The last two years have been a difficult time for the whole of the broadcast industry.
In this exclusive interview, Anna Nilsson, Global Head of HR at Vizrt Group, tells us about how the company has kept up staff morale and engaged with its employees throughout the pandemic to ensure they feel valued and respected.
How are staff working? Hybrid, working from home? In the office? Have employees been told to go back to work or is it down to personal choice?
At Vizrt Group, we are inherently flexible, and many of our employees work on a hybrid model following the pandemic. That being said, we are so excited that we can get back to seeing our customers and colleagues in person. There are a few things that we believe is best done in person; developing relationships, discussing new innovations, checking in on installations, projects, and more, being some of them.
We’ve also brought in a new initiative called ‘Collaboration Days’ across the global regions of Vizrt Group. As I said, we are inherently flexible, but we felt it was the right move for us to assign two-days per week where colleagues work together in the office – this was to secure the forward-looking, productive collaborative magic that happens in person, as well as build up our office-culture again.
As a company, what have you found is the most effective way to engage with your staff?
Communication, communication, communication. Throughout the pandemic, we adopted a video-first approach, knowing that our colleagues were potentially isolated and feeling disconnected.
To make the channels of communication engaging, we kept it simple and focused on creating reliable and consistent channels where information and video was placed and stored. These were across Microsoft Teams – an All-Company channel – Global and Regional Townhalls and using our company-wide intranet called ‘Stories’ to keep everyone updated.
These initiatives allowed us to be creative with video production both live and recorded (what we do best at Vizrt Group!) through the Townhalls, as well as quick, productive, and reactive through Microsoft Teams and engaged and informed with our internal intranet.
What has been a few of the main challenges over the last few years?
It’s been hard to be away from each other and solely connect digitally, not only as colleagues but also with our customers. While the pandemic was indeed hard, the innovation, creativity, dedication, and demanding work from our teams to deliver for our customers was truly astounding. Our staff also found a new balance between work and life, being able to have more time at home and with family in the absence of a commute, which is something we value very much and is instilled into our organization for the future.
Another challenge has been onboarding new hires completely remotely and attempting to immerse them into a culture that they must experience through a medium of a phone and laptop. Since being back in the offices on a hybrid level, this is now getting better. Our hybrid model is giving the right
balance of supporting new staff in getting comfortable and learning their role, but also getting to know them as a person on a social level. Our culture has never been stronger across our regions and in navigating such a tough time over the past few years, we are immensely proud of this.
What have you done as a company to support staff and make them feel valued?
This year we have launched a few initiatives that have been successful. In January 2022 we adopted a global recognition and appreciation platform for peers and co-workers that collaborate across our regions. We implemented this program to celebrate the big and the small stuff, the successful projects, and the people that live our values of Collaboration, Balance, and Respect every day and it’s had a user rate of over 88% since January.
Development is key to us at Vizrt Group, so we also recently gave all our employees access to LinkedIn Learning which has thousands and thousands of opportunities for certification, to grow new skills and to hone in on existing ones. Since it launched, over 72% of staff have utilized it. On top of LinkedIn Learning, all employees have access to Vizrt Group University to learn about our industry and products, where we host regular courses to sharpen skills for success ranging from cybersecurity hygiene to Microsoft Office skills and more.
On top of this we’ve also been working on management training, with the post-pandemic move to hybrid working the pressure falls even more on the line managers to keep their team together, communicate well and to support their teams and departments with personal and professional development. We recognize this at Vizrt Group and want to support the managers as they navigate this new way of managing distributed teams.
What are the company’s values and how are they reflected in the way you treat your employees?
Our values at Vizrt Group are Collaboration, Balance, and Respect. We ask each employee to define what each of these values means to them, how they bring it to their day-to-day jobs, and how they see it reflected in their teams and by their management. We are a massive organization with regions worldwide — not everyone is the same.
We purposefully made our values fluid, so from Thailand to Texas, it might mean something slightly different to each of them – but similar enough to encourage core values that everyone can hold themselves to and that our culture can embody.