Ohana Software and Employee Experience

In the past few weeks, we have been focusing our blogs around employee experience and why it is so important to companies. Last week, we highlighted how FullStack can support your business’ employee experience.

This week we are highlighting another Indy-based company that focuses on enhancing the employee experience, Ohana Software. Ohana’s app allows employees to connect and communicate easily. With Ohana, companies can inspire employee engagement across their organization through open communication, celebrating team successes, making company announcements, as well as sharing access to important company information.  

We interviewed Managing Executive of Ohana, Christina Zerfas, about the platform and how it can help foster employee engagement and better the employee experience.  We also shot a video of Christina at a recent trueU event, which we included below.  

Q: Why is the employee experience so important to you and Ohana?

A: The employee experience is important to both employees and companies.

 On the employee side, I am invested in making the time at work more enjoyable for hard-working people. We spend about 25% of our waking hours at work. That is a lot of time, and the negative or positive experience during that time will understandably carry over into other parts of your life. At Ohana we believe that people who are happier on the job are therefore happier husbands, wives, parents, children, friends, etc. 

On the company side, there is a huge ROI on employee engagement.  People leave cultures, not companies. An increase in engagement is an increase in loyalty that can save you turnover costs of about 33% of someone's salary. It is estimated that the USA also loses $450 billion in productivity costs as a result of disengaged employees. The bottom line is that employee engagement directly correlates with the bottom line.

Q: How is the employee experience connected with employee engagement? 

A: Think of your first day on the job. If the company welcomes you, shows you to your desk, and has an agenda for your onboarding, you will have a completely different impression of the company than if you show up, they seem surprised to see you, and you spend most of your day watching HR try and set up your laptop and key. 

Your impression of a company becomes your belief. Your beliefs become your actions, and your actions become your results.  If your boss shows up to every meeting late, you will be late in turn thinking that punctuality is not important and missing deadlines will decrease productivity.  The employee experience is just the first step in the chain reaction to how engaged your employees are

Q: What are some practical tips you would give to a tech company leader who is just starting to prioritize the employee experience?

A: Do not forget that half of communication is listening. Employees will tell you how they want to engage, but you must engage with them first. It is critical to do this with unselfish availability that makes them feel comfortable sharing and an action-oriented investment that makes them realize these changes are the culture, not a fad. 

Ohana supports every aspect of the employee experience, which FullStack believes is incredibly important to your company’s success. 

How FullStack Supports Employee Experience

Employee experience is a hot topic for businesses in 2019, and is becoming an increasingly important asset. 

In one of our August blogs, we featured a company that is focused on improving employee engagement, Emplify. Emplify understands how vital the employee experience is to the success of a business and has built a product to help companies measure and improve it.

In this week’s blog, we want to highlight the employee experience of some awesome people who work at FullStack client companies. 

FullStack offers a variety of different services to our clients to improve their employee experience. Darcy Lee from one of our clients Metonymy Media, shares how FullStack’s benefits have improved her family’s life: “FullStack's benefits offerings have been a great improvement for me and my family from what we had before, and we now have the addition of Dental, Vision, and HSAs.  And, it's much easier to manage everything on every level with FullStack. All of this leads to a better workplace experience for me and our team!” 

 At Fullstack, we focus on our client’s employees practical payroll & benefits needs  so that leaders can focus on scaling your business. Drew Kincius from beLithe emphasized this point when we talked with him: “One of the grandest stressors for a small business owner: how to be able to adequately provide the benefits that employees need and deserve without going broke. Enter FullStack: with their comprehensive, turnkey HR solutions, they provide incredible support and results, the piece of mind that HR is being done right, not just “good enough.” The team at FullStack is responsive and thoughtful and  truly invested in the success of their participating organizations. FullStack allows companies to focus on what’s most important: thriving by growing the business.”

 A third testimonial comes from Casey Bolsega from Powderkeg. He says “One of the coolest parts of working with FullStack was how seamless the onboarding process is. I really felt like I was part of the company before I even joined.” Check out the video below for more of Casey’s thoughts about FullStack! 

 An important component of FullStack’s mission is to support our clients to create and improve the best employee experience possible. Interested in learning how FullStack can support your employee experience? Schedule a quick call with us!

Gracen Perdue
Emplify: A Company Focused on Employee Experience

Last month, our blog posts were focused on our E-Book, Get More done with a PEO and how PEOs can help your business grow. 

One way that PEOs help and support business growth is by improving the employee experience for client companies. In last week’s blog post, FullStack’s VP of Business Development, Daniel Fuller, discusses just how important employee experience is to small businesses. 

This week we are highlighting a company headquartered in Indianapolis that is focused on increasing employee engagement, which is closely related to employee experience. Emplify is on a mission to help all people achieve their true potential at work, helping transform company cultures of disengaged employees to highly engaged.  With recent Gallup polls showing only a third of employees are actively engaged at work, which they defined as “involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their work and workplace,” Emplify’s work could not be more timely.

By administering confidential psychometrically-valid questionnaires, Emplify’s tool gives a company a score  in each of the 14 key areas of engagement., Instead of only sending the results and moving on, Emplify pairs each company with a strategist who helps interpret the results, understand the state of engagement in an organization, and assists in building an action-plan.

Emplify’s Co-Founder, Adam Weber says this about employee experience, “Employee experience is the start to finish, the employee is your customer, and so what does every component of that look like, from your brand, to your social component of your brand, hiring process, offboarding process.” 

Here are a few of Adam’s practical tips for leaders to improve the employee experience and increase engagement: meet consistently with your team, be transparent in your decision-making process, give consistent and steady positive and constructive feedback, be candid when expectations are not met, and challenge employees to do great things. 

Emplify and FullStack both recognize the importance of employee experience and how vital it is to the success of a business. Check out the video below to find more information from Adam Weber about employee experience. 

Gracen Perdue
An Employee Experience Introduction and Story

FullStack’s office is in a building that we share with a lot of different companies, and I have caught myself a lot recently introducing myself in the kitchen to people I have never seen before, and learning at least their name and their company.  Unless someone is thoroughly uninterested in pleasantries, I am walking away from these interactions delighted to know a new person, and I have to suspect that the newer person felt welcomed and cared for, even if just for a few minutes. I don’t know that I could tell you why I do this besides the genuine desire to work in a place where I know people and I am known, because that intuitively seems important to me and to the success of the companies in our office space.

As we dive this month at FullStack into the importance of the employee experience for the success of small companies, I am realizing from stories like my own the importance of the daily, sometimes mundane interactions that employees have with their colleagues, manager, office space, company, and customers.  The combination of these small interactions at the beginning, middle, and end of one’s time with a company are what make up the employee experience.  

Many smarter people have said some of this in some form - businesses succeed or fail on the customer experience with your product or service, and at the root of the customer experience is the employee experience.  Delightful employees lead to delighted customers. If employees are not having a great experience, neither will your customers, and both will likely leave and cost you a lot of money and time to replace them. Therefore, it is my position it is to your advantage to put your best energies toward the daily and weekly experience of your employees.

To brainstorm how you can do this, I want to invite you into a short exercise that only needs to take a minute or two.  Take yourself back to a delightful overall experience you had as an employee, or reflect on the one you are having now. How were you welcomed when you first started the job?  What did your manager to empower you to fulfill your role? What did the company do to celebrate successes? What were the regular emotions you experienced while working there? How did colleagues respond when you moved on to your next opportunity?

Now, remember a particularly unenjoyable employee experience you have endured.  What were your first day and the first few weeks like? What would you say is the primary reason it was bad?  How were your interactions with your manager? How were you not empowered to fulfill your role? How did your colleagues respond when you announced you were leaving?

I would bet that most of your answers for both the positive and negatives experiences were mostly the result of daily and weekly interactions you had with your work, the people you worked with, and the place where you worked.  While the larger initiatives a company undertakes to improve the employee experience are important, like incentives for high-performance, fun company events, good food and drinks on site, learning and development opportunities, the daily interactions are what are make it or break it.  It is in these daily interactions where company values posted on the walls are lived out or not.

Challenge: What is one daily or weekly practice you can put into place to live out company values, and improve the employee experience for individuals and your team?  Think of something very practical like my example at the beginning.

Daniel Fuller
Get the Most from your PEO

Recently, we released our own e-book, Get More Done with a PEO, which goes into detail about what a PEO is and how it can help your business. In last week’s blog, we highlighted four different tactics to be aware of when deciding on a PEO. 

Here at FullStack, we believe transparency is incredibly important and we want you to get the most from your PEO! 

Get the Most from Your PEO

Find a PEO that serves companies just like yours.

There are more than 900 PEOs in the U.S., according to NAPEO, and they typically serve companies in any industry looking for HR services. Very few of them focus on serving the tech industry, whose size is exploding in Indiana. IT job growth is at 17 percent, which is double the 8 percent growth rate for other occupations. And, nearly half of tech workers in Indiana have children. No wonder having benefits is so important for tech companies here.

Industry Knowledge and Talent Services

When considering a PEO, you need to evaluate what other benefits a PEO provides beyond the typical HR services.

For example, does the PEO work with a community of employers to facilitate communication so that you can bounce ideas off like-minded CEOs? You may struggle to connect with potential investors in the Midwest and beyond, but someone in your PEO’s network can share her experiences and provide practical advice.

Your PEO can also be a valuable in finding talent. In 2018, Indiana had 2,900 emerging tech job postings and nearly 44,000 overall tech job postings, according to CompTIA’s 2019 Cyberstates report. A PEO that focuses on your industry will know what employees at tech companies want and can help coach you through recruiting the best workers. In addition, the PEO may have developed a network of resumes of job seekers in your industry that you can use to add to your team.

Besides recruiting talent, a PEO can be a trusted resource for employee growth and development, something that is in demand in by tech workers. Tech industry leaders surveyed by CTA noted that professional development and training also are going to be essential for retaining employees in the next five years. Eighty percent said technical and high-skills training was key; 74 percent said it’s important to offer professional development programs to hone soft skills.

Tech employees often want to join a company where they can continue learning and developing their skills. According to the 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey, 48% of millennials said opportunities for continuous learning was very important for choosing where to work. The response from Gen Z workers was similar – 44% also want continued learning opportunities.

“Our co-founders started FullStack specifically to add value to emerging tech and tech-adjacent companies in the unique challenges they face regarding finding, keeping, and developing talent in a tight labor market.  They designed our Talent Services to offer tangible solutions to these challenges based on their and other leaders’ experiences starting and scaling companies.” -Daniel Fuller, VP Business Development

Win-Win for Your Company and Employees

You need to differentiate your company in today’s competitive tech market. Consider bringing on a PEO to help you provide the benefits and services that tech workers demand. Why should you waste your time on handling the day-to-day HR and compliance matters that PEOs specialize in? You take care of your company and let the PEO take care of your people.

When you offer the health benefits, retirement options, and employee coaching that tech employees want, you’ll end up with happier, more engaged employees who are likelier to stay with your company as you scale.

Working with a PEO that specializes in your industry is a win-win situation for tech companies and their employees.

FullStack PEO wants to help your company get the most out of it’s PEO. For more information about how a PEO can help your business grow, download our e-book, Get the Most out of Your PEO.

Gracen Perdue