t already have a maintenance plan in place, schedule how often you’ll need to conduct reviews, analyse stats and meet with your team. By having your #IntranetFeedback channel in place, staff can always contribute their ideas to help continue to improve your site.

By following these simple spring-cleaning tips, your employee intranet will be flourishing in no time. Don’t forget, GreenOrbit customers receive a free intranet health check each year and there’s no better time to use it than now! 

Not using GreenOrbit yet? No worries. You can make a time to speak with one our GreenOrbit Intranet Specialists to discover the benefits for yourself.

Topics: digital workplace, education, HOW TO, intranet, intranet dashboard, Planning

10 Ways to Engage a Remote Workforce

Posted by Annabelle Willis on Mar 8, 2018 6:15:29 PM

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In the recent Gallup State of the American Workplace Report it found that from 2012 to 2016, the number of employed Americans working remotely –at least some of the time- grew from 39% to 43%. This number is set to continue to rise, and employees already working remotely will spend more time doing so.

The appeal of flexible work is fairly obvious, particularly for those battling long commutes, raising a family, or managing a chronic illness. Your team might work on the ground or be travelling regularly. Heck, maybe you just feel that you could produce a higher standard of work today while you wear your pyjamas on the couch. The reasons for seeking remote work are varied, and research supports that the outcomes can be positive for both employees and employers. In fact, Boston College research reports that 64% of employees would choose a lower paying job if they could work away from the office just one day a week.

So, not only could offering remote work options increase the productivity and performance of your team, but it could help attract exceptional talent to come and work for you in the first place. Sounds like something worth considering, right?

Before you go ahead and cancel the lease on your office building, you’re obviously going to need the right digital tools in place to support your remote team. One of the most critical will be your company intranet, not only in its functionality but how you leverage it to engage employees. For all of remote working’s benefits, keeping staff engaged, connected and collaborative is difficult without physical interaction. Fortunately, your intranet is where you can bridge the gap.

Here’s how:

1) Detailed, meaningful User Profiles

User Profiles can do so much more than placing a face to a name. Staff need not share their life stories, but think about the important stuff- areas of expertise, qualifications, strengths and the like. Without meeting, a remote worker should be able to view a User Profile and understand what that person does, and what they could bring to a project.

2) A Staff Directory that encourages connections

Now that your User Profiles actually mean something, you’ll need a killer staff directory to make them findable. With GreenOrbit, by applying metadata to your profile, this information then becomes searchable across the intranet. For example, you could simply search the word ‘French’ to find a French speaker to interpret something for you. This makes it easy for remote workers to find topic experts and initiate collaboration, no matter where they might be located.

3) Storytelling

The mobile team at RSPCA do a fantastic job at this; regularly posting articles to their intranet sharing stories and photos of their animal rescues. In turn, they are keeping remote staff in the loop, while reinforcing and celebrating their team culture. Great job guys!

4) Digital collaboration

Distance shouldn’t hinder employee collaboration. Iwan Westfa, IT Manager at global consulting firm Ecorys, sums up the benefits (and ease) of collaborating via the intranet perfectly:

Someone in the UK posted to a #Channel that their client needed to conduct an interview with a particular type of expert. Up until then, they could not find anyone and the project was in jeopardy. Once it was posted to #Channels, an expert in the Netherlands popped up by commenting on the post. So the reporters came to the Netherlands to carry out the interview. Normally we would have just lost the opportunity, but we made a profit.”

Thanks, Iwan.

5) Private Groups

Business-wide collaboration is great, but remote workers also need to collaborate within their team. Functionality such as Private Groups provides a place for teams to communicate, file-share and come together- even when they’re apart.

6) Digitize your forms

If your forms and processes are paper-based, remote workers are going to have a rough time completing them. They’ll either have to navigate a scanner or send it to you in the post, both of which are slow and completely infuriating. Instead, comprehensive online forms will allow them to submit forms quickly, easily and accurately.

7) Recognising good work

You might be unable to give your remote co-workers a physical high-five, but social intranet tools can provide the digital equivalent. Using a tool such as GreenOrbit #Channels, you can acknowledge the contributions of remote workers for your entire organization to see. At GreenOrbit, we share #StaffShoutouts internally to celebrate exceptional work. Through likes and comments, the ‘applause’ can be heard wherever we are.

8) Comprehensive online learning

A remote or mobile worker should experience the same training and education as their office-based colleagues. Providing comprehensive training modules with workflow through your intranet means staff can become experts in a new program, sales strategy, or safety process wherever they may be located.

9) Videos

Video conferencing is as close as dispersed teams can get to chatting face-to-face. When conferencing isn’t possible, record important presentations or events and store them on your intranet to allow remote employees to be a fly-on-the-wall.

10) Find opportunities

Within our own team at GreenOrbit, we have a number of remote workers whose lifeline is the intranet. Essentially, it’s where they ‘go to work’ and can interact with colleagues on a professional and personal level.

One of our remote employees is a regular contributor to our #Photography channel, sharing his work as a moonlight events photographer. From this, we instantly knew he would be the perfect person to work with our marketing team and photograph the SuperFoiler Grand Prix. He had the opportunity to travel around the country pursuing his passion, while the marketing team had access to exceptional event photos - a fantastic outcome for both parties.

As the number of remote workers grows, so too do the expectations of the remote work experience. By implementing these tips and leveraging your intranet as a digital workplace, you’ll be able to attract and retain the best remote employees for your business.

Want to know more about how your intranet can get work going? Check out our eBook:

3 Ways your Intranet can be a Launchpad for success

Topics: Case Studies, clients, Collaboration, digital workplace, employee engagement, HOW TO, mobile intranet, mobile workforce, Social Intranet

Transforming Document Management at Benson Radiology

Posted by Annabelle Willis on Aug 29, 2017 3:15:18 PM

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Document Management is a key focus for every business, no matter the size, industry or location. We all have files (perhaps too many) and we want to be able to access, edit, and share them efficiently.

Storing documents across several environments, or without a clear governance, makes it tricky to track down what you’re looking for. As reported by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the time and effort required to find a single lost document can cost a business a staggering $122.

It’s time to sort out your document management, because, can you afford not to?

Benson Radiology faced this same problem. As a leading healthcare provider, they have a wealth of technical and patient documentation that they rely on to provide exceptional services. Their documents within MS SharePoint had become challenging to find, which was particularly troublesome for clerical and modality employees. These staff are often frontline to patients and under time pressure to find the correct documentation, immediately.

With GreenOrbit, Benson Radiology have established a central repository for policies and procedures. By applying custom metadata to files, the team can add detailed information to a document to categorize it for super-fast retrieval.

Thanks to GreenOrbit, we have been able to refine search with great detail by adding important information within file tabs. It’s really helped- it means frontline staff can find files quickly for the patient in front of them.” – People & Culture Adviser, Benson Radiology

You can read the full case study here.

 Benson Radiology Case Study

Benson Radiology 

Topics: Case Studies, clients, CUSTOMERS, digital workplace, Document Management, intranet, Knowledge Management, mobile workforce

Digital Collaboration at Ecorys

Posted by Annabelle Willis on Jul 25, 2017 3:09:44 PM

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In the past, knowledge sharing wasn’t so hard. Think of having your team all in one office, all working from 9-5. But this isn’t the reality for businesses today. Workers are remote and on their devices, teams are dispersed and subsequently, time zones are mismatched. For many, having everyone in the one place at the one time just isn’t a reality.

In this environment, how can you share and find knowledge effectively? How can you leverage the expertise of Janet; the French speaking, excel whiz, HR manager? Or Doug; the analytical, mathematical, finance guy?

Once upon a time, you might have tried via email. And if you tried, you’ll know it does not work the way it did before information overloaded our inboxes. International research, consultancy and management services company; Ecorys, faced this same issue. Having consulted to The World Bank and Asian Development Bank (amongst many others), this team are seriously, well, knowledgeable. They knew there was so much they could learn from one another, but there was no easy way.

“Previously, you could be working on a project in Bangladesh, and there could be someone in another office with expertise. Normally, you’d never know. It was too annoying to send an email out to everyone in the company.” – Ecorys IT Manager

GreenOrbit #Channels are communities of interest, based on the topics that are meaningful to you and your staff. They provide a centralized, engaging system for communication and knowledge sharing. As opposed to email, employees turn to this content for information that is categorized and allows for group collaboration. As evidenced by Ecorys, conversations via #Channels results in multiplied knowledge and real business outcomes.

“Someone in the UK posted to a #Channel that their client needed to conduct an interview with a particular type of expert. Up until then, they could not find anyone and the project was in jeopardy. Once it was posted to #Channels, an expert in the Netherlands popped up by commenting on the post. So the reporters came to the Netherlands to carry out the interview. Normally we would have just lost the opportunity, but we made a profit.” – Ecorys IT Manager

And that’s just the beginning. Read the full Ecorys Case Study to learn more about digital collaboration and how it delivers business-wins.

 

Ecorys Case Study

Ecorys Case Study

 

Topics: Case Studies, clients, Collaboration, CUSTOMERS, digital workplace, Internal Communications, intranet, intranet dashboard

Digital Transformation for Iconic Retailer: Lowes

Posted by Connie Pandos on Jun 14, 2017 3:03:30 PM

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I want to share with you a story of pure Digital Transformation. This retail business recently embarked upon digitizing their operations across the board. This is one of the most rewarding projects I have been privy to be involved with, a story of immense satisfaction for intranet lovers.

Lowes is an established, successful and iconic retail business.

Theirs is a story of pure and simple digital transformation.

Lowes acknowledged that the needs of staff and customers have changed – the world has become digital and it was time for this successful retailer to do the same as they approach their 120thbirthday.

Lowes boast a large and diverse retail workforce which ranges from seasonal casual teenage sales staff, to long serving directors, some having worked there for over 50 years!  Staff retention is not an issue – staff do not leave Lowes.

A complete digital transformation has been possible because they have given all their 2000 employees access to the intranet by accessing the intranet using iPads across their 200 stores.

Lowes has changed the way they do things including:

  • Real-time Communication

  • Automated HR Processes

  • Online Training

  • Intranet accessible to ALL staff via iPads

Would you like to learn more about Digital Transformation at Lowes?

Lowes Case Study

Lowes Case Study

 

Topics: automated HR processes, clients, CUSTOMERS, digital transformation, digital workplace, Future Intranet, intranet dashboard, mobile workforce, Online Training, Portal, real time communication, Retail Intranet, Social Intranet

How Can Social Intranets Increase Your Sales

Posted by Connie Pandos on Feb 27, 2017 5:15:36 PM

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Sales people spend their days on the front line, presenting your products to prospective customers and hearing what they have to say. They hear it all, the good, the bad and the ugly.

What salespeople hear is what you want to know about – immediately! This feedback can make a huge difference to your business and the faster you can get this information the faster you and others in your business can act upon it.

Imagine a sales person being able to post feedback via their mobile device and immediately share it with everyone in your business!

#Channels are the exciting functionality in GreenOrbit that allows you to do this.

 

Topics: #channels, digital workplace, HOW TO, intranet, intranet dashboard, INTRANET INSIGHT, roi, sales, Social Intranet

Is Your Business In Digital Denial?

Posted by Connie Pandos on Oct 14, 2016 3:39:31 PM

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“65 percent of Australian business leaders say their organisation is in denial about the need to digitally transform processes or services, yet 90 percent see digital transformation as important or critical.”

“Digital transformation” is the whole scale change to how you conduct business, touching all facets of your organization– people, product and process. This covers things such as customer experience, production, supply chain, employee HR, process & administration, etc.

It’s not a simple concept.

It can be daunting.

However, it is one that you can no longer ignore.

The first step is to acknowledge that all facets of your operations could improve and capitalize on the opportunities new digital technologies have to offer. The next step is deciding where to begin.

And I don’t mean the simple obvious accessibility and competency stuff like – everyone having access to a computer, or giving all sales staff a laptop, or upgrading your staff to iPhone’s. I am assuming you have done that!

It’s time to bring your business into the digital age.

Every week I am privileged to learn about our client’s businesses. We have companies in all industries and regions that are benefiting from digital transformation – they are transforming at varying paces – some across many parts of their organizations concurrently, while others are still doing only the basics.

You may feel reassured to know that I regularly meet with companies who are still shuffling paper as part of administration and processes.

My friends in Human Resources provide a perfect place to start your digital transformation. By simply shifting transactional HR processes, induction, onboarding, and forms online, HR professionals can liberate their time and your time, and in doing so, deliver efficiencies and cost savings for the business.

While change is frightening for some, the benefits of digital transformation far outweigh any initial fears. Take Audi for example, the introduction of online forms through their intranet has streamlined and reduced the heavy administrative burden on HR, while introducing new efficiencies into their business:

“In terms of the intranet’s role within our company, it’s our HR tool first and
foremost. We have all HR forms, reporting and policies there. All staff know that’s where they need to go to complete HR processes and access key information.”

HR have the power to maintain your workplace, and to transform it!

Redefine the way you work in the new digital era.

It’s not too late.

It’s time to stop being in denial.

Want to know more about how your intranet can support digital transformation? Check out our eBook:

Steps to Building a Great Intranet

 

Topics: digital age, digital denial, digital transformation, digital workplace, hr, intranet dashboard, INTRANET INSIGHT, jetstar, knowledge, management, processes, technology, workflow

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