Embracing a culture of remote learning
Just as Intuit placed learning and empathy at the heart of its marketing strategy for customers, internally building a culture of remote learning was also vital. Ultimately the pandemic and the revolution in remote working it has ushered in has propelled internal marketing and learning to the very top of the business agenda. “Building out of internal communications channels was vital,” she says.
So, how did Intuit successfully build a culture of remote learning? “To start with we really wanted to stay close to our staff and ensure transparency and we began with a very clear vision to ensure all our teams had a voice,” explains Skubick.
This constant communication and transparency underpinned the business approach which included open live question and answer sessions with business leaders. The company also embraced a genuinely transparent approach to working from home in the midst of a global pandemic. “We were clear with our expectations and focused on listening with empathy,” she adds.
These are not just empty platitudes; the company actively shifted and simplified its performance metrics for employees. Skubick says, “We have people in house shares and then we had parents and careers and we had to be thoughtful with their time and we pushed teams to innovate around these challenges.”
Challenge, change and opportunity
Skubick is also focused on the challenges facing the industry as a whole and not losing focus on pushing for progress in the midst of a global pandemic. “The number one thing is diversity,” explains Skubick, “firstly within our talent and our teams, but also the representation within our advertising. We feel we have a deep responsibility to be a force for good.” Secondly, she is focused on ensuring that the brand is integrated end-to-end to ensure a seamless product experience.
To achieve this Skubick follows the mantra of Intuit’s Co-Founder Scott Cook when it comes to understanding customers: “Don’t just listen to what they say, watch what they do”. To this end the company has been continuing to watch how their customers use their software, only in the midst of COVID, this test and learn approach is powered by Zoom rather than face-to-face interaction.
The empathy-first marketing approach of Intuit, both externally and internally, underlines the fact that amongst the economic and emotional challenges of the coronavirus crisis there remain hope and opportunity. “We have seen so much incredible innovation from our customers and our teams,” explains Skubick. She points to restaurants pivoting at scale to deliver packaged goods as one example of that flexibility and innovation.
“The most important thing is to keep motivated as people,” she adds. She points to the example and inspiration set by her father, a doctor in the US, who has continued to help patients virtually throughout the pandemic: “We have seen such a radical transformation over this time; things won’t go backwards.”