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Redefining People Leadership

Where people work, how they work, and what they expect from work, continues to shift significantly, year over year. And it’s an organization’s People Leaders who hold a seat at the very heart of this transition. 

Today’s People Leaders not only need to stay up to speed, adapting to the ever-evolving ways of working, they are also tasked with finding key talent, and keeping up with candidate demands.

In Redefining People Leadership, we explore the ways in which today’s People Leaders can do more than just adapt in today’s ever changing landscape, but prosper. 

Joining us will be, Brittany Blumenthal, VP of People Ops at The Block, Cassidy Gonzalez,  VP of People at Pura, and Maggie Duvall, Head of Recruiting at Veho. 

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About Our Panelists

Brittany Blumenthal (she/her/hers) has over ten years of progressive experience in talent and people operations. Currently, Brittany is the Vice President, People Operations, at The Block Crypto, a digital asset information company experiencing hypergrowth. Previously she was the Head of People at Holler, a conversational media company, where she built the people operations function in preparation for scale as well as the Vice President, People Operations at Reorg, a financial technology company. When she’s not focused on how to create a more inclusive and engaging workplace, she enjoys strolling through Central Park, finding a really great sushi restaurant and spending time with her family. Brittany received her bachelors of science from The University of Texas at Austin (hook em) after growing up in a small town in Texas, Cut and Shoot.

Cassidy Gonzalez is a builder of great places to work. She is a self proclaimed career strategist, perpetual optimist and queen of getting stuff done. A people leader for over a decade, she has made her career leading people programs and teams at Google, SanDisk, Peek.com, and currently holds the role of VP of People at Pura. She is a wife and mother of two beautiful, rambunctious toddlers.

Maggie Duvall is an experienced talent acquisition leader, with a niche in building high performing recruiting teams, at hyper growth startups. Driven by the opportunity to build, she takes pride in helping companies identify top tier talent, while facilitating exceptional candidate experiences. Maggie currently leads recruiting at Veho, a logistics tech platform that puts the customer in the center, and has helped the company grow from 200 to 850 teammates within the last 12 months. Prior to that, she was part of the Uber recruitment team that grew the company from 5,000 to 25,000 employees globally, over the course of 5 years.

About Our Moderator

Anish Shah is the CEO & Founder of executive search agency Ruckus. Anish has worked in-house in Growth roles at Snapfish and Getable. He started Bring Ruckus as a Growth consultancy 11 years ago working with 40+ clients, then re-focused his firm on executive recruiting for Growth leaders.


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Ally Layton (00:00:02):
Hi everyone. Welcome. This is our next panel for Ruckus, Redefining People Leadership. We’re really excited to be here and get going. Couple of housekeeping things. This webinar is being recorded, but we will send out an email to everybody with the playback. So you can expect that in your email shortly after we’re finished. And then while, while the panelists are talking, if you have any additional questions that you want to ask, feel free to drop them in the chat and we can get to them when there’s time at the end. So I’m going to pass this off to our CEO Anish and he will introduce himself.

Anish Shah (00:00:46):
Hey so my name’s Anish my background is helping to lead marketing for different companies, both full time as a consultant career for the bay, moved to New York about four years ago and then began recruiting for a variety of different companies and then building up an executive search firm. So now we’re a team of 16 kind of internationally based and recruiting executive level roles for a lot of kind of interesting organizations that are fast growing.

Cassidy Gonzalez (00:01:17):
Hi everyone. I am Cassidy Gonzalez and I am the VP of people at Pura. I’ve been at Pura for just almost two years and grown to the company from around 30 employees to just under 200 employees. And I’ve done everything in the realm of recruiting benefits, compensation, staffing, all under the sun of the people function and been at big companies, such as Google, SanDisk and small startups, such as Peek.com and currently Pura, which is also startup. I’m also a mom of two cute little kids and, and a wife as well. So those take up a lot of my time too.

Anish Shah (00:01:54):
And Pura, as you were explaining before we kind of started, this is super cool. If you want to explain it.

Cassidy Gonzalez (00:01:58):
Oh yeah. So Pura is a smart home fragrance diffuser device. So you can buy an electronic device that plugs into your wall outlet and scents your home. So it’s an alternative for candle, not a replacement, but we partner with brands that are known and love such as Capri Blue Volcano, Disney, Tommy Bahama, lots of cool brands to get those scents that you love into your home and truth tools coming up soon into your car. So that’ll be fun.

Brittany Blumenthal (00:02:27):
Spoiler alert. Hi everyone. I’m Brittany. I oversee the people ops function at the Block Crypto, which is a digital asset information company. So we are providing news and research on what’s going on in the crypto digital asset space, which is a lot every day but exciting work to be doing. We similarly have grown really quickly. I’ve only been with the company for eight months and we went from 40 to 140 in that time and are continuing to grow. I think we have like 60 open positions today. So a lot of, kind of interesting stuff happening behind the scenes there, but this is my third startup that I have worked at love the startup space. I’ve also worked at, at larger companies. I did a set with Google, worked at a publishing company called ALM prior to this, but got my start in recruiting and now enjoy the broader people op space.

Maggie Duvall (00:03:23):
And hi everybody. I’m Maggie Duval. I lead recruiting at Veho and Veho is a tech powered logistics platform that is aiming to humanize logistics by putting the customer at the center of every delivery. And Veho raised a huge series B back in February. And with that we’ve been expanding geographically and expanding our employee base pretty drastically over the last year too. I’ve been with Veho coming up on a year now and we’ve grown the company from about 200 employees to about 850 today. So tons and tons of, of hiring going on over Veho. And prior to VHO you know, I was at Uber for five and a half years. And part of the team that helped the company grow from 5,000 to 25,000 globally. So love working at super hyper growth companies, helping them build, build the companies and find the right people to do so.

Anish Shah (00:04:22):
Awesome. Nice to meet all of you Cassidy, Maggie and Brittany. So everyone who RSVP’d for this event, when you RSVP’d, we asked you to put in a question that you wanted our experts to address. And so we’ve cherry picked the most interesting out of those questions and put this on this deck here and, and we’ll be kind of going through a few of them. So obviously there’s a lot in the news right now and for coming from VCs about the looming recession, cutbacks, how companies should react. And a lot of employees probably have a lot of questions on like, what does that mean for them? What does that mean for recruiting as a whole as well, and, and, and hiring more folks. And I don’t know if any of you have sort of been a part of those discussions with your broader team and you know, how you’ve sort of responded and yeah. Overall just how you sort of responded to that. Cause obviously it could be pretty confusing for a lot of folks.

Brittany Blumenthal (00:05:25):
Yeah. I, I’m happy to jump in here. So we operating the crypto space, I think there is a lot of volatility in it regardless, and that’s kind of been the trend that we’ve dealt with since it really launched. And so, you know, I think from a people leader’s perspective, what I’ve really been focused on is making sure that the leadership team has been as transparent as they possibly can with the, the rest of the company. So, you know, we like everybody else, especially in the crypto space have had, have been impacted in, in a negative way. But we had our CEO send a note about this about two weeks ago to the entire company that just said, like, you know, we’re monitoring it. These are the different ways that we’re monitoring it. We have been adjusting our business model over the last 18 months to plan for something like this.

Brittany Blumenthal (00:06:13):
Kind of talking about how we have plenty of runway to survive it and we will be looking at costs and making sure that we’re spending in the right ways in the right places, I guess. But I think the, the worst thing that you can do is nothing. I feel like it breeds a culture of gossip that doesn’t end up being productive for anyone. So as much of the message as you can own and get in front of that has been my my big thing that I’ve been pushing the leadership on. And I, and I think we’ve had success there so far.

Cassidy Gonzalez (00:06:41):
Yeah. I’ll echo that same thing that transparency I think is agreed the, the biggest key to keeping things from not falling apart. And one thing with that transparency is remembering who your audience is. So when you’re working with your senior leadership team, you can talk very transparently about everything that’s going on. Everyone understands when you’re sharing that with a bottom line employee, that’s the frontline employee that’s doing their first job, their first time out of maybe college and their first career. And don’t really understand how maybe finances work or whatever it is to make sure that you are explaining things. So they understand the why for every decision that you’re making as we prep for this recession and what’s to come. So whether that’s, you know, we’re not going to do snacks in the office anymore, you can’t just take that away and expect that no one has questions, but really showing like, okay, this, this one tiny thing actually saves a lot of money on the back end to repurpose that money here and making sure you’re almost like hand holding every step and not just assuming that all employees understand financial models and runways and cash flow and things like that.

Maggie Duvall (00:07:43):
Yeah. And, and chiming in from a hiring specific angle. I think something that we have been talking about a lot here at Veho specifically, is what impacts might a recession have on like our growth in revenue and how should we realign our, our hiring to like, make sure that it’s aligned with this, like pre-forecasted financial plan to make sure that we don’t over hire. And so being really thoughtful about that is super important. And honestly, one that’s going to set like one startup apart from, from others headed into this. And then I think also you know, like Brittany and Cassidy also just touched on this too, but like, where are there appropriate cost savings with a change in the market? And like we’re coming from one of the hottest job markets that we have all seen in quite some time. And like that is changing rather rapidly. So like, you know, has your company historically been offering a number of like hiring incentives, like are those needed anymore with the market shifting in reevaluating those to see like, are there areas for cost saving for your company based on the changing trends we’re seeing,

Anish Shah (00:08:50):
That’s super interesting. And, and, and Cassidy, you brought up a lot of, a lot of great points of being able. Everyone’s going to have a different level of understanding about, you know, the broader micro/macroeconomic impacts and et cetera. Now, do you, do you feel it’s best to sit people down one on one and walk them through whatever their questions are, or maybe have one like overarching document that can speak to even the most minute of details? Like how best do you educate people at wider varieties of, of kind of knowledge?

Cassidy Gonzalez (00:09:22):
Yeah, that’s a great point. And it’s really comes down to how well, you know, your people and what your people need. Some companies might find that they need to have individual one-on-ones with employee and some in some teams could say, we’re going to have a big group meeting and discuss this once and call it good. But really I would say best practice is to try to hit all forms of learning. So yes, you should have a full document. People can reference to, you should have a team meeting about this. You should have smaller team meetings about this. Maybe this topic should be added to a manager’s one-on-one for every check and they do — the more angles that you can hit and make sure that they know that as a company, we want to make sure our employees are taken care of and supported through this turbulent times, whatever lies ahead. And the more you can hit, I think the better it is, but also it comes outta knowing your people and making sure knowing how that your people respond, address them in the way that they need to be addressed.

Anish Shah (00:10:12):
Okay. That makes a lot of sense. So kind of like different strokes for, for somewhat different folks in terms of companies. But I did like your idea of maybe smaller groups, because it could be time consuming and difficult to speak to everyone one on one, but maybe just like a 10 person group. And especially if you have hundreds of employees and then make that like a 15, 20 minute session to answer questions. And has that been somewhat successful or I, I don’t know. Were there any anecdotes of, of things that you sort tried and had seen success or less successes?

Cassidy Gonzalez (00:10:40):
Yeah. In our company we do a weekly town hall. So we address things in town hall as a company and then we also direct leadership teams to go and then direct it to their teams. So yeah, we, we naturally split into team groups as each team has their own team meeting to be able to keep that communication there and really just help people focus that we’re all doubling down our employees to get through this together. And it’s all like kind of keeping that positive spin to such a doom and gloom situation. Right? You don’t want everyone to spin their own story or things like that. So really controlling that talk track can to help people just kind of band together and get through it.

Brittany Blumenthal (00:11:16):
Yeah. One thing that we’ve been doing too, that I, I found has been helpful is going to the manager group first. Like the managers are the people who know their team the best and they know what kind of questions their team is, are going to have or how they’re going to react. So usually when we’re thinking about this is a message that we’re going to get out to the entire company, we’ll talk to the manager group about that first. And a lot of times they’ll provide good insight that we weren’t able to think about as a leadership team, because we are just naturally more removed. And, and, and almost every situation that we’ve done that with we’ve altered our message in one way or another, or, you know, like Cadsidy said broken into smaller groups or sent different messages because people were going to interpret it in, in different ways.

Anish Shah (00:11:56):
Makes sense. Thanks for that.

Cassidy Gonzalez (00:11:58):
One thing I think to add too, is that the quicker you can respond the, I guess, more control you can have with the situation. So I think that it was mentioned earlier, but to do nothing is probably the worst thing we can do. But to do something very quickly, I think is the best that the second you hear maybe a rumor starting or whatever, it may be just like try to get in front of those messages and be proactive more about what’s our communication and our transparency is going to be, so you’re not behind the times and trying to also correct messages that are occurring when you could have been proactive in the first place.

Brittany Blumenthal (00:12:32):
Yeah. And even if you don’t have all the answers, I feel like saying that you don’t have all the answers, but we’re talking about it. And, and all of that is important. I feel like a lot of leadership teams get paralyzed by, well, we don’t want to tell them before we know what’s going on, but those two weeks that you’re trying to figure out what’s going on are really critical for your culture and for how people feel about the company.

Cassidy Gonzalez (00:12:53):
Absolutely.

Anish Shah (00:12:55):
That’s a really great point. Yeah. Even if you don’t that, if you don’t know the answer, you can still just say that where I think, yeah, it is easier to just say, well, let’s wait till we have all the facts. But things move so quickly and the facts are pretty difficult to even know when, when they, yeah. Like what is an actual facts when you’re thinking about everything macro-economically and VC screaming from the top of their lungs and everything like that, it’s, it’s hard to really discern. So that, that does make a lot of sense. Cool. We’ll jump on the next question. This is a really great one, especially since, since all of you seem to have been part of, or are in part of, are in companies that are scaling really rapidly. So how do you kind of like maintain strong cultural values when you’re, when you’re, you know, scaling from a hundred people to 500 people are the systems you use to, to spread those values a little bit different? Do the value change a little bit would love any learnings from, from that?

Maggie Duvall (00:13:53):
Yeah. I would love to chime in on this one as like Veho, I think really prides itself in, in being a very values driven company. And I can’t stress enough that scaling your values over time, there has to be tops down investment. And I think that’s something that Veho has done very well. Veho’s two, co-founders felt very strongly about the company values and like, you know, they referenced the values in their decision making. They reference the values in a bunch of meetings and structural things that are companywide. And so I think the tops down investment in those values, like really, really helps like define that this is still something that is really important over time. But then additionally, like on the people side, I think it is up to us and the people organization to bring those values to life throughout the whole entire employee journey.

Maggie Duvall (00:14:50):
And that actually starts with like the recruiting. And so like, are your values as simple as like, are your values in your job descriptions, are your values referenced in the interview process? Are your values referenced when they get a, a job offer in writing? You know, and then like, are they ingrained in onboarding and in things in the employee cycle as well? So I think that’s where the people function really comes in that like taking the, the tops down vision in those values that you want to grow the company around and building those into the employee life cycle and journey too.

Brittany Blumenthal (00:15:23):
Yeah. I would say much of the same, like in integrate it into everything that you do, if there’s like a program that you have, I would ask the question of like, where, how are our values being reflected here? Because when you go from, you know, a small number of people who everybody knows them, it’s like, how do you educate a large number of, of humans on not only what they are, but what they mean and how we expect people to live by them?

Brittany Blumenthal (00:15:44):
So we use them in praise, our praise tool. We use them when we give feedback to people, both constructive and positive feedback we have a whole session actually, literally right before I joined this, I did our cohort or once a month cohort training on our mission and values. So that’s one of the first things that they get when they join. We career development. Like we evaluate people against our values, as we think about promotions. We train on values kind of specific type of behaviors and, and ways that people can continue to develop their skillset in that way. But I think going back to, to Maggie’s point the interview process, I think if you think about how do you actually scale your culture and how do you maintain that culture and those values and bring more people into the organization, you have to figure out how to evaluate for them during the interview process.

Brittany Blumenthal (00:16:31):
And I’ve done that a couple of different ways at different organizations, but I think that’s an important part of that too. How, what questions are you asking that are mapped back to your values? Are we like having conversations? If we’re concerned that people aren’t responding to our values in the way that we want them to, because that’s usually going to be a longer term issue. And in speaking of longer term issues, I think another big thing, and, and this goes back to leadership alignment is you have to have a no tolerance policy for people who are not living up to your values. I feel like if you don’t, if you’re not willing to address those issues immediately, then those values are not going to be as impactful as you want them to be. If people in the organization see that you that you don’t hold everybody accountable to them. And so I think that’s the hard part about values is getting the leadership team aligned on that and having that kind of no tolerance policy.

Anish Shah (00:17:19):
That’s really interesting. Thanks for that. And are, are there any like specific values that you’ve seen, okay, these are, this is something where, where we’ve noticed this employee or that team member, or this person who’s interviewing with us does not match this cultural value, and therefore we either have to have a conversation with them or, or, or figure something else out. Is there something that sort of pops up over and over again?

Brittany Blumenthal (00:17:42):
So one of our values, we, we actually do key behaviors. And they’re, they’re kind of like, I guess more terms than they are words, but one of them is actionable curiosity and it’s really this concept of, we expect everybody in the company to be curious about the, you know, their job, their the industry that they’re in. And then it’s not enough to just be curious about that just to like be reading articles. It’s how are you bringing that action into the organization? So I would say it, that’s probably the hardest one to evaluate for, and, and that people struggle with the most is like, what’s something that you were curious about that you were able to, to take action on, bring into the organization, your organization, and what came as a result of that. So sometimes it’s just like really trying to understand how people would do in scenarios like that. A lot of times people weren’t given the opportunity to have that type of environment where they could really like make recommendations and implement change at the speed in which we expect people to. But I would say that’s the one that we, a lot of times have to ask some follow up questions and different questions around because sometimes people just haven’t been in that environment

Anish Shah (00:18:46):
Where they’re allowed to do it’s better. They’ve been in like more, better safe than sorry, kind of environments where want to speak up. Yeah. Makes a lot of sense. Thanks for that.

Cassidy Gonzalez (00:18:56):
And one thing I will add here to people maybe listening that are with smaller companies is to think of the scale while you’re creating your values. I think that oftentimes even when I joined Pura we actually had a different set of core values and about a year in, we redid our core values because we didn’t actually thoughtfully think about it for scale. So when I came in, I was like, okay, how are we going to actually live these same values when we’re at 200, 300, 400, 500 employees, whatever it might be. And we really kind of looked at who we had become and kind of redesign those values, so they were built for scale. So just something to keep in mind as, as companies are maybe at a lower level stage is to, to think of that scale. Cause oftentimes they’re just thinking, okay, who do you want to be? And it’s like, what? It could be different than who you want to be down the line. So try to make those values that could encompass both areas of the spectrum.

Anish Shah (00:19:46):
Okay. That makes sense. So to actually planning for the fact that, Hey, we’re going to explode one day. And so we want to be like six or 12 months ahead of it.

Cassidy Gonzalez (00:19:54):
Yeah, exactly.

Anish Shah (00:19:57):
I like that. That’s very wishful thinking, but really clearly it worked out.

Cassidy Gonzalez (00:20:02):
It makes, it makes even regardless if you actually do scale though, it, you already in that mindset of like, okay, how are we going to embed such strong cultural values regardless of what size we are and get you to be really thoughtful what those values should be.

Anish Shah (00:20:15):
Okay. And, and like, were they, was there any additional values that you added in for basically, Hey, when we, if or when we get to this size, this is an addition that we need to add in versus like right now with this smaller size, it may not be as impactful.

Cassidy Gonzalez (00:20:31):
Yeah. I could see that happening. We actually decreased values. So we had five when I started and we actually went down to four and one of our core values is simple. Like how can we get these complex ideas and thoughts and processes and how can we always make sure when our value is to keep things simple. So it just was interesting to see how we kind of morphed and our values are human, uplifting, remarkable, and simple. So just these words that we can really tie in and build upon and have those culture ads as we bring more and more people, they can usually all find something to relate under those values. So it’s become very scalable. And, but yeah, it’s just an interesting thought. Think about how our values might not have been as easy to scale. I think that everything can be scaled if we’re thoughtful about it, but that we just really kind of took a step back. We’re like, let’s just make this simple so we can scale it better.

Anish Shah (00:21:20):
Okay. That makes sense. Thanks for that. Let’s jump into the next one. So yeah. What, what do you think is coming down the pipe in the next few years? How is everything that, that all three of you are working on going to, going to evolve and how are you able to kind of like separate the signal from the noise? Obviously there’s a lot of new tech that comes out. There’s a lot of new books that people come out with that let’s say that they have like a new approach to, to, to what, what everyone’s doing in terms of HR, people leadership, creating cultures. So how do you sort of wade through all of that, all of that noise and, you know, figure out what you want to do for the next few years and evolving and, and are there going to be new trends that have come up from either from new research or learnings or etc. that you found that you that are, that are kind of interesting?

Brittany Blumenthal (00:22:16):
That’s a good question. Go Maggie.

Maggie Duvall (00:22:21): I was going to say, I’m happy to chime in. I think like a few things come to mind you know, one thing that I think has changed in the field of people in HR that is, is certainly here to stay is like historically HR has been seen as like very much a softer skills department. And, and those skills are still very important, but like we have definitely evolved to like put more emphasis on like quantitative measures of the people function. And I think that 100% is here to stay, to be able to like quantitatively really help prove the value that, you know, you’re bringing to the organization. I think additionally, like and I, I know there were a ton of questions around this, this space that we’ll get to but like COVID and what it brought with remote, remote work and how you build cultures in a remote setting.

Maggie Duvall (00:23:13):
Like that’s a huge challenge that I think has yet to be solved by a lot of different companies. And so that’s something that’s like very much top, top of mind. And then last but not least you know, the emphasis and importance of diversity and inclusion, not only in who you’re bringing to the organization, but also, you know, who you are retaining and growing within the organization. I think that’s like a really important thing that is here to stay that a lot of companies are, are like digging into deeper and, and creating programs around. So those are the things that, that come to mind for me would be curious what Cassidy and Brittany think about those too.

Brittany Blumenthal (00:23:51):Yeah. I mean, I, I agree with all of those and I think if the last two years have taught us anything in this space, it’s that you have to be prepared for kind of the unknown. And so, so I know this isn’t totally the question, but the thing that I’ve, I’ve really realized over the last couple of years, as we’ve gone through all of this change in the people space, is that there are the, the kind of most critical thing that you can do as a people ops professional is create, is find a network of people. And the reason that I say that is we are there, aren’t really proven playbooks on how to handle DEI or what the right remote, remote working culture is for your team. But there are other people in the trenches every day who are also trying to figure this stuff out who have experimented who have failed, who have succeeded. And that’s been, that’s been kind of like my my approach to all of this stuff is really just trying to find other people who have gone through it similarly.

Brittany Blumenthal (00:24:43):
The, the other thing, and, and Maggie mentioned this a little bit, but the people analytics part is something that I’ve been leaning into the last couple of months really heavily, because I do think that that is going to be something that we continue to need to build and expand on. And I think we all know that measuring the, the people sentiment can be difficult. I think there are ways to do that, but there’s always a people element there. So I think that will be something that will all continue to, to try to figure out over the next few years, honestly, and you know, what can we measure? What is the most effective? What does that data tell us is going to be an important thing that we’re all trying to navigate, or I certainly am at least.

Cassidy Gonzalez (00:25:19):
On the second half of this question that’s around. How do you thoughtfully adapt? One thing that I always make sure to do is to put myself in my employee’s shoes, I’m sure we all do this, but there can be so much that we learn or read about, or this, try this, or try that, like I mentioned, the new leadership books or a new podcast saying this, and it, it’s exciting to just take this and say, oh, I want to go and implement this here at my company. But if you put yourself in your employee’s shoes, you don’t want to cause like this whiplash, you want to be a, a stable source for them. They’re relying on us as the people function to get through wherever we’re headed and whether that’s ups or downs or whatever, they’re relying on the people function to be the source of stability.

Cassidy Gonzalez (00:26:02):
And so I think it’s important that we should adapt. We should take what’s good and we should try new things and we should be flexible to implement what’s coming and, and, and be able to do that. But in a way that we’re not changing course every two days or whatever it may be like, just remembering that employee perspective and make sure that we’re really being very thoughtful before we go and implement something. And so sometimes that is saying like the, with the COVID stuff. And maybe like, we don’t know the answer yet. We’re going to work through this. And we don’t want to take action yet of having that transparency where it could be actually, we need to take this action, but maybe let’s just, because we heard an article that someone else did a different, we don’t need hurry, switch over to what they’re doing. Let’s really be thoughtful to make sure that we’re not causing this instability with our employees when they’re relying us for that. But again, to be open about it, because I do think that as we evolve, we will all learn and grow and, and like Brittany said, rely on your network to see what is working for people and to be brave enough to try new things to your company, but just be very thoughtful about it. So again, we’re not creating an unstable environment.

Anish Shah (00:27:09):
Thanks for that.

Brittany Blumenthal (00:27:10):
Yeah. Good time to do another values check too, when you’re implementing new things. Like what’s, why am I trying to implement this? What is this trying to, what is this going to do for us? Is this aligned with the culture that we have here are the values that we say, the things that we say that we care about? I feel like you can always gut check it to those things.

Cassidy Gonzalez (00:27:27):
Absolutely.

Anish Shah (00:27:29):
Yeah. Okay. That makes a lot of sense. And it sounds like a lot of the, the future of, of, and the evolution of people, leadership of, of what a lot of you’re mentioning is, is being a lot more data driven. And it’ll turn onto a little bit more of a science as it, as it kind of continues onward. Are there certain metrics that you’ve sort of been tracking within your organization to sort of test the health of, of culture and maybe even test the health of, of new efforts that you’ve been trying to understand? Okay. Was this, was this the right effort? Should we pull it back? Anything like that?

Brittany Blumenthal (00:28:06):
Yeah, so I, I think data tells a story is, is kind of what I’ll say to that. Like we do track different things, but we always try to look for the story behind the data because I think it’s really easy to say, you know, we just, we just went through an engagement survey for example. And I know that’s one thing that people leaders use a lot, like how engaged are, is our team, but there’s just because your engagement score went from, you know, 80% positivity to 85% positivity. There’s a lot of other things that changed on the back end of that score that you also have to take into consideration. You know, you think about this like six month honeymoon period of most, most of the time people are going to give only positive feedback in that first six months. After that they’re, they’re likely to drop off.

Brittany Blumenthal (00:28:45):
So on the same, in the same way, if you just onboarded a hundred people and then your growth slows down and your engagement score goes from 85 to 80, it’s not necessarily, you know, you have to look at at all the things that go into that. And I think that’s the real challenge with the people space. We’ve even like we track, you know, time to fill time to close. And those are important things at growing organizations as I’m sure Maggie and Cassidy both know. But there’s a story there too, you know, there’s a different, we’re in a different market now. We were hiring a certain, we were hiring 10 of the same positions and that kind of like skewed our numbers from the, the quarter prior to this quarter. So it’s always like, I, there are things that we’re measuring, but I’m, that’s what I feel like I haven’t figured out yet is how do you, how do you use that information when it is a people driven space? And you’re dealing with humans and not computers.

Cassidy Gonzalez (00:29:34):
Okay. One thing we’ve done at Pura. So we focus. I mean, there’s a lot of quantitative metrics that Brittany just mentioned, but a lot of the people data is also can be the qualitative data. So we have gone through every single of our employees and done what we call a stay interview. I’m sure that other companies have done this as well. But instead of an exit interview, like instead of you’re on the way out the door, and I want to know how your experience is we do a stay interview and ask how that experience is going so that every individual has that one on one meeting to be able to voice how they’re feeling and how they’re engaged and actually really sort through that qualitative data to be able to see where maybe our gaps are that we can fix so that we’re not having our turnover go through the roof or anything like that.

Anish Shah (00:30:16):
That’s really interesting. So a stay interview might be like once a year with someone or how best do you sort of think about the interval with

Cassidy Gonzalez (00:30:24):
That? So, yeah, right now we just did everyone this quarter and we plan to probably do it every six months actually to keep people keep, keep tabs on kind of where people are at.

Anish Shah (00:30:36):
That’s really helpful. Okay. I’ve never heard, I’ve actually never heard of a stay interview before, so that’s, that’s really great to take. Cool. Well, thanks for all that. I’ll jump to the next one. Yeah, I think a lot of, I think a lot of what, what all three of you had mentioning is how to keep a lot the, the broader base of your employees that are not executives engaged, excited, make sure they’re heard, but you know, what are providing value to, to executives within the organization? Is it a little bit of a different function is the way you do it a little bit different? Yeah. Would love to hear any sort of thoughts or anecdotes or feedback there.

Cassidy Gonzalez (00:31:17):
I’ll share one thing that I think is important just like I was mentioned before, when we have to have that transparency and really walk people through on the frontline that maybe don’t understand the finances that the execs are reviewing on the flip side, someone can do that for that executive team. You can go to your executive team and have to walk through maybe what a frontline employee is feeling. You’re almost a voice for for all of your employees to your executive team. And so making sure that that value is there, where you’re helping them be the eyes and ears within their business. So they can actually see where those holes are. So even like with us with these stay interviews that we’re doing, we are reporting back into our executive team. So they’re very much aware of what teams could use, some extra guidance or coaching or what teams could use some more knowledge around where we’re headed and why we’re doing it that way or whatever they need be. You’re almost that, that puzzle builder to put all the pieces together. And so that can be a, a good value for the execs. Is that just like you’re going to walk through at a certain level for your employees, you’re going to do that right back to your executives and make sure they understand what key pieces are fitting, where and how the big puzzle kind of comes together.

Anish Shah (00:32:24):
Okay. Thanks that yeah. Executives are not exempt from all the same processes of everyone else.

Brittany Blumenthal (00:32:32):
Yeah. And one thing that I do too, is I meet with all of our executives every month for an hour. And I’m a big fan of no not having one hour meetings. I think most things can be done in 45 minutes, but I do an hour with executives every month. And I, and, and the goal there is to stay really close to just what’s happening on their teams. I find a lot of times I, what, what I found to be most effective is coming with an agenda, asking them really specific questions who on your team is performing really well, who on your team needs help? As an example, and, and the agendas will switch every, or change up every month, but I’ll send them the agenda like 48 hours in advance so that they’re prepared for those conversations. And I find that I learn a lot about what’s going on with, within their teams that they’re thinking about, but they’re not thinking about at the at the level of vocalizing it.

Brittany Blumenthal (00:33:20):
And so it’s, it, it gives me an opportunity to be more of a strategic partner with them to figure that situation out, rather than have them come to me when it’s like a true HR problem in their minds, you know, like managers love to do this, like this person isn’t, isn’t doing well. I need to do something about it. And it’s like, well, what have you done about it to date? And the answer is usually nothing. So just getting on the inside of that and, and kind of like understanding where their mind’s at and how they’re thinking about their team and where they need more help. I think that kind of like helps us as people, people to build that trust with the executive team to make decisions, especially strategic ones when you need to, because they’ve seen you, you know, help them solve problems before on within their teams.

Anish Shah (00:34:08):
Yeah. That, that’s interesting. And it’s interesting when you bring up a point of when there’s an issue, but someone does not want to vocalize it, but you have to sort of like pry a little bit there too, to get that out of them. That’s kind of interesting. And do you, do you find that people, when you have those meetings, you are able to get to that a little bit quicker where, or previously someone would just wait til it’s almost blown up?

Brittany Blumenthal (00:34:31):
Yeah. And, and it’s funny. I, I, a lot of times see like little light bulbs go off in people’s heads. Like, oh, this is an issue, like, I should be talking about this sooner. Or even if it’s not an issue, you know, we’re working on training all of our managers right now on best practice around remote management. So last month I spent, you know, 10 minutes of those conversations saying like, what are you struggling with the most in managing your team remotely? And so being able to just like, kind of get some insight into what’s going on on those teams so that we can deliver training to managers that is actually going to be helpful based on what we’re hearing from the leadership team. You can use those in so many ways, but it really helps me structure my like prioritize my time and, and strategy in the month ahead to make sure that, you know, I, I basically view my role as, as making sure that the leadership team is operating at like full capacity. So what can I be doing to help make sure that that’s happening.

Anish Shah (00:35:25):
That’s really helpful.

Maggie Duvall (00:35:27):
Wanted additional, and say one additional point on this question specifically from a hiring angle and something that we have seen quite a bit at a company that is, is growing so rapidly is the value that recruiting can bring to executives as well as is hiring managers. And just like purely doing a very thorough scoping of a job before you post the job and, and, and start the recruiting process. And I, and I think something that oftentimes needs to be flushed out in that conversation is what is the skillset that you need today. But more importantly, what is the skillset you’re going to need a year from now? Because at the hyper growth companies that we’re all at, like the role as it exists today is going to be very different than the role in person you’re going to need a year from now. So helping the executives think through that, like forward looking plan to make sure that you’re hiring the person that’s going to scale with a company. And so I think that’s something that I’ve seen a ton of at like these hyper growth companies that like the recruiting function can really bring a ton of values to executives as well as even lower level hiring managers too.

Anish Shah (00:36:41):
That makes a lot of sense. Thanks for that. Cool. Let’s jump on the next question. Going back to the, that question of metrics you know, outside of just how well is the company doing as a whole, you know, if like, if you are sitting down with the executives once a month and talking about everything related to the team below them are there certain metrics that you also try to share with them in those meetings to say, Hey, by the way, here’s where you are on, on this particular kind of rubric here’s where you were the previous month. Yeah. What are some good, good metrics to, to potentially start tracking with people at various levels within your organization?

Brittany Blumenthal (00:37:26):
So I don’t know if anybody has this, we don’t have a dashboard where we’re like, you know, we haven’t built that out yet. We’re not, we should get there. It’s on the roadmap, but we’re not there yet. But usually I’ll go into those meetings with one metric because people just love metrics. So it’s either, this is how many positions you had available over the last quarter. This is how many we filled on time. This is, you know, the budget. We’ll talk about recruiting. One thing that I’ve been leaning into lately. And I, I just tried this and the last two of these, and I’m going to continue to do it, is trying to give them a sense of how much PTO their team is taking. I feel like that has become a, a kind of hot topic in the people space is like people work life balance, not, you know, being able to separate, especially when we’re all working remotely and from home people not taking time off. And that has been about, only had two conversations about that, but that has been eye opening for both of those leaders to, to just see that their teams are trending towards taking like a total of two weeks off in this year. We’re almost halfway through the year at this point. And, and so I think that’s sparking some good conversations with them, with their teams, which is hopefully appreciated you know, to get your leader to recommend that you take time off.

Anish Shah (00:38:34):
That’s interesting thanks for that.

Maggie Duvall (00:38:37):
One

Cassidy Gonzalez (00:38:38):
Go ahead.

Maggie Duvall (00:38:40):
Say one like recruiting specific metric that I think is actually reflective, like not only on the recruiting team, but also from like more, more broad, like leadership performance and effectiveness is like the accept rates of candidates for the company. Because I think this is reflective of how understood is the tops down vision and potential of the company. Like how is that being communicated to internally to hiring managers and recruiters, to be able to be explained to candidates? How is the marketing of the company and the future of the company, like how, how is, how is that going? And I think that actually is often a metric that is like directly tied to recruiting, but I would argue that that’s a metric that really should be owned by more than just the recruiting organization and is a reflection on like leadership as a whole.

Cassidy Gonzalez (00:39:41):
I love that. One thing I was going to share is that we use Gallups 12 engagement questions as our quarterly survey and those questions are, are pretty straightforward around, like, do you have the materials to do you work right? Are you do you have discussions about your career development? Have you done what you do best every day? Like things like that, but really we actually break it down as anonymous as we can with still getting enough data that we can determine which leaders are more effective than other leaders. So based off those scores, we can break it out and realize that, okay, our support team is all scoring very high in, in these three areas. So their leader might not need to work on this area. Whereas our product management team they’re scoring really high in these other areas. So we know that that leader needs to work on this area. And we have our business partners sit down each leader to show where they can be more effective amongst those 12 questions. So that’s just something that Pura does to be able to try to pinpoint the effectiveness across different leaders, because different orgs have different strengths and, and their weaknesses. So at point points to where we need to work on.

Anish Shah (00:40:41):
Okay,

Brittany Blumenthal (00:40:42):
We do something similar to that too. And you can see heat maps and we talk about it actually at the leadership level, we look at all of the results and all the different teams. And a lot of times that sparks some good conversation around like, oh, we’re trying this and maybe that’s driving these positive results and other managers or leaders can take those recommendations. But yeah, I agree with that. And people love to see that where they’re doing well.

Cassidy Gonzalez (00:41:04):
It’s as we dive in each quarter where we talk about, okay, go work on this the very next quarter, it’s all like gone way up. But then what was necessarily a strength last time is now a weakness because they always kind of tend to focus on certain areas. So it’s the balance of like, you gotta focus on all of them, not high scores in all rank. But yeah, they love knowing kind of how they’re ranking and where they can work on. So really having those metrics to provide them is a great tool.

Anish Shah (00:41:29):
Yeah. And, and if, if a team or a leader of a team is sort of noticing they’re a little bit low on some of those metrics you know, have you, have you noticed it being a good kind of like change tool so that they sort of build up a better culture for, for the folks who are reporting in?

Cassidy Gonzalez (00:41:44):
Absolutely. Yeah. Brittany S do this too, but when we call someone out on and it’s, those questions are pretty broad. So it’s actually cool to take the question to the team and say, Hey, your team is not feeling like they have the tools to do their work right. And the manager says, oh, that’s actually, because half of their computers are failing. They’re like let’s fix their computers and issue it. But because we brought a broad question, the manager helped us pinpoint the actual issue. So it’s, it’s been really cool to see all that happen.

Brittany Blumenthal (00:42:12):
Yeah. Our team is really competitive. And so it’s been, it’s been helpful and even like to get people to do the surveys, we’ll send it out to the leadership team and say, you know, the engineering team is at 90% and the you know, marketing team is at 80% and then the marketing, you know, leader will go back to their organization. So it’s like we just have a, a good kind of competitive nature. And so people really want to get those scores up.

Anish Shah (00:42:37):
That’s awesome. Hopefully the marketing leader in that scenario is not bribing their team to give them better scores, but all

Cassidy Gonzalez (00:42:44):
The data

Brittany Blumenthal (00:42:45):
All anonymous.

Anish Shah (00:42:48):
Cool. let’s jump on the next one. Yeah. How has, I mean, I, yeah. How has remote work in the move to remote work changed your culture and how have you sort of responded to that? Are there new functions that you’ve put in so that people feel a little more drawn to the overall culture, even if they’re not sitting in the same office you know, are you sort of doing more of the hybrid thing these days? I think everyone’s had to adjust with this probably has had a lot of anecdotes and learnings from that. So we’ll have any insights.

Brittany Blumenthal (00:43:26):
Yeah, I can start. So we are remote first company. So we have people globally everywhere. I would say the vast majority of our team works remotely. And I think a lot of this was, was determined, right when I joined. We were kind of in this big hiring push and we needed to figure out what is the best way that we’re going to be able to meet those goals. And we kind of leaned into knowing if we can hire people from anywhere we’re going to get there a lot faster. It’s also really helped with the diversity of our team. So I think ultimately for our company, it was, it was the right decision. I know that’s, every company has different expectations and, and measures of success and things like that, but that’s kind of what we leaned into.

Brittany Blumenthal (00:44:07):
And so we do have an office in New York. We have you know, at most like some of the, the most busy days in the office while like 12 or 13 people in there we have hosted some events and the New York office to try to get people engaged in wanting to come in, but we don’t spend a lot of time. Like I know some companies are like, we have to make Wednesdays the most exciting day of the week so that everybody wants to come in and everybody wants to work together and we haven’t really taken that approach. We’ve been, what we did is we tried to be really honest about when we rolled this out, we know that there are challenges that come with this. We know that communication is going to be difficult in a remote environment where we have people globally.

Brittany Blumenthal (00:44:45):
We know it’s going to be hard to create connections with your team in a way that you have the ability to do in an office that you no longer will or the majority of us no longer will. But ultimately we think the ability to recruit and to create a more diverse team all kind of outweigh the the challenges that we’re going to face. And basically what we did is we leaned into those things that we knew were going to be challenges over the course of this year and that those have been big focus areas for the company and for the people team. So we like standardized how we communicate. We’ve been really prescriptive about what a slack message is for, what an email is for what, when to hold a meeting when not to hold a meeting. We just worked on rolling out expectations around global collaboration.

Brittany Blumenthal (00:45:27):
So, you know, our team naturally is going to get emails and slack messages outside of their standard work hours. And so we were really explicit about if you need a response, then this is kind of how you frame that. And, and you’re just really clear about it. So you know, it’s working for us. I think there’s always going to be things that can be better. And I think it’s something we’re going to be working on for the foreseeable future probably forever. But but I think the team’s been happy with it and I think it’s been helping with us able to recruit as quickly as we have been able to. So yeah, we’re, we’re working on it, but I think happy with it right now.

Anish Shah (00:46:02):
It sounds like the pros outweigh the drawbacks for, for remote work for you thus far.

Maggie Duvall (00:46:08):
Yep.

Anish Shah (00:46:09):
Great. Maggie or Cassidy, any sort of learnings over the last few years in terms of remote and how are your sort of environment structured currently?

Maggie Duvall (00:46:24):
Thank you. You know, at, at Veho it’s interesting because by nature of our business, 40% of our teammate population, their job requires them to physically be located in our warehouses sorting and distributing packages into the cars of Veho’s driver partners. And so 40% of our workforce, consequently, like does have to physically show up to a location and then the other 60% are able to do their jobs remotely. And VHO really like took off during the pandemic. So for the 60% of the population that is able to work remote the company hasn’t known any, any different but it’s interesting as we are, you know, starting to kinda like transition, hopefully out, out of the pandemic or on the other side, the questions have started coming up, like what’s the long term vision and plan here?

Maggie Duvall (00:47:21):
And I think the things that we’re actively starting to think through and, and get like our overall like strategy and approach on is where are the locations where we want to commit to having physical real estate and, and allowing people the option to come in if they want. And why are we choosing those locations as well as, what is the, the budget in the resources given to each team leader to get their remote employees together on a regular cadence? And this is something that’s like very top of mind for me, because we had our first recruiting team get together just like a week ago. And you know, it’s, it’s a significant investment to do that on a regular cadence. And I think companies, like if they’re committed to the remote, remote like making some sort of investment to allow leaders to be able to do that for their teams, but there is like an honest, like monetary as well as time commitment and doing that well.

Cassidy Gonzalez (00:48:20):
It’s interesting to see all the differences of each company. Our company is actually majority is in office. We have a remote workforce probably about maybe 20% is remote. And so us being mostly in office, it’s been a challenge just like, as Brittany was mentioning the, the flip sides of what she’s done with. I like I’m getting the other ones, like it’s harder for us to hit our diversity and inclusion goals sometimes because we’re dealing with only our subset of people here locally. But it’s been fun to tackle those challenges and really think, okay, what is our strategy going to be to be able to relocate people so they can be in office? When that’s not a popular thing right now, it’s hard to convince employees to move when the, the norm right now is they can work remote. So to be able to bridge that and know, like, when is it good for this role to be in person in the office and have that camaraderie in that team building and that, that close connection to get things done.

Cassidy Gonzalez (00:49:13):
And when a role is completely okay to be remote. So we basically have to take it case by case and figure out, okay, this is a crucial role to be on site versus this is a crucial role that can happen elsewhere. And I think similar to Maggie, we have a few people that have to be on site due to the nature of their work. I mean, we’re building prototypes of our devices right here on site. So to have all the equipment and things they need, they have to be here such is an interesting dynamic to, to navigate when we have multiple people in multiple locations. But just like Brittany was saying, it’s important to communicate. Okay. How do we address slack messages? Like what’s the response time on slack and what are your out of office icons if you’re not available right then, or what are your typical meeting hours? So we just went through and set all those structures up and, and made sure that okay, meetings should happen during these hours so that everyone can attend or meetings should not occur on these days. Like we just implemented that no meetings on Fridays. So we could help people kind of navigate that work as not only here in-person, but also remote wherever they may be.

Anish Shah (00:50:14):
That’s really interesting. Thanks for that. And yeah, it’s interesting from our end, obviously we, we interview a lot of executives who are geographically dispersed and a majority say they’re particularly looking for remote first roles. However, we’re getting more and more people who are getting a little sick of it and, you know, want to be in an office. I’ll say it’s from a, from a numbers perspective, way smaller than people who are looking for remote, but also living in New York, New York is such a, like, start off your career in New York city, have all your, these like happy hour friends. It’s, it’s such a great, great city for someone to like start off the early portion of their career and, and have this fun kind of like after work culture. And I think that’s something that a lot of people were starting off their career, particularly the ones who were moving to New York for that, you know, really look forward to.

Anish Shah (00:51:05):
And I think want, want a little bit more of that to some of those cultures who are able to nurture that locally. I, I think can be, can be pretty fun for some folks. So we’ll see. I, I’m very curious to see if over the next six to 12 months more and more candidates raise their hand and say this remote thing was great, but I actually like sitting with my coworkers and I want to be able to, you know, go and grab lunch with them and, and do basic kind of like in person, things like that. And what, whether hybrid is good is good enough for that to be able to like go in once a week and occasionally see some folks or something a little bit more deep. Are there any virtual kind of culture building things that, that have been helpful or you know, zoom happy hours aren’t necessarily cutting it.

Brittany Blumenthal (00:51:50):
Yeah, I think they’re not cutting it. And I will say just, just to piggyback off of that, like we, yes, we, we implemented this remote first thing and I think it was successful for us. We do have people during like the offer stage that ask a lot of questions about the office. Do people go into the office? Well, and, and we are in New York. So we, you know, especially when we have candidates in New York, a lot of times they want an office in a different way than other geographical locations do. You know? Like, I certainly don’t have space in my New York city apartment to have an office. And I don’t think a lot of people do. So, so we are trying to navigate that and like, we, we’re in the process of getting a new office actually to accommodate some of that.

Maggie Duvall (00:52:26):
So we just have like a little bit of a better space that people hopefully want to utilize. But so, yeah, that is a challenge. But we’re working on it. In terms of remote events. So if anybody has figured this out, I would love to you to write a book on it because like appealing to everyone for a remote event is what I’ve realized is not possible. So I’ve stopped trying to do that. and so we’re, we’re still having them, but they’re very much focused in kind of like smaller group settings. Like first of all, nobody wants to be on a virtual happy hour, really any virtual event with a hundred people. You’re never going to get a word in, like it that’s just not good team building. So we’ve been thinking we’ve been, we’ve created slack channels that are more kind of interest based.

Brittany Blumenthal (00:53:14):
And then we’ve been creating events within those interests so that people can choose to come to things as they, as they wish, and as it’s, you know, kind of re relatable to them. But the other thing that I would say that we’ve leaned into that has been pretty successful is asking other people in the company, you know, you, you always have those people who are just kind of like your culture adds. Like they come to everything they’re like really excited about the culture and they are just like good participants. We’ve had them schedule, create some events and given them kind of a small budget to do it. And a lot of times when it’s coming from internal and not from the people team, I feel like they’re, they’re more well attended or there’s some sort of like, you know, the sales team is putting this on.

Brittany Blumenthal (00:53:51):
And so everybody on the sales team wants to be there to support the sales team. So that’s what I would recommend if you’re kind of hitting a a rut and virtual events. And then the one last thing actually I’ll add to that is we’ve done a variety of different things, both like in-house led events and then external vendors. And they’ve both kind of been like, we’ve had really good our culture we’ve had, again, we’re really competitive we’ve we had a really good turnout to a trivia event that we did. And then we were able to do like one session of it, one part of it that was Block trivia. So people kind of like showed up and really wanted to show their Block knowledge. And, but a lot of the, be most successful ones have been the things that people put on that were like built internally and cost no money.

Brittany Blumenthal (00:54:37):
We did one that was, that was kind of like a work from home cribs where everybody submitted a picture of their at home setup. And then people had to guess what it was, and it got like people got so into it because most people see the behind version of your home office, but not the like actual desk that you work out of. And people just got such a kick out of that. And it was free. So it, it just, it just depends. You kind of have to like play around with it and see what works, but I don’t think, I don’t think it’s one of those things you have to drop a bunch of money on to try to fix either.

Anish Shah (00:55:10):
Yeah, I like that. Yeah. I, I think people on our team have gotten really good at creating terrific games. But we have very different, you know, functions considering we’re 16 people and some of you’re approaching a thousand, so yeah, a little bit different.

Maggie Duvall (00:55:25):
I definitely agree with Brittany’s point around it is like everyone’s responsibility and, and they’re like much more successful when you bring others into the ownership of facilitating the events. You know, have, it’s not company wide, but someone brought this to our team and we’re so thankful that she did, but, you know, someone took on the responsibility of, you know, doing a, get to know your teammate post every other week, where, you know, you do a quick fun fact survey and then you post the, the answers to those. And everyone kind of gets to know that, that employee a little bit more and, or you know, our biweekly team meeting is hosted by another member of the team every single week. And at the end they do like a fun session. That’s like a five minute session. And I think everyone is, is generally more like excited to go to see what that person will choose to do. As well as like super respectful and like engaged to be respectful of the person who is like owning and presenting it that, that time. So I just think like crowdsourcing it and getting others involved is, is a really, really great point that I agree with.

Anish Shah (00:56:36):
I like that let everyone use their own unique creativity and knowledge of their own friends and teams that are, that they, they interact with daily to know what they might be interested in. Thanks. I think we have one last question that we can get to . We can skip, we can skip this one here. Yeah, we talked about remote tips quite a bit, and like are there any additional kind of tips that you’ve noticed have worked well for managers and all of you to, to kind of help manage remote teams?

Cassidy Gonzalez (00:57:12):
One thing that we made sure. All employees here, because we have majority in office, we really reinforced to not forget about the remote team members, because when we’re walking to the meeting, say we have a room booked and eight of the 10 of us are walking that room. No, one’s quite in there to turn the meeting on. So we have two employees now sitting in the remote work locations, wondering, is this meeting still happening? Are they late? Am I late? Like what’s going on kind of in the state of confusion, when really there was just this group that started talking kind of not about the meeting itself, but we’re just kind of in this environment and everyone’s together and chit-chatting, and having that quick meeting camaraderie beforehand and not realizing that these team members are so in the dark. So we were very, very cognizant to say, everyone, you need to be on time to meeting and start the meeting.

Cassidy Gonzalez (00:57:58):
First thing to make sure that no employee is just left in the dark. And even for people that work from home and like every once in a while, like I come to the office four days a week and work one day at home, it’s the same for them. They’re now in the dark. They’re not getting this like what’s happening. So just one thing to be really effective for managers too, is to make sure that they are enforcing out their teams as well, so that no one is feeling just out in this remote realm, that’s not there. And then also to make sure that your managers that are managing remote teams are trained to do that. So I think that it was Brittany to mention that they’re doing trainings on remote teams. I don’t think we just expect that our people know how to do this. So, especially as it’s become more and more normal, there’s a lot more research and really give that training to them so they can have the tools they need to, and they’re not just left to their own devices to make it work.

Brittany Blumenthal (00:58:47):
Yeah. And we created man, what we call management pods, which we’re taking those smaller groups through a bunch of different trainings on all the things that we said that we were going to prioritize this year. But we, we created a, a Slack channel and we every now and then we’ll pop in and be like, Hey, we have this situation. Has anybody dealt with this before? So I think like, ha like empowering your managers to, to build relationships with each other and kind of share their best practices as it relates to remote or share their challenges and like, let them kind of solve it themselves. That kind of goes back to the same thing I was saying earlier about like networking with other people, ops professionals, but like having somebody that you can go to and be like, Hey, I’m dealing with this situation. Like, how are have who’s dealt with this before has been really beneficial for our team. Just like making sure that you create the space for that. And you kind of set that expectation that they should utilize each other’s experience because everybody has different experiences.

Anish Shah (00:59:36):
That’s a really great point. Well, thank you all three of you, Brittany, Cassidy, and Maggie this has been super helpful. I think we’ve gotten a lot of tips and tricks on remote work, all the crazy stuff happening with the recession, how to communicate with teams as you are growing to become hundreds and hundreds of employees and how to infuse a little bit of science and data into something that was historically thought of as not having a lot, as much to it. And thanks for staying an extra two minutes. And I think we’ll be ending the event now, but again, thanks so much to all three of you.

Maggie Duvall (01:00:13):
Thank you. Thanks having us.

Anish Shah (01:00:15):
Absolutely.

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