Culture

Culture
Return to Work: The Cultural EnvironmentReturn to Work: The Cultural Environment

With pandemic restrictions loosening, Pulse surveys its tech exec community to find out how office culture and hiring will change following the crisis.

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What's a greater concern for returning to the office? Comment how you are prioritizing...

Top Answer : The majority of our focus is definitely on the human factors as the technical factors are mostly related to things we had to solve as we went distributed.  We will need some additional technical stuff to support the human factors (eg. scheduling software to limit the # of people in the office at the same time) but solving the human factors of helping people to feel comfortable, ensuring that safety precautions are being followed, etc... are much harder and why it will be a while before we go back.

What are some tips for remote hiring success? For both vetting and courting candidates...

Top Answer : Whenever possible we try to have internal references. Or at least 2 degrees of Kevin Bacon. When you have 130k employees and probably 40k contractors it works and those employees usually turn out to fit better than placement service finds And for many roles we offer a referral bonus paying after 6 months of the new employees working out ok

I'm trying to build a more security-aware culture.  Has anyone successfully embedded security responsibilities in other teams across the business?

Top Answer : Security cultures will vary and often are unique to a business culture. Most security programs are deliberate with a set of actions to promote awareness and there are some significant features of successful security cultures. · Security awareness extends past IT and begins at the top. Senior leaders set the tone and drive cultural change. Making executives aware of the risk to the organization posed by a lack of security awareness is key - Loss of revenue; Reputation damage; Operational disruptions; Intellectual property (IP) theft; and Theft of personally identifiable information (PII). ·  Establish a continuous security training program for all staff. Training staff about safe online computing, strong passwords, and social engineering, will help mold the organization into the first line of cyber defense and ensure the confidentiality of sensitive business data. · Keep the security program aligned with business objectives. Focus on specific incremental goals rather than trying to achieve too much too fast. Identify the security behaviors that need to be promoted and align those behaviors to business results so that employees can understand the value security has in protecting the overall organization Most importantly, successful security programs AVOID a culture of blame and fear when it comes to security. Security leaders should empower users with a culture of personal responsibility so staff treat data security in the same way they treat other company policies like health and safety.

Return to Work: The Physical EnvironmentReturn to Work: The Physical Environment

As companies start to plan ahead for their employees’ return to the office, CIOs share what a “new normal” could look like.

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Pulse Flash Read: Morale-as-a-Service?

There’s a lot of talk about IT leaders transitioning into business leaders, especially as the remote workforce situation gets dragged on into what’s starting to feel like forever. Classical representations of IT leaders tell us that emotional intelligence has perhaps not often been identified as their standout ability. While CIOs have been (hopefully) busy working on their emotional intelligence (by watching
TEDTalks, presumably), IT has increasingly turned to SaaS and outsourcing for many of the processes that used to be handled internally. A savvy CIO might be tempted to ask, could there be a SaaS that can help with the well-being of my remote team? It turns out that there are, and yet no one seems to have coined this obvious new marketable tool category: welcome to ‘Morale-as-a-Service’.  There’s an old adage that too often goes overlooked: customer service begins with employees. A motivated and enthusiastic team, driven by a positive mindset, translates to every customer interaction; it’s company culture personified into touch points. This feeling has recently morphed into the idea of ‘employee experience’, and, indeed, even the ‘Chief Employee Experience Officer’. But how do we know what the employee experience truly is?  We’ve become better at measuring the conversions of touch points and engagements into sales through click-throughs and open rates. Can we also measure morale? Some vendors think so. Culture Amp basically offers a continuous deployment platform for overseeing employee engagement and development, offering internal ‘Pulse’ (ahem) surveys that dive deep into employee psychology. Officevibe offers something called ‘Conversation Engine’, which saves managers time by outsourcing talking points, plus a suite of other features designed to engineer interaction into ‘actionables’—and they also offer ‘Pulse’ surveys (what is going on here?). There’s also TINYPulse (seriously?) that comes right out and promises that you’ll be able to “read employee thoughts and feedback in real time” (which we can only hope isn't actually true, but give the tech a few more years). Meanwhile, Achievers has trademarked something called ‘Culture Continuity’ as part of a three-pronged platform that assists teams to build a culture, ‘activate employee engagement in real-time’ and apply ‘data science’ to improve performance.  These vendors all promise metrics that sound desirable to team leaders, such as the ability to measure ‘happiness’ along trend lines. Who wouldn’t want that? The thing is, all the testimonials advocating for the software come from the team leads. It'd be interesting to hear more about the employee experience. Regardless, capturing employee morale should pique the CFO’s interest... When wellbeing metrics can be lined up against conversions and performance, they can be used to convince the CFO and the board to invest in measures that keep morale on the up; if there’s a demonstrable upswing on ROI, the checkbook may stay open. But there’s some murky potential here. If morale comes to be viewed solely as a metric of performance and ROI, the classic capitalist switch can be flipped to demand growth of that metric. Morale must be optimized. Morale-boosting factors must be iterated on. Those employees whose morale is lacking must be… let go? It’s logical to see a 1984 situation playing out with this. If employees can smile through physical/Zoom meetings they’d rather not be in, they can keep up that facade when they know the company wants to ‘measure’ their happiness. If morale can be accurately measured, that’s awesome. But the focus of those measurements should remain on the employees’ genuine well-being. If the business becomes obsessed with optimizing and rewarding morale for business gains, employees may learn what the stakes are and game the system—to the detriment of themselves and the organization: keep smiling through the grimace of another sleepless night hitting those KPIs until companies start wondering why morale scores are so high but the employee churn rate keeps spiralling upwards.  If metrics are what it takes to land some investment for improving employee experience, so be it. And if it actually helps identify employee pain points and improve on them, fantastic. But at the end of the day, the biggest factor that keeps morale up might be remembering that employees are humans—and humans need to feel crappy sometimes. They need to rest. They need to spend time making and eating nourishing food. That can be acknowledged in-house, at zero cost. Technology might be able to augment our understanding of morale, and even provide a framework for how leaders can manage it. But making morale-building an entirely tech-led process might end up missing the simple human requirements of what ‘employee experience’ is aiming for. Keep watching those Ted Talks. 

Have you invested in any ‘Morale-as-a-Service’ tools? Share your morale-boosting success stories, tech or otherwise, in the comments.

Top Answer :

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What are your company values and what’s your favorite one?

Top Answer : Integrity, compassion, relationships, innovation, and performance. Favorite is compassion.

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Pulse Flash Read: Categories, choice and change Sometimes the SaaS market can feel like a sea of never ending acronyms and shorthands that everyone pretends to know the meaning of. It’s reached the point where hierarchies have broken down, and you probably aren’t alone in wondering where exactly TOTP fits into your CIAMs and your PAMS, while AWS is covering your SSO but someone called URI is injecting SQL in your what now..? Humans like categories, but, just as we like watching one more episode of The Sopranos at 2:30am, our need for quick satisfaction doesn’t help us achieve our goals. How often do your Google searches begin with the word ‘best’? And how often has this given you what you were looking for quickly, rather than turned into an entire evening of listicles and more questions than answers? Wasted time searching through what may well be paid features for something that might not even suit your goals. Megan Heuer, of SiriusDecisions, had this to say on the problem of categorization in B2B buying choices:  “Because we’re trained to begin with the category, we enter a buying process completely without critical business need context. The result is technology investment set up for failure from the start.” Think about when someone wants to buy a home. That process probably doesn’t begin with a ‘best home’ search (although the way the Toronto skyline is filling with identikit condos, this might be changing). Individuals define their goals for the lifestyle they desire and then begin looking for houses in an area that brings them closer to those goals, then further define that by house features. Why shouldn’t business decisions be made the same way? Sheena Iyengar (who describes herself brilliantly as a ‘psycho-economist’) has spent decades researching how too much choice leads to analysis paralysis and no action (which, incidentally, is why I end up watching The Sopranos again after spending an hour trying to choose between the infinite other streamable TV shows). Iyengar’s research shows that choice overload reduces engagement, decision quality and satisfaction. Think about that in the context of your budgeting decisions as you deepen your digital offerings.  The key to subverting choice overload, as Megan Heuer outlines, is to define your goals first, setting a clear agenda of what you’re looking for from a business perspective. While this reduces the number of categories you’ll have to choose from, there’s probably still many, many options to hit those goals. At Pulse, we’re addressing the choice overload problem by giving tech execs real-time access to what their peers think. Our Product IQ Reports compare the most-used software offerings in a particular space, such as RPA, based on the experience of the tech execs using them. But the reports aren’t the end of the process: execs can just straight up ask the community what they think of ‘Zero-Trust’ and who does it best? You can find what works for your business needs by speaking directly with your peers about how they defined and achieved their goals, and what software helped or hindered that process. Being open and sharing that information cuts out the whirr categorization creates in the B2B space.  We simple humans might always need to categorize things to some extent, that’s just a limit of language. So, until Elon Musk perfects his brain computer interface and Google figures out how to truly match our intent with the perfect tool, let’s help each other find the tech that will deliver what we need. Do you feel overwhelmed by categories when making purchasing decisions?

Top Answer : would love your thoughts on this!

Is there going to be a mass exodus of tech workers out of cities like SF?

Top Answer : There's a mass exodus underway right now from San Francisco urban center to suburban areas. It's significant enough that rent has changed drastically. The house values in suburban areas are increasing. In some cases it's not just moving from the city to the suburb, it's moving to a different state or a different country. Countries are offering tech worker passports, where you can literally become a citizen of another country and still maintain your job somewhere else.

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Do you plan to cut salaries of employees who move to less expensive areas?

Top Answer : Not likely but our HR sets spans of pay based on location so a persons future pay raises could be impacted to the degree that location plays a part in their calculations. If they are 120% compensated for their role in a location we are not allowed to increase their salary

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