What Does It Mean to Be a Top Workplace Going Forward?
By Ed Hutner, SVP of Human Resources, Deltek
We are honored that Deltek has been named among the 2020 Top Workplaces by The Washington Post – a distinction based solely on the results of employee feedback. This is the fourth time we have achieved this recognition, but this year feels different.
Prior to the global coronavirus pandemic, we already offered many opportunities for employees to work remotely. Since the outbreak, to ensure the safety of our employees and customers, we made the decision to close all our offices and transition our workforce to exclusively working from home. With our teams dispersed across their respective communities, we see that our global team members are having different experiences related to recent incidents of systemic racism and injustice. And we have asked ourselves, what does it mean to be a Top Workplace as our communities confront not only a global pandemic, but also economic uncertainty and racial injustice? What elements of corporate culture support a positive work environment – even without a physical workspace – and foster an atmosphere of mutual respect, inclusivity and collaboration?
Over the past months we have spent a lot of time listening, learning, and taking action that has revealed a lot about who we are as a community. We’ve learned a number of lessons around what it takes to maintain a top workplace in a virtual environment during these turbulent times. As a company, we are already guided by nine corporate values – including collaboration, integrity and customer-focus – that are a rallying point for our team no matter where we are based. But recently, we have found success by embracing four additional qualities across our organization: transparency, flexibility, diversity and empathy.
Deltek has always been a transparent company – and, in this time of uncertainty, we know that our employees want to hear from us. Even if the resulting conversations are difficult, we find value in being up front about our expectations, plans and results. By starting with a foundation of transparency, we believe that we are cultivating a culture based on mutual respect and understanding.
In these challenging times, we’ve increased our team communications, providing weekly updates about what the coronavirus outbreak means for our business and the employee experience – and what we intend for the future. We know that internal company events have become an even more important way to connect, reinforce our vision and share progress – and we’ve focused on delivery platforms that make them accessible around the globe. And we’ve worked to highlight existing benefits that may be most helpful to our employees during this time – including telemedicine, virtual fitness and employee assistance programs around the globe – ultimately, making them even easier to understand and access.
Clearly the ability to adapt to a changing work environment continues to be critical in the face of today’s changing business landscape. With our global team working from home, we understand that employees may be with their children, other family members, and pets – and all the responsibilities and distractions that can accompany with them. As people managers, we need to understand that work is going to get done differently and cultivate a working environment rooted in flexibility.
But there’s more to flexibility than meets the eye. Above all, it means being resilient – maintaining a positive view of ourselves and our abilities, as well as confidence in our ability to rebound as needed. To support our employees in maintaining such a positive, flexible mindset during these challenging times, we’ve expanded our portfolio of learning resources to include on-demand classes on a range of topics, including confronting bias, being a collaborative leader, transitioning to working from home and more. Building on our longstanding culture of learning, we’re encouraging employees to take advantage of these new resources and boost their ability to be flexible and open to change.
At Deltek, we take pride in creating a culture where all our employees feel valued, included and empowered – allowing us to share ideas, innovate and grow. We recognize that we are stronger when each employee truly feels as though they belong and is comfortable bringing their best self to work. That diversity of experience and thought also makes us more innovative and creative. Accordingly, we are here to support each other as a heterogeneous community of colleagues and will not tolerate any behavior that is not completely aligned with this core aspect of our culture. Additionally, as there is always more work to be done to reinforce diversity, we are actively seeking opportunities to foster a healthy dialogue within our team and support the advancement of leaders of all genders, sexual orientations, and ethnicities.
We are conscious of the role that all of us play in helping our communities heal and come together. To allow all employees the opportunity to give back, this month we launched Volunteer Time Off – up to one day per year that employees can take off to volunteer for a cause about which they are passionate. For 2020, given all that is happening in the U.S. and around the world, we are encouraging our employees to use this time to stand up for social justice and support community healing.
Above all, the most important quality for supporting our teams has proven to be empathy. We understand that not every employee is experiencing the pandemic, economic uncertainty and injustice in the same way. We’re committed to ensuring that empathy starts with the leadership team, and our leaders continue to encourage employees to find a balance between working productively, meeting personal needs and advocating for social change. In times like these, it’s been essential to not only allow for human moments, but to cultivate an environment in which every team member is aware of the resources available to them and is comfortable taking advantage of them.
In this unique moment of social change – and without physical workspaces to unite us – corporate culture is going to be even more important to ensure team cohesion and, ultimately, success. While it’s an honor to be a 2020 Top Workplace, our goal is to remain one going forward by cultivating transparency, flexibility, diversity and empathy for every employee around the globe.
About the Author
Ed Hutner is Senior Vice President, Human Resources for Herndon-based Deltek, the leading global provider of solutions for project-based businesses. A 20+ year veteran of talent management with a solid foundation built on analytics, technology and education, Ed has a successful record of aligning HR goals with broader strategic plans. Connect with Ed Hutner on LinkedIn.
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