When I had the opportunity to update the NetGain Technologies team earlier this month at our quarterly company meeting, it was with mixed emotions.
- The Good News: People are spending and employers are hiring. NetGain is poised to continue our growth as we expand our regional leadership of managed I.T. services and present more frequent Executive Workshops. (Check out a video introducing the Executive Workshops here.)
- The Sad News: We paid our respects to Jo Hayes last month. Jo has been a part of the very fabric of our company for well over 20 years. She has been a fixture in my life and my brother’s life since my family hired her years ago as one of the first team members. Brendan and I grew up with Jo Hayes at this company and she often reminded me she knew us when we were just little kids. Our vendors knew Jo because oftentimes she would train them on how their products worked! She has been a great example of a loyal person and will be extremely missed. I am so very proud of the way our team pulled together to help Jo’s family in their time of need.
A report I look forward to every month is our NPS update. I’ve spoken previously about the Net Promoter Score. It’s a really useful metric to understand whether your clients are actively promoting you, or if they’re passive or even detractors. In Q2, our clients awarded us a collective “Excellent” ranking. They are almost three times more likely to be “promoters” than “detractors.” (More than two-thirds of Fortune 1000 companies use the Net Promoter management tool. Read more about NPS here.) This is something so important to me that I personally send out the surveys and respond to our clients! I take pride in knowing our clients can respond directly to me quarterly, even if they have suggestions for improvement.
It would be impossible to summarize all of our team accomplishments in the last quarter, but a few are especially noteworthy. In Q2, we:
- Launched a new website that provides a clear and compelling overview of the NetGain Technologies Executive Workshop. See the new NetGainIT.com here.
- Began reorganization of the RSE team based on feedback during the team’s spring retreat. (Take a moment to learn about NetGain’s RSE team at MeetTheHelpDesk.com.)
- Updated the Lexington headquarters office with some additional renovations, including the addition of standing desks for flex space, plus two new offices for a growing staff.
- Attended training regarding our Network Operations Center to help us continue to be an innovative, SOC 2 Type II-certified facility.
- Researched expanded ITIL training options. (Information Technology Infrastructure Library practices help managed I.T. services providers like NetGain to align services with the needs of business clients.) Our new VP of Operations is leading this change in our processes.
- Focused hard on recruiting and staffing. (Learn more about joining our “workplace of a lifetime” on our website’s Careers page.)
- Upgraded our payroll system to give managers access to their team’s information in real time.
- Connected daily with clients, friends, and fellow business leaders. On Twitter and LinkedIn and Facebook, we shared interesting links, followed along with your experiences, and published some great new content.
- Attended bank association events in Kentucky, Ohio, Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri, and West Virginia.
The Workplace of a Lifetime
Becoming a Great Place to Work
When I wrote to you last quarter, I discussed the NetGain Way. Brendan and I are proud to guide a company that has just received a third straight award as a “best place to work.” We take seriously our roles as “chief people leaders” and we’re doing everything we can to make this company the “workplace of a lifetime.” We speak frequently with CEOs and other business leaders, and our conversations often focus on ways to improve the employee experience.
Our goal is to be a place people come for a career and never want to leave. This is a continual process of understanding employee expectations and working hard to meet them.
With that in mind, I began a new blog series for the second half of 2017: Becoming a Great Place to Work. “Rule 1” of the series is Know Who You Are. I hope you’ll read my article and comment with additional tips for being a great workplace.
Practicing What We Preach
Earlier in 2017, we formed a new Employee Advisory Council led by Reggie Gresham, our team lead in the Louisville office. The council has met and provided us several recommendations they felt were the biggest changes we needed to make to improve. A few of the highlights include:
- Adding a comprehensive employee directory on our intranet. (With seven offices in six states, not every employee has met face to face!) It will show employee pictures, hire dates, department and team membership, key responsibilities, a short bio, and more.
- Updating our employee evaluation process to allow completion by email and web-based forms, including a new tool to accept confidential feedback on management.
- Changing the 401(k) enrollment process to allow team members to be eligible more quickly and to change contribution levels more frequently.
- Providing PTO immediately for new team members as they join NetGain Technologies, rather than making them wait for accrual.
- Altering our dress code. New guidelines still portray our professional brand to clients but relax the suit-and-tie standard in the office.
- Moving Morgan Chapman over to Employment Services team as another step to make NetGain a true workplace of a lifetime. Morgan is going to be doing things like 90-day new hire reviews in an effort to improve the employee experience.
The NetGain Way
During the quarterly update, I was able to share several examples of colleagues putting the NetGain Way into practice. You may know some of them so I’d like to share the following:
- Fight every day for what’s right: John Meholovitch and Julie Rogers—two of our longest-tenured team members—work conscientiously to bill appropriately for our agreements.
- Every client should be a promoter: Ryan Burney worked all night on a client’s network to make sure it was working before they arrived the next morning.
- Leave it better than you found it: Kyle Belobrajdic focused on improving the Technology OneSource QBR (quarterly business review) process and proposed revisions to improve efficiencies.
- Every client should be a promoter: Our Chattanooga team received overwhelmingly positive feedback from clients after a social event at Riverbend.
- If you’re having fun, you are doing it right: Zack Wildman entertained clients at a St. Louis Cardinals game and provided Nerf guns to the full RSE team for some fun. I even got shot last week while walking through the area!
Every quarter, NetGain Technologies sets a series of quarterly priorities with specific goals. Achieving these priorities results in a companywide celebration. In Q3, the reward will be an Oktoberfest party, with each branch office determining how they want to celebrate. (Here in Lexington, Keeneland runs a race meet in October, so I’m hoping we achieve the goals and get to enjoy a day at the races.) Next quarter looks to be better than the last and it is bringing many organizational changes that allow us to have the most talented team and ways to serve you better!
Honors and recognitions in Q2
Quarterly awards for outstanding employee efforts went to:
- Sales-Projects: Wayne Logan
- Sales-MRR: Dale LaMotte
- Finance and Administrative: Tom Jefvert
- Marketing and Development: Jessica Horodenski
- Technology OneSource Engineer: Bobby Davis
- Remote Engineer: Josh Puckett
- Professional Services Engineer: Joey Lee
- Operations: James Walker
- Sales Support: Jo Hayes