Using SaaS to Foster Success in Building a Corporate Culture

Written At: 2018-01-16


Culture is something we see and feel every day. We experience culture as a member of many societies such as a nation, school, company, family, and even in a circle of friends. There is nothing more powerful than a corporate culture that gives an organization an identity for your employees to behave certain way and excel within and outside the company. After setting a clear vision, mission statements and core values, it has to stream down to the last of the hierarchy so everyone can experience and be the representative of the corporate culture. Human resources and capital management also has to do with this process. Today, human capital management tech solutions and apps are rapidly growing and are used by many organizations to improve communications and engagements among employees and help promote the culture.

Announcements via corporate memo, benefit processing with all unnecessary paperwork, centralized project management and reporting system are things of the past. In the age of smartphones and cloud-based task platforms, our attention span is as short as a goldfish. Timothy Egan of New York Times wrote ‘[a] survey of Canadian media consumption by Microsoft concluded that the average attention span had fallen to eight seconds’ in an article, ‘The Eight-Second Attention Span’. There is no time to finish reading a corporate email memo nowadays that we get bombarded with all kinds of information and notifications. Nowadays, the most preferred medium of communication is a smartphone. As leaders in a corporation, we need to start transforming the conventional system used in our organization to reflect the change in the members' behavior and taste that truly accommodates employees' needs and wants while fostering a great culture and making it prevalent company-wide.

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Tools you want to consider implementing within your organization.

What are some of the cool communication tools we can utilize to prevent employees from getting distracted so they are in the zone to excel in what they do? How can we recognize and reward them better? What are some unnecessary procedures that could be removed by implementing technology? Here they are.

1. Choose the best way to communicate within your organization.

Effective communication translates into good relationship among members. Same goes with organization and employees. Whether it is a new direction, schedule announcement, or any kind of notice, communication should be clear and precise. It must not take up much of employees' time searching through the announcement emails or scrolling up and down within a chatroom to find what was that notice he/she received two days ago. Specify certain channels of communications to use within your organization. This way, your employees are not confused by messages coming via email, sms, or social media messengers.

Some examples of communication tools you can use are:

  • slack: messaging and 3rd-party integration
  • JANDI: messaging and 3rd-party integration
  • collabee: collaboration, timeline, and project Kanban
  • BeeCanvas: visual workspace and real-time collaboration
  • GRAP: Organizational social network with timelines. Currently available in Korean

All of above provide secure cloud storage with data encryption if you are cautious about the security breach of your organizational information. These softwares allow employees to create groups, departments, or projects and only invite related members to contribute. Some of these tools have task or project approval system in place so you can track who approved which job and when.

Defining mode of communication increases efficiency and removes potential confusions. Also, any work-related notices and communications using insecure method bear risk of loss of data, and is vulnerable to hackers trying to leak information. Again, keep communications clear and minimize confusion by defining a set of communication channels which are secure. Then all you need to do is to encourage human interactions.

2. Use recognition and reward system so employees can acknowledge each other's achievement.

Each employee is a star. Every member of your organization deserves to be recognized for their achievements and be proud of what they do at work. Whether it be when a colleague has helped you finish your project on time or when your supervisor has given you a priceless feedback on your past project so you can do better next time, you need to recognize them and show gratefulness. Sometimes words are not enough. A company can use a rewards and recognition system which everyone can acknowledge each other and they can use their rewards for certain benefits such as gift cards at Amazon or Bestbuy. If your company has already been acknowledging employees of the hard work offline, now you've got better options to do just the same thing online, with perks.

There are many startups and existing firms providing peer to peer recognition services:

  • kudos: ‘an employee recognition system and corporate social network’
  • Redii: ‘simple employee recognition software designed for SMEs who want to grow great businesses by harnessing the power of their greatest asset: their team’
  • globoforce: ‘social recognition: the power of thanks’

Using a recognition and rewards system online compared to the traditional method of just giving plain vacation or bonuses gives more transparency in who is grateful for whom for what reason. Motivate employees to help peers achieve success. Foster the winning culture by implementing rewards and recognition system.

3. Health and welfare benefits or expense tracking can be done better and smarter.

Think user experience? Think employee experience, too. Just like communication tools, all HR related paperwork and process of getting approval do not have to be this complicated and boring. Many employees in corporations work longer hours for the sake of working. Precisely, they spent so much time on reporting than actually getting work done. Most of the unnecessary procedures and paperwork CAN be replaced with technology. These tedious paperwork and approval examples are below:

  • Vacation requests submitted via paper for signature or scanning the paper for email approvals by multiple managers.
  • Completing expense reports in excel and emailing to a manager for review and approval.
  • Book for a flight and a hotel for a business trip and submit for reimbursement which takes forever to get your money back.

Providing a clear and transparent mode of approval system for everyday HR tasks such as vacation requests, health and welfare benefits, and expense reporting can free up a lot of time for employees and remove any unnecessary process of personally emailing or checking in with the manager to see if their requests have been approved. Many processes can be automated and can be viewed by all related parties. Meet the stress-free solutions that your employees can get excited about.

  • Workday Benefits: benefits administration tool for your organization
  • Expensify: ‘From receipt scanning to reimbursement, Expensify automates every step of the expense reporting process.’
  • Gusto: payroll, benefits, and HR

Using SaaS and cloud computing services.

Traditional software tools for workplace efficiency were mostly restricted to standalone softwares installed on individual computers. For example, take Microsoft Office before they launched Office 365. Each copy of MS Office was installed in every computer of ours and worked offline only. Nowadays, cloud computing is more prevalent than ever. Most of these solutions are offered as SaaS(Software as a Service). Google Drive, Office 365, Salesforce CRM, and Dropbox are the examples of major cloud-based services that we use and many enterprises are moving its way to the cloud. Why are cloud services booming? Here's why:

1. Accessibility. Instead of storing organization's data on its own server, you can use cloud services over the internet. Which means you can access the data and work remotely. Now that smartphones became commodity in our everyday life, everyone has access to internet. There is no reason why the work applications should stay offline.

2. Cost-efficient. The wave of cloud computing among businesses and individuals have brought down significant cost. The traditional method of running the application and database would incur cost in server maintenance, data storage, back-up, application development, etc.

3. Flexibility. Cloud-based services offer wide range of options for business with growing or fluctuating demand of bandwidth. If you have more employees to get access to the CRM system, you just add one and you'll get billed accordingly. Simply said, it is easy to scale up and down as your needs vary.

Allow, Empower, Boost

Do you believe in Superman? And one special person can decide and take care of all matters? Micromanaging has many bad effects in running your team. It is sometimes much comforting to share the burden and delegate responsibilities and authorities to your employees. Each personnel in organizational hierarchy has an ability to make decisions on their own and this gives more ownership mentality to the personnel which entails the responsibility of their own decisions.

The system you implement to your business operation should be able to reflect this approval system, otherwise the entire approval process takes outside the system such as email or memo. It's a must that you consider approval process of your business and see if the new systems accommodate your organizational needs.

Checklist:

  • Does the system have multiple access levels?
  • Does it allow only certain access levels to approve?
  • Can you assign many roles or positions to an employee?
  • Does it record the approver's name and time?
  • etc.

Allow more control to your employees. Empower them to make decisions on their own and boost employee morale and productivity. It is necessary to know, as a leader, how to direct them with reasonable rules and guidelines while allowing freedom and empowerment. Also, know which technology you want to use to suit your needs.


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