Charlotte's Story

Charlotte Delaney, Head of Content at B2B marketing agency, Nutcracker shares her experience of how OpenBlend helps to drive focused conversations that support people and productivity.

  

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For the third instalment of our people series, we recently sat down with Charlotte Delaney, Head of Content at B2B marketing agency, Nutcracker. Charlotte joined the award-winning business eight years ago and during that time has seen the agency go from strength to strength, growing both its team and service offerings. Today, Charlotte heads up Nutcracker’s dedicated content department, managing creative client work as well as the people within her team.  

Having heard that Charlotte is a big fan of OpenBlend, we wanted to find out how the platform is helping her to create people-first experiences that drive productivity at work. 

Charlotte, thanks for taking the time to talk to us. Can I start by asking you to give us an overview of your role at Nutcracker?

“Of course, so as Head of Content my role is twofold: I do a lot of creative copywriting, which I love, and I’m also a business unit head which means I’m responsible for ensuring that my team members are happy and that they’re being developed in line with their individual strengths and career aspirations.”

…and how would you describe the culture at Nutcracker?

“Nutcracker has always had a very people-centric culture. It’s something that our CEO has instilled from the beginning and it’s a big part of our identity. We recognise that our people are the foundation for our continued success and we’re committed to helping every individual to reach their full potential.”

You’ve been using OpenBlend for eight months now, what is it that first appealed to you about the platform?

“Definitely the focus on wellbeing and the ability for individuals to create their own ‘blend’ by identifying key factors that matter most to them. I saw it as an opportunity to get to know new hires more quickly and as a manager, I knew that would present a huge amount of value - both to the employee and the wider business.

The fact that OpenBlend also retains all of that information is really beneficial. I can easily revisit an employee’s blend whenever I need to and it’s reassuring to know that I always have those insights at my fingertips.”  

How is OpenBlend used to support Nutcracker employees?

“We introduce new employees to OpenBlend as part of their onboarding experience and we really encourage them to think about their unique blend of motivators and the things they need from a wellbeing point of view. Their manager, whether it’s myself or another colleague, then takes the time to sit down with that person and talk through their blend. Speaking from my own experience, this provides valuable insight into the individual’s goals and personal circumstances and it means I can begin shaping their experience of work in a way that suits them from the get-go.

Simply having these conversations from day one also sets a precedent for them to continue at regular intervals. I typically have a check-in with each of my direct reports once a month, though I encourage them to take the lead and they know they can book in extra sessions whenever they need or want to.” 

What is the biggest benefit that OpenBlend has created for you as a manager?

“I’m definitely having more focused conversations with my team now because I have direct insight into how happy they are and how well they’re managing their workload and responsibilities. That makes for a more productive conversation because we can skip straight to the factors that they want to talk about. OpenBlend helps to frame much more focused discussions in that sense and the end result is a happier, more motivated, and more productive team.”

Happier and more productive. You can’t argue with that…

“Exactly, and actually OpenBlend even helps me to improve my own productivity as a manager because I can ring fence time for one-to-ones and I have a system that helps me to keep track of the collaborative goals that my team members are working towards. I don’t have physical notes to file (and try to find!) anymore. Everything I need is right there on OpenBlend and that saves a lot of time.”

What other benefits have you seen so far?  

“OpenBlend has also helped us to reinforce our positive company culture. Our CEO, and other senior leaders, have always role modelled the right behaviours but OpenBlend has enabled us to go a step further by formalising broad and inclusive conversations as part of our culture. 

Another key benefit is that as we promote people into management positions, it’s now easier for them to emulate those right behaviours and manage people in a way that supports relevant goal-setting (both work-related and personal), and continuous coaching.

Best of all, we’re now able to identify and address issues more quickly and that means people spend less time trying to tackle problems in their own head, which not only increases their productivity but helps to reduce the potential for stress and anxiety. I can say that, as a result, my team members are now able to manage their time more effectively.”

That’s fantastic to hear. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

“I’d add that, as a manager, OpenBlend’s reminders and notifications are really useful. It’s a simple thing but it ensures that conversations are happening at regular intervals throughout the year. I also love the fact that I get an immediate notification when one of my team members changes their blend or wellbeing score. That instant visibility is what enables me to offer the right support through prompt connection and two-way conversation.

Overall, I would say that OpenBlend has helped us to build a stronger sense of ‘team’ which, in turn, has improved accountability, commitment - and by extension, productivity.”

Join Nutcracker Agency and other leading people-centric businesses that are using OpenBlend to stay connected, drive employee performance, and improve workplace productivity at a distance. Book a demo with us today.

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