Hello everyone, welcome to the last session of the first Spotlight Masterclass which is focusing on outlining the upcoming trends for HR and Diversity & Inclusion in 2021.
Last week we heard from Marie Roker Jones, the CEO of Esteem and an expert in Diversity & Inclusion. She talked us through how to make sure Diversity & Inclusion initiatives don’t go to waste and how to mitigate this risk.
Then we heard from Stephanie Redivo, the former Senior Director at SAP in Diversity & Inclusion and who is now leading the DEI initiative at Translink. Stephanie outlined how to assess when an HR or Diversity & Inclusion professional should consider reaching out for external help.
You can find both of these interviews in the blog and podcast format on our website.
This week, during our final session, we’ll be walking through how to make sure that employees know where to obtain important HR information while working remotely.
When we started Spotlight we did a lot of market research, from right before COVID hit in February, all the way until May (and we’re continuing to do Market research until today). Throughout this time we did a lot of interviews, including with employees, and patterns began to emerge.
In particular, when we spoke with employees, we found that a common concern was their confusion about where they can find HR information now that traditional routes to chat with HR had changed. You can’t knock on their door and ask a quick question, just like you can’t meet them in the lunchroom and clarify something. This was particularly important for new employees, who may be still learning the ropes and doesn’t know where they can find information (ex. Direct deposits or login setups). Because they are new and are starting remotely, they may not know who to go to for this information - and that can even be simply because their team or manager doesn’t know who to go to.
What can you do at your organization to mitigate this?
1. Make sure your onboarding process provides an overview of the different individuals that employees can turn to for information. Especially with everything being remote, the ability to learn an entirely new calendar or even vacation request system can be hard - make sure that they know who they can go to for any questions like that
2. Create resources for common questions - this is something that we’re about to launch as part of the Spotlight offering due to the high amount of requests. Make sure you have a place for general HR information not only to help employees but for your team to be able to save time and quickly disperse information as needed
We interviewed one woman who started her job in July at a media company. Her team is based on the East Coast while she’s in California. When she started, she had one HR person who helped her onboard and walked her through the administrative to-dos of starting her new job. It’s been a few months since she started, and she still needs to regularly ask him questions about HR processes. She feels bad that she needs to keep asking him, as she wishes her questions could be spread out among his HR team. Because she hasn’t officially met any other members of the HR team, she doesn’t feel comfortable reaching out to them. So she only refers to that one HR Manager. She does it over Slack and he’s great at responding, but it’s creating unnecessary tension for what is a very common situation. So make so you have the internal processes necessary to help support not only employees to ask questions but also for your HR Managers to easily answer them.
3. Make sure that these areas also intertwine with existing platforms where your employees spend most of their time, such as Gmail, Microsoft Teams or Slack. Having separate third party applications feeds into this notion of ‘app fatigue’ where employees feel overwhelmed with the number of applications they need to use to fulfil their work obligations. Especially because you literally cannot do any work remotely and not be on an application (be it Zoom, Outlook, Slack, etc.) it’s important to mitigate the amount of switching back and forth an employee needs to do in their day today. In particular when they are starting, and are still learning how to navigate the stack of different technical solutions your company uses.
To summarize, it’s so important to ensure your HR team acknowledges that it is more difficult than ever before for employees to find information - especially if they are shy or nervous to reach out directly to you. However, if you can create an organized online platform that delivers resources as employees need it - you’ll be able to smooth out this common problem.
That’s it for today folks! We’re wrapping on our Masterclass for 2020. We’ll be hosting our next masterclass again soon, so stay tuned. In the meantime, I’d like to say a final thank you to our amazing speakers as well as The People People Slack group for all of their support in spreading the word about this event. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any follow-up questions.
Stay safe everybody!