All posts by Leigh Clancy

Leigh Clancy is a Product Marketing Manager at ReadyTalk. In this role she interfaces with product management, marketing, customers and customer-facing teams extensively to help with targeting, messaging, positioning and product launches. Leigh started her career in marketing over fifteen years ago working for high-tech companies such as Harbinger, Verio, Level 3 Communications, iBAHN and Symplified, where she gained valuable knowledge on how to market very complex, technical products and services to a wide variety of audiences. Outside of work you can find her trying to learn to golf, reading, traveling, hosting backyard movies, camping, tasting wine and spending time with family, friends, and her dog.

5 Changes That Impact HR and Your Business

hrEvery year, the HR field goes through major transformations. From the rise of analytics to an increased emphasis on employee engagement levels, change is always taking place. In conjunction with the new presidential administration, an increasingly younger workforce and the introduction of new technology, here are five changes in HR that may impact your business this year:

1. Affordable Care Act

The Trump administration has repeatedly stated that it will repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare). Therefore, as an HR leader, you must stay up to date with the latest movements in the health care and insurance sectors. The plan to take its place hasn’t been clarified. Nor has the timeframe.

2. Overtime pay

In May 2016, President Barack Obama and Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez updated the DOL’s final rule regarding overtime regulations. This will extend overtime pay to an estimated 4 million workers within the first year of implementation alone. Prior to this motion, businesses did not have to pay overtime if their workers made more than $23,660 per year. This rule update raises the limit to $47,476 a year. This change may likely affect many employees at your organization.

There’s no word on whether the Trump administration will work to undo this law.

3. Minimum wage

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, yet 29 states plus the District of Columbia have a higher minimum wage than the national average. Many state and city governments are in the process of increasing or are debating increasing their minimum wage, which could impact your non-salaried workers.

Chances are likely this will continue to be driven by states, cities and counties.

4. Feedback, not reviews

With a younger workforce on the rise, many companies are doing away with the dreaded performance review. Instead, organizations are turning to continuous feedback, rather than only once or twice a year. As an HR leader, you may be responsible for reworking your existing performance review strategy this year.

Because more companies are looking to do away with reviews, there’s a need for a better audit trail in case you need to lay off or fire workers. In fact, as a best practice many companies institute an employee performance improvement plan with information about the steps the company has taken to help the employee.

5. Rise in technology for remote working

People want the option to work remotely and not be tied down to their desks. Many offices across the country are introducing video conferencing tools and work-from-home policies to improve workplace satisfaction levels and leverage innovative technologies. This is something to be aware of as an HR leader moving forward into 2017 as 60% of the workforce will be working remotely. And more HR departments are working with IT counterparts to help make this happen for their company, including assisting with internal communications plans to roll this out to employees.

4 Things to Know About Conferencing and Collaboration

You’ve probably been hearing about conferencing solutions since the mid-90s when they first rose in popularity. While this communication method has been around for a while, rapid advancements in broadband technology, online security and other innovative features have propelled web conferencing into the 21st century in full force. Now, web conferencing allows you to hold real-time meetings with hundreds of participants over the internet easily.

Conferencing and collaborationWhether your business needs a way to instantly connect with 1,000 participants or wants to have interactive polling for a smaller audience, web conferencing is your best choice. If you’re still unsure about whether your company would benefit from using this technology, here are four reasons why this powerful tool is right for you:

1. Manage meetings with ease

Managing a meeting effectively is never without its own set of unique challenges. However, with conferencing tools, you may find it easier than ever before to kick off and manage your meetings successfully. With web conferencing, you can send out automatic reminder emails to participants ahead of time, record meetings and present anything from slides to pre-recorded videos. You will also be able to grant control to any participant and even use voice over IP audio.

2. Share and collaborate with participants

Solid communication is the key to running a impactful meeting. With an online conference, you can quickly and easily share documents, promote your message over social media, conduct interactive polls and even enable audience members to raise their hands and participate. If you have a staff of remote workers or have offices on the other side of the country, web conferencing will give you the ease of collaboration you desire.

Recording and archiving options also make it simple. With the right product, you’ll be able to easily record, edit and share your recordings.

3. Quickly measure your progress

How do you know if your meeting is running well? Or if your message is being clearly conveyed? With web conferencing, you can send out post-meeting surveys, track attendance and use polls to see what you’re doing right and what you might need to improve.

4. Customer service

Here’s what sets many conferencing tools apart: customer service. Some providers never, ever pick up their phone. In fact, you’re lucky if you hear from your provider at all. At ReadyTalk, customer service is part of the package and we have award-winning customer service. We also have account managers who provide proactive information to our customers. Even if you’re not a customer, you can receive ideas and best practices.

Get more details

Find out why ReadyTalk’s conferencing and collaboration platform is better than our competitors.

Sources:
https://www.readytalk.com/products-services/web-conferencing
https://www.readytalk.com/products-services/web-conferencing/web-conferencing-all-tools-you-need
https://www.readytalk.com/sites/default/files/docs/support-training/How%20Web%20Conferencing%20Can%20Help%20Your%20Company%20Grow%20v2.pdf

Lower Your Risk for Security Issues

While you may believe that your company’s chances of encountering a catastrophic natural disaster are slim, do you have the same outlook toward threats to your IT system? Do you believe that your cybersecurity measures are adequate enough to withstand a full-scale breach? Think again.

Protect your company with securityThese days, it would seem that no company is completely safe from data breaches. Take Target and Neimen Marcus, for example. In 2014, Target reported that 40 million customers had their debit and credit card information stolen during the holiday season, while hackers installed malicious software at Neimen Marcus stores in 2013, collecting consumers’ payment data during a four-month period, Forbes reported. Your company needs to take steps to protect its systems – today.

How important is cybersecurity?

A recent report from Bay Dynamics, a cyber risk analytics company, found that 26 percent of surveyed board executives said that cyber risks were their top priority this year. Surprisingly, in the survey, cyber risk fear outranked legal, competitive, financial and regulatory worries.

There’s bad news for IT professionals as well – 59 percent of board members who participated in the survey stated that one or more of their IT security executive team will lose their job should they fail to provide actionable information to prevent potential attacks.

How are you putting your systems at risk?

Your company cannot afford to fail to adequately protect its IT system. While creating a comprehensive risk analysis and securing your system are two major steps, there are more areas where you could be putting your business at risk.

For example, BYOD programs are increasing in popularity throughout the country. While useful for remote work policies, most studies show that these programs significantly heighten your chances for a data breach, according to Inc. Though organizations that handle sensitive information set up secure channels, an Advisen report indicates that 40 percent of BYOD employees don’t follow any security protocols to protect their devices from hackers.

Get more ideas about security

To Quote Nike: Just Do It (Company Meetings)

We understand your hesitation with holding regular company-wide meetings. Depending on the size of your organization, all-hands-on-deck meetings can run you hundreds to hundreds of thousands of dollars. And yet, you can’t afford NOT to have all-company gatherings at your business.

Why do these meetings matter?

All company meetings
They can dramatically improve your organization’s engagement levels as well as understanding of key company initiatives — like objectives and strategy. They are a crucial factor in creating a strong corporate culture at your organization, which will allow you to build a loyal customer and employee base.

Employees’ understanding of objectives and strategy improve engagement, but also helps with their productivity. They’ll understand their own work better if they know how it improves the company itself.

What are the main benefits for these meetings?

Entrepreneur wrote that these gatherings encourage a collaborative team environment and unify everyone toward similar goals and strategies. Essentially, if you want to boost innovation levels at your organization, you want everyone to be on the same page – from the lowest level workers all the way up to the CEO.

They are also an excellent time to have understand the company values. Use this corporate meeting time as an excuse to hold bring your staff together and appreciate the work everyone’s doing. Employees from all across the country will feel more connected and satisfied with their work if they not only feel appreciated, but are able to engage with co-workers, even using video.

How can I make the most of my company-wide meeting?

Make sure you cover these important items with your employees:

  • Goals and why they matter to the company and individuals
  • Strategies and why they’ll deliver results
  • Initiatives and why they’re important
  • What teams can do
  • Any follow-up on what happens next, like whether their managers will be meeting with them

It’s all about cascading information and ensuring people understand.

Ensure manager success

Managers should understand what’s being discussed and why before the meeting happens. Chances are good employees will save questions for their managers. If they’re hearing information for the first time, employees won’t get questions answered.

If for any reason that’s impossible due to the size of your organization, ensure officers are aware and email highlights to managers. At the very least, officers can attend team meetings and provide information back or address how their organization can make a difference.

Hold Q&A at all-company meetings

Holding question and answer sessions are an excellent way to encourage worker participation. Your employees want and need a voice at your company: So don’t be afraid to give it to them at these meetings, even if they have hard questions.

One of the best way to cut costs in your all-company meetings is to host a live webcast. You can lead high-resolution, interactive meetings right over the internet. If you have multiple offices all over the country, simply broadcast your office meeting for the rest of your organization, which will save you time and money without losing employee engagement.

Ready to get started?

Try a Webcast

How to Launch a Product Blog Series: Inform Your Org.

product marketingEngineering, Product Management and Product Marketing have worked months to get the product launched, so now let people in your organization know about it. Why? When employees are aware of new products, it gets them excited about what the organization is doing and gives them some messaging points to talk about it.There are a range of activities and communication tactics that you can use depending on how big or small the launch will be.

For minor launches:

  • If your sales and account management teams have a regularly scheduled meeting, join the meeting to provide an update. Include information about the product update, provide them with some messaging, and field any questions they may have.
  • Send an all company email letting employees know about a new feature, update or fix.
  • If your company uses a social media platform like Yammer or Chatter, post any updates there.
  • If your company has an all hands meeting, that can also be another place to let people know about anything new.

For major launches:

  • You can use the above tactics, plus…
  • Set up specific training sessions for customer-facing teams.
  • Hold a brown bag lunch session, where anyone in the company can come and learn more about the product.
  • Order logo’d items and hand them out to employees to generate awareness. These can be anything from stickers to t-shirts or hats. We even did some 3D printed foxes for one launch and asked employees to take the fox with them on trips or to meetings and post to social media.
  • Ask employees to do a social storm at a specific time and date by giving them the messaging to share with their social channels.
  • For a really big launch, you can generate excitement by throwing a launch party. We did this when we launched FoxDen. FoxDen was a new product for our company that helped us get into the video meeting space. We rented out a nearby restaurant and invited employees to join us for some food and beverages. Our senior leadership team talked about what the launch means to our company, and thanked all those involved.

It doesn’t hurt to communicate and over-communicate in a variety of ways – email, verbally with training, through social media, and having employees see a demo of the product. How do you let employees know there is a new product or service?