A new employee at SciPlay Corp has never sat in the casino game developer’s cafeteria, grabbed a hot beverage from its coffee machine or played its break room’s star attraction, the arcade game “Killer Queen.”
In fact, this employee hasn’t even stepped foot inside SciPlay’s North Austin office.
But despite being physically disconnected from the company and its employees, this new team member gushed to CEO Josh Wilson about feeling welcomed.
“This person said that after two months of working at SciPlay, they knew for sure that they are happy to be a part of this company and that they feel like they belong,” Wilson said.
“It was my proudest moment of the year,” he added.
Wilson’s chat with a new hire proves 2020 wasn’t all bad.
Teams like SciPlay’s, and many others, found new ways of working together to meet changing market and working conditions. Some even chalked up their best-performing years to date, like local logistics platform, LeanDNA.
“What started out as one of the most challenging years both personally and professionally, has ended in one of the most successful periods in our company’s history,” CEO Richard Lebovitz said.
Before we dive into 2021, in what will hopefully be a better year across the board, let’s soak in some of the wins that our Austin teams have earned.
Remote work began in March at SciPlay Corp, but that didn’t stop the team from hiring 80 employees worldwide and raising over $80,000 for a humanitarian organization. CEO Josh Wilson shared why both accomplishments, and more, make him especially proud.
Proudest achievement of 2020: This past year brought a number of proud moments for me, but one of my proudest came after speaking with one of SciPlay’s newest employees. We hired this person this year after moving to our total work-from-home environment due to COVID-19. When we were speaking, our new hire mentioned how great it felt to be working at SciPlay and touted how welcoming everyone on the team was even though we’re all working from home.
Additionally, despite current circumstances and 100 percent remote working, we’ve hired more than 80 employees worldwide. I’m so proud of our amazing onboarding process that continues to overcome physical distance and maintain SciPlay’s collaborative, warm and friendly company DNA that we’ve created over the years.
Biggest challenge of 2020: No doubt, the biggest challenge we faced in 2020 was moving to 100 percent remote working. Keeping our employees safe remains our top priority. Shifting away from our incredible office vibe was intimidating, but we overcame the physical gap by hosting online activities and events on a regular basis. For example, we typically hold a company-wide annual retreat with team-building activities and fun outside of our office walls. This year, we shifted our retreat to an online event and hosted our global studios simultaneously. The event included comedy shows, snacks, swag bag packages and more. Although it wasn’t the same as a physical trip away, it was a great way to celebrate our team and demonstrate to our newest employees the company’s unique DNA.
We also opened a “coffee break” virtual chat room, are maintaining our internal company Facebook pages and are encouraging all SciPlayers to over-communicate through various channels.
Lesson learned: It’s critical for every company, even global public organizations, to maintain a flexible work environment that can swiftly adapt to major market changes. It’s even more critical for a company to do so without sacrificing culture. Without our steadfast commitment to maintaining a collaborative, people-first culture, our transition to remote working would have been much more difficult.
Luckily, our agile approach rooted in our strong culture enabled SciPlay to maintain steady performance throughout the pandemic. After shifting to remote working in the course of just one week, we sustained our avid recruitment goals, participated in the Play Apart Together campaign — an industry-wide initiative by global gaming leaders to encourage players to stay safe via at-home gameplay — and even found a way to give back through our games with an $82,000 donation to Direct Relief, a humanitarian aid organization.
LeanDNA’s software provides supply chain analytics and management tools for a variety of manufacturers, including medical equipment companies. This past year, the company helped a medical device manufacturer meet the increased demand for its blood plasma machine faster by providing it with an automated inventory tool. CEO Richard Lebovitz called it his proudest moment of the year.
Proudest achievement of 2020: Helping a medical device manufacturer respond quickly to heightened demand for their life-saving blood plasma machinery by automating, prioritizing and standardizing their inventory and shortage management processes. This required involvement from all aspects of our company in order to develop new functionality and to quickly deploy successfully across their global manufacturing sites.
Biggest challenge of 2020: We support over 250 manufacturing sites in 19 countries and 2020 has been a time of major transformation where physical factory operations are now being managed remotely. We were able to quickly adapt to a remote work environment, but this was not as easy for our customers. Our product team had to re-prioritize our roadmap to place more emphasis on features and workflow that can improve the daily life of supply chain professionals to allow them to prioritize work, collaborate and hold each other accountable in a rapidly changing environment.
Lesson learned: The COVID-19 crisis has brought a whirlwind of change, uncertainty and ongoing disruption to normal business operations. At the beginning, with all the challenges facing daily life and that of our customers, it was hard not to ask yourself, “what next?” I learned the importance of keeping your team focused on the positives and what they can control. It is important to celebrate each win and make sure that everyone on your team feels they played a part in the overall success of the business. What started out as one of the most challenging years both personally and professionally, has ended in one of the most successful periods in our company’s history.