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Brand new job. Whole new world.

It’s an interesting time to start a new job – to say the least. Here’s a short diary from our new COO, Mike Bader, on his first weeks at Kudos.

Day 1 (March 9, 2020): My first day as Kudos’® COO. Great onboarding sessions with the team. Limited handshakes and distance kept.

Day 3: Distributed a graduated action plan in response to COVID-19 to provide clarity to the company on what would happen, when. We’re at Level 1. Planned a test WFH for the upcoming Monday.

Day 5: Announced the shut-down of the corporate offices. Now at Level 2. Everyone stays at home after our “test” WFH on Monday.

That was quite a first (and last, for now) week at the office.

Since then I have been exposed to a company culture and infrastructure that hasn’t skipped a beat or even barely noticed that we’re not all together, every day. The systems and processes already in place allowed for a seamless transition to remote working.

Oh wait, we forgot about the mail (and payment cheques)! Other than that, we hit the ground running!

Getting to know the Kudos’ operations and people from a WFH setup has had its struggles, though. Normal watercooler and hallway conversations that uncover tidbits of knowledge, personalities and culture are not there.

Communications become a bit more formal and structured in a WFH scenario. Mitigating that requires thoughtful attention to random conversations and breaking away from the formality of structured comms. Think open Zoom lunch chats, more frequent company stand-ups (which have now become sit-downs), and a virtual happy hour now and then. Interesting times indeed!

But more than anything, what I’ve learned in my first few weeks at Kudos is that a company’s culture, when done right, can help an organization navigate any challenges thrown its way.

Kudos is in the culture business, so it comes as no surprise that they (now we) walk the talk on open, authentic, frequent and impactful communications, recognition and feedback. It’s never been more important than now to follow these best practices to engage teams more fully.

What kind of difference can a great culture and adherence to best practices make?

In addition to our everyday duties, the team has moved mountains to develop new programs and initiatives designed to serve the special needs of our clients and the broader community in these extraordinary times. These are our efforts:

  • A brand new podcast, The Work From Home Show, featuring interviews with top HR pros from leading companies, offering a world of wisdom for organizations adjusting to the new WFH world.
  • Additional personal outreaches by phone to let our clients know how Kudos can support them with increased levels of communications, health and safety reinforcement, and tips and tricks on engaging remote employees.
  • New programs from our Culture team supporting best practices for working remotely.
  • A three-day hackathon – we called it “Hack-a-thank” – designed to develop a way to honor and thank the many kinds of frontline workers that keep the world healthy, fed, mobile and safe. The result is ThankStream, an aggregator of social media messages of gratitude from around the globe for these heroes.

And there's more to come!

It’s been an amazing 22 days. Kudos to you (us), Kudos.

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