Bloom just hired a Head of Experience! We welcomed Jules Whish to the team in June 2021. But you might be wondering why a workplace design consultancy like Bloom would hire for this role, and what exactly this kind of role would do. With that in mind, I want to explain: Jules is not a consultant with a fancy title. Creating “experience” is a real job here at Bloom for our employees, our clients, and now [this is where the big news comes in] our community.
What “experience” means for Bloom
Bloom operated and grew like any startup. We learned as we went, and always put our customers first. That was critical to get where we are today, but it’s not going to get Bloom to the next phase of its mission to build better workplace experiences for everyone. That’s when we first started thinking about a role that would become known as a Head of Experience.
We’ve long admired the work that Jules had done at Uberflip and within the broader tech ecosystem. In her role past role, she took the happiness and well-being of her team seriously, focusing on the little things that make her team members’ experience at work more positive, brighter, and more productive. With close to 10 years of experience in a culture role, Julie understands the impact of how incorporating surprise and delight into an organizational culture creates meaning and memories — and ultimately makes work more enjoyable.
Whether it’s planning and executing parties and events, onboarding new team members, launching high-impact DEI initiatives, to helping folks celebrate their collective accomplishments (because you repeat what you celebrate), Julie is a creative, crafty, DIY’er who loves any excuse to throw some confetti 🎉 Why we hired Jules is so much more than the fluffy — fun stuff. We hired her because she has the unique ability to build trust and a company-wide connection even during novel times like a global pandemic.
Building a great employee experience
Looking inward, we wanted to build an experience that gave our team members what they wanted — great work, great pay, and the power to live their lives on their own terms — while also making that experience conducive to delivering awesome work for clients. That required someone thinking consciously about it, since creating that delicate balance is a tall order. What we knew was that using someone else's playbook wouldn’t work for us. So, we approached workplace experiences like a product and the idea of a hybrid between customer success and community management was born — a Head of Experience!
That meant specifically:
- How we hire, support, grow and care for our internal team, clients and community.
- How we partner with consultants, freelancers, and independent contractors. Because we were founded on the belief that a collective approach to the mission we are on will be the most effective.
- A lot of the work we do is centred around people. So, a people-centric business requires some flexibility and room for evolution. The way we approach and measure performance should be a reflection of our foundational focus on collective and individual growth and — not penalize it.
Helping clients grow
Our client work is what drives us and fuels us. That means a Head of Experience role needed to pay attention holistically (and at a high level) to the kinds of experiences we deliver for clients. Bloom Advisors team is in the weeds every day; we needed someone to take a look from above.
That meant looking at:
- The way we structure our services.
- How we partner with clients for mutual gain.
- Adding new products or services to fill gaps in our current offering.
Being an active member of our communities
We can’t build better workplaces without consciously thinking about community. The communities we operate in are what ground us. It’s how we meet the amazing talent that other recruiters overlook, it’s how we continue to learn directly from individuals with diverse lived experiences, and it’s the people who supported (and continue to support) Bloom. We can’t expect anything from our community if we don’t support them in return — and we need someone who can think about how to support our communities in the way they want to be supported.
So, this is where the big news comes in. We can’t share too much right now but stay tuned. We have been quietly working on a way to support our community and it will be launching in September.
Okay, back to the post, that meant identifying:
- How Bloom can offer the work we do with our clients to individuals who want to learn and grow with us, too.
- How we support the collective growth of the communities we love.
- What role Bloom needs to take (or not take) with community partners.
- How we can provide working people with the information they need to feel more empowered, grounded and in control at work.
From feelings to data
Taking a holistic view of the experiences we build for ourselves, clients, and our community is just the start. Then the job goes from feelings to data. We firmly believe that the right measurements and data points are crucial to building a great business where all people can thrive and solve customer and community problems.
We already have fantastic feedback from the Bloom Experiences we’ve delivered for clients, and the next phase is building a data dashboard so they can see results and progress long after we’ve wrapped up our final presentation. These results aren’t just about how people feel, either — they track inclusion work directly to the bottom line, demonstrating at a company level what large studies have confirmed for years: inclusion is good for business.
Holding ourselves accountable
Another part of the Head of Experience role is it will not be tied to revenue. This role is tasked with creating high-quality experiences that help our customers, ourselves, and our communities thrive. If we do that, revenue will follow, so this role is detached from revenue generation so it can focus on long-term experience growth, not the next dollar coming in.
As Jules settles into her new role as our Head of Experience, she’ll be getting to know the Bloom team, clients, and community members. This will put us in an even better place to craft, provide, and improve the stellar experiences we want to deliver.