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506 – Preparing for the Next Chapter featuring Zappos.com

Jun 18, 2020 | 00:00

00:00 00:00

Episode Description

There are many things on our minds as we think about the state of the workforce post COVID. Questions asked center around three key themes: re-entry, future of remote, and strategies to continue maximizing remote productivity. 

We have Hollie Delaney, Chief People Strategist at Zappos.com, to help answer those questions. With over 12 years of experience, Hollie is instrumental in providing Zappos.com as the best place to work for all employees. Also joining the conversation is Ron Lovett, a well-known people first entrepreneur, and Adam Weber, Emplify’s Chief People Officer. 

If there’s anything you want us to provide insights on please visit emplify.com/questions. 

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Episode Transcription

[00:00:03] Welcome back to Insights Emplify Original. I'm Nicole Maclean and bringing you insights to empower executives. H.R. professionals, managers and leaders of all kinds with the best in class information to help your employees achieve their true potential. 

[00:00:17] There are many things on our minds as we think about the state of the workforce. Post coded questions are being centered around key themes like reentry. Future of remote and strategies to continue maximizing remote productivity to lead us in this discussion. We have three experts who are excited to share with you all. First is Holly Delaney, the chief people strategist at Zappos dot com. Next is Ron Lovett, an entrepreneur who employed over fifteen hundred security guards across Canada, a venture which eventually sold at a twenty four x multiple. And finally, is our own Adam Weber amplifies Chief People officer who was recently named to Business Insider's list of rising stars in H.R.. We're going to start the conversation thinking about reentry, specifically going into the tactical aspects of implementing employee feedback. What are they and what aren't we thinking about that we should be? Adam kicks us off by sharing his thoughts. 

[00:01:17] I think for us, feedback is the foundation of our decision making from our employees, and I think both Ron and Holly said it really well. I mean, when it's the very, very first thing they're both saying, right. It really it really shows that as a leader right now, I'm not sure there's anything more dangerous than making a decision in a vacuum. 

[00:01:33] And I also think it's dangerous, too. Like you said, make decisions at the top and the bottom of the spectrum, the loudest voices that middle majority understanding what what is the common voice of our people? So that I can make an informed decision I think is really important. It's questions like some and many call every every business is different, too. I think that's the other thing you've been showing up. We all have our own work. We've gathered our own feedback from our teams. Your feedback from your team might be different. Do they miss the office culture? Was the office more about camaraderie with that? White people were showing up with those accidental interactions that they're missing. Was it those long innovation sessions? Do they just love not being in the office period? Has it released them from a feeling of toxicity that was that existed? So I think the benefit of the feedback is ammunition. It is it is context to help you make the best, wisest decisions. 

[00:02:30] You know, my comment on that is I once spoke to a very intelligent female about change management that was Forese, wonderful, unforeseen, but that was Holly. I hope I'm still what you're going to say. 

[00:02:42] Something Holly said just nailed me. And it was a both. 

[00:02:48] It was what change management, which is relevant right now. And the premise of the story was that choosing. Look, before I implement change with my team and those who surround me, I talk about what I'm concerned with first before I ask for your feedback. Let me tell you what's keeping me up at night about this situation. And I really took that to heart, not just 10000 people, but in micro situations. So everybody. And even though my feedback was I need to make sure I don't move too fast and, you know, really slow down to talk with the group, because that that is what worries me about how we're reentering here and making people comfortable to go. White House run has concerns as well. And so. 

[00:03:30] Thank you. When I when this came about and it was like everybody needs work or home right now, I was not a person that ever worked from home and I'm like, I'm not going to be able to work from home. This is terrible. I I'm at home and that's my sacred home space. And I don't I don't want to work from home. My like going to the office and being away. I'm not going be able to concentrate. My husband's going to need things. My son is going to need things. There's too many distractions. I thought I was going to be the most horrible thing in the world. And I got home and I have absolutely love working from home. It was the complete opposite of what I thought would happen, which goes back to something that I remind myself of all the time is I'm always a person that's trying to predict what's happening, like how things are going to happen. And I get taught over and over again that I have no idea. I can't predict that. I can't predict the future. I don't know what's going to happen. The only thing I can do is share my feelings so people people feel comfortable that they're not alone. That even even people making decisions have questions. They're people, too. And they have the same concerns. And then talk about working on it together. And some of the things that we heard from our surveys is this hybrid model. So we've been thinking about what is a hybrid model looks like. And one of the things we've been thinking is what if we distributed the cost of an actual building and all of the expenses that come along with having a campus to the different circles within our organization. And then those circles decide how they want to gather. Do they want to come back, you know, on campus? And they could use that money to pay rent on campus or they could rent some other space if they want to do that. Or they could use that money to invest in the work that they're working on and then meet at houses or stay working from home. So really giving many more options of what being together and gathering and going to a workplace means versus a workplace is just our campus. And so that's kind of where we are right now in trying to think through what is what is a workplace in the new normal and how we support a hybrid model that give people what they need to be able to make it through these difficult times in the places that they come forward. 

[00:05:52] So one day you said that I'm interested in the like I'm just reflecting on is like when this first happened compared to today, how different employees feel right now about working from home. Many of us entered into like we were in one world view where we like loved the office environment or we're just used to the office environment. It was it was safe and comfortable. Like I remember that very first week I was listening to this podcast of a psychologist and she said, watch yourself over the next 30 days, you will be stunned by the neuroplasticity of what how quickly your brain can create a new normal. And we are starting to enter into this season. More people, I think, are thinking about what new normal looks like, an employees who originally were like, oh, I never want this. I was doing a one on one with one of our employees this week. And she was like initially I was just like terrified of working from home. And she's like, I like it. I go on hikes every day for 30 minutes at lunch and and I'm used to it and I'm amazed how much more productive I am. And I didn't realize how often I was distracted and I didn't realize how much I actually love doing work like the like actually producing the work that I get to produce. And so it is I do think it's in every organization different. But what's happened after the first 30 days, I think has been kind of surprising how quickly people have been more willing to say actually, maybe the old the old way is what I'm trying to go back to Veronica. 

[00:07:11] And I think if you have any thoughts, their best practices about communicating all of this to employees and not only the executive, your employee, but ensuring that managers feel equipped to help each employee, that is going to have a different feeling about decisions being made. 

[00:07:26] I think we covered some of this, which is just giving space for people to to bring up their concerns. 

[00:07:33] And, you know, I'm not going to give you the five things email or do all these things. I think it's more about, you know, because cultures are being tested. I want to see cultures. You know, you look at that Pat Lynch, you only five dysfunctions of the team. And the first is, is trust. Not that I trust that Adam is going to steal my wallet, but it's do I trust that I can be open about my concerns with that and that that's a safe place for me to be. And so we need to make sure I'm just going to stick there, that the organization, the culture and the communication lines and the individuals feel safe, that they can talk about that. And by the way, we feel that as leaders to bring it up. I think that let's not make assumption. Oh, this is a safe place. You should build say what you want. I think some of us will make that mistake and we owe it to individuals because, you know, here's what we know. Here's what we don't know. Here's what we don't know that we don't know. That just kept getting bigger. 

[00:08:22] You saw that you you know, just to piggyback off that, because this is really if you think about pre Koven through our data, the number one issue, we. And all of America comes. Like the entire workforce was a rapidly growing workforce at the time with minimal unemployment. A lot of line level employees got promoted into first time management for the first time, had minimal soft skills development and training. And they started wreaking havoc on the organization. They started managing people in ways how they thought they want to be managed, but not how their team needed manage. And really, at the root of that is, you know, and I mean, we have the data backs this up, but it's that the psychological safety that you're talking about, it's that two way relationship. And then immediately you add this remote component and that trust is fundamentally broken. So now we try to get into a new era. So how do we gather effective feedback, that feedback that's so critical when we have. We're in so, you know, in environments where there are a lot of people on this webinar who are in environments like that, where there is toxicity that hasn't been resolved between just that employee to manager relationship. And so I think by solving that, I think that's one I think that's one thing is just kind of naming that the other. Nicole, to go back to your question, though, that I was thinking that as a leader, like, how do you commute, like communicate back to your team to one of the things I think is by peeling back the curtain on your decision making. Like the example that Ron said about Holly, that's really the key I've found. Employees are usually very resilient to follow along or to be like, I understand if you give them context, what doesn't work is saying here is my decision, period. What does work is. I've taken your input. I've taken the input of this this research. And so here's where I am. And here's, you know, here's how I'm thinking about the situation. And you'll see some surprising flexibility if you just show transparency and authenticity around some of these pretty critical things. Some of the decisions we make over the next couple of months really will dictate what it feels like to be an employee of the companies we work at. Right where we're kind of there's a lot of wiggle right now where we're in kind of the interim season. But we are going to enter into a new normal. And people will be making employment decisions and the new normal about where where they call home and what they're willing to call home. 

[00:10:37] And I think honesty is a huge is a huge piece of any communication in pure transparency and honesty. So, like, when this first happened, I think every business question, what's going to happen to our business? Like what? What is going to happen if everything's shut down and nobody's making any money? How are you going to buy? How are you going to buy luxury shoes and sunglasses? What does that mean for us? Right. And I think a lot of businesses had the same questions. And I know employees asked us, they knew, like, what's going to happen with this. And I spent a lot of my time talking to the employees that I work with directly about, listen, I don't know what's going to happen. Like, I think a lot of time managers or at leadership want to say everything's going to be OK. We got it. You don't have to worry about it. 

[00:11:23] I spent a lot of my time saying, listen, I don't know what's going to happen. What I do know is we are going to have to change. And so right now, we can work on what that change is and work on how we're going to show up. And think of new ways to do things right now and focus our energies on that. And we have a much better chance of survival if we do that than if we just sit here waiting for somebody else to come and say it's going to be OK. This is what's going to happen. And so I just very like I've been trying to play hate them with answers. I was just like, I don't know either. But I do know that if we just sit here and don't do anything, then, guy, you're right, none of us are going to have jobs because the company is going to die. Well, we need to do something. And I think that honesty piece and the transparency, peace and just being real and authentic is super important than any. 

[00:12:16] How are you thinking about coaching and development in a world where many employees are home, whether that's managers or line level or even executives? Any of you have thoughts on that high level? 

[00:12:26] You know, one thing we tried to do and it's been a roller coaster, and I think that because things have shifted so fast, when it started, I was nervous to make a decision that was one day away when half the day was lying through. I mean, it was unbelievable. And so, you know, originally we started off with our daily huddle being on Zoome. And we start with how are you feeling? We had done that before. But that was a really strong way for us to connect at a different level. We would start with trivia daily just to break the ice. Our daily handle went from twice a day. So daily huddle check in two. What was your priority? And then a check in at the end of the day. Every week we would check and see if that's still relevant. Do we still need these things? How are you feeling about that? Then sure enough, we dropped the secondary checking because it felt like micromanagement. So the flexibility is very important. You know, I think overall and I think when it comes to coaching, we just haven't changed our practices. All I have to go back to you for a sec, Coach, is OK. 

[00:13:23] Yes. 

[00:13:25] Holly's been so unbelievably influential. Even our culture here in the past and today and for the customers and so, you know, one thing that Holly said before, I used to actually have a cadence of coaching and we pivoted based on a conversation I had with Hollywood, said, look, you know, it's apples. 

[00:13:45] We essentially leave it up to the individual because individuals want to be coached, how they want to be coached. Some are looking through that weekly. Some just want to know that it's safe to come if they have an issue. So we've just checked in with individuals and kept the cadence that we had based on what they were looking for. 

[00:14:01] I think that's really important. It's one for me and for any manager I had as I grew through my career. It was really important to me that the manager understood me and how I worked and how I learned. So one of the things that I have always tried to do is what is that person need to be successful? And I have different people. I have that lead a one on one every week that need to talk through the stuff that they're doing. And they just want to talk about it because they answer all their own questions. I actually really do anything but sit there. But they they need that conversation to be able to talk through their thoughts and said that's what they want. They want to have that. I I talked to somebody. I ran through it. I'm now more confident today that for other people that don't want me anywhere near what they're doing and they just want they just want to go and they don't want to come see me until they hit a roadblock and they need advice on how to get around a roadblock. So for those people, I just make myself available to say, here's here's my number. Just calling or text me any time we can talk about, you know, we can talk about whatever it is. So I think from any any coaching in any training to I think it's important to remember that people don't learn in a one size fits all category. So a lot of times people like read this book. But if you're not somebody who learns from reading a book, what is the other media? You can have. Is there a video that explains like, is there a TED talk that explains? But because it that resonates more with somebody and they learn better? Or is there, you know, put together a book club type thing where you can talk about it and that's how people learn better stuff. I think it's important to remember people aren't one size fits all. So we have to think about everything all the way down to training, how to make sure we hit them in the place that they can learn the best, because that's either going to be the most productive. 

[00:15:56] And I'll add to that that this is also kind of opened up what I believe is more options. So in most environments, that coaching conversation was face to face. Now, let's move. Zoom, let's let's you know, in some cases I found that Zoom hasn't been as comfortable for people. They want to come back and meet face to face or they like to work or the phone is actually better for that. And so these are things I wouldn't have thought of before. I think we took for granted and it's actually added some other options to get closer to people and to provide a safe place to do those things. 

[00:16:30] Someone asked us, what is the best method to measure employee engagement? This normal? 

[00:16:36] Well, I'm slightly biased. A couple of your main the main tenants to stand on as one good, good engagement measurement. Shouldn't it be about satisfaction? Like, is the person going to quit or they're going to recommend their friend, but rather. Are we measuring the intrinsic motivation of our team? Are we getting people to show up and bring their best selves to work every day? And if we are not, what things are we doing as a leadership team that is blocking them for bringing their best? The second is, are we measuring in a way that is frequent? So there's like a rhythm to it. Do we have continual feedback loops? Not. Do we ask on occasion. Do we have continual feedback loops? That is one way you create safety, by the way. By asking at the same frequency with regularity, you can create safety. Does it overburden the H.R. team? There are H.R. teams right now that or people ops teams that are stressed and have a lot of work to do and good engagement measurement with a partner should lead to clarity, not clutter. Right. So we want to make sure that it actually gives priority on where do I focus even back to that question on coaching relationships. Good data should point you in the direction of what people need extra help or what priority initiatives need to rise to the top. And then and then I think the last is a partnership of just someone else, an outsider who is not so close to it. Right. Because when you have someone who can just say the truth, which is what you're really what good measure meant, what you're really after, this is very different than kind of that we're trying to win an award. We're trying to get in the news. Those are all super helpful for Brand. But there's this other side of it, which is just like leadership teams need to hear the truth. And when leadership teams hear the truth, they can unlock the entire company to really do exceptional things. So that's my quick as my quick riff on that. 

[00:18:17] I think that also transitions to another question we had Polly and Ron, if you want to jump in on this. But if someone was asking about how to engage in employee engagement in this new season, and I think what Adam said about satisfying. Versus engagement has become so clear now because the things that people used to call engagement like kegerator and ping pong tables and snap and happy hours and things that required the office so that the part has literally fallen away and are probably not. Coming back to your point about social spaces to not look the same, even when we do go back. He's kind of false engagement. Drivers are gone and we're left with the core of what engagement should have always said. And I think that's rising to the top. But Kirya, you know, on the measurement side and just how you are thinking about engagement, what are your thoughts on the strategies you're looking for in a normal? 

[00:19:11] So we're actually taking a a different look on this. 

[00:19:15] So we've spent it's something we've wanted to do for a while, but we've spent the last finally got tech resources to help us and have spent the last couple of years building out an actual platform that we call engaged. And the idea behind the platform is that it's a it's a platform where people can go to do all the things that a lot of different platforms do on their own. We've brought them together so they can connect. We focus a lot on peer to peer recognition, so now they can recognize their peers from a digital side. And we have our wishes program, a coworker bonus program. But the biggest piece that I think is different is we created a marketplace. And what that does is we take the money that we spend on what we thought was what engaged people. And what we're going to do is we're going to distribute that to the employees in terms of internal currency and all it in terms of currency. You're going to be backed by real dollars. That's backed by the cost of all of those things that we thought we were going to do and where you put that in the hands of the employees and then we're going to put up in the marketplace all the different things that are the things that we thought engaged people to see what they interact with and what they purchase to be the stuff that they want to do. And then that way we know what's not working. We know where to invest more in. So we know what people are really looking at and what they might. It gives employees a better understanding of what all the things are that are out there and they can vote with their actual dollars. And it also opens up opportunities for employees to get involved in the engagement side because they can open their own storefront. And then we're organized in circles. So there's circles in our company could earn actual money by the internal currency that's coming into their circle from the different things that they're participating in, from a culture and engagement standpoint. So we're kind of shifting and looking at it differently to really be blessed. Tell me what you want. And I know what's best for you versus here's a platform. The world is yours. 

[00:21:21] What do you actually work against smaller teams today? So less complexity. But if you read a nine lives about work from Marcus bucking it. But one thing that he shares in theirs is kind of this employee feedback. They did a bunch of research on ADP and still do forms of AMPAS net promoter scores internally. But I liked what he said as far as getting the feedback. 

[00:21:44] And maybe this is if you touch on this at home, but you look at a wrong scale, one to ten rate, how good of a communicator Nicole is. 

[00:21:53] And he's saying you're not objective. Raider's, you know, we project how we feel. We are. There's so much data. It's that that skews it versus, you know, a run of the scale one to 10. Do you feel safe when you speak to Nicole? Do you feel excited after meeting with Nicole? So I can rate my feelings? And I think at a time like this, we should be thinking about getting people when you get that type of feedback. Be very careful on how it's delivered and the what you're asking. Right, because you can get wrong data very quickly. Thought that was well said. And we really thought long and hard about that. We certainly know how we're feeling as individuals. And so I think we should be asking questions about how people are feel. 

[00:22:36] One other thing, just a little bit different way to think about also with what you were saying, like office was never about integrators or thing, you know, perks or whatever it may be. I really believe this situation fast forwarded all the science and learning that was already taking place by about 10 years in like engagement never was about those happy hours, office perks or even even pay and benefits if you're talking about what motivates a person. But too often, the office environment in the previous era was used as a command and control environment where we were dictating the success of our people based on when they showed up, when they left and how they how they looked while they were in the office. And I think what we're getting to now, it's more two fundamental things for an employee. One is, do I have absolute clarity on what my top priorities are like? Do I know truly what's expected of me? And when I. Those results, as it celebrated like that's one and the other is, am I motivated to do that? And I think it's very, very elemental. But it's amazing how sometimes the office environment clouds those two really elemental truths. I know it's most important for me and I'm motivated to do what's most important for me as a manager. I think a third component, when you man someone do do they have those two things? What can I do to create that environment and unblock anything that's blocking them from accomplishing those? 

[00:23:57] I'm going to take a kind of a 180 from the conversation we're having. Right. One of the questions that was submitted ahead of time was talking about how to properly that candidate virtually. And they said that you're getting a good sense of who they are, whether or not they're a good fit for your company culture when you can't actually keep them in person. So, Adam, I know you have actually talked a little bit about this in your upcoming book about how to really get good culture fit. So then, Holly, I'm also interested for you guys. You have quite a number of employees and a lot of different functions. I'm assuming you have had to do a little bit of this already. 

[00:24:32] Yes. 

[00:24:32] So for us, we we entered the digital space from a recruiting standpoint a while ago when it comes to Skype interviews or resume interviews and things like that, because we have our recruiting process is very long and involved. And so we've for a long time tried to figure out ways to make it not quite as cumbersome. So we have started things that started different digital processes, more game like things that as people apply for jobs, actually we'll take them out of the process if some of the pieces there don't fit. And so we have some of that set up already. Plus, we do most of our initial screenings through Skype or or Zoome or one of those mediums. So we have probably two or three fold fate. You know, Zoome calls before they before they ever came on campus anyway. Makes use for us is when they get to that point on campus. What our recruiters tried to do the best is to make sure that if it's one or two people, they are already culture fits because we've taken them through the process and we know what those pieces are. 

[00:25:39] Do they align with our values? Do they understand what our values are? 

[00:25:42] Do they know who we are as a company through the calls that we have or the processes that we have? So when they get to the Face-To-Face interviews, it's just basically like which one feels better signal. That's the face to defaces is for like the do they feel like, you know, it's a fit? Do they feel like it's the right person that works? Probably about 70 percent of the time. Obviously it's not 100 percent, but it works 70 percent of the time. 

[00:26:08] We haven't hired a ton of people since this switch happened. So we haven't had the really we haven't had the hurdle yet of what is what is that Face-To-Face situation look like? Because we were we weren't really bringing in folks during the time that we moved home remotely. We are just starting to to start those interviews and that process. And so right now, we're we're going to see if the digital system can work all the way through. 

[00:26:42] Can you sit through a full day of interviews? 

[00:26:44] Because that's basically what our our face to face interviews are as a full day of interviews with multiple different people in the company, including a life, including a happy hour, including all that stuff. Does that stuff translate into an on screen relationship? And is that something that can happen that actually get us what we need? Now we do our own happy hours on screen. We're still doing that type of stuff. We still do team buildings on screen. We still do lunches together, you know, on screen and everything else said that's working from a team building aspect for teams that are already in play. 

[00:27:19] But, you know, I think the next couple months are going to tell us if that actually works for a recruiting environment. So we're we're in the middle of testing what that looks like. 

[00:27:28] But if someone specially right now has to do a virtual or video interview and they have technical difficulties and they either can't make it or whatever it does that influence your impression of them as an employee? 

[00:27:42] I mean, for us. No, it doesn't. I think everybody understands the complicated it will be. I'm like board meeting calls and people's Wi-Fi will go out or they're giving feedback or they pop in and out and they cut out when they're talking. And so there's a lot of different things that we understand what happens. And for us, in any situations, it's more about the resiliency of are you going to work through all of that stuff and make it happen? Or did you just give up? I think that's more of the peace. That would be a deciding factor on our side. 

[00:28:19] I do feel like where there's opportunity and that's like fully remote video based interviewing. Is bias where if you do quantitative scoring with. You're with your hiring and your reverse engineering questions that are getting DNA fit. I do think that it has potential. We're still very early in this. So I don't know. But to not know that face to face interview essential, you make your snap judgment, then you're just reconfirming your bias the whole time. I have to really work on that for myself. And I think it gives you some opportunity to create a little bit more like what is the substance, which is very reflective of this entire experience, like people who are remote. Now, what is the substance of your work? That is what I'm after. Not how, not how. You know, when we're sitting side by side, what that experience is like. But what is the substance of your work? What is the substance of your interview questions? And if we can't collaborate and ask questions and go back and forth over Zoom right now and I can't make it like that's what it's going to be like once you start, you know? So, I mean, I feel like that part is is pretty critical, you know. But, you know, still learning for sure. But I would I would think I'm optimistic that it's it's not going to be a big deal, that that it'll be relatively like we're getting so used to doing work remote and that now this is how we're building relationships. Nicole, you and I work together all the time. I haven't seen you in quite some time. Used to see every single day. 

[00:29:43] I now look forward to look forward to seeing you again. 

[00:29:46] Don't want to say that. I just about what we weren't. We've done a lot of really amazing things. And having never seen each other face to face over the last three months, you know. And so I do think you can do that same. I don't know why you couldn't hold your something that same standard with the interview process to couple comments on that. 

[00:30:02] We do that and we do screening and onboarding for our customers. 

[00:30:06] And we've been doing this for a long time. Our head of visits, Coleman, works in the Ukraine and he was hired during this tour, not during Kobe, but with this process. We didn't see it. And so we're certainly used to this. And a couple of things we do. One is we can ask killer questions. We learned this actually from Southwest Airlines. And killer questions are like, let's get this over with quickly, because we all know in the application process, can you legally work in this country? Do you have access to vehicle? Because you need. Whatever that is, we have we already have a questionnaire. We call it return ticket home. 

[00:30:42] And so in all of our business, we have these type of questions that are nonstarters for our culture, for our business, you know, for for Southwest Airlines. That question for front line baggage handlers are, are you open to working overtime because planes are late sometimes if you're not open to working overtime. It's over. It doesn't matter. So they add that to the question. So that's one. The other thing is, and we've been doing this for a long time, is there is a huge advantage, I'll say, to the data collection of free questions in some cases during an airline screening. And look, my my company, my other company called Be Living. And we do affordable communities with 400 units here in Halifax, Nova Scotia. And we're hiring accountants and we ask a pre entry question to get to the interview stage was almost like a case, say, look, we're having challenges collecting late rent. Here's the current situation. This is the lay of the land we Spoto. How would you solve this problem? And I can tell with thirty eight very smart people solve a problem that keep it. That's keeping ups us up at night today. And only four made it through to the interview. But we use that information. And so let's lean into this. You know, there are certainly ways to lean in. And the other thing we really push our clients is, you know, if you're developing online testing in a process, make sure that user experience go to design thinking what is the user experience that your call them a players, people who can't live without that, they they should sign up. I really enjoyed this. I love that journey. And so this is the right, you know, for people that that similar to me will probably enjoy this as well. So that you x experience in this format, I think is very, very important. So leading into that. Yeah. And we do we have done some hiring during this. And one thing that popped out. Holly, you know, Amanda, my assistant chief, we were trying to think how do we lean in to onboarding? Because we always have this social thing. And what we started do for last two hires that have been over the last, I guess, six weeks is during the onboarding. 

[00:32:46] We added this interview process where it was actually a man who led the charge, who did a 15 minute interview, and the entire team watched that interview. And I'll tell you, I was drinking a glass of wine on a Friday night. I just turned that around like I learned more about that person than I would have learned after, you know, social gatherings where I might have a 10 second conversation surface level. It was awesome. It was just we really lean into it. I think that did a good job of trying to, you know, examples is always target. It's just what how do you figure out how to embrace some of this thing and these changes and hold them closer? 

[00:33:26] The last question that someone asked. What is the biggest surprise for you personally or for your colleagues during this time, and how are you incorporating that into the future business strategy? And Ron, let you pick a topic? 

[00:33:40] I think just the first thought that comes to mind. Is that true? 

[00:33:46] Zoom or meat go good. It really is Broady quality back. You know, I took a lot of room up in a board room and this is kind of put everybody back on or two maybe for the first time a level playing field. And I think that's added a level of comfort in some organizations. But one thing that it's also done is in someone we have this Scale and culture podcast and a guy Will Scott talked about this. 

[00:34:09] I love this. 

[00:34:11] And we'd lean into this, too, is for the first time we can see behind the curtains. So I when people at home, you know, if Adam you're my boss, I was probably never at your home before. 

[00:34:22] But for the first time, I can meet your dog, your pet, your children, your your partner. Look at your you have a weird starwars collection that I think I read about, you know, so I could see that, you know, so you could really get to know someone and lean into that versus, you know, you couldn't see that before. 

[00:34:40] Right. And I think that you can learn more about people in this advantage than we could before. And so that that is something that I don't have the answer to how we continue to do that. We are thinking about it, but we certainly saw that's something new. 

[00:34:54] And Holly, for me. 

[00:34:57] When I was in the office, everything I was always ended up being involved in everything that was happening because I was sitting there, I was in a meeting or people meeting because they wanted. What do you think we should do it? This. What do you think we should do it that. And so a lot of my time was spent in that type of environment where as to when we shifted from a work from home environment, what I've seen across the organization as people have really owned their roles more. And because it's not it's not as easy to walk up to a desk or walk over to them and say, can I talk to you real quick? It's not as easy to do that. So people have stepped up in their roles a lot more and just owning their pieces, which help their learning and development. But it's also freed me up from those types of things so I can start working on different things that I've always wanted to work on, but I just haven't had time. So they sat on that list over here like one day I'll get to that. One day I'll get to that where now I get to do that step, which makes my work more exciting and more inviting. And so people, I think, are learning more because I love learning through actual experience. I get to start working on all of those things that I'm passionate about and excited to do versus being just an advisory meetings. And I think that's good for everybody. And that's a big piece that I really like about working. 

[00:36:20] Yeah, I love that. And I think it actually ties back to the question about professional development from Bonnie is that that in itself is allowing both employees and you to see your skill set. So I think that that's really cool. And I'll wrap this up here. 

[00:36:34] I think the thing I've learned is that all leaders, no matter what level they are in the business or feel like they feel uncertain and they don't know the answers. And I think one day I'm learning about myself is that you don't have to. If the answers aren't always on Google, like you like learning how to take inputs, then give myself space from the inputs in order to make wise decisions that I will feel confident stand behind. It's like being. I've been stretching away. I would never stretch prior to this experience. And it's really helped me grow, I think, as a person and gain my confidence in my own voice and in my own decision making through this really great lesson. 

[00:37:10] Thank you all for your perspective, your vulnerability, your honesty. It was a really great discussion. 

[00:37:20] Thank you so much for joining us this season, and hopefully you found a couple new perspectives and a few great ideas to implement at your company. We have an exciting series coming up in just the next couple of months. But in the meantime, please continue to join US Weekly for bite sized insights content. I also invite you to share with me your questions or challenges that your organization is discussing. We create better workplaces and do our best work when we all come together. You can e-mail me anytime at Niccolò at Amplify dot com or head to amplify dot com slash questions and let us know what's on your mind. 

[00:37:53] That's mpl i f why dot com slash questions.