Covid-19 and a no-bullshit approach to employee experience. — fruitkit

Part 1: Origin story

If the concept of a “silver lining” is in any way admissible during these times of uncertainty, quarantine, pandemic and all the “fun” words getting thrown about — we at fruitkit would have to be grateful for an opportunity to slow down.

An auspicious start

A small Finnish company starts out in 2015 by delivering top-quality produce to B2B and B2C clients. Through obsessive bootstrapping, self-sufficiency and trial and error — they discover that the “sweet spot” in their scene is made up of companies with a common characteristic. So fruitkit decide to double down on B2B and this works great for us — until 2020.

  • Look beyond fruit
  • Fanatical about employee experience
  • Uncompromising about quality of life
  • Going above and beyond
  • Remain open to learning

Coronavirus strikes

Fast-forward 5 years, and business was looking great. Enter Covid-19: 95 % of revenues wiped out within a month, poof!

Part 2: What are we willing to obsess about, so we can do it better than anybody else?

Back to basics

This is when it was time to revisit the values and principles we say we are unwilling to compromise on, but may have taken for granted. So our thought process went something like:

  • Look beyond fruit
  • Fanatical about employee experience
  • Uncompromising about quality of life
  • Going above and beyond
  • Remain open to learning

And what does this mean in our business?

These customers too, were unwilling to compromise upon employee experience during a time such as we’re in. And in spite of some of these businesses facing financial challenges of their own — they have chosen to put the wellbeing of their people first, and for fruitkit to be their partner in such endeavour.

So who is doing employee experience right?

We had the opportunity to look deeper into the topic of employee experience at Futureplay Games.

Sounds nice enough, but are they really doing it?

Salla explains that, in this young company — the Employee Experience post has only existed for 11 months — which is precisely the time Salla has been with the company. I want to know more, so I press on with questions from her everyday tasks during the coronavirus pandemic; through to why invest in sending each employee fruit to their homes. Some of the highlights are below:

About employee power and autonomy

“Employees have a direct effect on our direction and the things that are important to us. They are also empowered to make decisions that affect the product they’re working on.”

About Covid-19 and Futureplay’s readiness to support employees

“I think the move from the office to home office actually went quite smoothly. It didn’t take a lot of extra planning from us in the admin team to decide on the roles and procedures. We had had weekly meetings with the company about it prior, so when it happened — the implementation took us about 2 days. There was a day when our CEO himself was delivering office supplies to employees’ homes, simply because that’s what the situation called for.”

What message do you emphasise to your employees during this time?

“Your family and your home come first. Work only after that. If that means we need to postpone the global launch for our new game, then that’s just what we will do.”

So what role does fruit delivery play here? Why bother, and why not something else?

“We wanted to do something to make our employees feel happy and to get them to think of something other than the current situation. So the idea of sending them something at home came up — and fruitkit was the thing we thought would work best at that specific moment”

Dear reader:

How are you providing a great employee experience during the current disruptions?

At fruitkit, we would love to hear from other businesses and their challenges during this time.

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Fernando Leon

Fernando Leon

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The human side of tech. I ask the “why’s?”, “how’s?”, “who’s” and “when’s?” when others think just tech. Talk to me about travel, dogs or ecosystem innovation.