Welcome, New Hires: Our Culture Ambassadors Are Here to Ease You In
Starting a new job can be intimidating and acclimating to a company’s culture is sometimes a challenge. We believe authenticity is an asset, and we always encourage new hires to be themselves. To help that happen, our culture ambassadors ease new hires into the company during orientation and make them feel comfortable in their careers.
No doubt about it — starting a new job can be intimidating. New names, new faces, new jargon — even getting used to a new computer is sometimes a challenge. Throw an entirely different company culture into the mix and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.
It’s OK — we’ve all been there before.
At CoverMyMeds, we encourage new hires to be themselves, and we want them to feel comfortable doing so from day one. Authenticity is an asset, but we know it’s hard to let loose if you feel like a fish out of water. That’s why we call upon our culture ambassadors to help ease employees in.
Currently, we have 14 culture ambassadors on staff serving as our unofficial “hype squad” of sorts. Together, it’s their responsibility to make the transition into CoverMyMeds as seamless as possible — and keep the good vibes going long after the new-job novelty wears away.
Of note, the culture ambassador program currently has roots in Columbus where CoverMyMeds is headquartered, but it’s planning to expand into other company locations in 2023.
Our culture ambassadors make new employees feel comfortable from day one
According to Bethany Osborne, employee lifecycle lead, new hire orientation (NHO) is a core pillar of our culture ambassador program. Every NHO sees three culture ambassadors in attendance, leading tours of our Columbus campus and telling fun stories about their employee experiences so far.
“CoverMyMeds is well-known for having a unique company culture, and our culture ambassadors are a passionate, people-loving group,” Bethany said. “A lot of places jump right into onboarding their new hires, but we like to start with NHO to pump employees up for what’s to come.”
Pump employees up, indeed. Kembral Nelson, senior manager of pharmacy operations, completed NHO with Bethany in October 2021, but she remembers it like it was yesterday.
“New hire orientation wasn’t false advertising — it genuinely captured what CoverMyMeds is all about,” she said. “We learned about the company’s impact on the healthcare ecosystem and in patient lives. A year later, I’m happy to report I continue to see our values ingrained in day-to-day decisions.”
Kurt Oberlin, internal infrastructure team lead, completed NHO more recently in August 2022, and he agrees with Kembral’s sentiments.
“After working at the same company for five years I was nervous about starting at CoverMyMeds,” he said. “But the culture ambassadors anticipated every question and allayed every fear. Because of them, my entire NHO class felt comfortable making the transition into the next chapter of our careers.”
Helping with new hire orientation, community events and on-campus happenings
Beyond NHO, our culture ambassadors help plan and promote community events and on-campus happenings, as well.
One such community event is The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light The Night, which will take place from 5:30-8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 14 in Columbus. Sunny Sutton, account coordinator and culture ambassador at CoverMyMeds, is helping to lead our involvement and sponsorship of the event.
Sunny said kismet led to her participation in Light The Night.
"I’m from Texas originally — when I moved to Columbus in 2011, I went to work for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through a temp agency,” Sunny said. “So, when Bethany approached me a few months ago to ask if I wanted to help recruit walkers for the event, I jumped at the opportunity.”
Although CoverMyMeds makes it easy to sign up for volunteer activities through our partnership with Besa, Sunny recognizes it can be intimidating for employees — especially new ones — to put themselves out there. She credits her position as a culture ambassador for giving her the confidence to get involved.
Beyond The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light The Night, Sunny also had the opportunity to speak with Columbus City School middle schoolers who came to CoverMyMeds’ Columbus campus to learn more about our company and the work we do to help people live healthier lives.
“It was like a mini career fair for those kids,” Sunny said. “I don’t come from a technology or healthcare background, so it was cool to explain all the ways they could one day work at a company like CoverMyMeds. We even introduced them to members of our culinary team to showcase the range of roles we provide for employment.”
My first week here, I was blown away by our culture — the way employees are treated is unreal.
Like Sunny, Jacklyn Heikes is also an account coordinator and culture ambassador at CoverMyMeds. She started in January 2021 and applied to become a culture ambassador a few months later in April. Why? Because she’s “never been so happy at a workplace before,” she said.
“Prior to CoverMyMeds, I worked in higher education — that environment was all about prestige, and I never felt completely comfortable,” Jacklyn said. “My first week here, I was blown away by our culture — the way employees are treated is unreal. I’m so excited to work here, and I want to share that excitement with others.”
As a culture ambassador, Jacklyn has gotten involved with several on-campus happenings, including our CoverMyHealth and Fitness Fair on July 20. There, she collaborated with our fitness and wellness lead, Crystal Winfrey-Ellington, to invite her favorite fitness studio to showcase its offerings to our employees.
Beyond the CoverMyHealth and Fitness Fair, Jacklyn also volunteered at our ERG-Stravaganza event on July 7, which provided employees with a chance to meet employee resource group (ERG) representatives and learn how to get involved with causes close to employee hearts. At the event, Jacklyn helped man the booth for Middle Eastern and Northern African (MENA), our newest ERG.
“Although I’m an entry-level employee, being a culture ambassador makes me feel highly valued for the perspective I bring,” Jacklyn said. “I especially love the networking aspect — that I get to experience different parts of the organization I wouldn’t get to see otherwise.”
We want our employees to know that who they are as human beings is just as important as the work they produce.
Advancing employee engagement is always the goal at CoverMyMeds
Beyond NHO, community events and on-campus happenings, perhaps the biggest goal of our culture ambassador program is to spark employee engagement from day one — a goal made more challenging by ongoing workplace transformations in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thankfully, employees like Jordan Hoelzer, senior manager of people engagement and culture enablement, make employee engagement their top priority.
“Employee engagement isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach,” Jordan said. “Sometimes it’s as simple as getting an ice cream truck to deliver treats on a Thursday afternoon. Other times, it’s reading through 12,000 comments from an employee survey, then creating an action-oriented game plan to achieve positive change."
In Jordan’s words, his No. 1 drive is to help people realize their value and maximize their lives. But that doesn’t just mean their value or life at work.
“Starting with NHO, we want our employees to know that who they are as human beings is just as important as the work they produce,” he said. “Our culture ambassadors do a great job of relaying that message and encouraging new hires to be their authentic selves — no matter what that looks like.”
Feedback from NHO classes has been overwhelmingly positive, and I’d love to see the culture ambassador program expand into other CoverMyMeds locations in 2023.
It’s easy to apply to become a culture ambassador — just be yourself
The culture ambassador program is a year-long commitment that runs from May to May and requires about two hours per week, or eight hours per month of service. Everyone at CoverMyMeds is welcome to apply — it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been here.
For interested employees, Jacklyn has some advice.
“Just explain why you love it here — that’s all you need to do,” she said. “During my interview for the program, they asked me to name somebody who’s impacted my time here. I simply talked about forming a friendship with my coworker, and that got me the role. For me, relationship building is the best thing about CoverMyMeds.”
“There’s no need to make things up or put on a front,” she said. “Truly, anyone can be a culture ambassador — I didn’t think I was qualified, but here I am. Focus on your strengths, talk about your favorite things and most importantly, never be scared to say yes to an opportunity.”
CoverMyMeds has welcomed thousands of employees since we were founded in 2008, and as a high-growth company, we’ve experienced a lot of change. As with many programs in a dynamic environment like ours, the culture ambassador program will continue to evolve to meet employee needs in locations beyond Columbus.
Bethany in particular has high hopes for the future.
“Feedback from NHO classes has been overwhelmingly positive. As we pilot NHO in places like Louisville and Atlanta, I’d love to see the culture ambassador program expand in 2023, as well,” she said. “It’s an opportunity for our folks to be more deeply recognized and immersed in our company — to share their enthusiasm for our workplace with those around them.”
If you’re a CoverMyMeds employee who’s interested in applying to 2023’s culture ambassador program, reach out to Bethany Osborne via Slack.
Like the sound of CoverMyMeds’ company culture? Browse our open positions on our careers page.
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