Trust Me, Time Tracking Is Cool

I hate time sheets and I’m 100% sure you do too. I once had a job where we had the worst time-tracking system ever. It might as well have been tracking on Excel sheets… or post-its. It was plain useless.

The saddest part is knowing that most business who ask their employees to track their time, use similar systems. What’s the point of time tracking, anyway? To control employee productivity? Is it a back up for client fees? Are you getting fired if you’re not logging enough time? Can I log this as a working lunch if I answered a couple emails midway through this tasty burger, or…?

I try to look at it from a different perspective. As some of you may be tired of hearing about already know, I’m a (part-time, worse than amateur) road cyclist. And in cycling, as in most sports, data matters. A lot. In fact, we cyclists are data freaks. Obsessed with speed, heart rate, cadence, power.

We measure everything up to ridiculous amounts of detail. All for one single purpose: brag about it analyze every ride and identify areas of improvement. Small changes that will make us faster and one day may help us win a race or two.

Did I lose you there? Ok, hold on. We’re going straight back to work and time tracking. My point is work and productivity can also be analyzed and improved like sports performance. All you need is data.

Client feedback is data.
To-do lists are data.
Payments are data.
And so is time.

Think of this scenario, client feedback says your work quality has decreased, while an infinite to-do list shows there’s too much left undone. So you realize you must hire help, but whether you can afford it or not will depend on how much money each project represents. If you don’t track these things right, you could end up losing clients, failing at projects or hiring help you can’t pay. That’s why data is key.

So, how does all this apply to time? I’ll tell you what I do, and you can then figure out your own strategy for it.

I track all my working time using a simple, yet precise online tracker. I break it down by task and then group the tasks by client. I review the data weekly, every other week, and monthly; crossing all that information with travel schedules, personal commitments and (of course) cycling frequency. This is why I know that riding more than a certain weekly distance starts decreasing my productivity. Or that if I hop on a morning flight/train, I can still have a decent, productive day. I know the exact time that I should start working because starting earlier gets me bored too soon and slack the entire afternoon, but starting later becomes stressful and overwhelming. I can set goals. I can threshold minimums and maximums for the working hours. In short, I have a lot more control over my productivity.

Like on the bike, data allows me to reason the way I work and look for things to improve. It helps me move forward and reduce friction, which is kind of our mantra here at Movanti.

So yeah, time tracking is cool.

Written by Diego Valle

Our master of none has a mind full of ideas. His Ninja Team connects the dots to draw a forward-moving path to make your brand’s interactions memorable.

Customer Success Starts with a Great Team

A “Customer Success” trend is emerging in business, particularly in the SaaS industry. The Customer Relationship Management following the initial sale is where Customer Success begins.

This is a recent discipline, which is still evolving. The definition of responsibilities around it, the terminology used to define its activities, and the metrics used to gauge its performance are still very wide. In any case, having a customer success team filled with motivated, happy employees is critical. One thing is clear for any business that relies on continuing income streams from its clients; you can manage your customer relationships as a planned portfolio of assets, or you can cede control and the future of your company to chance. Customer acquisition is only the first step in what should be a long term, well engineered and meticulously directed tactic executed by the people in your business.
To catch the attention of everyone, you have to come up with the best message. It should be loud and clear for your target audience. A customer success team can help you improve the messages and channels you are using to communicate with potential customers.

What is Customer Success Management?

Customer Success Management has functions and activities from sales, marketing, professional services, and training. But a customer success team can also support other roles to meet the requirements of the recurring income model companies. It also gets involved with solving client portfolio development, expansion, and retention.

There are 3 necessary building blocks for this emerging profession:

1 An in-depth knowledge of customers

2 Efficient product knowledge

3 Widespread domain expertise

The traditional perception of a product and it’s packaging as a stand-alone artifact has passed. Today’s definitive strategic goal of Customer Success is sustainable corporate growth and profitability. That is, the method is to make your clients productive and profitable as possible.

The Customer Success Team’s Mission

It’s the customer success mission to build and establish more proven value quicker for the clients and the company. In a nutshell, is it is what the CSM groups guarantee to achieve. Being capable of proving your value in these directions will be the most important aspect. Your customer success team will need to be both well versed in the product, its use, and able to provide great service.

The Role of Customer Success Managers

Everyday activities of the customer success team members could differ and this may depend on the scope of the company. For example, there could be a team committed only to responding to the chum threats. They might spend their time attempting to persuade the “Code Red” clients not to go.

The sooner the team resolves this and sustains customer relations, the more efficient they will become and the less the cost will be.

Written by Courtney Meyers

After years of hard training, mastering the arts of of fighting organizational friction, Courtney has finally gathered the perfect team of Friction Ninjas from around the world. They have come to be known as Movanti. Think of her as the Miyagi to our Karate Kids.

Will a Customer Success Team Add Value to Your Business?

It’s too easy for customers to drop your product or service once they no longer find it useful; which is why the kind of relationship you create with your customers' matters. Customer relationships can be the key to your business success.

Customers Pursue Relationships, Not Just Products

If your customer doesn’t see any value on your products or services, they will stop paying for them. Usually, customers end up switching to your competitors because they offer the value they are looking for. In today’s competitive world, you must hold up your end of the relationship. Otherwise, it’s easy for you to get dumped by your customers, who move on wherever they find something they want. Customers today are not looking for mere products and services. They are looking for relationships, which for them translate into value. So, that’s what you need to provide them. To build more value for both customers and your company, you will need a strong Customer Success Team. But, how do you put one together?

The Customer Success Team

A Customer Success Team is a group of professionals and experts that help you ensure customer adoption, usage, and repeat business or renewal. They build more value for both the customers and your company. They are also an avenue for guidance based on customer feedback on how you can build new products that please your customer’s needs. A great Customer Success Team knows how to develop deep relationship with partners. They create value, not only for customers, but for everyone else involved. They will make your business grow and succeed creating a plan geared to customer loyalty and satisfaction.

1. Start with the Game Plan

First of all, the business has to have a game plan set not only for their success but also for their customers. A business’s ability to keep customers and prevent them to churn is directly linked to the business’s health itself. The Customer Success Team must have a plan how to ensure and keep customers happy.

2. Align Plans to Customer Needs

If you want customer success, you need to first figure out your customers’ needs and expectations. Look for their goals and ensure that you align your game plan to them. Dig deep into what they look for in a product or service so you can provide them exactly what they are looking for.

3. Respond Thoughtfully to Customer Feedback

The key to building more value is to know how to engage your customer by learning more about what your customers think about your products and services. Listen to their questions, to their feedback, and respond to them. This is a great way to nurture your relationship with your customers and ensure both your success.
A successful customer lifecycle for both your customers and your company. Contact us to learn more ways to improve your customer success rate.

Written by Courtney Meyers

After years of hard training, mastering the arts of of fighting organizational friction, Courtney has finally gathered the perfect team of Friction Ninjas from around the world. They have come to be known as Movanti. Think of her as the Miyagi to our Karate Kids.

The Guide to Creating an Awesome Company Culture

Company culture is defined as the shared beliefs, operating rules, values, traditions and norms of a group of people. Companies can be differentiated by the norms and traditions that they value as an organization.

Shaping your company culture to support your business strategy and goals is not always easy, but it is also not impossible. Here’s how you can define and develop a strong company culture.

1. Define a Corporate Mission

Defining a corporate mission motivates employees to work harder for a worthy purpose. If the mission drives your company, it can have a positive impact on the culture since everyone will be working towards the same goal, regardless of what area they work in, their tenure or type of employee. For instance, an organization that aims to provide exceptional services to clients might have employees who greatly value their status as a professional and hopefully act in a manner that is consistent with the behavior you’d expect from a professional. This will become part of the company culture eventually.

2. Define your Corporate Values

It’s not enough to simply define corporate values. You also need to define corporate values that influence the kind of behavior you value. However, it is important that these values are ingrained into daily operations. Having a solid set of values that is followed by everyone in the company can help shape the company culture.

3. Implement Recognition Programs

Recognition programs and rewards can help strengthen the company culture. For instance, if you want to build a company culture that values teamwork, you should reward successful team leaders and teams. Rewarding the performance of those who did great things at the expense of the team will have a negative impact on your company culture. You should reward people properly to support your values and norms.

4. Convey Your Message

There are various ways to communicate your message. You can use group meetings, emails, videos, newsletters and other forms of communication to get your message to the rest of the company. Just make sure that the message is consistent regardless of the communication medium you choose, this also applies to communication between employees and teams, it should all be focused on the same message.

5. Be A Role Model

Leading by example is the best way to develop a strong company culture. People will immediately realize your real intention if you say one thing and then do another. Keep in mind that inconsistent behavior will damage all the effort you’ve made in recognition, communication or rewards that define the company culture. So, your actions should be consistent with what you’re saying.
A company culture will exist whether you influence it or not, so it’s actually up to you to capitalize on it. Defining and developing a strong company culture can be a great leadership tool. Try to make your company culture support your business goals, strategy, and mission. This may also be among the most important ways to lead the company when you can’t be physically present at all times. If you can develop the right company culture for your organization, it will promote your desired behavior even when you are not there. It will become the normal way of how things are done in your company.

Written by Courtney Meyers

After years of hard training, mastering the arts of of fighting organizational friction, Courtney has finally gathered the perfect team of Friction Ninjas from around the world. They have come to be known as Movanti. Think of her as the Miyagi to our Karate Kids.

What Does “Employee Experience” Mean?

Employee Experience pertains to the amount of the opinions employees have about their interactions with their company.

Employees are also customers, so assessing and improving every level of the employees’ journey in the company is very important. This means creating a positive and fulfilling workplace for them. Engaged and satisfied employees are not only more productive, but also stay longer with the company and continue to promote the company even after they leave.

Why Employees Leave and How To Get The Best of It

The employee experience is composed of four levels:

1. Employing

2. Onboarding

3. Development

4. Off-boarding

Recruiting, however, can feel like a big problem for busy managers and teams. This leads to a poor recruiting experience. Job candidates often complain about the duration of the recruitment procedure, unsupportive feedback and poor communication. New hires often feel exhausted due to these issues. Instead of feeling excited about getting a job, they feel tired and unmotivated. Rejected candidates also form bad views about the company. Treating job applicants as customers can help companies avoid these mistakes. This can also guarantee a positive recruiting experience regardless of the result.
Some companies neglect onboarding, which is not exactly the best idea since onboarding allows them to test whether their new hires will efficiently perform the role given to them. You can extend the onboarding process beyond the new employees’ first few weeks of employment to determine if they can do their job well. It is important to understand what values you should instill in new employees as well as develop and implement a strategy to ensure that these values are clearly conveyed and embraced. More casual approaches and planned activities can help you better deal with onboarding. This will also help you understand how efficient the onboarding process is at conveying your company culture to new employees.
Once the new hires are effectively onboarded, you should also ensure that they’ll be able to grow in your company. The growth period can last for years and it’s when you will see the results of investing in proper recruitment and onboarding processes. Many companies often commit the mistake of missing signs that employees are becoming detached and dissatisfied and not intervening in time to prevent employee turnover. The growth period aims to establish a good investment cycle, which guarantees that the employees will continue investing in the organization and vice versa.
Once they leave your organization, you have to ensure that they have a positive opinion of their offboarding experience. Exit interviews should be seen as a chance to get feedback from employees. Ask them about their reason for leaving and what motivated them to apply to the organization they’re planning to join. You should also ask them about the time when they first started thinking about leaving the company and the one thing you could have done to keep them working for you. Ask them for advice on how to make your employees more engaged and satisfied with the company. Relay their answers to the manager of their former team and find ways to improve your Employee Experience.

Written by Courtney Meyers

After years of hard training, mastering the arts of of fighting organizational friction, Courtney has finally gathered the perfect team of Friction Ninjas from around the world. They have come to be known as Movanti. Think of her as the Miyagi to our Karate Kids.

Is Training Development Key to an Exceptional Employee Experience?

Training development is a broad term that cover numerous types of employee experiences. In general, they help employees effectively learn specific skills and knowledge that improve their performance in their present roles.

Employee development is said to be more expansive and mainly focuses on employees’ growth and their future performance.

The Essentials of Successful Learning Experience

Based on learning principles, the following are the components of a successful employee learning experience and must be taken into consideration when organizing a training program and associated learning content:
  • The goals of the program or training must be clear.
  • Employees must be involved in identifying relevant skills and knowledge.
  • A problem-centered and practical approach based on real examples must be used.
  • Employees must be given the chance to reinforce the things they have learned through practice.
  • The training and learning opportunity must promote self-esteem.

3 Reasons Why Training Development is the Key to  an Exceptional Employee Experience

Some organizations do not invest in pieces of training and learning opportunities that are geared towards the improvement, growth and positive experience for their employees; which is a long-term mistake. The following highlight why training development is the key to an exceptional employee experience:

1. Addressing Weaknesses

Since most employees have their weaknesses in the workplace, training programs and other opportunities to learn help in strengthening the skills of the employee. Development programs elevate employees’ level of competency, driving efficiency and effectiveness.

2. Consistency

Structured training development programs ensure that employees have all of the relevant knowledge and a consistent experience. Consistency in training drives consistency in work product, leading to fewer errors or defects.

3. Employee Satisfaction

Employees with reliable access to training development programs have more opportunities to contribute, increasing the employee’s value. Employees recognize the investments that companies make in training programs and tend to reciprocate in work out-put. Inspired, motivated, and well-trained employees will pave the way for overall success.
Training development programs create a highly supportive workplace. Employees must have access to these so that they can better understand themselves, their roles in the company, and the significance of their contributions. Employees who feel challenged and appreciated at the same time through these training opportunities will feel more satisfied with their jobs. Employee development is a shared responsibility of the individual employee and the management. The management should provide the needed resources and environment that will support employees’ development and growth needs. Employees must be motivated to engage in the training apply what they have learned. Those factors combined will ensure that the targeted excellent results are achieved.

Written by Courtney Meyers

After years of hard training, mastering the arts of of fighting organizational friction, Courtney has finally gathered the perfect team of Friction Ninjas from around the world. They have come to be known as Movanti. Think of her as the Miyagi to our Karate Kids.

How to Keep Valuable Employees Motivated

Many employers now face major challenges such as finding it more difficult to find skilled and knowledgeable people. A younger workforce with diverse attitudes about work and the growing population of older employees heading towards their retirement is usually the common scenario.

Studies also revealed that many HR executives expressed that one of the biggest challenges they face when it comes to managing workforce is their company’s inability to recruit and to retain good managers and employees. Attracting and keeping skilled and knowledgeable employees is crucial, however, it is sometimes difficult for businesses to handle on their own. If you want your valuable employees to not only stay but also feel inspired and motivated, there are ways that can help you. These ways include, but are not limited to the following:

1. Treat Employees Like Valuable Investors

One effective way to keep employees productive and motivated is to make them feel valued by means of sharing information with them just like how you do with investors. This kind of transparency level allows employees to become more connected to your company, establishes trust and provides employees more interest.

2. Use Your Manners

When your employees are appreciated, they become more productive and happier workers. To make them stay for long and be more motivated, use your good manners. Say hello, thank you and please whenever it’s necessary. These might seem like simple things but certainly have impact when it comes to how employees feel.

3. Give Credit When or To Whom It’s Due

Considering the long hours that your employees spend at the workplace which is usually more than the hours spent with their family, it is highly essential to tell them if they did a great job on particular project or they excelled beyond the call of duty.

4. Communicate Consistently, Clearly, and Often

Good communication is vital in any relationship, including work. Don’t assume that your employees know the expectations, communicate them and give employees an opportunity to ask questions. Over communication is better than under-communication.

5. Encourage Contributions

Valuable employees stay if you let them contribute or share suggestions and ideas. This also makes them feel more important and gives meaning to their jobs. If you give your employee responsibility then expect them to rise into the challenge.

6. Recognize you Employees

Reward your people for their achievements event the smaller ones. There are simple yet effective ways to recognize the hard work of your employees. You can organize recognition events and programs to honor your employees’ accomplishments publicly and personally.

7. Help them Fulfill their Career Goals

Giving your employees the opportunity to build skills and establish connection they actually need to move forward with their careers can actually help build motivation and loyalty.
These are just a few of the many ways to keep you valuable employees motivated. Additional effective ways include providing training, maintaining workforce stations, giving constant feedback, encouraging some fun in the workplace, and many more. All of these will help drive your employees’ interest in their jobs, keep them motivated, and increase overall engagement.

Written by Courtney Meyers

After years of hard training, mastering the arts of of fighting organizational friction, Courtney has finally gathered the perfect team of Friction Ninjas from around the world. They have come to be known as Movanti. Think of her as the Miyagi to our Karate Kids.

How to End Recruiting Friction in Call Centers

When I worked in the call center world as a recruiter we had more friction than a sweater fresh out of the dryer with no dryer sheet. Our largest challenges came in the area of screening the applicants and the processes behind the scenes.

Screening the applicants was really just finding the balance between ‘butts in seats’ and hiring great people to service the customers. On one hand we simply needed enough people to answer the incoming phone calls but on the other hand, we wanted those people to be capable and successful once they hit production.
The processes behind the scenes had their own slew of friction as it related to candidate follow-up, responding to questions, accommodations or adjustments to the positions, finalizing paperwork or getting missing items from the candidate. We created so much double…triple…quadruple work, simply because not everyone followed or understood the processes. We likely could have rededicated all of that time to screening and finding stellar people! The moral of this story is that call center recruiting is no different than the job that we are recruiting for. Our applicants are our customers and setting a great process to support them with well trained recruiters is the key to successfully brining great people in to the workplace.

Well supported people give great support!

Friction in any work place can be frustrating. At Movanti, we can help remove the friction from your company.

Written by Sue Kelly

Sue’s eyes are laser-sharp when it comes to talent and experience. She will spot a perfect fit for your organization no matter how complex the profile you’re looking for. Think of her as the Sherlock to our Watsons.

3 Job Interview Tips (for Applicants and Employers)

It’s very easy to get lost in the fluff with an applicant. I can’t tell you how many times I can’t wait to do a telephone interview with someone because of their resume. As the interview goes on they are not what they appear.

I have had applicants talk to me about specific tools or systems they have used and as I keep asking probing questions they get lost in their own words. Some will tell me about their Microsoft Suite experience by telling me their dad bought them a JR PC when they were 5. To this day I will never understand what getting a JR PC at age 5 has to do with Microsoft Suite.
Usually, I have job-specific questions, but I also use several questions that tell me a lot about an applicant without them realizing it. It amazes me every day as I am screening applicants, the answers I get to these pre-screening questions.
Best job ever: let's go from present day all the way back to your first job, even if it was a lemonade stand in your parents' yard. Which was your favorite and why? Biggest weakness: this one makes them think Availability: I hold my breath on this one. A qualified applicant will say 2 weeks after giving notice. Someone just looking for a new opportunity and currently employed will say “I can start in the morning” Why do you want to work for us?: one of my favorites, especially when they answer “who wouldn’t.”
We once had a client with a recognizable name, a third of the applications I screened for this client had things like:

"My family has been friends with his forever, we grew up just down the street from him so I would be a great fit, you need to hire me."

"Why wouldn’t I want to work for someone with a name as big as theirs? I could tell all my friends and family who I am working for."

"I would love to see them at the office every day. Maybe I would even get a new outfit for my first day."

"Will they be doing the interviews? If so can I bring my mom? She is a huge fan."

So out of all these screening experiences, I have put together three main tips:

1. Please, please, please, be honest

I will always circle back later in the interview and see if key answers match up. When the wrong candidates, 9 times out of 10 they are not even close. If I revisit a question and get a different answer, that sends up many red flags.

2. Be polite, but also make sure to show the real you

If you’re filling out an application, always think twice before answering any question. You can complete the application and let it sit for an hour or so, then go back and review your answer to make sure they show the real you before submitting it. If its meant to be it will be.

3. It’s all about the relationship between you and the job

screening questions for your benefit and theirs. They aren’t looking to hear about how much you love something that has nothing to do with the job opening but why you would be a perfect fit for the job and their company.
Anyone can look good on paper. It’s their tone, how they answer job-specific questions and remembering what they told me earlier what tells the true story. An unqualified applicant will go on about specific qualifications necessary for the opening that has nothing to do with the job or others may get out of topic easily. Keep these tips in mind when either looking at an applicant or searching for a new job. The more honest, polite and focused you are, the easier things will fall in place and the faster you will know whether it is a match or not.

Written by Sue Kelly

Sue’s eyes are laser-sharp when it comes to talent and experience. She will spot a perfect fit for your organization no matter how complex the profile you’re looking for. Think of her as the Sherlock to our Watsons.

Reinventing Recruiting

How we are doing things differently and why it saves you big on your staffing costs.

Movanti is bringing you a new cost effective way of dealing with recruiting and hiring, whether that is seasonal or highly skilled permanent positions. We do not believe traditional temporary and headhunting fees have exceeded their value, with that in mind we have created an entirely new way of structuring costs for recruiting services. We run our recruiting services as if we are your internal HR department rather than a staffing firm. This means that you pay us hourly for the time it takes us to pre-screen and phone interview applicants and send them over to you for a face to face interview, rather than paying an ongoing fee (usually about 20%-40%) out of the employee’s pay rate.
If you work with us to hire someone in the $10-$15 range, it will generally cost $300-$400. For permanent salary positions, the cost ends up at about 7% of a person’s salary, but we always cap our fees at 10% of the salary. For example, if you are interested in hiring an accountant at $65,000/annually it will cost about $4,000 to hire them but no more than $6,500. If you went with a traditional staffing firm it would cost between $13,000 and $20,000.
With today’s technology and access to great people, we all know it does not take $20,000 worth of work to find you a great fit!

The process is pretty simple:

1. First

We get a job description and any must haves/or absolutely not’s (e.g. we absolutely don’t want someone who comes from a big business background because they don’t adapt well into our smaller firm, or we have had trouble with people being late in the past and really want to find someone who is focused on being punctual).

2. Then

We post an ad and build an application tailored to your needs (i.e. how important is it to you to be on time to work? Describe the last time you were late to work, what happened and how did you handle it?).

3. Next

We start screening and send the best 4–6 people over to you for face-to-face interviews.

4. Finally

You choose who you like and hire them! (…or we keep looking).
The best part is, if you find more than 1 person you like, you are welcome to hire them too. We are billing you hourly not by the person so you can have as much out of it as you would like. We have had clients who decided to hire 2 applicants out of the group and it did not cost them any extra, because it did not take any extra work …It is just common sense.

Written by Courtney Meyers

After years of hard training, mastering the arts of of fighting organizational friction, Courtney has finally gathered the perfect team of Friction Ninjas from around the world. They have come to be known as Movanti. Think of her as the Miyagi to our Karate Kids.