Boosting Employee Productivity – Things to Avoid

Less-Than-Effective Ways to Bolster Employee Productivity.

Employee productivity in the workplace is always desirable. However, while some methods are quite effective at boosting morale and raising productivity, some methods should be avoided. Here are a few examples of tactics business owners should shy away from.

man as desk employee productivity

1. Threats of Pain, Torture, or Becoming Office Furniture.

When prompting employees to do more to improve their employee productivity, often the act of threatening physical harm or degradation is frowned upon. Sure, Gary from accounting may make an excellent workstation, but that doesn’t make it right.

employee with lots of money employee productivity

2. Giving Each Employee Half the Company.

Unless you have only one employee, and you are an owner, it is ill-advised to offer any employee half the company as an incentive to increase their work output, much less all of them. Imagine if Bill Gates had used this tactic at Microsoft? Sure, the immediate results might have been impressive — but at the end of the year, there would likely have been some questions raised.

woman stuffing her face with cake employee productivity

3. Cake.

Cake tends to be a bad motivator for employee productivity at work. Let’s say Jennifer’s productivity goes up 38% this quarter while Bill’s productivity only goes up 8% this quarter. That means Bill only gets 8 reward cakes at a time while Jennifer polishes off 38 cakes in one sitting. This creates an environment of “cake envy” amongst co-workers, and should be avoided – as should allowing employees to consume 38 cakes at their desk.

man trying to charm woman with flowers employee productivity

4. Turning On the Charm.

While you may consider yourself a real “catch,” and know for a fact that anyone of the opposite sex would be lucky to have you, offering your affections to coworkers as an incentive for employee productivity should be avoided at all costs. Doing so could cause such issues as indecision, indifference, rejection, anger from spouses (yours and theirs), and a less-than-friendly meeting with HR.

boss screaming at employee productivity

5. Loudness.

If you feel your employee is not living up to their full potential, rather than calling them into your office and screaming at them until they weep and cannot function, perhaps consider sending them an encouraging note, or take them to lunch to discuss the problem. However, if you feel your loud voice is unavoidable during the conversation, consider taking the employee to lunch where they usually play heavy metal music. You should fit right in, and the employee should feel a bit less embarrassed.

Spear Phishing – Don’t Take the Bait!

Background Story

Group One uses state-of-the-art technology to protect our clients from malicious attacks from the outside. But there is one thing that is almost impossible to protect against: end users clicking on a spear phishing attachment and inviting a virus onto their PC — and thereby — into the company network.

Spear Phishing Attacks

One technique hackers use is called “spear phishing”. Essentially, spear phishing attempts are directed at specific individuals or companies. Attackers may gather personal information about their target to increase their probability of success. This technique is, by far, the most successful on the internet today, accounting for 91% of attacks.

For example, one of our clients listed their email addresses on their website. A hacker then gathered all the emails from their website and crafted the below message:

Spear Phishing


Good News

Before it could spread into the network beyond the one user’s workstation, Group One IT’s protection systems shut the Crypto Virus down.

This could have been very bad.  This was a version of the “Cryptolocker” ransomware virus similar to the one that recently infected a hospital in southern California. If this virus brought an entire hospital to a grinding halt, think of what it could do to your organization.

Better News 

We were able to restore the user’s data back to the most recent backup.  He was up and running again in less than two hours, and he only lost a few hours of work. A few hours. Consider that viruses just like this one have been known to take down entire organizations — not for hours, or days or even weeks — permanently. When an effective ransomware spear phishing virus is completely successful and wipes out an entire database, many companies are simply unable to recover and ultimately close their doors.

Moral of the Story:

Don’t click on attachments without knowing that the sender is legit.

Let the Best VoIP Services Make Your Life Easier

If you’re familiar with VoIP, you know it’s a great thing. If you’re not familiar with it, you’re about to be. VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is simply using your Internet connection as a phone line through your Internet connection. There are several services available, but we wanted to look at which features were available in the best VoIP services for business use.

Preferred Business VoIP Features

Here at GroupOne, we recommend and install several of the best VoIP services out there. Here are a few of our favorite aspects of the best VoIP services:

  • Call Routing – meaning you can send any call to any other extension
  • Call Recording – record a conversation at the press of a button
  • Voicemail Transcription – see an automatic text dictation of voicemail messages
  • Group Call – add more people to the call; the max can be 1,000 callers!
  • Portability – your phone station is not anchored to your desk
  • Software Phone – it’s easier to talk into an actual phone – a real VoIP phone is provided with service
  • Toll-Free Option – if you’d like an 800 (or toll-free) number, it’s possible
  • Speed Dial – no one likes constantly redialing the same numbers – Speed Dial remembers them
  • SMS Messaging – in other words, texting through your VoIP line
  • E911 Service – basically, 9-1-1 emergency services can be called on this line

If One of These Best VoIP Services is What You Need, GroupOne Can Set You Up.

VoIP is quickly becoming the wave of the spoken communications future. If you’re ready to take the next step and start using one of the best VoIP services for your business phone, give us a call and we’ll take over from there.

Proactive vs. Reactive IT Support

Ah, your office network. It’s great, isn’t it? Filling orders, keeping track of customers, instantly giving you everything you need for a full day of productivity. And then – zap – your server goes down. Suddenly, your full day of productivity transforms into a nightmare of calling your IT support provider, begging them to fix it and inundating them with questions:

“How long will it be?”

“What’s the problem?”

“Can I get back on today?”

Faithful readers, what we’re dealing with here is a scenario involving a business who hires a reactive IT support provider. Meaning, when something breaks, they endeavor to fix it, leaving you at their mercy. Here’s why you should dump the break/fix company in favor of a proactive IT support provider.

The Waiting. The Waiting. For the Love of God, THE WAITING.

You’re down. You’re floating on the busy “Sea of Commerce”. All your competitors are happily sailing by, waving to you as they take care of business. And there you are – adrift, waiting for your rescue boat to arrive, which is never in as big a hurry as you are. This is par for the course with a reactive IT support partner. However, with a proactive IT support partner, it’s extraordinarily likely the problem that caused the server crash in the first place would have been caught by their network monitoring well before the crash occurred. Waiting avoided. You just steered Titanic clear of that iceberg.

Even the Smallest Problems Become a Big Problem.

Let’s say your network didn’t go down. Say one of your applications just won’t work properly. An irritation, but usually not catastrophic. Would you rather call your break/fix slowpokes and try to have them talk you through support over the phone – or worse yet – hear them say, “Okay, we’ll head that way,” or would you prefer your IT support provider to instantly remote into your workstation, fix the problem, and have you back to work in minutes? Or better yet, a week beforehand, they see a licensing issue with your application and handle it themselves without even involving you, your business, or your productivity. Which do you prefer? That’s what we thought.

It Shouldn’t Have Happened in the First Place.

The main point is that a good proactive IT support partner should have the ability to catch almost all network issues before they actually become issues for their clients. Without having to travel to the client’s business. Without even having the client know there was ever an issue. Proactive IT support is designed to prevent issues before they happen. Reactive IT support is designed to remedy issues after they happen.

Find Plenty of Proactive IT Support at GroupOne.

Tired of your ship floating adrift? Shoot us a signal flare, and GroupOne will sail to your rescue. Plus, we’ll batten down your hatches with our proactive IT support, so you’ll enjoy smooth sailing for the rest of your days.

Why Your Business Needs IT Support

Every business experiences computer problems that may need IT support. It’s a fundamental fact of owning a company. There are going to be days when your network goes down, or a device gets the “blue screen of death.” What ISN’T a fact, however, is that you should always be responsible for fixing and maintaining your technology by yourself.

Standard IT Support Problems

  • Blue Screen of Death – Everyone dreads the blue screen of death. For the most part, users who are presented with this screen freak out and run to their IT support provider before reading what’s written on the screen.
  • Login Issues – There are so many reasons why this can happen, from user error (turn your caps lock off, Jimmy!) to account suspension (you typed your password in wrong HOW many times?!)
  • Recovering Accidentally Deleted Files – Contrary to popular belief, a file that has been moved to the waste basket hasn’t necessarily been deleted. If you’ve recently emptied your bin, stop using the drive until IT support is contacted.
  • Slow Computer – If you’re thinking you can run a million and two windows altogether without slowing down your computer, think again. Having a ton of windows open is going to slow down your device. You might have also picked up malware. It’s important to tell your IT support provider everything.
  • Computer Shut Down Unexpectedly – Like the ceiling fans in your bedroom, computers fans are not immune to dust build up. It’s likely that your equipment overheated and shut down to protect itself from blowing up and catching on fire.
  • Printer Stopped Working – Most people forget to check to be sure their printer is on, or has paper in it, or is filled with ink. Make sure you’re checking the obvious before calling IT support.
  • Computer Making Weird Noises – If your computer is making a weird noise, it’s more than likely due to a stuck spindle or a bad head. Stop using the machine until the issue is diagnosed. Just make sure everything has been backed up recently or you might be in trouble!
  • Slow Internet – More than likely caused by malware or a virus. Make sure you tell your IT provider what happened – even if it does embarrass you or may get you in trouble. Being chewed out is a lot better than losing all your company’s data.
  • Unreliable Wireless Network – We’ve all experienced this. You get logged in, finally, and then BAM! Booted off again. The most common fix is to unplug it and plug it back in again, a process that your IT support technician can quickly walk you through.
  • Unrecognizable USB Device – If other ports don’t work, or the USB isn’t reading on other computers, you might have a bigger issue that requires you to call your IT provider.

GroupOne Has Heard It All Before

We’re no strangers to frequent (and not so familiar!) IT issues. You need an IT Support provider to make sure these issues don’t come up in the first place. See; we can proactively manage your technology and its devices to give you the most uptime for your business. You won’t have to worry about unplugging and plugging back in, troubleshooting that pesky printer, or slightly ditzy Jimmy (…well, you might still have to worry about him. Some people never learn.) The point is: with GroupOne on your side, you’ll have unlimited IT support from our team of expert engineers. Don’t take our word for it, though; we ’re biased. Give us a call and find out for yourself how incredible we are.