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.
Employees were asked to write a value and short description on a card and post it on our newly-created Core Values wall. For two weeks, each employee could add as many or as few as they wanted, and in the end, employees contributed nearly 50 cards.
From there, we grouped the cards based on similar ideas, and came up with twelve high-level themes. Those themes then were put into a survey tool, where employees were asked to rank them. The results were crystal clear. Employees believe we have five core values, with the other seven supporting those.
Our final step was to have our marketing team help wordsmith the final values, because of course, they have to sound like us.
And here are the values that our employees believe make us who we are and define how we work with each other and our clients every day:
- Own it: We’re accountable to ourselves, each other and our clients. We keep our promises.
- Bring it: We deliver exceptional service and value every day. We’re aiming for Wow!
- Push it: We’re always moving forward or learning from our mistakes. Standing still is not an option.
- Say it: We’ve torn down the walls so ideas and information flow freely. Candid and direct is a way of life.
- Unite! We are strategic and creative, thoughtful and candid, fun and different. We’re one team, united by a common vision.
If you interact with any of us at Geonetric in any way – as a client, vendor partner, community neighbor, agile co-conspirator, prospective client or candidate for employment – I trust that you’ve been seeing those values in action for a long time. We’ve just finally written them down in a way that sounds just like us. Yep – nailed it.
When I review the results of our quarterly client satisfaction survey, I feel a lot like Sally Field felt when she won the Oscar® for Best Actress in 1985.
“This time I feel it, and I can’t deny the fact that you like me. Right now you like me!”
There is no denying the fact that our clients like us. And that’s a really great feeling!
To put some numbers behind those emotions (because we’re all about the data!), this quarter’s survey again surpassed our targets for both participation level AND satisfaction ranking.
- 72% of our clients completed the survey, slightly higher than our 70% goal.
- Clients ranked us at 5.21 on a scale of 1 (lowest) to 6 (highest), well above our target of 5.0.
Last week was Geonetric’s eHealth Symposium, our annual client get together where we spend a few days of learning, bonding and way too much food. This year, Symposium relived our childhood summer camp memories as Camp Reboot, complete with camp songs and s’mores!
Today Geonetric was certified as a Democratic Workplace by WorldBlu. We’re proud to be a company that values its employees and actively works to create such a positive workplace culture.
Geonetric has always been a great place to work. About 18 months ago, we took that a step further – we said “great culture” has to mean more than just amenities like free food and a flexible work environment. So we eliminated our formal management hierarchy and instead created self-organizing, self-managing teams. That was a pretty major step toward a democratic workplace, even before we knew that was a “thing”.
We have a pretty lofty goal for response rate. We need 70% participation, every survey. And you know what? We’ve consistently exceed that goal for more than two years. This time around, 73% of our clients participated in the survey and 92% of those respondents gave us a 5.0 or higher overall score!
Today is the fifth annual Community Manager Appreciation Day! Almost every organization big and small has some form of community manager. Traditionally the role of community manager applies to anyone who interacts with the public representing their organization. Most commonly this role is associated with someone who manages the organization’s social media channels. Whenever you interact with a brand online, there is (hopefully) a community manager on the other end responding to you in a timely manner.
When I get asked what I do for Geonetric I typically don’t respond with “Community Manager” simply because it’s not a widely recognized title. If I do, most people hear the word “manager” and instantly assume I manage a team of marketers (which isn’t the case since we don’t have managers at Geonetric). Instead I tell people that I’m a Digital Marketing Strategist. The broader title is a better representation of what I do since very few community managers like me just do that one role (unless you work for McDonalds or other very large corporation).
Community managers often wear multiple hats at their organizations. We have a hand in public relations, customer service, content marketing, marketing strategy, research, analytics, branding, and can touch many other departments in an organization beyond marketing.
Before looking ahead sometimes it’s important to learn from the past. Taking a look at the popular topics from webinars, blog posts and tweets from the past year provides a snap shot at past trends. Content marketing, social media and search engine optimization continue to be hot topics for healthcare marketers. Geonetric will be here throughout 2014 to keep you informed through our GeoVoices blog, free monthly webinars, eHealth Spotlight eNewsletter, eHealth articles, white papers, eBooks and on Twitter.
With the holiday season just around the corner, there’s a lot to get excited about. And, for a lot of us, that means enjoying some delicious food!
First it’s the juicy Thanksgiving turkey with all the fixings and Grandma’s yummy homemade pumpkin pie. Next, you’re whirled away into the endless barrage of sweet treats, candies and melt-in-your-mouth goodness for the entire month of December. Don’t forget about all of those holiday dinner parties where you will wine and dine to your heart’s content. After all, it’s the holidays and you deserve to celebrate! Finally, move right on into New Year’s where you’ll have one last hurrah and ring in 2014 by sampling even more delectable goodies and fine wine.
Social media – it’s a powerful way to communicate. As you’ve probably noticed in your news feed, thousands are participating in a 30-Day Thankfulness Challenge on Facebook. Seems like everyone is sharing all the things they are appreciative of this holiday season and beyond. The client advisory team at Geonetric wanted to join in on the fun so we decided to share what we are thankful for.
What is the difference between a project manager and a client advisor?
It’s an interesting question and one we at Geonetric have been answering for some time now. During our company-wide roll out of agile, we refined some of our internal roles, and with that came the transformation of our project managers.
Geonetric’s project managers have always handled more than just timelines and budgets. We are a very hands-on group – we do everything from place content to test new website functionality.
But now, we’ve taken on more of an advisory role. What does that mean for our clients?
A number of the readers of GeoVoices are other companies using Agile methods, or considering it, because Geonetric is particularly aggressive in using Agile methods. If you’re interested in Agile, this post is for you. If not, feel free to skip this one!
Our Agile coach, Richard Lawrence, and his company Agile For All, put on a conference called Humanizing Work this week for advanced practitioners of Agile. Everyone had at the minimum been through a full Agile training program already; most had been involved with Agile for quite some time, some for many years. Attendees ranged from very large, well known corporations to small businesses and everything in between. Continue reading
It’s a well-documented fact that Geonetric surveys our clients every quarter to find out how we’re doing. In fact, we just wrapped up our Q3 survey.
Some might ask why we survey so frequently. Doesn’t that lead to survey fatigue? Aren’t we worried about over-surveying leading to skewed results and lowered response rates?
On the other hand, good businesses have to pay attention to the “Voice of the Customer.” What are their preferences, expectations, and experiences with our company?
So how do we balance these two seemingly conflicted questions?
In October of last year, I wrote about how we were using Scrum to drive agile marketing campaigns. This ended up being our pilot program to see if Scrum works outside of the software world.
We found out a lot of what makes Scrum so great does in fact work outside the walls of software, just not everything. We actually deemed the practice “Scrum” (yes, making finger quotes when you say it!).
A year later all of our teams are using some elements of Scrum, and to a much greater degree, embracing the constructs of Agile that help us get things done. We are trying not to call it Scrum either, when it’s not.
Our software teams still embrace Scrum and the rest of our company has learned a thing or two from this.
Agile-versary??? Stay tuned for more about this exciting effort in the next few months!
So what is Operation Overnight?
The ultimate test of team dynamics. A collaboration of goals. And, a leap of faith into the unknown. You’re put on a team you don’t work with regularly. You have one day to build a new Web site. From scratch. At the end of that period of time, it has to be delivered. To make it even more challenging, you don’t really know many of the requirements going in.
If you got that project at work, I’m sure you’d think about getting the old resume together. What happens if you don’t get it done? What if there are too many requirements? What if you don’t like the people you’re working with? How do you know if your deliverable will be good enough?
Why Operation Overnight? Why 24 hours?
We don’t stay up 24 hours because it is a cool thing to do, we stay up 24 hours to touch lives. And we touch lives through the websites that we build for these very deserving non-profits in our community. We give by doing what we do best – helping these organizations create a presence on the Web that will enable them to reach more people – people that might need help as well as people that may want to donate their time or money.
It’s that simple.