I recently had the opportunity to spend some very valuable time with friends of mine from client PeopleMaps on their recent trip to North America. PeopleMaps provides personality profiling for employers and jobseekers around the world. During our strategising and ruminating sessions it became very apparent to me that PeopleMaps is a company that has really embraced the new media technology wave and has put the Internet to work for them to facilitate everything from marketing and customer service to the daily communication and processes of the organisation internally and they are really reaping the rewards. I asked them to write an article for this blog to share with you some of these benefits of utilising new media technologies to the max. Here is the article kindly contributed by Julie Anderson, Head of Marketing and Martin Gibbons CEO, at PeopleMaps:
New World Technologies In Action
Bringing on new members of staff is a big thing for a small company: there’s the briefing; the introduction of company culture; and of course, the product training to consider. You even have to tell them where the coffee is kept! Normally a new start sees a senior member of staff, usually the CEO, and spends the best part of a week being hand-held.
It is not usually the best time for the CEO and Head of Marketing head to the other side of the world – but that’s how it had to be at PeopleMaps last month. And you know what? – it wasn’t a problem, with the aid of new media technology.
PeopleMaps is a disparate company, with no ambitions to be anything else. All our employees work from home, not because they are forced to – but because they choose to. Geographical independence was always a dream of mine and I spent a long time trying to engineer a company that was completely independent of geography.
We managed to introduce two new staff members and have them up and running from the other side of the world using some basic tools.
PeopleMaps uses an online CRM system to manage all client and partner contact – so no data is held locally, making it easy for us to dip in and out of our systems from any PC anywhere. We use Skype and SkypeIn telephone numbers to give a local presence – and complete flexibility on managing incoming calls.
But the biggest revolution has been the introduction of wiki (we use PBwiki.com) technology a few months ago. We now use over a dozen wiki’s to control and run the company. Everyone within the company and our suppliers, all use the wiki’s to plan, schedule and carry out their work. If you think about it, most of the work any one does is collaborative – and that is what wiki is primarily designed to manage. We don’t send internal emails and we don’t write Word documents – everything that is worth writing down or sharing with others goes into the wiki and we collaborate on it. Collaboration may be simply that I write it and some one else reads it, or it may be that we are both writing it.
Can people work effectively from home? We hire people that are willing and able to work in this kind of environment from the outset. I understand that working in your pyjamas is not for everyone, but those that are willing can enjoy a much more rewarding work experience. Our new Partner Support Executive commenced her training with us the same day we left the country, and has just announced that she will be working from Spain for a couple of weeks, as an extension to her holiday. We applaude this and encourage it. Geographic independence has to be one of the web’s greatest influences on working life. Using the wiki’s to manage our projects meant that many of our suppliers didn’t even realise that we were out of the country.
This philosophy of geographical independence runs throughout the company as we deliver personality profiling solutions to countries across the globe. We use online support systems and voip technology to deliver and support. PeopleMaps has radically changed the face of personality profiling, making it affordable and accessible to companies that would never have previously used profiling – in addition to revolutionising the work place.