In this episode of the SeamlessMD Podcast, Dr. Joshua Liu, Co-founder & CEO at SeamlessMD, and marketing colleague, Alan Sardana, chat with Yolanda Ho, Human Resources & Operations Manager at SeamlessMD about company culture & hiring during COVID-19. See the full show notes below for details.
Guest(s): Ms. Yolanda Ho, Human Resources & Operations Manager at SeamlessMD
Dr. Joshua Liu (@joshuapliu), Co-founder & CEO at SeamlessMD
Episode 23 – Show notes:
[0:30] Introducing Ms. Yolanda Ho, HR & Operations Manager at SeamlessMD;
[1:34] How Ms. Ho defines workplace culture using a choir/band analogy, indicating how the sum is greater than its parts, not by ping-pong tables and overall “coolness”;
[3:54] How Dr. Liu has maintained his own operational definition of company culture, wherein the company can serve as a place for different people to come together with a shared set of values such as SeamlessMD’s three operating principles: Speed, Simplicity, and Customer-centricity;
[6:51] Why SeamlessMD’s culture adapts and grows as people join the team while maintaining core principles and values;
[7:50] Why SeamlessMD has a weekly all-hands meeting to hear patient stories and feedback and to give shout-outs to team members to highlight team achievement and recognition;
[11:46] How SeamlessMD has a weekly “lightning talk”, where each week, someone is given the opportunity to present any topic for the team to learn more about their fellow coworkers’ interests in a pseudo-TED Talk format;
[14:23] How the transition to remote work has impacted SeamlessMD from a cultural standpoint including additional challenges for the group to overcome, such as not being able to check the group “vibe”;
[20:29] How SeamlessMD maintains diversity and inclusion in hiring and why SeamlessMD is fortunate to operate in Toronto due to it being so multicultural;
[26:36] How SeamlessMD is rapidly growing the team after raising a Series A, and why Ms. Ho has concerns such as a possible divide between the OG team members and new employees who may be unfamiliar with company culture, as well as for the increased need to be patient and open to allow for mistakes and learning;
[30:39] Why Ms. Ho believes an indefinite transition to remote work would be detrimental for SeamlessMD’s culture due to the importance of in-person interactions in facilitating and maintaining a positive work culture/environment and how SeamlessMD will likely have a flexible remote work policy wherein team members would come to the office 2-3 days per week;
[36:52] How working from home has benefited the team by increasing freedom around taking breaks, the convenience of home-cooking, and for the increased propensity to using online platforms over in-person meetings;
[42:33] Lightning Round / Fast Five:
Q1: Favorite book/book gifted the most?
A1: Two books: “In the Realm of Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction” by Dr. Gabor Maté, and “The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down” by Anne Fadiman
Q2: Who is a person, either dead or alive, that you’d love to meet?
A2: I would like to meet either Jesus Christ, or Abraham, or Buddha; any of the major figures that have shaped the major religions of the world.
Q2.5: If you had a time machine and you could go back to any time and any place for a week, when/where would you go and why?
A2.5: Rome because of the TV show, Rome!
Q3: Do you have a favorite food, and if so, what is it?
A3: I love pizza! I think I eat it at least once a month… for an entire week!
Q4: Would you rather have super strength or super speed!
A4: Super strength because strong women are important, and strength can be both physical and mental. Though, I’d opt for super physical strength because if you’re super strong and you do strong people things… you burn more calories and can eat more pizza!
Q5: What is one hobby, activity, or skill you’ve gotten into since the beginning of the pandemic?
A5: Running and keeping plants alive!