Modernize Your Onboarding

Human Resources can help preserve and extend a company’s culture by ensuring long term employees feel valued and new employees get up to speed rapidly. Here are 5 items to start with to strengthen your human resources function.

1. Turn onboarding into a team sport.
2. Make the workplace fun.
3. Gather and listen to employee feedback constantly.
4. Make it easy to get stuff done.
5. Put employees first.

Executive Assistants Create Enormous Increases in Productivity

Many organizations are getting rid of Administrative Assistants to save money and create a flat hierarchy. However, an effective Executive Assistant can revolutionize the work of a rising executive. Growing companies should match the person with the role – an executive should not spend their valuable time on paperwork if it’s better to hire someone else to do it. Executive Assistant can give an executive the freedom to focus on the most important issues, be a sounding board for risky ideas, and connect the busy and often traveling executive with the rest of the staff and the morale of the company.

Kim Rohrer on Startup HR

Kim Rohrer, a former colleague from San Francisco, spoke with Software Advice on how she built an HR Department from scratch. One of the benefits of growing a team member in to a new role is that the culture of the company is baked in to every part of the function.

She also talks about transitioning from a ‘completely flat hierarchy’ and ‘laissez-faire management.’ Kim helped promote employees and create departments to streamline communications and unburden the CEO.

She also cautions to ‘expect the unexpected’ when transitioning from Lean Startup to Expanding Business. The transition can be hard for all employees at the company, so having a talented and dedicated HR person is essential.


Gorgeous Offices

Dropbox’s massive 90k square foot office shows up on a Buzzfeed listicle of gorgeous offices. Shout out to Square, AirBNB and Path who swapped brokers, interior designers, project managers and general contractors with Dropbox.

‘The conference room is filled with Legos and the conference rooms have funny names. In addition to being an elegant and modern office space, they’ve managed to incorporate a lot of character.’


Finding Office Space in New Orleans

In a post from February 2012 on Silicon Bayou News, Commercial Broker Austin Lavin discusses the 7 Steps to Finding and Negotiating Office Space in New Orleans and Beyond. Austin is the Director of Marketing and Communications at Corporate Realty, a full-service commercial real estate company headquartered in New Orleans.

As a commercial leasing agent, he works with growing companies to find the right office by sorting through available spaces, preparing offers and negotiating the lease. However, the company needs to decide what they want. In this article, Austin lays out some decisions an organization needs to make, such as budget, office layout and desired location. It also reviews the process of negotiation and leasing.

Office Ops can help you figure out what spaces are a good fit for your growth and work style and move you in to the new space once it is leased and ready. We can recommend a lawyer for lease negotiations and we can also help turn an office space with potential in to a place your employees love.

More information on Austin  and Corporate Realty can be found here:

The Right Way to Grant Equity to your Employees

Companies with the best retention and recruitment issue stock options to new employees and offer increases at set milestones or for excellent performance. Offering stock options leads to an egalitarian culture and encourages employees to think about the success of the company as a whole. This article provides information about how to structure your equity plan.

“The average tenure for most technology employees is two to three years, and waiting until your first employees hit year four is just too late.”


Workplace Flexibility is Strategic

“Are your employees stressed? Is engagement low? Productivity slipping? Turnover increasing? Do you have a “leaky pipeline” especially when it comes to women achieving leadership positions? Are the rising stars in your organization expressing concern about their work-life fit? Is employee health and well-being declining?

We must not be bound by the outdated notion that all work must be done within the confines of an office between the hours of 8 and 5. Our 24/7 global economy requires that we are available far beyond normal office hours, and technology readily enables us to do so. What technology does not do, however, is allow us to set boundaries on our own personal time. We must actively consider how to meet our work and personal obligations in a way that we can be successful at both.

I heard how […] highly successful organizations are taking a strategic approach to implementing flexibility across their organizations. They do so not to “accommodate” employee needs, but to ensure they remain high-performing, sustainable, successful companies.”

-Jennifer Sabatini Fraone on Workplace Flexibility

Serendipitous Interactions Increase Innovation

Casual, unplanned interactions are engineered by large companies such as Google and Facebook. Why? Increasing the number and depth of relationships between people makes it easier to collaborate, meet new coworkers and learn something new about a different part of the company. These interactions are especially important as the company grows. It fosters information transfer and a feeling of connectedness.


Design Your Office for Collaboration

Smart office design not only opens up a free-flowing forum of ideas, but it can help attract young talent who balk at the idea of sitting at a cubicle behind a gray wall for eight hours a day. But there’s more to designing an office that fosters collaboration and teamwork than just ripping down cube walls. For example:

For seating, think in clusters or rows.
Use kitchens, hallways and stairways as natural meeting points.
Get creative with natural light.

The demographics of the workplace are shifting. Worries about distraction are becoming less of a problem as new generations of tech-savvy workers are accustomed to multi-tasking and place value in an open environment.