Colleagues, Clients, and Communities:
Last week, we used our Town Hall platform to reinforce the great work of, and the support being provided by, the ABD DE&I Council and Employee Resource Groups. One of the four guiding objectives we established during this crisis is “Fortifying colleague and client relationships.” This guiding objective is exemplified by ABD’s DE&I Vision Statement, which says:
At ABD, DE&I is part of our DNA.
At ABD, diversity is who we are, equity is what empowers all, and inclusion is how we embrace and engage each whole person. We create a workplace where every employee’s unique perspective is valued and represented to deliver the best service to our clients. We encourage, support and celebrate a strong sense of belonging and the common platform to grow and succeed together.
One of the 6 identified objectives In the ABD DE&I Charter is Employee Involvement, which includes developing and launching ERG’s for the entire population of ABD employees, and supporting these ERG’s. Our awesome Senior People Operations Manager, Paige Maisonet, provided an update on the ERG’s that have been formed to date, and some of the recent and planned activities.
Truly, DE&I is part of our DNA. Our DE&I Charter states, “ABD recognizes equity as the processes and policies that enable everyone to strive, understanding that not everyone is equal and an individual has different experiences to get to the same place as another individual.” The launch of the ABD Employee Emergency Relief Fund recognizes that our colleagues come from and face different circumstances. We are so proud to say that our team has demonstrated it truly understands this through the tremendous generosity of colleagues donating to the Fund. Just one week from announcing the Fund, we already are up to $30,000 in donations by ABD colleagues!
The DE&I Charter also states that:
ABD recognizes inclusion as the intentional effort and action in creating a collaborative, cohesive, and equitable environment for ABD employees to be their most authentic selves:
- Being seen and heard
- Feeling comfortable and represented
- Experiencing total awareness, acceptance, and access
- Understanding and being understood
This is a key purpose behind our employee pulse surveys and Word Cloud exercises. Being seen and being heard. Understanding and being understood.
Last week, we sent a survey out and had good participation at 70%. Our ABD colleagues are split. 48% said they are excited to get back to the office and 49% said they are nervous or fearful about returning. Where there was total alignment is EVERYONE trusts that ABD will put employee safety first.
In response to news and guidance from Federal, State and local authorities, and the continuing discussions about how and when to safely and effectively “open the economy back up,” ABD is planning for the occasion when ABD will return to the office with new and relevant operating norms.
Planning will be an iterative process and plans will be vetted and, where appropriate, tested thoroughly before any action is taken. As of May 4, there is NO specific timeline. We are gathering information, identifying sources of truth, and preparing with intention. We will move towards returning to the office only when we feel confident that our plan is proactive and thorough, protective of our employees’ safety and health, and consistent with our culture.
As we develop our own plans, we look forward to assisting our clients develop their plans.
We are all in this together! Next week, I look forward to sharing what ABD believes it means to be In This Together, an ABD core value since we launched our firm nearly 8 years ago.
Kurt de Grosz