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3 Strategies For Building An Effective Team…

Every company wants to hire and retain the best employees, but there are a multitude of challenges along the way. While attending HR Transform in March, I was reminded by the Co-Founder & Executive Director, Samara Jaffe, that “HR is about driving business outcomes through people” and “people are the core building blocks of what makes a company successful.”

My role as a founder is to make sure that every single person I work with is connected to our mission and ready to work hard. Hearing from HR leaders at eBay, InVision, and Github, among other incredible companies, I discovered that it’s important to listen to employees, keep things as simple and streamlined as possible, and provide the necessary support to keep everyone engaged.

Lifestyle business concepts. Having a brainstorming discussion.

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1. Everyone’s human.

Diversity and inclusion are buzzwords across every industry and within every company. Many founders and HR professionals wonder how they can foster D+I, and in the process, spend a lot of money on programs and trainings hoping this will solve the problem.

What we’re forgetting, says eBay’s first Chief Diversity Officer, Damien Hooper-Campbell, is that we need to make space for people to be human and talk to each other. eBay’s internal “Courageous Conversation” series is an explicit decision to start conversations that people normally shy away from.

Hooper-Campbell reminds us that first and foremost people need to feel comfortable bringing their best selves to work. Without this first step, all diversity and inclusion efforts will fail.

2. Match people with purpose.

According to Courtney Brand, the CEO of The Lighthouse, over 70% of people feel disengaged at work. While this statistic points to an incredible problem, it doesn’t have to be that way. Brianna Borin, SVP of People Resources at Snooze, shared how aligning everyone with a larger purpose of sustainability ultimately made Snooze employees more engaged and inspired.

The first step is defining what purpose means in your company. Once you’ve concretely outlined it, you want to ensure that you’re discussing it in front of the company often. People should become followers of your purpose so that it infuses every aspect of their work. Sustainability is a key mission at Snooze, and in order to engage their employees, they created a “Green Captains” program that helps people live a sustainable life both in and outside of work. They found that this program helped improve employee retention when food service companies have a notorious time achieving this goal.

3. Support your distributed team.

As Tom Griffiths, CEO of Hone, reminds us: 63% of companies have some sort of distributed team. Yet at the same time, more than half of all companies do not have a concrete remote work policy or mission. It would be difficult to discuss the future of HR and work without talking about how founders and companies can create these policies and support remote workers.

When you’re hiring for a remote position, it’s important to determine whether or not the individual can work remotely. Not everyone enjoys being away from an office, and if you aren’t intentional about hiring people who can succeed on a distributed team, you’ll experience high turnover.

It’s inevitable that fully remote workers will experience some loneliness, but through deliberate communication, onboarding, and employee engagement programs, HR leaders can ensure that everyone remains motivated and connected.

Recruitment and employee retention are challenging, but as I was reminded at HR Transform, there are some basics we should always return to. When we recognize everyone’s humanity, support people where they are, and align employees with a greater purpose, we’re on our way to ensuring a more successful workplace for everyone.


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