Will Holland is a Principal Software Engineer at ThreeWill. Will has proven to be adept at understanding a client’s needs and matching them with the appropriate solution. Recently he’s developed a passion for working with .NET, MVC, and cloud-based solutions such as Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365.
When you picture a software developer in your mind, do you picture an introverted guy with glasses sitting in a dark room illuminated only by the glow of his monitors? As a software developer, that’s a pretty good description of my normal setting. It’s my comfort zone but, here at ThreeWill, we like to push ourselves outside of that on occasion; to “Choose Growth” one might say.
As a part of our mission to help one million employees thrive, we also challenge our clients to do the same and, in this blog post, I’m going to share an experience with the best example of a client who “gets it” that I’ve seen: Selig Enterprises.
For those that might not have heard of Selig Enterprises, they are a 100+-year-old real estate and development company here in Atlanta that boasts a portfolio of over 15 million square feet of properties.
Selig has truly tried to embrace the changing way of work. As you can imagine, for a real estate company, working from home was a little off-brand but, like any great leader, they recognized what their people needed and have gone to great lengths to make sure people have the tools they need to get their work done while still feeling connected to the company and its culture.
I first came to know them via our Intelligent Intranet service offering and it did not take me long to realize that there was something special about this client. They feel a lot like ThreeWill – like home – to me. Full of great people who are sincere, empathetic, and kind. We also have a lot of fun in our meetings, which doesn’t hurt.
When you ask "Is that a face hugger behind you?" during a call with Selig Enterprises
Since then, we’ve rolled out Microsoft Teams to their organization and, because they enrolled in our Community Management service, I’ve had the pleasure of walking alongside them for the past year as we journey together and find new ways to help their people get more out of the technology they’re already paying for.
Each year, Selig Enterprises hosts an Employee Retreat at the Epicurean Hotel in Midtown. If you’ve never been, it’s a stunning location with great food and amenities; It’s fancy, in other words. During this event, different groups from within the organization discuss the work they’ve been doing and their plans, and then the floor opens for discussion. And, for the past two years, they’ve asked me to come and speak about the work we’ve been doing together.
This year, I got to unveil two new applications to their employees. The first was a help desk application that integrated a request form with a third-party database that contained contact information, while the second is an app that any Selig employee can now use to request tickets to upcoming concerts or sporting events in the Atlanta area (yeah, free Atlanta United tickets. It’s an awesome perk).
Both applications were built on the Power Platform and feature mobile-friendly apps that their employees are now using, but what was special is why Selig wanted these built in the first place. In both cases, the employees who managed these processes – the help desk team and the ticket management team – had to spend an unfortunate amount of time just managing the process.
For example, the help desk team had to watch an email inbox, hope they received enough information to find the correct tenant, look up that tenant’s contact information in another system, figure out who to assign the request to, and then enter all this data into an Excel workbook that they used for tracking. Each request, assuming it supplied enough details, took roughly 10 to 15 minutes just to log it; which they found personally frustrating. With the new app, it takes the help desk team no time. The system manages all the data retrieval and tracking. They just assign it to the correct person and get to work.
The person who mainly deals with the ticket process said this was one of her favorite job responsibilities. She LOVES being the person who gets to hand out tickets to events but, because of the informal request process that existed, she had to handle it all in her off hours and weekends. Now, she has everything in one place, making it much easier to manage and, hopefully, freeing her up to simply attend events on the weekend instead of planning them.
The folks at Selig didn’t ask for these two apps because they would somehow result in higher productivity or reduce cost (although they certainly do both). I asked them for problems that I could help them solve that would make people happy, and these two examples were the immediate answer because of how much of a quality-of-life improvement they would be for their employees.
Selig Enterprises has chosen growth, both in business and in the personal growth of its employees because they know that you cannot have one without the other. It’s been a great joy and, honestly, a great relief to be able to work with a group of people who genuinely care about the well-being of their coworkers. It’s good to be reminded that we’re not alone.
I, like everyone at ThreeWill, have chosen growth. So have Selig Enterprises and my other clients. Join us as we do our part to try and make the workplace better for all of us.