I work at Fullscript as the Director of Talent Strategy. We’re the leading platform for prescribing health products and just closed $240MIL USD in investment. So, we are in hyper growth mode which means my role currently involves talent acquisition strategy, budgeting/forecasting, talent mapping/mobility, employer branding, people analytics, and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) programming.
How big is it?
I lead a team of 5 people including 4 Talent Acquisitions Specialists and a Talent Acquisition Coordinator.
Where are your teammates located?
My team is located in Arizona, USA and Ontario, Canada. As you can imagine, the weather is always a hot topic.
What does your team do?
My team is focused on building world-class teams while ensuring a positive candidate experience is at the heart of everything we do. The Talent Acquisition Specialists are each dedicated to a specific client group (Technical, Creative, Operations) which enables them to fully embed themselves within these teams as a valued & strategic partner. They take on special projects as well, following a similar philosophy to “20% time” which has its roots in Engineering organizations.
Belonging - With less opportunity to really “get to know” your colleagues in organic situations remote employees can feel isolated or invisible. When employees feel a sense of belonging - safe & valued - they are happier and often more productive overall. By intentionally creating environments for socializing (aka virtual watercooler chats, trivia, teatime, virtual coffee) you are helping to foster that sense of belonging as people get to know each other. Not feeling like you belong, is widely held as a huge factor in employee turnover.
Alignment with vision - this is key to any strong culture whether remote or not. But this is especially important now as we are in an extremely competitive talent market - The Great Resignation, The Great Re-shuffling, whatever you want to call it. Employees have more choice than ever with multiple offers becoming the norm. As Leaders, we must communicate with our team on how their work has a direct impact on the business and how they are helping to push the company vision and mission forward. This can be through employee recognition - telling an employee exactly what they did well and why it mattered. The more aligned with the vision from all levels and valued employees feel, the happier and more productive they will be. As an added bonus, it is also a factor in reducing employee turnover.
Put simply, you can’t have a strong employee culture without happy and productive employees.
Strong remote cultures are built on strong connections.
Strong connections are built with Hailey.
I check in with them. I talk to them, ask the probing questions, and really listen to what they’re telling me. We have weekly 1:1s and some of my favorite questions to ask include:
I also ensure that when I have a new member joining the team, I ask the deeper get-to-know you questions so I can get a better sense of when someone might be disengaging or struggling. My favorite get-to-know you questions include:
Every Friday to close off the week we also share our Biggest Wins & Biggest Lessons in Slack. These can either be personal or professional - nothing is off limits. It’s super fun to celebrate and reflect as a team. Additionally, sharing lessons really normalizes that not everything goes as we intended but there is always a piece of knowledge we can glean and share from it.
By intentionally creating environments for socializing (aka virtual watercooler chats, trivia, teatime, virtual coffee) you are helping to foster that sense of belonging as people get to know each other. Not feeling like you belong, is widely held as a huge factor in employee turnover.
Social/Organic conversations. In a remote-world you don’t have those “bump into each other while grabbing a coffee” or sitting with each other at lunch moments. All interactions need to be intentional and it’s very easy to push aside “social” time when workloads are heavy. Especially in Recruitment - most of our days are filled with video interviews (so long phone calls) and meetings - the idea of adding more meetings is daunting. But the cost of no social time and “straight business 24/7” doesn’t enable your team to build deeper connections and feel like a cohesive unit either. Finding a balance that makes sense for your team is key. And the only way you’ll find the best cadence is by speaking with the team and trial & error.
We love a good virtual escape room and there are so many fun themes out there. We try to align things like closing off the quarter with an activity to celebrate.
We have also done virtual off-sites where we use psychometric assessments to better understand each other, ourselves, and how to best work together as a team. Our favorites to date include the Enneagram and Marcus Buckingham’s Strengths Finder. These take a bit of pre-work but are so worth it.
In a remote environment with tools like Slack or email, it’s easier for things to get taken out of context vs in-person. The more you understand your teammates, the less likely you are to take things out of tone or create conflict due to lack of contextual cues - the Enneagram in particular helped us better understand how we each process and present information.
Our favorite game at the moment is Skribbl.io - it’s free so your CFO will love it ;) The games can either be really short or you can set multiple rounds so it’s perfect for small or large groups.
We minimally use “icebreakers”.. When we do, they include the standard “what are you currently binging or streaming”” and “does pineapple belong on pizza?”
We are heavy Slack users. Whenever one of the Talent Acquisition Specialists puts through offer details to our TA Channel we go crazy with emojis and Gifs to celebrate. It could be someone for a 1 week temp contract or a C-Level position, doesn’t matter - the cheers, kudos, and enthusiasm from the team never wavers. Some of our favorite reaction emojis include 🔥 🎉 🙌
Fullscript has a weekly company-wide Townhall where everyone is kept in the loop on the current state of the business, how we’re tracking towards our key business objectives, and spotlights on key projects, teams, and initiatives. Clear and transparent communication from leadership ensures that employees are well informed and aligned with the vision. We use a tool called AllHands to run our Townhalls so people can interact/react/post questions in real-time throughout.
Having access to a Career Coach has been key to my development and growth as a Leader. Fullscript has a Leadership program (Leaderfull) built on the philosophy of authentic leadership, leading from within, and fostering psychological safety within their teams. Through this 8 month program I was given access to a Leadership Coach (external) who has been key to my development and growth as a Leader. Even if your company does not have a comprehensive Leadership Development program - I would highly recommend securing a Leadership coach or identifying a mentor within your industry to work through situations and challenges that will no doubt arise as you grow your skills.
I also recommend all Leaders go through some sort of Unconscious Bias training - there is so much available now through platforms like Linkedin Learning or Udemy. To grow as a Leader it is imperative to understand your own biases and long held beliefs and how they can impact your decision making and hiring decisions.
I’m also a huge advocate of lifelong learning which manifests itself in podcasts and books focused on personal development and growth. My favourite podcasts of the moment include: The Mindset Mentor by Rob Dial Jr and On Purpose with Jay Shetty. Book Recommendations include: The Moment of Life by Melinda Gates and Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek.
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