Q&A with Brandy (Rosner) Zimmerman, Vice President of People Operations at TaskUs

Brandy (Rosner) Zimmerman, Vice President of People Operations at TaskUs, has a demonstrated experience in the staffing and outsourcing industries. She has served leadership roles in companies like Teleperformance, USA and Xerox.

Businesses are looking for outsourcing providers that can offer a reliable and genuine partnership, as well as increased transparency into business operations.



MEDIA 7: TaskUs has been named as one of the ‘Best Places to Work’ by the LA Business Journal and San Antonio Business Journal. Could you please tell us a little bit about TaskUs and its culture?
BRANDY ZIMMERMAN:
In 2008, TaskUs began with just seven employees, $20,000 in the capital, and a one-room office in Manila. Now, we are proud to have over 31,500 TaskUs teammates operating in 20 different locations across the United States, the Philippines, India, Mexico, Taiwan, Greece, Ireland, and Colombia. If TaskUs has a heart, the beat says “people.” As the leading outsourcing provider for high-growth companies, TaskUs has a people-first mindset when it comes to wellness, happiness, opportunity, and success inside or outside of the workplace.

At TaskUs, our people are not only employees; they are valuable team members. There is no doubt that our employee-centric culture drives our company’s success. From the beginning, co-founders Bryce Maddock and Jaspar Weir had an innovative vision of what an outsourcing provider could be, with a workplace that truly embodies a dynamic culture that puts people at the heart of our company mission. TaskUs CEO Bryce Maddock leads our international operations with a focus on creating a ridiculously good employee experience, believing that keeping our employees happy empowers us to deliver superior results by attracting and retaining the best talent.


M7: How do you manage to deliver the best next-generation digital outsourcing services to your clients?
BZ:
While our industry is vast, TaskUs stands out as a passionate, mission-driven provider with the ability to re-adjust and transform in any given circumstance. Even amidst a global pandemic, we continue to deliver next-generation digital solutions to our clients, helping them protect and scale their businesses. By investing in our own teammates, prioritizing transparency, and keeping ahead of the curve, we continue in our work to support business operations for our extraordinary clients in extraordinary times. Providing ridiculously good service and support for our clients requires a culture of constant motion. At the same time, we recognize the need to step back and allow our teammates to grow and thrive. We invest heavily in improving employee satisfaction and happiness, ensuring that our teammates can connect virtually and express themselves as needed. Managers conduct a weekly one-on-one meeting with their direct reports to facilitate open and frequent communication; we conduct quarterly Employee Satisfaction (eSAT) surveys to monitor feedback, and our Data and Leadership teams comb through thousands of survey responses to identify and implement needed improvements every quarter. TaskUs leadership firmly believes that building a firm employee experience will guarantee exceptional results for our clients.

Outsourcing services are no longer just a one-time transaction. Now more than ever before, we believe businesses are looking for outsourcing providers that can offer a reliable and genuine partnership, as well as increased transparency into business operations. Unlike other business services companies in the outsourcing space, our employees are not just faceless transactions hired to support a distant company. They are members of a closely integrated team that our clients can see and trust. From beautifully and aesthetically decorated offices to flexible remote work programs, to real support for mental health—we pride ourselves on creating a supportive and fulfilling work environment for our teammates all over the world. Integrity in business is directly tied to our company’s success. Finally, TaskUs has the ability to adapt and transform by consistently keeping ahead of the curve. In 2020, TaskUs made the bold decision to move its entire global workforce to remote work in early March—ahead of most other companies across industries. Other outsourcing providers lagged behind, as some of their clients did not agree or believe they could maintain operational factors while working from home. Our clients’ decision to partner with us during the pandemic is tangible evidence of their satisfaction with our services. We also broke barriers with the launch of Cirrus, our new work-from-home platform. Cirrus is a sustainable, cloud-based remote work model that provides support to clients without sacrificing quality, transparency, expertise, security, or skill that has come to define TaskUs.

It’s also a holistic approach to a remote office set-up where our employees enjoy new opportunities and safer working environments. Along with Cirrus, we developed new custom wellness content for our teammates, including one-on-one sessions with licensed healthcare professionals, various skills groups, and outreach activities. TaskUs conducted a longitudinal work-from-home study over the course of six months. We assessed work-from-home conditions, culture, leadership support, equipment needs, and the wellness of our employees. The results showed no major deviations in employee wellness; it also showed increased employee satisfaction with wellness services in a virtual environment. We’ve made it a point to leverage our resources toward global scalability, cultural competence, and the use of technology in aiding the health and wellness of our teammates. The COVID-19 pandemic was a major turning point for everyone at TaskUs. Whether our teammates are working from home or will be transitioning back to an in-office environment, we continue to keep a close pulse on their wellness and satisfaction. By building a ridiculously good employee experience by investing in our teammates, increasing transparency into our business operations, and keeping ahead of the curve, we bolster our inclusion and wellness efforts to deliver exceptional business outcomes for our clients.


It may sound simple, but we need to listen to our employees in order to be a force for change.



M7: Could you please elaborate on the uses of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) at TaskUs? What exactly are they, and what purposes do they serve?
BZ:
Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) have made a significant impact on how TaskUs employees interact. Led by Co-Founder and CEO Bryce Maddock, the TaskUs executive team launched ERGs as a way to empower employees to fight for what they are passionate about, both in their workplaces and within their communities. ERGs are voluntary, employee-led organizations that provide safe spaces for marginalized identity groups and ally supporters. Women@TaskUs is a critical ERG for both of our US and Mexico offices. With a focus on empowering women, Women@TaskUs offers mentorship and collective efforts to ensure that more women rise through the leadership ranks and are protected from unwanted advancements in the workplace. To make sure nothing else slips through the cracks, TaskUs even created a Confidence Line, where employees can report any suggestions or issues so that appropriate actions can be made. Additionally, Pride@TaskUs in North America and Unicorns@TaskUs in the Philippines were established to address society-wide issues that our LGBTQ teammates are passionate about. With the understanding that discrimination and social isolation continue to affect the LGBTQ community, the management works with our ERGs to create programs and benefits that help employees and charities.

Our Veterans@TaskUs Employee Resource Group (ERG) leads initiatives to increase awareness and support for veteran employees, their families, and local communities. The group also works with our Wellness & Resiliency teams to support our veteran teammates through counseling sessions. TaskUs also actively participates in career events for military groups such as Employment Services for Guard and Reserve (ESGR), Military Spouses Employment Program (MSEP), and the Wounded Warrior Program. It may sound simple, but we need to listen to our employees in order to be a force for change. ERGs have become a voice for the groups they represent, and they advise our TaskUs leaders on what people really need. For example, recent employee feedback led to the creation of a new Self-Identification feature on the TaskUs Human Capital Management System, which allows our employees to enter their own gender identity as they see fit. This feature has been effective in educating TaskUs teams on the usage of pronouns, especially during the pandemic where employee names and titles are seen virtually. TaskUs is proud to cultivate a safe and inclusive environment that empowers every person to express their most authentic selves. Our Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) initiatives were implemented with the aim to build empathetic relationships, foster allyship, and establish industry-leading practices in the form of thought leadership, philanthropy, and community partnerships. As a global organization, TaskUs consistently works toward understanding different cultures and interests and creating programs that inspire our people to produce ridiculously good innovation for the company and its clients.


M7: Could you please share your perspective about the benchmarks of employee wellness and culture strategies?
BZ:
We believe a strong culture requires a strong framework. Our solid wellness infrastructure helps cultivate a creative, inclusive environment that encourages every employee to collaborate and thrive, all while celebrating what makes each of us unique. We ensure a truly supportive workplace with an ally leadership model, allowing TaskUs to develop new ways of leading a diverse, global workforce. With resources dedicated to training, mentorship, and frequent opportunities to incorporate employee feedback, TaskUs has ingrained the wellbeing of its people into all company decisions. In 2020, TaskUs formalized D&I initiatives into a global program relying on Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and quarterly Employee Satisfaction (eSAT) surveys, which measure the impact of TaskUs’s efforts with quantifiable data. TaskUs’s Analytics team works to leverage data and assess our D&I and wellness efforts across the globe, ensuring inclusion and parity.

Despite the profound effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, our Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) actually increased from 64.06 at the end of 2019 to a global average of 72 for 2020, indicating a dramatic improvement in general employee experience. In addition to conducting pulse surveys and facilitating one-on-one meetings between individual teammates and their leaders, our Wellness & Resiliency Team also created an employee scorecard with specific KPIs in wellbeing, utilization, and effectiveness. With this tool, we have a holistic view of our employee experience, allowing us to make better employee wellbeing decisions across the board.  Beyond just numbers and metrics, TaskUs works on cultivating real, healthy relationships at the workplace by finding time for our teammates to bond with their coworkers and connect with their leaders in a meaningful way. TaskUs recently launched the virtual Connect15 program, which gives anybody at TaskUs an opportunity to meet new colleagues, along with a mystery leader from our executive team. The program introduces a surprise element to the bonding experience, as participating employees don’t know which executive they’ll get to meet.

These meetings are short—just 15 minutes long—and done in small groups. Connect15 was launched with the aim of helping our teammates feel more excited about coming to work by encouraging them to connect over casual, friendly discussions. In Q2 2021, we set a goal to have at least 1000 teammates participate in focus group sessions with VPs above. In just a month, we’ve had 97 sessions with 54 leaders and 1084 attendees! In implementing wellness and culture strategies, TaskUs prioritizes employee happiness by cultivating compassion, flexibility, and real human connections at the workplace. We also take into consideration how incredibly diverse our team members are, as we continue to expand our global footprint; our inclusion efforts consistently focus on making sure our teammates feel seen and heard, no matter where they are in the world. Creating a strong framework for wellness and culture by formalizing a global program, TaskUs continues to lead the business services industry in its unparalleled commitment to improving employee experience.


The more you understand your fellow teammates and leaders, the more invested you will be in improving what you’ve already put in place!



M7: What advice would you like to give our readers starting their careers in this industry?
BZ:
I joined TaskUs in 2018, but I brought a lot of professional experience from both the outsourcing and staffing industries into my role as VP of People Operations. Most importantly, you have to be willing to put your people first and think of them as more than just your employees. I always enjoy participating in my one-on-one meetings and the Connect15 program—meeting new people, understanding their personal backgrounds, and listening to their stories help me find the strength and motivation needed to continuously improve on our existing programs. The more you understand your fellow teammates and leaders, the more invested you will be in improving what you’ve already put in place!

ABOUT TASKUS

TaskUs (NASDAQ: TASK) is a provider of outsourced digital services and next-generation customer experience to innovative and disruptive technology companies, helping its clients represent, protect and grow their brands. Leveraging a cloud-based infrastructure, TaskUs serves clients in the fastest-growing sectors, including social media, e-commerce, gaming, streaming media, food delivery & ridesharing, HiTech, FinTech, and HealthTech. As of June 30, 2021, TaskUs had approximately 31,500 employees across twenty locations in the United States, the Philippines, India, Mexico, Taiwan, Greece, Ireland, and Colombia.

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The partnership is aimed at breaking down barriers to virtual care by providing employees with access to expert physicians across a wide range of health care needs on the Alight Worklife platform. “The Alight Worklife platform serves as employees’ comprehensive connection point to their health, wealth, payroll and leaves benefits, which helps employers cut complexities, costs and engage individuals in the moments that matter most,” said Bipin Mistry, chief medical officer at Alight. “The partnership with CirrusMD helps take employee engagement one step further by making physician-led virtual care easily accessible to employees and bridges the gap between virtual clinical care delivery and employer-sponsored benefits navigation.” Helping employees arrive at the most appropriate care Employees on the Alight Worklife platform can engage directly with CirrusMD or be prompted to engage after completing Alight’s AI-powered Symptom Checker online experience to better understand their healthcare needs and guide them to care options, including virtual care provided by CirrusMD. With Single Sign-On (SSO) for fast connections to care within 60 seconds, Alight Worklife enhances the participant experience. CirrusMD’s Physician-first Care & Guidance approach to virtual primary care provides members with always-on, instant access to a doctor via chat-first modality. CirrusMD’s multidisciplinary clinical team conducts encounters on a proprietary clinical intelligence engine that provides real-time insights to physicians based on data from millions of patient-physician interactions. Once employees connect with physicians, CirrusMD offers a seamless, efficient and patient-centric virtual care experience by Connecting patients to physicians in less than a minute, 24 hours per day, 365 days per year, Delivering advanced primary care that includes behavioral health, women’s health, acute care, chronic condition management and more, Physician-led seven-day experiences, interactions that allow time for in-depth diagnosis and treatment, reducing the high costs associated with multiple follow-ups, Text-based chat with options for video, voice and images when needed, Immediate referrals to employer benefits and in-network resources, And real-time Spanish language translation to help overcome potential language barriers. Optimizing the integration of healthcare benefits and clinical workflows The strategic partnership enables employers to select CirrusMD as part of their Alight Healthcare Navigation offering within the Alight Worklife platform. As well, CirrusMD providers benefit from access to Alight’s Symptom Checker results and can reference benefit programs available to the participant which can serve to facilitate patient follow-ups with both CirrusMD care teams and Alight Health Pros for a comprehensive healthcare journey support. This combined solution provides ongoing navigation to appropriate referrals and resources. For example, Alight's support for individuals with Behavioral Health conditions aligns seamlessly with CirrusMD, offering quick access to virtual Behavioral Health support when needed. Employees can be directed to other types of care options such as virtual physical therapy, through referrals made directly from CirrusMD or Alight. “At CirrusMD we are reimagining the point of care to provide the time and information needed to support a productive dialog between patient and physician, giving both the time and information they need for exceptional care experiences,” said Jamie Hall, president and CEO of CirrusMD. “This strategic agreement represents an important milestone in advancing virtual primary care, combining the strengths of Alight Solutions and CirrusMD to transform the healthcare experience for individuals and employers alike.” CirrusMD boasts an 83% issue resolution rate and an 93% overall patient satisfaction rate, and serves notable customers including health plans, large employers and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. About Alight Solutions Alight is a leading cloud-based human capital technology and services provider that powers confident health, wealth and wellbeing decisions for 36 million people and dependents. Our Alight Worklife® platform combines data and analytics with a simple, seamless user experience. Supported by our global delivery capabilities, Alight Worklife is transforming the employee experience for people around the world. With personalized, data-driven health, wealth, pay and wellbeing insights, Alight brings people the security of better outcomes and peace of mind throughout life’s big moments and most important decisions. About CirrusMD CirrusMD delivers Physician-first Care & Guidance, a smart care model founded in the tenets of Advanced Primary Care. It brings together activated members with trusted physicians, relevant resources, and smart technology to change healthcare as we know it. CirrusMD improves speed to care, removes barriers to physicians, brings patient data into the care encounter, and promotes transparency at the point of referral. We believe that when you provide immediate, affordable care at scale you can drive the change needed to improve health and lower cost across an entire population.

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Recruitment & Retention

Retirement Expectations Evolve as Workforce Ages According to Principal® Survey

Principal Financial Group® | January 16, 2024

The picture of retirement is evolving with more Americans turning 65 in 2024 than any year1 before. According to new research from Principal Financial Group®, expectations around how and when to retire by generation vary greatly – placing increased focus on employee engagement and personalized investment strategies to help improve financial security and retirement readiness. Phased retirement appeals to younger workers who want to retire earlier According to the Principal Financial Well-Being IndexSM, among Americans in the workforce, gradually decreasing hours is the most desired way to retire (52%) and is most preferred by Generation X (67%) and millennials (56%). Baby boomers and Generation Z report similarities in how they want to retire, with nearly half preferring to move immediately from working full-time to not working at all. This echoes the most common approach taken by current retirees surveyed2, a group in which just over one quarter (28%) either transitioned careers or gradually phased down from their primary career. “Attitudes and expectations for retirement continue to evolve, and we expect the desire to approach retirement in phases will continue to grow with future generations,” said Chris Littlefield, president of Retirement and Income Solutions at Principal®. While there are some similarities in how generations want to retire, they have different expectations on timelines and the age at which they plan to retire. The youngest generation, Gen Z, expects to retire at 55 – approximately 10 years earlier than baby boomers (68) and Gen X (64), and four years sooner than millennials (59). Employees prioritize saving for retirement The survey revealed employees are focused on balancing basic needs with long-term savings outcomes against a backdrop of ongoing economic pressures that continue to top their list of concerns. Employees of all generations ranked saving for retirement as their top financial priority, followed by affording basic needs and paying off consumer debt3. "Saving for retirement is the No. 1 financial priority for employees surveyed, which validates that access to workplace benefits and financial wellness programs is helping Americans save for retirement and achieve better financial outcomes,” Littlefield said. “Going forward, increased personalization as well as tailored savings and investment strategies that take into account an individual’s financial goals, lifestyle, health care needs, dependent care obligations, retirement income expectations, and other unique factors will help achieve improved financial security in retirement.” Retention and recruitment of older employees critical for business success Employee interest in phased retirement has added value for employers. Most employers (77%) agree that the knowledge older employees have about their company is crucial to their business’s success. Employers concerned with “having valuable employees retire” are more likely to take actions to either retain them or hire employees who previously retired from other companies. Despite this, not all employers have experience with offering phased retirement. Only 11% of small and midsized businesses4 reported they offer phased retirement job opportunities on a regular basis compared to nearly one quarter of large businesses5. However, interest is there, as 61% of businesses that don’t offer a phased retirement still receive questions from employees about the options. See all results and insights from the latest Principal Financial Well-Being IndexSM (PDF). According to the Alliance for Lifetime Income This wave included a survey of 137 individuals between the ages of 50 and 75 who consider themselves retired or have previously fully retired and gone back to work. In order to be included in the survey sample, employees must work full-time, and their employer has to offer either health insurance or retirement as an employee benefit. Businesses with 2-499 employees Businesses with 500-10,000 employees About the Principal Financial Well-Being IndexSM The Principal Financial Well-Being IndexSM surveys business owners, decision makers and business leaders aged 21 and over who work at companies with 2-10,000 employees and offer either health insurance or retirement as an employee benefit. The nation-wide survey, commissioned since 2012, examines the financial well-being of American workers and business employers. In 2020, the Well-Being Index was transformed from an annual survey to a regular pulse, offering three waves, revisiting questions and measuring sentiment regarding timely issues in the small and midsized business marketplace. In the first pulse of the Well-Being Index in 2022, the employee audience was added to the survey to compare and contrast key sentiment from employers. The survey was commissioned by Principal® and conducted online by Dynata from November 6-13, 2023, with a total of 500 business owners, decision makers and business leader participants and a total of 200 employee participants. This wave included a survey of 127 individuals who consider themselves retired or have previously fully retired and gone back to work. The research report focuses on providing a holistic perspective on key trends and timely issues in the small and medium business market. About Principal Financial Group® Principal Financial Group® is a global financial company with 19,500 employees1 passionate about improving the wealth and well-being of people and businesses. In business for more than 140 years, we’re helping more than 61 million customers1 plan, protect, invest, and retire, while working to support the communities where we do business, and build a diverse, inclusive workforce. Principal® is proud to be recognized as one of the 2023 World’s Most Ethical Companies® by Ethisphere2, a member of the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index, and a “Best Places to Work in Money Management3.”

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