Every month, Epoch is bringing together employee experience leaders to share learnings, compare notes, and lean on each other! Scroll down to see key takeaways from the conversation!
TLDR: This is definitely a challenge but it comes down to making things optional and respecting the different climate. To comply with the different European laws, making your culture and diversity surveys optional is key. Also, highlight to your employees that they can participate and choose to withdraw their responses at a later date. In addition, tell managers they can’t force employees to participate. From a compliance standpoint, it’s important to follow the laws.
This can make it more difficult to assess diversity and culture in European offices. A useful tool can be to use the Shannon Diversity Index, a methodology to measure diversity. At the end of the day, you need to respect differences between offices and across countries, while understanding that diversity is important.
TLDR: It’s difficult to align offerings across all offices for a variety of reasons. It’s important to be mindful of keeping similar budgets and activities across offices. However, not everything works the same way in each area. Some places may be more expensive than others to hold the same event. It’s important to make little concessions to make sure that you are building regional culture, while still being aligned with the universal culture you’re trying to build between offices. Even in large companies, there are ways to be thoughtful about delivery while staying within budget. One company plans events based on the Executive Leadership Team’s travel schedule. Wherever the ELT is, employees local to that area get together for a couple of hours and have a two drink maximum, and appetizers. The same goes for other regions so nobody feels that they’re missing out on what a different location is having. Putting in this expectation beforehand is a great way to provide an equitable employee experience.
TLDR: Having your ERGs weigh in on company-wide events allows a lot of regional representation. This ensures people have a voice. Often, some of the best events that have been hosted come from other people's ideas. Make sure that you’re producing intentional gatherings that foster connections. Also, provide representation to people who aren’t in office by allowing them to get together with people in other locations.
TLDR: When you have people who aren’t used to planning offsites create them, this can cause discrepancies. It’s important to have template materials, expectations, and guidelines on what an event should be. This also includes information on price per head and giving those resources to those involved in event planning. You also need to make sure that the people who want to create events have the time to do it. There is a lot more work that goes into events than they might think.
You can also have people submit their offsite ideas before creating them. Create a form to ask what intentions are for the offsite. This can ensure you can help guide the logistics of the event. If a manager is planning to take the team hiking, you need to make sure they tell everyone to bring proper footwear.
TLDR: There are a variety of ways that you can support employees’ mental health. One company present at the roundtable said they were testing a 4-day work week for employees with stressful roles in an effort to reduce burnout. In addition, create a safe space for your employees to meet monthly to express their thoughts, feelings, and challenges. There are also a variety of tools that can help support your employee's mental health. These can include:
There are many tools out there to help your employees. Make sure that employees have access to mental health resources that work for them. There isn’t a one size fits all solution so make sure you ask your employees what they need from you to feel supported in their roles.
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Challenges with establishing ERGs and safe spaces for neurodiverse employees.
Challenges with budgets, virtual event engagement, and managing programming for distributed teams.