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If you are a modern-day recruiter, there is no escaping the talks about working from home! More and more potential candidates tend to choose to work from home as a full-time selection. Here's a fun factoid to reinforce this, 82% of employees prefer working from home. Yes, remote working is the centre of talkative attention across boardrooms, office spaces, HRMS, water cooler conversations, and anything related to work. 

With remote working comes the concept of virtual interactions. In-person team meetings are something that's left out of the picture. As a human resource manager, 

  • How can you become a productive and remote-focusing recruitment leader? 
  • How can you keep your employee happy and engaged remotely? 
  • How to build a healthy and engaging remote-first culture?

If you have a similar interest in mind. Well, you are in the suitable space for today. 

In this post, Vinod, Vice President of Sales, Plum Insurance, speaks to Bhavya Arora, Talent and Culture Partner at Outplay, about the importance of building a thriving employee benefits culture for a remote working environment at Outplay. 

All about Outplay

Outplay is a US-based SaaS startup, and it was founded by two brother duos, Ram and Laxman, in 2018. It's a modern sales engagement platform. It uses the right mix of personalised multichannel outreach and automation to help organisations accelerate their revenue goals. Since its inception, Outplay has focused on a completely remote working methodology. Yes, you got that right. Outplay scaled their HR processes and culture, with all their employees working from home. 

Culture at Outplay

How did the HR team set up and scale Outplay's culture while working remotely? 

Starting small is good

Effective communication across a small team during the early phases of remote working can help teach a core set of principles right from the start. Being a close-knit workforce, new joiners can learn faster from their existing peers, despite a remote environment. 

Bhavya says, 'so we were pretty much like a small bunch of folks while working remotely initially. So it's a lot easier to set things up from scratch when you're a smaller group as compared to something bigger.'

More room for communication

Be it the first or the last impression, hearing out your employees is the stepping stone to resolving conflicts at the workplace. There are many instances where an employee may not feel comfortable talking to HR because of remote or limited interaction in the past. In such an instance, it is better to approach a peer or manager who is well versed in with the employee. 

A weekly cadence in the form of one-on-one will do great in building lasting relationships in the long run. Do away with boring surveys, and give some creative twist to the feedback form. Bhavya also mentioned how their HR team at Outplay built a strong culture by taking direct inputs from their workforce. 

She states that even tiny things like 'Tell us three words that you think Outplay describes or means to you' help understand employee sentiment and create a good culture. 

How did Outplay engage its employees in a remote setup?

Giving employees their sense of space in a remote working office sounds tricky. Outplay has focused audibly on creating an emotionally safe space for its employees to tackle this challenge. Giving room for workers to experiment and make mistakes without having to feel bad about their incorrect decisions. Because incorrect decisions are a good learning experience. 

As a 100% remote team, giving space to people will always work in the good interest of the organisation. 

The structure is key

Structure and process not only help in organising workflow but also create a circle of accountability. Bhavya states that 'as you grow, you really need structure and processes. It gives the other person clarity'. 

One of the things that have helped Outplay ride its growth wave efficiently is creating a document repository open to each employee. Employees are free to review and enhance the process of the Do-it-Yourself document every month. 

Although Outplay's teams were working from home, their HRMS took tiny steps to bring the teams closer together in the form of city meetups wherein a few team members would catch up at a co-working space along with team meetings. 

We try to simulate water cooler discussions. We try to talk about things that are important to us. And why are we doing what are we doing? Where are we going?

Bhavya Arora

What initiatives has Outplay taken to build a culture of care for their employees?

Taking criticism should not be a painful process. It is only natural to feel anxious when your hard effort is subjected to scrutiny. But it is never pointless. At Outplay, consistent feedback plays a vital role across all stages of the organisation. Here are 5 points Bhavya has curated and created to make an effective communication mechanism. 

  • Irrespective of your stance, always talk it out first.
  • Engage with new employees right from the start
  • Stay in touch, even after the exit process
  • Take feedback before and after the interview
  • Create an onboarding dashboard
  • We at Outplay appreciate over-communication. 

Employee wellness is the core

Apart from regular eNPS (employee net promoter score), at Outplay, a 360 view of wellness is taken into account. From insurance to physical health, mental health, dental health, sexual health, financial health, doctor consultations and much more. With Plum Insurance, Outplay has got it all. 

The best part is you can get the entire scoop here:

Want to engage with your HR?

Here are a few questions to spark interest in your HR's know-how. 

  • What percentage of India's workforce is covered with corporate health and wellness programs? Your answers are 5%, 10%, 15%, 25%, 10%.
  • What does ESCP stand for in health insurance?
  • True or false, you get covered from day one under group health insurance.
  • This startup recently partnered with Cult.Fit to make physical and mental well-being easily accessible to every person on the team - Name it.
  • What are two ways one can raise claims for health insurance?
  • Which Indian state accounts for roughly one-third of people's health insurance premiums and claims paid.
  • Which company are we talking about? Founded in 2018 by two brothers, this is a new-age sales engagement platform. 
  • What does eNPS stand for?
  • What percent of insurance claims in India are digital or paperless? 5%, 10%. 1%. Less than 1%.
  • What is co-pay in health insurance?

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