This week, we decided to sit down with Selerix co-founder and President, Lyle Griffin, to discuss how Selerix’s workforce has adapted during the COVID pandemic. In the interview, Lyle also shares his predictions for the future of the industry and how Selerix continues to evolve to serve our clients during these uncertain times.
Q: How did Selerix adjust to the immediate shift to working from home?
A: Our preference was always to get people together to provide a collaborative environment, but we’ve always believed in giving people the opportunity to work from their home office if they needed to, even before COVID. We were very lucky to have our employees already set up to work from home. We didn’t have to buy a bunch of equipment or wait to compete with other companies who were scrambling to mobilize their workforces. We were able to continue working without any sort of interruption in our operations. That has been great, by in large everybody responded well to working from home full-time.
Q: What challenges has Selerix faced since COVID? How has Selerix adapted to these challenges?
A: In addition to the COVID pandemic, we were faced with social unrest nationally at the same time. We received some very constructive feedback from employees expressing the need for more education and communication around these issues, in addition to COVID. Since we weren’t seeing people in the office every day, we had to be more diligent about taking time to communicate internally. One of the biggest risks posed by the pandemic is leaving information fragmented, causing our employees to feel isolated. We have leveraged Selerix Engage to keep our people connected and engaged with one another.
We have also hosted several informal virtual events, which was a great way to get together and have everyone re-connect. But we also found we needed to have more formal communications from the leadership team addressing each department’s progress and areas of focus. Being completely transparent about the company’s financial position and business operations has been absolutely essential for maintaining morale during the pandemic.
Q: In what ways do you think Selerix will be different leading into 2021?
A: I fully expect our employees will work from home through the end of the year. I don’t expect to invite people back to the office until we’re far into the beginning of the new year. There’s a good chance there will be a vaccine, but there are a lot of other factors to consider that impact employees’ personal lives.
When we do come back to the office, I expect that we will be more inclined to support people working from home at their discretion and maybe even a little more relaxed in our dress code.
Q: What are some ways COVID has impacted on our industry?
A: There is a portion of our business that’s based on per employee per month fees, and those fees are paid based on the number of employees the client has. When companies furlough major blocks of their organizations, the payments are disrupted. We are very lucky this hasn’t impacted Selerix as significantly as it has other companies in our industry. Luckily, we have not had any reduction in our workforce; we’ve actually been growing.
Of course, we’ve had to pivot how we’re doing certain things. A lot of enrollers who work with our partners aren’t able to meet face-to-face with clients and have to adjust the way they connect with clients. In direct response to COVID, we created a new feature, Virtual Enrollment Assistance, to add value to enrollers working remotely and help them connect with employees.
Q: In what ways do you think the impact of COVID has permanently changed our industry leading into 2021?
A: For quite a few years, there has been a real emphasis on self-service. People feel invincible when they get in front of a web browser and can figure out benefits for themselves. The immediate impact of COVID has accelerated the emphasis on self-service enrollment. As a direct result of COVID, self-service enrollment has doubled on our system since the second quarter of this year. We’re seeing enrollment companies change the way they work with web conferencing and call center support. Employers are insisting on a great self-service experience, and I don’t see the demand for self-service diminishing after this year.
Q: What advice do you have for organizations struggling to adapt to COVID’s impact?
A: The biggest piece of advice I can give to organizations is to trust your people. More than anything else, your team members need to feel like they are trusted. They need to feel like management isn’t going to make capricious decisions and expect employees to fall in. An abrupt reopening of offices will likely cause uproar; we must remember we aren’t living peoples’ lives and can’t be sure exactly what’s going on in their personal lives. People are going to come back to the office when they can, when it’s practical and makes sense for them personally. Just be patient with that process. Getting back to normal after the impact of COVID is not going to happen overnight.
If you’d like to learn more about Selerix and our suite of industry-leading products, visit www.selerix.com or reach out to us at email@example.com.