How We Work Now: Colle McVoy

How We Work Now: Colle McVoy

CEO Christine Fruechte shares how her Minneapolis-based branding agency is taking care of employees in a hybrid environment.

Illustration of a clock whit a spiral in the middleMinneapolis branding agency Colle McVoy serendipitously invested in the Microsoft Teams platform two months prior to the onset of Covid-19. Little did the company know that video would become a lifeline in remote collaboration. Pre-pandemic, Colle McVoy CEO Christine Fruechte called the agency’s work culture “flexible,” but she says, “most of us were in the office five days a week unless we were traveling.” Here’s what it’s like now. 

Return to office

“On March 8 [2022], we started ‘intentional togetherness days’ when employees are encouraged to come into the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This hybrid structure is based on employee feedback on how we can best foster collaboration, innovation, inclusion, productivity, and flexibility. By concentrating on core in-office days, we can optimize collaboration as well as help nurture our inclusive and innovative culture. There are also the days when we schedule our all-agency monthly meetups, department meetings, learning and development opportunities, and agency events and celebrations. We also use these days to bring our remote employees to the office once a quarter.”

Incentivizing the office

“To thank our employees for their commitment and resiliency, we gave everyone a ‘welcome back’ bonus to help them transition to a new routine in the office. People appreciated the extra resources to put toward gas, parking, lunches, clothing, home-office items and/or a last-minute spring break to recharge.”

Pandemic practices carry on 

“While remote, we noticed that creating separation between home and work was becoming increasingly difficult and was taking a toll on physical and mental health. So we introduced such things as no-work lunch hours [and] encouraged walk-and-talk meetings and provided all employees with unlimited access to a new online wellness platform called Groops— all of which we plan to continue. We also stay close to employees and clients through one-on-one conversations, group discussions, monthly all-agency meetings and pulse surveys..

New hiring options

“The hybrid work environment has opened up our recruiting options. We now have team members working remotely in 12 different states as we continue to staff up for double-digit growth.”

Best lesson

“If you take care of your people, they take care of the business.”

*An abbreviated version of this interview appeared in the April/May 2022 print edition

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