Remote Work Technology: keeping your small business thriving from anywhere. Writer, arts advocate, entrepreneur, and author Henry Kurkowski is a pioneer in managed WiFi technologies, remote IT management, and digital engagement with a long history in the telecommunications and SaaS industries. He’s an experienced founding partner in up-start technology companies with a long history in the telecommunications and SaaS industries.
He has helped thousands of small businesses across the US to leverage remote technologies and digital communications to automate operations, increase engagement and boost the bottom line. His insights on leveraging business partnerships and strategic brand marketing have resulted in the creation of innovative arts partnerships that have garnered national attention to benefit both the sponsoring businesses and cultural organizations, as well as their communities.
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Table of Contents
We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to Valiant CEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Henry Kurkowski: My name is Henry Kurkowski, I am the author of Remote Work Technology: keeping your small business thriving from anywhere. For the past 20 years, I have been at the forefront of the managed WiFi technology and digital engagement industries. I’m an experienced founding partner in up-start technology companies with a long history in the telecommunications and SaaS industries. In my career, I’ve helped thousands of small businesses across the US to leverage remote technologies and digital communications to automate operations, increase engagement and boost the bottom line.
Who has been the most influential person(s) in your life and how did they impact you? How did that lead to where you are today?
Henry Kurkowski: I would have to say that my father had the most impact on my life. I grew up in a military family with very strict rules. If my father gave me a list of chores to do when he left the house for work, he expected them to be all completed by the time he got home. It didn’t matter how large the list was or how difficult the tasks, I would find a way to get them done. That helped to train my determination, creative thinking, and problem-solving abilities.
2020 was a challenging year for all of us, particularly for businesses. How did the pandemic impact your business? Please list some of the problems that you faced, and how you handled them.
Henry Kurkowski: Our company was designed to have distributed teams from the very beginning. So, the shutdowns did not directly impact our office. However, as we are a B2B company, we had to pivot to best help our clientele who were directly impacted. Many of whom were restaurant groups, property management groups of office buildings, and apartment communities. For the restaurant groups that had to close up for a while, we waived our service fees during those times, even if they were still in use by on-site managers. For the apartments that saw an influx of people staying home to work, we increased bandwidth and the range of our WiFi networks. A good amount of the time we spent listening to our clients who were all emotionally and psychologically impacted by COVID-19. Many of them just wanted someone to talk to and we were there for them for that as well.
The pandemic led to a myriad of cultural side effects, including one that was quite unexpected that is informally known as “The Great Resignation”. Did this widespread trend affect you in any way?
Henry Kurkowski: It did not affect me.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4 million Americans quit their jobs in July 2021. How do you feel about this trend? Explain.
Henry Kurkowski: It’s a symptom of the old guard trying to maintain an outdated method of managing employees. The future of business is based on the employee experience. Healthy and attractive company culture is not just a great recruitment tool, it is an excellent employee retention tool. It will help drive success at every level of the organization. That is where corporations must put their efforts. Employees want to work for a company that they can trust and that values them as individuals.
The values expressed through the actions and communications of the leaders of the company mold the culture. The interactions of leaders and managers with employees are a vital component of how the company culture is shaped. Employees depend on consistency and authenticity when it comes to their work for the company. “Do as I say not as I do” is never part of a healthy corporate culture. When that happens, there is a loss of transparency and a lack of clear guidelines for behavior. All individuals at every level must be held equally accountable to the company values and its mission if the culture is to remain strong and well defined.
Organizations should emphasize their core values in their actions, behaviors, and communications with everyone they interact with from employees to vendors to customers. Every email, memo, and meeting should be shaped with intention, by the core values of the company. This brings consistency & authenticity to their culture. It becomes something their people want to nurture. It becomes something that people want to be a part of and can trust.
According to a Nature Human behavior study, In 2020, 80% of US workers reported feeling that they have too many things to do and not enough time to do them – a phenomenon known as “time poverty”. What is your take on the work-life balance? Explain.
Henry Kurkowski: When workers experience time poverty, it is a precursor to burnout. This is something to be taken seriously by employers. Staying well engaged with employees can help prevent both time poverty and burnout. By actively soliciting feedback, maintaining open office hours, and staying engaged with teams, management can gain more insights into what employees are experiencing. They can more easily see signs that some may be struggling.
When they see an employee that may be struggling, they should reach out, take a look at their workload and reallocate some of their tasks to relieve stress. This will not only help the individual employee, but it will help increase the quality of the work being done. Leaders should encourage employees to create better work and life balance, Some companies have initiated policies to not send emails or chats after hours to help create a better balance. Encourage teams to unplug and walk away from the screens. This helps employees stay healthy and feel valued.
A more recent survey by Joblist asked about 3,000 respondents if they’re actively thinking about leaving their job. That survey found that 73% of 2,099 respondents who answered this question on their employment plans are considering quitting. How are you preparing for the future to counter this potentially persistent problem?
Henry Kurkowski: People don’t stay where they don’t feel valued. Companies must shift to a people-first mentality when it comes to managing employees. Maintaining high levels of authentic engagement is key to understanding the needs and concerns of workers. Solicit feedback regularly, then act on that feedback. Be willing to change how things are done to meet the current needs of employees. Also, recognition of hard work and publicly showing appreciation for a job well done goes a very long way for an employees’ confidence and morale. Regular feedback followed by recognition and appreciation helps team members feel valued & understand that they are vital parts of the company.
Before we finish things off, we do have one last question. If you had 10 Million Dollars to spend in one day, what would you spend it on?
Henry Kurkowski: I would use it to wipe out any debt my employees and family may have so that they can have more peace of mind. When you have those stresses alleviated, your mind focuses on what is important in this life. I would use the rest to help my community and fund projects that help create opportunities for job training, arts programs, and access to mental health services.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Henry Kurkowski for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Henry Kurkowski or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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