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Social Media’s Reach

#Socialnomics 2014 by Erik Qualman.

“We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media. The choice is how well we do it”- Erik Qualman

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Family-Friendly Workplace

Integritive’s own John Miles was featured in a recent WNC Parent Article titled “Family-Friendly workplaces go beyond typical policies” by Paul Clark

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Flexible work options? Paid family leave? Some businesses are more family friendly than others.

Some, especially small businesses run by parents, let employees bring their children to work on snow days. And some go as far as to reimburse parents for the costs   of adoptions.

Jodi Rhoden had to miss a lot of time at her business, Short Street Cakes in West Asheville, because of her son’s snow and sick days. The experience prompted her     to extend a benefit to other workers, giving them an hour of paid leave for every 40 hours worked. The paid time off, which amounts to about a week’s worth of        work a year, can be used to take care of a sick child and is an unusual benefit for hourly workers in the food industry, Rhoden said. But Short Street Cakes already  pays its workers a certified living wage, so this furthers its appreciation of them, she said.

“If you’re losing hours because your child is sick, it’s hard on the family budget,” she said.

John Miles is CEO of Integritive, a website design and social media marketing agency in Asheville. But, more importantly, he’s a father. “Our business is 13 years  old, and our ethos over all is the family comes first,” he said.

One employee at Integritive works half a day from home during summer so as to tag-team child care duties with the spouse. The employee knows what’s expected, performance-wise, Miles said.

“There’s an ethos here that if your kid is sick or there’s a school event or performance, you can make up the time at another time,” Miles said. That may mean working at night or during part of a weekend but it’s better than disappointing your child, he said.

“From my perspective, if the family is happy and taken care of, people will be happier in the workplace, ” he said. “If your mindset is, I’m missing my kid’s lacrosse game, your work probably won’t be as high quality. I’ve seen families where work was first, and the look on the kids’ faces was one of neglect. You won’t get to your deathbed wishing you had worked more. You’ll wish you had spent more time with family. I want to have a clean slate.”

He leaves work early on Mondays to coach his son’s lacrosse team. He wouldn’t miss it for the world, he said. Workers at Integritive are invited to bring a child on whatever permutation of Bring Your Daughter to Work Day applies. It’s good for the child to see what his or her parent does all day, and it’s good for the parent to know that their child understands, Miles said.

“Generally, the little kids don’t last the whole day,” he said. “We’ve had kids make smoothies for everyone and answer the phone for an hour. It gives them a taste of what their parents’ lives are like.”

With 330 employees in the Carolinas, HomeTrust Bank doesn’t have family-friendly policies per se, but that’s because it is family friendly, said its employment specials Sara Phillips.

“The culture here is warm, kind and caring,” she said. “A lot of us have seen each other’s families expand and the children grow up through the years. That creates a special bond.”

Employees at HomeTrust may use paid time off to care for their children or parents. The bank pays for short- and long-term disability insurance for workers, which allows new mothers to have some income while they’re out with newborns. Through the North Carolina Bankers Association, it offers a scholarship program that helps children of employees attend college. Tuition reimbursement for its workers allows them to set good examples to their children that pursuing additional education is a valuable thing to do, Philips said.

“But more than anything, we provide employees with a safe, stable, happy environment where they can make a good living and leave at 5 p.m. to spend the rest of their time with their families. At 5 p.m., the work is done,” she said. “We celebrate each others family milestones and achievements. Just yesterday I got an invitation for an employee’s baby shower.”

Source: http://www.citizen-times.com/story/life/family/2014/04/12/family-friendly-workplaces-go-beyond-policy/7658437/

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Google's vision of a technology augmented future.

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integritive’s Liz Polfus Nominated for “40 Under 40″

liz-polfusIt’s no surprise to us here at integritive that Liz Polfus was honored as one of Asheville’s 40 Under 40.  Liz manages our production department, which means she works closely with our team of designers, developers, and project managers to schedule and complete work on-time, in an accurate and intelligent way, and within the set budget. Liz came to integritive with a background in Fine Arts and a technical aptitude. Polfus thrived in our democratic workplace.  By allowing her flexibility in her professional reach, she quickly developed a more comprehensive understanding of the technical side of website and software building and has been able to put her creativity to good use when crafting solutions and problem-solving on behalf of our clients.

Honorees for the 40 Under 40 award were nominated via letters of recommendation. The award, sponsored by The Biltmore Beacon and the Young Professionals of the Asheville Chamber of Commerce, honors professionals 39 years of age or younger, who live or work in the greater Asheville area (Buncombe County), are involved in their communities and show the potential to be a leader in the business community for years to come. Honorees are chosen based on their business success and their achievements as an active member of the community.  When asked how she felt to be honored as one of the “40 Under 40”, Liz replied, “Pretty great, actually.  My job is a lot of behind the scenes, down and dirty work in the trenches to get intelligent products out the door and into the world.  I’m a part of a team that gets things done and don’t often look up to see who’s watching, so it’s neat to be recognized.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Dan Pink: The puzzle of motivation

What is the key to motivation? Traditionally, most business models follow a carrot & stick approach: good work earns rewards, poor work does not. But is this really the best way to get the most from our employees? Dan Pink has done the research, and he concludes that in most cases, the carrot & stick model actually decreases motivation and productivity. This fascinating TED Talk video will break down why we need to re-think motivation in order to get the most creativity and effective efforts from our employees.