Silicon Valley Tech Leaders Discuss How They’re Prepping for the Post Pandemic World
Silicon Valley tech leaders shared insights on retaining top talent, engaging distributed teams, and succeeding in the post-pandemic new normal at Turing’s Boundaryless: #ScalingPostPandemic conference, held on May 13, 2021.
“Prepping for the New Normal: To Office or Not To Office,” the first panel of the conference, featured experts from Postmates/Uber, Cushman & Wakefield, and VergeSense. The panel discussed creating positive outcomes for companies navigating the post-pandemic world and overcoming the challenges of managing various engineering teams, from all-remote to hybrid.
Key highlights of the conversation:
Workers will lead the way
Moderator Akshay Thakor, SVP of Operations, Turing, kicked off the discussion by asking the panel of leaders to share their vision of the post-pandemic workplace.
Gabe Burke, Managing Director, Cushman & Wakefield, said that workers—not employers—will decide how the new normal will look. “There’s nothing more important than recruiting top talent. If the talent insists on hybrid or remote work, most companies will follow,” he explained.
Agreeing, Hetal Shah, VP of Engineering, Postmates/Uber, said, “Companies that don’t provide flexibility will see an increase in attrition. This will drive change.”
Nellie Hayat, Head of Workplace Transformation, VergeSense, explained that leadership teams are out of touch with employees. This lost connection has led to a disconnect between what management teams want and what employees need, she added.
To prove this disconnect, Gabe shared a powerful statistic: Only 4% of employers believe that remote workers prefer full-time, in-person work. Yet, 28% of them plan to ask employees to return to in-person, full-time. He cautioned against this, saying, “Talent will get hybrid or remote work if they demand it.”
To Office or Not to Office? 🤔— Turing.com – The Future of Work is Remote (@turingcom) May 13, 2021
Remote leaders such as Gabe Burke, MD @CushWake are telling all at the Boundaryless: #ScalingPostPandemic Event.
LIVE now at https://t.co/BoVCikW68F pic.twitter.com/i6a8gC8nJ2
Teams that engage with each other stay together
Akshay further asked the panel about the challenges and opportunities of retaining global talent pools.
In response, Gabe highlighted one such challenge: helping employees connect with the company’s goals. He said that physical work environments make it easier for employees to understand a company’s vision. Remotely, it’s difficult to show workers how each individual contribution brings value to the company, he added.
“Employees can feel disengaged in remote settings,” agreed Nellie. She continued, “Such settings often lack frameworks of support for employee engagement.” Nellie suggested using tools specifically to identify and measure engagement.
Agreeing, Hetal stressed the importance of occasional in-person interactions to engage remote teams. He recounted his experience at eBay as an example: His globally distributed team conducted offsites at the start of every quarter. This brought the team together to discuss essential strategies and exchange crucial feedback.
Trust is a critical factor in the employer-employee relationship
Akshay asked the group to share tips to help employers and workers succeed in the new normal.
“It is vital for employers to trust their workers,” Hetal commented. “Give employees the ownership and responsibility to be successful,” he added.
This trusting relationship should be mutual. Hetal asked employees to feel comfortable asking for help from leadership teams. He encouraged them to be transparent about their work schedule to find the right work-life balance.
The group further discussed everything from strategies for supporting remote and hybrid teams to nurturing employees’ talents. Catch the entire conversation here.
Head here to watch the rest of the Boundaryless: #ScalingPostPandemic Conference and hear leaders from LinkedIn, Amazon, Postmates/Uber, and more top companies share valuable insights.