Q&A: Why We’ve Been the Best Place to Work For 10 Years
Over the past 10 years, OxBlue has won 38 best places to work awards, the most recent being the 2021 Best Places to Work by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Because of this win, we (virtually) sat down with the OxBlue HR department to talk about how OxBlue has gotten so many recognitions and why having a great culture is so important to the company.
OxBlue strives to be a top workplace and to have a welcoming, familial environment. Why did OxBlue decide to pursue these goals?
The key to high levels of productivity and performance is to create an environment that drives engagement. When you cultivate an environment where employees are positively engaged, you see company-wide improvements in areas like productivity, morale, employee retention, and job satisfaction. We do so by making sure the following questions can be answered positively for each employee:
- Are my expectations clear?
- Does my job have purpose?
- Does my manager understand me?
- Do my coworkers understand me?
- Do I have a friend at work?
What were some of the ways OxBlue was supporting employees pre-pandemic?
OxBlue has always placed strong emphasis on fostering a culture of togetherness and collaboration. Prior to the pandemic, we hosted company-wide events like OxLympics, Big Wheel, volunteering events, encouraged employees to participate in local 5K’s, hosted book clubs for personal and professional development, and held flu clinics and blood drives. These events remain deeply important to OxBlue, and we have adapted the process of accommodating some of these things (where applicable) virtually during a time where we can’t all be together under one roof.
OxBlue has extensive healthcare coverage options, supports educational opportunities, and provides employees with opportunities to learn and grow during their time here. Why were these focus areas?
We believe employees feel most engaged in an environment where leadership is invested in their care and continued development. The business landscape is constantly evolving, and it is important that we afford opportunities to our employees to pursue areas of interest that benefit their career alongside the company as well as closing the gap on various skills as different needs evolve.
The pandemic has stressed OxBlue employees physically and mentally. What are some of the ways OxBlue has adapted to meet their new needs?
At a time where so much has been uncertain up to this point, OxBlue Leadership has made it a priority to regularly check in with each employee and communicate regarding the performance of the business, public health and safety communications from federal and local entities, and future plans for the business. Visibility and transparency with data are crucial components of making employees feel valued, cared for, and respected. We have taken our monthly company meetings virtual as well as increased email communications with information regarding company goals (both current and future) as well as COVID-19 safety measures and voluntary return to the office.
Are there any future plans/ideas for how to support employees even more?
As we eventually make our return to the office, leadership will be diligently working to enhance the culture we created pre-pandemic and re-introduce that culture to employees who were hired remotely and did not receive the full experience. While cultivating and maintaining a company culture can be difficult while working remotely, here are some of the methods OxBlue has undertaken:
- Virtual one-on-one training and meetings
- Apps like IceBreaker for group and one-on-one pairings where employees can answer prompts via video to get to know one another better
- A virtual murder mystery, which was employee-run and written
- A virtual comedy show, featuring all local comedians
- A virtual trivia game, testing our knowledge inside and outside the office
- A virtual talent show, revealing our personal hobbies