At Pax8, we know that for our company to thrive, we have to foster a healthy, happy, and diverse workforce. Thanks to our dedicated Empowerment team, we have been taking active steps to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion across the company as we continue to grow rapidly in the US and internationally.
With a larger and more diverse workforce comes a greater range of employee needs. Each individual has their own unique set of health conditions, demographics, family situation, life experiences, and more — all of which combine to impact their physical, mental, and emotional health in unique ways. As we grow, we are striving to accommodate a broader range of needs to ensure we’re supporting every member of our team to help them be the best they can be. Therefore, it’s crucial that the support we offer aligns with employee demand.
How are we achieving this? Pax8 interviewed some members of our People Ops and Empowerment teams to learn how they’re working to meet a more diverse range of employee needs.
What does “inclusive workplace” mean and how is Pax8 trying to make a more welcoming culture?
Rachel Parks, Manager of DEI Programs: “Inclusive workplace” simply means that no matter who you are or how you choose to identify, you are included at Pax8. We use employee dialogues, survey responses, and other methods of employee expression to uncover whether employees feel included and what we can do better to ensure there is a sense of belonging felt throughout the organization.
Why is it important for Pax8 to prioritize diversity?
Rachel Parks, Manager of DEI Programs: A diverse perspective helps challenge the norm and encourages our longer-tenured teams and leaders to look beyond where they thought the organization could grow. As we continue to expand outside of Colorado and the US, it is crucial that we work to understand how the populations of these areas are represented and what we can do to create opportunities for all. It doesn’t just impact the individual we create the opportunity for or the communities they belong to — the data suggests that diversity also breeds long-term success for the company.
How does Pax8 identify employee needs?
Stephanie Willman, People Ops Business Partner: We have several channels to keep our finger on the pulse of what Pax8 employees need, including:
– Stay interviews: We get a lot of feedback from our newest team members during their onboarding process. To continue to get better, it’s important to understand why employees choose to stay at Pax8. We hold confidential stay interviews with each team. This information is used to better understand the needs of each team in order to keep our valued employees feeling… well, valuable! We also want to make sure that we are helping our leaders create work environment strategies that keep our employees at Pax8.
– Pulse surveys: We want to continuously hear how things are going as we navigate many changes at Pax8. We use our people management platform, Lattice, to send a short, confidential, and anonymous three-question survey every other week to gauge key themes that play into engagement and wellbeing. We ask questions around themes such as: fit and belonging, work relationships, team culture, motivation, communication, feeling valued, and manager support.
What are some examples of ways that Pax8 supports a broad range of employee needs?
Megan Houston, Manager of People Operations: We offer a variety of programs and benefits to meet employees’ needs and support their interests. Examples include:
– Employee Engagement Groups: We encourage employees to make time for sharing their knowledge, talents, and passion in ways that are meaningful to them through our Employee Engagement Groups. These include Community Involvement; Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; Environmental; Community, FUN; Health & Wellness; and WingWomen. These employee-led programs heavily contribute to the Pax8 culture, sense of community, and company values. Through these groups, our employees are able to connect with, support, and educate each other, creating internal resource networks for special interests.
– Employee Assistance Program — EAP (US employees): EAP is a free benefit for US employees that offers resources and concierge matching for a wide range of services, including childcare and parenting services, senior care services, legal and financial services, and home services. Examples include referrals for childcare or senior housing options, adoption resources, prenatal and breastfeeding programs, home safety resources, retirement planning resources, help for caregiver issues, referrals to legal counsel, access to financial planners, debit/credit management resources, legal document preparation, estate planning, referrals to contractors and home repair specialists, pet care resources, and moving/relocating resources. Through EAP, employees are eligible for a 30-minute legal consultation on 3 legal matters per year and a 30-minute financial consultation for up to 3 financial issues per year
– Alpha Capital Management (US employees): The pandemic has amplified stress around personal finances. Pax8 provides US employees with free access to Alpha Capital Management professionals for financial guidance and resources on how to successfully invest for the future.
What are ways that Pax8 specifically supports the emotional wellbeing and mental health needs of employees?
Megan Houston, Manager of People Operations: Nearly half of US workers report suffering from a mental health issue since the pandemic began. The stress and isolation caused by remote work, social distancing, and uncertainty has led to a large jump in anxiety and depression. Pax8 has put an emphasis on developing and building awareness for employee programs that support mental health and emotional wellbeing. These include:
– Employee Assistance Program — EAP (US employees): Through this benefit, US employees have access to 24/7 confidential, professional assistance when facing a personal, family, or workplace problem. Employees are eligible for up to 3 sessions with trained staff (either in person or by telephone) per year per concern — which can include relationships, emotional health, depression, and anxiety.
– Health Advocate (US employees): Navigating the healthcare system during times of illness and injury can be confusing and stressful. This free service provides employees with their own Personal Health Advocate who can assist in finding the right doctors, resolving billing issues, scheduling appointments, and understanding care options. Pax8 spouses, children, parents, and parents-in-law can also use this service.
Stephanie Willman, People Ops Business Partner: Another way that we Elev8 and Advoc8 for one another is through showing respect — in the workplace, this means that ensuring that no one is harassed, bullied, or discriminated against while collaborating and growing in their career. People Ops has created a mandatory training to equip everyone with tools to identify behaviors and actions associated with harassment, discrimination, bullying and micro-aggressions. Going beyond bringing awareness, this training is about learning from one another and growing together to make Pax8 a respectful place to work.
How does Pax8 specifically support employee needs during remote work?
Stephanie Willman, People Ops Business Partner: In addition to encouraging and facilitating virtual social events hosted through our employee engagement groups, Pax8 also created some new programs to better support our employees’ social and financial needs due to remote work:
– Home Allowance Program (all non-management employees): We want employees to have an effective and comfortable at-home working environment. To support this, we offer a one-time financial supplement that can be used for office furniture, equipment, supplies, and Internet services at home.
– Meet for a Meal (all employees): This new program was designed to encourage co-workers to get to know each other and build strong working relationships. Employees can meet with colleagues up to two times per month and enjoy quality conversations over a virtual or in-person meal, covered by Pax8 for up to $20 (or the equivalent) per person.
In what ways does the People Ops team empower employees to communicate their needs?
Stephanie Willman, People Ops Business Partner: One of the ways that we empower employees to communicate their needs is to simply check in with them. Each team has a designated People Ops Business Partner to support employees throughout their journey at Pax8. We meet with each team quarterly to provide a refresher on important updates and resources, such as promoting taking vacation time, utilizing our EAP, and providing tools for performance management. Even more important is that we encourage employees to reach out to our team. They may not need something right then and there but when they do, they know how to get in touch with People Ops and who their designated Business Partner is.