“Beginning Monday, March 16, we will be switching to work from home…”
A message that feels quite familiar to us all at this point, but just a few short weeks ago announcements such as this started sending shockwaves throughout companies large and small all across the country. For the majority of organizations, this signified the beginning of a mad rush of preparation and scrambling to outline, implement, test, and adjust their internal hardware, servers, software, workflows, etc. to ensure a smooth and successful transition.
Things were not much different at Beam Dental, with one major exception; thanks to our fabulous Leadership group and our proactive IT Team, the groundwork had already been laid for such a conversion. Once a decision was reached and the entire company notified, we quickly and effortlessly made the switch to a completely remote work environment.
With that headache out of the way, my peers on the People Operations (POps) team and I quickly came together to address the biggest elephants left in the room. How would this new environment impact our company culture? How could we be best prepared to support not only that vital piece of our company DNA but also all of our individual employees? The carefully constructed and fiercely protected internal culture is a bedrock of Beam’s success, and no way in hell would we let a pesky virus undermine or derail everyone’s hard work in creating this pillar.
What we lacked in epidemiological experience was quickly offset by two tenets of the POps team: passion and enthusiasm. We hopped into a (virtual, of course) meeting room, the suggestions started flying in all directions, and we quickly had a list of ideas to hopefully help our employees stay as connected as possible. Armed with our directives and excited to get started, we began our arduous journeys back home (it took me nearly 30 full seconds to make it from my office to my living room — thanks, Corona).
As always, when tasked with being creative, my mind jumped to its two primary settings/topics: food and music. Although I would love nothing more than to cook lunch for our employees daily, logistics are far from my area of expertise, so I was forced to put that plan on the back burner. After tossing out a laundry list of mostly (read: totally) goofy ideas, I was incredibly excited to get the green light for my favorite of the bunch. To me, few things are as universal and demographic-defying as music, so what better way to maintain our collaboration and connection than some shared listening experiences?
I quickly threw together an email along with a list of leaders throughout the company and started copying and pasting like a mad man. Although initially a tad nervous my request would be seen as cheesy, lame, and/or a waste of time, my fears were quickly put to rest by the amazingly positive response and lightning-fast submissions of songs. Thus, the Beam Team's Spotify Playlist Project was born!
As straightforward as it sounds, this project is centered around individual teams inside the company coming together and building a shared playlist, with input from anyone and everyone interested. Each day, I send out a link to the entire company via email as well as a company-wide Slack channel, so anyone interested can listen at their leisure and virtually jam along with their coworkers. Not only does this give us a chance to have some shared experiences throughout the week, but as a bonus, it provides great insight into our fellow Beamers!
Here's a taste of the project from our Account Coordinator team!