How we operate seamlessly between Brisbane, Auckland and Clark

How We Operate Seamlessly Between Brisbane, Auckland and Clark

It’s been an amazing few years at Grassroots IT, not least of all because of the international growth that we’ve experienced both with our clients and our team. If you had have asked me five years ago whether Grassroots IT would one day not only be supporting multinational clients, but have our own workforce spread across three countries, I would have replied with “Maybe in 20 years”. Yet here we are, doing just that.  

It turns out that running a geographically and culturally diverse team can be pretty rewarding but, like anything in business, it’s not without its challenges. Issues such as organisational culture, HR and, of course, legal and accounting matters all become so much more important when working with a diverse team. The good news is that there are some great resources available to help navigate these areas successfully. 

Day to day operational activities also need careful attention to ensure that staff can operate effectively. Simply transferring a phone call to a colleague can become an entirely different proposition when that colleague is in a different timezone. Again, there is good news with a number of technology tools available to help.  

Read on as we run through a selection of the tools that we use at Grassroots IT to let our diverse staff effectively support our clients across multiple countries and timezones.  

Voice over IP (VoIP) Telephones 

Advanced managerial VoIP phone on beech desk.

Voice over IP (VoIP) is a technology that lets us run our phones over network and internet connections, rather than traditional phone lines. Using VoIP means that we’re not physically constrained to a particular location the way that we would be with traditional phone lines, as well as having some great features that are either hard or expensive to come by with traditional telephony.  

Here are some examples of how we are using this to our advantage: 

  • All of our staff have an extension on our phone system, irrespective of what country they are in. They can answer calls, make calls, and transfer calls easily.  
  • Most of our staff do not use a physical telephone. Instead they use a softphone application on their computer or smartphone. This also means they effectively take their extension with them when working from a client site, or home.  
  • We have multiple phone numbers coming into the one phone system. For example we have a local phone number in Brisbane and another in Auckland, both ringing into the same phone system.  

 We haven’t done a direct comparison of our call costs using VoIP vs using traditional telephony, so I can’t comment on that, however I can say that we could not operate the way we do without the unique flexibility that VoIP provides.  

 Slack for team chat 

I’ve written before about how much of an impact the introduction of a team chat tool made to our business, so I won’t rehash it all here. It’s fair to say though that a huge part of our team communication these days happens via Slack.  

Whether you go with Hipchat, Slack (which we have now moved to), Microsoft Teams, or some other tool, a team chat will be a godsend in helping cut down on the unproductive email threads, while helping develop a strong sense of inclusion for staff spread across multiple locations. 

 Skype for Business for video calls 

Nothing beats a face to face conversation, but for staff in different countries a video call can be the next best thing. We strongly encourage all of our staff to use video calls whenever possible, in preference to an audio-only call. In our experience the visual element can convey so much more than voice alone, and ultimately leads to more effective communications and relationship building.  

Our preference for video calling is Skype for Business, which is included with Office 365 and provides an excellent quality experience for all parties. It also integrates well with Outlook for scheduling Skype Meetings, such as the regular team huddles our various teams have across timezones. As more and more of our clients move to Office 365 and become familiar with everything it has to offer, we are also finding ourselves using video calls more and more with clients instead of a plain voice call.  

Other alternatives you might consider include Zoom and Skype 

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 SharePoint & OneDrive for document storage 

Even though we find ourselves using fewer documents, such as Word and Excel files, they are still an important part of our business, and often need to be accessible to staff in mutliple locations, as well as remotely from home or a client site. Traditionally we have used a shared folder (which we called our G Drive) on one of our servers, which remote staff would need to access via a VPN. These days with far more powerful and flexible options available, we no longer have a G drive at all.  

Microsoft SharePoint in conjunction with the OneDrive sync client (all part of Office 365) is currently our preferred method of file storage and sharing. It is worth noting though that this hasn’t always been the case. You see, the OneDrive sync client that is an integral part of this solution was, up until fairly recently, rubbish. Thankfully though a brand new version has been released which is actually extremely good, which is why we’ve now moved ourselves almost entirely across to this solution. Being part of the Office 365 suite, this solution also has super tight integration with so many of the other systems we use.  

You may have noticed a common thread running through all of these systems that we rely on – namely that they all support, at their core, the two concepts of Cloud and Mobility. The reality is that cloud and mobile friendly applications are now the norm (for very good reason), and if you’re not embracing this yet in your business, you can be confident that your clients and competitors are. In our case these solutions have enabled our business to evolve in directions that only a few years ago would have been very challenging and expensive.  

5 Steps to an Awesome Workplace Culture

Organisational culture is just like everything else. It will constantly change over time.

So what does this mean for your business? How we can preserve things that are great about our business?

Grassroots IT has recently recruited the help of wattsnext HR to help make the our team great and we want to share these secrets with you!

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5 Steps to an Awesome Workplace Culture from Grassroots IT on Vimeo.

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Step 1: Get your story straight

 

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Vision

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Where do you want to go? What do you want to be?

 

 

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Mission

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Why does this business exist?

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Values

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What are the guiding behaviours that will make it happen?

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Integrity: We get it done with no ego and no excuses

Courage: We work on the skinny branches

Honesty: We have confidence to tell it as it is

Innovation: We let our creative juices flow

Passion: We are always passionate and in tough times we fight

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Step 2: Connect the dots

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How can we make sure that the story of your business becomes a day-to-day reality?

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Role Clarity

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  • What are the three big rocls of each role?
  • What outcomes do we require?
  • What does this role look like when it is being done exceptionally?

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Structural Clarity

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  • Is the structure funcational?
  • Has it been built in response to functions or people?

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Communication Lines

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  • Are the same questions going to different people?

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Decision Making Parameters

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  • Can we remove all the grey areas?
  • How can we empower people?

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Step 3: Alignment with your “humans”

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We’re dealing with actual, real-life people here!

Find the right humans – how are you going to source them?

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  • Proper onboarding and reboarding.
  • Keep them informed and accountable.
  • Help them work together and make it enjoyable.
  • Development. Development. Development.

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Step 4: Sell the benefits of leadership

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Leadership is a mindset and a skill set.

It is not a title on a business card.

People don’t want managers, they want leaders.

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Step 5: Grab your crystal ball

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The future of work is here – embrace it!

Seriously, things are about to get really different.

There’s a healthy competitive advantage waiting for anyone who wants to move now.

Google “millennials”  don’t end up as someone who doesn’t get it.

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future

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About wattsnext

 

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  • A provider on insourced HR
  • Operating nationwide and abroad working with SMEs
  • Performance/HR Management/Compliance/Recruitment Strategy
  • Don’t like “HR” very much!

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To learn more about workplace culture and the future of work, connect with wattsnext online:

Twitter

Facebook

Website

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“Elvis has left the building!”

Mobility is becoming the new ‘trend’ in business practices and we’re seeing more companies switching from the traditional office cubicle space to the virtual office. In theory, this sounds great for employees. You can (somewhat) set your own hours to best suit your needs and still keep your job. What does this mean for keeping up appearances when you’re not physically in the building? And, as a manager, how do you manage your staff when you don’t know where they are?

We’ve compiled a list of tips that can help keep your team communication strong.

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Do you trust me?

First things, first – micromanaging your staff isn’t going to get you anywhere. Regardless of whether your team is in the office or working offsite, building trust and creating accountability is going to be the best way forward in a mobility-based business world. So, let down the barriers and trust a little!

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Get connected.

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Here at Grassroots IT, we communicate through a program called HipChat. It keeps us in regular communication with each other, especially if we are onsite at a client’s office. It means we are able to attend external meetings or work from home and still have a presence at the Garden Shed. What’s great about this chat feature is we can also keep a record of conversations so no communication is lost along the way.

 

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Atlassian Hipchat

 

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Stop. Collaborate and listen.

 

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With the risk of sounding like a broken record, there are plenty of ways to collaborate on team projects without being in the same room. Cloud services like OneDrive for Business and Soonr are really awesome tools that not only let you securely store your company files, but also allow you to collaborate on the same documents. What’s more, these services are also available on mobile devices, so you could be waiting in an airport for your flight and working at the same time!

 

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SoonrDropboxOneDrive

 

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Socialise, socialise, socialise.

 

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It’s important to our culture that we all get along with each other. Regular social gatherings are a great way to keep in contact and build stronger relationships amongst older and newer employees, especially if we’re not all in the office at the same time. Organising a social event doesn’t have to be hard. A barbecue every few months can be a great way to bring the team back together without the pressure of deadlines hanging over everyone’s heads. Anything for a happy team, right? 😉

 

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winding back the clock

Winding back the clock

We all know that technology is a rapidly changing industry and we are constantly being told we need to keep up. Today, I want to do something different. I want to take the time to go through 10 of my favourite Grassroots IT blog posts. I’ve raided the library and chosen the ones I think are still relevant and useful to you. These are the ones you may have forgotten about, or may have never read, but they might just be coming to you at the right time.

So. Sit back. Relax. Grab that mid morning coffee and have a read. All below for your reading pleasure.

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How to get the most out of your IT support team

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How to get the best from your IT Support Team

It’s fair to say that you’ve invested a lot in your IT support team. If you have an IT support team in house, then you’ve spent time and money recruiting them, training them, and developing them with the hard and soft skills necessary to perform at a high standard. You’ve spent money on computers, software, desks, all sorts of gadgets you may not understand, and of course plain old (but not plain cheap) floor space in your office.

Keep reading here!

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The 3 things every business owner needs to know about their backups

 

Brisbane and large parts of Queensland were hit recently by Tropical Cyclone Marcia, with extensive damage and destruction left in its wake. Thankfully none of our clients across greater Queensland suffered any real damage, and by the time the weather reached Brisbane, although it brought with it a heap of rain, there was no real damage or destruction beyond some minor flooding.

Keep reading here!

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Need to know about your backups

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How to Identify Malicious Phishing

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How to identify a potentially malicious phishing email

There’s a lot of risk these days with emails arriving in your inbox, spam that’s essentially carrying some sort of a malicious payload. It’s dangerous in the sense that it will potentially risk installing some bad software or virus or malware … something like that on your computer.

Keep reading here!

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Announcing our free downloadable BYOD Policy Template

The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) trend is well and truly here to stay, with employees pretty much expecting these days to be able to bring their own personal choice of mobile device to work with them, and use it to access corporate data and systems, usually starting with email.

Keep reading here!

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BYOD Policy

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How Hipchat can solve your internal communication problems

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How HipChat solved our internal communication problems

Our team cover various functions such as technical support, administration, finance and marketing, and just like more and more businesses don’t necessarily all work from the office, at least not at the same time. It’s normal for us to have at least one or two people working remotely at any one time, either from home, or from a client site.

Keep reading here!

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Going to ProBlogger? Here are our top travel tech tips.

The tickets are booked, clothes are in the suitcase and we’re humming the tune of “Leaving on a Jet Plane” (actually we’ll be driving, but you know). But what about the gadgets, widgets, and other technology to make life a little easier whilst in transit? We asked some tech-savvy business travellers what their top travel tech tips.

Keep reading here!

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Top 3 tips to reducing your IT costs

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Top 3 Tips to Reduce IT Costs

Years of IT consulting have taught me where and how people spend unnecessary money on IT and lose their competitive edge. My goal with Grassroots IT is to help small to medium businesses get the most value from their technology investment. Here are three simple tips that can help you reduce IT costs and take charge of your technology today.

Keep reading here!

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Is Your IT Health Check up to Date?

You see, while technology appears to be solving all of our problems, they still suffer from some of their own. With a little forethought and a little TLC, there are ways and means to minimise the impact when technology does fail. There are also ways to improve their function and monitor their health. Simple checks on servers and network systems can save you much time and money in the long run.

Keep reading here!

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Is your IT health check up to date

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how we collect client feedback

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How we collect Client Feedback

From the day we opened the doors at Grassroots IT over 10 years ago we have had a passionate focus on our clients, and how we can best help “keep the light green” for them, so they can focus on growing their business and not be held back by technology problems. We obviously need certain technical skills to help deliver on this, but just as importantly we need to effectively engage with the people involved. Thus our tagline – “IT Help for Humans”.

Keep reading here!

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How to successfully deal with IT problems

Technology can be an amazingly powerful business enabler, pretty much everyone agrees on that point. But it can also be bloody frustrating at times. Its ok, I get it. Even though we’re the experts it happens to us too. In fact not only do we get to deal with our own frustrations with IT, we also get to deal with our clients annoying IT problems!

Keep reading here!

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How to successfully deal with IT problems

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How secure is your Cyber Security?

Do you have a good grasp on Cyber Security and how it affects your business? Or do you leave it to someone else to worry about, such as a manager or your IT guy?

On The Small Business Technology Show, we spoke to Dr Sally Ernst who is an expert in the area of cyber security and has written the book ‘Gotcha! Your Little Black Book to a Safer E-xperience‘. Her book is aimed at business owners who are short on time but want to be cyber safe. Our recent interview with Dr Sally on the podcast explains why you need to have a good understanding of cyber security and how it can affect your business, and here is a quick summary of the information we discussed.

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Dr Sally’s thoughts on cyber security:

The need now is to get people engaged in cyber security, and this includes business owners. A lot of businesses rely on blissful ignorance that their internal IT guy (or girl) is going to make sure everything is safe and secure. The reality is that it is not just one person’s responsibility to be working towards being less cyber insecure. There is a need for a mindset shift towards everyone being personally accountable.

It is important to have an understanding what your cyber security is and where it is. Many businesses are not even consuming the basic security that already exists. There is no excuse at a corporate level not to be operating under the best practices and frameworks.

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Cyber security implementation:

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Here are Dr Sally’s five tips to get you cyber safe and secure:

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  • Start small and start somewhere
  • Understand where your information functionality is
  • Know where all your information is stored
  • Prioritise how to start protecting it
  • Beware of Shadow IT

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(For more information on Shadow IT, click here)

Examples of security breach and practices to avoid them:

It’s important to understand what type of security breaches could occur and to think ahead to avoid any occurring. Here are some examples Dr Sally has shared with us.

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  • It’s not just as simple as knowing your email is with Microsoft Outlook and banking is with your banking provider. They’re not isolated. In fact, they are all very much interconnected.
  • Think on a larger scale – who has access to your network?
  • Email providers use an authentication as a backup for your password, like sending a text to your mobile. If you’re mobile is breached, then you only have one level of security.

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If you would like more information on cyber security click this link to hear the rest of our chat with Dr Sally.

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How we collect Client Feedback

How we collect client feedback

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From the day we opened the doors at Grassroots IT over 10 years ago we have had a passionate focus on our clients, and how we can best help “keep the light green” for them, so they can focus on growing their business and not be held back by technology problems. We obviously need certain technical skills to help deliver on this, but just as importantly we need to effectively engage with the people involved. Thus our tagline – “IT Help for Humans”.

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It’s been shown time and again that we can offer the best technical solution to a problem, but if we fail on the personal engagement piece we will likely end up with a complaining client, or worse yet an unhappy client that we don’t even know about.

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We track various hard metrics within our service delivery teams, such as average time to resolution, and open tickets, but ultimately all of these metrics are about achieving one thing – client satisfaction. We could have the best time to resolution in the world, but in the end if the client isn’t satisfied, then it’s all for nothing.

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So how do we track and measure client satisfaction? We’ve tried various approaches over the years, some of which have worked well, others less so.

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One on One Meetings

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One on one meetings with our clients have and will always   play an important role in what we do. In person is ideal, however video or phone call can also be effective, as long as all parties are comfortable and able to communicate well via the chosen medium. Nothing can beat the in person meeting though, as it lets all parties properly engage and respond to each other on all levels including spoken word, body language, and micro-expressions. Ultimately people do business with people, so engaging in person will always be best.

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There are however some shortcomings with only relying on one on one meetings. The most significant being that these meetings are almost always attended only by senior executives and management. Engaging at this level is of course an extremely good thing, however the challenge here is that the services Grassroots IT delivers touch all levels of an organisation, not just the executive suite. By only engaging and receiving feedback from the executive team we may only be getting one part of the picture, while missing out on vital information that others may offer.

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It’s also worth noting that often meetings of this type tend to focus on problems, without acknowledging and learning from the wins. Dealing with problems is important, but again this can lead to a very one-sided discussion.

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Satisfaction Surveys

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With online services such as SurveyMonkey.com and Promotor.io, surveying your client base is easier and cheaper than it’s ever been. We have tried a range of methods including long-form surveys, short multi-choice questions, and Net Promotor Score (NPS) surveys. We have also tried various frequencies for these surveys including Annual, Quarterly, Monthly and on-demand.

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Surveys can provide some excellent insight into your client base if you ask the right questions, however in my experience they don’t offer a very useful method of assessing client satisfaction. As surprising as this may sound, I’ve got one main reason for this.

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Getting the frequency of surveys right is tough. Too often and your clients will become jaded and not bother responding. Too infrequent and the feedback will be an isolated moment in time, and likely not accurately portray longer term sentiment. For example, imagine a perfectly happy client who has an unfortunately negative experience with your services, then gets surveyed that afternoon. Chances are they will respond to this survey negatively, despite that fact that this is not indicative of their feelings for the other 364 days of the year.

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What surveys are really good at is getting a better understanding of what your clients are thinking, and what’s important to them. For example, you could ask them to select their top priorities for their IT budget this year, so that you can better understand how you can help them achieve this.

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Follow up phone calls

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This is an interesting one that we’ve only recently implemented, so the verdict is still out on the value of personal follow up phone calls. The way that we have implemented this little experiment is to have a member of staff select a handful of closed tickets from the previous week, and make a personal phone call to each client to elicit feedback on their experience, and offer to follow up on any outstanding items.  Clients are selected with a view to providing a representative cross-section of feedback across different clients, technicians, and problem types.

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Feedback so far on this technique has been mixed. Because we are talking with the actual person involved in the issue (and not simply their senior management) we often get valuable, constructive feedback from the people directly impacted by our services. We do however also get some people who are simply baffled, and can’t understand why we’re calling.

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Our immediate intention is to continue with this experiment, while refining our methods. As we learn more and decide whether to continue or cease this I’ll report back in a future blog post.

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Per-issue Feedback

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Not long ago per-issue feedback was, for me, a wasted effort, despite the value it promised. The reason was simple – poor response rates. When we close a ticket in our system, the client receives a confirmation email confirming that the issue has been resolved, and providing some details. We have always included in this email some words and a link requesting feedback on how we did with this particular matter. Despite what we tried response rates were so low as to be pointless.

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This all changed a few months ago when we implemented a new system to help capture these per-issue responses. Now with the click of a button each client can rate their satisfaction as either Positive, Neutral or Negative, with the option of leaving a short comment.

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Not only have response rates gone through the roof, but we are now able to report on those responses against a range of other data such as which technician worked on the ticket, and the nature of the issue.

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Norence Tan, Former IT Training Video Editor achieves goal of USA Study

Dreams, Goals and Plans

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“A dream is a goal with a plan. Seeing myself walk along campus corridors and gladly greeting my students who passionately learn their crafts and grow determined with my life experiences will be living my ultimate dream.”

We love hearing about people living their dreams.

One of the things that I love about Grassroots IT is the constant opportunities to engage with a wide range of interesting and talented people, both here in Australia and overseas.

One such talented individual is Norence Tan, who resides in the Philippines and has been working with us over the past few years editing and producing our IT training videos.

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While we were recently saddened to hear that Norence wouldn’t be able to work with us anymore, we were very proud to learn that his dream to take on higher education in the USA was coming true.

Norence has been awarded a full scholarship grant through one of the Philippines’ most competitive and prestigious scholarship programs, Science, Technology, Research and Innovation for Development (STRIDE). STRIDE is a five-year $1.3 billion initiative by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) that will “spur inclusive economic growth by boosting science and technology research. USAID works closely with academic institutions and industries in the Philippines to transform their capacity to produce research, graduates, and innovation partnerships to accelerate development in the country.”

Norence will be attending Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, as an International Graduate Student taking Master of Business and Science (MBS) with a science concentration on Information Technology.

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Congratulations Norence! We wish you every success as you begin this new adventure and follow your dreams. We know how committed you were to making this happen, and how hard you worked.

“My decision and success in this endeavor are not mine: they are ours. For I so love my home country that I will hold my goals as close as possible to my heart, I remain humble and encouraged in dreaming for a better society.”
~ Norence Tan

 

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Maintaining your culture through growth #grassrootsit #wattsnext #blogpost

Maintaining Your Culture Through Growth

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This is a guest post by Katie Hamilton, Head of Delivery – NSW at wattsnext

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Maintaining your culture through growth #grassrootsit #wattsnext #blogpost

wattsnext has just embarked on a very exciting journey to open our first interstate office in Sydney. As we start to grow our team beyond the one location, it was important to reflect on how to maintain the culture we have worked hard over the last eight years to create.

I’ve been with wattsnext for over three years so the culture is pretty well engrained in me. However, even if you have existing team members helping with the expansion, there are a few key things to have in mind.

Develop (and live by) a strong vision, mission and values

Your vision, mission and values should always be there to guide you on your journey, so it’s important that this is embedded into your business and referred back to often.

By being really clear about this as a business owner, it will help you to align your team (both existing and new) and provide direction around what you are ultimately achieving.

Have consistent processes across each site

When preparing for expansion, it’s essential to ensure you have documented processes in place that are transferable to the new site.

Not only with the create streamlined efficiencies it will promote consistency so your clients get the same experience, regardless of where they are located. This builds your credibility with the service you provide and it also means that clients seek to engage the business and not just individuals within it (key person risk is a whole other blog!).

Where possible, share the same schedules. For example, we have “Twitter Time” every Tuesday and Friday – and our team in Sydney will be doing it at the same time as Brisbane (maybe we’ll skype in to see the disco ball and sync our playlists so we’re all listening to the same terrible 90s tunes). Similarly, we have our budget and WIP meetings, and also Friday “share and care”.

Keep connected

Organise regular catch-ups with everyone. We have a monthly “general business update” which is a quick, one hour update that everyone is involved in. This keeps the team informed about what’s happening in the business and you can also celebrate wins and achievements across the locations.

If you can allow for it, it’s great to get everyone together throughout the year. This can be a great initiative to promote synergy among each of the locations but also to realign each individual with the goals of the business.

Recruit for cultural fit

We obviously encourage recruiting for cultural fit regardless of the situation, however perhaps it’s even more important to focus on as you begin to expand. Skills and capabilities are absolutely important but you want to make sure that the team you recruit align to your values and fit the culture that you have created and want to keep.

One of the final things to remember as you grow is that you should keep an open mind about your culture – don’t lock yourself in if it’s going to restrict the development of your company. Values and behaviours can be fluid and it’s okay to grow and adapt to changes.

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Katie Hamilton_headshotKatie Hamilton is a self-proclaimed “HR Analysis Guru”, helping businesses to thrive by developing strategic HR Plans focused on achieving business objectives. Coupled with her genuine desire to create great workplaces, Katie empowers leaders to achieve peak people performance. Katie ensures she offers truly commercial results for all her clients. You can connect with Katie on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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360 Degrees Feedback Concept

The 360 Degree Journey

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This is a guest post by Laura Kemp, HR Coordinator at wattsnext

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360 Degrees Feedback ConceptA lot of people have varied opinions about the 360 and depending on who you read, it gets good, bad, or ugly reviews. Generally, the feedback doesn’t address a performance issue or strategic need. Instead it’s being done because it’s the latest management trend or because a senior manager thinks it’s a good idea.

For those who haven’t heard of it, 360-degree feedback is a system or process covering a broad range of competencies in which a person receives anonymous feedback from the people who work around them. Most often, 360-degree feedback will include direct feedback from employees, peers and managers. It can also include feedback from external sources, such as clients and suppliers or other interested stakeholders. The person receiving the feedback also fills out a self-rating survey that includes the same questions.

There are too many 360 implementations that are a waste of time, resources and opportunity. You certainly want to make sure to address the pitfalls before embarking on a 360-degree journey.  Here are a few simple tips to consider:

  • Clear communication – Provide detailed information about the 360 to everyone involved to ensure trust is a top priority. You will fail to get your preferred outcome and positive involvement if you have not clearly explained the exercise and how the data will be used to assess development.
  • Keep it simple – select competencies that actually reflect the business’ desired leadership attitudes, behaviours and skills. Measuring several competencies will become overwhelming, lengthy and irrelevant. Performance should be measured against the goals and priorities that are most important to the business.
  • Keep the feedback anonymous – When the information is kept confidential, increased ratings and other non-productive feedback is reduced providing valuable, honest and useful information.
  • Have a plan – 360 data is only helpful to the extent that it gets acted upon and used. The majority of results simply give the feedback and then it gets quickly forgotten.
  • Don’t forget the strengths – Don’t disregard the strengths that get uncovered in the 360 process. Address the weaknesses but never stop relying on the strengths.

When 360s are done poorly, they can be a disaster; however, when they’re done well, they can be a major part of driving accelerated growth for a team and business.

Does your company use a 360 process to develop leaders?

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Laura Kemp wattsnext HeadshotLaura Kemp

HR Coordinator. wattsnext

Laura has a genuine passion for people and performance that is unquestionable, always searching for HR solutions that benefit all parties. Her warm, kind, pleasantly addictive nature means clients welcome her into their business like an old friend. Laura embeds herself as a trusted and essential advisor to her clients.

You can connect with Laura on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Continuing Professional Development

Make Continuing Professional Development standard practice in your business.

As a professional services organisation ourselves, we recognise the importance of ongoing training and education not only for our own people, but for our clients as well. In response to a number of requests, I’ve posted below a copy of an internal presentation we use here with our team to introduce our Continuing Professional Development framework.

Using a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) framework can help you identify opportunities, timetable action, and monitor progress. CPD should be considered non-negotiable in any professional services organisation if you want to proactively remove frustrations, and maintain your competitive edge. Rather than viewing professional development as an expense, view it as an investment. The kind of investment that will pay dividends over time.

A wise investment in your staff

Your staff is arguably your most important asset, with the potential to drain value or add value to your organisation. Taking a proactive approach to their development will ultimately maximise not only their satisfaction, but also the value they can bring to the organisation. Each staff member should have a CPD framework designed with their specific professional role indicated and established skills and knowledge outlined. Once a clear picture is made of the individual, it will be easier to identify knowledge and skills gaps and to action a plan to fill these gaps. The framework is flexible and also makes suggestions and ideas to help you think outside the box when considering training and delivery options.

Using a CPD framework allows for easy management of the process. It provides steps for clear discussion about what development opportunities are present and how you can capitalise on them and move your people and your business forward. Making continued professional development standard practice in your business will pay in full down the track while encouraging a positive attitude of learning and growth in your staff.


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Ben Love

Founder, Grassroots IT

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Join me online

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When not looking at ways to use technology to create a competitive advantage for his clients, Ben is a busy father of three boys, avid gardener, and keen runner.

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