Zummit Blog

Improve your team performance

Why your current employee reward process is not working

Why do you go to work each morning? Why do you continue to work hard, even after your lunch break whilst the rest of the office is taking their after dinner nap? The answer is because you are motivated! You are motivated to sit behind your desk at 08:30 A.M., finish your tasks and learn new skills at the job. Without your motivation, you would not be doing all these things. However, to stay motivated and eager to learn new things, you need to get some sort of recognition every now and then. This is where the traditional rewarding system often falls short. Employees lose their motivation and will eventually leave your workforce because your reward process is probably outdated and does not reward newly attained skills or job relevant knowledge.

Acknowledge the importance of knowledge
As most organizations still base their employee reward system on tangible output delivery, the concept of job-applied knowledge is often left out. A practical reason for this is the fact that knowledge is intangible and therefore difficult to measure. However, for most 21-century companies producing, preserving, and protecting knowledge is their core business and this is exactly why organizational reward systems need to support both the application of knowledge as well as employees capability to gather knowledge and resources when needed.

Reward through Zummit
Zummit as performance management software actually recognizes the importance of feedback and recognition. One of the main benefits of Zummit is the ability to continuously strengthen and leverage the relationship with your workforce by enabling them to share their ideas and input. This creates a free and easy access to company knowledge and resources. Also, by actively engaging your employees into the process of goal setting and activity planning, they will feel recognized and motivated to develop new skills.

Interested in Zummit? Sign up for your 30-day free trial today!

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Use a performance management tool to reach your goals

As top achievers and high performers have demonstrated, your workforce defines your company’s success. You can have the best idea in the world, but without the help and support from your employees, bringing that idea into practice will be a lot harder. This is why you need to get your employees excited about your company goals. Get them involved and make them excited about your business’ future! In a previous blog we already explained the value of goal setting and we gave you three easy steps for creating effective business’ goals. As goal setting has shown to improve your business’ performance, it’s not enough to come up with a few great goals and to write them down in your annual reports. Instead, you need a performance management tool that helps you ‘manage’ your business’ performance.

Use a tool to manage performance
As organizations are always on the lookout for ways to reduce costs, improve efficiency, and increase scalability, using cloud-based software for performance management processes is getting more popular. These solutions enable you and your workforce to track goals and to allocate resources to achieve your daily activities easily and quickly. They also do not require a high investment in hardware or software, as this is often a pay-as-you-go model.

Zummit gets your workforce involved
Zummit, as cloud-based performance management software, allows employees to connect their daily activities to your company goals. This way, crossing activities off their daily to do-lists will get more perspective as they see how their work directly contributes to achieving a big company goal! Also, the social aspect of Zummit allows coworkers to like each other’s progress in attaining their goals. Using Zummit will therefore not only increase employee engagement with the job, but will also help employees feel more engaged with the rest of your workforce.

Interested in trying out Zummit? Sign up for your 30-day free trial today and increase employee engagement whilst achieving your company goals.

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The value of your corporate culture

At your previous job, you started 15 minutes early each day to check your mailbox. You did not really know anyone besides the people sitting next to you and during afternoon breaks it was common for employees to eat behind their desks. At the company that you currently work for, things are done differently. Your manager is happy to discuss your workload with you and plans in a monthly meeting to talk about the team’s progress in achieving their goals. Also, colleagues from other departments often invite you to come over to the cafeteria to have lunch all together. These might seem like small details of your working life, but they actually define the corporate culture of a company. Why is this important? A positive culture where employees feel at ease and free to take initiative is critical for business success. Contrary, a weak or negative corporate culture can have adverse effects on your business and your employees.

Live by your corporate culture
In a previous blog we have already talked about how to define the core values of your corporate culture. As people use corporate culture to reflect their standards for behavior and decisions, it has a big influence on the way you do business. However, corporate values will only have an impact on corporate culture when you and your workforce are ready to live by them. This means that it’s important to communicate them clearly and to publicly recognize individuals, teams or units that exemplify who you are as a company and what you aspire to be.

Use Zummit to boost employee morale
Zummit allows you and your workforce to stay on track with each other’s daily activities and work goals. Also, colleagues can show their recognition by liking and commenting on achievements. This will not only boost employee engagement, but also have a positive impact on corporate culture. Eventually, Zummit will create a vicious circle, as employees are not only motivated to achieve their goals and receive positive feedback from their boss, but also from their co-workers.

Interested in how Zummit will boost your corporate culture? Try our 30 day free trial now!

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Installing change; how to transform into a Holacracy

Today’s fast-changing and competitive environment requires organizations to adjust to change in a fast and flexible way. However, lots of companies appear to have very little capacity to evolve and adapt, as their traditional organizational structure does not allow quick and flexible decision-making. That’s why more and more companies are starting to experiment with the idea of transforming into a Holacracy. This new way of running an organization removes power from a management hierarchy and distributes it more evenly throughout the organization. But how do you set this organizational change into motion? And how do you replace your traditional organizational structure with Holacracy? In this blog, we give you some hands-on tips.

Implementing Holacracy
Holacracy will only work if you are fully committed in becoming a self-governing organization. Your organization’s structure can’t be changed overnight and adopting Holacracy is not something you decide today and start with tomorrow. To successfully install change, we suggest the following steps:

  1. In the first step you start to discover the Holacracy fundamentals with a small team or department as a pilot team to see how it goes. You start by defining the roles and responsibilities of your team and how they work towards achieving your company goals. By giving your pilot team more freedom to express ideas and take initiative, you will notice an increase in employee engagement within your team.
  2. The second step involves a deeper exploration of how to implement the fundamentals of Holacracy in your whole organization. In this step, you need to come up with a plan to actually implement change and define roles and responsibilities for your entire workforce. It is important to craft a clear understanding of the structure of your organization. Who answers to whom? And what teams and employees are responsible for which goals?
  3. The third step is about actually transforming into a Holacracy and getting everyone on board. You and your workforce will start tackling problems by enabling everyone to collect and share feedback and to work together in achieving the team and company goals.

As Zummit is also based on the concept of flat-hierarchy, it will help you to install Holacracy’s fundamentals and boost company performance in an engaging, private network. Moreover, Zummit allows you to provide your staff with a clear definition and understanding of their roles and responsibilities and provides employees and teams with the tools they need to align their individual goals to your long-term plan.

Interested in trying out Zummit? Start our 30 day free trial here!

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The power of compliments; being social drives motivation

Why is it that sometimes at work, you feel like staying an extra hour to process some more e-mails, while at other times, you may take off early or only finish the bare minimum? When it comes to motivating your workforce, offering compliments and recognition for achieving a goal can be extremely powerful. Feeling valued actually seems to be a key indicator of job performance and it’s no secret that being valued often makes people feel good. However, as there is a great deal of research that suggests that praising employees at work boost company performance, it also shows that the complimenting-culture in organizations is actually not that common. Why? It appears that a lot of employers fail to create an environment where employees feel at liberty to engage with each other’s work activities.

Create an environment that stimulates engagement
Employees who receive compliments on a regular basis seem to be more productive and engaged than those who do not. As in our personal lives, a compliment leads to us experiencing feelings of pride, pleasure and increased self-esteem. As these positive effects are relatively short-term, it’s important to keep the flow of compliments active so to speak. Therefore, creating an environment where compliments are valued and feedback is appreciated, will lead to better teamwork and helps your workforce to deliver a maximum contribution to your net results.

Zummit; the social solution
By implementing Zummit, you will create the above-mentioned environment that is so important for your workforce. Zummit allows employees to stay on track with each other’s work. Colleagues can express their engagement by following other peoples work activities and work goals. When a colleague achieves his or her goals, people have the opportunity to click on the like button or to place a comment. This instant recognizing of each other’s great work will boost energy in the workplace and enhances employee engagement through a private network.

Interested in trying out Zummit? Sign up for your 30-day free trial today and increase employee engagement whilst achieving your company goals.

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Invest in your workforce; the benefits of ‘One-on-ones’

In a previous blog we talked about the downfall of the traditional annual performance review and introduced the implementation of a more continuous feedback loop and its effectiveness for your business. Even though continuous feedback and one-on-one meetings between employees and their supervisors demonstrate to reduce employee turn over by at least 25% and drive employee engagement to higher levels, not every manager seems to be convinced of this new way of leading a team. The question here is: why?

Understand what your employees need in order to support them

Figures actually show managers seem to avoid one-on-one meetings with their staff because of the general idea of having to invest a lot of time and effort into these meetings. Also, there seems to be a guiding fear of actually having to solve problems, make decisions, listen to complaints and deal with messy emotions during these meetings. However, this fear of one-on-one meetings is not justified and instead they should moreover be considered as regular conversations. A tip we can give you is to stay as laid back as possible and moreover, just open up! These one-on-ones aren’t about grilling your workforce on their performance, but about getting a clear understanding of what your employees need in order to perform their tasks and what you can do as a boss to support them in a better way. Also, the idea that all these one-on-ones will be a time-consuming activity for managers is not entirely true and can be solved with an effective performance management process in place.

Zummit and one-on-ones
Zummit allows you to initiate a one-on-one in a quick and easy manner. With just a few clicks, you can send your employees a template with questions that will give you better insights in their overall job appreciation, future goals and personal development plans. This information can be used in further conversations and gives you a good impression of how you need to allocate your resources to keep your employees happy. After all, a happy employee is a productive employee.

Interested in trying out Zummit? Sign up for your 30-day free trial today and experience the benefits of using Zummit for one-one-ones with your workforce.

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Holacracy vs. Traditional hierarchy frameworks

More and more organizations are experimenting with a new way of doing business as the traditional hierarchy is reaching its limits. Traditional hierarchic, also known as top-down authority structures, make job descriptions and decision-making unclear and can disengage employees to work hard. An upcoming alternative can be found in Holacracy. Holacracy is a new way of running an organization that removes power from a management hierarchy and distributes it across clear roles. As holacracy takes the best parts of both top-down hierarchy and flat management structures, we have outlined the clear differences between holacracy and traditional hierarchy frameworks.

Traditional hierarchy frameworks
At most companies, people work with traditional job descriptions. Each person has exactly one job and often one job title. However, the problem often seems to be that those job descriptions are imprecise, rarely updated, and often irrelevant! Also, typical for a traditional hierarchy based organization is the delegation of authority throughout the organization. Managers loosely delegate authority but in the end, their decision is always final. Moreover, the organization’s structure is rarely revisited and mandated from the top, making the organization slow in reacting to external influences. As these types of organizations are often characterized by implicit rules, change is not easy to implement and decision-making is slow.

Holacracy works with roles. Roles are defined around the work, instead of people and are, contrary to the more traditional job descriptions, updated regularly. Also in a holacracy based organization, instead of just one job description, people can fulfill several roles. An important difference lies in the distribution of authority to teams and roles. This results in more support for decisions as they are made locally. Also, the organization’s structure is regularly updated via small iterations, making the organization’s reaction to external influences fast and effortless. Furthermore, as holacracy is all about transparency and moves more towards a flat management structure, the rules apply to everyone. With this, no exceptions are made for management or the CEO. This creates a strong organizational culture since everyone follows the same guidelines.

Zummit and Holacracy
Zummit is cloud- based social performance management software that will provide your staff with a clear definition and understanding of their roles and responsibilities within the workplace. Also, by distributing authority to your teams and individual employees, you actively engage them into your long term plan and goal setting. With Zummit, you will create a supportive environment that promotes open collaboration and results in a motivated workforce.

Interested in trying out Zummit? Sign up for your 30-day free trial today, and experience the benefits of Zummit for your business.

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Your business’ DNA: How to define and communicate your core values

Core values are one of the most important things that help stakeholders understand what is unique about your company. In a previous blog we gave you a brief introduction about the difference between core values, ambition statements, and your company focus. In this blog, we go a little further and talk about the importance of defining and communicating your core values as part of your company’s DNA. As with our own personal values like being an honest person, core company values define what is truly important to you as an organization. They create a company’s identity and represent the core aspects of your business.

What defining and communicating core values will do for your business
In a fast-paced business world, your core values will be a constant factor on which clients and business relations can rely when they do business with you. Also, on a more internal level, core values help your employees understand what is important for your business and gives them an understanding of why things are done in a certain way. By formulating and communicating your company’s core values, you give your employees the opportunity to align their own personal values to your core company values. This sharing of values will be beneficial for your corporate culture and therefore, for your profits. With everyone living by the same values, the decision-making process becomes much clearer, which makes it easier for everyone to generate good results at work.

In order to effectively use your core values, we give you three steps to follow.

  • Include your workforce: Get input from your employees on what is important to them and what they feel is most important to the company. This will generate greater support for decisions based on those values and make it easier for employees to align their personal values with your core company values.
  • Link your core values to your daily actions: By linking daily activities to your core values, you will create consistency in the way you do things around your company. Your company values should therefore guide behavior and actions and form the basis upon which the members of a company make decisions and carry out their work.
  • Communicate with your workforce: Constantly and clearly communicate your core values to get your employees familiar with them. By reminding your workforce of what is important for your company, they will prove to act according to those values.

Zummit allows you to link core values to the daily activities of your workforce and communicate them in a quick and organized way. It gives you a visual representation of your company’s structure and illustrates relations between people, their roles, and how they contribute to your core values.

Interested in trying out Zummit? Sign up for your 30-day free trial today, and experience the benefits of Zummit for your business.

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Create alignment with Zummit: Start linking business goals with daily activities!

When writing a business plan for your company, whether you’re doing it right now or you have done it a long time ago, everyone knows that defining goals and creating alignment between them can be challenging. Alignment indicates the linking of business parts with organizational goals and your employees’ daily activities. When done in the right way, your core values, ambition statements, company goals and employees’ daily activities should all be tied together. Here, the pickle lies in having a clear understanding of how each of these parts differ and how they are related to one another. To help you along, we defined those business parts and provided you with an example.

Core values
Core values are the fundamental beliefs of an organization. These values guide behavior and actions and are the basis upon which the members of a company make decisions, plan strategies and interact with each other and their stakeholders. These guiding principles help your employees understand what is important for your business and define how the corporation would behave. They also help you determine if you are on track with fulfilling your goals. As core values differ per company, they come in different forms and sizes. One example is the following:

  • Zummit: As social performance management software, we are best known for having a commitment to innovation, transparency, efficiency and a hunger to learn.

Ambition statements
A business ambition statement is similar to a vision statement. It helps you to communicate your company goals down the organizational hierarchy and explains the focus of your business for the future. A business ambition statement should not be confused with a mission statement. A mission statement explains to stakeholders why your company exists. An ambition statement, on the other hand, is a statement which demonstrates where your business will be in the future. To create a clear and attainable ambition statement, it is important to have a clear understanding of your company’s position at this moment. In order to establish where you want your business to be in 10 years, you need to know where you stand right now. For this reason, we recommend evaluating your business’ place within the industry and carefully formulating your aspirations. An example of a business’ ambition statement is:

  • Zummit: Expand business to all countries in the world.

Besides your business’ ambition statement, you also need to formulate a focus for your business. This focus tells you where you want your business to stand in the span of a quarter. It is different from your business ambition statement as the time span is shorter. An example of a focus could be:

  • Zummit: Get ready to expand to Sweden.

Defining the above will help you create clear and attainable goals, which in turn can be linked back to your core values, ambition statements and company focus. Interested in trying out Zummit? Sign up for your 30-day free trial today, and experience the benefits of Zummit for your business.

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Annual employee frustration: towards continuity in performance management

We all know the feeling when it’s time for your annual performance review. Your boss starts by telling you how you have performed throughout the year and ranks you on several performance indicators. By comparing these with a form from last year, he or she states you have progressed or gone backwards in your performance. This type of performance review is based on a snapshot of your work. It’s often not a true representation of how you perform on a daily basis. While you are being ranked on a five-, seven- or 10-point scale on how much of a team player you have been over the last year, you might think to yourself, “on what grounds am I being graded exactly?” Before you know it, your annual performance hour is finished, and you’ll be left with an updated review form with some tips and feedback for the upcoming year.

To a more continuous feedback loop
This traditional annual performance review process brings out a lot of frustrations for both employees and managers. Not only are reviews based on a recollection of performances, but there are often fellow colleagues who really know how an employee performed during a year. So, why not consider changing your annual performance management system to a more continuous and representable feedback loop? Why give your employees feedback only once a year, when you can have continuous conversations? In addition, why would a manager be the only one providing feedback, when colleagues work with the employee on a daily basis?

Zummit, the social solution
Zummit, cloud-based social performance management software, provides the social solution for these annual performance review frustrations and helps you to manage, develop and connect employees. The tools in Zummit allow you to view employees’ progression throughout the year and allocate work defaults immediately. In this way, you are able to continuously review employees’ performance and provide on-the-job feedback where needed. The social part in Zummit lies in the fact that colleagues are able to like colleagues’ goals and post comments. By giving feedback or recognition, employees can help each other attain their goals and at the same time provide input for performance reviews.

With Zummit, reviews are based on actual data, making it easier and more reliable to evaluate employees. Interested in trying out Zummit? Sign up for your 30-day free trial today, and experience the benefits of Zummit for your business.

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