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Acquia Culture in Action, April 2020

During periods of crisis, good leadership and open communication are paramount to keeping teams working together and maintaining a positive employee culture. At Acquia, we’re focused on methods to reduce the fear, stress and uncertainty for all our team members through transparent communication, regular check-ins and access to resources that help to lessen the difficulties everyone is struggling with right now. We aim to empower people with the knowledge and skills they need to grow and lead their own careers, which is why we recently published Acquia’s Learning Programs Guide. See how our teams continue to support each other throughout these trying times.  

#GiveBackMore to Communities in Need 

As much of the world is facing financial hardships, many nonprofits and NGO organizations are struggling to collect donations and resources to continue their missions. Acquians are helping support important causes such as the WHO COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund by making donations directly through our employee recognition tool, Bonusly. So far, more than 100 Acquians have contributed and helped the WHO raise more than $32,000!

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Jenn Sramek, Director of Learning Services at Acquia, is also leading an effort for Acquians to give back. Jenn serves as the President of the Board for Haight Ashbury Food Program, a San Francisco human services agency that delivers food to those in need. When the organization was recently informed that more than 40 of the existing food pantries in San Francisco were not accepting deliveries during the shelter in place order, Jenn helped lead a charge to get much-needed resources to the city’s most vulnerable populations. Haight Ashbury’s staff updated their website, cleared new volunteers and secured extra cleaning and safety supplies so that they were able to stay open and provide for the community. In a single weekend, they distributed emergency food to more than 100 people who regularly attend the pantry and made more than 100 other additional home deliveries to the surrounding area.  

Another nonprofit organization facing financial challenges due to COVID-19 is the Drupal Association, which supports the global Drupal community and its members. As one of Drupal’s top supporters, Acquia is pledging financial support, continued code investment and training materials to help the Drupal community weather the impact. Many Acquians have also made donations to the Drupal Cares Campaign, which directly supports this mission.  

#InspiringCrazy Team Trivia 

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One surefire way to boost morale is with some friendly competition. Acquians are staying smart and proving their knowledge extends far beyond tech by participating in trivia. Both the marketing and talent teams have added a trivia game to their weekly meetings. Topics include everything from movie facts to coworker hobbies to world geography.

Meanwhile, Jim Shaw, SVP of Customers, Solutions and Value, has ignited an ongoing Pop Culture Quiz for Acquians all over the globe. Every day, Jim posts new questions inspired by his impressive collection of sci-fi/superhero/pop culture figurines. We’ve seen Acquians go head-to-head to name characters from their classic childhood cartoons or list the different actors featured in popular comic franchises. Winners of each quiz earn both Bonusly funds and #GeekCred. We’re grateful to Jim for lifting our spirits in these challenging times and giving us the chance to embrace our nerdiest passions.  

Empowering Remote #Teamwork with Learning Resources

Our top priority remains caring for the mental and physical health of our employees. In a crisis, access to correct information is essential to alleviating confusion and concerns. A few weeks ago, Acquia hosted a virtual learning session by Dr. Hans House, MD, DTMH, a professor of emergency medicine at the University of Iowa. Dr. House has numerous publications on travel medicine, mass-gathering events and emergency medical education, which made him an excellent resource to discuss the evolution of COVID-19 and answer questions about the pandemic. Over 250 Acquians participated in the session and we received an overwhelmingly positive response to his event. The Acquia talent team also created a list of resources to help everyone stay active, manage stress and anxiety and balance the new challenges of working from home while caring for children and other dependents. One of our greatest learning initiatives was launching our new Acquia Learning Programs Guide which demonstrates how Acquia promotes a culture of connection, contribution and personal growth. Our philosophy? Don’t just come to work; Grow Your Career at Acquia.   

#CommittedToAwesome Virtual Social Events

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As we continue to adapt to a new working landscape in an officeless setup, we’re focusing on maintaining social interactions and connections that give people the opportunity to relax and keep in touch beyond work. We recently launched our #LifeAtAcquia Calendar, where any team member is welcome to plan casual hangouts from coffee chats to virtual poker games. These are excellent spaces for Acquians from other teams and regions to get to know each other better and learn more about their colleagues. We’re glad to see so many Acquians embrace these digital platforms and inspire a little connection.

As one example of our virtual socializing, we tapped into one of our many Slack channels in honor of Earth Month, where a community of Acquia gardeners share pictures and tips on tending the best gardens - indoors and out. Started long before the pandemic, this global group has found common joy in being green

heather hartford

Heather Hartford

Chief People Officer Acquia, Inc.

Heather leads Acquia’s talent organization, composed of talent acquisition, human resources/retention and development. Providing key insight and expertise in building and sustaining Acquia’s fast-growing global team and culture. Ensuring that Acquia maintains a culture that enables every associate the opportunity to grow and enhance their skills.

Heather was previously chief people officer at Rue La La, where she led the online fashion innovator’s expansion from 100 to 700-plus employees over a five-year period and facilitated growth and diversity through hiring practices and retention/development programs. Heather’s mission at Rue La La was to create a culture that fostered a motivating, supportive, and diverse work environment.

Prior to Rue La La, she held several senior leadership positions at DigitasLBi during a 12-plus-year period. She was responsible for global recruiting, staffing and learning and development, as well as the implementation of processes, systems and tools to support the growth and development of an expanding international company.

Passionate about giving back to the community, Heather has served on both the Big Sister and Ad Club Boards in Boston.