Ginny Fry didn’t expect her time as Chief Stewardess on a super yacht would put her in good stead to succeed at Culture Amp.
But upon reflecting on her career to date, she noticed some distinct similarities between keeping the rich and famous happy and working as an Experience Manager in Culture Amp’s Melbourne office.
Once she was delighting her patrons, pre-empting their needs and managing their expectations. Now she’s doing the same for Culture Amp’s staff, keeping its office running like a well-oiled machine.
“It was hard to prove the skills were transferable,” Fry admits, suggesting that her earlier credentials in HR helped her snag the role.
But she’s confident that that the lessons learned yachting around Europe have helped her through some tricky situations with staff; through building a sense of empathy that she may not have found in other HR roles.
“Surprise and delight” is a phrase Fry uses a lot to describe her role.
She is at the coalface of managing culture for the company’s largest office, and Fry is succeeding under the pressure. The stakes for getting office culture right are higher for Culture Amp than for most companies.
On the back of its employee feedback platform, which helps monitor workplace culture, performance and staff onboarding, Culture Amp is broadly recognised as a global authority on workplace culture. Over 1700 companies use its platform to improve their HR and culture management practices.
The company has to practice what it preaches.
The role of the ‘experience manager’
Culture Amp has some unique terms it uses to describe its internal culture. Its frontline HR managers are called ‘experience managers’ and its staff are broadly referred to as ‘Campers’.
Don’t let its terminology fool you however, Culture Amp isn’t run like a US summer camp.
Experience managers, like Fry, are best described as the glue of the office. They are the people you turn to when you lose your security pass, or want to arrange a company offsite. Basically, tasks that any manager could handle but it distracts them from their core functions.
They aren’t shafted with the responsibility of emptying the dishwasher or greeting guests, that’s shared by everyone. They are however the first point of contact for inducting new staff.