Building a Strong Team the YA Way

by: Janet Fahey, Vice President, Human Resources and Shannon Senna, Senior Manager, Human Resources

One of the core responsibilities of our Human Resources team at YA is organization structure and culture alignment with the strategic plan.  This is an important (and exciting!) part of our job and we are laser focused on making a positive and lasting impression on a new hire. The journey starts when a new employee joins the organization – from their first day, through ongoing training, including fostering ongoing development of high-performing teams. Our new hires have heard and bought into YA’s evolution and growth story and they want to be a part of it! Our onboarding process takes these enthusiastic new people and rapidly engages and connects them to the life of our organization.  This initiation is business-oriented, but absolutely includes a bit of fun!

Welcome to YA!

We know the first day for an employee at a new job is an exciting experience, and perhaps a little bit overwhelming at times, too. We strive to make the first day as smooth as possible with a planned onboarding process. While it sounds simple, we make sure we take care of the basics on day one.  We introduce the new person to colleagues, familiarize them with their new workspace, and review, together, some key details about YA. The goal is to make sure they have what they need, know who to ask for help, and feel comfortable enough in a new work environment to hit the ground running.

Keeping up momentum

Onboarding isn’t just a day one activity at YA!  One of the ways we help employees continue to assimilate, develop and grow is through our quarterly training.  By scheduling this session quarterly, we are able to bring together a group of new people and take a deeper dive into our business after they have had a few weeks to acclimate.  It’s an all-day event in which Subject Matter Expert representatives from each of our functional areas present information on the “what” and “why” of the work they do for our clients. These meetings are a great way for employees to see how they fit into the bigger picture of working at YA, and to understand how what they do helps us achieve our business goals and objectives.

Depending on the specific requirements of individual roles, that session can be followed up with even more intensive training. It’s always a lively, interactive session, with plenty of healthy dialogue and many thoughtful questions and answers.

Staying transparent

After employees are settled into their roles and daily duties, there are still plenty of opportunities to connect with the bigger picture of the great work YA is doing. One way we keep the entire team up to date on business performance is through monthly and quarterly town halls in which we share financial results and showcase recent client work.

There’s always time for fun!

Spend one day at YA and you’ll see that we certainly do work hard. But we also make time for fun.  Our employee-run Fun Team finds creative ways to bring us together to celebrate wins, reinforce our connections, and build important social bonds among all colleagues. We try to host some kind of event, happy hour, outing or other way to connect every month.  It’s important to our culture that we continue to make a point of taking occasional breaks to enjoy the amenities in downtown Minneapolis and getting to know each other on a personal level.

Are you interested in finding out more about employment opportunities at YA? Contact us to begin the conversation.


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