In the face of the pandemic, companies worldwide were dealt setback after setback. Some simply ceased to operate while others were forced to rethink their working arrangements, from fully remote to more hybrid strategies, all while adapting to wholesale shifts in consumer behaviour. However, while entering the belly of the beast, another danger loomed—what experts now widely refer to as ‘The Great Resignation’.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more Americans left their jobs in April 2021 than in any other month to date. That record was broken in July, then again in August, and in September. The numbers continued to rise.
Ortus has been no stranger to this turn of events. We too struggled with employee retention at the beginning of the year, as lack of trust and vision from leadership trickled down to the newest members of the team. But while people remained at the heart of the issue, they were also the solution. An approach centred on them proved critical in a time of crisis, and our results spoke for themselves as we redefined the meaning of ‘People-First’.
We kept it simple, leveraging social media to drive engagement among key partners and to celebrate employee milestones. Their wins were ours too, and we showed appreciation through personalised, thoughtfully designed gifts that supported small, often local, businesses. We also created a safe space, fondly called ‘End of Day Meeting’, for teams to connect every single day, and it was far from your average town hall. We built a real community, evidenced by our creative use of newsletters to share personal stories. Our team directory went beyond contact information and included hobbies, favourite colours, and coffee preferences.
“We built a real community, evidenced by our creative use of newsletters to share personal stories.”
Almost a year into our efforts, we achieved a 46.32% decrease in employee turnover. In addition, following quarterly Pulse Checks, Happiness Averages have gone up 18.86%, 13.9%, and 12.1% for our Operations, Marketing, and Sales teams, respectively. The numbers do not lie, and our success has not gone unnoticed. Clients are now beginning to ask for a taste of the Ortus experience.
Celigo and ZangaBee were the first clients who asked about our secret. Despite their teams working together for an entire year, they felt that values, goals, and visions were not fully aligned, and it was impacting the belief in and the efficiency of their work. The first anniversary of their partnership was fast approaching, and they decided to grasp the occasion as an opportunity to throw a celebration that would rectify the team’s culture and spirit. However, they did not want to settle for a run-of-the-mill party organiser. They wanted real engagement expertise, which they found in The Ortus Club.
A short but sweet beer-tasting event, an exciting series of icebreakers for typically reserved IT professionals, and a tried-and-tested master of ceremonies-slash-host came together for a truly unforgettable affair. What could have been just another virtual blowout was completely transformed, with attendees insisting to stay on well after the program ended.
An occasion that started with, ‘I recognise your name because you’re always CC’d in my emails, but I don’t think we’ve ever spoken,’ turned into ‘Your background’s fascinating! Shall we meet for a coffee tomorrow instead of our usual GoogleMeet?’ It was clear we had offered something truly valuable, and we are excited to take it even further.