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- Kristin Tetreault, Stanley Black & Decker
As we shift from pandemic to endemic, organizations are using hybrid working to accelerate inclusion, pulling on a wider set of employee views to innovate, collaborate and move to the next level.
In this episode of Digital Workplace Impact, Nancy Goebel talks with Kimberly Williams, Vice President, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, and Kristin Tetreault, Vice President of Enterprise and Leader Communication at Stanley Black & Decker. Together, they shine a spotlight on how this global business strives to build and nurture a culture where inclusiveness is a reflex in pursuit of its purpose, not just an initiative.
For Stanley Black & Decker, as change continues, hybrid working offers its global workforce the chance to collaborate more meaningfully, creating their best ideas and doing their best work. In this exciting exploration of the human-centred digital workplace, communication, balance and authenticity are all shown to be essential ingredients in creating a culture where diversity and inclusion can thrive. Senior executives themselves play a pivotal part and the discussion looks at how they approach humanizing the workplace through visible and accessible leadership.
With warmth and candour, Kimberly and Kristin share some of the challenges and business opportunities they are experiencing. This fascinating discussion includes practical advice for leading in and via the digital workplace in an evolving and dynamic culture – tips which you could apply to your workplace today.
[00:00:00.430] – Nancy Goebel
So many people across DWG’s membership have been asking recently, are Intranet dead? Intranets as a company digital newspaper?
[00:00:10.350] – Nancy Goebel
[00:00:10.950] – Nancy Goebel
Yes, but Intranet as a valuable personalised, integrated dashboard? Definitely not. So of course, we say Internet is a dead long live Internet. Did you know that you can deliver a modern intranet experience that your employees will love without having to replace your existing Internet platform? Well, work with Digital Assistant integrates the most popular Internet platforms such as SharePoint, Drupal.
[00:00:38.310] – Nancy Goebel
Jive, and bringing them all together to present communications tasks.
[00:00:43.710] – Nancy Goebel
Information all from existing systems into a unified experience for employees that is both personalised and relevant. Right from the Internet with work grid, you can have modern Internet features for a fraction of the cost and time that it would take you to replace your entire Internet platform. As always, there are some great resources in the show notes, so be sure to check them out and now on to Digital Workplace Impact.
[00:01:11.790] – Kimberly Williams
Having our employees in a digital work space also enables them to do their best work in the place that suits them and the time that suits them. And of course, we’re not saying, hey, do whatever work you want to do whenever you want to do it. But we are extremely open to employees to say, I have a mother or a father that I have to take in for an appointment at 1.00. So I’m going to start my day at 430 this morning and I’m going to work until eight and then I’m going to go off and do what I need to do.
[00:01:46.550] – Kimberly Williams
And what that flexibility enables is that employees can show up at their best when they can so that they’re not drawn. They’re not distracted necessarily about the things that they know that they have to do outside of the work hours and that fuels innovation.
[00:02:03.650] – Kristin Tetreault
Be really open and authentic. We all have unique stories and backgrounds. We all bring things to the table, so share in person when you’re live with people, share online to increase that reach, and it will make a difference for people. It really does.
[00:02:23.670] – Nancy Goebel
In this episode of Digital Workplace Impact, you’ll have a chance to hear from two senior leaders from Stanley Black and Decker, namely Kimberly Williams and Kristin Tetreault. Kim is the vice President of Diversity Inclusion and Kristin is the vice President of Internal and Executive Communications by way of background. Kristin and I have known each other for many years at this point and thought that it would be powerful to shine a spotlight on how Stanley Black and Decker strives to build and nurture a culture where all employees can thrive and where inclusiveness is a reflex and not an initiative.
[00:03:01.500] – Nancy Goebel
It was lovely to be introduced to Kim as part of this conversation, and when I look back at our time in the studio, there were so many themes explored in conversation with Kim and Kristin. We looked at their respective missions and supporting the diversity, inclusion, and equity efforts within the company. We talked about the role of the digital workplace in enabling inclusive, conversation, connection and collaboration, not only retrospectively during the last 18 months, but we also got a window into how things are evolving. We talked about everything from business opportunities and challenges to innovation and cultural shifts that have been occurring as well.
[00:03:50.400] – Nancy Goebel
Finally, we kept off our time together, working through some Sage advice for those not only leading the digital workplace but also those leading via the digital workplace. Join me now for a fascinating and exciting exploration of the human centred digital workplace at Stanley Black and Decker. Happy listening. So, of course, Kristin, this conversation has been a long time in the making, and I thought that it was really a unique opportunity to get a window into some of the important work that’s happening within Stanley Black and Decker, knowing that the organisation really strives to build and nurture a culture where all employees can thrive and where inclusiveness is really a reflex and not just an initiative.
[00:04:49.770] – Nancy Goebel
And I’m really hoping to start this conversation by asking a little bit about your respective roles. Vis a vis such an important mission. Maybe we can start with you first. Kim.
[00:05:02.890] – Kimberly Williams
Sure. Absolutely. So I feel that my role here really is to build and scale a global strategy that helps all of our employees own and act to build a culture of inclusion. So that includes so many things like training and awareness building, making sure that all of our employees have equitable access to opportunities and resources, helping to build out communities of belonging. But I think if I were to say what the most important piece of my role in this respect is really helping to enable employees to own this goal, this vision of creating this culture so I cannot influence 53,000 plus employees individually, obviously, nor can our team of ten.
[00:05:54.060] – Kimberly Williams
So really a lot of this is how do we enable and support all of our employees, from leaders to associates to create this culture?
[00:06:02.950] – Nancy Goebel
That’s really helpful context. And Kristin, can you add a bit of insight into your role as well?
[00:06:10.750] – Kristin Tetreault
Sure. I would love to start by saying, we’re so fortunate to have Kim on our team, and I personally get so much help and guidance around these topics personally from her. And we’ve been at the company about the same amount of time she joined a bit after me, I think. But my role and hers intersects quite a bit. And she’s just such a great partner. So as a stored of our global enterprise communication team, I really strive to equip our communication partners and leaders across the company with the content, the coaching, the community that they need to foster an environment where our employees really feel heard, they feel connected and situated to do their very best work every day.
[00:06:56.620] – Kristin Tetreault
And our communications are really rooted in this safe and inclusive culture where every individual can bring their authentic selves to work. And as Kim was describing, and this work includes supporting our people managers to lead with empathy, to prepare our executives to both live and share our D and I aspirations inside the company and externally as a company, we really have a lot of stakeholders, right? With our employees being at the top of that list and their engagement and passion and focus are really critical to living our purpose, which is for those who make the world.
[00:07:32.070] – Kristin Tetreault
And when our CEO Jim Loree revealed this purpose at his first global employee town hall right after stepping into the top leadership role, he really framed it with a personal call to action for himself in the organisation about being an inclusive organisation where all people feel welcome. He also specifically referenced those in the LGBTQ community and made some specific commitments to that group, which was incredibly aspirational to many of our employees. And I’ll just share a personal anecdote. I was in the office that day during that meeting four and a half years ago, rounding out my interview process to consider joining the company to lead employee communications.
[00:08:11.000] – Kristin Tetreault
That’s the role I have today and sitting in that audience, it brought tears to my eyes and goose bumps to my skin. I knew right then and there that this was going to be the place for me and I accepted the job that very day. And so within the context of my role, our team really uses tools like Workplace by Facebook, our social collaboration tool to get real time pulses on what resonates with our employees and what we can do to best support them. Workplace has been a real game changer for us.
[00:08:39.900] – Kristin Tetreault
It’s helped us embed that purpose. I was describing with employees around the world and really demonstrate and visible ways what it means to be an inclusive team. The content is generated from all areas and levels in the company, and really anyone on the platform can join this collective conversation. So that aspect, combined with other features of the platform live events, polls, other ways to get feedback, really connects our global team and wonderful ways to be relevant, relatable and aligned.
[00:09:10.930] – Nancy Goebel
And Kristin, I’m so glad that you’ve talked a little bit about the role of the digital workplace in supporting and enabling your employee base as well as your leadership in the organisation. As you’re looking to build this reflex muscle that we talked about, certainly, it’s hard to ignore what’s happened over the last 18 months. We know that the digital workplace has really emerged as the essential workplace for many organisations in the wake of the pandemic. And now that we are merging into the age of the endemic, what we’re seeing is a whole new swath of opportunities and challenges coming up in this space.
[00:09:54.460] – Nancy Goebel
And so I guess I’m curious to know what it is that you’re seeing in terms of those opportunities and challenges in engaging employees and creating an inclusive and collaborative space as we’re really moving into the age of hybrid working.
[00:10:14.110] – Kristin Tetreault
Sure. Right. And I think our greatest opportunity is really the equality that hybrid working has brought to connection and collaboration. The very thing you’re just describing, I think we’ve all experienced the fact that in a video meeting, everyone’s square is the same size on the screen, whether you’re the President of your business or you’re an early career professional. And that’s been a real equalising factor. And I think a real opening of the aperture of inclusivity. Another opportunity is accessibility. So we just held our first Virtual Employee Resource Group Summit, an event we’ve held annually for a few years in person.
[00:10:54.580] – Kristin Tetreault
And that was previously limited to the people that could be in person at the location of that event. And there was always travel and space limitations associated with that. But since we moved us to a virtual setting, we were able to really open the doors and allow everyone to join in. And we had employees participating who were just in their first week on the job or had been with the company for 20 or 30 years or in different countries, right. All over the world. So they were able to jump right into that D and I journey together.
[00:11:26.590] – Kristin Tetreault
And I think one of the greatest challenges on the flip side of that accessibility and really being able to do your work when and where you can if you’re an office worker, is that blend of the personal and professional world. Right. So we’ve empowered our employees to do their work in the best way in place. It can be done. But oftentimes that means that the work really never sleeps. Or it’s harder to say no and create those boundaries when you physically can literally be connected, whether it’s by phone or by video at all times and in all hours.
[00:12:03.330] – Kristin Tetreault
So finding that boundary about when to turn that off and how to create that balance will be really key to our employees self care and helping prevent burnout and really stay engaged. And that’s something very important to us as an organisation.
[00:12:18.740] – Nancy Goebel
And certainly, as we talk to DWG members and people in our wider circles, there’s a new found empathy in the organisation because so many people are contending with these challenges nowadays, I tend to talk about it more in terms of work life integration than balance, because things are so fluid that people need to be able to contend with their kids schooling from home. We saw that a few weeks ago when we had some pretty significant weather hit New Jersey tornadoes and flooding alike. And so thinking through how colleagues support each other so that people can continue to contribute and collaborate effectively is part of that new paradigm.
[00:13:07.890] – Nancy Goebel
And I guess, Kristin, I’m curious to know, is that the thing that surprised you most this challenge that emerged, or were there other things that surprised you in the realm of these opportunities and challenges.
[00:13:20.890] – Kristin Tetreault
Now, I think all of it has been a bit of a surprise, right as we’ve navigated this altogether, and we can look at it as silver linings in some cases. And then it’s creating new and different challenges for us. But the ability to be connected, and we really didn’t miss a beat when that kind of came upon us that we needed to go fully virtual. And now we’re navigating what’s the go forward? How do we strike that integration that you mentioned and do it in a way that helps us all succeed, excel, and create the careers that we want and the results for our company that we know we need and do it in a way that the experience is exceptional and attractive and really furthers our objectives around our purpose and our goals of being an inclusive workforce and environment and certainly bringing in new leadership has been an important part of that process.
[00:14:30.140] – Nancy Goebel
So, Kim, I know that it’s been about six months since Joe Simms came on board as the new Chief Diversity Officer. And I’m curious to hear a little bit about some of the most visible changes in your scope or approach that may not necessarily be tied to the pandemic. More so because of Joe coming on board and bringing new ways to think about how, for example, the digital workplace fits into these changes.
[00:14:59.410] – Kimberly Williams
Yeah. So I want to caveat my answer by saying that Joe has been a Stanley Black and Decker employee in the leadership capacity in our global tools business for about seven years. And so what Joe was really able to bring to the table on day one day zero was his vast set of networks, relationships in the organisation and a way of looking at the work from an HR leader lens. So a way of looking at the work from people first perspective. And that’s not to say that that wasn’t already the case.
[00:15:39.100] – Kimberly Williams
But there’s absolute value in having someone who used to be in the internal customer seat, so to speak, be in the D and I leader seat. I think because Joe was able to hit the ground running, had a great deal of deep relationship and respect. He’s been able in a very short amount of time to influence the growth of our team. So when Joe came on board six months ago, that made our number bump up twice. So we doubled our number of hires. So we were a team of three, and Joe came over with a phenomenal support system in his executive assistant.
[00:16:28.450] – Kimberly Williams
And in the six months that he’s been in the role, we are now a team of ten. So I think that that has been pretty significant in the way that we are able to approach the work. So the volume of work has always been there. It’s always been extremely high, but the additional resources have enabled us to do more and do more faster. So our goal is to take what we’ve built and now scale it globally and scale it quickly. And so we’ve been able to do that.
[00:17:01.090] – Kimberly Williams
I think the most useful capability or enablement from a digital workplace perspective is that we can attract and hire talent that sits anywhere across the globe. So all of our ten core team members sit somewhere else in the country. So none of us inhabit the same space, the same geography, which of course, brings a whole range of diversity of thoughts, skills and experience as well. But we wouldn’t have been able to attract this talent if the requirement was for all of them to pull up stakes and move to New Britain, Connecticut or pull up stakes and move to towns in Maryland.
[00:17:41.310] – Kimberly Williams
So the digital workplace has really enabled us to build our team, build a world class team very quickly, and have folks showing up to work wherever they sit on the globe. Today we have a new team member who sits in the UK, and we will soon have a new team member who sits in Canada and another in somewhere in Asia. So really, the digital workplace is enabling us to grow our scope, grow our reach and deepen our impact within the organisation. One of the other important aspects of Joe’s coming on board, which isn’t necessarily connected to the digital workplace, but certainly connected to how we are managing to excel and to exceed expectations during this time.
[00:18:31.950] – Kimberly Williams
It’s a direct connection to our CEO. So Joe reports directly into Jim Loree, which gives us a direct line to our chief executive in the organisation, which again helps us to move more swiftly, helps us to move more decisively and gives you an opportunity to help Jim continue to grow and evolve around his experience, direct knowledge related to diversity, equity and inclusion.
[00:19:01.440] – Nancy Goebel
Things that I’m taking away from. What you’ve just shared is that the growth of the team and the speed with which this has happened just speaks volumes. The team now has a visible commitment, expanded influence, soon to be a global purview access to key leadership. It’s really a whole new world of heft, and that’s an important part of the change equation, I guess, Kristin, it would be equally helpful if you could layer in kind of the next part of leadership, specifically digital leadership, knowing that it’s evolving within the organisation, presumably at an individual team, business organisational level, especially as you look to build this set of reflexes within a more collaborative and hybrid workplace.
[00:19:57.730] – Kristin Tetreault
It really starts at the top. Kim talked about our CEO and Joe as our chief diversity officer, and they’re both very visible on workplace. The tool I mentioned earlier. So from an internal perspective, it starts there. It’s talking with our employees in a really authentic way. It’s being very visible with their perspective on these topics and others. And digital leadership is evolving so quickly these days. It’s much more customised. It’s not a one size fits all approach to leadership, and the shift during the pandemic towards hybrid work really brought that to light even more.
[00:20:36.350] – Kristin Tetreault
So we know that in today’s world, the leaders and businesses overall need to meet people where they are with candour and authenticity. So we really do as much as we can to equip our leaders to do that well. And we have different platforms that we encourage them to use for that. Employees trust their employers now more than ever. And the business leaders and voices are the most trusted source of truth right now. So that’s a huge opportunity, but also a huge sense of accountability. Right. So we really rely on our leaders and our employees to be changed Champions to continually transform and evolve.
[00:21:20.360] – Kristin Tetreault
There’s a huge increase in employee action and advocacy, and that requires two way communication and collaboration and understanding about where we’re focused as a company. Our CEO has taken some bold stances inside the company and, of course, outside the company as well. We’ve declared our support for a number of societal challenges and issues, and we are fortunate to have a leader who does want to communicate and does it himself and really wants to connect with our employees. He is out in the tool himself, posting and commenting and sharing and doing podcasts and videos and doing everything that he can to make sure that his message is getting to our people in a way that they want to consume it, and that there are mechanisms for people to reach back out to him and other leaders across the company, really focusing on two way communication.
[00:22:26.650] – Kristin Tetreault
So in this digital space, our employees are watching and waiting for our stance. His comments, our leaders perspectives on a variety of social issues and the expectations for Immediacy have been conditioned even more so in the recent years, especially in the pandemic times. So it’s really building the muscle for all of our leaders to use a variety of mechanisms. Digital is certainly really important because it amplifies your message, gets it to more people more quickly and really fosters that collective conversation.
[00:23:06.670] – Nancy Goebel
And I think about these last couple of areas that we’ve explored together under the banner of leadership. And really, when you think about Kim, the organisation that you’re a part of, along with Joe and this team of ten that’s growing alongside the leaders of the organisation, the combination of the two really make for the powerhouse leadership combination of change makers and makers of change. And when you’re really trying to build the system of reflexes, you absolutely have to have both present and visible and contributing to the conversation to this new world of hybrid collaboration as well.
[00:23:55.030] – Kimberly Williams
[00:23:57.190] – Nancy Goebel
And so one of the things I’m really curious to learn a little bit more about is where innovation fits into all of this, especially from a digital workplace point of view. When you think about where we were twelve months ago, 18 months ago, there was almost a war room mentality to try to tackle the effects of the pandemic by brute force. And now there’s a level of stepping back a little bit to say, as we shift from pandemic to endemic, we do need to pull from a wider set of points of view in order to be able to take the organisation to the next level and innovation as part of that.
[00:24:39.360] – Nancy Goebel
And so tell me a little bit about whether there’s a role for the digital workplace to support that inclusive approach to innovation.
[00:24:50.110] – Kimberly Williams
Yeah. I’ll start by saying that I don’t know that Stanley Black and Decker ever took their foot off of the innovation strategy. Right? And not only did we not take our foot off the gas there, but I think we leveraged our innovative way of thinking and performing to survive and really thrive during the pandemic, to really thrive during the last 18 or so months. And I’ll give you an example of that. So as Kristin mentioned, we had our first fully virtual employee resource group summit just a couple of weeks ago last week, maybe.
[00:25:29.020] – Kimberly Williams
And we’ve done a kind of quasi hybrid approach to that summit in years before, but really had maybe four to five different other locations represented all people sitting in a conference room together. So not fully digital in that way that we’re speaking of it. But our employee resource groups really operated in their base in their particular location, in their office space when they hosted events and initiatives and programmes, and they had to figure out very quickly, almost changing on a dime on how to replicate or how to transition those same initiatives to the virtual world that we moved into.
[00:26:16.720] – Kimberly Williams
Probably it felt like overnight or was overnight for many of us. And so that innovative way of thinking, that innovative spirit that our employees bring to their work every day and not just creating but improving our product and service. They put that into play and how they delivered their programming. We were planning one of our employee resource groups, the working parents and Caregivers was planning for the first Bring your child to work day. I think it was the thing that they were planning, and they literally turned that several site event into a virtual full day session where employees could bring their children to their Zoom, to do activities and to build things and to have conversation.
[00:27:06.640] – Kimberly Williams
So we really have just leveraged our innovation to do things differently here at Stanley Black and Decker. So that’s a long first caveat. But I’ll see that having our employees in a digital workspace also enables them to do their best work in the place that suits them and the time that suits them. And of course, we’re not saying, hey, do whatever work you want to do whenever you want to do it. But we are extremely open to employees who say, I have a mother or a father that I have to take in for an appointment at 01:00.
[00:27:45.630] – Kimberly Williams
So I’m going to start my day at 430 this morning and I’m going to work until eight and then I’m going to go off and do what I need to do. And what that flexibility enables is that employees can show up at their best when they can so that they’re not drawn. They’re not distracted necessarily about the things that they know that they have to do outside of the work hours. And that fuels innovation when people are able to do their best when they know that their individual needs in a way of living and working are being taken into consideration.
[00:28:25.450] – Kimberly Williams
So long answer, little bit rambling around, I think. But hopefully I’ve gotten to the crux of the question. And just to summarise, we’ve continued to move and innovate. We’ve leveraged our innovative spirit in order to make the transition that we all had to make during this time. And the ability to work virtually and flexibly enables our employees to be their very best and to bring their best ideas to the workplace.
[00:28:56.770] – Nancy Goebel
And I almost think that based on what you’ve described, Kim, there’s almost this level of the system feeding itself because people have that flexibility, they’re leaning into their commitments to the organisation that much more. And that spurs the next cycle of innovation. So it’s a sustainable system from what I’m seeing and hearing, which is exactly where you want to be as an organisation. And so just taking half a step back. Certainly, the accomplishments in the innovation space are important, especially vis a vis, the digital workplace for our audience.
[00:29:40.940] – Nancy Goebel
But I’m curious to know if there are any other important accomplishments that you’d like to highlight from the standpoint of what you’ve achieved in driving a more inclusive and collaborative hybrid workplace these last 18 months.
[00:29:56.770] – Kimberly Williams
Yeah. So Kristen talked about this a little and could probably do a great job of describing it even better than I. But I think one of the greatest accomplishments is how our leaders have doubled down on being empathetic and how our leaders have doubled down on listening and allowing listening to drive new action. And so we’ve really, as a leadership team, either built some new muscles or have had the opportunity to flex or to exercise those new muscles around listening around, being inclusive, around engaging our employees around creating a place or a sense of belonging in the organisation.
[00:30:44.140] – Kimberly Williams
We’ve had to be really very intentional about that. And I think that that has made and will leave a lasting Mark on the way we lead a Stanley Black and Decker and the way our employees are able to show up in the work. So that’s a huge accomplishment. And I think what’s needed next is to continue, of course, kind of reflecting back on the last answer, but continuing to build that muscle. So that again, we’re talking about empathy. We’re talking about listening as an instinct in the organisation as a reflex versus.
[00:31:23.920] – Kimberly Williams
Okay. How do I do this? And what tools can I pull on that will enable me to do this more and to do it better. So I think just continuing to practise and continuing to reinforce all the things that our leaders and our employees have been able to accomplish over the last 18 months. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
[00:31:43.150] – Nancy Goebel
Well said Kim, and bringing you back into the conversation. Kristin, we’ve had a chance to talk a little bit about what’s happening to the organisation at large in terms of building these new muscles, this empathy factor, active listening, et cetera. And I just want to bring it back to what you and your team are doing day to day and just get a feel for the role that the digital workplace is playing in enabling your team’s actions to meet this important commitment.
[00:32:18.970] – Kristin Tetreault
Sure. Yeah. And I think just to build on some of the things that Kim was talking about, our leaders have really been working well together and helping enable what we put on our digital channels to spur that innovation, to make people’s jobs easier, to give them the information they need around COVID around what we’re doing as a company. In response, our priorities during the pandemic have been to make sure we’re keeping our employees and their families safe, that we’re keeping staying, really operational to meet the needs of our customers and doing our part to help the communities where we live and work, minimise the spread of the virus.
[00:33:05.770] – Kristin Tetreault
To give back, educate et Cetera and our platforms have enabled us to create knowledge, libraries and learning sessions and make Q and A available and give people real time updates how to get access to the vaccine or what do they need to do if they have symptoms or a situation happening in their family? We have a programme that gives financial assistance to our employees that have been impacted by disasters, whether it be a Covid situation in their family or some sort of natural disaster. That, of course, we know, has continued almost exponentially during this time.
[00:33:50.930] – Kristin Tetreault
It seems like we have a number of ways that we enable our employees to really stay focused, to hopefully ease the burden of all of the things coming at them at all parts of their lives. And as we move forward to a more hybrid work model, where for office employees, we’re going to have about a third of our employees, ultimately on site, on a daily basis, a third in fully virtual capacity, and then another third flexing in between. So coming into the office, maybe a couple of days a week.
[00:34:30.140] – Kristin Tetreault
So you were relying on technology more and more, and we all know that technology can sometimes fail us, right? And sometimes connection issues are out of our control. But having all those challenges working through those challenges together has really helped, I think, again, reinforce the importance of inclusion and diversity of thought and perspective. Our CEO and our leadership team has an extended executive committee that meets every couple of weeks, and it’s a very diverse cross section of leaders across the company. Kim and I are both in those sessions, and we have a wonderful opportunity to both hear from our executive team, but also they hear from us about what’s going on across the organisation, and we have some really meaningful discussions, but sort of back to that technology piece.
[00:35:33.800] – Kristin Tetreault
Everybody has dealt with distractions and technology issues or dogs or kids. I don’t know about you, but there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t get a delivery which sets off my dog alarm every time, but normalising that and making it okay. Our CEO regularly pulls his young daughter on screen with him to join them in Zoom calls, which is always a joy because she’s absolutely adorable and beautiful, but those kinds of things and making it okay and celebrating it are really important to our culture and what we’ve instilled across the organisation by example as well, and really acknowledging that we’re all bringing a lot more to our work space.
[00:36:19.470] – Kristin Tetreault
Our workspaces, our home space and our home space is our work space. So it’s a fine line and really just continuing to do our best to lead by example, to be open, to be transparent and really play into the strengths of this hybrid work model. Kim mentioned it before. We have the ability to tap into talent anywhere, really, anywhere in the world. And we have programmes that we’ve launched our Returners programme, which brings mid career professionals back into the workforce after they’ve taken time off to be with their family or to have caregiving needs.
[00:36:59.110] – Kristin Tetreault
We’ve been able to expand our teams not only the D and I team, as Kim is describing, but my communication team. All of our teams are now able to tap into the best talent wherever they are, and we have the flexibility to accommodate just a plethora of work options that are now open and available to us. Now that we’ve seen that we’re able to operate in a very effective way in this environment and who’s really, I think taking us to a new level when it comes to inclusivity talent attraction and retention and engagement.
[00:37:37.630] – Nancy Goebel
With the combination of what you have both shared. What stands out for me is that you’ve achieved a level of velocity. And for me, velocity is speed with direction, each event, each conversation paves the way for the next. And so I think as we look to wrap up our time together, it’s important to tap you both for your best advice for digital workplace leaders and their teams. Vis a vis what’s needed next for supporting and further enabling that reflex system that you talked about for diversity, equity and inclusion priorities within the organisation, and how these digital workplace teams can continue to play an important role.
[00:38:30.200] – Nancy Goebel
So maybe Kim we can start with you first and then hear from Kristin.
[00:38:34.540] – Kimberly Williams
I would say to leaders today to really understand and value the benefits of being in a digital workspace and having a distributed team, but also understand what some of the challenges and pitfalls might be. So as a leader in a digital workspace with a distributed team, I have to make twice the effort to make sure that I am connecting personally and interpersonally with my team members professionally and interpersonally with my team members. So I would say even schedule that time if you have to. So if you’re the type of leader who’s used to just bumping into someone in the hallway and striking up a conversation about a project that you’re working on together, schedule that time, schedule those ways to bump into each other, so to speak, in the digital space.
[00:39:25.500] – Kimberly Williams
So really make sure that we’re doing that and that we’re modelling that same behaviour for our team. The other thing I would say in terms of a benefit is that we use Zoom at Stanley Black and Decker, and we have the opportunity to be in anyone’s office using my virtual air quotes in anyone’s office at any time. But that might not be the way that everybody wants to operate. So really take the time to understand how best to engage with your team in this workspace in this virtual workspace.
[00:40:04.340] – Kimberly Williams
So that means you’ve got to spend some time with an exploration with them, understanding what works and what doesn’t work and then doing our very best to meet them where they are. So those would be my I think best words of advice.
[00:40:17.300] – Nancy Goebel
Thank you. That’s really helpful. Kim. How about you, Kristin?
[00:40:21.730] – Kristin Tetreault
Well, Kim took all the good stuff. No, I think what she said makes a tonne of sense, and I think for us to really grow our team. Embrace D and I at every level we have to personalise how we lead, right? It’s taking the time. But it’s also recognising that we’re all individuals. And as Kim said, it may not be everyone’s desire to pop into your office literally virtually. But knowing how each person on your team and who you interact with works best and understanding that and doing your best to respect that, but also share what works best for you as well.
[00:41:02.240] – Kristin Tetreault
So trying to recognise that we’re human beings and not human doings, sometimes that can get lost in the shuffle of trying to get everything done. And I’m talking to myself here as much as anybody, we can end up really nailing that human doing piece instead of focusing on the being piece. So a human being is actually more present in the moment when you’re with your team, the human being limits multitasking on calls as much as possible, which is another temptation amplified by our virtual work and going back to something we talked about at the beginning is prioritising self care and setting the right example.
[00:41:42.470] – Kristin Tetreault
Right. So do that prioritise self care be very visible about doing so, say yes to ourselves and no without apology. It’s something I work on myself and being in a communication role and all the digital demands that we have the 24/7 expectations I have to work on that. And during that ERG summit that we were talking about earlier, we had a self care expert speak to us about putting ourselves first. And I was very pleased to share with my team that I listened to her talk while I was writing on my peloton one of the benefits of being able to multitask in ways that are completely appropriate.
[00:42:24.470] – Kristin Tetreault
So I made a point to share that with my team. I posted to our workplace group, and I shared that and some of the other ways that I’m prioritising self care, and I asked them to comment on what they’re doing. Physical activity and connecting with friends were high on that list, of course, but I think it’s one of our leaders. I think it might even be. Joe has talked about leaving loudly when you need to go pick up your children or you have some sort of commitment outside of the quote, unquote office that you make sure that people know that you’re doing that and you’re putting that first.
[00:43:02.950] – Kristin Tetreault
So leave loudly is another tip. So I guess I’d close out by saying prioritising healthy habits and being clear with your colleagues about when you’re available, when you’re not, how you prefer to interact and knowing how they prefer to interact and remember the leader that you’re always on stage. People are always watching what you do. So take advantage of that influence to set the right example, and people will watch what you’ll listen to what you say, but they will watch what you do and action always trumps the words that you say and then finally be really open and authentic.
[00:43:41.810] – Kristin Tetreault
We all have unique stories and backgrounds. We all bring things to the table, share in person when you’re live with people, share online to increase that reach, and it will make a difference for people. It really does. And kind of even going back to the beginning when I talked about our CEO and other leaders are very visible on workplace. They are. They’re out there interacting with our employees. They’re commenting, they’re welcoming employees to the company. And I think it surprises people they’re like, wow, our CEO just welcomed me to the company and whatever number of levels down in the organisation removed.
[00:44:29.230] – Kristin Tetreault
But our leaders are there. They’re watching. They’re connecting. And that’s so important for our leaders to be successful and to have a full appreciation of what our employees around the world are doing and feeling during this time.
[00:44:46.930] – Nancy Goebel
I have to say there are so many things that I would want to unpack as part of this conversation, but we’re getting close to the end of our time together. And one of the things that I thought would be important to pull out from the collective set of thoughts that both you, Kristin, and Kim have shared with me is that the advice for digital workplace leaders and their teams in particular is that the age of the human centred digital workplace has arrived. And just as you’ve talked about the organisation and the people inside of the organisation needing to show the human side, the empathy factor, the active listening, the authenticity, the personalisation of experiences, the sensitivity of those experiences, the employee experience needs to continue to live at the centre of any digital transformation activities that continue to happen not only within Stanley Black and Decker, but for our industry as a whole.
[00:45:52.690] – Nancy Goebel
I’m going to pause there just to say any final thoughts or reflections. Maybe, Kristin, you can leave first and then Kim, to cap us off.
[00:46:02.350] – Kristin Tetreault
Well, I think you summarise so well, Nancy, just in what you said there, I couldn’t agree more and we can never lose sight of the people and how they contribute to where we need to go. We need to be in this together and we need all people rowing in the same direction. So the extent to which our digital platforms and our digital leadership can accelerate that and amplify that it’s just going to create a better experience for everyone and really help us flourish and thrive.
[00:46:39.610] – Nancy Goebel
Wonderful. Thank you, Kristin. Final thought from you, Kim.
[00:46:44.590] – Kimberly Williams
Yeah. So I am fond of saying that diversity, equity and inclusion is everywhere. And I think that your summary of this conversation and how we’re prioritising our workplace really speaks to that. So what you describe is a culture of inclusion where we understand what individual employees need and want and that we make the effort to capitalise and capitalise, not in a bad way. But maybe I’ll change that to catalyse all of our employee differences for good, for innovation, for greater good in the world. So I think I love the time and the space that we’re in because it just naturally enables us to all be the chief diversity and inclusion officers of our organisations and our lives.
[00:47:41.050] – Nancy Goebel
Well, that’s a powerful note to end this conversation, but spark others anew off the back of listening to this podcast episode. Kim, Kristin, I don’t know how to thank you for coming into the studio to share as generously as you have over the last 40 minutes or so. I certainly will be looking forward to continuing to watch this space within Stanley Black and Decker as we go along and hope that we’ll have a chance to continue this conversation as you reach new milestones as a collective team.
[00:48:21.500] – Nancy Goebel
So once again, thank you so much for joining me in the studio today.
[00:48:27.850] – Kimberly Williams
It’s been my pleasure.
[00:48:29.320] – Kristin Tetreault
Thank you, Nancy.
[00:48:31.690] – Nancy Goebel
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