TL;DR: New video conferencing tool 8×8.vc makes it easy to connect with employees and customers on the go key features at no additional cost.
Video conferencing is cheaper than travel (and with 8×8, it’s free!). Let’s say you want to meet with a customer in another state to go over plans for a new project. You’ve got everything spec’d out and your team is excited about what the project could mean for your organization. But there’s just one problem — the best way to convey all sides of the plan would require at least three of the main contributors on the project. Sure you could hop on a plane (BTW — I LOVE planes) but what if the cost to get everyone in front of the customer was more than the value of the project? What if you’re only planning to meet for an hour? What if you need multiple meetings over time and it’s just not feasible to have key team members shuttling back and forth to the client site because it’s not in the contract? Have you ever been in this predicament? Video conferencing is the best solution for these problems because it helps bridge the communication divide while also having the feel of a face-to-face meeting. With 8×8’s new, free video conferencing software, you can meet over video and not worry about time limits, usage, or anything like that. It’s free and limitless — the power to be productive is at your fingertips!
Video conferencing brings employees together. When you run a startup or small business, you don’t always build your team from the talent pool in your backyard. For example, my company has employees and contractors who live in three time zones… An in-person meeting just doesn’t work for us! If you’re reading this article, you’re probably running a business that is very similar — am I right? These days many businesses know that the best talent isn’t always living in your backyard and many employees value the ability to work remotely for their employer. So, what’s the best way to keep everyone in the loop and build a sense of community? Definitely not email threads and “instachatbook” messages where you’re wondering if it’s okay to send that emoji that gets your point across. It’s video conferencing! Employees use video conferencing for many different reasons. With 8×8, it’s super easy to connect with colleagues in another county and another cubicle. You can have a standing meeting room, which makes it easy to share a custom URL with your teammates. You can also sync your availability with your calendar so people know when to chat about work and when to chat about your holiday plans! Did I also mention that you can meet via a web browser, tablet, and cell phone?
Video conferencing is a great way to make a first impression with prospects and potential new hires. Pro Tip: If you want to make a good first impression with a business colleague, you might want to have a pretty sweet looking office. Advanced Tip? Show that office off on a video conference call. Super-Next-Level Tip? Show that office off in HD! 8×8 offers feature-rich HD video and audio conferencing at no cost. That means you can leverage the space around you to help make your meeting participants feel like they’re right there with you — and do so with crystal clear visibility. Because let’s face it, as much as people lock into what’s being said at a meeting, they also want to see surroundings. Get good lighting, set up in your conference room or room with a view, and nail that next presentation or interview!
Video conferencing extends your ability to create meaningful content. This might actually be one of my favorite reasons for using video conferencing software. You don’t have to use it only for meetings. With 8×8, you can record podcasts/interviews, create video SOPs, share your screen and create training guides, and more! If you don’t think video is a popular form of content, think again! Over 500 million hours of video content is consumed on YouTube every day. Create internal and external video content with 8×8 and watch employee engagement and your marketing efforts soar!
Video conferencing is the communication tool of today — and tomorrow. Ask any millennial today and 8 times out of 10, they probably won’t be able to tell you the last person they talked to on the phone. The same number of millennials likely would tell you that they suffer from “app fatigue,” a condition that causes burnout due to the number of chat, email, text, and phone apps on our phones and the constant need to switch between them all to communicate with those who are important to us. But, remember what I said earlier about video consumption on YouTube? That trend alone is a good indicator that people crave video. People consume video to be entertained, to be informed, to learn new skills, and to keep in touch. Software like 8×8 makes that possible at work with a simple setup process and many key features. Want to know how many people attended a meeting and how many minutes they spoke in the meeting? 8×8 meeting analytics can show you. Worried about people not being able to speak up in heated discussion or one person monopolizing camera time? 8×8 has a hand-raise feature that let’s you acknowledge who wants to speak next. Video is the primary replacement for face-to-face communication when meeting IRL isn’t possible.
So, there you have it! As we look at 2020, you should consider using video conferencing software more often to communicate with employees, customers, and potential new hires. Not only is it the most preferred method of communication behind face-to-face meetings, you can have memorable meetings for free with 8×8’s new software offering. Take that next step and go register for an 8×8 profile for free today! And after the ball drops and we welcome 2020 with open arms, reach out to a colleague over video to say “Happy New Year and we’re going to have an amazing year together!”
The following is a guest post provided by our friends at FutureFuel
Employee engagement isn’t just a trendy phrase for your next company meeting. When your employees feel connected and engaged with the corporate mission, you will see a noticeable boost in productivity and loyalty.
There is no blanket strategy for increasing engagement levels because every workplace has a different culture to it. However, you can utilize the psychological concept of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to develop an employee engagement strategy that will work for your corporate environment.
What is the Hierarchy of Needs?
Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a pretty straightforward concept that is generally accepted in the world of psychology. He believed that humans have five basic needs that must be fulfilled in order to stay happy and motivated, and he said that each of these needs has a place in a pyramid-style hierarchy.
Basic needs at the bottom of this pyramid must be taken care of first, and the higher-level needs can be addressed afterward.
According to Maslow, the needs must be addressed in the following order:
Physiological needs like food, water, and shelter
Safety and security
Relationships and belonging
Status and respect
Self-actualization or personal growth
This hierarchy of needs can easily translate to the needs of an employee in terms of engagement.
Hierarchy of Engagement
Using Maslow’s pyramid as a method of better understanding employee engagement can be helpful for developing a strategy to keep everyone feeling fulfilled when they come to work.
To show how this is accomplished, this section will outline each need and demonstrate how it can be applied to the workplace.
This is the base of the pyramid, and it is what everything else must be built upon. In daily life, this is the ability to satisfy physiological needs like hunger, thirst, and sleep.
In the workplace, this translates more specifically to wages. At the base level of the engagement hierarchy, people are most concerned about their ability to earn a living. As much as a job should be about more than money, everyone needs money to survive in today’s world.
After physiological needs are able to be consistently met, the next step up is safety. This is the ability to accumulate resources, maintain good health, and feel secure in day-to-day life.
In terms of engagement, the employees will be concerned about job security and their ability to perform well.
When security is no longer an issue, the next step toward fulfillment includes meaningful relationships and connection to others.
At this part of the hierarchy, employees are happiest when they feel like they’re part of a team that’s working together toward a common goal.
Status and Recognition Needs
Not everyone craves the spotlight, but everyone wants to feel like his or her contributions are valued.
In the workplace, this step of the hierarchy often translates to recognizing employees for their individual achievements. These needs can also be met by asking for and implementing feedback from individual workers.
At the top of the pyramid is self-actualization. Here is where humans are able to explore their true potential and achieve personal growth.
At work, employees at the top of the pyramid are often seen as leaders by their peers. These people are happy to come to work because they feel like they’re making a difference, and their enthusiasm tends to be infectious.
Applying the Hierarchy
Understanding this hierarchy in the context of the workplace can help your business develop better engagement strategies.
One way to ensure that every employee is able to reach the higher levels of this pyramid is by managing compensation. Ensure that employees are able to earn well. Offer incentives, promotions, and raises as a way of helping workers meet the two most basic levels of needs.
Creating a culture that appeals to the higher levels of the hierarchy will largely depend on the industry your company is in. However, there are some basic ideas you can implement to help employees work their way up to self-actualization.
A good starting point is to regularly ask for feedback from everyone. It can be anonymous or not, depending on what is the most viable option for your particular corporate culture. Asking for opinions on team building events, new projects, and how best to recognize employee contributions can be very eye-opening.
By asking for this feedback and incorporating it into your workplace culture, you will show workers that they are being valued. You will be able to foster better relationships between employees because you will have a better understanding of what appeals to them.
Employee Engagement Is Simpler Than You Might Think
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs applies to everyday life, but it is also an excellent model for how your employees engage in the workplace as well.
Remember that the most basic of needs must be fulfilled first in the form of compensation and job security. Once employees feel secure in their positions, they will start to look for connections, respect, and a sense of higher purpose.
It may take a bit of trial and error to learn the best ways to implement this approach in your corporate culture, but it is well worth the effort. You will see noticeable increases in happiness, productivity, and loyalty when you begin to successfully apply the hierarchy of needs to a workplace setting.
In this HR video podcast, Jumpstart:HR Founder Joey Price is joined by Cecile Alper-Leroux. She is the VP of Human Capital Management (HCM) Innovation at Ultimate Software, a company that provides HCM solutions in order to help organizations improve the employee experience and grow their business.
Cecil has over 20 years of experience in both national and global market and she is an internationally sought-out speaker, thought leader, and visionary on HCM trends, hot topics, and global strategies. She joined Ultimate Software in 2010 and she’s been focusing on fostering a culture of innovation at Ultimate ever since.
In this video, we will be going over the results of their latest research on the benefits of remote workers.
Our topics include:
What is the current state of remote work?
The results of Ulitmate Software’s latest study on the effects of remote work.
What are some of the key benefits that should encourage employers to add remote work to their business model?
How will having an increased number of remote workers affect managerial roles?
How is remote work helping women in the workplace?
The technological trends that are helping bridge the gap between the office and the remote workforce.
All that and a whole lot more! Stay tuned for another action-packed episode of the Business, Life, and Coffee Podcast!
The implications of the #metoo era continue to spread far and wide. As a result, state governments across the country are making big changes. States are making an honest effort to make the workplace less hostile for women and we’re here for it. Take California for example. Cali is known for progressive policies and a pro-employee environment. Did you know that the state is making it mandatory for employees with a handful of employees to complete Sexual Harassment prevention training by the end of 2019? This article will give you a quick overview of what’s required and answer some questions on how Jumpstart:HR, LLC can help your organization meet these new expectations.
If you’re an employer in California, keep reading. And don’t worry, even if you’re not an employer in the Golden State, keep reading. Your state could be next!
Which employers are required to provide sexual harassment training?
As mentioned above, employers with 5 or more employees must provide sexual harassment training to all employees. This includes not just key decision-makers and HR but all employees and supervisors. The state provides some flexible learning options, too. Training can be done in a classroom setting or any other effective interactive training format. That means you can send your employees to training, conduct training in-house, or register for an online program that fits the requirements. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing is requiring this training to be completed at least once every two years.
What type of sexual harassment training do employers have to offer?
According to the CA DFEH, employers are required to offer sexual harassment prevention training through one of the following:
Interactive E-learning training
Live Webinar Training
While there are a few options for employers to consider, the main focus for the training is retention. Not just retention of employees (obviously) but retention of knowledge. Each training options must include the ability to interact with material and have questions answered. It’s not enough to sit through a lecture. The trainings have to be dynamic! Memorable! And complete with quizzes and attendee participation. For training that is offered online, employees must be able to contact a knowledgable trainer who can answer their questions within 2 days or less.
Training must cover not only the prevention of sexual harassment but also:
The definition of sexual harassment
Examples of sexual harassment
The limited confidentiality of the process
Resources for sexual harassment victims
California is investing in comprehensive training and each training must include quizzes and skill-building activities. Those activities are meant to assess the participant’s understanding and application of major concepts.
Wait – how does California define a supervisor?
I’m glad you asked! Because that can often be a tricky question to answer when people merely collaboration on projects as opposed to lead people. Supervisors, by definition, are employees within an organization that have the ability to offer a job and terminate employment. They can also appoint, reassign, reprimand, or reward other employees. California also considers people who have a significant influence in these areas as supervisors as well. These are important distinctions because being a supervisor is not about your title but rather your influence in an organization. For example, if there are two programmers that report to the same boss – yet one is more senior and can help shape the career path of the junior programmer – the senior programmer could be considered a supervisor. It would make sense, then, for the senior programmer to participate in supervisor training.
Does Jumpstart:HR offer sexual harassment training?
Yes, we do! Starting October 1, 2019, Jumpstart:HR will provide live webinar and online e-courses for employees and supervisors alike. While we traditionally support small businesses and startups, both the live webinars and online e-course are designed to support employers large and small. “Eliminating sexual harassment at work isn’t about the size of your company, but rather your commitment to making positive changes that make the workplace a safe space for everyone’ says Jumpstart:HR, LLC Owner Joey Price. Our training has been crafted with the help of legal professionals and stand up to the rigorous guidelines mandated by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
Do You Know The Rules On Paid and Unpaid Internships?
“I’m looking for an intern because I just lost a critical employee.”
“We believe interns should be ready to contribute on the first day of their internship!”
“Our interns work as long as they’d like!”
If any of these three statements reflect your paid or unpaid internship experience, I hate to break it to you but you’re doing it wrong. Students who agree to join your organization shouldn’t be evaluated the same way as an entry-level employee because the rules of engagement aren’t the same. A quick rule of thumb is that employees are hired to SHOW and interns are groomed to GROW. If you’re in the middle of the hiring process for your summer interns and think you might be going about it wrong, we’ve got you covered!
This article will explain:
The merits of paid and unpaid internships
The seven factors that the Federal Government uses to validate an internship program
What to do if you’re stuck or confused
Are Internships Still Worth It?
If you’re a hiring manager at your organization, you’re probably wondering if internships still matter. In an era of AI and bots, lean teams and freelancers; the idea of hiring an intern might feel like an afterthought. Not only do interns legally require more hand-holding than other labor classes, but turnover is darn-near 100% since unlike Mike in Accounting who’s been at your company since the pre-Internet age, internships have to end at some point! In my professional opinion, internships are worth it for employers and interns alike! My thoughts on the subject are below but I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section or by tweeting me on Twitter (@joeyvpriceHR).
If you’ve ever looked at entry-level job descriptions (or written one lately), you know the conundrum that early-stage employees face. Many “entry-level” jobs require at least 1 or 2 years of experience in the industry… But how does one get this experience without having experience? Well, a perfect way is through an internship. Whether a student has a paid or unpaid internship, there’s redeeming value for the student who makes the most of their time at work. Yes, unpaid internships continue to be a hot topic on college campuses but they do pay off. Unpaid internships offer a whole host of opportunities for students who make the most of their limited time on your team:
Valuable work experience
Opportunities to network with industry professionals
A chance at reducing college tuition debt
Internships also benefit employers in many ways. They offer employers a way to begin building a pipeline of future talent, increase brand recognition among early-stage professionals, and may provide skilled labor at a discounted cost to help support mission-critical tasks. However, internships also come with a degree of risk, and an unsuspecting employer may find themselves under scrutiny or facing legal penalties and fines if their internship programs do not measure up to Federal, State, and local guidelines.
What Mistakes Do Employers Make When Hiring Interns?
Perhaps the biggest issue that arises when providing internships is whether the experience actually constitutes an internship, or if it is considered to be employment. Remember, internships are meant to be an educational experience first and foremost. Thankfully, there is Federal guidance on what makes a good internship program! The following criteria and tests can be used when determining whether or not your internship program is truly an internship:
Both the intern and the employer understand that the intern is not entitled to compensation
Make it clear to your interns from the very start that they will not be paid for their efforts as an intern. Try to capture this in writing either when you offer the internship to the student, or in the original announcement to which the intern applies.
The internship provides training that would be given in an educational setting.
Say goodbye to the days of making your interns take everyday coffee runs, lunch orders, and other menial tasks. The work that an intern is asked to complete should be similar to that of what they would otherwise do or learn in the classroom (business majors should learn about business functions and processes, political science majors should gain an understanding of the political process, etc.)
Completing the internship entitles the intern to academic credit
So, if the intern isn’t getting paid in money, what should they be paid in? Why, academic credit of course. Work with academic institutions’ internship coordinators to coordinate how many hours an internship will be expected to work, and how many credit hours the intern may be expected to receive.
The internship is limited in duration and educates the intern
Put a time limit on how long the intern will be expected to work for your company. This helps in setting expectations for your interns, as well as in determining the number of credits your interns will receive for their experience. How long should an intern last, you might ask….?
The internship corresponds with the academic calendar.
Depending on the State, college, or academic program, this length might differ. However, make sure that the internship corresponds as closely as possible to the academic calendars of the colleges in which your interns are enrolled.
The work complements, rather than displaces the work of a paid employee
Plain and simple, your interns should not replace your regular workers. Doing so almost universally results in your interns being considered regular, paid employees. Not to mention, it is also unethical and, if your interns continue not to be paid, could result in stiff fines for your company.
The intern is not entitled or promised a paid job at the end of the internship.
Promising an intern a job doing essentially the same things they’ve been doing as an intern causes problems. Mainly, it essentially creates an “unpaid trial service period” to test out employees until they become regular employees. A documented or promised job at the end of the internship also can be seen as creating an employment relationship.
By no means does this list preclude you from paying your interns for the work they do for your company. In fact, you may need to pay your interns in order to be competitive and attract top college talent to intern for your organization. However, it is important to keep the above 7 factors in mind, regardless of whether your interns are paid or unpaid.
Help Prevent Sexual Harassment with Our New Training Program.
Do You Want to Build The Perfect Internship Experience?
If you’ve gotten this far in the post, pat yourself on the back! It shows that you’re committed to helping your workplace be a launching point for successful students who benefit from mentorship at your office. If you’re interested in building out your internship program – or refining it – contact us today! It never hurts to have a second set of professional eyes reviewing your program to make sure it’s perfect. Jumpstart:HR, LLC can assess your internship program for the following:
Does your internship program pass the seven-step test?
Is your internship program one that students want to sign up for?
How do you make the most of the time your interns have with you?
How do you attract interns that resonate with your brand/mission/values?
What do I need to know/do if an intern doesn’t quite work out and needs to be terminated?
These are all big questions that we talk for small businesses and small teams at larger institutions. Drop us a note and let’s chat!