Every February we celebrate the contributions, achievements, history, and culture of Black people as part of Black History Month. Per the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, this year's Black History Month theme is Black Health and Wellness, which "considers activities, rituals, and initiatives that Black communities have done to be well." This theme is especially timely as we enter the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disproportionately affected minority communities and placed unique burdens on Black professionals.
While Black history can (and should) be celebrated year-round, finding a way to honor Black history any day this month is a great start! To give you some ideas, we asked some of our partner companies what they have planned this year to celebrate Black History Month. Keep reading to see how they’re celebrating in their own words!
Host events by Black creatives — Cockroach Labs
“Cockroach Labs is celebrating Black History Month with Black@CRL, our community of Black Roachers, guiding programming. Throughout the month, we'll be highlighting central figures in Black History across company channels for broad visibility, inviting Black creatives to host events including cooking classes, tastings, and more. We plan on capping the month with a panel in which leaders creating opportunities for Black talent in the tech industry will share their stories and strategies for accomplishing their work. We believe that the time to celebrate Black History is all the time, which is why we run Black@CRL programming year-round.”
Learn more about Cockroach Labs here
Highlight Black health and wellness experts — ServiceNow
“The national theme for Black History Month is “Black Health and Wellness.” ServiceNow will build off of this theme by highlighting Black experts in the field of health and wellness and approaches to strengthening mental health, fitness and nutrition. We will host a series of events featuring special guest speakers, ServiceNow leaders, employee panels and interactive dialogues. Additionally, we will offer volunteer opportunities for employees to give back to nonprofit organizations that advocate for health and wellness in the Black community and those that support the education of Black history and culture.”
Learn more about ServiceNow here.
Celebrate Black contributions, culture, and presence — Freddie Mac
“In recognition of Black History Month, our ARISE (African Diaspora, Resources and Information Sharing for Everyone) business resource group (BRG) will engage employees through a series of events that celebrate Black contributions, culture and presence. Inclusive engagement events include an equitable housing panel discussion, a Black Women’s Symposium, a Black executives panel and other total-wellbeing sessions. ”
Learn more about Freddie Mac here.
Donate to Black-led organizations — Autodesk
“Autodesk's focus for this year's Black History Month celebration will emphasize "The Importance of Black Health and Wellness". We're honoring this month by donating to the Black Joy Parade and committing to an unrestricted donation to the Hidden Genius Project for the next three years. We're also hosting various local and global virtual events, including a Southern BBQ experience, virtual yoga, a virtual tour through the Museum of African Diaspora Exhibits, and a Panel Discussion with our CEO.”
Learn more about Autodesk here.
Host a self care webinar — Cummins
“Cummins is excited for the upcoming Black History Month celebration! The Cummins Black Network, one of the many employee resource groups at Cummins, will be hosting several events with the theme ‘Black Health & Wellness’. Employees will have the opportunity to attend and actively participate in several events throughout the month, such as a live cooking session with Chef Sandy, an interactive ‘Self-Care is Wellness’ webinar, and even a ‘Basics of Yoga’ session! Check out @CumminsCareers on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to follow along as Cummins celebrates Black History Month! ”
Learn more about Cummins here.
Showcase the imagination and artistry in the community — Riot Games
“Our BIPOC employee resource group, Riot Noir, continues their ongoing mission for Black Heritage Month to celebrate Black culture and amplify Black voices. This year they embrace the theme of creativity by showcasing the imagination, innovation and artistry within the Black community. They will explore unique stories across gaming and entertainment and will host various events throughout the month including a keynote panel, a digital showcase, and a local industry event in partnership with Valence.community."
Learn more about Riot Games here.
Play Black history month trivia — SoundCloud
"SoundCloud wants to service the role of education and celebration by continuing conversations about how Black music and artists have documented moments in history and kept the spirit of celebration and self-expression alive. Our platform and social channels will speak to the roles that Black artists have played in archiving history and how music inspires the future of Black history, culture, and art. SoundClouders can also
- Sign up for Conscious and Confident communication workshops
- Win Self-Care packages from Black-owned businesses during Black History Month Trivia
- Find and contribute to our lists of local Black-owned businesses
- Read and listen to practical tips for practicing allyship, speaking to children about race, and understanding more about the Black experience today
- Celebrate our Faces of SoundCloud campaign on SoundCloud’s LinkedIn account"
Learn more about SoundCloud here.
Focus on physical, mental, and financial health — Lockheed Martin
“This February, Lockheed Martin is planning a series of events centered around the theme “Health and Wellness and its Impact on the Black Community”. Led by the Business Resource Group, Black Excellence Council (B.E.C), these events will engage our employee population across the country by promoting the importance of community wellness, as well as physical, mental, and financial health. Each week Lockheed Martin employees will participate in workshops and events including, Couch Conversations – You Are What You Eat, Breaking the Stigma: A Discussion on Mental Health in the Black Community, and Strategies for Developing a Legacy of Values and Finances.”
Learn more about Lockheed Martin here.
Celebrate Black History Through Parenthood and Wellness — Yelp
"To kick off this Black History Month, we want to shine a light on our Black parents. From family planning disparities in healthcare to tough, necessary conversations with their children on safety, Black parents have unique concerns. Our employees are invited to a virtual panel where we’ll dive into meaningful conversations. To keep the dialogue going, we’ll host several other events, including a fireside chat about the history of the Black Panther Party. We’ll also hear from a Black- and queer-run wellness consultancy on decreasing stress and anxiety, and establishing healthy boundaries while working remotely.
Learn more about Yelp here.
Cultivate a safe and inclusive culture — Datadog
“Throughout the month of February, Datadog’s Black in Technology Community Guild will host programming and events to support our colleagues, focused around the theme of Black health and wellness. We are dedicated to having conversations that will help us cultivate a safe and inclusive culture, while promoting healing and wellness in communities of color. We will host a panel discussion available to all employees to spotlight our Black leaders and allies and workshops to explore diverse healing modalities and expression through different mediums.”
Learn more about Datadog here.
Participate in interactive learning experiences — Clarus Commerce
“The DEI Employee Resource Group at Clarus Commerce is looking forward to celebrating Black History Month. First, our company will participate in an interactive learning and celebratory experience through an online platform that will consist of Black history trivia as well as recognition of key contributors, inventors and trailblazers that have helped shape our society today. Second, we will host an employee-led panel discussion on the perspectives, importance and influence of Black history.”
Learn more about Clarus Commerce here.
Unlock your potential — PayPal
“Black History Month is just around the corner. We’re proud to announce the theme for this year’s Black History Month: Unlocking and Amplifying our Fullest Potential—Bringing Focus to Holistic Black Wellness. While we acknowledge that everyone celebrates it in their own way, we wanted to share what PayPal's Black Employee Resource Group, Amplify, has planned for this month of celebration.
Upcoming BHM Events:
- Week 1: Unlocking and Amplifying our Fullest Potential; Bringing Focus to Career and Professional Development
- Week 2: From Scraps to Seen; Unlocking and Amplifying our Fullest Potential; Exploring the Dynamic Relationship between History, Sound and Flavor
- Week 3: Spoken Word Event
- Week 4: Unlocking and Amplifying our Fullest Potential: Bringing Focus to Holistic Black Wellness"
Learn more about PayPal here.
Honor Black history month by celebrating Black Excellence — CU Direct
"The Black Employees Striving in Tech (BEST) ERG honors Black History Month by holding various events. Our guest speaker, Renee Sattiewhite, CEO and President of the African American Credit Union Coalition, will discuss the challenges that diverse groups have in the finance industry while encouraging leaders of all types to promote diversity in the workplace.
We will publish a list of books for self-help by and for black individuals and allies. To top off our month, we are hosting a Virtual "Celebrate & Paint" event to honor our people's achievements as a whole and our group for our accomplishments.”
Learn more about CU Direct here.
Engage in conversations about race and power — Relativity
“In celebration of Black History month our community resource group, BREL: Black @ Relativity will be putting together a series of events to celebrate and educate our community on the importance of Black History. We believe that Black History is American History, and in order to grow it’s important to understand where we’ve been while striving for a better future.
Relativity will be hosting an internal session with media executive and NYU professor Stephen Barr, leading us in a conversation about race and power in America. In addition to this there will be a public event titled “Growing Your Career as a Black Professional: Tips and tricks with BRel” taking place February 24th. In this session Black professionals from various fields will speak on how individuals can empower themselves to successfully navigate their professional careers.”
Learn more about Relativity here.
Host a movie discussion — Workiva
“Throughout the month of February, we are providing our employees opportunities to learn about Black history, share their experiences, and engage in meaningful dialogue. With support from our our Ethnic Diversity in Tech Employee Resource Group, we'll host a movie discussion around the current issues faced by the Black community, share artist spotlights along with resources on how to support black artists, promote internal speaker sessions that focus on elevating black voices within Workiva, and highlight charitable giving opportunities to support the black community. We're encouraging employees company-wide to reflect on the past and act for the future.”
Learn more about Workiva here.
Help Black college students prepare for their careers — PwC
“PwC is building on their culture of belonging during Black History Month through events and opportunities to connect, learn, and celebrate Black history, culture, and contributions. Throughout the month, PwCers will have the opportunity to explore the depth and breadth of Black identity across several topics, including the intersection of race and environmental equity, generational wealth-building, and food for the soul. The firm will also highlight opportunities, causes, and organizations that support the Black community, including getting involved with PwC's Access Your Potential commitment helping 25,000 Black and Latinx college students prepare for and begin in-demand careers.”
Learn more about PwC here.
Feature professional development organizations — CDW
"During Black History Month, our Black Excellence Unlimited (BeU) Business Resource Group (BRG) will host a variety of events and initiatives with the theme “Celebrate. Honor. Lead.”
Celebrate: BeU will be shining a spotlight on a few Black-owned businesses making an impact in their communities
Honor: In 2021, the Black community collectively grieved the loss of many prominent members of the community who inspired us, entertained us and paved the way for us. BeU will pay tribute to some of those fallen in acknowledgment of their contributions to Black life, success and culture.
Lead: Throughout the month, BeU will feature various organizations that are rooted in professional development, academic advancement, art and culture, and community service across the U.S."
Learn more about CDW here.
Host an internal company panel — PagerDuty
“This year our ERG, Array, will be honoring Black History Month with the theme, “Rooted in the World: Our Heritage, Our Story”.
We will host company-wide events throughout the month, in addition to programming exclusive to the Array community. All employees are invited to learn from professor and curator of Black history, Dr. Jamille Harrell-Sims and participate in a fun trivia activity. Additionally, Array members are invited to an internal employee panel to hear their personal stories.
In alignment with Array’s mission, to cultivate and celebrate a diverse and inclusive global environment at PagerDuty, this programming aims to show the importance and influence of Black history.”
Learn more about PagerDuty here.
Honor the contributions of Black medical practitioners — CHG Healthcare
“This year, CHG Healthcare celebrates Black History Month with an emphasis on health and wellness. The activities and events we have planned honor the many contributions of Black medical practitioners throughout history and highlight the importance of achieving health equity in America. We’ll begin the month by sharing a catalog of educational resources and conversation prompts to encourage meaningful employee discussions. Later, we’re hosting guest speaker, Dr. Evelyn Lewis & Clark, the first African American president of the AAFP, as she shares her background in the United States Navy, her journey of becoming a physician, and her commitment to making a difference in the lives of veterans.”
Learn more about CHG Healthcare here.
Elevate personal stories and experiences — 2U
“This year, 2U's Black Engagement Network (BNet) centered its Black History Month experiences around the theme, "Together, We Move." Through the focus areas of cultural education, cultural celebration, retention, and personal/professional advancement, our programming will elevate stories and experiences of how far we’ve come and how we’re still moving forward together to higher heights. Some of our events include a screening and discussion of the documentary "Segregated by Design," a panel of 2U HBCU grads who are supporting our HBCU partner programs, a panel on intersectionality in the workplace, and our flagship celebratory arts event, Freedom Fest.”
Learn more about 2U here.
Focus on breaking through bias — Waters Corporation
“Waters is proud to honor Black History Month by inviting our employees to participate in educational and interactive virtual events hosted by our Multicultural hub. Our events will focus on breaking through bias through discussion and deeper dives around Black historical events. We’re excited to feature amazing Black individuals who helped to break barriers and pave the way for others.”
Learn more about Waters Corporation here.
Engage in a 7-day step challenge — CoStar Group
“In celebration of Black History Month, CoStar Group’s Black Excellence Network has organized a series of company-wide events aligned with the 2022 theme of Black Health and Wellness.
We will host a webinar on healthy living, led by a naturopathic doctor, and a discussion on financial wellness. In addition to these events, employees will have the opportunity to engage in a 7-day step challenge and other informal events during our “fun Friday” series.”
Learn more about CoStar Group here.
Start a blog series — Webflow
“At Webflow, we celebrate the designers, creators, and entrepreneurs who have shaped our industry year round, not just during Black History Month. So we're celebrating Black History Month by starting a few blog series that will continue throughout the year. These blogs will feature our Black community at Webflow, honor the legacy of Black creatives who have shaped our industry, and celebrate the intersectional identities within the Black community that are often erased and invisible. Our Black Affinity Group (Blackflow) is planning several events to celebrate the Black community at Webflow as well.”
Learn more about Webflow here.
Promote Black financial health — T. Rowe Price
“As an asset manager, T. Rowe Price is focusing on Black financial health and wellness in celebration of Black History Month. Through its diversity, equity, and inclusion programs, as well as the work of the T. Rowe Price Foundation, the firm is promoting black financial health and wellness by fostering greater economic access and opportunity.
The firm offers a free financial education program, Money Confident Kids®, to students, parents, and educators that provides tools and strategies for generating financial stability and identifying obstacles that drive financial inequity—including the racial wealth gap.”
Learn more about T. Rowe Price here.
Dance it out with an AfroSoca werkout party — Elastic
“To celebrate Black History Month, Elastic is focusing on the importance of Black Health and Wellness. From a mental health awareness session with Black Men Heal to afro-textured hair care tips, we’re acknowledging a breadth of topics and providing resources the Black community can leverage for wellness and self-care. Elasticians will be able to get their blood pumping with an AfroSoca Werkout Party, highlight their favorite black-owned restaurants and other businesses, participate in Q&A sessions, and broaden their knowledge about historical Black figures and their contributions.”
Learn more about Elastic here.
Award grants to Black-owned businesses — Siemens
“At Siemens, we’ve launched a 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge in celebration of Black History Month. Studies show it takes 21 days to form a habit, so during this time we’ll encourage employees to deepen their understanding of racism and examine ways to promote racial equity. Also, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency Business Centers, Siemens and Siemens Mobility will be awarding grants to nine small Black-owned businesses to advance DEI in entrepreneurship. By listening and learning from each other, we can continue to build a more inclusive organization that reflects the communities we serve.”
Learn more about Siemens here.
Share newsletters about unsung Black heroes — Moody’s
“In observance of Black History Month, Moody’s is hosting several events including a panel discussion titled “Black Representation in Product Innovation” in partnership with our product teams, the Black Product Managers (BPM) Network, and their president and co-founder Brittany Bankston. We will also be sharing newsletters that reflect on the untold stories of unsung Black heroes and achievers, providing zoom backgrounds and screensavers to our employees to celebrate Black History Month, and hosting a Black History Month trivia afternoon.”
Learn more about Moody’s here.
Host a 21-day habit building challenge — SoftwareONE
“In an effort to drive more awareness and education surrounding Black History Month, SoftwareONE North America, along with its cross-functional employee diversity equity and inclusion committee called ‘Mosaic,’ will host a 21-day racial equity and habit building challenge. This program is intended to assist each employee with becoming more engaged, compassionate, and constructive in our continued quest for racial equality by providing educational resources, highlighting influential figures, and promoting employee stories. We’ll wrap this program with a round table discussion on the Black Experience and how best to celebrate critical contributions to equality year-round.”
Learn more about SoftwareONE here.
Explore Health & Wellness in the Black Community — Nike, Inc.
"NIKE, Inc.’s Black Employee Network (BEN) is leading Black History Month celebrations with programming that explores health and wellness in the Black Community. Throughout the month, teammates will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of experiences: from panel discussions with Nike athletes on mental health, specially curated audio-guided runs on the Nike Run Club app, and discussions on climate change with prominent thought leaders. Finally, we’ll conclude with the much celebrated, annual SNKRBALL event – bringing the Nike community together for an evening of Black culture, music and entertainment – featuring appearances from Nike athletes and special musical performances.
Learn more about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Nike: https://jobs.nike.com/diversity-and-inclusion.”
Learn more about Nike here.
Address issues the community faces through discussions — Splunk
“For Black History Month, Splunk’s Black Employees and Mentors Group (BEAMS) – will explore the theme, The Hills We Climb. Our programming includes discussions about “The Black Ceiling”, barriers to Black professional progression, and the attack on voting rights; we’ll feature a “Sistah Circle” addressing issues Black women face and a giving campaign.
Black Americans and our communities have been on a rollercoaster of progress, setback, and everything in between. Our goal this month is to show how the climb up the hills of injustice presents known and unforeseen obstacles and how reaching the peaks represents the actualization of hard-fought progress.”
Learn more about Splunk here.
Host community building events — Okta
“Black history is American history. A rich and deep history interwoven into the fabric of our country, creating a beautiful tapestry that truly encompasses our nation. Okta’s Black Employee Network through its People of Collective Cultures (POCC) ERG celebrates the history of Black achievement with a living collection of information highlighting the historic and ongoing accomplishments of the Black Community. In addition, we host events to build community and provide continuous awareness of the need to support our Black employees with information regarding physical and mental health, mentoring and career development assistance. Black History cannot be contained in one month.”
POCC ERG Leadership:
Pamala Simpson, Engineering Principal Technical Program Manager
Nola Turnage - Manager, Legal Operations - Contracts
Learn more about Okta here.
Amplify Black excellence in technology — Pluralsight
“Following PowerToFly’s 2022 Black History Month theme, our BIPOC ERG, seeColor, is honoring Black History Month by “Amplifying Black Excellence in Technology,” focusing on how we can expand the Voice, Community, Connection, and Growth of the Black community. This will be done by sharing educational resources with our larger Pluralsight team around Black excellence in technology at Pluralsight and beyond. We’ll be holding a panel that highlights how Black team members can grow their careers in technology and how allies can amplify Black excellence in the technology industry. Finally, we’ll be sharing written stories of excellence in the Black community, of both historical and current day figures.”
Learn more about Pluralsight here.
Post a Black history quote of the week — Aurora Solar
“At Aurora, we are celebrating Black History Month with a variety of events & activities created by our Black at Aurora ERG. In addition to our events, we are posting weekly history highlights and a Black History quote of the week in our company-wide announcements channel in Slack. We have also created a Soul Food Cookbook full of family recipes that our team can download.
February 1 - Lunch & Learn: Celebrating Black History
February 8 - Hidden Figures Viewing Party
February 14-18 Soul Food Week
February 24 - Virtual Soul Food Cookout”
Learn more about Aurora Solar here.
Invest in the community, invest in yourself — BlackRock
“Each year, Black History Month serves as a time for us to come together and celebrate the achievements, culture, and community we share as Black Americans. This year, the theme of our Black History Month celebration is “Investing in Community, Investing in Ourselves.” Throughout February, we'll host local and national events across four pillars: social connection, community empowerment, mental health, and financial health.”
Learn more about BlackRock here.
Realize Black history Is Black excellence — Intuitive
“In February, Intuitive will recognize Black History Month with events and activations around the theme: Black History Is Black Excellence. Throughout the month, we’ll celebrate Black leaders and perspectives at Intuitive with a series of employee spotlight articles and communications. BLACK at Intuitive, an Employee Resource Group, will also host a company-wide program highlighting how diverse teams drive business results and enable Intuitive’s mission of improving healthcare outcomes. The program will also feature personal reflections on the importance of Black History Month, showcase the contributions of Black employees, and activate employees to build more inclusion and diversity.”
Learn more about Intuitive here.
Spotlighting Black colleagues— Raytheon Technologies
“At Raytheon Intelligence & Space, we are celebrating Black History Month by spotlighting our 8 BEYA winners both internally and externally, as well as encouraging our employees to share stories of their colleagues who are making a difference in DE&I. In addition, our Black Employee Resource Group is also focused on how Raytheon Black Employees are contributing to and shaping the future of the business. They have a packed calendar of events including recognizing our 6 “Keeper of the Dream” internal award winners selected for how they embody the attributes of his MLK Jr. and keep his dream alive.”
Learn more about Raytheon Technologies here.
In the “Great Resignation,” an estimated 47 million employees (and counting) voluntarily quit their jobs. The job market still hasn’t recovered from the unprecedented “quit rate” of 3.3% at the Great Resignation’s peak. Now, about 50% of the workforce are “quiet quitters” according to a Gallup poll — meaning, half of workers are disengaged at work and do only the minimum required of their job.
Having engaged talent is a competitive advantage for companies in today’s work environment. Replacing an employee who’s handed in their two-weeks notice can, after all, cost your company 21% of the employee’s annual salary. Employee retention strategies — ones that go beyond a box of donuts in the breakroom — are key to keeping workers engaged in the workplace. But given that overly played-out retention tactics can be ineffective at best and make your company look insincere at worst, it’s important to prioritize the right strategies. To that end, let’s go over some new and improved employee retention strategies that you may not have tried yet.
In this article, you'll find:
- Why employee retention strategies fail
- The best employee retention strategies
- Your employee retention strategy is your DEI initiative
Why employee retention strategies fail
There are plenty of employee retention strategy examples out there, but efforts can fall short. For your employee retention strategies project to be successful, you need to avoid these four common pitfalls.
1. Not delivering on promises. If you say you’re going to do something, follow up on it. Consistency is key to building employee retention strategies. Don’t ask employees to be honest about how they're feeling at work and then ignore their input. Or worse, promise big reform and fall short with token changes.
2. No trust. Studies indicate that “quiet quitting” is largely due to the relationship between employee and boss. Managers need the time, skills, and training to build solid relationships with staff. There are resource forums for people leaders to share ideas. Using tried-and-true best practices is the best strategy to build trust.
3. Siloed initiatives. Employee retention strategies can’t just live in HR. The moment they become siloed within one department or position, they fail. Employee retention strategies need to be a priority in every department and at every level.
4. No resources. Employee retention strategies need resources. To put it plainly, unfunded initiatives don’t work. Employees should be compensated for extra work such as sitting on an employee retention committee or putting together a workplace social. Likewise, pay raises and compensation should be a central part of the conversation. Remember, one of the main issues for quiet quitters is doing extra work for no extra pay.
The best employee retention strategies for 2022
With the don’ts out of the way, let’s move on to the best employee retention strategies you can start implementing today.
Listen to your employees
Well-run companies spend time and effort collecting feedback and customer satisfaction information. But what about employees? Managers need to ask, “how’s my driving?” Having data is critical to understanding how your employees are affected and making the necessary changes in order for employee retention strategies to take off. Send out an anonymous workplace survey asking about stress levels, feelings of creativity, people’s sense of inclusion, and how connected they are with their managers. If you’re not sure what to measure, start with a couple in-depth interviews. See what people want to talk about. The responses in the interviews will give you the basis for your wider survey.
If you ask your employees to be honest in giving feedback, management needs to be honest and transparent too. Acknowledge publicly the challenges the company faces based on what your employees have told you. This is the first step in accountability. Be transparent about compensation, pay raises, and benefits. Did you realize it is perfectly legal for employees to openly discuss compensation? This traditional taboo is becoming a common water cooler conversation. Social media is informing workers how to advocate for themselves. Meet them where they are. Actions speak louder than words.
Recognize and reward people, not just numbers
Over 1 in 5 employees does not feel valued at work. Feeling valued means knowing that your work is worthwhile and desirable. Watching the same sales people get rewarded for hitting their numbers again and again can be demoralizing for those who go comparatively unrecognized. Know your team and what they’re working on. Openly celebrate different kinds of triumphs, big and small, and be specific when you do. Helping people feel seen takes more than a generic “good job.”
Be flexible about work
Rethink how, where, and how long we do work. Research shows that 52% of workers prefer a hybrid remote-office work model. Employees even prefer it over a 10% pay raise. Employers must respond to this need as part of honing effective employee retention strategies.
And, as far as flexibility goes, time ownership is a massive benefit to offer employees — including by enabling them to work fewer days. Iceland is a leader in experimenting with the 4-day work week. Icelandic companies found it reduced burnout while improving work-life balance. Consider flexible arrangements that have proven results like these. Imagine how teams can be ambassadors for the company when they enjoy a new normal.
Employees that can’t see a clear career path within their company will look elsewhere to grow. The longer an employee stagnates in a position, the more their likelihood of leaving increases. Managers need to regularly work with each employee to envision their growth. Movement can be within their same position or laterally, as well. Give employees a discretionary budget for ongoing education and skills enhancement. Encourage projects and rotations with different departments to learn new skills.
Dust off that DEIB initiative
The best employee retention strategies are ones that are formed through a DEIB lens. DEIB strategies can be innovative for employee retention, as they (should) focus on all the things that make everyone supported, safe, and valued in the workplace. DEIB is, after all, not about making special accommodations for marginalized people; it’s about making the workplace better for everyone.
Your best employee retention strategy is a strategic DEIB initiativeDEIB initiatives make apt springboards for a number of successful employee retention strategies by listening to talent, creating custom work environments, and making employees across identities feel valued. Focus your efforts on DEIB, and employee retention will be one of many positive outcomes. PowerToFly has expert DEIB consultants that can help you jump start your DEIB-informed employee retention plan.
💎 Want to thrive as a customer success manager? Watch the video to the end to get some advice on how to do it.
📼Every customer success team has to follow some steps to achieve efficiency. Play this video to get three top tips that every manager in the SaaS industry should keep in mind. You'll hear from Miki Lager, Director of Customer Success at Tackle, who shares her own experience and knowledge.
📼 Customer familiarity for success. Tip #1: Know your customer. Understand their business. There are three steps in knowing how to navigate that. First, don't make it so operational. Build a true relationship with the client. Understand who are their competitors, what are the challenges they're facing, what's their true mission at heart, and how are they hoping to achieve that. Next, truly understand who the core team is that you should be working with. And finally, make sure to understand their key strategic and revenue goals.
📼Achieve customer success by delegating. Tip #2: Co-manage your customer. Not one person owns the client relationship at your company. Lead with others. Make sure to bring other stakeholders in, so that you can make sure the customer is on their path to success and that they can scale with your business solution. Team up with sales. Build a really strong relationship with your support team. Partner with the product team. The customer needs to understand where your business is headed in the future quarters so that they can plan accordingly, but also for your product team to then understand where the customer's product roadmap is headed, so you can align on strategy and best practices for that customer.
Customer Roadmap To Success - Tip #3: Define A Customer Journey
Have a defined customer journey. If the customer doesn't know where they're heading, it's going to cause some problems. Give them a clear roadmap to success. You can always adjust milestones as needed, based on different goals and different initiatives that you're working on with them. Once you have the customer journey defined, you can figure out which milestones align with the growth strategy the customer has in mind.
📨 Are you interested in joining Tackle? They have open positions! To learn more, click here.
Get to Know Miki Lager
She’s passionate about building client success teams for rapidly growing SaaS organizations. She’s been a leader at small to medium-sized companies, supporting the life cycle of startups through acquisition, and integration. If you are interested in a career at Tackle, you can connect with Miki on LinkedIn. Don’t forget to mention this video!
More About Tackle
Tackle enables software companies to accelerate and operationalize the use of Cloud Marketplaces like AWS, Microsoft, Google Cloud, and Red Hat, without the need for significant engineering resources. Their platform and team come together to make it easier for customers to build, grow, and scale their Marketplace businesses. Tackle was born and built as a remote organization and welcomes others who believe remote companies are the way companies will be built into the future. They believe that everyone has an opportunity to learn and grow in their community.
Nestlé would like to invite you to their Supply Chain virtual recruiting info session on September 29th from 4-5PM EST. Sign up for this event with leaders from our Supply Chain team to get an insider’s view on what it’s like to work at one of Gartner’s top-ranked supply chains for 2022 and the world’s largest food and beverage organization!
To say that Nazanin (Nazy) Brown and her family lead active lives is a bit of an understatement.
“We've got four young children and all of them are in multiple sports throughout the school year, as well as the summer,” she explains. “My husband and I are both coaches, so a lot of our time goes from work to home, out to the field to coach or watch games, and then back home for showers, dinner, and bed.”
With an always-on-the-go home life, it was important to Nazy to have a career that is stimulating but also allows her to be present in the lives of her children.
We sat down with Nazy to learn how she has mastered work-life balance as a Contracting Officer within the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency while she keeps her busy household running smoothly.
From Crime TV Fan to Special Agent
At a young age, Nazy loved crime TV shows, which influenced her choice to study forensic psychology. She went on to earn a master’s degree in the subject, where she got some exposure to federal government agencies.
“During my master's degree, we had a lot of recruiters come to our program,” she recounts. “One of the recruiters from an intelligence agency told us that they often hired people from our program as special agents.”
Nazy is also fluent in Farsi, and in addition to her choice of master's program, this made her an ideal candidate for many agencies.
“I began interviewing for special agent roles based on my Farsi skills,” she reveals. “I got a few job offers, and I landed a job as an entry-level contract specialist in the private sector.”
Working for a government contractor, Nazy quickly advanced in her career and eventually became a Senior Contracting Negotiator for Lockheed Martin — and she was loving it.
“I just really liked it and thought it was a great field to be in,” she says.
And while her career advanced, so did her personal life. She became a young mother with increasing responsibilities at home, which led her to be more mindful of where she was dedicating her time.
“At that point, I was putting in so many hours — it's not a 40-hour work week,” she admits. “It wasn't uncommon for me to sometimes work weekends, especially during proposal season.”
As Nazy continued to pile on the overtime, she saw that she wasn’t able to be the mom she wanted to be.
“I wanted to be able to cut work off when I'm at home,” she recalls. “I didn't want to be that mom that comes home and is on her laptop. This was when I realized that having a job that is strictly limited to just 40 hours a week would be best for our family.”
A Parent-Compatible Workplace
Through friends, Nazy learned more about working in the public service and realized that not only would she not have to work overtime, but it would also allow her to work close to her children.
“Many agencies have onsite daycares,” she notes. “I knew that would help so much with commuting and my stress level, as well as the cost. That was my number one reason to jump into the federal government.”
So, Nazy applied for a role that looked interesting and soon found herself working as a Contract Specialist in the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. The onsite daycare took in her oldest, who was then a toddler, and promised a spot to her second child, who was on the way.
“Having my children onsite with me instead of having to drop them off in another part of the city before work every day pretty much changed my entire life,” she reflects.
With her childcare issues solved and a manageable number of working hours, Nazy was able to focus more on her career development and explore her options. It was her husband, who works in the Intelligence Community (IC), who convinced her to consider switching to intelligence.
“My husband told me that the IC is just a different animal, and he was right. The contracting is different. The mission is amazing. So I decided to look into the IC,” she says.
Applying for roles in the IC required her to rework her entire application package, but her preparation paid off when she landed a role as a Contracting Officer at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA).
“Since I've come to the IC, I've been able to broaden my skills,'' remarks Nazy. “It's an entirely different contract writing system, and the IC’s mission and impact are far greater in size and scope, which has really expanded my knowledge. I've learned so much in the three years that I've been here,” she says.
The Secrets to Work-Life Balance for Working Parents
Over the past two and a half years, working from home became the norm for some parents. For Nazy, this was not an option because of the sensitive nature of the data she handles at NGA — and she actually prefers it this way.
“I like the fact that I can get my work done without interruptions from my kids. And when I go home, I take my lanyard off, hang it up, and I go right into mom mode,” she says.
For other parents looking to have this same work-life balance, Nazy offers the following tips:
- Look for jobs with short commutes. Commuting to work for an hour each way might not seem like a lot in the beginning, but over time it can take a toll”, Nazy warns. “Try to get everything set up in your local area as close as you can. In an online job search, set the parameters to five or ten miles from home, max.”
- Find an organization that offers practical support to working parents. “I don't think a lot of people realize that many government agencies offer onsite childcare,” she shares. “I've had four young children who all went through them and I have nothing but good things to say about them. So consider an employer that offers this, instead of the commercial child care centers, which are double the price.”
- Have food prep on point. Between work and her children’s sports activities, Nazy can’t cook something from scratch every night of the week. “I start the week on prepped meals. By Thursday, we're finishing everything that’s in the fridge, and then on Friday we order something or go out to eat,”
- Take advantage of employer wellness offerings. “You need to take care of yourself as a mom, '' she advises. “NGA gives us three hours a week for physical fitness training, pilates, or yoga classes, which are all provided at work. Taking advantage of that during the work day is so much easier than trying to work out at home.”