Signal, ask and act throughout organisational changes

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Many companies are currently dealing with reorganisation. Transparent communication throughout such complex phases is essential. Sendsteps has successfully contributed to several organisational changes and culture sessions. Let’s take a look at what could help you through times of change:

  •      Keep employees updated on the planned changes
  •      Signal and listen to potential concerns
  •      Answer questions and take away uncertainties
  •      Ask for feedback
  •      Create overall transparency on the situation

How does Sendsteps support this process?

Schedule one or more sessions to highlight the planned internal changes and to communicate made decisions. You can use the Sendsteps tool to:

  • Deal with live questions: Offer the opportunity for employees to anonymously ask questions about the situation. As such you don’t have to confront individuals, but you can discuss matters in a more neutral context.
  • Ask for feedback: Asking for feedback in times of change can help you signal concerns. This doesn’t mean that you have to give a direct reply to every concern raised. A follow-up meeting or a mailing can be a good contact moment to further discuss and process the output.
  • Act! Staying in touch and in dialogue with your employees won’t only create transparency, but also give you needed information on what your next step should be regarding communication. Make sure to always follow up with an action after every interactive session.

Why not also take a look at one of our 10 interactive concepts; examples of diverse organisations that have used Sendsteps throughout organisational changes. By letting your employees become involved in the reorganisation ahead, you’ll find that change will follow more easily!


Preparations of the International Talent Event Amsterdam


The International Talent Event Amsterdam [ITEA] will take place on April 17th. This initiative is organised for the second time by the Amsterdam Economic Board, Amsterdam inbusiness, the University of Amsterdam, the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, InHolland and the VU University Amsterdam. The goal is to attract international students to the labor market of the metropolitan region. About 40 international oriented employers will offer the international talents internships, dissertation projects, traineeships and jobs during the job fair at ITEA2015. Therefore it is of the utmost importance that supply and demand come together  and that the event will attract the right students. That’s why, already in an early stage, ITEA decided to use Sendsteps. During the kick-off meeting for employers, the following question was raised to evaluate which students the companies like to get in touch with:

“Of which disciplines would you especially like to meet students during the ITEA?” The answer options contained 8 categories, of which one could be picked.

Based on the results, professors and deans are now being approached to really step up and promote the event with their students. The right preparation, inclusive targeted promotion, can really make a difference. Another smart and easy way to use Sendsteps already before your event!


High response rate on post-event questionnaires



We often send out questionnaires after meetings. But we’re rarely happy with the response as it’s usually minimal. The day after an event, visitors easily pick up their daily routine. This can make for frustrations since so much time has been spend on both the event and the questionnaire. Sendsteps can help you to approach this differently. How?

  • Formulate a questionnaire before your event
  • Publish the questionnaire live on the Sendsteps response website
  • Reserve 3 minutes of your program for the questionnaire right there, on the spot
  • Ask your audience a few questions and get instant feedback

This way you won’t have the hassle of sending out e-mails, but will still easily get an 80% response rate! The results won’t appear on the presentation screen, but only you’ll have access to the data online or in a PDF or Excel file. Please click here to see an example. If you’re inspired to conduct your questionnaire in the same way, then please let us know.


Full swing audience interaction in Poland


In the first weekend of February, our Sidekick was present at the European Meetings & Events Conference [EMEC]. An annual conference organised by Meeting Professionals International [MPI], an international platform for event professionals. The programming invited participants to grow and think in new ways. The broad range of subjects gave participants the chance to develop personally, while at the same time offering insight in the impact of the events industry.

For three days, BBC presenter Dave Sharpe interviewed guests, lead panel discussions and participants could take part in expert sessions. During these activities, audience interaction was of great importance. And Sendsteps aligns perfectly with this. Not only did speakers work independently with our software during the subsessions, but our Sidekick was present too. During all plenary sessions he gave live feedback from the audience to the speakers on stage. This feedback made for inspiring discussions and encouraged the audience to be actively engaged.

Or as the chairman told us afterwards: “It was great to have his support and the insights provided through the audience engagement software added a valuable new dimension to the conference sessions!”. Just as the MPI EMEC organisation intended!


From feedback to action!


Managers are becoming redundant. A bold statement, that is slowly but surely getting more support. It’s an approach I believe in. And since late last year, I’ve been working towards this more and more within Sendsteps. In my previous blog I already indicated how we use personal empowerment to enhance employees’ happiness, and create clarity regarding everybody’s responsibilities. When focussing on these points, three things are very important: A good relationship with your co-workers, the right workload and the level of challenge. To support this, I’ve introduced the following:

Feedback from the whole team: Everybody fills out this feedback form on their co-workers. This includes tips and tops, and an overall appreciation. Everybody does this for seven co-workers, and shouldn’t take more than 45 minutes. It’s fantastic to see how this produces clear feedback. For an easy overview, all of the feedback is put in one document and is sent to the entire team.

We took time on a Friday afternoon to go through it all and to receive further clarifications. It was great; the perfect way to grow as an individual and as a team. And what a wonderful contribution to our job satisfaction!

Goals per category: Finally, we all set quarterly goals, divided in four categories:

  • Personal goal
  • Customer oriented goal
  • Team goal
  • Organisation goal: Sales / IT / Marketing / Finance

All these goals are discussed with me for consistency. And also so I can function as a sounding board and find out what everybody’s ambitions are. At the end of every quarter, all goals will be reflected on to see if they were obtained. I made 50% of the distribution of profit dependant on this. That way, there’s a balance between working for your own personal goals, and those for the company. This is what we do to keep ourselves sharp. And I’m very happy to see that this contributes to how fantastically we’re growing as a team!


Speech is silver, feedback is gold


For a big, worldwide operating company, Sendsteps is the way to acquire feedback on its management teams and (corporate) culture clashes. This company sends out one of its employees to travel across the globe and facilitate internal workshops for its international offices. Everywhere he goes, he asks the same questions about the management teams, internal processes, bottlenecks, and miscommunications. What are the benefits of such workshops, and how does Sendsteps support them?


  • Exposing bottlenecks: Unclear what the problem is? In that case, it’s going to be hard to find a solution. Let employees expose bottlenecks and issues. That way you can take timely action to steer your business in the right direction.
  • Map out differences: Processes and rules on interaction in the workplace may differ per culture. Not only on an international level, but even per office. Clarity about this may improve collaboration and processes.
  • Prevention is better than cure: By actively asking for feedback, management will stay in touch with what’s happening in the workplace. This way, bottlenecks can be prevented, which makes for content employees.

How does Sendsteps support this process?

  • Anonymity creates freedom: Hand a mic to the audience, and chances are you won’t get a lot of feedback. But let your audience send in feedback anonymously, and who know you’ll get some valuable information.
  • Schematic conclusions: We can create graphs from the answers of any number of (multiple choice) questions. These can offer schematic overviews of strengths, insights, chances and risks for your company.
  • From interaction to action: So, anonymity can create more feedback and interaction, which then can be schematically mapped out. These results can directly lead to positive action and change in the workplace.

    Asking for, and offering honest feedback takes guts and vulnerability. Both for the giver and the receiver. But however confronting, it may be gold for your company. And Sendsteps would happily help you in this process.


Easily tap into the conversation


As a speaker or chairman at an event you want to engage your audience. Here’s an example on how to do so:

Rackspace Innovation Day

Late January, Rackspace organised the Rackspace Innovation Day. Two speakers approached the subject of Big Data and how to deal with it successfully within your company. Quite the technical subject matter which raised a lot of questions. Erik Peekel of Ahaaaa! the Actor Factory, was present as chairman of the day. He lead the discussions during and after the presentations. Throughout the presentations there were a few challenges, which you might recognize:

  • Inviting the audience: No matter if your audience is outspoken or not, many find it difficult to raise questions or share their opinions when they’re in a large group. How was this audience invited to speak up?
  • The right questions: How could the chairman ask the most relevant and essential questions for this specific IT audience?

Why Sendsteps?

Anonimity is an important aspect of the Sendsteps tool to invite delegates to talk freely. At the Rackspace Innovation Day, the audience could send in questions anonymously. ‘I received these anonymous questions on my tablet,’ Erik Peekel explains. ‘It helped me to select the right questions, and you could really notice that there was a low threshold for the audience to ask them. It really worked!’

So by giving the audience a voice, the crowd assisted in raising interesting points throughout the day. As such Sendsteps also supports you as a chairman, even if you yourself don’t belong to the incrowd. In a short time many issues were discussed, which made the audience, speakers and chairman look back on a very valuable afternoon!


ISO27001: Highest level data security


It’s not unusual for a lot of confidential information to be exchanged during meetings. Take for example meetings during which significant decisions are made, reorganization is discussed, or a private meeting where important visitors such as shareholders, CEOs or ministers cast a vote.

It’s most often these kinds of meetings that use Sendsteps’ software. Not only because responding anonymously makes it easier to discuss sensitive subjects, but also because the data remains completely confidential.

To guarantee confidentiality, Sendsteps follows the ISO 27001 guidelines and has streamlined all processes regarding availability, integrity and confidentiality according to international standards. We’re periodically audited by a certified IT agency to check reliability, security and privacy. If so desired, it’s possible to look into the rapports. Here you’ll find an overview of several options to secure the data of your meetings:

    • Local Server: Sendsteps delivers local servers to locations that can’t be reached by Internet. Users connect to this server via local WiFi. Because the server is located right there in the room and isn’t connected to the Internet, it’s not possible for the exchanged data to leave the room. Once the results are known and have been shared with the organization, the database on the local server will be erased. A confirmation of erasure will be presented to the organization.
    • WiFi: A trusted and experienced third party provides WiFi on location. That way the organization can be sure that everybody has access to the Internet. This WiFi is connected to our (local) servers. Subsequently, it’s possible to vote from one physical location, or from several locations at the same time.
    • Secured website [https communication]: The data that is exchanged between the components of the Sendsteps application is encrypted. This means it can only be accessed with the right key.
    • Authorization code: Every individual who is granted access to vote will receive a unique authorization code. This code is personal. Log-in and therefore voting is only possible with this code. It’s not possible for multiple people to log-in simultaneously with the same code.
    • Weighted votes: Weighted voting can be added to the unique authorization codes. This means that if someone’s vote weighs more heavily than others, it’ll be determined in the code beforehand. This makes weighted voting easy.
    • Anonymity: As soon as someone logs into the secured website and casts a vote, it will be added to the database in combination with the predetermined weight. All log-in codes in the database will be hashed directly.

Every meeting is unique. That’s why you can always approach us with questions or requests. We’ll gladly explain to you in detail how an “extra secure meeting” is organized.


The art of letting go

2015-01-21_1038Last year, Sendsteps has grown significantly again. Not just almost 40% in turnover, but professionally too. The past quarter we focussed on Holacracy. In short this means that responsibilities are clearly divided, and all points of contact within Sendsteps are obvious. This creates more autonomy, and clarity whom to turn to with which issue. Personal empowerment is extremely important to keep employees happy and alert in their jobs. It helps us to develop as a team and to come closer to each other. Team members are trusted to make their own decisions, and I myself experience more space by letting go. I’m here mainly to provide a framework and playing field within which we can move. Within this space everybody can decide for themselves what to do. It’s great! For both me and the team.

We also used this approach during our end of the year meeting. This time I wasn’t the one to present our achievements of the past year and goals for the coming one. Instead, every department sat down separately to make an overview. It was great to see how hard everybody worked and what they presented eventually. To conclude this extraordinary afternoon, I reproduced and summarised all presented goals. The will and ambition in the whole team is huge. And I’m here as a sparring partner for whoever needs it.

And as I in this approach get more space to move too, new opportunities rise for Sendsteps. The coming time I will concentrate on shareholder meetings and annual licenses for companies. And immerse myself in the suggested plans for further growth.  It has become clear that we’ll grow with 54% this year. As long as we don’t do anything crazy. But then, I like doing crazy things so who knows what might happen.