Aircall: Thriving during a pandemic
HOW COVID CHANGED COMPANY CULTURE FOREVER
Aircall is an entirely cloud-based voice platform that integrates seamlessly with popular productivity and helpdesk tools. Here, we believe that voice is the most powerful way to communicate with customers, prospects, candidates, and colleagues. Our solution is designed with a lot of care, to enable delightful moments of human connection.The company has always had a strong company culture and it definitely faced a new challenge over the last year with the pandemic.
Along with the management team, Romain, who is the office manager at Aircall, had to think of unprecedented ways to keep their company culture alive and thriving in a hybrid work environment. And in order to tackle this challenge, he wanted to make sure that he truly addressed the needs of employees in this new setting and not try to replicate a physical environment in a virtual one. He knew from the start that it would not have worked- who needs yet another Zoom call, if it’s not engaging?
I would say that the core objectives of the job are the same, but how we accomplished them has, however, completely changed.
So Romain went back to the basics and he tried to determine what was key to the Aircall company culture. The first thing that really stood out was that employees were usually close to each other and knew one another well, which also enabled them to work better together. While this happened quite naturally in a physical office, employees were not as spontaneous or informal in a remote or hybrid setting. Onboarding new hires, keeping the team's moods light and cheerful? Way much harder now. Romain understood that the teams needed a more intentional approach to company culture and communication in this new environment.
We've put a lot of effort into structuring our remote and hybrid culture, to ensure that our positive, daily interactions and rituals were preserved at maximal capacity, within this new environment.
Romain enforced a plan to incentivize and encourage positivity in a virtual setting. One of the most important pillars of this approach is to emphasize the need for team interactions, and a constant reminder of belongingness. Romain ensured to make room, both in time and space, for bonding time into everyone’s calendar and to become more engaging in our interactions.
We know we can’t just drop by the coffee machine anymore to have a quick chat with our coworkers, so we now schedule the time to make sure we don’t lose these very important connections. This is the power of conversation to us.
BUILDING WITH JURNEE
As Aircall started to implement a solid strategy on team building and empowering the company’s culture, this initiative led to a first contact with Jurnee. It was ideal to provide employees with uplifting, entertaining and interactive activities to encourage and reward highly performing teams. The challenge was to do it virtually, when everyone was already battling Zoom fatigue.
In order to engage managers and employees to run these activities, Romain wanted to select partners that were innovative in their approach to virtual events. Adding a physical component to the team building such as shipping some materials ahead of time often offered a refreshing touch and enhanced the employee experience. The element of surprise also brought excitement and facilitated team bonding as everyone was trying to figure out what their activity would be.
It was great as well on a company level as people would discuss their different team building experience and already make requests for the next ones based on their friends' feedback. In some cases such as the terrarium workshop for example, employees were able to keep their own creation at home or in the office which furthermore anchors the experience in time.
I would say that the Terrarium Workshop was an incredible success and it’s great to see employees still engaging with one another, even now on how their plants are doing and giving each other tips!
And once Romain felt confident that the partners he chose would fulfill the culture objectives he had, he designed a process to make it as smooth as possible for managers to take full advantage of this initiative. This meant choosing a frequency (monthly, quarterly), a budget, making it easy for managers to be autonomous in their booking with partners and ensuring a smooth process with finance. And very importantly, over-communicating on the initiative to make sure teams took at heart to intentionally plan time together and strengthen their connection.
What’s next for company culture?
This crisis and its impact on the way we used to work and just be together questioned how companies needed to allocate resources, and how to do it in the most engaging way possible.
For Aircall, this means focusing on employees’ mental and physical health, pursuing efforts on diversity and inclusion, as well as developing even more flexibility in every day's work. Certainly, this requires maximum effort and trust on partners that understand and deliver effective tools. And of course, making sure their teams keep this feeling of belonging and unity in an increasingly hybrid world.
I’m confident our employees will keep engaging through a mix of smaller, local in-person activities in addition to global, virtual experiences.
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If you need a free consultation for your next team building, don't hesitate to contact us at [email protected] ✌️