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This Used to Be the Future

Culture #WeAreOmni Software Development

My 6-year old son saved up his money for almost a year to purchase an Amazon Echo. He was about halfway to his goal and convinced me to pay for the other half if we shared the device. I have to admit we have a lot of fun with it. I watch in awe as it is natural for him to ask Alexa what the weather will be like today, to play Me Too by Meghan Trainor, or ask a variety of goofy questions.

Top 5 Questions Omni Receives from Candidates

Culture Employee Ownership #WeAreOmni

“When you find that job that causes you to be excited every day - forget about the pay - with people you love, doing what you love, it doesn't get any better than that.” – Warren Buffett Mr. Buffett sums it up very eloquently in the quote above. What most people seek, above all else, is to find a place to share their talents, make an impact and work with people who inspire them. The rest is just details (don’t get me wrong, they are important details but they don’t take precedence.)

Building Neural Nets in Ryu’s Dojo

Culture Machine Learning

Artificial neural networks are enabling computers to do amazing things such as reading cursive handwriting, powering autonomous cars, recognizing human emotions from facial expressions, and applying color to black and white images. Here at Omni Resources, we've also been using neural networks to do amazing things -- to beat our childhood video games. An artificial neural network (ANN) is a computational model inspired by biological neural networks or in other words, our brains. There are three important parts of an ANN: the inputs, the hidden layer (consisting of N hidden layers), and the outputs. The hidden layer is responsible for converting the inputs into something the output layer can use. In the below picture, the circles represent neurons and the lines represent synapses. Each layer applies a function to the previous layer to produce an output.

My Top Ten List for the Annual Employee-Owner Meeting 2016

Culture Events #WeAreOmni

Because Omni is an employee-owned company it is important that our owners are given the chance to get together, company-wide, at least once a year. While this isn’t the easiest feat, considering we have locations in Appleton, Madison, Milwaukee, and staff located all throughout the country, we understand that it is important and we make it a priority.

Inspiration, from Women in Technology

Culture Events #WeAreOmni

I am woman, hear me roar! I kid, I kid, but coming into an industry which averages just 30% women, I feel this is a charge we should be taking. Now, don’t let me fool you, I can’t technically be counted in that 30%, not being in a technology role. But being on the employee experience side of the business, I am still impacted by the male dominance of this industry, and I can still take part in the movement to increase women’s participation!

Work-Life Balance: Myth or Reality?

Culture

I can count on both hands, the number of times I have gone to an interview and heard someone tell me that their company has a great work-life balance. As I am sure many others do, I find myself putting on a smile but in the back of my mind I’m picturing the person saying it with air quotes. I would imagine that I did the same thing when I interviewed at Omni.  Now, a year later I am the person on the other side of that table. When interviewing potential employee owners I am sure there are times I sound like a used car salesman, giving example after example to try and prove it is not a myth. So what better way to debunk the myth, than with my own story! 

Level Up: Omni Gaming After Hours

Culture

Last year our team adopted Slack as a communication tool because, like all good developers, we enjoy noise cancelling headphones and sharing memes in public spaces. A natural progression of our Slack usage was a #videogames channel, which joined us less than a week after we really started using Slack. It turns out not everyone at Omni is interested in League of Legends vs. Dota 2 or who's flying which dino around in Ark (interestingly enough, we have #ark now because it was getting to be a little much for #videogames!). A natural progression of #videogames was the idea to stay late one Wednesday and play some Age of Empires II HD - unsurprisingly many of us are huge fans. 

Top 5 Benefits of Conducting a Company Culture Meter Survey

Culture

As a 100% employee-owned organization, culture plays a critical role in our business. With that in mind, Omni recently invited each employee-owner to participate in a company culture and engagement survey covering topics such as: Employee engagement Our business environment Attraction, motivation and retention Recognition Personal development Leadership Work/life balance Communication The Process Step 1: Conduct Focus Groups As part of the survey development process, focus groups were conducted to better understand from the team what topics were most important. We had active participation in these discussions and used key learnings to formulate survey questions and ensure we were targeting the areas of greatest interest to our team.

My First Experience with Omni: the Employee-Owner Annual Meeting

Culture

When Omni hired me, I was working as a public high school teacher and they respected my wishes to finish my contract for the school year. Omni did make a request that I attend the annual company meeting held in early May to meet the rest of the team and to get a feel for what the company was like.