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Leadership Thoughts

Congrats Molly on Getting A Shot of Freedom!

Congrats Molly on Getting A Shot of Freedom!

Molly Stegman, a former Nolij intern, demonstrated bravery, selflessness, and for some, did the unthinkable. In March, Covid struck and took lives, and no one knew how Covid would attack the weak or strong. At the time, Molly was a thriving biology major at Virginia Tech and working as an EMT for Blacksburg Rescue. The university suddenly shifted to all remote learning and sent the students home. Covid thought it had derailed Molly’s ability to get hands-on experience, but when you are brave and a determined young woman, you overcome the challenges in front of you! Back in her home town, as the Covid scare was at new heights, Molly teamed up with her family physician to provide much-needed support to his busy practice. While the rest of us questioned her judgment, Molly persevered to overcome her Covid fears and help others fight off Covid.

Today we share a proud picture of her receiving her first Covid vaccination dose before she heads back to school! We can’t be prouder of our former intern! One more reason to empower women in the workplace!

Excellent job Molly, and congrats on your first vaccination dose. Thank you!

As a side note, if you get Covid, please call your physician and start your treatment immediately. 

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Leadership Thoughts

Social Media Handles Rock For Federal Consulting Businesses And Why You Should Think So Too

Social Media Handles Rock For Federal Consulting Businesses And Why You Should Think So Too

Covid struck, and Nolij transitioned to virtual work overnight. I thought, “How do we stay connected to our clients, prospective clients, teaming partners, and employees in a virtual environment?” Traditionally, in the federal consulting world, consulting businesses try to get in front of clients and teaming partners through scheduled in-person meetings or industry events and connect via emails for specific opportunities. I thought. “How do we show that Nolij is an authentic woman-ran consulting business, we value our partners, we are committed to delivering excellence to our clients, and are at the forefront of emerging technologies? How do we build trust, loyalty, and a strong brand as a health IT woman-owned consulting business?” Meeting in person has its charm and value, and while I look forward to doing it once more, I’m learning there are other avenues to build our brand and make connections.

Our answer was to dedicate more resources, energy, and time to branding Nolij on various social media handles. Nolij hired a marketing consulting company and a full-time social media consultant. Even though we have these professional resources, our employees also play a large role in the process. It is a time-consuming effort to get the marketing going, but with more experience and time, we hope this process becomes easier, and we build a solid following that values our posts.

Today we are active on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Glassdoor. It is a lot of fun communicating the great work that our employees do every day. It is a time to boast and brag, and genuinely enjoy our existing relationships and develop new ones.

For people curious about what we’ve learned along the way, we’ve highlighted a few lessons learned.

  • The power of a quick read is essential for increasing views and shares. Today’s busy business professional wants to cut to the heart of an article in a very short amount of time. We discovered that our 1–2-minute blogs and articles create more traffic than our longer 5-minute reads. For example, our one-minute read, “Employees are the Heart of Nolij”  received the most page views in the shortest period.
  • Videos drive traffic to make connections! We found that short videos with creative content incorporating a strategic message maximize the numbers of views, likes, comments, and shares. For example, our EHR video received over 1,000 views on LinkedIn within a few days.
  • Blog topics matter! Timely and relevant topics that address today’s unique challenges generated higher traffic patterns than general topics. We have discovered that relevant blogs increase traffic to our website creating new opportunities for connections. For example, my blog “Secrets to Success-for-Female-Founders had the highest average time spent on a page.
  • People love a laugh, mix it up a little too… don’t always be serious. Christmas Eve, I sent out a video of a lady downing red wine, and my caption was “I’m not ready for Christmas!”. A friend of mine sent it to me, and I thought it would be funny to post it during Covid times. Needless to say, my funny friend got me 1,000 impressions within a few days on LinkedIn.

I am hoping more CEO’s and businesses in federal consulting follow suit. Writing meaningful content that both educates and allows companies like Nolij to get to know them better. It is more important than ever during Covid times to use Social Media.

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Insight

Happy Employees are the Heart of Nolij

Happy Employees are the Heart of Nolij

“There is little success where there is little laughter”– Andrew Carnegie

 

At Nolij our employees are the heart of our company and are the reason we continually strive to provide an environment that empowers them to do their best possible work. Nolij is proud to have achieved an overall 4.1 rating from Glassdoor on our work culture, values, inclusion and diversity.  According to a recent Glassdoor employee testimonial, Nolij is the  “Best company I ever worked for, great co-workers and leadership. They really understand that you are an asset.” We want employees to feel that they are supported to be the best versions of themselves both at work and outside. One of the key reasons for having a high employee retention rate is because we strive to maintain a healthy work-life balance and empower our employees.

Nolij employees enjoy exploring and developing cutting edge technology, being creative in finding innovative solutions and being mentored by the best and the brightest in the industry. Nolij employees’ expertise is supported by a recent federal customer testimonial: “The quality of the contractor’s deliverables was outstanding and reflected the high level of understanding and knowledge the contractor had of the work required as well as the organization’s needs.”

Creating a positive and meaningful work experience for our employees goes beyond health benefits and perks—but they are important! From the beginning, we build the right culture with a competitive salary and a solid benefits package. We want to make sure our employees are well taken care of and offer additional programs such as the Employee Assistance Program that provides certified clinicians via phone and email to address mental health concerns.

Nolij consultants are constantly learning and developing professionally. Nolij helps foster a learning environment with tuition reimbursement and monthly Hacks and Snacks, which is a lunch and learn program. While at work, our employees work hard and are rewarded with spot bonuses to recognize individual contributions. But we have lots of fun together too!

At Nolij, our employees are like family. We like to celebrate our employees’ birthdays with cards and gifts. We organize different company events that bring our employees together to socialize. For example, we have Margaritas and Tacos happy hours and company sponsored Paint Night where employees let their creative side flourish all while enjoying the company of their teammates and coworkers. Nolij employees also participate in the company kickball team and build camaraderie.

Around the holidays, we have a Halloween costumes contest, Thanksgiving potluck and the Nolij International potluck dinner where we come together as employees to celebrate our diverse cultural backgrounds and traditions. As the weather warms up, we look forward to our annual company picnic for our employees and their families with friendly games of  tug-of-war and  sack races.

In 2020 we have been challenged in ways that we never thought possible. We have had to adjust our daily lives and routines during the pandemic both at home and at work. It has allowed Nolij to grow and change to not only to meet the needs of the business but the needs of our employees. We are constantly trying to find new ways to reinforce a sense of community, even though we are working remotely. We have gotten creative and moved to virtual team happy hours, online zoom yoga classes, virtual coffee chats and a virtual holiday party. Recently, we launched a new program Lunch on Us, which has been well received. Each employee is given a company Grubhub account that has been credited and on a designated day each month we encourage our employees to socialize with their team or coworker and enjoy Lunch on Us.

Day to day things look much different than they used to. We took for granted the importance of random encounters in the office or quick conversations over coffee in the office kitchen. So, while we wait for the day when we can return safely to our office and to team meetings in the conference rooms, lunch with our office mates or even a friendly game of ping pong, Nolij remains focused on delivering an exceptional company culture experience to our employees.

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Leadership Thoughts

Secrets to Success for Female Founders

Secrets to Success for Female Founders

Secrets to Success for Female Founders

Care About What You Do

I founded Nolij Consulting, (pronounced “knowledge”), a certified Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB), in 2013. I started the company with the mission of providing excellent federal health information technology services at competitive rates. With this mission in mind, the company quickly grew within federal healthcare to become a strong information technology WOSB. By remaining committed to my mission to support and improve federal healthcare, and focused specialization in software and system testing, electronic health record modernization, and enterprise solutions, I have had the privilege to support projects aligned with my passion.

I am very proud that today Nolij is playing a pivotal role in The Department of Defense (DoD)’s mission to complete the largest health record modernization effort in the history of the military health system. This is a multi-million dollar contract where we conduct the Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) testing of MHS Genesis, made up of Cerner and Dentrix, and all the applications that touch MHS Genesis, to make sure all health records for our military heroes and their families travel with them seamlessly throughout their career and into military retirement. We also work with private hospitals to make sure they can access the DoD healthcare records. This has been a huge improvement to the healthcare of our nation, and we are so proud and honored to be a part of it.  It has been great to continuously be recognized by our clients for the excellent work we do. Nolij received the Award for Excellence from the Program  Executive Office (PEO) Defense Healthcare Management Systems (DHMS) organization for its MHS Genesis testing efforts.

Hire the Right Talent

You have to be passionate about the work you are doing, but you cannot achieve success without the right team. I have surrounded myself with people who have the right attitude, aptitude, and energy and the right mindset to roll up one’s sleeves and do what it takes to win work and keep the business running. For a small business to be successful, you need to hire employees, that appreciate the uniqueness of working for a small organization  and value the risk and rewards that go along with it. We are fortunate to have built an outstanding company with employees that appreciate this.

Continue to Build Capabilities

It is important to constantly be looking for ways to innovate. Being a women-owned small business (WOSB) in the federal space can be challenging, as you compete for opportunities against large businesses and other set-asides like HUBZone, 8as, Native American, and Hawaiian Owned. We have learned to partner with these companies focusing on building our business around emerging technologies supporting our expertise such as Artificial Intelligence, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Cyber Security, and DevSec Ops and now focusing on the commercial market more than ever. We feel our electronic healthcare records information technology expertise can be a big benefit to the commercial market. We hope to continue building software partnerships like AWS, UiPath, and MicroFocus, and EHR software vendors. We take pride in announcing that we have signed a joint venture with an 8a company, Advanced, Innovative IT Solutions, LLC, with expertise in cybersecurity and commercial healthcare. I have wanted to branch out into the cyber and commercial health space and with this partnership, we will have the expertise to do just that.

Support Other Women

Nolij Consulting is a woman-centric company and I feel that women leaders need to support other women. I am so gratified that our success has allowed us to support our women veteran’s through an organization called Women’s Veteran Interactive (WVI) which was started by Ginger Miller, a veteran herself, who saw hardship after her military career and wanted to help other women veterans in need. Nolij has a lot of respect for Ginger and would like to once again “Thank her for her service and dedication to Women Veterans”.