My name is Bethany Kasmar and I’m Senior Director of People at HG Insights. One of my favorite parts of the job is reviewing the GEM award nominations, an all-employee nominated team member who’s consistently “Going the Extra Mile.” Reading the nominations is a regular reminder of everything we’re doing at HG and why we do it.
Everyone has lives outside of work, and whatever’s happening can have effects on their professional life. We all need to be supported through all facets of our lives, our role, and our career.
HR = Helping you in your Role
I’ve always wanted to help people—which led me throughout nonprofits, healthcare, and education—and that’s what drew me to the HR field 15 years ago. While I was working at a smaller grantmaking foundation we all wore many hats, and I was responsible for both accounting and HR responsibilities. I quickly learned I preferred human-centric work, so I devised a way to focus on that by streamlining the foundation’s accounting via automation. This opened up my schedule to work with people!
I was lucky to find a mentor who helped me make the transition permanent. She was kind, friendly, and willing to listen. I loved how she modeled her approach to HR—it wasn’t robotic, she helped the team with personality and empathy. She made HR approachable by being there to talk, listen, and help navigate personal and professional difficulties.
HR isn’t something scary—we’re here to help! It’s people-focused and improves employee experience and well-being. We work hard to comfortably integrate employees into their teams and the company! People are people, not resources!
Fortunately, I found a way to actively navigate my career, a privilege that has only grown since getting to HG.
A Step Forward: My Personal Mission
I try to provide a safe and comfortable space for the team—that’s my personal mission. In HR, we treat our employees as our “customers.” They receive the same customer-centric mindset as all of our external customers do. Everyone has things going on in their lives outside of work, and sometimes this can affect their professional life. It is important to support our employees through all facets of their life and their career. But it’s not only my mission to serve employees, HG shares this vision! Leadership supports us in many ways and has given us the ability to grow the HR team because they care about the team and the growth of HG.
Another part of my personal mission is our core values. We hold our values throughout everything we do—starting at the hiring process, and throughout the employee lifecycle —everything comes back to our values. They are present in how we do business, how we innovate, and how we treat our employees, customers, and stakeholders. Our values are:
- We ask for and give help
- We embrace challenges
- We are all part of the solution
- We care about our work, our customers, and each other
“In essence, our company values give us the experience we want our employees to have while working at HG. The impact our employees have not only on our company but on each other creates a shared meaning of why we are working for HG. It influences our culture, guides our strategic goals, and ultimately is the cornerstone of our business. They help us create the future we want to experience and how we make decisions each day. We live them each day by choosing priorities, projects, and how we treat each other. As a leader, our company values influence my leadership style and the environment I set forth for my team, and what actions I take on a daily basis.”
What is Company Culture?
This is easily the most popular interview question I get.
Of course, we have a company-wide culture (back to our values!), but culture is also approached differently in each department or leader, it’s not always homogeneous. We all take ownership of our culture, we all make the culture. Everyone participates in our culture, it’s defined by all of us—not the CEO, not just HR.
Culture evolves around different backgrounds, locations, and teams. We’re here to actively shape the culture, and we invite the team to actively shape the culture around them. One of the biggest ways we do this at HG is through communication. On Slack, we’re constantly recognizing teamwork and individual members on channels like ring-the-bell and 3-gratitudes, a thank you channel started by our CTO in which team members name three coworkers they’re grateful for, then those three name three more! It’s a great way to make people feel seen and recognized for their hard work and build the culture. We also have a mentoring program and help everyone find ways to make the culture work with them! And all these programs were all started by team members who are eager to shape the culture around them!
Life at HG
If you’re happy, learning, growing and developing, you’ll want to stay where you’re getting that support! Every day we work hard to promote our values and our culture. We also make sure our team is happy on an individual level.
To make sure we can do this we have built out all aspects of our HR team from learning and development to people operations, and talent acquisition. The HR team members (along with everyone else!), help promote diversity and inclusion and engagement with the culture which HG benefits from. We hire from anywhere in the continental US and some global areas which has given us more opportunities to hire from diverse locations and backgrounds, which is a priority for us.
Another piece of our culture is ensuring our employees feel supported for taking a break from work. Thanks to our 15-day minimum PTO and flexible benefit policies. Even though everyone on the team deeply cares about HG and our projects, we make sure they take the much-needed time to refresh, reset, and rejuvenate. We also host in-person and remote events and lunches and get-togethers to celebrate the team and everything we’ve accomplished. We have robust benefits for both learning and wellness.
We do this work from the HR team upward, but it also comes from the top down. HG’s leader isn’t scared to have hard conversations, to say what needs to be said. The industry has taken note of her success, we have an award-winning CEO! And everything we’re doing to make a great culture for the team is working, we have received so many awards—earning 20 awards in 2022 alone!
We work hard to make sure everyone loves their life at HG. This is why I joined HG, and you should too!
Learn about life at HG in our previous Day in the Life post.