Corra Shares Remote-First Workplace Success at NYHRPS
3 Min Read
The pandemic changed everything for everyone, including businesses. 2020 profoundly shifted our collective understanding of what it means to share space and have a workplace community. Corra’s move to a remote-first workplace didn’t mean a loss in organizational culture, but instead was a shift in how our culture is created and maintained.
Sue Monroe, Corra’s Senior Vice President of People and Culture, spoke at New York Human Resources People and Strategy Panel about how organizational culture is transforming in the current remote and hybrid era of work. Corra’s decision to become a remote-first workplace was patiently and thoughtfully made by the executive leadership team with input from employees.
Corra took its office culture very seriously—there were consistent events and programs to facilitate camaraderie and productive working relationships. The goal of having a culture that values collaborative relationships, innovation, engagement, inclusion, and employee retention didn’t change with the shift to remote-first work. If anything, Corra has doubled down on these goals.
Throughout the pandemic, one of our biggest tasks was centered around scalability. Our current clients’ requests around projects increased, along with new business opportunities, and so Corra had to hire an influx of new employees to meet the business needs. In order to do that, we had to expand our talent acquisition team, broaden our hiring regions, and redesign our entire recruiting process to be virtual. These changes resulted in over 130 new hires in Q1 and Q2, not to mention numerous happy clients in part due to Corra’s agile and adaptive hiring strategies in the face of the pandemic.
With all our employees globally, Corra organizes multiple events per year for the entire company to come together and spend time with one another in person so that the pivotal office culture Corra maintained before the pandemic can flourish in our new remote-first workplace. In addition, we have established hubs in various locations where we have a cluster of people in a commutable distance. This hub concept offers employees in those locations additional opportunities for quarterly in-person activities & meet-ups.
Corra also instituted programs to ensure that the switch to remote-first didn’t impede the company culture, but instead fostered its growth in a new and exciting direction. These initiatives included training, tools, and talking points for management to get to know their direct reports better and to facilitate healthy working relationships.
We implemented a quarterly engagement budget for each department so there is time and virtual space to do team-building exercises like escape rooms and other activities to foster inter-team relationships. We also started a program called Corra Connection, a speed-dating like opportunity for new hires to quickly get to know other new members to the Corra community.
Though Corra has maintained our culture while switching to remote-first, it is inarguable that remote work is different from in-person work. To keep up with this change, Corra surveyed employees about their thoughts and concerns. We compiled feedback around this new remote work landscape.
In response to these surveys, along with in-depth research and comparisons that were done, Corra integrated new benefits and programs to upgrade work experience, elevate employee engagement, and retain our great employees. Some of these new benefits include increased employer contributions to medical plans, increased PTO and sick time allotment, monthly employee allowances to be used towards personal and mental wellness, a COVID leave policy in case employees need time to take care of themselves or family members, as well as company-wide summer Fridays and no-meeting Fridays to institutionally support healthy work/life balance.
There were an uncountable number of surprises from the pandemic. Corra’s biggest surprise was our ability to seamlessly pivot to a remote-first workplace to continue our peerless standard of work for our clients and treatment of our employees.
Over these last few years, our culture has changed. That change has not been one of diminishment, but instead one of innovation and growth. At Corra, we take our employees’ happiness as seriously as we take our bottom line. The shift to remote-first work has not only been fiscally exceptional for Corra, it has also emboldened all of our employees to live their best lives.
Keep your eyes peeled for Corra’ next innovation—not only in ecommerce technologies, but in workplace culture.