How Microsoft Teams Supports Your Business Culture

Need help enhancing your staff members’ productivity, job satisfaction and general engagement at work? Try these Microsoft Teams apps.

Microsoft Teams is an increasingly popular collaboration tool that can help improve staff engagement and satisfaction. It allows teams to communicate, collaborate, and manage projects all in one place.

While Microsoft Teams’ range of standard features is extremely useful in the workplace, they’re not the only tools you should be using. Did you know that Microsoft Teams offer a range of add-on apps as well?

These apps, when properly selected, deployed, and managed, can do a lot to enhance your company culture. All of this has to do with your staff’s engagement in their work…

Why Do You Need To Support Employee Engagement?

Employee engagement, or the level of involvement and enthusiasm an employee has in their job, is a key factor in any successful business. A strong engagement strategy will result in employees that feel valued, respected, and motivated to do their best work. 

It is well-documented that engagement levels directly affect productivity and quality. Studies have shown that engagement leads to higher job satisfaction, improved morale, and better customer service. Companies with higher engagement levels are more likely to be profitable, attract and retain top talent, reduce staff turnover rates and create a positive work environment. 

Engagement goes beyond simply providing good working conditions; it’s about creating an atmosphere where employees want to come to work every day. This involves cultivating a sense of purpose in every worker by connecting them with the company mission statement as well as maintaining open communication between management and employees. When staff members understand how their role fits into the bigger picture, they tend to become more invested in their tasks which leads to higher engagement levels. 

In addition to this, businesses should provide opportunities for professional growth through ongoing training programs or workshops that teach new skills and help staff develop within their roles while providing increased job satisfaction. Recognizing employee achievements through public commendations or rewards can also help boost engagement levels as it creates a feeling of accomplishment while motivating others at the same time. 

Finally, fostering a culture of fun within the workplace can be beneficial for engagement levels by boosting morale and improving job satisfaction among staff members. Organizing team building activities or special company events can go a long way in helping create a positive atmosphere for everyone involved; giving people something enjoyable to look forward to on top of just their everyday tasks will help them become more vested in their role at the company overall. 

All these combined strategies contribute towards creating an engaged workforce capable of delivering outstanding results for both customers and employers alike; ultimately making employee engagement one of the most important components of any business' success today.

3 Ways Microsoft Teams Supports Your Business Culture

Gauge Team Engagement

The first step in enhancing engagement is understanding the current state of your company culture. You can’t expect to make any progress if you don’t know where you’re starting from. 

Microsoft Teams add-on apps like SurveyMonkey, Betterworks, and Insight HR can help you keep track of employees’ engagement, demeanor, and priorities. You can create surveys to gauge how your team is doing, track progress of key tasks, and better inform your check-in meetings and performance reviews. 

Engaging with staff members and ensuring they are enjoying their work is an important part of any successful company culture. It is important to check in with staff members periodically, whether it be through surveys, meetings, or other forms of engagement. By checking in with employees, managers can gain a better understanding of how individual team members are feeling about their jobs and the company culture as a whole. 

When asking staff about their job satisfaction, employers should provide multiple ways for employees to express themselves in order to get the most accurate feedback. This could include multiple-choice surveys or open-ended questions that allow employees to provide detailed answers. 

Additionally, employers should use engagement techniques that are tailored to each employee’s needs; for example, some may prefer face-to-face meetings while others may prefer online engagement such as polls or video conferences. 

Regular engagement and assessment of job satisfaction levels is essential in making sure that employees feel valued and appreciated by the organization. Doing this can help create an environment where employees feel empowered to do their best work and reach their full potential. Furthermore, it helps ensure that teams remain productive and motivated since team members who feel satisfied and engaged with their work tend to be more productive than those who don’t.

Foster Social Engagement

Even if part of your team is working remotely, you can still maintain the social aspect of your work environment by encouraging them to post status updates and share their insights with Microsoft Teams add-on apps like AgilePolly, Decisions, and ScrumGenius.

Employee engagement and job satisfaction are key components of successful company culture. But it is not enough for employees to be engaged in their work—they must also feel connected to each other. Socializing with coworkers fosters a sense of camaraderie and belonging, which can lead to higher engagement, loyalty, and productivity from staff. 

It has been proven that when people make meaningful connections with those around them at work, they are more likely to stay in their job for longer periods of time. When employees feel like they fit into the culture of an organization, they will be more likely to continue contributing engagement and enthusiasm to their roles. This can ultimately result in lower turnover rates, better performance outcomes, and greater collaboration among staff members. 

Socializing is also important because it can help boost morale. When colleagues get together outside of the office environment, they have an opportunity to relax and bond over shared interests or experiences. It gives them a chance to see each other as real people rather than just co-workers—fostering relationships that can last long after any one particular project is finished or a team member has moved on. 

Facilitate Creative Brainstorming Sessions

You can gather ideas from your team in free-form digital spaces and on virtual whiteboards with apps like Freehand, Miro, and MURAL.

Digital whiteboard apps provide an invaluable tool to support staff engagement, collaboration, and creativity. By providing employees with a virtual platform to hold brainstorming sessions, companies can benefit from the engagement and creativity of their team members. Brainstorming sessions held in digital whiteboards can be conducted from any device, allowing for remote engagement and collaboration.

Using digital whiteboards for brainstorming provides an effective way for teams to generate ideas quickly, whilst being able to easily store them for future reference. Having the ability to save these sessions digitally also makes it easier for those who weren’t present at a meeting to refer back to the notes taken during the session. 

Digital whiteboards are also visually engaging due to the ability to draw or write on the board, along with supporting images, controlling audio presentations and even providing live chat functions that enable engagement with multiple parties in real time. 

The benefits of using digital whiteboards go beyond just engagement and collaboration; they can have a positive effect on company culture too. For example, by having a virtual platform where everyone can come together in one place regardless of location or time zone, it allows people to feel connected which strengthens team spirit and corporate identity.  

This then leads to encouraging job satisfaction as staff feel like their opinions are valued and listened to, making them aware that their contributions are appreciated within their organization. In fact, the Freehand by Invision app is now fully integrated, allowing users to use a virtual whiteboard for note-taking and brainstorming during Microsoft Teams meetings. 

Don’t Let Your Staff Become Disengaged At Work

Engagement is one of the most critical components of your company culture. Make sure you fully harness the tools available to you to help with the process.

Need expert assistance? Our team has extensive experience with Microsoft Teams and can ensure you optimize the way you use it at your business. Book a meeting with us to get started.

How To Build A Company Culture That Retains The Best Employees

So you’ve finally hired an experienced, capable new staff member. Are you sure you can convince them to stick around long-term?

Are you having trouble retaining your staff? To be blunt, the problem is undoubtedly company culture. 

The way your team feels at work every day, the way they’re managed and encouraged, and the people they work with directly influence their degree of satisfaction on the job. 

You’ll notice that I didn’t mention compensation—it may surprise you to learn that money is not the key determining factor in a given company’s culture or your staff’s job satisfaction. 

By developing the right social environment at your workplace, you can build real loyalty and engagement among your team members. I like to think our company has an effective culture, which we’re continuing to improve day by day.

Here are three key components to our process for doing so…

3 Building Blocks For A Winning Company Culture

Hire For Character Over Knowledge

A widespread effect of the pandemic is the mass retirement of older-generation professionals in the field. When faced with the prospect of pivoting to a fully virtual work environment, many of the experts that were only a few years from retirement decided to exit early. 

This has left us with a bit of a vacuum in terms of skills and experience. As novice professionals graduate from college and enter the industry, they won’t be able to directly take on the role of those who left with decades of experience. 

However, this isn’t as big of an issue as you might think. In fact, this is a great opportunity to think about the way you hire. Consider looking for new hires that have the right character, and match your culture. The rest can be managed through training and on-the-job experience.

Case in point: everyone knows you need smart people on your team to succeed, but it’s important to note that the intelligence trait is far more about EQ (emotional intelligence) than IQ (conventional intelligence), which is especially important in the IT industry, as well as every other field of work.

It’s so much easier to find someone with technical skills and education than it is to find someone that understands how to communicate effectively and empathize with others. That’s why we make such an effort when looking for a new hire to hold out for those that have just as high an EQ as they do IQ.

Make Sure Your Staff Is Motivated

Motivation is a vital part of a healthy workplace environment. Properly motivated people are healthier and happier across the board. They are more productive, and the work they get done is often of a higher quality than it would be otherwise. 

On the other hand, a lack of motivation can be absolutely crushing. It makes it more likely that you'll procrastinate, waste time, and turn in a poor product at the end of it all. Unmotivated work can quickly lead to depression and worse.

That’s why it’s so important to think critically about the role motivation plays in your work and the work done by your coworkers or employees. If you can figure out what motivates you, you can ensure it’s a regular part of your daily life, helping to increase your workplace satisfaction and workplace culture as a whole. 

So, off the top of your head, what would you think is the number one workplace motivator? Social engagement? Business location? Money?

You might be surprised—TINYpulse recently anonymously surveyed 200,000 workers to find out what really motivates people in the modern workplace. The report, titled The 7 Key Trends Impacting Today’s Workplace, considered a number of different possible factors tied to and resulting from employee motivation, including employee engagement, retention, organizational culture, and more. 

Interestingly enough, the top five polled motivators for employees were:

It’s surprising, right? Expected motivators, like salary, or opportunity for promotion, didn’t even place in the top five. Instead, those polled showed that they are motivated primarily by the culture developed by themselves and their coworkers, as well as their innate desire to be good at what they do. 

It’s an extremely encouraging reality, especially compared to what most would assume. Rather than the ruthless and self-serving motivations you may expect from the majority of those in the working world, you find out that people actually usually have more heartfelt motivations.

Don’t Be Afraid To Invest In Your Staff

One challenge many managers have with corporate culture is the possible end effect of offering professional development. That is, if you invest in your employees so that they can grow and improve, won’t they just move on to another job that pays more, and benefits from your investment?

It’s a possibility—however, in the time that you have the employee, they’re likely to do better work than they would if you weren’t investing in them. I believe—and have found—that the opposite is true. 

The more you invest in your employees, the more valued they feel, and the more likely they'll stay, as well as contribute to a high-quality service offering and an engaged workplace culture. That's not to mention that I'm more afraid of not training my employees, and having them stick around. 

I may have saved a buck by not getting them that specific certification, but it’s not likely they’ll be contributing much to my business anyway. That’s what this is all about after all—I invest time and money in my employees, so they, in turn, invest their effort and loyalty into our company. Lastly, if you have a compelling enough corporate culture, that’s all the more reason for the employee to choose to stay with your business. 

Good Company Culture Is A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

The best part of this process is that your work recedes over time. Once you get the ball rolling, the culture improves itself every time you hire another contributing team member. When you add people to your team that appreciate and benefit from your positive work culture, they, in turn, contribute to it, which only helps it to grow. 

This is opposed to hiring people who are just in it for the money, who won't have anything positive to add to the workplace environment. With an enthusiastic and engaged staff, I then had the opportunity to get them involved with initiatives that would improve our culture.

Also, while I may not be able to directly assist with the development of your company culture, I wanted to let you know that I can help with your team’s on-the-job satisfaction, specifically when it comes to technology. If your team is fed up with apps and hardware that continually fail to meet their needs, it can slowly erode their sense of satisfaction at work, greatly affecting company culture. 

My team and I can help—we’ll optimize the tools your staff uses every day to ensure they make their lives easier, not harder. Book a meeting with us to get started.

Dave Liethen
IT Services Professional In Green Bay

Meet Our Team of Green Bay IT Experts—Dave Liethen

Dave LiethenWe are excited to share that we have grown our team yet again: please welcome Dave Liethen to the N-Tech Consulting community!

He started recently as our Sales Account Manager, playing an important role in how our company reaches new clients and makes new connections in the Wisconsin market. Developing our ever-expanding network of partners is a key priority for our organization, and we’re so happy to have Dave as a part of that effort.

Helping people has always been central to Dave's work ethic. As the Sales Account Manager at N-Tech, Dave will help supply new clients and service the existing businesses with the latest technology while keeping their information safe from cybercriminals.

Dave grew up in the Green Bay area before going off to UW-Stevens Point. After graduating, Dave worked as a radio news reporter, at the American Red Cross and helped people get low-cost health insurance in both Wisconsin and in the Carolinas.

In his spare time, Dave likes to garden with his wife, take bike rides, spend time with family, read and cheer on the Green Bay Packers.

Our next new client may first talk to Dave before anyone else on the N-Tech team—we’re confident in his ability to make that connection. Thanks for taking a few moments to get to know him a little better.

Why Work Culture Matters

There have probably been companies that you loved working for and some that you hated. A lot of your love or hate towards a job was probably because of its culture. Work culture can say a lot about who you are as a company. Whether a company realizes it or not, they all have their own culture, which can make it a great place to work or a bad place to work. To employees, culture in the office is becoming much more important. Many employees will leave their workplace if the culture is not good. Now, you may be reading this thinking “Why does this matter? I’ll just hire someone new!” Word spreads fast if companies don’t keep employees happy and you want to keep your employees happy, which starts with the company’s culture.

If employees enjoy their work, see the purpose, or their work helps them achieve their professional goals, then they will be more motivated. The culture of a company can help influence these three things to create motivation. Think back to a time where you had to do something that you did not enjoy - maybe it was a task at work or maybe it was having to clean your room as a kid. Since you were doing something that was not enjoyable, you were not motivated. The same thing happens at work. If employees are motivated, then they are more than likely to go the extra mile when working, which will generate positive outcomes for the company and attract new employees. 

Having a good work culture can help attract new talent. The resources we have today make it very easy to find out the work environment of companies. If your employees are happy and enjoy coming into work every day, then they are more likely to let others know so they apply. The same thing goes for if employees do not like working for your company. You probably had a job at some point that you enjoyed and told people how nice of a place it was to work for. By spreading that information, new people hear about it and might apply or tell someone they know that is looking for a job. Although a good salary and benefits are very important, new hires are also looking for a good working environment.

No matter how smart you are, your best work will be completed when working in an environment that values its employees and encourages one another. The last thing a company wants to do is look for new employees every couple of months because of the bad culture. That wastes time and can hold other employees back as well because they need to train new hires. Not only are your employees impacted by the culture, your customers and investors are as well. The right culture can positively impact both the company and employees. Try investing in your culture and see how well it can help.

Should Companies Consider Banning Email?

If you could guess, how many times have you checked your email so far today? With smartphones, tablets, and laptops, email seems like a perfect way of communication throughout the office because it can be accessed from anywhere at any time of the day. This leads to people checking their inboxes religiously. Because of the easy availability of email, many employees and employers resent looking at their inboxes. The use of email adds more additional work, wastes time, which then stresses everyone out. The average employee spends 23% of the workday on emails, which in turn increases their stress level. With that much of the day being wasted, and the stress it causes employees, should companies consider getting rid of email? There are businesses that have started doing this and have seen positive results.

With email, employers or colleagues can just dump another task onto your plate. Almost everyone has done this at some point in time during their career. You send them an email about something you want them to do (even though it may be a small task) without considering everything else that person may have on their plate. Email makes it so easy to pass tasks down to someone else. Even though that person may have twenty other tasks to do for the day, they now have to add another one to their workload. Sometimes the tasks are something that needs to be done right away, which then puts them behind on their original tasks. 

There have probably been times where you have been emailing a coworker that was in the office next to you or across the hall. Even though emailing may seem quicker, it’s really not. The amount of time it takes to read, respond, and wait for another reply could be cut in half if you would just go next door or across the hall. Having a conversation face to face can be much quicker and people can clarify what they are saying much better than through an email. Banning email means that employees can enter a conversation on their own time instead of potentially getting interrupted every couple of minutes.

It’s hard to get away from your email since it can be accessed almost anywhere. This is a big contributor to stress. Employees cannot get away from work when they have their email connected to their phone or tablet, because as soon as they hear the “ding” or see the notification they immediately look at it. As discussed previously, email can lead to more demands for employees, which leads to stress and impacts their ability to work. By banning email, employees may be able to get their work done more efficiently. Employees won’t have the stress of lost time from responding to emails and receiving requests to take on much more work than what they currently have.

Banning email may seem like an intimidating task and you may think your company would not last if email wasn’t used, but you will see positive results. More employees will be communicating with one another face to face, which will help save time. They will also be able to get more of their own work done instead of receiving tasks from others that put them behind. There won’t be as much stress either because they won’t constantly be checking their emails. If you are worried about banning email completely, try doing it every Friday or even for part of the day. This will lead to more productivity throughout the company.

The Impact Mobile Devices Have on the Workplaced

Looking around your workplace, you can probably see a majority of your coworkers on a mobile device or have it near them. It’s amazing how reliant we have become on these devices over the years. It has practically become a staple for personal and business purposes. With how convenient it is to use these devices, there has been an increase in their usage. It makes you wonder how much of an impact the devices are having on productivity at work. The argument can go both ways as to whether mobile devices increase or decrease productivity. Mobile devices are portable which increases availability and flexibility, but at the same time, they are very distracting.

With devices such as smartphones and tablets, technology has become very portable. This allows employees to access company information and resources without need to actually be in the office. They can work on the go, which increases availability. Being available more means that there is also an increase in flexibility. They also allow employees to work whenever and wherever they need to. Employees can work in a different state or country and still be able to contact anyone with a tap of a button. Normally when employees arrive to work, they spend the first thirty minutes checking their email or catching up. With mobile devices, employees can do all of that before arriving to work, meaning they can be more productive right away when they get to work. However, these devices can be very distracting at work as well.

To some, mobile devices are seen as a distraction in the workplace. Even though they seem like a good idea because employees can work from anywhere, this also means they can be used to check their texts, calls, or even social media while at work. Everyone is guilty of it, as soon as your phone goes off, it’s very hard not to check it immediately. This is happening more in meetings as well; phones interrupt them and distracts the person from what is going on during the meeting. Some employees may think they can be on their phone and work, but it can lead to a decrease in the quality and quantity of their work. Depending on the job, distractions from mobile devices can cause accidents in the workplace as well. The fact that mobile devices allow employees to work from anywhere at any time can also be a negative. Even if you think you are doing fine with your mobile device next to you, odds are you probably are not.

No matter what your feelings are towards mobile devices in the workplace, there are both positive and negatives that come with it. The trend of devices at work will not stop anytime soon so it’s better to embrace it. Mobile devices make things more convenient for employers, employees, and customers. Although they do make things convenient, they can be distracting. It’s better to be aware of how much you use it and making sure it doesn’t become too big of a distraction where it affects your work.

N-Tech General

What started as a two-man operation, which has now grown into a much larger team filled with technical architects and digital pioneers, delivering solutions throughout the Midwest. We view ourselves as a cohesive team working together to bring our customers the best solutions possible because we want to see customers succeed. N-Tech contains core values that we carry with us to every new journey we venture into. So far at N-Tech Consulting, we are providing services to the dentistry, energy, fitness, construction, healthcare, legal and leisure industries. We are able to provide services in various industries because of our dedicated team. Our team represents trust, intelligence and innovation. Trust is the foundation between a company and its customers, and we work endlessly to build that trust with customers. We build that trust by completely understanding a customer’s business through our processes.

We understand there can be more than one way to solve a problem, and there is usually more behind the problem than what can actually be seen. When approaching a new customer, we observe their current and future business objectives so we can approach solving the problem correctly. Then a strategic road map is designed so we can implement our services to help a customer’s current and future business objectives. While we implement every solution, customers will know what we are doing, why it is being done and how it ties in with their business. When our engineers deploy solutions for a customer, the work doesn’t end there. We continue to maintain them from beginning to end, so everything will keep running smoothly. This approach to problem solving is used throughout every service we offer.

We provide solutions in technology, web services, and marketing. Our team has more than twenty years of combined experience to help your business succeed in all parts of your technology infrastructure. Web services consist of website design and web application. Our designers are equipped to provide you with a fully functional website that looks amazing. Our marketing solutions will get your business in front of potential customers and drive results; they even include a branding strategy to separate yourself from competitors. Everyone here at N-Tech is dedicated to bringing you the best possible solutions for your business that will enable it to grow. Get started with us today!

N-Tech's Partnerships in the Health & Wellness Industries

The health and wellness industries are constantly growing. Here at N-Tech, we recognized the growth and want to help make sure these businesses are running smoothly and staying ahead of the competition. We have already begun teaming up with different gyms and have been seeing increases in their clientele. Our team wants to see your gym succeed and in order to do that we make sure our partners trust us. Building that trust is very important to us and do so by being committed to your business. Here, our team wants to see your business succeed and we are not satisfied until it is.   For the health and wellness industry, we can help businesses succeed by helping with their marketing and IT. Instead of just jumping right into computer systems and marketing, we discover what your goals are for your business currently and in the future. Then, we recommend which marketing and IT solutions we think will fulfill your needs to allow your business to grow.  

How your website looks and how user friendly it is can be a deal breaker for a lot of people. For gyms, it is very important to keep potential clients on your website so they can see exactly what your gym has to offer, and hopefully drive them to sign up. Our designers can provide you with an outstanding multi-faceted website, making it one of your most marketable tools. When teaming up with N-Tech, we make sure your gyms’ online presence is fully optimized from beginning to end. For marketing, we will get your gym found online and gain traffic. We will achieve this by establishing accurate business listings in more web searches. Your reputation from online reviews will be monitored and managed. Social media will help increase your fan base and scheduling posts will help save time and generate leads. Email marketing may be used to reach current and potential customers as well. Our marketing strategies have allowed our fitness partners to stay ahead of the competition and see a flow of new clients.

On the IT side, we know it is important to make sure everything is running smoothly. Basically, everything in a business is digital and if something were to go wrong, it would be a disaster! Our team is able to set up cloud migrations, moving business elements from an onsite computer to the cloud. They will also design a streamlined communication strategy that improves your gyms’ collaboration system. System integrations can also be performed by our team to bring together subsystems to make sure they will function properly together. We will evaluate and guide you IT infrastructure to give your gym a seamless solution and a competitive edge. Making sure your days are going smoothly is important to us. We offer technology support and security without disrupting productivity and growth.

Overall, we are here for you and want to see your business succeed, whether it is trying to increase your online presence by creating a new website, implementing new marketing strategies, or managing your technology services. Let us do the heavy lifting involving marketing and IT because we all know the only heavy lifting that should be done is at the gym.