Bevi is a rapidly-growing startup bringing customizable, healthy hydration options to offices and facilities throughout the nation. Within five years of its 2013 founding, Bevi has reduced the waste generated by over 25 million plastic bottles. Above all, they strive for purposeful, people-centric innovation.
Lauren’s education in human development and organizational studies was a natural lead-in to her career in People Ops, but she didn’t necessarily set out to pursue HR. “I started in an administrative role at a very early-stage startup where no one was handling HR. I quickly gravitated towards putting systems and processes in place that helped support people in their work.”
That mindset aligns with Lauren’s larger philosophy about the world of human resources. “I’ve really enjoyed seeing the industry terminology shift away from ‘HR’ and towards ‘People’ and ‘Talent,’ because I think it encompasses a lot more of the technical skill-building that’s necessary to excel in a job today. It’s not only about supporting people themselves, but also supporting how people work.”
Lauren started at Bevi in the summer of 2017 as a consultant and just a few months later, she joined full-time. “I was excited to see that a company of Bevi’s size wanted to bring someone on in a People Ops capacity full-time. They were about 40 employees at the time, and I’ve seen companies of a similar size decide not to invest in an HR hire and just lean on lawyers if something big happens. In opening up my position, I knew Bevi was a company that would prioritize taking care of their people.”
When Lauren started at Bevi, the company was using Zenefits for HR, onboarding, and benefits administration and using Gusto for payroll. “It was clear to me that everyone wanted to get off those systems. The two systems didn’t talk to each other and that led to all kinds of incorrect data.” Finding a solution where everything was managed in one place—allowing information to flow seamlessly and accurately—was top priority.
Lauren also wanted a system that would empower employees to have access to their employment information. “We had been looking to give our employees a lot more transparency and a lot more insight into their world of work here at Bevi. Those two things drove us to ask: What do we need to be more transparent about in order to make people’s jobs easier, and what insights do they need to help them succeed?”
Bevi experienced serious pain points when it came to payroll. They hadn’t been paying in arrears, so there was no way to easily capture overtime. Overtime payments turned into one-off payroll runs, and so did commissions. “We wanted one central system for employees to see ‘okay, here’s my check, there’s a line for commissions, there’s a line for overtime.’ Not only did we want to be able to pay people overtime regularly and systematically, but we also wanted to make sure that employees could easily understand how it all fit together.”
Employees valued having the ability to self-select their benefits in their existing HRIS. However, Lauren wanted a provider who could also manage Bevi’s benefits. She wanted to find a partner who could act as Bevi’s broker, in addition to offering a self-service platform for benefits administration and elections.
As an HR team of one, especially at a rapidly-growing company, Lauren had a full plate. She also knew that no one at Bevi had payroll expertise. “Bevi opened more than 6 new territories in the past year. As we moved into new states, we had a tough time ensuring we were fully compliant. As we continued to grow, I knew that would only become increasingly critical.” It would be a huge win to find a solution that could provide an extra level of compliance guidance, payroll consulting, and administrative assistance.
By the time Lauren came on board, the Bevi team was already searching for a new HRIS. “I came in at the final leg of the sprint, I like to say. The team had already been doing a lot of research and exploring solutions, and they handed the baton to me to make the final decision.”
The team knew things weren’t working well and that they needed a better system. They’d been in conversations with a number of PEOs, like Insperity and ADP TotalSource, but Lauren warned that Bevi was growing too quickly for a PEO. “If we moved to a PEO at that point, we’d have to move off of it within two years because it would no longer be cost-effective. Bevi would have really benefited from a PEO two years ago, but it just didn’t make sense at our stage. Not to mention, their platforms didn’t offer the great user experience we wanted.”
Lauren also considered just switching benefits brokers, since that was their biggest pain point. “That, again, wasn’t the answer because of how we were scaling nationally. We needed a great system too, where everything was managed under one roof.”
In addition to PEOs, the team evaluated a number of HRIS systems. Already a prominent name in the HR space in Boston, Namely was on their list.
While Lauren was impressed with Namely’s technology, her interest peaked when she learned about Namely’s Managed Services offering. “The solution that Namely offered in Managed Services nailed the element of relationship-building I was hoping to see from a broker, as well as the level of support I was hoping to see from a PEO.”
When it came time to get the executive team on board, Lauren got down to the numbers. “I looked at the list of requirements we’d created at the start of the search, and I was able to clearly show which solutions checked the most boxes. Namely was the obvious winner.”
Beyond easing her administrative burden and providing compliance guidance, Lauren most values the partnership she’s formed with Namely’s Managed Services team. “My Namely Managed Services team is phenomenal. Not having to call our very expensive employment lawyers all the time and having that gut-check partnership with our HR Consultant has been huge. Bevi and Namely are both growing companies that strive to serve people well. I can’t emphasize enough that the partnership I’ve felt with the Namely team is why I want to stay with this product.”
Lauren cites Namely’s onboarding tool as another big win for Bevi. “Our onboarding process has become so much more organized, and it has really enhanced the new hire experience. We actually just hosted a fully-costumed ‘Back to the Future’ re-orientation day to re-orient anyone who joined pre-Namely and didn’t have access to the experience we’re able to offer now.”
Bevi strives to cultivate a culture of kudos. “We’re big Slack users, and it’s been a particularly active channel for employees to give each other props. It’s been great to have the Appreciation feed in Namely because it captures that same celebratory moment, but also makes sure that it’s never overlooked, since it’s forever stored on the employee’s profile and saved for performance reviews. Of course, it’s great to give a shoutout in Slack, but it’s much more meaningful to give recognition that helps move a colleague’s career forward.”
“We’re a company that really values design. Having Namely’s homepage look and feel like so many social platforms that our employees are already comfortable with was a huge win for us.” Not only was Bevi’s newsfeed populated quickly by employees, but the intuitive UX/UI throughout the platform has empowered employees to find all the information they need and engage in self-service.
As any HR team of one will tell you, it’s no easy feat to be the sole person responsible for both recruiting and HR. Lauren wears many hats and constantly juggles competing priorities. Luckily, Namely has made HR much more manageable. “The efficiencies achieved by using Namely’s technology and the support offered by the Managed Services team have freed me up to focus on recruiting, which is a huge priority for us as we scale.” Even better, Namely’s integration with Bevi’s ATS, Workable, allows them to effectively streamline everything.
As most growing companies know, rapid growth can also mean increased transitions. “Prior to joining Namely, we were on systems that made issuing final checks, commissions, and overtime payments a drawn-out pain point for both voluntary and involuntary departures. Compliance is one thing, but from a human standpoint, it’s never great when a job doesn’t work out. Our obligation as an employer is to help make career transitions productive no matter the circumstances. The last thing you want to do is have to follow up with someone to reconcile outstanding discrepancies with their paychecks when they’re trying to begin a new chapter.”
Now that they have Namely, Bevi can seamlessly track time-off, hours, and compensation. Plus, with guidance from the Managed Services team, Lauren can rest assured that they’re in line with federal and state compliance. “Both from a product and service perspective, Namely has given us peace of mind that we’re fairly giving our employees what they’ve earned.”
Last but not least, Namely profiles have gone a long way in keeping employees connected from across the country. “We’re a bring-your-own-device company, so we’re all working on our own cell phones. It used to be a such a hassle to get in touch with somebody, especially considering that a huge portion of our team consists of field service engineers and territory sales managers. At any given moment, you could have two thirds of our staff outside the office. It might sound like a minor thing, but the ability to easily find someone’s cell phone number on their profile has made a big impact. Employees also really like simply being able to see each other’s faces, since they often work with people they may never meet in person. It’s exactly the personal kind of system I was hoping for.”
Lauren knows first-hand: today’s world of work changes fast. New systems, process, and teammates can be intimidating for your business. “Namely provides the platform and personal support that helps these changes become not only exciting, but motivating. It’s easy to keep up with company announcements, use Namely Resources to understand policies, put a face to a new name, and track the logistical details like PTO, benefits coverage, and milestones that can otherwise be confusing and time-consuming.”
To be fully successful, Lauren stresses that everyone—not just the People Team—should be bought-in. “Carve out time for your team to get to know Namely and all of its features. Get buy-in from your leadership team by showing the time they’ll save. Then, go help your company grow!”
Bevi is one of 1,000+ companies that use Namely to streamline their HR, payroll, benefits and time management needs.
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