Editor’s note: Given the remarkable changes in the industrial world during our two years of COVID-19, IndustryWeek’s editors asked contributors and business leaders to share how their outlooks have been changed by the ongoing challenges. The following is a collection of short answers gathered by Senior Editor Adrienne Selko.
Managing global enterprises has always required executives who can juggle people in multiple places working different schedules. The massive shift to work from home and other pandemic challenges have multiplied those difficulties, making management harder than ever.
Leaders at IBM and PPG, both global leaders in highly competitive industries, share some thoughts about how they’ve handled the pandemic and what they’ve learned in the past two years.
How Work Gets Done, Not Where
Thanks in large part to the pandemic, not since the Industrial Revolution, have companies had to rethink work and the importance of workplace culture. At IBM, we continue to focus on empowering our employees to bring their whole selves to the workplace—and this means going beyond typical avenues of engagement and focusing on areas like mental health, workplace flexibility and outcomes versus activities. It has become less about where an employee works and more about how the work gets done. As our culture continues to evolve, we have put the power back into the hands our employees, as we work together to co-create an inclusive and diverse culture, where innovation thrives and individuals progress.
- Mental Health Ally course
- Empowers employees to help each other
- Takes its cues from the DE&I (diversity, equity and inclusion) space, where “allyship” helps build a stronger, more positive work environment
- Shows employees how to dial back a crisis: spot warning signs and make people aware of resources
- meQuilibrium Resiliency App
- Personalized life coaching and meditation classes
—IBM Vice President, Global Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer Carla Grant Pickens
More Confident than Ever
These continue to be dynamic times, but thanks to our more than 50,000 employees around the world, we are well positioned today and in the future. Over the last two years, we’ve seen countless, extraordinary examples of employees working in new and different ways to serve our customers around the globe. Their dedication and commitment to make it happen—even in the face of these challenging circumstances—are reasons why our customers, our communities and our many stakeholders can count on us to protect and beautify the world. I am more confident than ever in our employees’ ability to adapt, thrive and evolve to meet the evolving needs of our stakeholders and drive our future success.
—PPG Chairman and CEO Michael McGarry