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Meet Heatherbeckstead – she writes a book about remote culture and careers

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She earned a degree in English and a master’s degree in talent management and set out to find jobs and gain personnel experience in and around Silicon Valley. Twenty-four years later, her LinkedIn page shows 50 skills, including skills in talent management, talent acquisition, leadership, HR information systems, performance management, workforce planning, employee engagement, succession development, and other HR activities. Is widely supported.

Her company is a FinTech start-up that applies information technology to the freight industry, providing industry players with automated billing, collection, payment, or factoring. Its focus is on small and medium-sized new entrants to auto-factoring, with a focus on stunning cost savings for their customers. Opening the door to business as an officeless “remote company” in 2019, Covid has made a firm commitment to stay that way as it disrupts physical employment space.

She is Heather Beckstead, her company is Axle Payments, and has worked with the company’s founders Bharath Krishnamoorthy and Shawn Vo to build a “remote by design” company with “remote culture”.It’s a company that doesn’t allow people to work from home, it’s Insist in addition. In other words, in Beckstead’s words, “make sure people really connect, feel value, and value.” But how can I do that?

Michael B Arthur: So you joined Axle in November 2021. Companies around the world have struggled with how to move from an office-based approach to a hybrid approach and how to get the most out of it.

Heather Beckstead: exactly. We set out to acquire the best talent in the country. Currently, it has about 80 employees nationwide, including Hawaii, and is growing rapidly. From the beginning, we encouraged people to pursue flexibility in their work. Not being a hybrid or being in the office flexible.. It’s about meeting people where they are so that they can do their best work, regardless of the circumstances in which they work. Having a remote culture makes that possible.

Arthur: Can you say more?

Bexted: There is no office. There is no place for us to do normal business. Therefore, we take overhead savings and apply them quarterly offsite. We camp at the hotel for a week and do a lot of work together. But building relationships is just as important. We travel offsite throughout the country. The last offsite was in Atlanta in April and before that I was in San Diego.

Also, when we travel offsite, we take the time to provide some service to the community. In Atlanta, we helped locals organize parcels for refugees. We don’t have our own physical community, so we do something for the community we are visiting. We want our employees to feel that the company values ​​service, reaches out to other communities, and is part of it.

Arthur: Are there any other initiatives?

Bexted: The first thing I did after joining the company was the welfare system. We need to be a real company and we need to have real talent development services. One of the next things I did was to develop an employee engagement survey because I wanted to understand what. was Before jumping into culture and trying to ruin it.

I’ve been doing this kind of research for 20 years and in my experience a good score is 80. So when the survey results ended at 94%, I was a little surprised because I wondered what to fix. But every score is just a baseline for thinking about what’s important. For example, we learned that our workers really like to experience a high level of communication and transparency.

Another thing that surprised me was empathy. That’s not what I’ve seen as corporate value before. But if we really are a team and we all contribute to the success of the company and all that stuff, empathy is fundamental. Second, it’s important to have a well-trained, development-planned, understanding of where you are heading in a competitive market, and maintaining a good manager who can add another component to a remote culture. ..

Arthur: Is good management tied to effective employee training?

Bexted: absolutely. We do a lot of training in-house, especially in our operations team. Credits, collections, and all sorts of things we have to do. Before I arrived, they already had $ 1,000 a year for education, but added training opportunities to the company and departments, especially onboarding. In remote cultures, you can’t sit next to someone and cast a shadow all day long for a week, so you have to think more about how to take people to success.

Again, we promote relationships. All new employees meet with the co-founder and assign two colleagues to all. One is from your team and the other is from a completely different department of the company. We check in for 30 and 90 days for all employees to ensure they get what they need to be productive and provide feedback. So there is a lot of sharing early on, which leads to a transparent culture that we want to maintain.

Many of the above come from the nature of co-founders. They are deeply investing in helping large people beyond their employees, clients and customers. Therefore, their business model reflects that investment. The other day we shared an article about remote work. They were asked to choose a $ 30,000 salary increase to work in the office or not to work from home. 70% said they would choose to work from home. We have realized that we have a great advantage as a remote company in providing the flexibility that many people demand.

Arthur: You’re telling me a lot about how the company is hiring, engaging, and helping people. But what if someone says this is all right, but you don’t know if you want to go my career where you’re leading me?

Bexted: This is a great point. After finishing my homework, I have just embodied how I see the career ladder in each department. We know things will change, but we want managers to be able to participate in career conversations at any time and say what our needs are. Then allow employees to bring their ideas to the table and find a sweet spot between what they want and what the company needs. We prefer conversations to company edicts, and if we feel that people are helping shape it, we will invest more in career growth.

When I started my HR career, the usual advice was not to hire them if they had a job for less than 5 years. Now that it really comes to mind, I want people who are interested to grow up and get things done. And if someone realizes that one day their best option is somewhere, I’ll celebrate it.

Arthur: Does it fit the Axle Payments business case?

Bexted: The business case is that you want to generate wealth for your shareholders and profit from your customers. It’s always there, but at another level, we want to add value to our customers and our own people. And when you have a business rooted in people, it creates different dynamics. This really stands out for employees, especially in the light of Covid. Many people look back and reassess what is important. I want to match it. We want to meet them where they are. We want to attract the best talent.

Arthur: They are great goals and it is great to know that you are working on them. Thank you very much.