Had you come across Zoom before the pandemic hit? I had, but only because their CFO, Kelly Steckelberg, joined us as a speaker at our London MAD World Summit in October 2019. Since then, the videoconferencing platform has taken the world by storm. But that brings it’s own pressures.
In this interview, Zoom’s Head of Global Benefits, Sheila Krueger, shares her insights.
First, can you tell us a bit about your role at Zoom?
I’ve worn a lot of hats here since I started in May 2019. As our team has expanded, I’ve been able to now focus on a primary role as Head of Global Benefits. This is my sweet spot, as making sure that our employees have the safety net of benefits is very important to me.
The part that benefits plays in overall wellness can really make an employee’s life so much better. And providing a suite of benefits at a better-than-benchmark premium rate makes it even easier for our Talent team to recruit the best to work with us. When you start from a position of caring, happiness and wellbeing the candidates and employees can tell.
How does this link to the company’s core values centred on caring, happiness and wellbeing?
Zoom has really come to the forefront of our minds since COVID-19 hit. I imagine this has been an incredibly busy time for you. What are some of the challenges you’ve been dealing with when it comes to supporting employee wellbeing as the pandemic has unfolded?
How are you using the Zoom platform to address these challenges?
Even before COVID-19, our platform allowed us to meet our colleagues around the globe. During the pandemic, we’ve seen that business use expand to fill a gap as in-person social activities aren’t happening. We’ve had Zoom Open Mic nights, Zoom Trivia, Zoom cooking class, Zoom concerts, and a host of activities, include an on-line murder mystery!
Our Happy Crew (volunteer culture drivers) have scheduled coffee breaks, lunches, games, and lot of events via the platform as well. We had a smashing Diwali event, learning the traditions and also learning how to apply henna!
Our vendors are supporting us by using the Zoom platform as well. We have a global wellness provider who gives access to coaching and activities around the globe, as well as providing webinars on a wide variety of topics to help our employees cope with all of the current stessors…via Zoom.
What advice would you give to people who are experiencing stress related to constantly joining video calls?
Lots of tips!! Use your calendar to set your meetings for 25 and 50 minutes, instead of 30 and 60. Take that five minutes to move!!! Stand up, walk around outside or in your living space and take that mental break.
We’ve also started to have open discussions about “ALL THOSE MEETINGS”. What is their purpose? We have started a “Meet Better to Meet Less” initiative that stresses that meetings should be about quality (have an agenda, have the right attendees, create action items) and not quantity (check the frequency and length of meetings).
We are piloting “No Internal Meeting Wednesdays” to allow us time to work on projects and dial back on the internal meetings. It seems that every great time management tip ever written has twice the impact now that it did before. On the other side of that, it’s nice to use the platform for fun activities as mentioned above as well.