At Wisetail our slogan is “turning companies into communities”, and we work to do just that in our own company. We strive to create a culture where employees feel valued, engaged, and connected.
According to Gallup, “36% of U.S. employees are engaged in their work and workplace.” Employee engagement is always critical in retaining employees, but during a time where the talent market is highly competitive, there is plenty of room to increase engagement and build a positive workplace culture.
When talking about culture at Wisetail, who better to share our “why” than our president, Ali Knapp.
In a recent article, Ali said, “Creating a people-centric culture goes beyond onboarding and position-based training. It’s about creating a community of continuous learning, supporting the whole employee and giving people the tools they need to thrive. This is evident by the nearly 55 percent of survey respondents that indicated a people strategy with a solid training process can be the deciding factor when deciding between jobs. As a result, it’s important for employers to consider using a tool such as a learning management system (LMS) or learning experience platform (LXP) when it comes to attracting and maintaining talent.”
We have created numerous programs at Wisetail to keep our employees engaged and build a positive company community and it all begins with our LXP, Apex.
Wisetail’s Learning Experience Platform, Apex
Remote engagement requires remote solutions. That’s where our LXP, Apex, comes in — to cater to remote needs. The term Apex has evolved over time, but its purpose has stayed the same: to reach the top (or apex), together.
We prioritize connecting with employees in the platform, through channels such as our Connect page and dialog boards. My team and I have created our own guidelines to help Apex meet our goals, including:
- A content calendar to keep us organized (new & scheduled modules, events etc.) and consistently posting fresh content.
- A Wisetail-exclusive newsletter, called The Insider, where we share all of the internal happenings for the month.
- Monthly themes that we center our personal and professional development topics on such as Diversity & Inclusion and Leadership. Continuing education, both in and out of work, is a top priority for us – it keeps people engaged and looking forward to what’s next.
- Company event highlights to keep people in the know.
- User contributions on the site related to social topics where employees can tag photos related to the topic. This fall, we asked employees to share back-to-school photos. It was fun to have so many employees participate. Parents love to show off their kids, and it was lovely to see a more personal side of our employees’ lives.
It may feel faster to send a Slack message asking for a pricing worksheet, or which holidays we have off this year, but we always redirect Wisetail-ers back to Apex. We also then take that opportunity to reassess our site layout to improve information availability.
In total, APEX is Wisetail’s one source of truth internally.
Our engagement programs are the bread and butter of the Wisetail culture. It’s important for us to offer multiple programs because just like learning, engagement and wellness are unique to everyone. Let’s look into a few of our programs in more detail.
The term Wisebird originates from the freeskiing word sickbird. Wisebirds are Wisetail’s peer-to-peer recognition program. We completely revamped our Wisebird program to accommodate a remote-first workplace. Employees have the opportunity to use Apex to award their co-workers a Wisebird badge, along with a recognition message telling the recipient what they’re shouting them out for. Wisebirds are a great way to show gratitude and promote connection.
Taking the traditions that made Wisetail culture so special in-person and transitioning them to be used in our virtual workspace is key to continuing to grow our positive culture and Apex is key to doing this. It allows for individual contributions, peer-to-peer recognition, and professional development. In a recent study by the American Psychological Association, researchers found that “93% of employees who reported feeling valued said that they are motivated to do their best at work and 88% reported feeling engaged.”
Our Whole You program is how we invest in our Wisetail-ers continued learning, support individual interests, and challenge our team to grow – both personally and professionally. Every quarter we gather together virtually to hear from experts on topics our Wisetail-ers have told us they’re interested in. It also provides a break in routine and lets everyone stretch their brain in new ways. In the past, we have covered topics such as financial wellbeing, how to fix a bike, practicing the skill of resiliency to avoid burnout, goal-setting, yoga, effective leadership, and much more. We record all of our Whole You and post that and any presentation materials on APEX.
To read more about our engagement programs at Wisetail, check out 20 Ways to Keep Your Remote Workforce Engaged.
Birthdays & Work Anniversaries
We love to give shout outs at Wisetail – whether it’s Sales making big moves, Implementation launching a client site, or Product and Engineering improving the platform. We especially love birthdays and work anniversaries! We post all of these big announcements on our dialog boards in Apex. This allows other employees to celebrate each other with likes and comments.
We have quite the competitive side at Wisetail and that means we love our trivia! Every quarter we host a themed trivia event. This is a tradition we’ve brought into our remote environment through trial and error, testing out different hosts from internal to external as well as different platforms such as Slack and Zoom.
At the top of every hour, the host places a new trivia question in our #trivia Slack channel and Wisetail-ers race to be the first to answer. I find it very entertaining to sit back and watch our employees submit their answers. I imagine them watching the clock intensely, waiting for the exact minute the clock turns, ready to instantly start typing away. The speed at which answers start flowing in is like fireworks— sparks flying in every direction, and your chance to be first to answer gone before you can blink.
Wisetail has always valued giving back – so much so that we partnered with 2% for Conservation.
Each quarter we host an all-company volunteer day to keep true to our roots, even in the new world of remote work. Our Operations team coordinates an in-person volunteer event for Bozeman, Montana locals and we encourage all of our employees to take that time to volunteer in their local communities.
“85% of HR professionals strongly agree that it’s important for employees to feel connected at work and 77% of employees agree that they want to work at an organization where they feel connected to the purpose and the people.” (Blueboard)
Social interaction is a huge part of the work day, and vital to maintaining your mental health while working remotely. To provide more social interaction for our Wisetail-ers, we host monthly coffee socials (or happy hours, depending on the time of day). These are simple Google meets to bring conversation back into the work day.
We work continuously at Wisetail to refine our culture during a time where the workplace is continually evolving. Utilizing an LXP enables engagement and learning in the flow of work, while fostering a collaborative, open learning environment with social gamification, communication and sharing features.
In 2021 we saw a 249% increase over 2020 in engagement and usage of APEX. Talk to our team today about how you can increase your engagement and retention.
To check out even more ways Wisetail keeps employees engaged in a remote environment, check out 20 Ways to Keep Your Remote Workforce Engaged.
Did you know, Wisetail is growing? Check out our open roles at Wisetail, and join our team today!
I am Emily Wood, the Internal Learning Management Systems Specialist at Wisetail. I have been at Wisetail for almost 3 years. I manage and promote engagement internally within our LXP – “APEX”. I help to build and monitor the success of our digital onboarding, compliance, and learning and development training for staff. In collaboration with our Operations manager, I help facilitate our wellness programs to promote Wisetail culture.