Shelby Wolpa Designs the Future of Distributed Work at InVision

As vice president of people operations, Shelby Wolpa aims to create a world-class employee experience for InVision’s fully distributed team of eight hundred employees

Shelby Wolpa considers herself a “people tech geek” and remote work convert. This is fitting given Wolpa is vice president of people operations for InVision, a digital product design platform where all employees work remotely.

Shelby Wolpa Invision
Shelby Wolpa, InvisionPhoto: Claire Billy

At InVision, Wolpa leads the team responsible for people operations technology and processes, global compensation and benefits programs, and people data analytics. In owning the end-to-end employee experience, Wolpa is focused on reimagining what a truly outstanding workplace culture can be, designing programs that create engagement and belonging for InVisioners around the world.

“What I love about my role is that we are truly designing the future of work,” she says. “InVision has supported me in bringing in the most leading-edge people tools to help create the best employee experience. Bringing my personal passion into my work is like a dream.”

Originally studying economics at Texas A&M, Wolpa found herself in the HR field unintentionally. “I was recruited to an HR consulting firm due to my analytical skill-set and ended up falling in love with the role after finding that it nicely balanced supporting people and the business,” she notes. “In 2009, my husband and I relocated to the Bay Area where I joined Palantir, which had less than one hundred employees at the time.”

“What I love about my role at InVision is that we are truly designing the future of work. . . . Bringing my personal passion into my work is like a dream.”

Wolpa led the team through tremendous growth to more than twelve hundred employees and expansion into nine new countries. “That’s where I really found my sweet spot and ‘superpower’ at hyper-growth unicorns,” she says.

She went on to more success at One Medical Group and Instacart, coming on board to both as an HR leader building infrastructures, policies, and employee experiences from the ground up. After having her daughter, Wolpa and her husband moved back to Texas after eight years in the Bay Area.

“I was introduced to one of the cofounders of InVision, who was looking to build out their HR team—a team which could be based anywhere. It was a perfect match,” she says. “It’s hard work building everything from scratch. People asked me why I keep joining these hyper-growth companies, but with InVision, the special component that intrigued me was the fully remote nature of the work. I wanted to challenge myself to see if I could build another world class people team in a fully distributed environment.”

In the past three years, she has helped the company grow from two hundred to eight hundred employees across twenty countries. “What has been so refreshing on the talent attraction side is that there is amazing talent everywhere. When you are freed from sourcing only where you have an office or HQ, this really becomes apparent,” she explains. “I have built a diverse people team with individuals from cities such as Boston, Atlanta, Charlotte, and Seattle. These are markets I never had access to before. I have also been able to significantly reduce the time it takes to fill open positions given this deeper pipeline of qualified candidates.”

“To me, the biggest benefit of all is how the distributed working model creates the space for you to design your best life and have more time to do the things that bring you joy.”

InVision’s people team takes design-thinking best practices to heart and incorporates user research, prototyping, journey mapping, and never-ending reflection into its programs. Wolpa is particularly proud of how they have transformed the company’s global benefits and perks programs, reimagining what a “white glove” benefits open enrollment experience could look like for remote workers. This process matured into a campaign they call “Be Well,” which embraces the wellness philosophy of supporting everything employees need to be their best self physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Leading up to InVision’s 2020 benefits open enrollment season, the people team hosted dozens of individual interviews, analyzed results from employee surveys, and studied benchmark data. Wolpa and her team then mapped out the employee journey from end to end to understand where friction existed within the current process and where improvements could be made.

Key design changes included adding a designated learning pathway to guide employees through InVision’s learning system, live and recorded virtual education sessions, robust resources on the company intranet, and virtual people team office hours. As a result, 65 percent of InVision employees participated in making open enrollment changes and the team achieved a 96.33 percent rate of satisfaction from the annual post-open enrollment survey. Employees described enrollment as the “easiest, most informative benefits enrollment” they’ve done at any company. “Y’all are so dialed into this process,” one employee wrote. “So easy and effective.”

Shelby Wolpa InVision
Photo: Claire Billy

When considering potential additions to the benefits and perks package, Wolpa and her team analyzed a number of data sources such as the top thematic areas of healthcare spend, industry trends, benchmark data, and employee feedback. Some unique components of their package include individual Headspace meditation accounts, virtual mental health resources through Spring Health, fertility-related care through Carrot, and a home office setup perk.

“The response has been outstanding. The feedback from employees was that they felt ‘heard’ and that the benefits program supported the needs of them and their families,” Wolpa says.

Since the launch of Headspace in January 2019, 47 percent of InVision employees have joined the community and mediated over 110,000 minutes. During the first three months with Spring Health, 14 percent of employees have enrolled and taken advantage of virtual assessments and appointments.

“We are excited about the future of our benefits and wellness programs and how we design and promote them in our remote culture. This year we are working on thematic wellness campaigns to help promote our suite of global programs,” Wolpa says.

“To me,” she continues, “the biggest benefit of all is how the distributed working model creates the space for you to design your best life and have more time to do the things that bring you joy.”

Shelby is more than wise and experienced—she’s also innovative. Even as she digs into complex data, she never loses sight that behind all those numbers are human beings. At Compaas, we are proud to partner with Shelby as our advisor and champion.