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How to Keep Remote Employees Happy and Engaged

Featuring
Heidi Hauver
,
VP Talent
at
Invest Ottawa
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HR is often looked at as an expense, while it should be the reverse. It should be an investment because you're investing in your people when you're investing in your human resources team.

Heidi Hauver

In this episode

Heidi is no stranger to supporting employees, yet these times are different from what anyone has faced before. Executives look to their HR leaders to ensure that teams are working effectively, together.

In these unique times, we have to be creative with our approach to work - and in this interview, we discuss the core things to keep in mind while doing so: communication, connectedness, community. 

Listen in on the interview with Heidi by clicking play above.

 

On this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Practicing empathy and understanding to engage your team
  • 3 things Heidi did in Invest Ottawa’s transition to work from home
  • Innovating HR practices in these times
  • Keeping employees engaged
  • What should HR focus on?
  • Communication with your team
  • The harmony between HR and Finance

In this episode

00:42

Introduction to Heidi Hauver

01:43

The initial transition to WFH

03:40

How Invest Ottawa approached remote work before the crisis

05:35

Empathy for your team members, customers, partners, clients

07:50

3 things Heidi did in the initial transition to WFH

10:49

Innovating HR practices during these times

15:32

What should HR focus on?

19:34

How do you make sure team members are okay?

23:11

Different methods of communication

26:34

Harmony between HR and Finance


Resources from this episode

Transcript of episode

Markus: Well, thanks again, Heidi, for, for joining me today. And you know, as I mentioned to you, the reason for the conversation is to help our customers. You know, the community that we work with, HR professionals and everybody who's going through these times and adjusting through these times to support the remote employees working from home.

I'm giving them some ideas and somebody with your experience, a lot of people are going to be really looking forward to hearing from you. So we'd love to hear a little bit more by yourself if you want to introduce yourself. Of course. Thanks Marcus for having me. I'm happy to help the hoppier team. I have a really unique role.

[00:00:42] Heidi: I worked for Ottawa’s economic development agency, invest Ottawa, and to Bayview yards, and I'm actually the head of HR for invests auto on Bayview yards. But I have the pleasure and privilege of being able to work with companies like you who are basically growing their organizations, and I work with all of our programs, so I work with our accelerator companies.

[00:01:02] Of those. Uh, even in the Prius salary where they're starting their businesses and they may have an idea, they may be two person founder team straight through to our skill of programming, which is, uh, companies that are often scaling, sometimes a 50 million plus in revenue. So lot of HR puzzles that I get to see and witness and, and really try to support our companies as they're navigating their journey towards success.

TRANSITION TO WFH: 

Markus: Yeah. It's amazing. And I think that's one of the reasons that I was super excited to chat with you because you work with so many different sizes of organizations, and I think that that alone is going to give a lot of insights to people moving, checking this out. Um, how, how is the transition to working from home for you?.

[00:01:43] Heidi: It's been really good. I think, um, for me personally, I've young children under two under five. And so I think that's been the biggest challenge. I'm trying to embrace it. I was saying that I'm, I'm not apologizing, but I'm acknowledging. And so I acknowledged for our audience that with a three and a five year old, they do like to make, um.

[00:02:05] Regular connects with me throughout the day as I'm trying to work. Um, and so I think that that's been the toughest piece for my husband and I who are both, uh, working in our executive level positions at home. Uh, the little ones, um, are often wanting to connect with us. And I think that's been the biggest challenge.


EMPATHY:

[00:02:22] Other than that, I mean, I have an incredible team. I've got, you know, we have incredible clients and everybody's been really amazing about the adjustment we've all had to make. I think. Recognizing that everyone is going through this at the same time, does, you know, bring a bit, uh, enhanced empathy and understanding for things that don't always go as planned.

[00:02:43] Uh, I had to cancel a meeting yesterday with a client because my three year old wasn't going to allow me to have that meeting. And he understood because he also has a three year old, or he has two, three year olds. So I think it's a. You know, there's an, an empathy there and understanding that we haven't seen before.

[00:02:58] And I think that that's made it an easier transition for a lot of us. And I, again, I think everyone has unique families circumstances, and I think employers need to appreciate that. And there's this need for flexibility and understanding and really, truly understanding what everyone on your team needs to, you know, to be thriving in their work, uh, at this stage, uh, in, in, in such an uncertain time.

ADJUSTMENT PERIOD:

Markus / Heidi: For sure. And I mean,  is working from home something that you were able to do before, or is this completely new for invest? Ottawa? You know, we've always valued flexibility in the workplace and, uh, you know, and, and that sort of resonates with a lot of our programming. And so, yes, we did have that opportunity.

[00:03:40] Heidi: To, uh, to work from home when, when required. Um, not, uh, you know, when some people I think work from home more frequently, I wasn't someone that works from home a lot. I'm an extrovert. I like to connect with people. Um, and, uh, I think that video obviously has been a huge, um. I would say it has helped with the transition because we can see individuals.

[00:04:05] So I'm definitely one of those people that have their video on all the time, regardless of what I'm wearing or what my hair looks like. You know, I think that that connection with other individuals that you're trying to have a meeting with is really important. And so I've been able to transition to my role in my role very easily working remotely.

[00:04:22] Um, it's just. And having the children at home, having to kind of add teacher hat to my list of responsibilities that I think has been the, uh, the thing that I'm learning to navigate. Um, the work piece has been pretty seamless. It's the other pieces. Yeah. I guess that's the piece that you're not really accustomed to dealing with while you're working.

[00:04:42] Right. So adjusting not generally, not generally. You know, that we, I always say my husband and I, we talk about a life harmony instead of life balance. And, uh, and right now everybody's life harmony is. Really commingle because you've got work and home and kids and you know, homework and just caring for one another.

[00:05:02] Markus / Heidi: Um, it's all sort of being done at the same time, and there's no really separation of that. Um, so I think it's just everyone getting comfortable that, and, uh, and doing the best that they can under the circumstances. Yeah. I think you mentioned a point, which I totally agree with it, is that understanding and empathy that everybody has right now.

EMPATHY:

Markus: You know, even for me, when I'm talking with companies, I talk with very, you know, various ages and that every person has their own circumstance and if they're late to the call, if they're, you know, need to cut or cut the call short, like it's, it's super important to be understanding right now because.

[00:05:35] There's just circumstances that we're all dealing with that are new to us. And, you know, it's a, I think what's been amazing is that there's been no problem with that empathy. Like, everybody seems to have kind of adopted that and been super understanding. And I think it's really important during these times.

[00:05:49] And, you know, working from home, like for us, it was also something that was accepted. Mmm. Accepted and encouraged when, when needed. Uh, but for me personally, like yourself, like I love being in the office. I love being with the people, sharing the energy. Like we, you know, we really thrive off energy off from each other.

[00:06:07] Markus / Heidi: And especially in a startup sense, you know, the energy that you gain from others really helps you stay motivated. So I think that's something that. You know, it's difficult when you transition to work from home, but there you have to find ways to still be able to do that. Sure. I think I've been, I've been really inspired right about, and I have these three things that I kind of work towards is kind of communication, connectedness, and community.

[00:06:33] Heidi: And I, I, you know, at the beginning of every day, that's kind of what I'm focused on in terms of helping our, our, our employee base, our client base, and, and just trying to make an impact, uh, you know, and pay it forward as best as I can. And so I feel inspired and I think that that is what's kept keeping me really uplifted and motivated to keep doing what I'm doing.

[00:06:52] And, um, and I certainly know as an organization that is what our entire team is highly productive. And. And really working on continuing to support our clients so that they, we can all navigate through this together. Um, no, we are all in this together. And so, you know, we don't see that very often. Um, and because we are all in it together, I think that's why we're seeing that shared sort of understanding and empathy.

[00:07:16] Markus: It's actually, it's actually really nice. It's nice to see that. Yeah, totally a community. I was, I was just about to say that sense of community, you know, even with, with our customers, reaching out and asking for guidance from other, you know, other companies that we're working with. Like, we've never really had that before where there's so much connectivity between all these companies that we're working with.

[00:07:36] And it's, it's been amazing to watch. And, you know, I, I have the privilege of getting to chat with a lot of the customers and it's amazing to hear like some of the things that they're implementing, um, especially, you know, in that initial transition when it happened right. I saw everything turned on its head in about.

THREE THINGS TO BE MINDFUL OF:

[00:07:50] Three or four days where, you know, too, it's kind of, maybe we were going to be moving to work from home, just suddenly now we're moving to work from home and companies have to adjust. Did you guys have to, did you guys do anything in particular when, when you first moved to work from home, like for your team or, or was it  we did a lot of things?

[00:08:06] Heidi: I mean, I'll pick three. I think one of the things we did was, uh. We, uh, made sure that, uh, everyone, uh, was safe and that they were in a position where they could be successful at home 100%. That was our priority, making sure our health, the health and wellbeing of our team, that was our number one priority.

[00:08:25] And so making that transition, those decisions were, were pretty easy to make. And then making sure that they have what they need to be successful at home. And then again, recognizing everybody's unique situation, figuring out what that looked like, and helping to work with them to ensure they could be at their best when they could be at their best at work.

[00:08:43] Um, the second thing I think that we did as leadership team is we ended up starting to have a really regular daily stand up. So, you know, we start our day together every morning, and that's been wonderful because we can connect and find out how we're all doing, but get a sense of what's going on in the organization.

[00:09:01] And, uh, and that's been wonderful. And I would say the third thing, we've always been really innovative and creative with programs. And you know, from an HR perspective in your, I know your clients who, uh, own the HR role will laugh. We've always had to be lean and mean with our finances. Cause we don't just generally get huge budgets.

[00:09:18] And I think this is just further encouraged our team to be more innovative, more creative on what we could do to create that sense of community amongst our team. No. Create that sense of connectedness. So we're doing things like for to virtual coffees to virtual social hours, you know, from five to seven on occasion.

[00:09:35] We have Friday lunches together. We have spirit days every week. We've, we've had a lot of activity going on just to keep everybody connected to one another. It's all voluntary, of course. And people choose what they want to do and where. We have a great lunch and learn series that we had before that is seeing a really enhanced participation in terms of people coming to the table to actually deliver a lunch and learn for their colleagues and those coming, uh, to actually, uh, enjoy some time with their colleagues.

[00:10:04] So I think there's a lot of things you can do, uh, you know, recognizing everyone's trying to be lean on budgets. There's still ways to be innovative and creative. Um, and my big. You know, recommendation to any of our clients. And I would say to anybody that's listening to this is finding out what matters to your people, right?

[00:10:21] Find out how they want to connect. Find out what they want to be connecting about. Empower them to be part of that process. HR doesn't have to lead everything. They can be the catalyst and the champion. They can help make it happen. But empower your team to be part of the process and get involved. I certainly know our, the success we have had with their lunch learn series is only driven because we've had so many amazing, uh, you know, talented members of our team step up to deliver those lunch and learns.

INNOVATING HR PRACTICES DURING THESE TIMES:

[00:10:49] Markus: I think one point you made there is empowering your team to really step up and take initiative with finding new ways to connect with people is super important. Because you know, in these times I think people will look to HR for like guidance, but really there's so many different ideas that can be implemented.

[00:11:04] I can give one example from us as we set up this tool called discord, which essentially acts like a, an active voice channel where you can essentially. In that channel, and anybody can chat whenever they feel like it. And there's always a couple of us in it during the day and, and it almost feels like you're with them in a room because if somebody wants to chime in or just speak about something, you can bring up these topics and it makes that availability of walking somebody's death still there.

[00:11:29] But you know, to your point, like I think HR is faced with this challenge, but almost this opportunity to really. Be innovative. And I think that's in a way, an exciting, exciting time for HR leaders because when there are challenges, that means you can find new solutions. You can find new ways to, to approach, uh, uh, ways to connect people together.

ENGAGING EMPLOYEES:

[00:11:47] And I mean, especially now when, when everybody's going through this, I think people are looking for these ways to do that. So, um, you know, it's, it's great to hear how you guys are approaching it. Would you say that there's a common. Approach like they, you've seen with companies to employee engagement right now is, is there something that you're seeing happening more frequently?

[00:12:05] Markus / Heidi: You know, one of the things that you mentioned, which was the virtual lunches and lunch and learns. That's, that's something I've actually heard quite a bit about. I think I've, I've seen, um, you know, if you look at themes and patterns across various companies, I think enhancing communication has been number one.

[00:12:20] Heidi: I'm being as transparent as possible given the uncertain times and how things have been changing so quickly. Um, but I think a lot of organizations are putting in a lot of effort to enhance their communication amongst their own teams, but across the organization, a lot of ask me anything. Sessions have been happening across organizations, which I think are always well received by the team.

[00:12:40] I think a really important point to highlight is always making sure that those people get a chance to ask their question ahead of time because not everyone is interested in. And sing singling themselves out and asking a question in a live webinar. But I, I go that I applaud those companies that are holding your sessions because those are tough sessions to kind of moderate.

[00:13:01] Um, I've seen, I think a lot of, um, you know, all hands meetings, you know, all staff meetings going virtual. And I think those meetings that we never thought would work virtually are working. And I think that's surprising a lot of people. So I do see some kind of work behaviors possibly changing as we transition, um, you know, uh, to a new normal after the pandemic, because I think that.

[00:13:24] A lot of people are surprising themselves on how productive they can be, how their teams are still feeling connected. I'm still able, still able to have those team meetings. Yes, it's a bit different and you have to have sort of guiding different guiding principles. But the reality is I think that enhance communication and just people are looking for everyone to, you know, to their leaders too, to be leading.

[00:13:48] And I think that, um. You know, enhance communication, that transparency and just that guiding principle of, you know, um, having folks lead the way they want to be led in terms of having the information that they need to have to be successful. I think those things are, you know, again, just normal guiding principles.

[00:14:09] Markus / Heidi: We're just seeing it enhance. Totally. I think that's like in moments like this is when the values that a company has and an organization has really stand out and almost feel elevated because.  you don't, you don't have that in office connectivity or the same connectivity that you would in the office where you can see each other interact all the time.

[00:14:27] Markus: Like now, a lot of these interactions and a lot of communication really gets, um, like you said, heightened and, and I think people's values, company's values are really standing out. And that's what I've seen in our organizations and with other, um, companies that I've chatted with. Is that. Those values that a company has a really, I'm coming out and I think highlighting that is important as well.

[00:14:49] And I think, uh, you know, one of the things that I've seen as well as a common common practice now is, is taking the time to really recognize, uh, individuals were kind of  showing, showing those values. You know, it's easy in the office to go over to somebody and congratulate them for doing good job or, or, you know, saying, thank you.

[00:15:08] Markus / Heidi: Um, now when you're, whether you Slack or use a tool like that where you send an email, Mmm. Recognizing somebody almost feels like a lot more of a, it feels a lot more powerful. It's that virtual high five as opposed to actual, you know, high five. Right. So, yeah, exactly. And I mean, I think with, with HR like this, there's so many different areas that no you can focus on now.


WHAT SHOULD HR FOCUS ON?

[00:15:32] Markus: I mean, with, with the connectivity, you know, the transparency, the communication you mentioned, I think those are big areas. Do you think that there's one, you know, there's an area in particular that HR should focus on, or is it, is it more so just being, you know, being there for your team, how do you think that.?

[00:15:48] Heidi: So I was with a bunch of HR peers. Um, just yesterday we were talking about the importance of self care and self care for ourselves because a lot of HR practitioners have, you know, Mmm. Are navigating a new way of working, um, and helping to make sure that everyone else is healthy and safe. And, um, and I think self care for HR leaders I think is really important right now.

[00:16:10] Taking time for themselves to just, you know, kind of look around, kind of be grateful, uh, recognizing that they're doing the best that they can given the, the circumstances. Because I think, you know, ultimately HR leaders need to be focused on the health and wellness of our people and not necessarily. You know, recognizing that a lot of our folks, uh, hopefully are now working remotely and are, are, are self isolating themselves to protect themselves and their family.

[00:16:37] But it's more now how the mental health and wellness, and so there's a lot of pros about working remotely, right? We've talked about some of them. Um, uh, you know, the ability to, uh, to, to work remotely and, you know, avoid commuting and it helps the con the environment. Um, you know, uh, you can. Stay connected with your family more than you normally would have potentially.

[00:17:00] And there's a lot of pros, but you know, one of the biggest kind of downsides is that feeling of isolation. So while you and I think are both extroverts and like to be in the office, and we've transitioned really well because we can. Talk with our peers and our colleagues on the video chat. Not everyone's that comfortable doing that.

[00:17:16] And so I think, um, you know, I'm always focused on, and I know my HR peers are, as well as who's not managing the transition as well, who needs a little bit extra TLC. Recognizing your audience as a, as a . Force. And knowing that, um, you know, some people have unique family circumstances where they may be living alone and what does that look like for them?

[00:17:38] What is this certain this situation look like for them? And how are they managing? So I would say, you know, self care for the HR leader is really important because you have to essentially help take care of everyone else. If you're not at your best, you're not going to be able to identify that other people are at their best.

[00:17:53] So I would say twofold. The focus should be about making sure. Your health and wellness is strong and solid. And if you're struggling, reach out and talk to someone and get support. And then also, you know, help your leaders identify, um, the, the various transitions, um, the various, um, you know, personality changes potentially, or even, uh, productivity changes too, to help identify where some people may be struggling.

[00:18:20] Because the reality is, is that, um, you know, everyone has a very unique situation. Yeah. One size does not fit all. And I think you, you know. It even starts. I was talking to a subject matter expert in this area and they said, even just saying, Marcus, how are you doing? How are you really doing with working remotely?

[00:18:39] You know, how's your family circumstances affecting your ability to work? You know, are you feeling any pressure in any specific area? Like actually being really curious right now? We've always, as leaders needed to have good. Listening skills and, and two way discussions now more than ever, right. Really being curious and understanding your, your employees unique circumstances I think is really important.

[00:19:01] Markus / Heidi: And then again, it helps you to create that safe environment so that if at some point Marcus isn't uncomfortable, is struggling there, you're going to be willing to reach out to me and have that discussion. Right. Because I've opened that door. Yup. I think that's a fantastic point. And you know, one of the things that I'm seeing as well is that people are being a lot more, you know.

[00:19:20] Markus: Inquisitive about that sort of thing. I think people are getting, or at least my colleagues, it feels like we're getting closer together and really getting to learn about each other a lot more because. You, you feel, again, it goes back to that community. You feel like you're, you're there as almost as a family, right.

HOW DO YOU MAKE SURE TEAM MEMBERS ARE OKAY?

[00:19:34] And you want to for each other. I think maybe one of the challenging things can be, you know, how do you navigate approach approaching members who might be struggling a little better? How do you, how would you say, to approach somebody who may need that extra help? Do you reach out to them individually or would you suggest ways for them to, to, uh.

[00:19:51] Markus / Heidi: Maybe feel more productive or find ways to be more productive? How would you go about approaching that? It's a really great question. Um, I was asking this question to the subject matter expert I was speaking to just a few days ago. Um, and you know, I think what I would do personally is I think it would be depending on who the individual is.

[00:20:09] Heidi: Finding out who maybe has the best relationship with that individual in maybe HR, maybe their manager may be a colleague. Um, trying to ensure that they feel safe as possible when someone does reach out to them and really trying to ensure they have the tools and resources that they need so that at their level of comfort that they can hopefully reach out and get support.

[00:20:31] I think the other thing too is as an organization you can be very broad in terms of making sure that all works. Employees have access to tools and resources, uh, crisis lines that are available. 24, seven information online resources, uh, better available. So that. Just in case, because sometimes you will be able to identify when someone is challenged and struggling.

[00:20:53] And there are other many other times when you wouldn't be able to. Um, and that person may need the resources and the information just as much. So I would say, you know, take a step back and absolutely look out for those individuals that are demonstrating changes potentially in their behavior and their personalities.

[00:21:11] And help give them, um, you know, tools and resources as soon as possible. But I would also say more broadly, make sure that's readily available for everyone because someone might not be exhibiting changes, uh, but still need the support. And I think that's really important. And the reality is, Marcus, you know, this is, um, these are times that a lot of us haven't seen before.

[00:21:30] Unchartered territory, a lot of unknowns. It's a stressful time. Um, would that uncertainty, and I think people's stress levels generally. Are probably more heightened than normal. And so mental health and wellness is really important. I also think that, you know, I've been seeing a lot of great stuff online about

[00:21:48] Again, when I said at the top of the meeting, I'm not apologizing anymore for my children because I'm very proud of them, but I'm acknowledging that there's likelihood that we may get an interruption. And I think that language is important. It is about also demonstrating that, you know, this is not the normal way that we've all been working before.

[00:22:08] This is new, and I think everyone's got a. Yeah. Give himself a bit of a break and just recognize that, you know, do the best that you can given your circumstances, remembered, always communicate with your leader, um, what you need. Uh, what would make it more successful for you? Makes sure that, you know, you have open dialogue with your, with your leader.

[00:22:28] I think that's essential. And, um, I think as HR leaders, we need to just be checking in to make sure those discussions are happening. Um, and that, you know, we're also. I think alternating how we're communicating with our folks. Cause if you and I are always texting one another, maybe once in a while I should pick up the video calling and ping you that way.

[00:22:47] Or I should pick up the phone and call you. And I think we naturally assume it's get very comfortable with the way that we communicate with one another. But in this time we need to switch it up because we're not seeing each other face to face live. And so I do encourage people to kind of go outside their comfort zones and get off Slack once in a while or off teams or whatever you use, and actually pick up the phone and have a conversation so you can hear the person's voice or, you know, jump on a video call.

COMMUNICATION:

[00:23:11] Markus: I think that's really important. Yeah, I, I think that's a great point about the different forms of communication. It just made me think about how we're communicating and not in our team as well. And, you know, again, I think I'd go back to that one tool that we use. It's helped with having that voice channel where everybody can jump into the channel and just chat with each other.

[00:23:30] Um. We only, we've gotten comfortable with that in a sense, but every time I hop on a call with a colleague on a video call, it's always refreshing, um, to, to do that and actually get to see the face. So I think having these different channels of communication is super important. I think it's also good to keep it fresh, right?

[00:23:46] Heidi: So people do get comfortable and, uh, there's there, there's consistency kinda, you know, sets in. I'm a big believer in keeping things fresh and, and, and, you know, trying different things so that you, you know, you and your team may do this for a couple of weeks and decide, you know what, let's do something different.

[00:24:02] Let's explore a different tool, a different resource. And that does keep things fresh and keep, stay people, um, you know, kind of engaged and curious. And you may see, you know, when you see a down.  decline in, in people participating. That's when you know, you need to, you know, do something different to get people back onto that channel.

[00:24:20] Um, I always call it the kind of the pizza lunch. You know, when you. Uh, host pizza every Friday, and everybody comes the first three weeks. And then you start seeing that decline in people actually coming to get pizza where they take their pizza and they go back to your desk, their desk. That's when you know you've got to switch it up because your initial goal wasn't necessarily just to feed your people and give them pizza.

[00:24:41] It was actually a bring your community together. And so you can always kind of pay attention to kind of when, when you start seeing that decline, do something to keep it fresh. You know, PO, you know, have a specific theme where people come to that channel. Uh, and you know, with a topic, and it might be like, come with your best recommendations for podcasts, movies or books or something where you can kind of generate some sharing.

[00:25:04] Um, and again, you know, you always want to recognize that everyone's going to be comfortable sharing in a different way. So, you know, still give those people who aren't comfortable sharing, live on opportunity to send you all the recommendations so you can kind of, you know, share with your team on their behalf.

[00:25:21] Markus: Totally. I think, uh, one of, uh, one of the things that I've been trying to do is, is when I'm having conversations with my periods and you know, you mentioned the daily stand ups and shots like that, that, you know, if you, if you do it over multiple weeks, it's the participation mindset decreasing because it just becomes that thing that you're know you have to do is one of the things that I've been doing is trying to change the time of day when I'm having those fandoms.

[00:25:44] You know, in the morning you might be feeling in some type of way, and then the afternoon it's, it's, uh, there's different things that you're working on in different, uh, challenges or obstacles or exciting news, you know, that you might have to share. I found that having these conversations in different times in the day is really great for catching people in moments where the emotions are up or down, and it's really just a, it's a different time than just having it every single time.

[00:26:09] Heidi: It also accommodates, it also accommodates people's. Unique circumstances, right? Because maybe they have young kids and they need to take time to feed them in the noon hour and they can't jump on a lunch call. And so I love that idea, but changing the timeframes of when you're holding meetings because it helps to be more accommodating and inclusive to everybody on your team so they, they can join in at different times and, and worked out with their schedule.

HARMONY BETWEEN FINANCE AND HR

[00:26:34] Markus: So I think that's a cool idea. Yep. Yeah, for sure. Um, one thing you mentioned as well, which I think is important, is these different ways that you can innovate in these times without necessarily spending more money. Um, because of course, right now I think there is, you know, the, the concern around the economy and everything, and.

[00:26:51] It's important for companies to know that you don't necessarily have to spend more money on the tools too, or on different ways to innovate in these times, like the new are able to do that. Um, with some of the practices that you've recommended here, do you find, uh, at least from what you're seeing in other organizations, are companies or HR team now working more closely with finances?

[00:27:12] Is that something that is happening or would you say that it's.

[00:27:18] Heidi: Well, I would hope that HR and finance always had a great kind of cousin relationship, you know, kind of, you know, uh, or even a BFF relationship. I think that those two functions, you generally work pretty well together and, and should work really well together. Um, I, I would say that I haven't seen any increase in that.

[00:27:36] I, I see with the organizations that I know they've. Really good relationships with their peers on the finance side and, you know, solid communication back and forth. Um, and you know, I've, again, when I made the comment earlier about HR having to generally be innovative and creative, you know, when you look at a budget for an organization, HR generally doesn't have the biggest budget.

[00:27:57] It goes to, you know, sales and marketing because it's about, especially if you're in the private sector, it is about. Generating revenue and HR is, um, you know, often looked at as an expense, which it should be the reverse. It should be an investment because you're investing in your people when you're investing in your human resources team.

[00:28:17] And I, uh, I definitely think that, that, um, you know, we get into circumstances and situations like we're in now, organizations recognize that more than more, more and more that their people are their most important assets and that it goes away from being just theory. And it actually goes into practice.

[00:28:35] And, you know, if you, if every organization actually took a moment just to step back. And recognize the absolute brilliance that you know their team is doing. Like in terms of how they've transitioned to working remotely. How they're managing their unique family circumstances, how they're still being able to thrive the best they can at work, and that you're still being able to deliver your service to your client or deliver that product or innovate in whatever capacity that you are.

[00:29:02] It does give you time to just take stock to go out. My team is. World-class doing amazing work. I certainly do. I'm inspired art by our team every day by the work that they do to contribute to our community. Um, the work that they're doing to support our clients and helping them continue to grow their businesses.

[00:29:20] And I mean, I try to take stock of that and be grateful for, for those moments where you can take a step back and go, wow, what we're doing is really amazing given the circumstances around us. And I think, you know, I'm not trying to be too. I generally am glass half full, but I think we often are losing sight of those, uh, moments to kind of look around.

[00:29:41] And as you said before, celebrate those successes, those wins. Um, they're a bit different maybe than they were a handful of weeks ago, but I think taking time to recognize people's efforts. As well as just taking the time to recognize that your organization was able to transition as quickly as they had.

[00:29:58] Markus: That is something to celebrate, but is something to celebrate. I think that's extremely well said and I couldn't agree more. I think you know, now more than ever, you there, there is those two sides where you can look at things. Apple are half empty and, and there are a lot of things to be grateful about.

[00:30:14] And for me, you know, for myself, it's, um, can't be more proud of the people that I'm working with. And I. I have never felt this inspired by the people I work with because it's pushing, like I'm just pushing me to work harder, to be more connected. Seeing how, how much they've adjusted and how well they've adjusted.

[00:30:30] Markus / Heidi: And I totally agree with you is you're taking the time to step back and really appreciate that. For. One of your colleagues, your manager, or just the entire team itself. Um, you know, what a lot of organizations have been able to do is it's pretty outstanding. And one of the things we talked about earlier was, you know, an employee recognition is incredibly important, you know, and, uh, and you can have, um, some, you know, amazing programs in place and you might not have many programs in place, but the reality is most employees would be incredibly satisfied with just a thank you.

[00:31:02] Heidi: Or just a simple recognition, like you said, via email or via teams, or better yet via video call or, or through a phone call, just saying, you know what, Marcus, I really appreciate how well you've transitioned. I really appreciate your energy, the spirit that you're bringing to the team, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

[00:31:18] So I think, you know, every leader could take a pause to say, you know, can I reach out to my team by the end of the day Friday, which is tomorrow. Um, and basically just give a little kind of. A little thank you to our team in no matter what kind of area of focus they're in, I think that would go a long way.

[00:31:35] Markus / Heidi: That further kind of perks people up and motivates them to continue to put forth their efforts. Um, and again, that's something really easy to do that any leader could do right now. Um, and, and I'm gonna, I'm gonna take that challenge and do it myself. Me too. How do you want to be conscious of your time? I know, I know you have another call in a few minutes here, but I really appreciate all the insights you shared with, with me and with everybody else who's going to be listening and reading on this.

[00:32:00] It's, it's, uh, it's incredible what's happening when I'm in, you know, in some ways I think there are things you have to look on to be grateful about and be positive about and in these times and you know, I know a lot of people will really appreciate hearing from you, so thanks again so much, Heidi. For.

[00:32:15] For sharing with us today. Well, it was a pleasure to be here and I wish you a great afternoon. Thank you so much. Bye bye.