05.05.20

EXPERT TAKE

Soureya Boudhabhay on Behaviour’s HR strategy during COVID-19

Soureya Boudhabhay is a Senior Technical Recruiter with Behaviour, a position she’s held since June 2019.

With COVID-19 continuing to impact people around the world, we decided to go fully remote in mid March 2020. Within a few days, our IT team managed all the logistics of getting 620 employees working from home in the best conditions.  

From day one, the idea was simple:  striking a balance between ensuring the safety and well-being of our employees with the need to provide our community with uninterrupted access to our support, games and services. 

Let’s be honest, shifting to a completely remote work environment came with its challenges: adjusting to a new setup, combining our personal and professional lives within the same space and dealing with all the stress related to COVID-19. However, we’ve adjusted to this new reality.

What steps did we take? 

From the beginning of the outbreak, we communicated frequently amongst our teams. Transparency is of the utmost importance to us, which is why our CEO, Remi Racine, shares company-wide, weekly updates about the situation and Behaviour’s stance, as well as news about our ongoing projects.

Our teams organized themselves: They put a stronger emphasis on internal communication and established daily meetings to catch up. They also investigated the right tools and methodologies for moving forward.

We’ve shared internal resources to make the transition easier and smoother: from key well-being resources such as our Employee Assistance Program, which provides access to professional counseling and guidance, to resources that help everyone adapt to this new way of working (best practices, communication and collaboration tools, workspace). We committed to reimburse home office set up expenses up to $200. The team frequently shares their success stories and remote-work tips as we continue to work from home.  We’ve also introduced weekly online exercise sessions and an interactive magic class for the children of our employees. As for our Chef and culinary team, they have been filming some of their creations for the rest of us to test at home while they patiently wait for the office to reopen.

We’ve adapted our hiring process, but the idea is still the same: we have several exciting, on-going projects and we are looking for the right people to join and contribute. The means, however, have changed since the process is now fully remote. In the last weeks, I’ve seen way more partners, kids, roommates, pets and Spider-man drawings during interviews than ever and it has been super refreshing! We are all in the same situation and it is totally fine if someone pops up in your background or vice-versa. Our relocation process has also been reviewed in order to successfully adapt to both your needs and the evolving situation. 

Our onboarding process evolved, too. We wanted to make sure that all our new team members start in the best conditions. If you can’t come to the office, the office will come to you! We’re talking about all the equipment you need but also about your welcome package or the pizza you will share on webcam with your staff buddy. Once you start, the goal is to learn about your new environment (the team, the company, the projects, the stack) and align with your Lead on your objectives and priorities. You’ll have frequent chats with your Lead, your buddy, your team members and get the chance to know them on a more personal level.

Last but not least, we keep celebrating our accomplishments together! We’ve recently celebrated the launches of Games of Thrones Beyond the Wall and Dead by Daylight Mobile through a virtual Happy Hour. And we’re still organizing virtual lunches, coffee chats or board game nights so we can all stay in touch.

There is no playbook on how to surmount the current situation, but we feel that, now more than ever, it’s critical that we live up to some of our key principles: work-life balance, empathy, flexibility and autonomy.

In short, we want everyone to find the balance that works for them.

Stay safe everyone! 

Soureya Boudhabhay,
Senior Technical Recruiter