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Building culture on the move

Spotlight on Relay Payments CPO, Amy Zimmerman

Since its inception, Relay Payments has benefited from having outstanding leadership that has built our company from the ground up. At the helm of our People Operations team, Amy Zimmerman, Chief People Officer, has decades of experience creating collaborative workforce cultures that ensure business success. Amy’s leadership at Relay has already garnered ample media attention, and she has been asked by numerous media outlets to speak as a leader on navigating issues like how to support a strong company culture for a remote workforce and how to manage vaccine mandates.

Relay’s company culture has thrived through the global workforce changes over the last year and a half with our hybrid workforce, because Amy understands that sustaining a company culture remotely requires a specific approach. “Our team members describe our culture as innovative, engaging, supportive, and rewarding,” Amy Zimmerman explains in a recent Forbes article, “It is the catalyst for how the work gets done, and because it is so important to us and our success, we’re committed to investing in it very intentionally.” 

Company culture is defined by its values and behaviors, so it is essential to maintain connectivity between team members beyond the office walls to build a supportive environment for high performers. Amy has created programs and practices around mental and physical wellness, recognition, learning, and growth, and fosters an atmosphere of connection. In a Modern Professional interview, Amy explains, “A work culture is defined by its values, language, and behaviors. That’s why intentionality, transparency, and consistency are so critical.”

At Relay, our values define us and keep us working together toward business goals. Our three core values are to invent the future, own the work, and we’re in it together. We invent the future in a culture of continuous innovation, own the work that we do as a matter of personal pride, and collaborate with our colleagues as a collective. These values not only attract team members to join Relay but keep them wanting to stay and do their best work. 

In addition to attracting team members to join your company in a competitive marketplace, a key focus is retention. The trucking industry is experiencing a considerable driver shortage and is pursuing new and different ways to better engage and retain its drivers. Companies in all verticals are struggling to fill job openings with suitable candidates, and keeping in tune with current pay rates – and meeting them – is just one of the strategies to attract the finest candidates on the market. 

As Amy explains in a From Day One feature, “If you’re under-paying, you’ve got to fix that fast. It’s going to be a lot more expensive to get people in to replace the folks that you’re losing.” And even though you may not have the financial resources like Spanx, which famously doled out $10,000 and first-class plane tickets to all of their employees, there are many other ways to reward and recognize. A good retention strategy is always company equity, but as Amy says, “businesses also can get good results with methods like verbal messages, recognition programs, and community-building activities — many of which don’t cost a thing.”

Amy also weighed in on a challenging topic in the current workforce — vaccine mandates. Now a part of American work culture, big and small businesses have to take measures to ensure that team members are either vaccinated or undergo regular testing. As the industry has pivoted and adjusted in the last year and a half, human resources departments have been at the center of it all. “I think HR, in many ways, is an unsung hero in this 18-month saga because we’re also the ones that have been managing all of the emotions and all of the adjustments,” Amy explains in an Independent article

“The biggest challenge ahead for us is to navigate how to comply with the mandate, allow the folks unvaccinated to continue working and, or encourage them to get vaccinated,” Amy says in an ABC 10 feature about supporting the entire workforce. Willing to address the issue head-on, Amy explains the challenge is to think about how to support those who don’t want to be vaccinated while keeping the community and company safe. The answer, for now, is supporting remote work initiatives while demanding that all in-person activities require vaccinations, which closely mirrors the workplace requirements in the trucking industry. 

It isn’t hard to see why media outlets look towards Amy for her leadership example and words of wisdom as she continues building a company culture that promotes the well-being of team members and nurtures an environment where engaged employees are happy to stay. Our customer service representatives answer calls with “It’s a great day at Relay,” and it truly is.

At Relay, we commit to building a diverse, inclusive, and equitable community where team members of all identities and backgrounds experience a sense of belonging. Check out our current job listings here.