Epoch hosted a Happy Hour for leaders and innovators in the Employee Experience space to mix and mingle in Denver. The event featured a fireside chat where Jade Choy, Epoch's co-founder and CEO, had conversations with leaders and innovators in the employee experience and engagement space.
In case you missed it, here are some key learnings and takeaways from our Fireside Chat featuring Edin Golomb, Community, and Engagement at StockX! The theme of the discussion is Employee Centricity! View the full recording here. Scroll on for notes! 👇
Edin started out her career on a Sales Enablement team. She knew that she wanted to transition into a different space. At the time, the company Edin was at, created their first resource group which was “Women In Tech”. Edin joined and noticed trends among the women who joined. She kept putting time on the VP of Community’s calendar to discuss. After a few months of doing so, the VP of Community reached out to Edin to apply for a role that had opened up on her team to lead the volunteer program at the company. On that team, Edin oversaw employee communications, recognition, surveys, and volunteerism. This experience got her foot in the door of the Employee Engagement space!
Edin thinks there’s a misconception about what Employee Engagement is. Employee Engagement is much more than pizza parties and company swag. Her partner half-jokingly thinks she makes t-shirts for a living. Edin half-jokingly says she is the “fun aunt” of HR.
To Edin, Employee Engagement is a really special space. It’s about understanding where the culture is within a company and creating opportunities that meet people where they are now. At the same time, you also try to nudge them into a direction of where the company culture wants to go. What you celebrate, you recognize. Employee Engagement is about relationships and communications. It’s very strategic.
Are we trying to build relationships? Then maybe we should create cross-functional committees to reduce work siloes.
Are we trying to streamline communication? Maybe we need to look into and implement an intranet or get people to better utilize existing tools.
Edin is really proud of StockX’s program “Street Teams” which has exploded in popularity very quickly. Essentially, “Street Teams” are culture clubs. This goes back to acknowledging where the current culture is within StockX and how we can nudge it closer to where we want to be. Some fast facts:
These “Street Teams” help StockX to spot talent. It also made it easy for leaders to buy in. There are low hours off the floor so it doesn’t hit their metrics. In addition, there are embedded soft skill training such as teaching budgeting, collaboration, and communication. These trainings also help to spot talent. Leaders love the training and they have created a sense of autonomy and trust in an environment that didn’t have that before.
The Street Teams are also engagement champions. Whenever they have an event they want participation for, Edin and her team goes to the Street Teams to help promote the events. For example, StockX hosted Sneaker Week. They used their budgets for giveaways, food, etc. They also did themed shoe days every day of the week.
The basic infrastructure of the Street Teams is a central program with decentralized local empowerment. They get to own their experience and we trust them with a budget, and freedom to make decisions. The company benefits through being able to spot talent, strengthen its employment brand (connecting with Social), and it makes leaders feel good because they see people more engaged/having fun.
As often as possible, Edin suggests seeing if your programming can be employee-driven in some capacity. Employees are always more motivated to participate and be engaged when people they know are going.
You need to get used to not having full control and allow employees to have their own experience. Listen to employees and understand that culture is celebrated differently based on location. Street Teams in APAC have not taken off in the same way. The culture is a bit more hierarchical and leaders drive everything there. It requires a higher level of partnership with leaders to drive this program. And that's ok.
A problem can be low event turnout. They tackled this by offering a wider variety of events and expecting a lower turnout. They can’t have 800 people tuning in and out of events. The days of giant events and everyone participating is not realistic. People want more personalized events. The 80/20 rule feels applicable. In most events, only 20% of people are going to be actively engaged or care about the event.
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