Elevating the Workplace Experience
Companies are elevating the work experience for women and employees are taking notice!
In a PINK Poll on the issue, 65% said they feel their company has done so. “I wish it was higher. says Jackmont Hospitality Chief People Officer Catherine Jefferson, “We’re moving in the right direction.”
As companies continue to lose some of their best talent, the boss is listening more closely to what employees want. The rub is, it’s up to us to figure it what we want and then how to communicate that.
At the recent PINK Power Alliance (PPA) zoom gathering on Elevating the Work Experience, Catherine, who had just taken over the big Chief People Officer job, shared how she enhanced her own work experience. Before taking the role, since coaching is her passion, she had the courage to ask for the opportunity to continue her executive coaching work as long as she handled her position at Jackmont. They said, Yes. “We were able to have both and that’s exciting because sometimes women don’t ask.”
The top reason women leave the job for work elsewhere? Fifty-two percent said higher pay, followed by a less stressful job (51%), and better work-life balance (48%) according to CNBC Momentive Women at Work Survey.
The good news? Women increasingly feel there are role models for the path they’d like to have. Ninety-four percent of those attending the recent PINK Power Alliance zoom gathering on the topic said they do see women ahead of them whose roles, career paths, or lives represent what they want and they feel it’s achievable. Now, how to get what you want.
Identify What You Want
Obviously, we can’t have what we want if we don’t know what it is. “A lot of women don’t have the time to sit and think about what they want,” said Katie Louise Mullins, co-founder of It All Media and one of PINK’s featured experts. “We get stuck in this place, almost survival mode. We are burned out. It’s also a lack of knowledge about what could be better.”
“What we have found, is first you have to go inward and say what are the things I value,” said Kacie Lett Gordon, co-founder of It All Media. “Then you can act from a place of intention.” Kacie and her business partner would know. Together they scaled a $10M professional services business, raised more than $10M in funding, and were named top B2C Startup in 2022.
Women at work are getting clear about what’s possible. Long-gone are the days when the manager wouldn’t be flexible because, “It would be too complicated” as I was told when I left my TV news job while juggling my then 1- and 3-year-old boys. Back in the day, Flextime didn’t exist at the TV station where I worked in the late 1990s. Sadly, my only real option seemed to be giving up a job I loved. Organizations today are more open to making work work for the individual, especially for valued women employees. “Understand your goals, when you feel most in your power. What’s the road map to have what you want,” asked Katie.
During the breakout session, PPA attendees were asked to get clear on what they want. In our poll, PINK data shows the top three things women want: Higher pay (83%), More flextime/life balance (61%), followed by professional development (33%).
Katie said, it’s not just about the money. There are many things your company might allow or already offers that can elevate your day-to-day experience. Kacie suggested that participants first identify their values. Check out Brené Brown’s Dare To Lead values list for more.
Consider What’s Possible
Here’s a list of possible options.
- Mandated time-off
- Schedule non-meeting times
- Build in time just to think
- Fridays off
- Extra vacation time
- Flexible hours or hybrid/remote working
- Wellness benefits
- Health coverage
- Mental health support
- Deeper connections
- Egg freezing and IVF
- Maternity/Family leave
Career & Financials:
- Professional development (i.e., coaching and programs such as the PINK Power Alliance)
- Building a case for a raise
- Networking opportunities
- Social issue engagement
- Community involvement
- Employee Resource Groups
How to Get What You Want
PINK’s assembled experts said appropriate communication is the key. Catherine urges aspiring women to “make the time for “one-on-ones” with your manager. “Start with that relationship because they’re your advocates.” She adds, “You need that person who knows what you value and how you perform” to step up on your behalf.
“Don’t just ask. Act!” said consultant, and PINK advisor Annette Tirabasso. “Show how it will benefit the organization” for you to have what you want. You can say, “If I have this professional development (as an example), I’ll be better prepared and I’ll be better for the company and better for you.”
Catherine adds, “It’s about being strategic.” Don’t be at work just to be there. “Schedule time with individuals that you know you want to connect with.” Make the most of your time in the office. You can make those connections in the virtual world too. “People can take a meeting over zoom now, [to] build your personal brand and network.”
Women especially are transitioning, moving into different parts of the company and relocating. So how do you create a sense of belonging with a new group? Kacie says it’s about “using values as an objective way to communicate what you’re looking for. Say, I perform best when I feel a strong sense of belonging, or… (fill in the blank). Identity your top two values. And use those as a mechanism to communicate your wants to be your best self in a work environment.” Annette adds, “Isn’t that what we really want here? Something that’s good for us and good for the company.”
Now go get ‘em! Fly and be happy!
Check out the video HERE.
“Success doesn’t come to you, you go to it.” – Marva Collins
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