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How Billups is Reframing Employee Culture Post-Pandemic

Jennifer Napierala
September 2, 2022

Over the last 2.5 years we’ve seen havoc wreaked on the workforce, from the Global pandemic to America’s “Great Resignation” to major threats to our own industry: Out-of-Home (OOH) Advertising. Now the OOH industry has bounced back and is stronger than ever, but post-pandemic companies everywhere are struggling with the challenges of how the workplace has shifted and are reevaluating what responsibility an organization has for the care of its employees.

Since the early days of the company, our cofounder Heather Billups attributes the company’s success and growth to living our values and hiring people who live those qualities of empowerment, relentlessness, inspiration, authenticity, innovation and collaboration. The proof lies with the fact Billups has gone from a two person company to one of the top OOH media management and tech service companies globally.

Globalization and embracing a remote-work mindset has changed many companies. Gone are the office happy hours and water cooler chats of yore. Additionally, working with people across countries, cultures and timezones needs to be carefully considered. As Billups employees are being brought on from all corners of the world, how can we bring our people together holistically to make them feel cared for and like they are valuable contributors, and really embrace our mantra for this year, “We are all in this together”?

The company was seeking a skilled People Ops expert who understood the culture and could help bring how the Billups team envisions supporting its people to life. As a Billups HR veteran, I was excited to return to the company and take on the role as Head of People Ops for three reasons:

  • Billups is on the precipice for rapid scale. We have nearly doubled our headcount in the past 2-3 years and our workforce is quickly expanding into Europe and other continents.
  • Billups has a flat organizational structure and is not beholden to investors. This means that employees are empowered to bring forth and execute on their ideas and really own their roles and projects in a unique way.
  • Leadership at Billups fully supports reframing the employee experience from onboarding to mentoring and preparing them for their next venture, whether that is with Billups or not.

Each and every person in the company is a success. Nothing is handed down from on high. There is a sense of pride that comes from this type of company structure that cannot be overstated,” Jennifer Napierala said. “We are the captains of our destiny.

Over the last year, we've built out the People Ops team from one to five people. Together, the team has laid much foundational work to launch programs that will pay dividends over time and allow Billups to scale, expand its brand presence and share our special culture in new markets across the globe.

Billups People Ops Team
We updated our HR tech stack with Lattice, which functions as a smoother HR and performance management tool that allows for reviews, goal setting and continuity in team relations. There’s also a function that integrates with Slack called, “Lattice praise”, that highlights praise among employees.

The company also brought in a seasoned HR & Talent expert to enact Billups’ first ever Learning and Development Director to enhance the employee experience from onboarding to ongoing training capabilities. Every person in the company also has an Udemy subscription, which provides over 6,000 free courses for everything from language learning to hard business skills.

In addition to the physical work, we wanted to place a greater emphasis on employee wellness. We believe employees should:

  • Be financially stable with the ability to plan for their retirement
  • Feel psychological safety and like they belong
  • Have access to resources to take care of family and find work-life integration
  • Be granted ample time off for refreshing
  • Have access to low cost competitive insurance offerings 
  • Have a set up that empowers them to work from home productively

Here are some examples of what we have implemented to improve employee wellness specifically:

  • More time off: All employees are granted one week for holiday break so they can rest and recharge. In summer, employees are encouraged to sign off after lunch on Fridays in their respective time zones.
  • Wellness tools: We recognize our employees have families who are also under strain due to the new world we are living in and that taking care of their families is just as important as taking care of our workers. Every employee and up to 4 dependents have access to the Calm app, which provides meditation and stories to help with stress management and sleep.
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Workshops: Every person at our company has been participating in DEI workshops working with Holistic Inclusion Consulting (HIC) to teach our people how to discern and combat bias and micro aggressions so that we can further encourage a community that recognizes, respects and celebrates differences. Looking to the future, we will support the formation of sustainable Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to celebrate community and diversity within our teams and further promote belonging.

There is still much work to be done-by no means do we have it all figured out-but we also have quite a bit to be grateful for. We’re continuing to build out strategic recruiting and sourcing initiatives to become a standout in the OOH industry for diverse talent.
Our goal is to set the standard so that we can become not only the top global OOH strategic media and technology company in terms of dollars and services offered, but number one in terms of the care, compassion and service that we provide to our people who work relentlessly every day to deliver amazing and move the world.
Ready to make your next career move and consider joining the Billups team? Check out our careers page for our latest openings.

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