Does that title invoke dread or intrigue? For many of us, I’m sure it’s dread–but it doesn’t have to be. Eric Pennington, author of Epic Living and “Waking Up in Corporate America: The Seven Secrets That Opened My Eyes”, writes:

The majority of working people can be best described as the “the working dead.” They are not people who necessarily decided to be this way. But over time they slowly laid themselves to rest. These people are young and old, black and white, men and women. They have great potential and skill, yet they are dormant.

It’s true that we spend more time at work than at home, and if we really have this great amount of dormant potential energy, why not convert it to live kinetic energy? We hope Worksona, like Eric’s book, can help people do just that in their workplace and working relationships.

Philip Rosedale is the visionary founder of Linden Lab, the company behind the exploding virtual world Second Life. In this interview with Inc. Magazine, he talks about the way his company uses a web-based co-worker recognition tool to improve positive feedback–“Linden Love” even makes it onto employee reviews!

We have this thing we built called the Love Machine. The Love Machine allows anyone who works here as a Linden employee to send anyone else a brief note that says “Thank you for doing this for me.” There is a little webpage where you can go to send an e-mail, and then you get a little e-mail that says “Love From Philip” in the subject and it’s got text in it. Now, you think, what’s the big deal about that? Well, all of that stuff goes into a database. Your review carries that. Everybody is sending love to each other. It creates a positive collaborative environment.

Most businesspeople communicate in a mostly negative way. If people are encouraged to be entrepreneurs and take risks, they can also become combative and competitive. You have to balance that. So we built the Love Machine for balance. We joke that some day we will be more famous for the Love Machine than for Second Life.

Worksona is like a Love Machine for your company. When you join, you’ll be able to “send a little love” to all your co-workers right from day 1.

We’ve done all the work building it–all you have to do is sign up!

I was listening to a great podcast by Anna Farmery at the Engaging Brand with Mike Sansone as a guest. He spoke about how corporate blogging could improve motivation and cross functional communication. At one point he said that infamous phrase:

“those marketing folks”

I had to let out a giggle because we would say that all the time at my last company. I had no idea who was in marketing, but they affected my sometimes painful life oh so greatly. Requirements would flow through them, usability would flow through them, and they marketed our product after release–but I did not know anyone in marketing. Late at night, trying to sort out a complicated interaction to fulfill a requirement, I’d shake my fists in the air and say:

“those marketing folks”

Sure, it was easy to blame them because they were faceless, and it was late at night =)

We at Worksona try to give everyone faces to everyone and help relationships within the company. So now when you say “those marketing folks,” you’ll know which ones.

…oh and one more thing: you can find all the great benefits of having a “corporate social network” on Worksona! =)

Holly

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Wonderful Visual Designer

March 27, 2007

Over the last few days, we’ve had a couple of Worksona users tell us that they really enjoy the look and feel of the site. Thanks! However, the hard work that has gone into our visual design has been the work of a great freelance designer, George Sandoval. You can find his profile on LinkedIn.

George is creative, methodical, and has an uncanny ability to create a brand feel that supports business objectives. He works hard (including weekends!) to meet deadlines. After working with several visual designers, I’ve come to appreciate just how hard it is to find these traits all in a single individual.

Worksona was founded to encourage workplace recognition. I can think of no better person to applaud than our rockstar visual designer. Thanks George for all your work!

-Kevin

Worksona

WorldBlu, a consulting practice founded by Traci Fenton dedicated to designing more “democratic organizations,” has just released its List of Most Democratic Organizations 2007.

Among the organizations are GE Aviation, 1-800-GOT-JUNK, Linden Lab (makers of the Second Life virtual reality world), and various other companies, non-profits, and NGOs.

“Democratic organizations operate on freedom, not fear,” says WorldBlu Founder and CEO, Traci Fenton. “Greedy, me-first, command and control business models are officially old school. These organizations represent the new school of business design.”

We at Worksona support WorldBlu’s work to make workplaces more democratic. Congratulations, Traci!

Worksona gives every member a profile page to share information with co-workers. When you join Worksona, you’ll be able to tell co-workers about yourself, your skills and interests, and what you’ve worked on since joining the company. In addition, you’ll be able to share:

  • What you’re working on now
  • Who you know at your company
  • What types of people you’re interesting in meeting at your company
  • Certifications, honors, or awards you’ve won
  • Where you worked before joining the company
  • Where you went to school
  • You can upload a custom picture if you want too 🙂

When you join Worksona, everyone at your company will be able to learn more about you. (And of course, only people who work at your company can access your profile!) Your Worksona profile page lets you take control of your workplace reputation like never before!

Employee Engagement

March 16, 2007

What is employee engagement? Simply put, it’s how much employees will champion their organization if left to their own discretionary efforts. Do they recommend it to friends? Do they evangelize?

A recent study looked at how to measure employee engagement. It presented the following contributing factors:

Trust and integrity – How well managers communicate and ‘walk the talk’.
Nature of the job – Is it mentally stimulating day-to-day?
Line of sight between employee performance and company performance – Does the employee understand how their work contributes to the company’s performance?
Career Growth opportunities – Are there future opportunities for growth?
Pride about the company – How much self-esteem does the employee feel by being associated with their company?
Coworkers/team members – They significantly influence one’s level of engagement.
Employee development – Is the company making an effort to develop the employee’s skills?
Relationship with one’s manager – Does the employee value his or her relationship with his or her manager?

There seems a lot of onus on the manager, but I do believe that the worker has some influence in how his or her career can go. Here are a couple of things employees can do to be more engaged:

1. Tell their manager and co-workers your career goals and interests. Often I was passed up for things because I didn’t tell anyone I was interested in it.

2. Find something of interest and take initiative. I was at an organization where the products I was on were cancelled or changed to a point where I felt unproductive. I used that time to try and build bridges to the outside community. It helped me get my name out there and got me more engaged with my company.

3. Network within the company. I know there are some people who think I am here to work and not to socialize, but the funny thing is you don’t know of opportunities unless you communicate. Most people achieve career goals due to the fact that they knew someone.

Here are some other blogs talking about this, giving good tips and thoughts:

Anna Famery , The Engaging Brand
5 ways to Engage

Steve Roesler, All Things Workplace
Employee Engagement: Can’t Disengage Yet

David Zinger, David Zinger on Employee Engagement
Employee Engagement: In the “Driver’s” Seat!

If I missed you (which there are probably many that I have =( ) please leave a comment and I can link to ya.

Holly

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