Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) should be at the center of talent strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic, experts previously told HR Dive. Companies can use evidence-based insights to create DEI initiatives and, later on, quantifiable goals, David Pedulla, an associate professor of sociology at Stanford University, told HR Dive in a recent interview.
Business resource groups (BRGs) –– employee-led groups formed around common backgrounds, such as gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation –– have emerged as a key way to keep DEI at the forefront amid the pandemic. Twitter has seen “record growth” in membership across its BRGs –– more than 30% increase since the beginning of the year, Brand said in a blog post. “We’re using this as an opportunity to enhance new member onboarding, invest more in virtual events, and accelerate expansion to ensure representation across our global locations,” she said.
Twitter announced a global work from home policy in February, transitioning more than 5,000 employees to a virtual workforce, according to Brand. Employees have the option to choose when they’ll return to work. “Opening offices will be our decision, when and if our employees come back, will be theirs,” Jennifer Christie, vice president of people, said in a May 12 blog post.
The changes in the workplace amid the COVID-19 pandemic, such as telework, have led companies to also reevaluate benefits for employees, according to research. Twitter continued to pay contractors and hourly workers unable to perform their duties at home, according to a March 11 blog post. The company added benefits such as reimbursement for all employees for costs associated with remote work setup, and reimbursement for additional daycare expenses. Twitter also provided and increased investments in mental and physical health benefits, Brand said.
Leading with empathy in times of crisis may help companies weather financial downturns, an April report by Mercer found. And engagement with pandemic-related posts from companies on LinkedIn reflecting empathy is higher than the engagement for an average company post, according to a LinkedIn report published April 21. To answer questions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and hear concerns of employees, Twitter created Slack channels and launched a COVID-19 focused global survey. The company also hosted “global all hands meetings” and increased opportunities to connect virtually across teams, Brand said.
This content was originally published here.