#GEOSTANDOUT: Meet Cole!

meet cole swanson

Geonetric hired about 20 new employees last year – and with that kind of growth it’s hard to get to know all the new people delivering amazing websites and digital marketing to our clients. That’s why our human resources team decided to introduce new employees and share some interesting (and random!) facts about them.

First up, Cole. Cole joined Geonetric’s content team in January as a Web Content Writer. We asked Cole some pretty important questions in order to get to know him better.

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Voting Results Are In

Voting Booth

Here in Iowa, we recently tallied some very important votes. Here’s what I see as the big takeaways.

  • Near-record participation: From both sides of the aisle, we had fabulous representation. I firmly believe the process works best when as many voices as possible are heard. So participation is an important metric, and we work hard to encourage as many to participate as possible.
  • A winner by a razor-thin margin: Everyone has expectations and goals. So when you hit a personal goal – something you’ve worked hard to achieve – by even the slimmest of margins, it’s difficult not to bask in the victory.
  • Come-from-behind surprises: Each time we go through this process, there are predictions of winners and losers…and then there are some results nobody on the outside predicted. Those unexpected results are important, and not just because they help keep the process interesting and the voters engaged. They’re important because they expose the hard work and focus that are happening every day behind the scenes.
  • Clear momentum: And then there’s that all-important momentum. Not a top-vote-getter, it’s something that shows such a surge, the results actually change the conversation and platform. We certainly saw that in the results.

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Client Survey: Participation Soars & New Hires Get On Board

Client Satisfaction Survey Results

Our mid-year client satisfaction survey was a success in so many ways.

One, more than 80 percent of Geonetric’s clients responded. Maybe that’s because clients know we listen and they’re eager to share their thoughts. Or, maybe it’s because we gave away four $100 giftcards to random participants! Either way, we’re thrilled when we get feedback from so many of our clients and can really dive deep into what’s working and what needs improvement.

Two, the biggest area we need to focus on is an area we’re aware of and have already applied considerable pressure: our backlog. We’re excited to see these scores improve as new team members get up to speed.

And three, it’s so much fun to be in a position to share some of the amazing comments we get. Client advisors are called out by name over and over again for consistently delivering top-notch service. Established clients appreciate the new functionality that our engineering team delivers. New clients rave about the launch process.

So let’s dive in and take a closer look.

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Client Satisfaction Surveys: A Retrospective

Group of people holding feedback sign

Geonetric has been doing our quarterly client satisfaction survey for a few years now. It’s a valuable tool for gathering feedback from our clients and making sure we’re all aligned on the right path … and we’ve been seeing great results.

In an agile environment, however, periodic retrospectives are a critical component – even when things seem to be running smoothly. A retrospective is a planned meeting that gives a team the opportunity to reflect and adapt. In a typical retrospective, we ask three overarching questions:

  1. What’s going well?
  2. What could use improvement?
  3. What actions should we take?

We applied those questions to our Client Satisfaction Survey process … and here are our observations and interpretations.

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Skills are Only Part of the Package: Hiring the Best Web Vendor for Your Organization

standingonheadDo you ever wonder if Scott Adams, creator of the “Dilbert” comic strip, is sitting on your shoulder? I have to admit, sometimes I do. This week, he’s lampooning the idea of hiring for cultural fit — something we at Geonetric have recently started intentionally focusing on.

It’s often amusing … and fairly easy … to joke about trends. Because frankly, any business concept, taken to its illogical extreme, has negative aspects and can be a target for ridicule.

But here’s the thing: a bad hire is expensive. We all know that. There’s all kinds of research that shows bad hires cost companies not just in terms of the time and resources to hire and train employees, but also in missed sales opportunities, lower client satisfaction and retention, strained employee relations, and potential legal issues. It’s often said that companies traditionally hire for skills and fire for behavior.

Of course, no one is hiring ONLY for cultural fit. At Geonetric, we use a combination of interviewing approaches — skills tests, personality assessments, behavioral interviewing, etc. — to get at a candidate’s ability to perform a job well within the team environment we’ve created.

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What Hospital Marketers Can Learn from the Ice Bucket Challenge

alsicebucketHave you logged into Facebook today? If so, you’ve likely seen at least a few new ice bucket challenge videos in your news feed. And it’s not slowing down! In fact, the Geonetric client advisor team was recently nominated — and accepted — the challenge. It’s simple. Pay a $100 donation toward ALS research to stay dry, or donate $10 and dump a bucket of ice water over your head. Then, nominate your friends to do it.

Here’s what we learn from this viral campaign, which has raised over $88 million in a matter of weeks:

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Sometimes It’s Hard to See Change From Up Close

Geonetric Values
For the past month or so I’ve been working very little with the Geonetric team. We moved to our brand new building last month, and I was pretty focused on that. But I’ve also been working with startup teams on our second floor in the Iowa Startup Accelerator, and will be until November. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know about our 18-month old experiment in which our teams operate without managers. Perhaps this takes the experiment to its logical conclusion: can the teams run without a CEO for three months?Of course the answer is yes.

Today I joined the entire company in our new café for our monthly company meeting. But unbeknownst to me, they had changed it up dramatically. And the modifications they made to the meeting are indicative of the important cultural changes that have been taking place.

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Geonetric is a Blue Zone Certified Worksite


Photograph of Geonetric employees standing on stairwell.
Geonetric was recently designated a Blue Zone Certified Worksite, becoming the 20th employer in Cedar Rapids to receive certification. Our timing coincided perfectly with the construction of our new building in the New Bohemia District. Much of our building planning took into consideration the Blue Zones certification requirements. For example, our new campus will be Tobacco Free. Our new café will have 10 inch plates and tall, skinny glasses. Our new workspace will have height adjustable desks.
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New Home for Geonetric

BuildingThe time has finally come. Geonetric has moved offices.We left our home of 11 years, 4211 Glass Road. We left a building that kept our team members divided in separate suites on separate floors. We left the turkeys who occasionally followed us in the parking lot. We left an HVAC system and bathrooms that didn’t always work properly.

But we don’t have to worry about any of that anymore. We’re now at 415 12th Avenue SE. And what an amazing, inspiring place to call home!

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What Does Geonetric Value

In the second year of our Agile-beyond-software transformation, we had an “aha” moment. We realized our core values were fuzzy and didn’t necessarily reflect the company we are today. We trust employees to self-organize and make the “right” decisions – but they didn’t have clear principles to guide those decisions.

In a traditional environment, the executive team might hire a branding company to define and roll out the organization’s values. The company then typically ends up with words that are cliché, ambiguous and impossible to measure – values like “passion” and “excellence” – or a Dilbert-like phrase filled with buzzwords – such as “leveraging core competencies to achieve synergistic results”. That doesn’t cut it here.

So of course, we decided to turn the process on its head. We asked employees to tell the executive team what our core values are.
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Enhancing Web Content Through Storytelling

great-storytelling-in-healthcareblogDrama. Likable characters. A happy ending.

Keys to a great story, right? They can also be keys to compelling Web content – as we learned last month at Camp Reboot, Geonetric’s ninth annual eHealth Symposium.

For those of you who weren’t able to join us, here’s a recap of a presentation from a member of our content team:

Great storytelling can expand your healthcare brand, according to Michelle LeCompte, Geonetric’s director of content services. Stories capture attention, connect with the reader and continue to resonate after they’re told. Stories engage our emotions – and have been proven to convert behavior. Michelle shared:

“Brands that connect with their buyers on an emotional level will see two times more impact than marketers trying to sell functional value.”

Her point? When it comes to marketing, feelings win out over facts every time.

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