Here’s How to Motivate and Engage Essential Employees

Positive motivation is a huge driver for essential employees in the frontline workforce. While the current climate makes it difficult to build a calm and comforting workplace, it is vital that employees work from a place of strength rather than fear or stress.

Read these 5 tips to infuse motivational engagement tactics into your management style.

1. Learn what motivates. First and foremost, talk to your employees to find out what is motivating to them. Managing from motivation only works when you know what types of tactics and actions will actually make a difference for your specific team members.

2. Listen to ideas and feedback. Create an open forum and encourage team members to use it! Pulse surveys, like those from Butterfly, can go a long way. Regularly present frontline employees with a chance to share their mood, ideas and feedback. This shows that you care and are listening, and it motivates them to pay close attention while at work.

3. Introduce positive rewards. In many workplaces, productivity is measured and rewarded by how much can get done in a day—which may no longer be a viable motivation for many. Instead, impress the value of the work your team is doing. Stress quality over quantity. Reward them with support, encouragement and understanding.

4. Make changes. Remember those ideas and feedback you’ve started to gather? Use them! Make constructive changes to processes and expectations that will better serve your employees, based on what they’ve told you.

5. Acknowledge initiators. When employees actively engage with feedback and ideas to improve their day-to-day, acknowledge them! Credit the changes to them and thank them for their suggestions, both one-on-one and with the full team. For more acknowledgement tactics, read our earlier post.

Once you know what drives your employees to do their work proudly and with excellence, find different ways to encourage and cultivate those motivations. 

Butterfly was built for the frontline workforce, offering deskless teams a way to check in and share actionable feedback with ease. We want to help you engage your essential workforce so that they can work effectively and safely, today and in the future.

To do that, we are offering access to our industry-leading engagement and communication tools, built especially for the frontline workforce, totally free for 90 days. Get in touch and we will set you up.

Never Worked Remotely Before? Here Are 5 Five Ways To Be An Effective Manager

In light of COVID-19, the global workforce is shifting to remote work.

  • Nearly half (46%) of organizations across the world are asking employees to work remotely due to the outbreak, a recent study shows.

This is a new reality for many employees which will change every aspect of work. At Butterfly, we are experts in helping organizations ensure that remote employees are both heard and informed.

Our focus is on supporting managers as they communicate and connect with their employees, no matter where their teams work. On our own team, we have employees living across the globe, working together seamlessly.

Bookmark this high-level guide to help you optimize how to work from anywhere.

1. Facilitate Remote Access

For a lot of big companies, business can only be conducted over in-office networks using company hardware. If that sounds like you, here are the first things to think about and get ahead of.

a. Desktop workers. Make sure that all employees have a remote solution, whether that’s granting remote network access for their personal computers or loaning them company laptops for at-home use.

b. Home office challenges. Not everyone is prepared to turn their kitchen table into a workstation. Help your employees optimize the space they have and ensure that they have the tools they need, like keyboards, computer stands and a mouse.

2. Check-In Regularly with Remote Employees Using Butterfly
( We’re offering our tools and support free for 90 days)

Face time with co-workers and managers is critical in the workplace. Without it, conversation, collaboration and one-on-one time with colleagues take extra work.

a. Automate check-ins. Butterfly helps managers quickly assess how remote employees are doing and what their concerns are. They can anonymously answer questions about how they’re doing and rate their happiness day-to-day or week-to-week (if interested email us at remote@butterfly.ai).

b. Overcommunicate. Check in daily to start and always invite your team to talk to you. Use easy communication tools like Slack, Teams or Google Hangouts for quick questions. Avoid text or phone-based apps, as they can make work/life balance harder.

3. Organize a New Meeting Structure

Start by finding a good video conferencing software that works for everyone, and doesn’t take a ton of onboarding time. (Wirecutter from the New York Times recommends Zoom.)

a. Set expectations. Are pets and kids allowed? Is video required, or can meetings be audio-only for slower connections or crowded at-home workplaces? Slack shared some helpful guidelines to facilitate great remote meetings.

b. Be clear about roles. Decide in advance who is taking notes and how the notes will be shared. Set deadlines for action items in the meeting. Clear up any lingering questions at the end of the call

4. Discuss Work Flexibility

With the current situation, multiple people could be working from the same home at the same time. For families, kids could be home from school or daycare, changing the structure of the day. Be transparent about what you expect, and encourage employees to vocalize what will work best for them.

a. Adjust your email signature. A line like this is a good way to validate work flexibility from the top down. Here’s what we’ve seen most often (feel free to copy and paste): “I work flexibly to fit my schedule. If you received this email outside of your normal working hours, I don’t expect an immediate response.”

b. Use a working-hours feature on calendar. Both Google and Outlook calendars have “working hours” features, which let employees note when they are usually online and working. Ask your team to set these up in their first week of working remotely. That way, meetings, calls and deadlines can work around flex schedules.

5. Repeat and Iterate

Sometimes, the most well-thought-out plans don’t work as intended. For example, the video conferencing software is glitchy making meetings even more frustrating or remote access is slow. A lot of imperfect stuff can happen with a transition like this!

a. Make changes. Continuously check in with employees, managers and teams to see what’s working and what isn’t. Use feedback to make improvements. Provide people with the tools they need no matter when they ask. Take an understanding approach to the transition and learn from it!

***

Creating a successful remote work environment takes a lot of work from a lot of people and organizations need to be responsive as employees try out new tools and approaches. Butterfly is dedicated to helping organizations refine and improve their remote work practices given how important it is for companies to understand, iterate and make changes quickly.

We’re also invested in the success of remote teams across the employment spectrum. During this unprecedented situation, use Butterfly totally free for 90 days.

Questions? Thoughts? Ideas? Email us: remote@butterfly.ai

Butterfly Featured in WSJ as Innovative AI Coaching App to Help Young Managers

We’re really thrilled to have been featured in a great Wall Street Journal article about the AI-driven apps that help new managers grow into confident leaders.

The story focuses on how AI-driven coaching apps are “democratizing leadership training,” making it more accessible for new leaders — especially digital-native millennials — to fill the training gaps in their careers.

Butterfly came to be after our founders first became managers, pushed into leadership with no training and no guidance.

Now, our feedback-driven tools are using machine learning and AI to ensure other managers don’t experience the same stresses to the detriment of their teams.

 

“The app tracks feedback from users’ employees and uses machine learning to serve up curated tips and articles, says David Mendlewicz, co-founder and CEO of the New York-based company.”

 

The article helps reiterate how valuable tools like Butterfly are for new managers:

  • Nearly half (49%) of employees would rather receive training on the job as needed instead of in a broad-strokes formal class.
  • Repetition and reminders are effective at helping people learn new material or develop new skills, like leadership and management.

Read the full article to see the breadth of technologies redefining how managers hone their skills and develop into full-fledged leaders.

[Read The Story]

Employee Happiness Leads to
Business Success

Employee Happiness Leads to Business Success
Findings from The World Happiness Report and How You Can Apply Them

The World Happiness Report was recently released, citing strong evidence that an increase in workplace well-being brings about a 10% increase in productivity, on average.

Within a dedicated section, researchers conducted a meta-analysis of Gallup research to help validate the strong correlation between employee happiness and productivity. Butterfly is featured in one of the report’s supporting case studies.  This report was conducted by the Workplace Well-being Committee, of which our CEO, David Mendlewicz, is a founding corporate member.

Here are a few top findings:

1. One study in the report issued simple daily surveys (like those Butterfly offers) to call center employees, which helped them see that an employee’s mood when they clocked in had an affect on their productivity. Companies can use our tools to communicate easily and regularly with hourly employees and keep pulse on employee mood.

Employee satisfaction showed strong correlations to profitability, productivity and loyalty in three key industries:

 

—Satisfied employees drove a 42% gain in profitability in the manufacturing sector
—Satisfied employees drove a 28% increase in customer loyalty in the retail industry
—Satisfied employees drove a 21% uptick in productivity in the services industry

 

2. This clearly indicates the importance of employee satisfaction as a direct contributor to performance. At Butterfly, our suite of tools closely aligns with this finding. We are making it simpler for managers and leadership teams to improve employee satisfaction and increase profitability.

3. The study also looked at how employee well-being affected stock market performance, studying employees working at top-rated companies alongside the long-run stock returns for those companies. They found that stock returns were higher for companies with happier employees.

Many of the factors that are considered in naming a company one of America’s best places to work — job satisfaction, attitudes toward management, company culture, etc. — can be measured using Butterfly’s pulse surveys.

4. Butterfly supported the report’s findings with a case study that showed that mood improved when surveys were given regularly. This suggests that providing outlets for feedback regularly could lead to a happier, more engaged workplace.

Overall, the report provides good anecdotal and statistical evidence that there are huge productivity and profitability benefits to keeping employees — especially hourly ones — satisfied and happy at work.

We’ll share a more in-depth analysis of the findings soon. Send us an email at info@butterfly.ai if you’d like to receive it, or if you’re ready to set up a demo.

Butterfly Featured in Panel on AI in Human Resources

Earlier this week, our CEO and co-founder David Mendlewicz participated in a panel on Artificial Intelligence, discussing the different ways it is transforming the Human Resources industry.

The panel, hosted by the French American Chamber of Commerce, touched on how to use AI and machine learning to improve operations on HR teams as well as turn feedback into leadership coaching opportunities.

David shared insight on how Butterfly’s pulse survey and dashboard tools can make those things happen. His insight touched especially on more blue-collar industries, where HR teams often overlook supply chain and frontline employee engagement.

Using data gathered through systematic and regular feedback, Butterfly uses machine learning to assist and teach managers how to improve and become better leaders. The panel also noted the importance of structured data in developing soft skills. Because Butterfly pulse surveys are powered by engagement drivers, the data collected is especially useful for managerial leadership development.

Get in touch if you’re interested in learning more about how Butterfly uses AI and machine learning to enrich the feedback loop: info@butterfly.ai

Butterfly Among Global Leaders at 2019 World Government Summit + Global Dialogue for Happiness and Wellbeing

 

We’re honored to share that Butterfly will once again be joining an exclusive network of global leaders at this year’s World Government Summit as the Global Happiness Council unveils its 2019 World Happiness Report.

 

The summit, which takes place in Dubai from February 10–13, 2019, brings together world leaders, policy makers, academics, and key representatives from international organizations to help shape the future of governments worldwide .

The Global Dialogue for Happiness and Wellbeing has been a key forum at the summit for three years, and Butterfly co-founder David Mendlewicz has participated since the beginning. For two days of the broader summit, attendees will discuss how healthy and positive conditions enable societies — and workplaces — to thrive.

At Butterfly, we believe that developing tomorrow’s great business leaders is critical to fostering a more engaged, more productive workforce. Since 2017, we released our first Happiness Index report which explored workplace happiness and engagement trends across companies with 5,000+ employees in the U.S. and EMEA. We look forward to being a part of the discussion with the other 3,000 representatives — from the tech world and beyond — to share ideas and inspiration to help corporations and governments bring happiness to the world.

The World Government Summit is a global platform dedicated to the enhancement of governments around the world. The summit brings together world leaders, policy makers, academics and key representatives from international organizations from over 130 countries, creating an exciting opportunity to exchange innovations and experiences, and building strong networks of collaboration.

The events are in partnership with key international organizations including the United Nations, World Bank, IMF, OECD and the World Economic Forum. For more information, see https://www.worldgovernmentsummit.org

 

We will share highlights from the forum and the report here and on Twitter @butterfly_AI_

4 Leadership Trends Managers Should Embrace in 2019

The beginning of the year is a perfect time to review your processes, try out new things and find what sticks.

As a leader within an organization the constant need to improve should drive you to try new things that’ll help you be a better manager and member of an organization.

Here are 4 small things that you can to do be a better leader this year.

 

Face-To-Face Communication

Fred Dust, CEO of Ideo, argued that face-to-face engagement is a dwindling art. He believes that the way we communicate with each other at work is unproductive, as it’s more talking at each other then with each other.

To make matters worse, we are now taking the easy route when communicating, opting to use emails, texts or tools like Slack to shoot out messages and “talk.” Though easy, it might not be as effective as simply going up to somebody to ask a question, make a request or even settle a dispute.

The empathy shown when people communicate face-to-face allows people to bond, and the interactions help bring an understanding that people are aiming to reach the same goal.

There are a couple of other things that face-to-face chats help with, like:

  • Putting an end to “Cyber Miscommunication
  • Coming up with solutions faster
  • Enabling more creativity between the two people.

Make time this year to chat with your employees. It can be about work or it can help you get to know them a bit more. Start a conversation and talk with them, not at them.

 

More Effective Meetings

Unproductive meetings waste more that $37 Billion per year and the average employee spends more than 4 hours a week just preparing for meetings.

As a leader, it’s your job to make sure that people are getting the most out of their meetings. Do your best to make them informative, brief and productive for all the people attending.

The best thing you can do to run effective meetings is to set a goal for the meeting and share it with the team beforehand. Try to include it in the agenda. This will (hopefully) allow people to understand what the purpose of the meeting is and reach that common goal together.

A couple of other quick tips for better meetings:

  • Keep meetings short — 30 minutes (maximum)
  • Only invite people that need to be there
  • Have a notetaker
  • Have the notetaker assign action items as you go

There are dozens of other ways to make meetings run better, but find what works for you and your team, then continue to improve on it.

 

More Transparency

There are three things that employees would like to have: job security, career advancement opportunities and transparency at work.

Transparency is nothing more than the exchange of trust between the employer and the employee. Having a culture of transparency creates more trust throughout the office.

As a leader, being more transparent with employees will help them learn to trust you more. It will also help you communicate more effectively with them and create a better office environment.

If your company culture isn’t already transparent, see how others are doing it. Buffer has almost perfected transparent culture: They have a list of every single thing that they do, buy and read — as well as a list of all their employees’ salaries — available publicly online.

Their co-founder, Leo Widrich, said in a speech that the transparent culture not only improved the morale of the office, but made people so engaged and happy that it reflected on the product:

TNW NYC 2016 | Leo Widrich – Co-founder & COO, Buffer

The more information that is spread with employees, the more devoted to the company or person they become. Consider sharing more information and letting employees know that they are an important part of why the company continues to grow.

 

Raise The Bar, But Embrace Failure

If you’re looking to improve, stop going after small modest goals and aim to have big, fat, hairy, audacious goals. The value in going after big goals is worth the risk, as they make us stretch what we believe is possible and get us working harder to reach new heights.  

Risk-averse organizations tend to go after modest goals that make them look successful. But growth-oriented organizations thrive on ambitious goals, as they allow them to find new, innovative ways to grow and learn.

The only trade off: you may (probably will) fail a few times. Embrace it! Utilize an OKR/KPI system that will set the framework toward hitting the goal. At the end of every quarter aim to have a retrospective meeting that’ll help you figure out how can things be improved moving forward, and adapt accordingly from there.

 

What Are You Planning To Improve On This Year?

Are you looking to be a better manager, leader, person, all the above? Leave us some of your suggestions to help become a better manager in the comment section below.

 

 

 

Start the new year off right by downloading our e-book “Your First 50 Days”.

It highlights some of the things that you can do to improve as a manager. And it’s absolutely free. Check it out by clicking here

Ljubljana, Vienna and Dubrovnik

In our new series, Work & Roam, we’ll be following our Product and Solutions Analyst John Williams as he travels the world, working remotely from 5 countries. Tune in to see what worked (and what didn’t) for John during each stop, and to dig into how working remotely affects both the worker and the team back home.

“Lots of fresh produce available at this street market in Ljubljana”

 

Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia
Timezone: GMT +1 (NYC +6)

 

What was the thing I could experience, that I wouldn’t be able to in NYC?

This was a great week to get back on a regular schedule and work with our developer team in Ljubljana. I have finally got into the habit of getting up early to get some exercise, explore and also take a break to read at local coffee shops. This made my life feel much more balanced.

What worked great this week?

Ljubljana is a great city to work remotely. Co-working spaces are easily accessible  and coffee shops have reliable Wi-Fi. I took morning hikes through the wooded parks and found a balance that I had not quite figured out in Lisbon or Italy. It has also been really nice to spend time and bond with our team here.

What didn’t go so great this week?

Portugal and Italy, felt like a whirlwind with the drastic change in timezone and week with my family shortly after. I still have the issue of working later hours, but I finally feel like I am starting to figure out how to make that work. We will see how this works out in Vienna next week.

 


 

“The Austrian National Library in Vienna  was supposedly the inspiration for the library in Beauty and the Beast.”

 

Location: Vienna and  Budapest
Timezone: GMT +1 (NYC +6)

 

What was the thing I could experience, that I wouldn’t be able to in NYC?

This week was a short one and my girlfriend was visiting. I had the opportunity to take a step back and actually get a few days of vacation, which was really nice. We got to enjoy the Christmas markets in Vienna and the bathhouses in Budapest.

What worked great this week?

I had an amazing time exploring Budapest. Of the cities I have visited during this experiment, Budapest may be the one most built for remote work. There are coffee shops with great internet on every block, plenty of co-working spaces, cheap places to live and eat, and plenty of entertainment.

What didn’t go so great this week?

I still found it difficult to fully disconnect during my time off and ended up working for a few hours each day. I was still able to enjoy my vacation time, but always had work in the back of my mind.

Thoughts on Vienna vs. Budapest?

Vienna is very beautiful but did not seem like it was built for remote work. coffee shops with internet were available, but you would need to plan in advance, as they were not as apparent as in other cities i’ve visited. In Budapest you can walk in almost any direction and find the perfect place to work.

Right now Budapest and Mexico City are tied for my best remote working experience so far!

Tomorrow I head back to Vienna for a night to fly to my last destination: Dubrovnik, Croatia

 


 

“My last post from Dubrovnik. I can’t believe I just finished 3 months of traveling. Now I’m on my way to Alabama for the holidays.”

 

Location: Dubrovnik
Timezone: GMT+1 (NYC + 6)

 

What was the thing I could experience, that I wouldn’t be able to in NYC?

Dubrovnik is a beautiful town on the Mediterranean (and also Kings Landing for you Game of Thrones fans!) Since I decided to go during an off season, I got to have the normally crowded and touristy town, all to myself!

What worked great this week

Since this was an off season here in Dubrovnik, I had very little distractions from work. This really allowed me to focus. I also got to enjoy my last bit of pleasant weather before heading back to chilly NYC.

What didn’t go so great this week

While Dubrovnik is a great vacation city, it is not designed for remote work. There are very few coffee shops and absolutely zero co-working spaces to work from, meaning i had to spend the majority of my week working out of my apartment.

Thoughts on working in Dubrovnik?

During this time of year most of the restaurants, bars and shops are closed and there is very little to do. I Although I enjoyed my time here, would not recommend anyone come here to work.

 

I am currently back in New York so this will be my last weekly post abroad. Next time in my  final post I will take a will have a chance to sit back and take a grander look at what I have learned along the way.

 

Happy New Year!

Until Next Time

Maintaining Culture During High Growth

“Bridging the Gap: Maintaining Culture During High Growth” brought together HR professionals of varying seniority, perspectives and individuals from companies with a few hundred employees to several thousand.”

 

Culture is a priority that impacts an organization’s entire ecosystem. From welcoming new team members to nurturing existing ones, there is always a delicate balance. When your company is experiencing fast growth, culture can’t fall by the wayside.

Instead, ask what are the most critical aspects of culture to address? How can my organization grow rapidly without sacrificing its unique culture?

Our panel, “Bridging the Gap: Maintaining Culture During High Growth,” examined the topic from the perspectives of academia, human resources and management. Panelists discussed the science behind maintaining culture and shared tips on how to apply these ideas in the workplace now.

 

Here, we summed up our top three takeaways
from the robust discussion:

 

1. Always keep in mind the vision of your organization, your “North Star”.
This will help you see where outside talent could bring value.

2. Be rigorous about hiring for the culture you want.
Find people who will elevate your business, embrace flexibility and be able to work in ambiguity—key elements to success at startups.

3. Work with local leadership to ensure that everyone—whether abroad, working remotely or in the office—feels included in celebrations, reorganizations, strategic decisions and more. Communication is key.