Good People is a series where we take a peek into the lives of our team, and learn what makes us tick. Here we chat with Courtney, our Head of Talent & Capability, about onboarding new hires during a pandemic, what's in her toolkit, and how she has reimagined the workforce through COVID-19.
How has COVID-19 reshaped workplace culture?
While I see culture as always evolving, like many other businesses, we had to adapt very quickly. Suddenly, we were trading corridor catch-ups and face-to-face meetings, for many Google Meets and many more Slack messages. COVID-19 has changed the way we work in many ways, most of them practical.
Like everyone else, we’ve had to adjust to the new normal, and reimagine the purpose and meaning of work, knowing that everyone has different expectations. Everyone has a different opinion about the role that work should play in their lives.
Over the last 12 months, while we’ve spent a lot of time refining our core purpose and values to help us steer through uncertain territory, much of our attention has shifted towards the individual employee experience. For us, the most important thing is maintaining a happy, connected, and motivated workforce, albeit at a distance.
Tell us about hiring and onboarding during the pandemic.
Remote hiring and onboarding has taught us a lot. We had to reassess our onboarding program to make sure new starters joining Moula could get a true sense of company culture through virtual experiences.
Every six weeks, we run an induction day for new starters, which we reconfigured to be entirely remote. In the beginning, this required careful coordination and planning to prioritise important steps, and making sure all our facilitators were set up for success. From these inductions, new starters get a well-rounded picture of Moula, and also a better understanding of the interplay between company values and their role.
We also produced a really slick WFH onboarding pack in collaboration with our marketing team which we send to new starters prior to their first day, as a primer for what to expect.
While it was difficult to embrace a new way of doing interviews and inductions in short order, so long as we’re replicating our culture in the virtual world, the time and cost savings for both parties make it worth the effort.
How have you fostered a sense of culture or community, and reimagined the workforce, through COVID-19?
Tools such as Slack and Google Meet help us communicate effectively, and also go a long way in maintaining positive morale.
We still run our Monday morning town hall meetings, which see everyone gathering around virtually to hear news and developments across the business. Aris, our co-founder and CEO, kicks off the proceedings, giving an update on how the business is reinforcing its values and culture in the new working environment, before passing the mic (or, more appropriately, sharing the screen) to representatives from other teams. It’s always a jam-packed schedule, ranging from Aris talking about eating donuts to celebrate Victoria’s COVID-19 ‘donut days’ (we’re still waiting to see the proof), to senior leaders sharing plans for the next iteration of Moula Pay.
On Friday afternoons, we have our less formal wrap-up, where we retrospectively look back on the week that was over a beer or other beverage of choice. There’s always a fair share of shoutouts on Fridays, with our co-founder and COO, Watty, leading the charge. We take the Friday wrap-up as an opportunity to praise employees who’ve personified company values over the week, making our culture as visible as possible.
Before COVID-19, we had a ‘good news’ channel on Slack, however, we’ve since gone a couple of steps further to launch channels dedicated to improving wellbeing, creating open forums for insight and inspiration. Missing water cooler chats, teams also started scheduling regular online icebreaker activities, which tend to be a blend of learning and fun – naturally, Fridays also became the choice time slot for these sessions.
What collaborative tech or tools are helping unlock employee feedback while remote working?
Besides Slack and Google Meet, another key tool in our kit is Officevibe. We use Officevibe to send out weekly pulse surveys, helping us measure and track employee engagement on a continuous basis.
It also provides an opportunity for staff to provide feedback or ideas which has been really useful to ensure we’re supporting our teams the best we can while we’re all remote.
What surprised you most when you joined Moula?
How little I knew about the industry I was coming into. (And that it was even more awesome than I could’ve imagined.)
One last question: Can you tell us one unusual habit you have, or an absurd thing that you love?
Even numbers. The volume on any medium must be set to an even number.