In our previous articles, we have mentioned that the team at Giftpack are based in different cities in the world. At first, I concerned about building relationships with my colleagues before joining the team as I have never worked remotely for full time before but I immediately noticed how naturally everyone get on so I wonder what are the secrets. Combined with my own observation and interview with our CEO and CTO (Chief Talking Officer) Archer, here are the keys.
It is a fun challenge. At our weekly team reunion, the team members have to share about their personal lives in 5 minutes (it has been shortened as the team expanded) and they cannot mention about work at all. The members usually talk about how they spend their weekends, their favorite TV show at the moment, new hobbies, games they are obsessed with, funny stories at school…etc. It is a fun and effective way to get to know each other, especially most of us don’t see each other on daily basis. Sometimes we ended up watching the same show or playing the same sport based on some of our members’ recommendations which make us have more things to talk about other than work.
We often joke that it’s like speed dating between us (no romance involved though). We use a platform called Donut to set up our 1:1 bonding session each week. According to their website, “Donut regularly introduces team members who don’t know each other well to spread trust and collaboration across your organization.”
It is an excellent tool for a company like us, where everyone works remotely and it has become a new norm everywhere lately. When we work in the office, it is inevitable to have small talks during the day but when we work at home, our interactions are limited so the Donut pairing comes in handy. Our team members go to lunch or coffee break together or they just chat on video call for 15 minutes. It doesn’t take long but really worth the effort.
Let’s be honest, we disagree on many things just like any startup. As we are so eager to make our vision into reality, we often have different opinions on how do we achieve the goals. For example, something I noticed about Giftpack is that we are very transparent about our work which means anyone can comment and criticise our finished work. It could be quite harsh for some people at first but we make sure that our comments are not biased and their criticism is constructive.
Other the other hand, we are not shy to compliment each other when someone did a good job and we never take someone’s help for granted so expressing our gratitude is a must. Sometimes, a few simple words can make a huge difference.
Archer often emphasize how important it is for the team to have the same vision. For us, it is about bringing people closer by making cross-border gifting easier and more personalized. One thing you should expect about working at a startup is that unpredictable thing happens, a lot. It could be very overwhelming to deal with unexpected situations frequently but when we share the same vision, the team spirit will help us to face the obligation hand in hand.
As a company which aims to provide first-class gifting experience, it is no doubt that we understand the power of a gift. For instance, most of our interns work here for 5–6 months and when they “graduate”, they will receive a luggage tag with their names and work email engraved on it. Not only it is practical for our globetrotter alumni, but it is also a reminder for the time that they spent at Giftpack.
Sending employees a gift as a small token of gratitude is a great way to create a sense of belonging and motivate them. In the time of mandatory social distancing, your team are experiencing different levels of isolation and there is no better time to show your appreciation. As the holiday season is approaching, you don’t want to miss the opportunity to recognize their hard work during a difficult time like this.
For Giftpack, each employee is unique in their own way so engraved gift is not the only option. Our AI-powered gifting solution can help you to save time and energy for picking the perfectly-matched gift for each of them so every dollar will be well spent. Make an appointment with us to know more.