Home Feature As The Nature of Offices Change, Chief People Officers Explore Creating “People-First” Culture

As The Nature of Offices Change, Chief People Officers Explore Creating “People-First” Culture

by Maija Ehlinger

After navigating COVID shutdowns, companies of all sizes are now dealing with “The Great Resignation.” The latest job numbers suggest nearly 3% of the American workforce resigned during the month of August alone.

That has created a unique opportunity for tech companies looking for ways to attract and retain top talent. And Chief People Officers are leading that charge.

While companies have either moved to coworking spaces or ditched offices altogether to accommodate new workforce realities, Chief People Officers told Hypepotamus that they see this time of flux as an opportunity to build a “people-first” culture that is reflected in everything from how meetings are run to where offices are located. 

For Atlanta-based Pindrop, that has meant rethinking what a physical office space should provide. “We’re all about voice technology, so hearing the employee voice was just as important,” Pindrop’s Christine Kaszubski told Hypepotamus.

After shifting to a remote-first work model to accommodate employee preferences, Pindrop says it is moving out of its 85,000 square foot office in The Biltmore and announced plans to open a 25,000 square foot place office in The Interlock. The West Midtown location was picked because of the live-work-play model of the building, which includes restaurants, activity spaces, and hotels for clients and out-of-town guests.

That is particularly important for the fast-growing company, which now has half of its 250 person team working outside of Atlanta. 

Kaszubski also calls it a “full circle moment” for the company founded by Georgia Tech grads. While Pindrop is moving technically farther away from Tech’s main campus, it will now share a building with Encore, the university’s new flexible-term office space for entrepreneurs.

Up Highway GA-400, Alpharetta-based Intradiem is a SaaS company focused on assisting customer service teams. Kimberly Hiler took over as Intradiem’s Chief People Officer in May of this year, a role where she is implementing a “people-first strategy” with the team.

“It’s pretty simple, but if we take care of our people, they will take care of our customers,” she told Hypepotamus. “Companies are driven by customers and revenue, but I think more companies and more HR professionals are becoming more driven by people as [teams] are all more scattered.” 

Intradiem’s team has grown to be about 140 employees across the US, Canada, and the UK. Hiler said the key is to create a “high touch” model for potential hires, new hires, and current employees alike. 

“​​This world of remote hybrid is not going away,” she added. “So we have to be intentional about building culture.” 

For Intradiem, she says that is particularly centered around community service and other collaboration projects.

As a Chief People Officer, Hiler is navigating the new realities along with her fellow HR professionals. Companies of all sizes are trying to best situate new physical workspace realities with the mental and emotional needs of employees coming out of the pandemic. Many are leaning into a company’s unique mission and finding new ways to put that front and center with their employees moving forward.


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