In this month's edition of our Employee Spotlight series, we caught up with Chief People Officer, Suparna Basu-Ravis. Learn about what attracted Suparna to Acceleration Partners and the partnership industry, how companies can build a bidirectional communication model, what makes Acceleration Partners so unique.
Welcome to our Employee Spotlight series! Tell us a little bit about what you do as Chief People Officer.
Thank you! My role as Chief People Officer for Acceleration Partners (AP) is to ensure that AP has the right strategy, structures, and culture in place so we can create and maintain an engaged, diverse, and purpose-driven workforce that can derive value in how their contributions impact AP's success. This spans from the most broad, strategic stuff like talent development and organizational design all the way to more foundational, day-to-day people matters across compensation, benefits, etc.
What attracted you to work in the partnership marketing industry?
This might sound like a cheesy answer, but Acceleration Partners attracted me to work in this industry! As someone who worked 17 years in financial services, my knowledge of marketing is very limited. Learning about what AP does and how they do it piqued my interest.
But what really sealed the deal and made me want to come to this industry is how AP and our leaders have really shaped this specific channel of marketing to be what it is today. It is such a fascinating area to be in, working alongside pioneers of the industry, and in one that is so important as it relates to how people consume content and make decisions on how they choose brands.
What do you think a good work culture looks like, and how are we building a positive and inclusive environment at Acceleration Partners?
A good work culture is one where there is healthy and robust bidirectional communication between employees and the company's leadership. Not all communication from either party will always be rosy; but the fact that it happens in a transparent and constructive way is key and will create a culture everyone wants to be a part of.
At AP, our communication channels are very strong. As we grow and become more globally distributed, it is important to make sure we adapt how and what we communicate—this is why we must strive to have inclusion go above and beyond just doing town halls and other all-company meetings. We want to really know the diversity of our international workforce and ensure that our programs, policies, practices, and the way we interact with each other is locally relevant, while globally consistent.
Employee retention has been a big focus area for companies, especially these last couple of years. How have you seen Acceleration Partners set the standard in this area?
In my short time at AP, I have observed the unique way our Senior Leadership Team (SLT) and employee population work together, which differentiates AP from a lot of companies. All companies have their own unique value proposition as both a business and an employer. I feel that we have been able to retain the best and brightest talent in our industry due to the accessibility our employees have to us on the SLT, and in turn, healthy communication that I strongly feel our employees know is unique to AP.
Now that you work for a global remote company, what are your tips for staying connected with coworkers and clients?
Thanks to the pandemic, many companies that were mostly in-office are now facing the challenge of maintaining connection and productivity in a remote environment. What I've found so impressive about AP is that this company has working remote down to both a science and an art. AP has been 100% remote since its inception, so the types of collaboration tools, communication mechanisms, and overall connectivity are well established and work amazingly for our employee population across 30 different countries and multiple time zones.
My advice is really for leaders who are having to navigate all of this—empower your employees to do their best work, but make sure you have the infrastructure in place to enable them to do so. This means appreciating new ways of working that aren't "traditional." The global pandemic has taught us a lot, with one of the biggest lessons learned being that employees were able to accomplish some of the most successful things in history from non-traditional environments. In other words, keep an open mind.
When you're not working, what can we find you doing?
You can find me drinking black coffee, reading my New York Times and Wall Street Journal apps, watching TikToks, and enjoying lots of craziness with my husband and two young children.
Finally, what is something about yourself that might surprise people?
I am an introvert. Kind of crazy to think of that for someone who is managing a People function, but it's true! However, I do think my introversion helps me a lot in my role—it makes me highly analytical and focused on meaningful interactions and relationships. Plus, given the variety of my to-do list, reflective alone time to work through tasks is important!