Q&A: How Hueman Builds a Great Culture

Posted by Terri Cohen

 

Employees enjoying the great culture at Hueman.Workplace culture is the shared set of values, beliefs, and attitudes that guide your organization. Companies who put in the effort to build a positive culture typically have more engaged employees, retain top talent, and experience better business results.

Culture can also help attract candidates who align with company values, and Hueman can vouch for that! We’ve hired over 200 employees within the last two years alone.  

To better understand what goes into building a positive workplace culture, Terri Cohen, Executive Vice President of Great Employment Experience (also known as HR), shared a few strategies that have led Hueman to be a certified Great Place to Work® for 16 consecutive years. 

Terri CohenQ1: What are some ways Hueman builds trust and transparency within the organization?

We find transparent communication is essential to creating a culture of engagement and trust. The leaders at Hueman have designed multiple avenues for two-way communication where we can facilitate conversations across the organization and among teams. Every Monday morning, we hold a company-wide meeting to review items for the good of the whole. This short meeting includes an overview of business performance, new hire introductions, and client success stories. Our leaders take turns presenting each week and share a little bit about themselves. We believe it’s beneficial to have relatable and approachable leaders with whom our employees can connect.

Additionally, we host a quarterly Town Hall meeting often led by our CEO, Dwight Cooper. During these gatherings, we share insights and information about our business, even our financials. At the end of each Town Hall, our leaders answer all questions submitted by our employees and address any concerns. No question is off-limits.  

At a team level, we encourage our employees to participate in weekly 1:1 meetings with their next-level leader to discuss goals, tasks, workload, progress, and concerns. Our employees leverage 15Five, a platform to track weekly progress and keep a pulse on how employees feel. Hueman has learned that with consistent communication, employees better understand how their daily work impacts the business – giving their work more meaning.  

Communication is a two-way street, so as much as our leaders like to share, it’s equally important to hear from our people. Hueman gives every employee a voice by requesting feedback on what we do well and what we can improve to ensure our strategies account for everyone's unique perspectives and ideas.  

Q2:  How does Hueman foster a sense of community within the culture? 

 From a business perspective, we strive to connect our employees’ contributions to the larger goals of the business.  One way we've done this is by implementing a quarterly profit-sharing plan dependent on our organization's performance. The better the company performs, the bigger the bonus. Because our employees understand that we are all working towards the same goal, we view each other as teammates. 

Every company claims to care about employees; we don’t just say it at Hueman. We show it. From day one, new employees can expect their desks to be covered in welcome cards from their immediate team and colleagues throughout the company. We make it a point to celebrate milestones with monthly birthday and anniversary parties and announce important milestones during company-wide meetings.  

We've created a tight-knit culture by allowing our employees to connect personally. We leverage interest and hobby-based group chats, including fitness, recipes, book clubs, etc., where employees can connect and share ideas, podcasts, blogs, updates, and words of encouragement.  

 Hueman also has employee-run sports leagues, including soccer, volleyball, and softball, which also serve to unite our workforce. Our people are highly active in these activities, which shows their desire to connect and build a community propelled by the culture Hueman cultivates.   

In addition to interests and hobbies, our company has various committees dedicated to advocacy and stewardship. The DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion), wellness, community service, and core value committees distribute monthly newsletters to educate and provide employees with a wide range of resources and opportunities to participate. They are organized by and include employees from all seniority levels — from entry-level to senior leadership.    

Q3: What kind of recognition programs does Hueman use?  

Public recognition is essential to our organization's people-first culture. We provide various platforms for our employees to engage, recognize, and celebrate one another publicly. During our weekly meetings, we feature the story of the week to recognize an employee who demonstrated world-class service to a client or a colleague. On a personal level, employees can utilize 15Five to send ‘high-fives’ to praise colleagues for the daily activities they appreciate.  

 For more significant recognition, employees can nominate co-workers for our weekly, quarterly, and annual "Core Value Awards." These awards align with one of our five Hueman core values — excellence, change, teamwork, trust, and service. All Core Value Award nominees are honored at our annual Holiday Party and those with the most core values for the year have their headshots featured on our Core Value Wall of Fame.   

Core Value wall of fame to display employee winners Q4: For the past decade, the opportunity for growth & development has been one of a company's most valued qualities. What are some of the resources that Hueman offers to support employees’ professional growth? 

It is crucial for us to provide ongoing learning and development opportunities for our employees. We do this by bringing in experts to conduct company-wide professional development sessions, utilizing learning management systems (LMS), and prioritizing internal promotion. 

Multiple times a year, we bring in experts to speak on various subjects our employees may find helpful in their professional and personal lives. A few topics that visiting speakers have covered this year are entrepreneurship and financial planning. 

Hueman uses three separate learning management systems to educate employees of all levels. These LMS systems allow our managers to pinpoint a professional development opportunity for their employees. We offer a variety of courses, from cybersecurity to specific skill training, and welcome employees to submit requests for new subjects. By having various learning management systems in place, employees have the levity to learn what they want, when they want.  

In addition to courses, Hueman is a company that often promotes from within. To develop strong leaders, we created our formal Leadership Academy, which includes training in situational leadership, emotional intelligence, and active listening (among other topics) to provide their direct reports with the support they need to succeed.   

Hueman also offers a formal peer mentorship program which provides a space where mentees can engage with mentors through a defined cadence to coach and be a sounding board for career growth and development. Fifty pairs of employees are taking advantage of the program this year.   

Q5: Hueman was recently recognized as one of the 2022 Best Workplaces in Consulting & Professional Services™. If you had to choose one aspect of your culture, which one do you think has made recognitions like this possible?  

An extensive list of elements has gone into creating our award-winning culture, but it all boils down to one thing: we live by our core values – Excellence, Trust, Service, Teamwork, and Change – every single day.  

Our values unite our organization and present themselves in every aspect of our business, including our strategy and structure. From the very beginning, we evaluate every internal candidate against our core values. Are they a good fit? Do their values align with ours?   

To keep our core values top of mind, we showcase them throughout our offices. Our "Wall of Fame" displays current and past core value winners, our largest meeting rooms are named after the core values, and each of our name tags shows our favorite values. 

Our values guide us daily in how we interact with one another and in the level of service we provide. They have allowed us to create something special, unique, and seemingly intangible - like the feeling of purpose, belonging, acceptance, and family. They have defined us and allowed us to build a community that shares the same values, which is how we have successfully created an award-winning culture. They are the reason Hueman is what it is today. 

To learn more about our most recent recognition and to see a full list of our Great Place to Work® accolades, please visit our company profile. 

Topics: recruitment strategy, talent acquisition, workforce