EngageWith is one of the best culture-building apps

“Instant recognition became a practice at Talent500.” – How Talent500 leveraged EngageWith to build an employee-centric culture.


Company SizeIndustryChallenges

Human Resources Services

– Employee engagement within Slack 
– Build a culture of instant recognition
– Cross-team collaboration while working remotely 

Talent500 is on a mission to build the largest global remote workforce. They are in the business of building and managing the world’s best teams. Talent500’s product suite leverages AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning) to connect the right talent with the right job. Talent500 has empowered tech majors and Fortune500 companies to connect with job-fit talent.

We had an interesting discussion with Saurabh Kale, Sr. Director – People & Culture, Talent500, to understand employee engagement at Talent500, the snowballing effects of instant recognition, and the best practices to build a people-centric culture using EngageWith. Read On.

Can you tell us about Talent500 and your typical work day?

Talent500 is in the business of building and managing the world’s best remote teams. Our product suite leverages AI and ML to connect job-fit talent with global opportunities. We work with Fortune500 companies, tech majors, and budding startups to build their high-performance teams. We take pride that we are currently operating out of 50+ cities and 10+ countries.

My typical work day consists of stand-up meetings, people-connects and solving problems. My team and I focus on 4 core areas:

  • Onboarding, assimilating and integrating a new joiner into the team and the organization
  • Creating an engaging and superlative employee experience
  • HR business partnering, solving people problems and being an advisor to the business
  • HR operations, which looks after the payroll, benefits and all people operations

We are a team of 300 employees, and my team and I are in charge of ‘all things HR’ at Talent500.

That's phenomenal! So being a remote, Slack-first organization, what were your challenges for employee engagement?

We are primarily a remote organization with some teams requiring to be in the office on certain days. We are Slack-first, and that means most of our communication is asynchronous. In this scenario, employee engagement within Slack is challenging. If we just talk about the fun activities, it becomes time-intensive to get everyone to participate. Measuring employee engagement becomes a tough job for us.

Secondly, it becomes difficult to reinforce our culture and our values in a remote/hybrid work environment. You can run surveys but getting people to provide feedback and then collating the results is tedious. So, we were looking for a tool that could be integrated within Slack and help us boost our employee engagement.

How has EngageWith helped Talent500 with employee engagement?

We are a remote, Slack-first organization. As a culture, we encourage our employees to be asynchronous but connected to the extent possible. This means Slack is our first mode of communication, followed by emails. EngageWith helped us co-create an employee-engagement program with instant recognition and milestone celebrations.

We have 2 channels within our Slack workspace, Kudos and Celebrations. Kudos is used for instant recognition and Celebrations for all the employee milestones – birthdays and work anniversaries. Before EngageWith, these efforts were largely manual, like someone from the People team would need to tag a teammate and appreciate them for a job well done. The benefit of EngageWith is that the app nudges people to give recognitions. This has resulted in zero delays in recognition. People are instantly valued and appreciated for their work, and the company’s values are reiterated. This made it easier to percolate our values through EngageWith. 

EngageWith has helped articulate our employee engagement efforts and gave it the direction we hoped to achieve.

Was EngageWith useful to celebrate employee milestones like birthdays and work anniversaries?

Absolutely! In the past year, we have grown phenomenally. With so many new joiners, our team was stressed with collating all the birthdays and work anniversaries. When we were a small team, we could do it manually, but when the headcount reached 300+, it was not scalable to manage it through an excel sheet. EngageWith helped us in this regard. We could automate the entire process and never worry about missing out on a birthday or a work anniversary. The entire focus shifted to celebrating the milestone rather than stressing about the fact that we may have missed someone’s special day. My team would rate this feature 10/10!

How has team Talent500 taken to EngageWith?

Oh, very well! I believe that for any initiative to become a success, it begins with a push before it becomes a pull. One of the core values at Talent500 is to lead by example, and we encouraged our leaders to start recognising every week. Every Friday, typically between 3 to 5 pm, we encouraged leaders to recognize their teammates for their work during the week. This ended up becoming a tradition, and we saw a surge in instant recognition.

It’s not that the leaders were hesitant, but in your regular work day, this might slip off the radar. So we started with the leaders, but over time, this became a snowball effect where employees too started recognising their peers without being nudged.

Being a Sr. Director - People & Culture, what was the biggest problem that EngageWith solved?

We are a remote/hybrid organization at this point. Right now, The People team at Talent500 is on a quest to create a superlative employee experience. Employee engagement and recognition are the pillars of our employee experience. EngageWith was a great fit because what we wanted to create was a culture where people are engaged and recognized for their work at a peer level, at a managerial level, and at an org-level as well. So as a tool embedded in Slack, EngageWith helped us create that culture.

We do feel there is an improvement in how people collaborate and work with each other as a result of using EngageWith. An example of that is people work with their teammates day in-day out, but a simple recognition makes the collaboration so much fun and creates a good bond as well. The simple act of adding a personalized note on why you are being recognized goes a long way in shaping a positive working environment. So, definitely, EngageWith has created the right impact on how people work and helped shape our culture.

How was your experience with EngageWith as a product and our customer support?

I am personally a big fan of minimalism and white spaces. I like using products and apps that are clean and easy to use. EngageWith fits the bill here. It’s an employee recognition and rewards platform that delivers on that. As an admin myself, I can vouch for the easy-on-the-eye design, super easy navigation, and intuitive dashboard. I have thoroughly enjoyed using EngageWith.

We used the recognition feature the most, and it has been a success at Talent500. The customer support, I would say, is brilliant. I am unsure if I can put in a number, but my experience has been pleasant. The onboarding was superb, and the team were available to guide us, solve our queries, and sort out any issues promptly.

Build a culture of recognition with EngageWith

Neha Kulkarni

Product Marketer at Springworks. Connect with me for all things "Marketing, Photography, and Cricket".

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