Abby Hamilton Reveals How LiveIntent Puts People First
We’re big on people at LiveIntent: We do run a people-based marketing technology platform, after all. But there’s more to it. “Put People First” is one of our core values, and it applies not just to our customers, but also to our nearly 170 global employees.
Back in September, our Senior Vice President of People Development, Abby Hamilton, discussed career progression and company culture on an AW360 podcast hosted by Chad Hickey, founder and CEO of Lucky Forks. We asked Abby to delve a little deeper into creating a rewarding workplace culture.
Listen to the podcast!
You mentioned on the podcast that in the first six months of 2019, 26% of LiveIntent’s employees were either promoted or moved roles. How does the company help staffers with their career advancement?
Managers have consistent discussions with employees not only about their performance, but also where they want to go professionally so we can help them get there – whether it’s up a traditional promotional path or a cross-functional move. For instance, we have one woman here who moved from a customer support role into a product role because that’s really what she was interested in. We had talked about the skills and competencies she would need to acquire to successfully make that transition.
Also, just being a company that’s growing and changing a lot creates new opportunities for tech careers.
Isn’t it hard for managers when a top performer wants to move to another team?
It isn’t easy, but when managers say, “I don’t want to lose them,” we’ll often say, “Wouldn’t we rather foster what employees want and allow them to have that growth here versus finding it somewhere else?” It does take some coaching, but we have an executive team that believes in growth and mobility, so it starts at the top.
On the podcast, you talked about how LiveIntent taps into the passions employees have for various causes. Can you offer some examples?
A lot of our projects are crowdsourced with people coming to my team and saying, “Hey, I was thinking about this. Would you support it?”
We had an employee who had a close family friend who lost everything when the hurricane hit the Bahamas earlier this year, and we banded together as a company to do a fundraiser to help them. Also, we have a company band called RIFFF, and we’ve had fundraisers tied to their events. Most recently all contributions at the door went to The Trevor Project, which provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to young people in the LGBTQ community.
What’s the impact on company culture when you encourage people to pursue their personal passions and involve their peers?
It’s really big because when you allow somebody to bring their authentic, true self to work, you’ll see discretionary effort and engagement go up.
What are some other ways LiveIntent enables workers to bring their best selves to the office?
Diversity and inclusion are very important to us. It’s not just about building a diverse workforce, but from the second someone steps in the door here, how do they feel included? We started a group called BID that stands for “belonging, inclusion, and diversity.” It’s non-executive led so it’s really authentic. It’s not what the executives think that people want to talk about, but what our employees want to talk about. We relate those topics back into our work environment.
We also have a group called Women With Intent, and it’s about empowering females, especially in this digital media space where there’s a real gender gap higher up the ranks. We talk about topics like the issues women run up against, how we can support each other, and how women can deal with imposter syndrome, which describes thinking you are a failure at work.
Can employees in LiveIntent offices outside of New York – in Berlin and Copenhagen – participate in BID and Women With Intent?
Absolutely. They can call or video in. We set ground rules that it is a safe space, and we’re not there to judge each other but to really learn from each other.
You also noted on the podcast that LiveIntent’s employee turnover fell 9% in the first half of 2019 versus the first half of 2018. What contributed to the improvement?
It’s really hard to prove any one effort created such a drastic drop in turnover, but I think it leads back to allowing people to be themselves. We just did an engagement survey recently. Of all our scores, our direct manager scores were the highest, including for “I feel I can go to my manager with anything, whether that’s personal or professional.”And our focus on corporate social responsibility is a factor as well because it’s something that individuals are so passionate about.
Interested in working at LiveIntent? Check out our open positions here!