Team Member Spotlight: Jessica Barrett
It’s time to engage your brain and learn about the Perfect Search Manager of Employee Engagement, Jessica. Is there anywhere else you can read about company culture, betta fish, and waterbeds in one post? We don’t think so.
1) What’s your favorite work task? What’s your most challenging task?
My favorite task is coming up with good team-building activities that the team actually enjoys. I quickly used up the repertoire I built up from working with high school students, so I’m constantly on the lookout for fun, somewhat silly, and very engaging things the team can do that they won’t think to be a waste of their time.
Recently we did a human knot with 14 people. If you’re unfamiliar with the human knot, here’s the basic idea: You stand in a circle, grab two different people’s hands, and then try to untangle everyone. I definitely didn’t think it would work. However, the team pressed on and we had a great time!
The goal of these kinds of activities is to get the team warmed up, comfortable with one another, and chatting so we can move onto meaningful discussions.
My most challenging task is recruiting. While we get many, many qualified candidates for our open positions, finding someone who is qualified and the right fit with our team culture takes time. We are picky about who we hire, as any organization should be, so it can be challenging to fill a position at any level–from intern to senior manager.
I certainly enjoy getting to meet many different people, hearing about their experiences, and introducing them to the office; it always makes bringing someone new on board that much more exciting.
2) What’s your best advice on promoting company culture?
My best advice for promoting company culture is to listen to your coworkers. If engaging your employees is the goal, it is the individuals on your team who will know best.
Find the appropriate activities and incentives to keep people happy and motivated at your workplace. No matter how excited you might be about something you’ve come up with, it isn’t going to be successful without excitement from your team. Read more of my thoughts on successful company culture here.
3) What resources do you use to expand your knowledge on HR and company culture?
I find that large companies that deal with recruiting, hiring and branding like Glassdoor and LinkedIn are great places to learn more about best practices for improving culture, buy-in, engagement, recruiting, and so on.
I also keep an eye on giants like Google, Microsoft, or other companies typically deemed the “best places to work.” These organizations really push the boundaries of benefits and perks of the job to keep their employees engaged.
4) What are your top 3 Perfect Search memories?
- Our first company offsite meeting. We recently had a very successful (and very fun!) company all-day offsite meeting. I’m so glad the team enjoyed the activities and discussions we had planned. It took a lot of work to get prepared for the day, but it was definitely worth it. Plus, it was followed by an impromptu happy hour where everyone got to keep hanging out together. It was the perfect end to the perfect day. Ugh, cheesy, I know. But true.
- Our holiday party. In December, we had a holiday party at The Violet Hour that was preceded by a white elephant gift exchange in the office. It was a great way to celebrate the holidays with the team, and everyone had a great time. Plus, I certainly took advantage of the unlimited appetizers. Yummy!
- Ping-pong. I am no good at ping pong–but I’m getting better! Just ask Anna, my unofficial trainer. I really enjoy the opportunity to take small breaks and chat with my coworkers every so often.
5) If you were on the game show “Baggage,” what would be your small, medium, and large pieces of baggage?
Small baggage: As an empty-nester, my dad bought himself a new dog and named it Baby Jessica (please note: my name is Jessica). While this was well-intentioned, it certainly was a little off-putting at first.
Why couldn’t my dad have gotten a male dog and named it after my brother? As time went on and the dog was only called Baby, I was no longer weirded out and just happy that I could play with the amazing puppy. Now I’m really the only one who calls her Baby Jessica.
Medium baggage: I bought a betta fish in the fall and did not treat it as well as I should have. While I truly tried my best, my laziness got the best of me and Gary did not survive the winter. However, Gary (posthumously named Gary I) has led the way for Gary II to have a long and fruitful life. We are only a couple of months into our relationship, but I am in it to win it. Besides, as I remind myself all the time, cleaning the tank only takes fifteen short minutes.
Large baggage: My childhood bed was a waterbed, thanks to the same guy who named his dog after his daughter. The bed was heated, so it was always warm and this facilitated some incredible (and sometimes sweaty) naps.
It was definitely an adjustment when I went to college and could no longer count on toasty accommodations to warm my cold feet. In my parents’ attempt to make the house market-ready, my waterbed has been deconstructed and replaced with a simple twin mattress. I didn’t even have a chance to say goodbye. Please note, this was going to be my small baggage, but thinking about it so much made me sad so it got upgraded.
Interested in learning more about company culture? Check out Jessica’s post on 5 onboarding tips to successfully welcome new hires.
Itching to tell us your baggage? Tweet us at @Perfect_Search.
We love our Perfect Search team. While we’re all different, our team loves fierce kickball games, a good ping-pong rivalry, and Thursday meetings featuring Catchphrase and Summer Shandys. Find out more about our employees, our culture, and our personality here.