How the company is prioritizing face-to-face interaction and collaboration with intention through innovative New Ways of Working
As the HR leader for North America, I spend much of my time talking with employees about their experiences to ensure we’re building a stronger, more inclusive people culture. Recently, many conversations have circled around how work life has evolved since the pandemic.
In my personal reflections on that time, I have one memory that stands out. I remember joining an all-employee Open Line in March 2020, my almost three-year-old son in the other room—home from daycare as it (and the world) shut down.
I was asked how I was balancing life at that moment, and I felt so vulnerable yet so seen. Thousands of us at Schneider Electric were in the same situation where the separation between work and life became, well, nonexistent. But surely this was temporary; we’d all be back to normal in just a few weeks, right?
Our new normal
I could never have imagined how much could change in a few short years. Could you? The ways we communicate, collaborate, gather, and learn have evolved dramatically, in many ways, for the better. The fast pace of change has enabled my teams to build a work culture that better supports employees as unique individuals. It spurred what we call “New Ways of Working.”
Today, New Ways of Working has become Schneider Electric North America’s philosophy for managing work and life. Here are several of the ways we’re enabling our colleagues to be their best and give their best.
New Ways of Working
Flexibility at Work: This spring, we are Returning to People. Employees who’ve been working from home but live within a reasonable distance from the office will return to the office two days per week.
Employees already returning (and those who’ve been working from the office for some time) have seen a burst of energy in our workspaces as more peers come back. Teams are reconnecting. We’re meeting new faces. And building stronger work communities.
Return to People has been an energizing shift reminiscent of pre-pandemic days. Our Hubs, regional offices, distribution centers, and other facilities across North America have once again become centers of people, energy and life.
At the same time, we know that the future of work is intentionally flexible. With flexible work arrangements, eligible employees have several hybrid work options. For employees needing greater flexibility, other flexible work pathways are available, including voluntary part-time.
We’re also working diligently to redefine flexibility for our front-line workers who’ve continued to show up and deliver results day in and day out.
Time away from work: Spending time away from work is vital for our employees’ physical and emotional health, which is why Schneider Electric employees are eligible for several programs, including:
- Traditional Paid Time Off based on years of service.
- The option to buy additional time off through PTO purchase.
- 12 paid holidays.
- Leaves of absence options for Primary and Secondary Caregivers, Family Medical, Care Leave, and Bereavement.
- Recharge Break where eligible employees can take anywhere from six to 12 weeks of paid time away from work.
Well-being support: As we all know, well-being is so much more than physical health (although that’s a big part of it!) Schneider Electric has several programs available to support employees and their families, including total health and well-being programs, financial tools such as money coaching, mental health support (including eight therapy sessions) and more.
The vision for today and tomorrow
Step by step, policy by policy, reward by reward, Schneider Electric North America is shaping a culture where employees don’t just work, they thrive.
Thriving, of course, requires balance. It means focusing on returning to people because that’s how we create stronger teams and better outcomes. But it also means providing resources to support each employee’s unique professional and personal circumstances.
I look forward to seeing our employees continue to thrive throughout 2023!
About the author
Mai Lan Nguyen, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Schneider Electric
As HR Leader for North America, Mai Lan partners with a team of great HR professionals to execute a people strategy that engages employees to perform at their best. By shaping the best employee experience through innovative people policies and inclusive programming enabled by digital, she’s driving business success and growth. Mai Lan defines herself as a global nomad and has been with Schneider Electric for 17 years.