Moneyhub, a UK-based financial management platform was doubling the size of its workforce from 20 to 40 employees when pandemic restrictions hit. Luckily, they were already well-equipped to start working remotely. They had already built in lots of flexibility for their team members to work from home, and they were using messaging apps like Slack, but their new hires found it difficult to get a feel for the company culture without face-to-face interaction.
Although it was a struggle to complete onboarding for so many new hires in such unprecedented times, they used the company culture app, LEAD.bot, to ease the remote onboarding transition. By matching employees for a virtual coffee, they managed to continue and even build on their organizational culture of friendliness and collaboration. By increasing communication – even just informal chats – between employees, they fostered a collaborative and open workplace culture.
We sat down with Iain Russell, Head of Performance Marketing of the company, to learn how they adapted so deftly and ask what is company culture to them. Plus, we got an insight into how they have effectively used the company culture app LEAD to improve their corporate culture.
A Cliente-First Culture, A Staff- First Culture
The company started when its founders were frustrated by how difficult it was to view and interact with their own financial data. When they started their business, they were determined to make banking and financing simpler for consumers.
Now, this IT service company takes a customer-centric approach to make banking easier for enterprises and consumers alike. Born from the frustration they first felt, the founders and CEO have baked the core values of trust, transparency, and a people-first mindset into their company culture. And the company’s goals and values have trickled down to the employee’s work environment.
For a company that puts its consumers first, it needed a company culture app that would also put their employees’ well-being first too.
The company’s mission statement describes its culture in three main pillars: agile, collaborative, and nurturing. By prioritizing kindness as well as efficiency, the company’s goals are oriented toward meeting customers’ needs while still valuing their staff’s time. This makes LEAD.bot a great choice of company culture app for this company – LEAD.bot is fully customizable, or agile, for whatever purpose they need, built to foster collaborative teamwork, and most importantly, made to make work a better place.
Bringing on New Hires in a New Normal
Due to its huge growth in 2019, the company made the decision to double its workforce in March of 2020. Unfortunately, it was just around the same time as shelter-in-place orders hit the United Kingdom.
Luckily – or rather, wisely – the company’s perks offered the flexibility to work at home pre-pandemic. But even if the established workers were already adjusting to working from home, the team didn’t want to let their new hires feel left behind.
Hearing about employee matching bots through the Slack grapevine, the company added LEAD.bot to their Slack workspace in April. Through LEAD.bot’s employee matching program, the company was able to introduce a virtual mentoring program to complement its virtual onboarding process.
They did this by having new hires and mentors join the same channel and inviting LEAD.bot into the channel as well. They then set LEAD.bot to pair off the members in the channel to meet for a virtual coffee. Because LEAD.bot prioritizes matching people who share the least channels in common, the new hires were able to talk to members of the company they might not otherwise get the chance to meet, especially online.
Iain said that LEAD has been a great substitute for a face-to-face lunch or other activities that new hires often participate in to get to know the workplace, and that the company culture app has greatly aided the onboarding process.
There were even some unexpected advantages to having new hires meet for coffee remotely, rather than in person. The one-on-one meeting structure allowed for new employees to create a more personal connection with their new coworkers. This was partly because the company kept its employee matching program informal. During these chats, team members talk about anything not-work related, like TV shows, video games, their hobbies, or any of their outside achievements. Even though the conversations weren’t related to work at all, the company saw an increase in employee engagement after using LEAD.bot.
What makes these virtual coffee chats so effective is that they are inherently intentional while also being casual. That is to say, team members are choosing to communicate and learn from each other instead of just bumping into each other in the hallways, but the conversations are just as casual and friendly as water cooler chats.
Any company can install the company culture app and set up a virtual coffee matching program – LEAD.bot is super easy to install. Click on LEAD.bot and click “add to Teams for free” or “add to Slack for free”, depending on which program you use. Then, just invite participants to the #coffee-matching channel that LEAD.bot automatically creates. LEAD.bot will then start sending out matches with icebreakers weekly, so you can start cultivating the desired culture for your organization. If you have any questions or need help setting it up, contact us at LEAD.bot – we’ll get back to you within 24 hours.
MoneyHub started by inviting all of their employees to a #coffee-and-chat channel, setting up LEAD.bot to send out invitations for virtual meetings every two weeks. What started as an experimental program turned into a huge hit among team members. A majority of their company – nearly 90% of their employees – continue to participate in these biweekly matches.
Iain noted that LEAD.bot’s benefits extended beyond their adapted onboarding process and led to greater connections between even long-standing employees. He noted that there was a bit of a culture change in the company for the better because people were more open to talking to others.
“Even for myself, it gave me the opportunity to talk to people who, even if we weren’t in the office, I wouldn’t normally talk to,” he said. “It’s been really helpful to maintain and foster that culture that we want: being a friendly team and everyone understanding what we want to do and what we want to achieve”
It was such a huge hit, in fact, that the CEO even started to send out coffee, tea, and brownies to employees so that everyone could enjoy treats while taking a virtual coffee break. Bottom line, LEAD.bot helped the company seamlessly work in team-building programs into their everyday while increasing overall job satisfaction.
While the company was able to adapt to the pandemic’s new normal, they did have to put a pin in their plans to hire more people. In the meantime, they found that LEAD.bot was so effective for improving relations in their team that they use LEAD.bot beyond its initial purpose of virtual onboarding and mentorship process.
They noted that the company culture app had many more potential uses, such as hosting virtual happy hours, integrating it into training more formally, or using LEAD to match people within non-work channels, such as #yoga-lovers or #running-club.
Also, because LEAD.bot automatically collects information about who is matching with whom, the company is using those metrics to better understand how well their employees are connecting.
Iain mentioned how better relationships between employees have positive implications for employee retention and employee experience. “It reduces the churn (of employees) because it makes the company a great place to work,” he said.
For the company’s people-first approach, securing better connections in the workplace has been invaluable. To find out how your organization might benefit from an employee matching program or a company culture app, check us out at https://www.lead.app/. Build a strong company culture, foster greater collaboration, and get metrics for who is talking to whom in your workplace, all through LEAD.bot.