A PowerToFly Resource
Free Team Check-In Guide
A PowerToFly Resource
Free Team Check-In Guide
COVID-19 has changed our world as we know it, and with that, the way we work. The fact is, these are unusual times. And to ask our teams to continue conducting business as usual would be unrealistic.
Employees in essential industries are facing extreme stress as they put their lives at risk to continue to serve others, and while employees in non-essential businesses may have the luxury of working from home, they're still dealing with juggling work, home, and family responsibilities during a global crisis. Others, still, are struggling with not knowing what their future job security looks like as we enter uncertain times.
To keep your team as engaged and productive as possible, you first and foremost need to support your team. And you need to know — and accept — that they won't always be at 100%. Your employees are your greatest resource, and prioritizing their well-being is the most important investment you as a leader can make.
We surveyed our community to better understand what they're struggling with and what's important to them, and we sat down with experts in the field of mental health and employee engagement to craft specific, actionable takeaways for you to start applying today to support your team through this crisis.
The good news is that employees seem to have a pretty intuitive sense of what they need to cope. The two things our community members said would be most reassuring from their employers — transparency (64% requested frequent, transparent updates) and flexibility (61% said they wanted their employer to be more flexible and understanding) — are very well-aligned with the advice that the experts we interviewed shared with us.
To better understand how employers can support their employees during this challenging time, we spoke with three experts in the field of psychology:
It's clear that employees are under a great amount of stress. Dr. David Wasley told us that companies are running "a huge risk of creating additional burden to employees' mental health, especially those who are vital to achieving the company's core business." And unlike in other crises, communities are literally unable to come together to help and support each other. Nurse Lusk told us, "I have never seen anything like this before. After 9/11, there was a sense of unity. In comparison, with the COVID-19 pandemic, what I predominantly see is fear, panic, and isolation."
Fighting that fear without being able to gather together is tough, but not impossible. Our experts recommend the following approaches:
"What works for one person may not be suitable for another. Flexibility will trump a single, perfect solution. Employers and employees who trust each other will adapt better than those focused only on productivity," says Dr. Wasley.
What you can do: Adopt a mindset of "output over hours." Make sure your team knows what needs to be done versus what's being de-prioritized and that you don't care when it gets done. Give everyone the flexibility to start and end their work day whenever is most convenient to them, and do individual check-ins to get a sense of who's struggling and how you can help that individual. Expecting everyone to run at 100% right now may actually make your team less productive in the long run.
"Many employees are worried about whether or not they will have a job in the morning, given we've seen statistics expecting up to a 30% unemployment rate. Companies need to be incredibly transparent with their employees," says nurse Joanne Lusk.
What you can do: "Include employees in the conversation regarding contingency plans for worst case scenarios. Be upfront about the company's financial situation. Do not sugar coat these tough conversations, but be honest and reassure your employees that the company will take any and all steps to protect not only their jobs, but individuals' wellbeing and safety," says Lusk.
"Part of what I see as one of the main stressors related to COVID-19 is the constant influx of information. Specifically, overconsumption of news or social media — research shows overconsumption of negative news can worsen coping abilities, increase stress and fear responses," explains Lusk.
Employees are bombarded with news updates and emails from every listserv they've ever signed up for. Providing up-to-date, relevant information along with company updates can be a huge lift, says Lusk.
What You Can Do: "Send out a daily bulletin to staff updating them with the most accurate and reliable information directly from the CDC and WHO or state updates. Reduce the burden on your employees to constantly be intaking information and rather take on a piece of that role for them."
"In times like these, it's important to increase employees' psychological capacities…[such as] perception on achieving goals (optimism), successfully applying coping strategies, experiencing positive feeling of confidence (efficacy), an increased ability to create multiple pathways to deal with situations (hope) and, if workplace adversity arises, the ability to bounce back and use an alternative path (resilience)," says Dr. Aufegger. "Studies have shown that high-performance work systems, strategies such as enhanced team-working, greater job autonomy, assured job security, and supportive management have been positively related to productivity and financial performance in large firms (250 or more employees), and to labour productivity in smaller firms (fewer than 100 employees)."
What you can do: Trust your employees to do their jobs. Greater job autonomy has been proven to lead to higher performance and productivity. Avoid the temptation to micro-manage and constantly check in, and instead tell your employees that you're there if they need you and that you trust them to do what needs to be done.
Remind employees of what's covered for mental health in their healthcare plan, whether it's counseling, reimbursement for wellness classes, telehealth options, or more.
What you can do: Send lists of in-network therapist options and share other mental health resources. "Employers can provide information regarding online apps that could be helpful for stress relief such as Headspace, Nike Training Club, or Calm; many of these apps are offering free access right now," notes Lusk.
Bring your team together often—or at least offer the opportunity for them to come together.
What you can do: "Set up online meetings in which employees can periodically check in on each other. Use this as a space to share emotions, be heard, and supported," says Lusk. Try Zoom break room chats, happy hours, or informal check-ins alongside formal meetings. Wondering how to run an effective check in? Download the agenda below.
A PowerToFly Resource
Free Team Check-In Guide
Jocelyne Wright-McLemore has a sticky note that she looks at every day: "I'm overqualified and I can do this."
Zapier's Director of Compensation put that sticky note up shortly after she rolled out a big new project at the online automation company and received some critical feedback on it. Though the criticism came from a tiny portion of her audience and the project was a success overall, hearing it brought back some of the self-doubt and imposter syndrome that she faced earlier in her career.
This past February, PowerToFly was very proud to wrap up the panel portion of our recent Diversity Reboot 2021: The 100 Day Kickoff virtual summit by presenting our very first Diversity & Inclusion Award Show, honoring some true D&I champions across multiple industries
Back in 2020, we launched a submission process to honor select individuals who just don't talk the talk but truly walk the walk when it comes to making their companies and the world a more diverse and inclusive place. From the many submissions that we received, we chose six champions to honor.
You can watch the acceptance speeches for our honorees below or click here to watch the 45-minute awards show which included a roundtable discussion with our six DEI champions.
Want to nominated a friend or colleague for a future D&I Award? Submit their info here.
Women have always had a lot on their plates, juggling their professional goals with societal expectations and responsibilities to their families, partners, and communities.
But women have never had a year like 2020.
MongoDB's 2019 International Women's Day event in NYC<p>"We're actively working to increase representation at every level. This is done through the investment in programs to mentor and accelerate the development of high potential talent to grow into leadership roles, enabling managers to become inclusive leaders, constantly reviewing our processes for effectiveness and fairness, and diversifying our candidate pool through internal initiatives and external partnerships like PowerToFly.</p> <p>MongoDB is celebrating Women's History Month with a variety of events:</p><ul><li>Spotlight sessions with various internal MongoDB Women's Group speakers who will share their strengths and skills with other members</li><li>A workshop session with four MongoDB women leaders titled 'Being a Woman Leader and Growing Your Career'</li><li>A Women in Engineering panel with two external speakers, highlighting women with successful careers in engineering </li><li>An internal kudos board where women and allies can give shoutouts to their women peers</li><li>Global purple shirt day on International Women's Day</li><li>A women and allies Yoga and Meditation session"</li></ul>
Elastic's Singapore office celebrating the #EachForEqual theme of IWD last year<p><br>"We've been working towards wider female representation in leadership positions at Elastic. We recently doubled down on our commitment towards challenging a male-dominated field with<a href="https://www.elastic.co/blog/equal-pay-at-elastic-going-beyond-just-good-enough?ultron=eb&blade=powertofly&hulk=social" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> our equal pay policy</a>,<a href="https://www.elastic.co/blog/international-womens-day-2020-each-for-equal-at-elastic" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> these internal initiatives</a>, and by filling several senior-level positions with top female professionals. </p><p><br>Elastic is celebrating Women's History Month (WHM) and International Women's Day (IWD) by amplifying female voices throughout the organization. First, we're releasing a variety of content on our culture blog this month including a statement from Leah Sutton, our senior vice president of global human resources at Elastic, on how we're meeting the #ChooseToChallenge in our hiring practices. We'll also release a roundup of recent blog posts featuring our female leadership. Finally, our Elastic Cares team will hold sessions throughout the month to encourage volunteering with organizations that empower women both in the workplace and in day-to-day life."</p><p><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/facebook-inc" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Learn more about Elastic and their open positions.</a></p>
Female leaders and employees at Datadog's IPO in 2019<p>Per Armelle de Madre, Datadog's Chief HR Officer:</p><p>"In 2020, Datadog was able to increase our representation of women in leadership by 220%. And we're excited to continue building on that momentum in 2021 and beyond. While we place emphasis on better diversifying our candidate pipeline by partnering with organizations such as PowerToFly, we also aim to create an environment of education and empowerment internally at Datadog to encourage female employees to grow into positions of leadership. </p><p>At Datadog we are incredibly excited to be co-hosting an International Women's Day <a href="https://datadog.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_8BBP77fkQ06vyi-cIbD3xw" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">webinar event</a> for both employees and external attendees featuring a panel of prominent female Sales leaders from Datadog, Microsoft and OpenView. </p><p>Internally, we wanted to promote the intersectionality of gender and ethnic diversity in line with both Black History Month and Women's History Month, and in February we were honored to welcome Margot Lee Shetterly, the author of <em>Hidden Figures</em>, for a Q&A with Datadog employees to learn what drove Margot to tell this story that forever changed the course of computer science at NASA, and inspired the movie of the same name. </p><p>In addition, we're excited to be partnering with Bravely for an internal presentation for employees on 'Women at Work,' a fireside chat with Sarah Sheehan and Ericka Spradley, which will be followed by career coaching sessions for Datadog's female employees."</p><p><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/datadog" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Learn more about DataDog and their open positions.</a></p>
From Relativity's International Women's Day celebrations in 2020<p>From Relativity's CHRO, Beth Clutterbuck:</p><p>"Relativity is intentional about recruiting women in tech, particularly leadership. In 2020, we added two women to our Executive Team, one to our Board and one as the Managing Director of APAC, one of our fastest growing customer regions. We've continuously made a conscious effort to hire more women, especially in Europe where tech skews heavily to men. We increased our women headcount in Poland by 10%, and in EMEA broadly, we now have nearly equal gender representation at 49% women (22% increase YoY). Relativity aspires to reach its global goal of 50/50 gender representation in all roles by 2024."</p><p>From Relativity's Tricia Johnson, Program Manager, Field Marketing:</p><p>"Workplace (RelWoW) Community Resource Group will celebrate International Women's Day and Women's History Month with a full slate of programs during March. We offer various programming to engage employees in the ways they respond best. This year's programs include:<br><br></p><ul> <li>An internal panel highlighting diverse career paths within Relativity</li><li>An external recruiting panel on mentorship</li><li>Multiple channels to discuss what International Women's Day 'Choose to Challenge' means to individuals</li><li>A book club featuring a <a href="https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/253047/we-are-never-meeting-in-real-life-by-samantha-irby/" target="_blank">book</a> by Samantha Kirby</li><li>A blog highlighting key milestones for women in the legal industry</li><li>A BadAss Women of History <a href="https://chicagodetours.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">virtual tour</a>"</li></ul><p><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/relativity" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Learn more about Relativity and their open positions.</a></p><div></div>
If there's a thread that connects all the different facets of Rosie Roca's life, it's the power of bringing people together.
From how she was raised, to how she got her first job, to the decision to leave enterprise software to take on her current role as the Chief Customer Officer at fast-growing events technology platform Hopin, a focus on community has helped to guide Rosie's decisions.