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Digital project management toolkit series: Know Your Company

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My recent posts have focused on the digital project management tools we use here at Fresh (both internally and externally). This post takes a look at Know Your Company, a digital tool with a core purpose of increasing employee engagement (technically an Ops/HR goal), but with an ancillary outcome of helping project managers understand our teams better.

What it is:

Know Your Company is a software platform that allows HR managers to ask questions and gather insights from employees in a simple, straightforward way. A couple times a week, Fresh employees get an email from KYC with a question. Clicking the link brings you to a page where you can quickly answer and submit. Frequency and question type are customizable per organization, but at Fresh we ask serious, company-related questions on Wednesdays, and fun, social questions on Fridays. A few days later, everyone gets an email with a summary of the team’s responses.

Know Your Company question from Alex F. Alex F. asks: How often would you ideally like feedback from the director of your department?

Know Your Company question from Jayne. Jayne asks: How old were you when you realized santa wasn't real?

Internal or external communication?

Internal only

Why we use it:

The primary use, as I mentioned above, is boosting employee engagement – learning more about each other from both a company/career goals perspective and from the personal side.

Emily, who handles Ops and HR here at Fresh appreciates KYC for its “encouragement of open, honest, blatant communication – about both the hard stuff (What should our CEO stop doing?) and the lighter stuff (Cake or pie? Discuss.)” She also loves the Icebreaker feature which shares fun facts about a new team member before they start with us so we can get to know them before their first day. “Every company needs a forum where the team’s voices can be heard, this feedback is critical to continually improving our company, and KYC is a great platform to get it done.”

From a PM vantage point, it’s great to be able to get insights into my project teams on critical workflow and capacity issues in an open forum. Because team members are typically on multiple projects (with different PM’s), it’s helpful to get a more holistic picture of how they’re feeling about their workload and high-level company tenets. More than that, though, it’s great being able to hear personal anecdotes and really see the personalities of the Fresh team shine through.

In that light (and in the spirit of the holidays!), I’d like to share some of my favorite responses to the more social KYC question I posted above: How old were you when you realized Santa wasn’t real?:

Chris Wilcox's Know Your Company response. I was 10. I was watching Wheel of Fortune with my mom and puzzle was fictional characters. The answer was "The Tooth Fairy" and of course I started to ask questions. First it was about the Easter bunny and then Santa. My mom was more upset than I was. Wheel of Fortune has never been the same.

Chris Tucker's Know Your Company response. I first became suspicious when I started noticing similarities between the gifts Santa was giving me and the things my older brothers no longer wanted to play with. My initial hunch was that Santa was just a cheap ass or something. However, my worst fears were soon realized when not only did I receive another familiar gift, I noticed my mother's handwriting was the same as Santa's! Not only was Santa exposed as the fraud he is, but it was my parents who were the cheap asses all along! Kidding. My parents were great and I'm pretty sure my older brothers spoiled the illusion at some point just to mess with me.

Evan Ryan's Know Your Company response. When I knew, probably 7 or 8. When I finally dealt with the reality, probably 11.

Emily Powers' Know Your Company response. I still kinda believe in him. Because Jeremy is never home for the holidays I'm always with my parents. They still stay up late after I've gone to sleep to put the presents under the tree and fill the stockings. Maybe messed up? But still magical.Happy Holidays from Fresh Tilled Soil!

Author Jayne Hetherington

Jayne is a lifelong runner and holds a graduate degree in visual and media arts. She believes that a deep understanding of the end user comes from a genuine relationship with each client, built on mutual trust and respect.

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