Epoch Lunch & Learn in San Francisco

Epoch Lunch & Learn in San Francisco

Epoch hosted a Lunch & Learn for leaders and innovators in the Employee Experience space to mix and mingle in San Francisco. The event featured a fireside chat where Jade Choy, Epoch's CEO and co-founder, had conversations with leaders and innovators in the employee experience and engagement space.

In case you missed it, here are some key learnings and takeaways from our Fireside Chat featuring Julene Bruschera, Global Workplace Events at Pinterest, and Rose Cheng, Employee Experience Program Manager at Asana. Scroll on for notes! 👇

Meet Rose and Julene 😊🎙️

Rose has been working at Asana for four years, and Julene at Pinterest for over five years. Rose is inspired by community and togetherness, and curates diverse and engaging events for employees all over the world at Asana! Julene works in Internal Events, overseeing twenty-two offices. Both Rose and Julene have seen the workplace evolve from pre-Covid times, during, and are planning for what’s next.

Culture at Pinterest and Asana

Asana is currently working under an Office Centric Hybrid. Rose describes culture as something that is built from the people. It might include things like getting excited to collaborate with your coworkers, feeling safe both psychologically and physically, and bringing your whole self to work. Asana believes that each individual office has their own subculture, and encourages employees to do what is right for their office vibe!

Pinterest follows a hybrid model as well. For Julene, culture is about building relationships through our values like honesty, transparency, and learning from mistakes. This relationship building is crucial to a culture where people are happy to come into work everyday.

Successful employee initiatives at Pinterest and Asana

An important mentality at Pinterest is that every outcome is either a win or a learning opportunity. As they aim to engage employees, they consider feedback as key to developing successful events. Julene highlights the significance of being able to bring people together for events that are sometimes a well needed mental break from the day to connect employees from all around the world; for example, a water-coloring class.

Rose shares Asana’s annual Halloween dog parade as a fun way to bring people together. This simple event uplifts the mood and energy at Asana, which is especially important towards the work-heavy end of year. Another initiative Asana started during the pandemic was a show and tell. This event started with the R&D team and extended into all departments from legal to marketing teams. It’s a great way to celebrate, even with small wins. 

Keys to good communication 

Asana uses Epoch to help centralize all of their events in a way that is easily accessible to their employees. They use digital signage which can be edited and immediately shared across all offices, as well as newsletters to keep employees up to speed. Rose also points out the value in communicating effectively by considering employee time constraints. For example, being able to convey messages as concisely as possible so that even someone with one minute to spare would understand. 

Julene talks about how every employee is different in the sense that they may prefer different methods of communication. For example, some may prefer Slack, or email, but having a single source of truth to point them to is critical and may differ company to company.

Making a case for leadership and planning ahead

Julene leans into the use of data. Given the fast pace changes in our industry, analyzing trends quarter to quarter may also help break down how events went into hard facts such as attendance rate, number of unique attendees, and office utilization. Essentially, it’s about using data to present a good business case to leadership.

At Asana, Rose uses Epoch to gather the data and feedback to present to leadership. She also aims to have at least three or four decision makers attend every event so that they can see firsthand the impact and value of them. Creating those unique experiences are memorable and help drive home her case. 

Holiday and end-of-year events 

The end-of-year planning is in motion at Asana. Rose shares that they allow their regional offices to choose what is right for them. This includes decor, theme, and activity. We still want tethers to HQ, but optimize for cohesiveness versus duplication.

Pinterest is also holding in-office holiday parties with each of the 22 offices holding their own. Similar to Rose’s sentiment, Julene wants to ensure that no office feels better or worse than another. They aim for all offices to be similar, but not identical. 

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