No HR? No Growth. How Foxbox’s HR Team Pushed Us Into Growth Mode During a Global Pandemic

In March, Inc. magazine announced that we’d landed at number seven on the magazine’s 5000 Regionals Midwest List. It was a prestigious nod that validated everything we’d worked for.

We grew our revenue to $5MM. We also crushed our 50 percent growth target and are now 100 employees strong. The crazy thing is we did all of this during a global pandemic.How did it happen? It’s complicated, but our HR team deserves much of the credit.

Global pandemic. Now what?

No one at Foxbox felt the squeeze of the pandemic more than our HR department. We leaned on them—and they responded.

Foxbox was already a remote-first company, so unlike other organizations, we didn’t have to retreat into damage-control mode at the outset of the pandemic. We’d already figured out how to run an international remote team. The pandemic simply handed us an opportunity to do it better.

Almost from the beginning, we set our sites beyond the pandemic and planned for the future.

If we were going to thrive, we knew we had to grow, mature, and remain stable. Thanks to our capable HR department, we did. Here’s how.

HR already had a deep knowledge base

There’s still an unfortunate misconception that HR is a “fluff” department. We can’t speak for other organizations, but our HR team is indispensable. That’s because they uphold the core pillars driving our business.

They know how we generate revenue and profit. They’re tech-savvy, well-versed in laws and regulations, and, just as important, know how to delight team members and customers.

In short, our HR team has business acumen. They see the big picture, and that’s critical when you’re in growth mode.

We automated repetitive manual tasks

When we hired Megan Zeeck as VP of People and Culture, she brought a decade of HR expertise and a fresh perspective with her. She noticed something: our HR information system needed help. She was right.

Our previous HR system was tedious and inconsistent. Everything from tracking time off and benefits to sending a simple “welcome” message to new employees was done manually. That created unnecessary work.

So we created a new system that centralized HR documents into one location. Now, much of the employee onboarding process is automated. The new system frees HR up, allowing them to focus on other tasks, like growth.We invested in employees

Foxbox invests in its employees. Why? First, because they’re good people, we want to enrich their lives. Second, we don’t want them to leave.

To ensure our team is happy and constantly growing, our HR team collects employee data. We know who’s requested training, what kind of training they want, and whether they received it.

We looked at the data and found gaps, specifically with management training. Our managers were already awesome, but they needed more support. In fact, most of them had never received management training before joining Foxbox.

Better managers, better employees. So that’s where our attention went.

We prioritized inclusion

Diversity has always been important to Foxbox. But there’s a difference between believing something is “important” and making it a “priority.” The pandemic handed Foxbox an opportunity to prioritize inclusion. And that’s what our HR team did.

Foxbox is a global team. We come from different countries and cultures and speak different languages. We’re diverse. We’re proud. That makes us powerful.

But being diverse also means that leadership must take great care to be inclusive, especially during a global pandemic. To do what we do, team members must feel invested. And to feel invested, they must feel safe.

To ensure that outcome, Foxbox eliminated exclusive language from all company verbiage, offers flexible PTO to ensure global employees celebrate their uniquely personal traditions, and hosts monthly town halls to encourage input on diversity.

Could we do more? Sure. And guess what? We will!


July 15, 2022
Rob Volk
Rob Volk

Rob Volk is Foxbox Digital’s founder and CEO. Prior to starting Foxbox, Rob helped Fortune 100 clients, including Pfizer, USPS, and Morgan Stanley build and scale enterprise apps. He was the CTO of Beyond Diet and implemented technology that scaled to over 350k+ customers, and was the CTO and Co-Founder of Detective (detective.io), a venture-backed intelligence platform that amassed 200k+ users in a short time frame. Read more

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