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The pandemic has caused “growing mental and emotional exhaustion”, observes Trax HR head

Tech@Work

The pandemic has caused “growing mental and emotional exhaustion”, observes Trax HR head

While Trax wasn’t too impacted by Covid-19, its Chief People Officer, Flóra Bondici, noted the effect it had on its hundreds of employees’ mental health.

CTech | 09:39  14.12.2020
“The pandemic is challenging for everyone in different ways,” notes Flóra Bondici, the CPO of retail platform Trax. “Single employees are struggling with being home completely alone while working parents are juggling between kids and work.”

As nearly 1,000 ‘Traxers’ were sent to work from home, Bondici noted how it was difficult for some of the team members - even if the work and company accomplishments were unaffected. “We see a growing mental and emotional exhaustion,” she admits. To combat this, the company promised “to be more mindful and proactive in supporting our team while they go through these difficult times.”

Trax’s CPO, Flóra Bondici: Photo: Trax Trax’s CPO, Flóra Bondici: Photo: Trax Trax’s CPO, Flóra Bondici: Photo: Trax

This year, Trax had to navigate two acquisitions - Qopius and Survey.com - just as the world closed its doors and locked everyone at home. Bondici has joined CTech for its HR Series to share how the company cared for its employees through such a difficult time.

Company Name: Trax

HR Leader: Flóra Bondici, Chief People Officer

Field of Activity: Technology

Number of employees/location: Approximately 250 in Israel, 150 in Europe, 420 in the U.S., Canada, and Latin-America, and 180 in China and APAC.

Professional background of HR Manager: I started my career 18 years ago by establishing my own fashion startup. After spending five years in international fashion retail, I joined an HR Consulting firm for three years, then I spent over five years in GE Lighting in several regional HR leadership positions. In 2016, I joined Planorama as Global People Director, where I led the HR team from an early stage startup until the company was acquired by Trax. I was appointed Chief People Officer of Trax in April 2020.

On a scale of 1-10, how much did the coronavirus pandemic disrupt operations at the company?

The pandemic unsettled us mildly in some areas, so let’s say a 3 (assuming 1 means no effect at all). Trax has a very international working environment, with employees in more than 12 countries globally, and we are used to working remotely. However, we had just closed two acquisitions (Qopius in Paris and Survey.com in Boston, U.S.) at the start of the pandemic, and the integration was more challenging as a result.

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Our customers are Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) manufacturers and retailers, and we have held multiple brainstorming sessions on how to further improve our technology and solutions to serve them better in this unprecedented time.

What interesting technological tools do you use in employee management/recruitment?

We are truly excited about our new HR tools. In November, we launched Hibob, one of the most innovative and user experience-focused HRIS platforms I have had the chance to work with. In December, we are launching Juno Journey to provide a robust learning experience for Traxers. We are in the pilot phase with GrowthSpace to support our employees with expert coaches online, in their native language, at scale. This year, we also launched some small apps like Donut on Slack to help random team members connect better. In addition, we supported team members by providing a one-time work from home allowance so they could set up a comfortable home working environment.

This year, Trax celebrates its 10th anniversary. We had originally planned to bring all Traxers together for a huge party, but due to the pandemic, we decided to do it online. We created a celebratory website with a fantastic collection of stories about our Trax pioneers, company milestones, birthday videos, a “tag your colleagues'' game, and many other surprises.

What positive and/or negative impact did the outbreak have on the human capital of the company?

On the positive side, we have become much more flexible in terms of work arrangements, work locations, having more regular and effective town halls and communication channels, and accommodating individual needs. However, Traxers love being together, and we have been missing the option to brainstorm, work, and have fun together in person.

I can see one clear trend emerging in the remote work environment: well-functioning teams continue to perform, and the pandemic has had very little effect on their impact. However, we see a growing mental and emotional exhaustion. The pandemic is challenging for everyone in different ways – single employees are struggling with being home completely alone while working parents are juggling between kids and work. We just need to be more mindful and proactive in supporting our team while they go through these difficult times.

A Trax party. Photo: Trax A Trax party. Photo: Trax A Trax party. Photo: Trax

What are the two major challenges you are coping with these days?

We will continue to focus on two main areas the rest of this and next year: ‘Learning & Career Development’ and ‘Wellbeing’. Through our new learning platform Juno Journey, we are planning to offer Traxers an individual budget to spend on any learning opportunity they want and 40 hours of free time for learning throughout the year. We are also working on advertising our open positions better internally, so the opportunities are more visible and easier to apply for, even in a remote environment. For the Wellbeing initiative, we are building an exciting lineup of internal content so Traxers have something fun, meaningful, and refreshing to look forward to besides their daily jobs.

Are you actively recruiting? If so, what is the process and where can the applicants find you?

Yes, we are actively recruiting. We are building some new cutting-edge solutions and interested parties can check out our international openings on our careers website. https://traxretail.com/careers/

Which changes forced upon you by the circumstances will stay in place after Covid-19 is over, and which are you most eager to revert back to normal?

We are currently developing our “office personas” to define how Traxers will use their local offices when things go back to normal and what kind of adjustments we need to make. For sure, flexibility in terms of work locations and home offices will stay, as well as all the initiatives we have introduced in the past year to strengthen Learning & Development, Career Management, and Wellbeing.

Most of our HR team members have never met in person. Despite this, the team has achieved some fantastic results and impact this year. I cannot wait to bring everyone together at an offsite once the situation improves, so we can celebrate their amazing work and hug them all!

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