An HR Partner Customer Story...
Jessika Phillips, NOW Marketing Group
“With HR Partner, we now have a faster, frictionless and more consistent onboarding process that can happen with or without me!”
Jessika started NOW Marketing Group 11 years ago - inspired by a culmination of events and circumstances. She’d begun her career in telecommunications and worked her way up from the customer service department, all the way to being a distribution partner. She found she loved (and clearly had a talent for) authentically relating to customers. She would ask genuine questions, and really listen to the responses to understand her clients - which actually made it very easy to sell! Throughout this time, she started studying psychology and then transitioned to marketing.
Everything was going well until there came a time when she was pregnant with medical complications and needed to spend several months in hospital. During this time, despite being in a very senior position with a long track record at the telecommunications company, she was shocked to find that her company was unsupportive of her circumstances and she was let go. As she says, “something clicked” and she decided that she did not want to return to corporate America. While lying in her hospital bed, she formulated her ideas and decided that she would build her own company to help businesses authentically relate to their customers, with a truly supportive team culture as a key element.
Shortly afterwards, NOW Marketing Group was born with the vision to put relationships at the forefront of business and marketing. As Jessika says, their methodology and ethos helps, “turn followers into fans, clients into advocates, and community into collaborators”. The agency provides web development, social media marketing, ad management, video production, and design services to a wide variety of clients.
With the business growing quickly, Jessika realized that she needed a system to help with HR. She says; “Things were a little bit all over the place! We had project management software to manage our client work, but nothing to manage our employee records. It was difficult to keep track of vacation hours and starting new employees was a mess. We had systems for everything else but HR and onboarding was missing.”
Jessika discovered HR Partner and recognized immediately that it would fill the gap. She has since used the system to build out an impressive employee onboarding process and says that;
“With HR Partner, we now have a faster, frictionless and more consistent onboarding process that can happen with or without me! I can be out speaking or with a client, and new employees can get started.”
The onboarding process includes around 40 items ranging from tasks admin needs to do to set the employee up with the right systems and access, forms to upload banking information, videos created internally, training videos from Youtube that embrace the agency’s philosophies, online training courses to take, and a “How I Want to be Coached” form. Jessika says; “We decided to expand our talent pool so that it wasn’t just limited to people that could drive here. We want people at the top of their game wherever they are. We’re now bringing on so many new team members - many of which are remote. Since starting with HR Partner, we’ve doubled our team and thanks to the onboarding process, they can get through the administration quickly and can hit the ground running.”
Jessika also says that HR Partner has helped with better internal communication and creates a better perception for how the company is run - especially for new hires.
“Creating a positive team culture is really important because it’s the only way to truly get great work done on a consistent basis. If your team feels supported, they’re excited, and share your vision, then they’re fully able to share their talents. When we first started, I couldn’t afford to pay very much but I wanted my team to know they were cared for. That was missing in the last roles I had - I was always anxious and looking back, I know I could have performed better if the culture had been more supportive. To get the best results for our clients, we need to have a happy team. But also, I personally want to work in a place I like, so I want a fun environment with happy colleagues.” (Jessika also wrote an article on the role of culture in their organization here.)
As part of this, Jessika uses the work anniversaries and birthdays reminders in HR Partner to create a fun video from everyone telling the emplpoyee how amazing they are. They also use a system called BucketList Rewards which allows them to give points to team members which accumulate and can be redeemed for personal experiences. It could be a massage, a barista coming to their home for a coffee tasting session, swimming with dolphins, or anything. There are also many options that still work during Covid restrictions too.
Jessika also believes that quarterly reviews are a really important part of maintaining a positive and high-performance culture, and says that HR Partner makes sure that none of these slip through the cracks. “The system helps a lot by giving us transparency to see that all managers are doing their reviews with their team members - and highlights anytime this is falling behind.” “Taking the time to give feedback and really listen to each employee is another way of showing them that we care.”
NOW Marketing Group also uses HR Partner to keep on top of their Apple Lease Program for updating computers and phones, keep track of everyone’s training, and uses the timesheets function for hourly employees. Jessika likes the way HR Partner also encourages employees to use their vacation time - “they can see it in front of them when they log in, so it helps achieve more balance”.
“Overall, it’s giving us consistency across existing team members, helping them stay up-to-date, informed, and connected with everything that’s happening in the company - and I know this has helped move the needle.”
“If we didn’t have HR Partner, the consistency would not be there. It’s been instrumental in allowing new team members to feel connected and give them reassurance that they’re on track - especially for remote employees. I’m especially proud of how quickly we’ve been able to bring new people onboard - it’s cut down a third of the time for someone to get started.”
“A strong company starts from the inside out, and people need systems to help them feel confident. HR Partner is the practical tool which helps us create a living, breathing culture that truly supports our team.”
Given her expertise, we asked Jessika for her business advice for other companies. She says; “In terms of marketing, the funnel is dead, so instead of trying to fill a funnel with new leads, work on creating a flywheel with community, team members, customers. Word-of-mouth is the best source of business and it creates lasting momentum. If you focus on repeat, referral business, you don’t need to worry about filling the funnel.”
She went on to say; “If you’re building a business, don’t neglect your people systems. It’s part of your foundation for growth. Even if you’re small, you need to have a system to give you the level of professionalism that your employees expect. Do it now and you’ll thank yourself later!”
HR Partner Modules Used
Employee Birthdays & Anniversaries