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

10 Tips to a successful intranet project

Posted by Lesley Maea on Jan 18, 2018 3:42:03 PM

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Is your intranet suffering from a little neglect? It may be in need of a little TLC or a complete revamp. Before you dive in, there are tried and true steps that can be taked to kick start, or reignite that intranet project.

Here are our top tips to help you get started:

1. Develop an intranet strategy, a plan, and KPIs

Plan where you want to go, and how you’re going to get there. Make sure your goals are SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. By mapping out your plans, you will be able to ensure your intranet reflects and supports your wider business strategy. Communicate regularly with key contacts to analyze your progress, wins and losses. Remember that reviewing your progress is vital to see not only where you are heading – but also how far you have come.

2. Appoint a project owner/s

Building your intranet will require a project owner to ensure that tasks run to schedule. For ongoing management and development, a committee of intranet champions, representing various departments of the business will ensure that users’ needs are being met and help to ensure engagement by all areas of the business.

A group of 25 staff at FOX SPORTS got together to generate ideas and suggestions for their new intranet. Of this initial group, 5 team members continue to be involved in the project, taking ownership of managing and populating content moving forward.

3. Take a phased approach

We’ve all heard it before - Rome wasn’t built in a day. Implementing an intranet and asking employees to modify their habits is a big change. In fact, you might notice at first you lose some efficiency as employees adapt to new functionality or the new way of navigating your intranet, so it’s important to make small changes along the way to ensure that uptake can be regained quickly. Set clear goals about where you want to be after 3 months, 6 months, and so on, introducing new functionality as you progress.

4. Plan your document management

The beauty of storing policies, procedures, manuals and more within your intranet is that:

a) users know this is the definitive and up-to-date version of the file, and
b) they can access them easily, even from mobile devices. Plan where you will store particular documents and who will be responsible for maintaining them.

Then, you can take things to the next level by leveraging metadata. (think of it as the tabs for an online filing cabinet). Healthcare providers Benson Radiology  need to find documents for their patients and specialists, fast. By applying custom-metadata to files, they can categorize them for super-speedy search retrieval.

5. Create a positive user-experience

Let’s be honest, no one is going to use your intranet if it’s overcrowded, outdated or difficult to navigate. An intranet with a poor user-experience will cost users’ time, patience, and trust in their workplace. Ensure your Information Architecture is logical and conduct some user testing before going live.

6. Be open to feedback

An effective intranet is constantly developing to suit the needs of its users. Remember to ensure that staff from all departments have the opportunity to submit suggestions and have the intranet meet their needs. The easiest way to do this is to create an ‘Intranet Suggestions’ online form or a GreenOrbit #Channel. Either way, provide some guidelines as to what kind of feedback is appropriate, and how suggestions will be considered.

7. Test your search

Search is the glue that binds your intranet together. As discussed earlier, metadata, will allow for optimal enterprise search, so make sure you plan how you’re going to leverage it.

8. Encourage staff contributions

Nowadays, we see that many companies no longer follow a ‘top-down’ internal communications model. Instead, they want to encourage conversations and knowledge sharing from all corners of the business. Implementing Enterprise Social Network Functionality will empower a wealth of user-generated content, encouraging collaboration and team culture.

9. Stay up to date

If you want your employees to use the intranet every day, it must offer something they need every day. No matter how much effort you put into building an intranet, if you fail to maintain it, usership will drop.

Remember, your intranet is the ‘source of truth’ so all stored policies, procedures, templates etc. must be the most current versions. When files are updated, make sure you share this with colleagues. A simple way to connect people to content in GreenOrbit is to assign a #Hashtag to the file, or use @Mention to alert the relevant contacts.

10. Get creative!

Why shouldn’t people enjoy using the intranet? Get brainstorming and come up with some new ways to share content or engage users.

George Washington University post a monthly article to their intranet titled ‘Up Close & Personnel’ featuring an interview with a particular staff member. GWU Learning & Development Consultant Kadie Groh says, “It’s an opportunity to get to know people as people, which is really nice. We are big supporters of getting people to bring their personal selves to work- after all we do spend 40+ hours a week together.”

If this has inspired you, don’t forget that we are always here to help. Simply contact us.

Here’s to a collaborative 2018!

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

3 ways your intranet can be a launchpad for success

 

 

Topics: building an intranet, Internal Communications, INTRANET INSIGHT, intranet strategy, lesley, Document Management, team culture, implementing best practice intranet

Transforming Workforce Experience

Posted by Connie Pandos on Aug 26, 2016 4:11:32 PM

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The wellbeing of a business is determined by the wellbeing of its staff. In order to make a positive profit, your team need to feel positive about their work. Dale Carnegie Training found that “companies with engaged employees outperform those without by up to 202%.” Sounds like something worth addressing, right?

However, changing the way your team feels about work requires more than table tennis or soft drinks in the fridge. It’s about transforming the entire workforce experience.

What is workforce experience and why is it important?

Employee experience is the way employees feel at and about their work; the wellbeing and the health and cooperation of the team as a whole is workforce experience. A positive workforce experience is when you have engaged staff with an emotional commitment to tasks and achieving targets, and consequently the foundation for smarter, faster, better business.

Fortunately, it’s easy to nurture and transform many facets of employee & workforce experience through your intranet:

Mobile Intranet

Mobile intranet access is now an absolute game changer in managing employee experience. Being able to access work from a client meeting, airport lounge or home, means employees are able to do work when they need to, or feel most inspired, mobility is something that employees categorically seek and expect as part of their workplace experience.

Boston College research reports that “64% of employees would choose a lower paying job if they could work away from the office just 1 day a week.”

Positive Team Culture

Deloitte found that Enterprise Social Networks generate more than just chit-chat, stating “organizations that rolled out social media tools found a 20% increase in employee satisfaction.” Enterprise Social Networks, encourage dialogue among team members and this leads to a more open communication and a happier team. Social platforms foster these social connections and in doing so build meaningful relationships and positive team culture.

Admin and eForms

Every employee wishes that annoying paper based forms are a thing of the past.  Employees want to be able to do all their administration tasks via an intranet – a central digital workplace – where less spent trawling through files, and folders and documents, and more time is spent accomplishing targets. In addition to this, the cost savings on paper, printing, and time will even make management smile.

Innovation

Employees may feel that they can make a real, tangible difference to their workplace but they may not have a voice or a vehicle for sharing their voice. A social intranet is a space for staff of all levels to contribute their ideas and visions. Your team will grow in confidence and feel that their input is valued. They might even come up with your next big idea!

Recognition

It’s important that staff know their efforts are appreciated. Team members on all levels need to feel as though they’re a part of the bigger picture. An intranet allows for recognition processes to celebrate and encourage staff achievements. Not only will a pat on the back give employees that warm fuzzy feeling, it gives others something to strive for.

So even though table tennis and pool tables at work could be fun… their ability to engage, innovate, and nurture your workforce is questionable.

Are you smiling yet?

Would you like your team to smile more whilst at work?

If you want to make real changes to the way your team feels about work, then we'd love to show you how GreenOrbit can help.

 

Topics: digital workplace, employee engagement, enterprise social network, INTRANET INSIGHT, Social Intranet, dashboard, innovation, mobile intranet, team culture, wellbeing

Welcoming Millennials to the Workforce

Posted by Connie Pandos on Aug 16, 2016 2:20:03 PM

millenials-in-the-workforce

Millennials are those born to the Baby Boomers.

In 2016, millennials are between the ages of 18 – 32.

Other names applied to this generation include:

  • Generation Y
  • Echo boomers
  • Digital natives

Millennials are the first generation who don’t know life without the internet and personal devices.

Staggeringly, millennials will represent 40% of the total workforce by 2020. No matter what industry you’re in, this generation is set to carry your business into the future. That means you need to understand their needs, wants, and expectations and act upon them swiftly.

So how can you millennial-proof your workplace, and attract the best of them to work for you?

It’s going to take more than a healthy salary to captivate and keep the best young workers. Surprisingly, PWC research found:

  • that while 64% of baby boomers listed their top job priority as income
  • 57% of millennials identified ‘enjoyment’ as their most important outcome of employment.

So, in one generation the fundamental reasons for working have shifted. Workplaces that nurture millennials and their new approach to work will reap the rewards in years to come.

Here are PWC’s top 5 insights to welcoming a new generation to your work place.

“90% of millennials say that work-life balance is important to them and 70% say it’s very important”.

Millennials make no apologies, they are the generation that seek to successfully achieve work life balance! They aim to fit work in around their life, and work when and where they feel most inspired.

What does this mean? They want to work less?

No - what they seek is flexibility in when and how they work.

They need access to digital content and ways to collaborate electronically. An intranet that makes work accessible anywhere, anytime is an expectation of millennials – a mobile friendly intranet is integral not optional.

 “Only 25% expected to work ‘regular office hours’, instead 38% expected to work mainly regular hours with some flexible working, and 32% expected to work predominately flexible hours”.

This generation of employees aim to work smarter, rather than longer and they expect to be rewarded on results, rather than the number of hours worked.

Improving productivity and efficiency is no longer related to increasing your hours of production and reducing costs. It’s about how effective you can be during working hours and being able to nominate when you work. So, business needs to ensure that employees have access to their work tools when they seek to work. A digital workplace is virtual and accessible 24/7 and is something that millennial employees expect you will have.

 “41% of millennials said they would rather communicate electronically than face to face or over the telephone”.

Digital communication and collaboration is second nature to millennials – they are totally comfortable with social and – they have an expectation that is how they will communicate at work.

While face to face meetings will always have their time and place, millennials expect access to ‘meet’ with colleagues at any time or place through technology.

A social intranet is a natural habitat for digital natives to thrive and prosper. So waste no time in implementing an Enterprise Social Network (ESN) that will enable constant collaboration and access to colleagues.

 “51% of those questioned said feedback should be given very frequently or continually on the job, while only 1% said feedback was not important to them”.

I often refer to millennials as the ‘blah’ generation – the generation that is ready to say something – the generation that is happy to ‘say it out loud’ – that is, ‘digitally out loud.’ They readily ‘blah’ to each other and ‘blah’ on content by: LIKE, SHARE and COMMENT.

The ability to give feedback comes naturally to them and they seek to receive it.

Millennials are used to ‘Working Out Loud’. A social intranet is the perfect place to generate feedback, discussion & collaboration.

Employees can receive constructive feedback from colleagues and have their efforts recognised by their managers. It’s like a virtual pat on the back and they are comfortable for it to happen in open public environment like the intranet.

“38% of millennial workers believe that senior management do not relate to younger employees”.

Yes there is a divide, not just in years but in expectations and attitude towards work.

Business will do well to enable ways millennials and senior management can come together and learn from each other.

A ‘reverse-mentoring’ program is a fantastic way to connect older and younger staff. Millennials “respond well to mentoring by older employees in an ideal world, they would like to see their boss as a coach who supports them in their personal development.” Pairing younger employees with senior staff acknowledges the generational difference, with both parties having their own unique skills to teach each other.

In addition to this, a social intranet can facilitate introductions and connections to be made. Millennials and senior management can learn about each other, communicate, collaborate and establish relationships via social channels and apps in your intranet.

Generation Y are not a foreign species that you need to fear – they are digitally savvy and their expectations of technology in the workplace far exceed what most organisations have on offer.

So, stop considering whether you need an intranet with social & mobile capabilities and stop wondering about whether it will deliver any benefits.

2020 is only 4 years away – you cannot afford to wait!

Contact our intranet specialists and organize a demo today.

Topics: digital workplace, INTRANET INSIGHT, millenials, mobile intranet, team culture, workforce

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