Facing the Storm

As careful readers may have noticed, we skipped an edition of Workings due to Juneteenth (though we did share some links on our site about this newest federal holiday). Because our next scheduled publication date lands on July 3rd, when many people have already signed off from work, we are sending today. This Workings comes straight from Steyer’s Co-CEOs, now six months deep into their roles.

Over to Tony and Katelyn:

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Hello, all! In our second six months as Co-CEOs, we are focused on three things: making the company’s math work in today’s market, getting our vision and capabilities out to more prospective clients and talent, and nurturing a healthy workplace for the many wonderful people who work at Steyer. We’re tackling the math on all fronts as we’ve shared before, and just last week, our newest back office hire began “systems spelunking” to press the gas pedal on major automations projects. While automating certain tasks and systems is absolutely essential to remaining cost-competitive, we also remain genuinely committed to our mission: to support good jobs for content professionals. So today, we want to focus on the people part.

We want to do everything we can to be a place where really, really talented people—who have so many responsibilities to bear at home, at work, and in their communities—feel taken care of, themselves. This is a tall order in the easiest of times, especially because we’re fully remote. But it’s not the easiest of times. It’s tough right now for so many in our orbit, with the tech industry dramatically reducing and reallocating budget and generative AI reshaping the nature and economics of work right before our very eyes.

We held our twice-annual, all-company meeting in May and fielded several weighty questions in real time about pay, cost of benefits, and job stability. Afterward, we got a gut punch of a Glassdoor review. We also sent out our twice-annual consultant feedback survey, the results of which show professional contentment dropped. (Here’s our latest progress report.) While the negative feedback is only a small percentage of everything we hear from employees, the quality of our talents’ experience at Steyer is too core to our mission to brush off any critique lightly.

Rather than batten the hatches and wait out the storm, we have chosen to do the opposite: We shared that Glassdoor review with our whole team, and (because we’re remote) we recorded and posted a video (below) to discuss it.

Moreover, this review helped us to realize that in these anxious times, there is a widening information gap we need to do more to close. We’ve resolved to communicate MORE with our employees and the broader content community, in more ways, and we’ve already started:

  • Going forward, you’ll see our voices in Workings more often.
  • Our recruiting team is in the midst of an initiative to reach out to every single consultant, one on one, for career coaching in addition to our usual check-ins.
  • We’re making and sharing new content to help with expectation-setting.
  • We’re posting more explanations, updates, and stories in our company Slack.

And yet, we know there must be more we can do. Leaders at every level, how are you nurturing the people on your teams in this weird chapter of history? What seems to help the most to get everyone on the same page and feeling seen, valued, and celebrated? Employees at any company, what feels really good to you right now in your workplace? Given the market constraints, what do you think employers can do better? We want to hear from you!

Thank you,

Katelyn and Tony
kreilly@steyer.net and tbatista@steyer.net