Client Spotlight: Best Practices at SEH
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We checked in with Bonnie Morey, Manager of Learning & Development at SEH, about how they reinforce employee engagement and inclusion during a time of crisis.
“The need to keep employees informed, engaged and included is even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Morey. “There is a natural heightened feeling of isolation when employees are working remotely and are not gathering for face-to-face discussions.”
Here are a few things that help support both the business and the employees during this challenging time:
Integrate DEI in Business
- Keep diversity, inclusion and engagement top of mind by reinforcing it into business processes and conversations. Don’t treat it as a separate focus area. Use the words and language of diversity and inclusion in meeting agendas, discussions, and training.
Maintain Consistent Schedules
- Continue regular one-to-one and team meeting schedules. Consistency helps provide a “sense of normalcy” while working remote. A sense of normalcy helps foster a culture of psychological safety where employees feel comfortable to share ideas, ask questions and are able to work to their fullest potential. Some Team Leaders and Office Managers hold weekly staff meetings to cover business items and then host a social discussion to support camaraderie and the human connection.
Maximize Connection Opportunities During Meetings
- Utilize webcams and meeting platform features to enhance participation and engagement in virtual meetings. Encourage meeting facilitators to call on participants by name to support diverse perspectives and foster a feeling of inclusion. Many meeting facilitators rotate meeting duties to create a shared sense of responsibility.
Take Every Chance to Communicate
- Communicate, communicate, communicate…both formally and informally! SEH’s CEO continues to publish a regular monthly webcast and a COVID-19 email update to all employees on a weekly basis. To further create a sense of inclusion and connectedness, SEH’s CEO launched Quick Chats, which brings together 4-5 employees to talk with the CEO in a virtual meeting. He holds 3-5 of these a week, and plans to continue through 2020.
Empower Employees to Make Decisions
- Engage team members in decision-making, especially decisions related to changing processes, systems or responsibilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Working through this pandemic is new territory for everyone and it’s a natural opportunity to ask for input and get diverse perspectives. It also provides an opportunity to recognize employees for their innovative ideas and contributions.
- SEH launched a pulse survey to ensure all voices were heard as it related to the well-being of our employees working remotely. This helps identify those employees who are feeling a sense of isolation and are not feeling included.
Refine Individual Goals
- We are updating our Employee Plans. This is a natural opportunity for employees and supervisors to discuss concerns, set or adjust appropriate goals and focus on learning plans for each employee.
In conclusion, “Now is not the time to back away from the “people” side of the business,” emphasizes Morey. “This is a perfect time to learn from each other and demonstrate value for each other’s knowledge and talents.”
We couldn’t say it better ourselves: This is a perfect time to learn from each other. Up next? We’d love to hear from you. If you’d like your organization’s best practices to be highlighted, please reach out and contact us, and let us know how you’re doing.