I currently work at Single Grain and serve in the role of Sr. Director, Talent. We are a digital marketing agency supporting clients in SEO, Paid Media, Paid Social, Content Marketing and CRO. I oversee the HR, Recruitment and Employee Experience Verticals.
Tell us about your team!
How big is it?
Our current team consists of 5 individuals: myself in the Sr. Director of Talent role, a Sr. Director of Operations, a Controller, a People Operations Manager and an Operations Manager. I directly supervise the People Operations Manager.
Where are your teammates located?
I’m based out of Richmond, VA and my teammates are in Los Angeles, CA, Dallas, TX, Kalamazoo, MI and Frederick, MD.
What does your team do? What are you responsible for?
My team supports our people + finance function. We support our people in their experience at Single Grain which starts at the recruitment phase, and continues through their life cycle at the agency. I am directly responsible for team support and leadership to 50 employees. This includes writing and iterating on all company policies and employee perks and benefits. I serve as our primary HR representative for all compliance and people issues and concerns. I oversee and manage our people budget which supports our people through remote events, programming, connectivity initiatives, company merchandise, off-sites, learning and development. Additionally, I am directly responsible for our talent acquisition and talent branding efforts which target recruiting new talent to the organization and externally sharing why we are a great place to work. Last, but not least I lead all growth and development efforts at the company ranging from measuring our eNPS quarter over quarter, performance management, compensation and leveling, and career paths for all of our people.
What are the components of a strong remote culture?
The components of a strong remote culture are trust, employee connectivity, and recognition. Trust, because people managers and company leaders have had to trust their people to continue to do the work they did without physical supervision. It’s important that trust be issued to your people to do the right thing by their role, their managers and their company. Employee connectivity is incredibly important to the success of a strong remote culture because employees still want to feel connected to their teams and their colleagues. Organizing opportunities for employees to connect with others keeps them engaged and keeps the workday light and fun. Lastly, I can't stress enough how much a thank you or shoutout goes a long way. Recognition keeps employees motivated and striving to do their best work.
Strong remote cultures are built on strong connections. Strong connections are built with Hailey.
How do you make sure your team is happy and engaged in their work?
We listen. Collecting feedback and allowing our employees to collectively participate in decisions that affect the employee experience are critical. We collect feedback and take action in the places that feel the most important to our employees. In Q3, 2021 our employees voiced how important Mental Health was to them. Our employees wanted to see us tackle Mental Health in a way that targeted all aspects of their well-being. We launched the first ever Mental Health Policy which gives all of our employees one three day weekend a month and we now offer EAP services an outlet for employees which gives them 24/7 access to online resources and unlimited phone consultations for stress, grief counseling, depression, and relationship conflicts (personal and professional).
We listen. Collecting feedback and allowing our employees to collectively participate in decisions that affect the employee experience are critical. We collect feedback and take action in the places that feel the most important to our employees.
What's your biggest challenge as a remote leader?
The biggest challenge as a remote leader is taking everyone's lived experience into account as we launch and iterate on programs, events, initiatives and even employee perks and benefits. No one employee is the same, and that causes challenges when you are trying to keep everyone motivated and engaged. We try our best to keep most happy, but I can’t help but feel like there may be employees who are still left out.
My Remote Manager Toolbox
Using technology as a way to continue conversations and get to know each other has been a lot of fun. We use a tool called Gatheround. Monthly themed social events have been a lot of fun. We try to do something relative to the month for example during October, we had a Murder Mystery Event, November we had a “Giving Thanks” initiative, for December we had a Holiday Party hosted by Tinycampfires.
We have used Gatheround since I have been here, and our people love it! Additionally, I have used Jackbox Games previously.
Yes, we do. At the leadership level, we start with what we are grateful for or one word to describe how we are feeling at the moment. At the team level, I enjoy starting meetings with fun icebreaker questions like: favorite childhood gift, or song to describe your life, first job, what did you want to be when you grew up, or fun facts.
Products & Tools
Currently, we use 15Five, Gatheround, Slack + Donut on Slack, and Tinypulse.
Resources for remote leaders
I love reading articles on Linkedin, Forbes, Techcrunch, and Medium. I’m also a part of the SHRM community to stay abreast of all compliance and legal regulations.
Make your company a great place to work
"Adding Hailey has been by far the lowest effort, highest impact thing we’ve done to bring our globally scattered team together!" - Mary Grace Reich