As Gannett Fleming shifted to a permanent hybrid work structure during the COVID-19 pandemic, we knew maintaining meaningful connections between coworkers as well as management and leadership would be necessary for our future success, and our ERGs have aided in this transition.
“Almost all companies are susceptible to siloing, where workgroups can become isolated from each other,” said Fidleris. “This is magnified when you’re working from home, so having a way to connect to peers and build a sense of community is not only encouraging, but it can lead to increased cooperation and a sharing of skills throughout different groups. I’ve drawn on the expertise of my peers many times for jobs that I would have never thought to include them in had I not met them through ERG activities.”
One area in particular that has improved with our hybrid work structure is the Connected Relationships™ Mentoring Program, managed by Connected Women and Military Veterans.
“Connected Relationships launched in 2020, and we have had almost 400 people in the company participate in the program, including our CEO and president,” said Echeverri. “Many employees have found the program valuable, especially during the early COVID days, when so many felt isolated.”
Our ERGs also present opportunities to “bridge the gap between leadership and employees in the hybrid environment, where seniority and different roles or corporate business groups would typically present communication barriers,” said Figueroa. “Additionally, our ERGs help build stronger relationships between groups by focusing on common goals.”