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Tina Chang CEO SysLogic Inc.
“Setting and driving our culture has been a top priority for me since day one. Coming out of the pandemic, many leaders believe that employees need to be back in the office most of the time or even 100% because it’s part of their culture. I challenge my fellow leaders to ask themselves, ‘Who is in charge of living our culture?’ and ‘Does it need to be in-person to be effective?’ I used to be against remote working environments, but I’ve since changed my position. I recognize it’s easier to do with a tech workforce, though.
“With reiteration and diligence around communication and finding the right work style with each other, we have not only maintained our culture, but also found new ways to foster it. For example, instead of casual connections that were typically made in person for new hires, we scheduled 15-minute meet and greets. It’s OK to virtually meet to shoot the breeze during work time. If your virtual time is all about work, your culture can quickly become transactional.
“Listening to our employees has been paramount. The past two years have proven that if you don’t listen, you will lose employees quicker than you can replace them. We have found new ways to listen - chat platforms, online surveying tools and more one-on-one virtual meetings. And as we transition to a hybrid work environment, those who come into the office will notice new cultural signage across our office.”
Raj Patel Vice president, workforce experience Senior human resources business partner Northwestern Mutual
“The pandemic dramatically shifted people’s view of work, and more professionals are weighing their options. Companies must focus on employee experience with renewed rigor to win in the competitive talent market. Here are a few steps we’re taking to become an even stronger employer of choice:
Prioritizing people. It’s essential for leaders – but especially senior leaders – to equally care about others’ personal and professional success as they do about the company’s bottom line. To us, the best leaders prioritize getting to know their people, helping them build a career plan and coaching them to achieve it.
Igniting careers. Talent will stay at a company that sees and values them. Companies must provide clear strategies for their people to develop and advance. That’s why we’ve built a new internal talent marketplace, enabling employees to evaluate career opportunities inside our company, elevate their skills and make themselves visible to hiring managers.
Building culture. Top talent want to work somewhere that considers their uniqueness a culture add versus a culture ‘fit.’ To make this real, diversity and inclusion cannot be performative; it must be a performance indicator. All of our people leaders have a measurable goal demonstrating how they drive D&I and create a culture of belonging.”
Lisa Matsuyama Onboarding and training manager gener8tor
"We’ve maintained our culture here at gener8tor by being very intentional about staying connected in a hybrid/virtual environment. One of our main (objectives and key results) company-wide is to have fun, and we do that by interacting with each other frequently (via slack channels) and getting to know each other outside of the work environment. We do our best to ensure our people feel included with virtual events, such as an origami crane class in honor of AAPI heritage month and a sound bath in honor of mental health awareness month, as well as company-wide in-person events, like our OnRamp conferences and two staff retreats this year.
“We also have an employee-led culture committee that was born from the desire to ensure the employees of gener8tor feel heard, valued and included (and of course, to have fun). We have great processes like our ‘buddy system,’ where we set up a new hire with a g8 colleague who has been here for six-plus months based off similar interests, but what truly helps maintain our positive culture is the people that make up gener8tor. You simply cannot sustain what is not there to begin with; we at gener8tor are very lucky to be made up of a passionate, diverse, intelligent and hard-working workforce. We could not grow and sustain a great culture without each of our folks here at gener8tor."