Employee Experience Roundtable | July 2022 🌟

Employee Experience Roundtable | July 2022 🌟

👉 Challenges Transitioning to a Remote Organization

TLDR: Many companies have struggled to maintain their return to office or hybrid work strategies. With a larger distributed workforce and employees unwilling to commute, transitioning to a fully-remote working style has been top priority. If your organization is navigating this transition, consider offering a remote office set-up stipend, in addition to adding smaller co-working spaces in multiple cities for employees that prefer to leave their house to work.

  • During the peak of the pandemic many companies hired globally. As times continue to change, many companies have tried to reconvene this distributed workforce in offices or certain city hubs.
  • For a few companies the city hubs and return to office strategies have not been successful. Employees originally located in a company’s HQ have moved away, the workforce is distributed as a result of hiring, employees that do live locally are unmotivated to make the commute. 
  • Alternatively, some smaller-mid-sized companies are struggling to make remote work work for them as employees who struggle focusing within their home-lives relied on the in-office setting to be productive. 
  • Regardless of the challenges your company is facing when transitioning to a fully remote environment consider supporting employees by offering a remote setup stipend. Alternatively, consider offering employees a WeWork or small co-working space in a few major cities.
  • If productivity has been the biggest challenge to a remote work transition consider implementing focus hours or meeting-free hours on specific days throughout the week.
  • Lastly, for teams considering winding down their workplace facilities team, opt to transition these employees into other teams within the company. Understand their transferable skills to other business units and opt to transfer instead of downsize whenever possible. 

👉 Building & Scaling ERGs

TLDR: When creating a framework and initial procedures to create ERGs ensure there is an application process that includes the discussion and documentation of resources needed, carefully select members willing to participate in a formal ERG, create a code of conduct, clarify event ideas and expectations. Having a plan of action to approach the implementation and scaling of ERGs helps motivate employees and keeps DEI and employee experience teams on the same page when supporting these events and programs.

  • When creating ERGs ensure your company has a process in place to formalize the creation and scaling of ERGs. For multiple companies the creation of an ERG begins with an application and multiple brainstorming meetings to discuss ERGs needs, resources, code of conduct, target demographics and the creation of a charter. 
  • For many companies these early ERG meetings are also a time to formalize the leadership team which should include a lead, co-lead, secretary, treasurer and normally one member of the executive team. 
  • Creating and formalizing an ERG is a lot of work and the more stern your team is with early documentation and figuring out how things should be done, the easier it is to get motivated employees to join.
  • For employees that are motivated, but unsure how much work it takes to run an ERG consider having them shadow other ERGs to gain a better understanding of what it takes to make an ERG successful.
  • In terms of ERG budgeting, be mindful of how ERGs use their budget. Consider incorporating the “if you don’t use it, you lose it” mentality when encouraging groups to use their allotted budget. 
  • For employees who have the motivation, but are unable to commit the time, consider looping them into DEI brainstorming sessions so they can help co-design events they are passionate about. 
  • When it comes to scaling out ERG programming, ensure groups are working throughout the year to keep up momentum for their groups as opposed to spending all their time and resources optimizing for a few events during a specific month within the year. 
  • If consistent ERG programming is a struggle consider having an ERG lead co-host events with different benefit partners. For example, one company’s wellness ERG co-led an event with their wellness benefit partner Modern Health
  • Another low-lift option to highlight different ERG groups is to run a panel with leads from your company’s different ERGs.

👉 Managing Leadership Expectations of DEI

TLDR: A growing number of companies have experienced times where leadership priorities are at odds with DEI. If your leadership is opting to not involve themselves in DEI initiatives, do not let that stop you from listening and supporting employees groups that need to be heard. Doing nothing is doing something. Instead start small, listen to employees and do something when you notice something needs to be done. When it comes to dealing with leadership expectations and speaking up on DEI topics, ensure communications and events are authentic and cohesive - keep an eye on both the intention and the impact these events can have.

  • For a few companies, executive leaders believe DEI is important, but aren’t driven to action, or do not take part in the events organized to support their employee groups. 
  • Similarly, it can be difficult to ensure DEI events are authentic and cohesive when different ideas are coming from leadership. 
  • It is hard to get DEI right for most companies, but doing something authentic to your company is still important, regardless of the form it takes. 
  • Doing nothing to support DEI within a company says something. Similarly as current events come up, if leadership says nothing to acknowledge the experience of certain employee groups - that says something to employees. 
  • If your team is struggling to manage leadership expectations when it comes to DEI, opt to start small. If you notice there’s a need to do something, start something! 
  • Start with a Slack/MS team channel. Get employees talking and get the ball rolling from there. From here, consider getting different speakers in to give talks that resonate with employees. 
  • Sometimes it’s okay to ruffle feathers, but stay grounded in the idea of intention versus impact. Potentially the intention behind a message was positive, but the impact was negative. These are different issues to tackle, but should be acknowledged when navigating different subjects. 

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