Pop Quiz time!

No-one likes that phrase. Ever.

If you do, you might be one of those amazing Dish commercial people:

So why is it so prevalent that we feel the need to pop-quiz our employees when we want to see how they are doing in their workflows?

What do I mean? Have you ever had a boss see you, outside of a meeting, and ask where you were with a project? Seems natural enough, right? But all too often, the tone can be heard as accusatory or suspicious. It sets you on edge, especially if you don’t have hard numbers or concrete status updates available for them at that moment.

But what if YOU are that boss? Here are some things you can do to avoid upping the anxiety with your employees in this way.

1) Schedule update meetings if you want updates.
Again — fairly obvious, but in our fast-paced, data-driven new workplaces, we want updates/statuses/graphs now Now NOW.

2) Set a regular time when those reports can be thoughtfully prepared for you.
If you are going for an A+ on this point, try to have an agenda ready too, detailing the areas where you will want specific information.

3) Apologize when you fall into the “Where are we at?” habit.
Sometimes you want to know status before the aforementioned scheduled meeting. Maybe you just got Pop-quiz’ed from your boss, or maybe you just need it to assuage your fear of not hitting your team’s goals. Whatever the reason, if you hear yourself saying it — follow it up with qualifying statements:

  • I am sure you are preparing the reports for the meeting(s), but I just wanted a quick update.
  • When you get a chance, can you get that to me?
  • BONUS POINTS — Where can I find that info myself?

4) Try to determine if there are things you can do to create less urgency in your day to day work.
There will always be deadlines, demanding clients and other reasons where the sense of urgency and anxiety in the office is warranted. But these should be short bursts, not frequent or consistent.

5) Ask yourself these questions:

  • If one of my employees were out for a week, would everything derail?
  • Are all of my employees working to capacity on things that they feel they were hired for or, even better, are they happy?
  • Have I looked at if I could be doing things more efficiently?
  • If I layered in some extra staff, even just a handful of hours or for a short term project, could we get ahead of the game a bit?

Your staff’s happiness and their sense of security has a direct impact on their productivity and therefore, your profits. If you need help assessing your pain points, implementing new, more efficient workflows or determining how to augment your staff to achieve those goals — let us know. We would love to help you out.

Joi Podgorny to speak at Digital Citizenship Conference

Our founder, Joi Podgorny, will be speaking on the Digital Safety Panel at the upcoming Digital Citizenship Conference in Los Angeles.  This one day event will take place on April 21, 2017 at the Microsoft Los Angeles Headquarters.

The conference aims to get more information into the hands of parent and teachers to help them in the raising and educating of our next generations online. There will be 8 panel topics that help educators encourage students to build a positive online presence. In one full day each attendee should be able to learn tactical formulas they can instantly implement with their students (and network with other professionals).

If you are in town and able to attend (or even if you are justin LA), please reach out!  Joi loves reconnecting with colleagues and clients.


October 2, 2016


Local startup “Good People Collective” chosen for Global Web Summit opportunity

(Salt Lake City, UT)– Good People Collective has been selected for the ALPHA program at Web Summit 2016, taking place in Lisbon, Portugal on November 8th – 10th.

The founder of Good People, Joi Podgorny, conducted presentations and interviews with the organizers of the Web Summit to apply for this opportunity. Paddy Cosgrave, CEO of Web Summit let them know that they decided to select Good People Collective as part of their ALPHA track program at the Web Summit 2016.

“I’m delighted to say that your startup has been selected to participate on the ALPHA startup track at Web Summit 2016. It is the meeting place for the most interesting tech companies across all sectors, stages and geographies. It’s the “Davos for Geeks”
— Paddy Cosgrave, CEO of Web Summit.

It’s the 5th year anniversary for the Web Summit conference. This year the summit will host more than 50,000 attendees, including 15,000+ companies from across the globe. The Web Summit attendees range from Fortune 500 companies to startups. Some of today’s top tech companies, such as Uber and AirBnb, started of as part of the ALPHA program at Web Summit in their earlier days. The Web Summit 2016 is described as Europe’s largest technology marketplace.

”This is an amazing opportunity for Good People Collective, and we are thankful to Web Summit for believing in our company as part of their ALPHA program. This also proves our belief in the need for our services — that it’s right on time, unique and attractive!”
— Joi Podgorny, Founder and CEO of Good People Collective.

About Good People Collective

Good People Collective, established in 2016, is an American startup focused on providing consulting and outsourced staffing solutions for audience development and management needs. Focusing on startups and small-to-medium sized businesses in the tech-sector, their services include Customer Service, Moderation, Social Media Management and Business Consulting.

For More Information Contact:

Joi Podgorny
Founder, Chief Executive Officer
+1 (773) 805 3193

This past month, I had the honor of being interviewed by Patrick O’Keefe, for his community management focused podcast, Community Matters.  You can download it on iTunes or your favorite podcasting app, or stream it here:

On the podcast, we talk about many things, but our focus was on the treatment of those staff on the front lines of community – the moderators and engagement staff that actually interact with customers.  I feel very strongly that while some of the burden of choosing and keeping a potentially toxic job is on the employee, an equal, and in some cases larger, portion of that responsibility is on the employers and brands hiring those individuals.

Often times, they are highly marginalized team members – many are contractors with little or no interaction with the larger team or the client/brand team.  They are usually paid very low wages, even state-side, being told that they should be “happy” with their work-from-home status.

And that’s just when the content they are handling isn’t toxic.  On most moderation teams, they have to screen out all the “bad” content, so that the audience doesn’t see it.  But the moderators still see it and are usually not given the support required to handle emotionally volatile content.  Even in communities for children, moderators can come across triggering content and some teams do not prepare their staff for that possibility.  “Becoming numb to it” is an awful skill to have to develop on the job.

I also worry about the increasing trend to offshore moderation work to low-wage countries.  As an employer, I understand the urge, but it is difficult to maintain high quality with non-native speakers, not to mention the difficulty of oversight of procedures regarding the emotional well being of those moderators.  Just because they are offshore, doesn’t mean negative content won’t affect them the same.

I am interested to hear your thoughts on this topic.  Let me know what you think in the comments or via twitter.


Our intention as a company is to provide high quality service to our clients, while treating our employees well.  Sounds simple, right? We believe that when you have happy employees, they will make sure your customers are taken care of and happy as well.

We thoroughly vet, train and performance check constantly to make sure they are not only delivering on our service promises, but they are happy while they are doing it.  

Once we start working together, your goals and priorities become ours.  As a boutique company, we can cater to your needs with agility and speed.

We have years of experience working with dozens of brands that required deep understanding and dedication to their brands’ missions. We have developed efficiencies that we can share with you to help you scale and deliver even more for your customers.

Is authenticity your trademark? We will find a team that cares deeply about your product so that shines through.  

Is safety or compliance imperative? We will work to understand all the points that your brands and the services associated to them need to be following best practices.

Hiring a quality team does not mean your budget needs to be weighed down.  Productivity and efficiency are ways to improve your budget line, not hiring lower wage workers.  By outsourcing strategically, you can get higher service levels with higher quality staff, trained on how to deliver to your company’s goals. Outsourcing should help your costs through efficiency, not compromising on the quality.

NPR’s Marketplace recently published a series studying the history of corporations and how their priorities have changed over the years.  One of the main points of the series focused on the evolution of the role of the employee in relation to the corporation.  The fact that employees cannot assume they will be taken care of by their employers resonated with me.  While I do believe in personal accountability for one’s own path, I also believe that a company can write their path so that it takes into account the people who are helping bring in revenue, and hopefully profits.

I had the fortune of speaking with Soraya Chemaly for her recent article discussing the management of moderation teams.

It’s a long article, but worth the read, as it discusses many of the rarely talked about issues that those of us managing audience deal with on a regular basis.  Soraya and I discussed many of the shortfalls that currently appear within moderation teams, both for youth and adult communities.

Joi Podgorny is former vice president at ModSquad, which provides content moderation to a range of marquee clients, from the State Department to the NFL. Now a digital media consultant, she says founders and developers not only resist seeing the toxic content, they resist even understanding the practice of moderation. Typically cast off as “customer-service,” moderation and related work remains a relatively low-wage, low-status sector, often managed and staffed by women, which stands apart from the higher-status, higher-paid, more powerful sectors of engineering and finance, which are overwhelmingly male. “I need you to look at what my people are looking at on a regular basis,” she said. “I want you to go through my training and see this stuff [and] you’re not going to think it’s free speech. You’re going to think it’s damaging to culture, not only for our brand, but in general.”

Verge article: Secret Rules of the Internet by Catherine Buni & Soraya Chemaly

This is why it was important for me to start my own company, with the experience to handle the myriad of potentially harmful brand and audience situations, but also with the foresight and integrity to think about the well-being of our employees at the same time.