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Future of Work Pioneers - TJ Butler
Head of Talent & Culture, TJ Butler, oversees all of the HR efforts. Read more about his story on how their practices changed with the shift towards hybrid.
Over the last two years, we have interviewed 2,000+ Future of Work Pioneers who have shared their insights into new work paradigms. Today we feature TJ Butler as part of our series. Enjoy!
T.J. Butler is the Head of Talent & Culture for 1SEO Digital Agency, Shock I.T. Support & the growing 1SEO Family of Companies. As the Head of Talent & Culture, T.J. oversees all of the HR efforts for in-house recruiting for 1SEO Digital Agency: including sourcing, interviewing, hiring, and onboarding new talent to join the growing teams. T.J. brings close to 20 years of experience in Talent Acquisition Management, Resource Management, Recruiting / Recruiting Management experience. His focus has always been client first, through service-driven execution. He is highly skilled in relationship building, negotiations, recruitment operations, and employee development.
How are you approaching your organization’s new work model (in lieu of 9am-5pm | 5 days a week)?
After having to shift from a traditional office setting due to COVID, we were able to quickly adapt and continue to serve our clients in a fully remote capacity while the state of PA was under lockdown. We followed all CDC, State & Local guidelines in our slow return to office “normalcy” from 1 to 2 to 3 days per week. All while putting measures in place to protect our employees and any of our clients that were visiting the office from mask-wearing guidelines, to temperature checks, regular office cleanings, social distancing & a green/yellow or red wristband system for everyone that enabled individuals their level of comfort for others to interact with them (which we still use). We are currently a “hybrid” office with more than 75% of our staff working 3 days per in the office and 2 days remotely.
What metrics or other indicators will you be using to measure how your new work model is performing?
"The level of customer service that we provide to our clients is paramount to our organization. We always have always been and will remain to be a client-centric agency that will put our clients first."
We constantly measure our employees’ productivity, regardless of location. We have also increased the levels of communication with our clients while providing more key performance indicators and breakthrough technology in digital marketing to increase our clients' ROI.
What does the purpose and vision for an ‘office’ look like from your perspective in the next five years?
Because we work with so many clients both locally and nationally, it’s imperative for our teams to be able to collaborate not just via zoom meetings, but also in person. A number of our local clients have also preferred to return to having meetings in-person, as video meetings, emails and calls have created a sense of “digital fatigue”. We plan to maintain our office as a place where digital marketers can come to grow their careers and we can continue to ensure that we help our clients to grow, protect and inspire their online success.
What were the top three challenges you faced since Covid hit?
One of the challenges we faced was growing our team during a pandemic. Clients realized the value of digital marketing and turned to us to help them grow, so we never slowed down in terms of growth.
Another challenge we faced was making sure that every employee’s needs were met from a health perspective. We were fortunate enough to never have an “outbreak” when we returned to an office environment, but juggling the day-to-day operations while having the occasional staff member out was not ideal.
Finally, the last challenge we faced was making sure that the COVID protocols we put in place met everyone’s needs. We never wavered from the health mandates, but we also put other initiatives in place to ensure everyone’s health and safety, such as the wristband system, no-mask policy for those who were fully vaccinated, and workspaces that were 10 feet apart for those who needed extra social distancing.
What is one tip you’d give to your peers or have you learned from your peers?
"1SEO Digital Agency has always made sure that all of our employees have a voice."
We started a weekly video call the 1st week we were remote that continues to this day. We review the traditional topics that we used to cover weekly, but we encourage our employees to speak up if they feel a process or procedure can be done more efficiently to help our clients.