It took me a long time to join in the Pinterest craze. I didn’t really get what the hype was about and I don’t really have enough time to have another internet addiction. Facebook already keeps me occupied enough.

What finally drew me in were the ecards people were posting on Facebook. They really crack me up. If anyone doesn’t know what I’m talking about, go on Pinterest to the “Humor” section. I sit there giggling away to myself.  While Pinterest never fails to give me a good laugh, it also has workout tips, recipes, and DIY projects, among other things.

Sadly, I am depressingly un-artistic. It’s not from a lack of creativity. I have great ideas for cute pictures or fun crafts. The disconnect occurs when I try and bring them to life. The reaction to the result of my efforts is usually “Oh that’s so pretty, what is it?” Oh well. I enjoy looking at other people’s cute crafts.

Thankfully, this year my roommate (and fellow Tribe employee) is the extremely talented and creative Sara Duquette. Not only is she one of the ones that introduced me to Pinterest, she actually is able to make the stuff off the website.

I cannot take credit for her beautiful Christmas decorations she really made by hand, but I do get to enjoy them for this holiday season. If the holiday season lasts as long as it did last year, I will get to enjoy them until March! For all you artsy people looking for homemade present ideas, I highly recommend checking out Pinterest – for everyone else, go get a good laugh.

Insight Four: Non-Desk Employees Like the Idea of Corporate Email

This is the fourth of seven weekly posts sharing insights from a national study on communicating with frontline and field employees. Tribe recently fielded quantitative and qualitative research with non-desk employees in companies with 1,000 or more employees. The complete white paper is available for download on the Tribe site.

Even non-desk workers get their information via computer. Of our survey respondents, 86 percent reported that when they access the Internet, they’re typically using a home computer. They’re online after hours, connecting with friends and family, finding answers to their health questions, managing their finances and buying home supplies.

There remains some reluctance about receiving company communications at home. It’s based on a reluctance to allow the company access to their personal email and mobile phones. Of those with smartphones, 74 percent consider their mobile devices to be for personal use only. Slightly fewer respondents, but still a majority at 68 percent, were opposed to receiving corporate communications at their personal email addresses.  

Email still appears to be the way to go. Although only 17 percent of our respondents report having a company-issued email address, many seem to see email as the answer to their communication needs. At 38 percent, email was the second highest preference for how they’d like to receive company news and updates, with their immediate supervisor ranking the highest preference.

Try getting creative. Of those with access to the company intranet at work, via company computers at kiosks, break rooms or other shared locations, 43 percent said they use it and it “helps them perform their job.” Those same respondents would presumably check their work email, if it were available to them. You may not necessarily have to give non-desk workers a smartphone if you can give them access to email in other ways.

For insights five through seven, please check back on upcoming Thursdays. Or just subscribe to the Good Company Blog by clicking on the RSS icon in the About section.

To discuss ideas or questions about how to reach non-desk employees in your company, call us, we would be happy to help!

Turn All Your Employees Into Salespeople

It’s almost the end of the year. The books are coming to a close and the bottom line is near. It’s time to really push your sales to the finish line!

How do you get that little extra boost from your sales team? Where do you find the extra manpower to make those necessary sales?

The answer is simple – turn all of your employees into salespeople.

For tips on how to make that happen, check out our blog on turning your entire workforce into your sales force.

Elizabeth Cogswell Baskin

Good news? Bad news? Focus on the Next Play

My father used to say that nothing is ever as good as you might hope or as bad as you might expect. The business Zen of that is that it’s a good idea to avoid getting too caught up in either the ups or downs. Just move on to whatever’s next.

Lordy, I can’t believe I’m about to quote Coach K. Like they say, I’m a Tar Heel born and a Tar Heel bred, go to hell Duke. But Adam Bryant’s Corner Office last week in the New York Times featured Jeff Weiner of LinkedIn, who talks about the Duke basketball coach’s tactic of keeping his team focused on the next play. Here’s what Weiner had to say about that phrase:

“The person I borrowed it from is Coach K [Mike Krzyzewski] of the Duke Blue Devils. Every time the basketball team goes up and down the court and they complete a sequence, offense or defense, Coach K yells out the exact same thing, every time. He yells out “next play,” because he doesn’t want the team lingering too long on what just took place. He doesn’t want them celebrating that incredible alley-oop dunk, and he doesn’t want them lamenting the fact that the opposing team just stole the ball and had a fast break that led to an easy layup. You can take a moment to reflect on what just happened, and you probably should, but you shouldn’t linger too long on it, and then move on to the next play.”

On West Wing, Martin Sheen’s character President Bartlett phrases the same idea a different way. “What’s next?” he says, episode after episode, when he and his staffers have just that moment averted World War III or reached some crucial political compromise with the Republicans. “What’s next?”

So you can quote a fictitious Democratic president or a real live Blue Devil, but either way, it’s a useful thought. Take a moment to enjoy the win, spend a minute acknowledging the loss and then move on. Next.







I can’t believe I’m writing a blog about Coach K.

Year-End Recruiting Evaluation

It’s getting close to the end of the calendar year, a time to look back and take stock of all that has transpired over the past 11 or so months. Who did you hire this year? Have they blended well with the company? Would someone else have been a better fit?

Many companies don’t do a lot of hiring at this time of year, but it’s a great time to develop a plan for how (and who) you want to recruit in 2013. You’re obviously going to look for the candidate that has the talent to do the job. While skill set and aptitude are important, it’s equally as crucial to find someone that would fit within the culture of your organization.

Does your company offer an employee value proposition? A compelling vision that provides meaningful work is not just for non-profits, but it does have to be something more inspiring than the vision of selling more widgets. How does your company help make a better world? How does it improve human lives?

Additionally, what makes you stand out among other employers? At Tribe, we recommend including at least one or two shiny hooks in your EVP. These are the benefits that capture the imagination. They’re the things people will talk about, both inside and outside the company. It could be something big like offering a sabbatical after so many years of service or something small but unique, like bringing your dog to work on Fridays.

Do you look for employees that share your values? One of the goals of your recruiting process should be to find individuals that blend with the core values of your company. Your values are what define you as an organization and shape your day-to-day business decisions. Employees that miss the mark when it comes to identifying with your corporate message may have trouble fitting in.

If you need help coming up with ideas on ways to communicate your employee value proposition to potential new hires, give Tribe a call. We’d be happy to help!

Elizabeth Cogswell Baskin

Gratitude as a Path to Happiness

It’s Thanksgiving week, so let’s talk about gratitude. Have you ever noticed how good it feels to be grateful?

Last night at church I lit a candle in gratitude. Most weeks, when we come to the part of the evening service where we’re invited to come up and light a candle, I’m one of the first ones up out of my seat, racing down the aisle to ask God for help with something or other. Sometimes I need that help so badly I’m near tears. Last night, I could feel myself beaming with happiness.

It made me think of a line from one of Anne Lamott’s books, Traveling Mercies. “Here are the two best prayers I know: ‘Help me, help me, help me’ and ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you.” (This is the same woman who said to Jesus, “F–ck it, I quit. You can come in.”)

An article in the Wall Street Journal a few years ago took a more empirical view. Melinda Beck wrote that, “A growing body of research suggests that maintaining an attitude of gratitude can improve psychological, emotional and physical well-being.

“Adults who frequently feel grateful have more energy, more optimism, more social connections and more happiness than those who do not, according to studies conducted over the past decade. They’re also less likely to be depressed, envious, greedy or alcoholics. They earn more money, sleep more soundly, exercise more regularly and have greater resistance to viral infections.”

Meister Eckhart, born Eckhart von Hochheim around 1260, put it this way. “If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.”

Be grateful and be happy. At Thanksgiving, of course, but the rest of the time too.


Insight Three: Depending Solely on Supervisors to Communicate is a Mistake

This is the third of seven weekly posts sharing insights from a national study on communicating with frontline and field employees. Tribe recently fielded quantitative and qualitative research with non-desk employees in companies with 1,000 or more employees. The complete white paper is available for download on the Tribe site.

As with all target audiences, using just one communication channel to reach them is a mistake. With non-desk employees, they value communication from their director managers as 60% of research respondents listed it as one of their preferred options. However, recent Tribe research indicates there are many flaws in using cascading communication as the only method.

Employees cited two issues with this system of defaulting all internal communication to their direct managers: consistency of message and timeliness of delivery. Especially with sensitive news or major changes, non-desk employees dislike the fact that some divisions or groups in the company might know the scoop before they do, and that even individuals on their own team are not always informed simultaneously. They also mentioned the inconsistencies that result from communications coming through their manager’s filter, some citing the game “Telephone” where a message becomes more and more garbled as it passes from one player to the next.

There’s another downside to corporate not communicating directly with employees in the field or on the frontlines: It erodes trust in senior leaders. As one respondent explained it, “We rarely hear from corporate, so I value and trust the direct managers because I interact with them on a daily basis.” By developing channels that connect senior leaders with non-desk employees, companies can increase employees’ level of trust  — which can then lead to higher engagement and improved customer service.

There is no one-size fits all solution for companies to open the lines of communication between corporate and non-desk employees. To determine the right channel for your company take a quick audit of what vehicles you currently have Then consider  the working environment of non-desk employees and the physical realities of their jobs. From there, you can develop unique touch points to reach them, beyond just cascading information through their direct managers.

For Insights Four through Seven, please check back on upcoming Thursdays. Or just subscribe to the Good Company Blog by clicking on the RSS icon in the About section.

To discuss ideas or questions about how to reach non-desk employees, call us, we would be happy to help!