Companies around the world are beginning to reopen and bring employees back to the workplace while simultaneously taking on the monumental task of mitigating the spread of the coronavirus. Our CEO Keith Metcalfe was recently interviewed on how an invite-first culture can help organizations address this new environment.
As organizations around the world are working to reopen their locations, many are looking to understand the new processes and procedures to make that possible. Keith Metcalfe, CEO of Traction Guest, has insights on how to do that successfully. That’s because Traction Guest has been prepared for this moment since their inception. Extending Work.com, and built on the Salesforce platform, their purpose is to safely and securely get people in and out of a location.
According to Keith, one of the biggest challenges today is the need to be prepared for reopening. To do this, he’s recommending an invite-first culture. This approach sets expectations for the visitor before they arrive, and prepares the location for their visit.
Let’s learn more about this strategy and the technology behind it in this interview with this CEO.
Tell us about the invite-first culture and how this resolves the challenges around reopening safely.
Keith Metcalfe: In an invite-first culture, people interested in visiting a location are told ahead of time what to expect. A company is able to evaluate the level of on-site visit risk ahead of time and offer online alternatives if the threshold is exceeded. Once that expectation is set, a person can decide if they want to visit. This ensures a safe process before they even enter the building.
The reality is a lot of companies could never have prepared for something like this, so there are many challenges. Due to COVID-19, employees in a physical location could pose a risk not only to themselves, but to other employees and visitors as well. We tell organizations to focus on mitigating risk. Break that down into achievable projects, such as establishing a system of record. Do you have a central system where you know who has been in and out of the building, and who they’ve interacted with?
Once organizations have established a process and feel comfortable inviting people into their locations, what should they do next? How do they round out the process?
Metcalfe: Oftentimes people would rather know the procedures beforehand, so before you invite people into a building, use technology to ask the right qualifying questions. If they disqualify, offer alternatives such as video calls. Safety and security needs to be the focus, because it will make a better experience for everyone.
Once they’re in the building, Work.com can help with entry and elevator queuing, shift management, and more with a ZeroTouch™zero-touch experience. Traction Guest is a gateway for the interactions, information and data that feeds into Work.com. We match data to the people interacting with a company, giving you a holistic view of people at events, offices and any location. And all of that information is in Salesforce, which is why it makes sense for us to be a part of Work.com.
What types of innovation are you seeing from customers during COVID-19?
Metcalfe: We’re seeing an unbelievable rate of innovation. COVID-19 has introduced new opportunities to relook at how businesses are run, and how technology is used. For instance, financial institutions are developing new queuing practices in front of branches. It impacts the purchasing cycles, the decision-making, and all of the process-driven organizations. And it’s moving fast. This isn't a sixth-month decision, it is now a six-week decision. That alone breaks every approval and procurement process.
There are a lot of companies performing essential services, and they have offices and locations in many different parts of the world. They often need to deploy a different experience to each location, and fast. With Salesforce, they can quickly change and adapt on the fly. Because of this, we have customers who can deploy a solution globally in days.
Many customers in regulated industries have had this type of technology in place. They’ve always needed to know who is coming in and out of their location. COVID-19 is calling attention to those robust procedures. A manufacturing site is different from an office, which is different from an event. Traction Guest tracks all of those different interactions while supporting specific experiences at those locations.
Where should CEOs start when thinking about reopening safely?
Metcalfe: Pre-COVID, there has been momentum with managing visitors and employees. However, this was allocated to high-level security or was dictated by compliance. This is no longer a choice, and because of that, we’re seeing workplace safety and security elevated from the manager-level conversation to the C-level.
The future of business is for leaders to think about their employees in a different manner. If employees don’t feel comfortable interacting, that is going to affect output. That’s not just employee to employee, but employee to customer, employee to vendor, and employee to partner. All of those interactions suddenly have a new feeling about them, a new level of complexity and inefficiency that we are all seeing and feeling ourselves.
It’s healthy to rethink your organizational processes and procedures. It can be invigorating to make decisions relatively quickly. These are lessons we can learn post-COVID.
How does Traction Guest fit in? What is the story behind the app?
Metcalfe: In the midst of what we're experiencing with COVID-19, reopening is the focus of many CEOs. That’s why Traction Guest extends Work.com by helping customers determine whether or not a person should visit their space. If so, it looks into their relevant contacts, and what exposure might exist from the company perspective. All of this is powered by the Salesforce platform.
We help with aspects of remaining open, such as managing capacity and queuing. We provide a framework for getting people into a space, which are limited by new, quickly-changing regulations. It’s about perception of whether a space is safe. For many, that's a new concept.
Traction Guest was incubated out of Traction on Demand, an AppExchange partner building solutions on the Salesforce platform. Funded by Salesforce Ventures, the company has 100 employees, with offices in Seattle, Dublin, and Vancouver.
What are you most excited about when it comes to reopening?
Metcalfe: I would love to have face-to-face meetings. Technology is wonderful, but as humans, we're not used to interacting virtually full time. So the faster that Work.com can bring us back together, the faster we’ll get what we crave as humans, and that’s social interaction.
The amount of innovation that's currently going on with Work.com is outstanding. In my 20 years of business, rarely have I seen so many people rally around such an important cause and produce such quick results. I’m excited about rolling out this invite-first culture and working with Salesforce to do it.
Originally posted here.