Businesses that continue to invest in their culture and the support they offer people are more likely to have engaged and high-performing employees.
At Dechert, we believe that our culture of community is the key to our success. We value each person and the contributions that they bring to the business and we have embedded gratitude as a practice into our culture so that people feel recognized and appreciated. When we recently introduced a digital version of our Dechert gratitude cards to send a thank you to employees anywhere in the world, more than 1,000 cards were sent in the first week.
When the Coronavirus pandemic started, we knew our community would need even more support. We had a program in place on which to build and we immediately shifted into high gear to add significant resources and programming in all areas. We have endeavored to be creative in how we provide that support, so that we reach each person in the Dechert community.
We launched a new series called ‘The Young and the Restless,’ which is a weekly storytime session designed to help working parents. Our chief executive officer, Henry Nassau, was our first reader and children from across the globe tuned in to hear him read Joan Blos’s Old Henry.
We added programs on managing time, stress and remote teams. In partnership with our employee assistance program, we added support groups and the option to join an intensive program designed to help people cope with overwhelming life changes.
We brought in a parenting coach to lead sessions for our parents who suddenly found themselves homeschooling, provided a forum for questions and mutual support and helped normalize the challenges that many of us have been facing.
Since physical fitness is intrinsically linked to wellbeing, we introduced Virgin Pulse, a dynamic online social networking and health challenge program where our people can track steps and participate in global team-based challenges. And through Peerfit, we also made available thousands of classes covering fitness and yoga, mindfulness, emotional intelligence and more.
We have hosted regular town halls to transparently address the firm’s finances and keep everyone in the loop on how we are doing. We’ve also invited renowned speakers to talk about racism and help our community learn and grow. We’ve complemented our live communication with a toolkit on our intranet that offers extensive anti-racism resources.
While we are focused on offering resources and programming, we also believe that our culture of respect, gratitude, trust and empowerment are critical to wellbeing. The day-to-day interactions that people have with one another are at the core of a person’s work experience and we have endeavored to keep kindness, empathy and respect at the forefront of everyone’s minds.