A conversation with FlexCold's Director of Talent Management on how FlexCold is building culture and a future-ready workforce
In a conversation with FlexCold’s Director of Talent Management, Charlie Isgette, she described how FlexCold sees the future of its team, its stature as ‘employer of choice’ in Jacksonville and beyond, and what’s around the corner. Central to all of this is that FlexCold leaders have made intentional decisions to be the organization of the future—today. FlexCold’s culture and dimensions of team performance are what will provide the impetus.
FlexCold opened its doors post-pandemic knowing that hiring, retaining, and growing its workforce would be a challenge. We looked at this challenge as an opportunity—we knew that being a future-ready organization relied on how we prioritize, elevate, and advance our team. We have built a modern warehouse which required us to design our warehouse from the inside out with leading-edge automation and technology; our people approach would need to be as innovative to achieve more resilience and to engage and retain our teammates.
Q. How does “future-ready” manifest at FlexCold?
A. FlexCold was started as not just another cold storage warehouse but as a completely reimagined approach to an industry that was aging and struggling to keep up with demand. We looked at our physical warehouse as a clean slate for automation, innovation, and efficiency. At the same time, we understood that the lynchpin to successfully serving our customers is serving our teammates. So, we started from the ground up here as well.
We began by exploring and establishing organizational culture. What resonated most with us is the energy and approach of a professional team. Our cultural mantra, “perform like a champion” embraces agility, experimentation, constant evaluation, coaching and camaraderie to enable our success. We work hard for our team to feel the connection to each other and the organization. Our #team22 and #team23 have celebrated together, grown their skills together, and stepped up together when challenges arise. Basically, we know that our people are the future, and they are what make us future-ready.
Q. FlexCold is thoroughly modern in that it has many of the latest technologies, equipment, and workflow approaches. How does this approach impact the FlexCold team?
A. As automation and digital technologies continue to drive and shape cold storage warehouses, we are committed to making sure our pro team is equally on pace. We recognize that developing a future-ready workforce is not only ensuring the right team is in place with the right skills, but also prioritizing upskilling our team. Fostering an atmosphere of experimentation, innovation and new learning allows us to differentiate and compete.
We are committed to making education and skill investments so our team will continue to efficiently work alongside the latest technology and equipment. Automation itself isn’t necessarily innovative, applying it in new ways to get the job done is. We feel that is a fun challenge, and one we fully embrace. So, we continually ask – what do we need to learn or do to be more efficient and productive?
Q. FlexCold-Jacksonville just celebrated its first anniversary. When you think back over the first year, what are a few of your key accomplishments?
A. I am extremely proud that our original eight warehouse teammates have grown with us this past year. These teammates exemplify our pro-team culture. Our new teammates look to the “original eight or OG8” as ambassadors for our culture and comradery.
Since our inception, we have grown our workforce to over 60 teammates. This rapid growth challenged us to ensure our onboarding program efficiently shared the tenets of our culture and what success looks like at FlexCold. It also conveys connection and that we care.
As a human resource team, we challenge each other to be more dynamic, nimble, and embedded in the business. To attract, develop, and retain a pro team, it takes a village. We’ve looked at our ecosystem and explored partners to help us grow our team’s skills, efficiently connect, and spread the FlexCold word in our community.
Q. What most excites you about FlexCold-Jacksonville and beyond?
A. FlexCold-Jacksonville is literally doubling our facility footprint to over 350,000 square feet. Scaling our culture, processes, and team is extremely exciting. This is definitely where our commitment to reskilling and upskilling our workforce comes into play. We see our team as knowledge workers guiding technology and automation, not the other way around.
Also, as we move toward being the employer of choice in Jacksonville, we recognize the importance of supporting the community in which our team works, lives, and plays. To this end, we participate in the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, CareerSource support, and Feeding Northeast Florida.
Overall, we know that when our teammates are valued for their ingenuity and creativity, we will see greater retention and engagement. Our journey has just begun, and I’m thoroughly excited about the future and advancing our teams’ growth and career paths.
Learn more about FlexCold and our career opportunities at www.flexcold.com/work-with-us