Throughout these strange times, I’ve felt very fortunate to be at a company that cares deeply about their employees. One of Flint’s core values is to go where you’re needed most, and lately that’s included working where you feel the most comfortable. Between social distancing and working from home, the halls of Flint feel very different than they did just over six months ago. It wasn’t too long after changes began that everyone missed the banter with coworkers and normal chit chat about our weekends while on the way to the printer.
At Flint Group, the Young Professionals Committee (YPC) is a group of Flinsters led by millennials to brainstorm, plan and execute ideas to recruit and retain talented employees. This year especially, the global pandemic has faced everyone with challenges, such as how to keep employees connected to one another outside of work projects. But with every challenge comes new opportunities, and the YPC has been busy brainstorming, planning and implementing new initiatives we’re proud of.
In place of our monthly, in-person Flintucations, we’ve introduced the Flintucation Newsletter as a way to help fill the gap until we can all be together safely again. By connecting to employees through their inbox every other week with articles and videos on topics relevant to our industry, we hope to keep stimulating conversations that would regularly happen through the office space.
During these weird times, we can all agree that we could use a little cheer. Without the normal discussions through the halls, it’s been more difficult to know and keep up with what is going on with your coworkers in and outside of work. We’ve started Flint Cheers to announce at our Town Halls any positive announcements, personal or work related, including engagements/weddings, graduations, birth/baby announcements, business wins, promotions and any other event that we can raise our glasses to and yell “Cheers!”
Flint Group launched two editions of the new Podcast Club: true crime and professional development. Based off the book club concept, our podcast clubs look to create community within our Flint families. Since people often listen to podcasts alone (many times while working) and then find themselves wanting to share the experience and feelings they have while listening, the YPC created and hosts monthly and biweekly online meetings for open discussion on the podcast episode. These online meetings are held within working hours to allow more opportunity for employees who don’t work with each other on a daily basis to connect and have discussion amongst themselves outside of work-related topics.
Early this year we also introduced the Flint Ambassadors program, which consists of a group of Flint employees who use their personal social networks to act as brand ambassadors to elevate, curate and share Flint’s social content. Even after our offices transformed into kitchen tables and lake cabins, these ambassadors continued to share on their social spaces about their work life within their own comfort zones. During the global pandemic, we’ve seen everything from how these employees are #sparkinggood, what their work-from-home outfit of the day is to what music keeps them positive and on track. By engaging online with Flint’s content and creating their own work-related posts, our group of ambassadors have kept the communication open with our employees, clients and their personal network on what it’s like working at Flint when your four-legged friends and children become your “co-workers.”
Keeping community and connection to your employees is important to any company and its culture, but it’s especially important during times where feeling (socially) distant from your company and coworkers is increasingly common. Finding new ways to engage and connect with your employees will help raise spirits and bring a sense of normalcy to these very strange COVID times.