Adlucent’s Employee Experience Team Evolves Culture While Shifting to a Remote-Forward Workplace
Expansion and inclusion have become the dynamic goals for the evolution of Adlucent company culture during this time of accelerated change. When our team went to full remote work in March of 2020 in response to the pandemic, we gave up an important part of our company history. Our company’s physical office space and work environment had always been a source of pride, with care taken by the company’s founder and leadership team to create and maintain workspaces that honored Adlucent’s unique spirit of creativity and collaboration in the heart of Austin, Texas.
It was uncertain at the time if this shift to remote work would be permanent, but it was clear that preserving Adlucent’s culture without shared physical space would require intentional and proactive responses to the changing needs of our team and our community.
Later that year, Adlucent formed the Employee Experience Team (EET) to directly address the need for adaptation. The team quickly embraced their goal of preserving Adlucent traditions and supporting the evolution of company culture to create a work environment driven by purpose, belonging, and connection. This goal ladders up to Adlucent’s company mission: to inspire the problem-solvers of tomorrow to reimagine client outcomes. Check out what some of our Adlucites have to say in our Adlucites on a Mission video series.
To bring their goal to life, the EET has expanded opportunities to participate in service, social, and wellness activities that include in-person and virtual events. We provide an array of activities that Adlucites can choose from based on their availability and interests. We recently brought back a longstanding Adlucent tradition known as “Pod Olympics,” a sort of field day, and we added a similar virtual event on the same afternoon to provide shared experience options for our team. The combination of in-person and virtual participation options are replicated in other events, such as our spring Scavenger Hunt and quarterly Company Meetings.
We’ve increased the list of Adlucent culture activities to include a weekly virtual lunch series known as “‘What’s for Lunch?’ Wednesday” that brings people together from across the company to share lunch with coworkers they don’t interact with every day. We’ve also introduced a monthly virtual coffee hour that invites people to start their day with a casual chat like we used to have around the water cooler. These events are hosted by members of Adlucent’s Culture Council and provide new ways to maintain social connections.
Throughout 2021, we partnered with our client Gardener’s Supply Company to support their Harvest Hope campaign through in-person volunteering and donating funds to non-profit organizations that address food insecurity. This is another example of a new initiative that combined hands-on and virtual support opportunities. We’ve also created seasonal wellness challenges that participants can join from anywhere with incentives that vary each time.
Another notable expansion of Adlucent’s company culture is the founding and development of our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Council. Formed in 2020 and ramping up in 2021, the DEI focuses on reinforcing our workplace as somewhere diverse backgrounds are celebrated, everyone is respected, and uniqueness is valued. Through our active DEI council, employee resource groups, philanthropic initiatives, and hiring practices, we hold ourselves accountable to provide a safe environment for people to grow personally and professionally.
As Rachel Cooper, Account Manager, observes, “The culture Adlucent fosters is something that we are truly proud of. I’ve been lucky enough to be involved with various culture committees within the company since I started over four years ago. I’m always excited to see how people really show up to provide impactful community involvement, unique employee experiences, and are always up for trying something new to see what works best as we evolve and grow. Remote life has presented a whole new landscape for Adlucent’s (and many others’) company culture, and we will continue to brainstorm and experiment to find solutions to keep our new working environment fun and engaging.”
Guiding our company culture goals of expansion and inclusion are Adlucent’s Core Values – Make $#%& Happen, Keep It Real, and Don’t Be a Jerk. Introduced in 2018, these three intentions are at the heart of how we interact with one another and inspire our collective challenge-loving, problem-solving, collaborative spirit. Del Cooney, Senior Account Supervisor, notes, “To me, culture is a set of common values, the way people feel about the work they do, a shared belief about the way we should treat each other, and a willingness and ability to shape the business around the needs of the workforce. As we shifted to remote work during COVID, Adlucent continued to walk the walk in committing to our Core Values with a renewed commitment to people development, community partnerships, DEI initiatives, and recognizing the team for outstanding contributions.”
The expansion of company culture has required a deepening of communication within the company, and we’ve introduced new initiatives to facilitate an ongoing conversation among coworkers, teams, and leadership. We believe that culture cannot be dictated; it must be created every day with contributions large and small from each member of our team. Our continuously improving culture is reflected in the way we interact with each other and our clients.
To expand social communication, we added a “Watercooler” feature to Slack to encourage casual daily “get to know you” moments of connection. To encourage honest feedback on company culture initiatives, the EET created a Pulse Survey, an anonymous poll delivered to Adlucites each month with just two questions designed to measure how individuals feel about their employee experience. Our YTD average response to the monthly Pulse Survey is 91% positive.
We also encourage communication through our Leadership Q&A program, which allows employees to submit anonymous questions to our leadership team with answers published monthly to provide greater transparency around important topics of interest such as company direction, compensation, and benefits.
The result of these additions, changes, and improvements to the way we work together is an employee retention rate that remains above the industry average. More importantly, our responsive approach to the challenges of maintaining company culture in the remote-forward company model is creating a positive experience for the members of our team. Rey Villarreal, Business Development Representative, remarks, “In the short two months that I’ve been at Adlucent, I already feel like I have connected with the company incredibly well…The amount of fun we have with our coworkers in virtual and in-person activities is a breath of fresh air following my stints in a couple of corporate environments. I had heard about the culture for the past three years from current employees, especially my brother Bobby, and it has exceeded any expectation I had.”
Adlucent celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2021. Our company motto, “Better Every Day” has never been more relevant than at this moment in company history as we embrace a remote-forward model that accelerates the evolution of connecting and communicating as a team. We are a company founded on the principles of continuous learning and performance improvement. As we close out a historic year in company history, we are focused on expansion and inclusion. We are actively recruiting new hires from across the country for our open positions, and our once Austin-based team is spreading out to new cities as we embrace the freedom to work from wherever we call home. While it has become more challenging to stay connected and maintain feelings of group cohesion, Adlucent company culture has expanded to meet the needs of our growing team and with inclusion efforts at the core of everything we do, and the heart of Adlucent remains strong.
As Culture Manager, Erin focuses on preserving Adlucent company culture traditions while nurturing the evolution of culture to create a work environment driven by purpose, belonging, and connection.