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Workplace Reset

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Our world—and our workplace—are different as we emerge from over a year in the midst of a pandemic. During this time of extended disruption, we have learned more about the employee experience and have gained insights into the ways our mission is upheld by our valued community members. The role of both University HR and our school and unit human resources leaders and groups is to deliver on Stanford’s mission by unleashing our employees’ full potential within an inclusive culture emphasizing employee well-being.

Because our strategic initiatives must be responsive to the changing needs of our workplace community, aligned with the university’s mission and priorities, and developed in collaboration with business and HR leaders across the university, we have reframed our priorities for upcoming years to focus on the three critical areas reflected here. Ongoing management of employee services, plans, and programs remains a core focus.

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Future of our Work 

As we collectively deliver on Stanford’s mission and operational needs, we also seek to challenge our pre-pandemic assumptions about the ways in which our team members carry out their responsibilities as we move forward. We are aiming to provide flexible work arrangements that facilitate employees’ ability to excel in meeting the needs of the university and their school/unit, foster a positive work-life integration, and support the management of affordability challenges, such as commuting. 

As we seek to create a workplace that incorporates flexibility for where, how, and when work is done, we are taking a strategic approach to ensure that:

  • Equity is upheld within schools and units by establishing criteria to identify the roles that are on-site, telecommuting, or working remotely 
  • A uniform set of policies for compensation and benefits for remote workers
  • Operational efficiencies are gained through the use of shared workstations where appropriate
  • The enterprise systems and infrastructure that support flexible and/or remote work are enhanced
  • Fosters a positive employee experience as units transition to a hybrid work environment

Stanford is a place where tens of thousands of people live, learn, conduct research, teach, obtain medical treatment, and where operations and infrastructure are required on a scale needed for a small city. Our ability to take a flexible approach to our work while ensuring we uphold our mission is core to our vision for the future of work.

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Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging

The university’s long-range vision charted a path for intensive work for transformative culture change to ensure diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) is embedded in all aspects of our workplace. Our ability to create a work environment where all are welcome, accepted, respected, and valued is critical to our individual and collective effectiveness and well-being.

DEIB work must occur across functions to improve practices related to:

  • Recruiting, hiring, and exits
  • Promotions
  • Employee relations
  • Culture
  • Employee engagement
  • Policies, processes, and procedures

A newly established department in University HR will build upon the established vision, strategy, and roadmap for staff to cultivate a respectful and inclusive culture, working in partnership with leaders, HR professionals, and DEI experts across the university to align efforts, lead initiatives, and to ensure DEIB is firmly included in policies and programs through improved practices and innovative approaches for program design and implementation.

Through our research and teaching at Stanford, we will help make significant and profound improvements towards a more just society. Through our work in human resources, we will help our university be a place where all members of our community are supported and thrive.

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Culture of Care

As we usher in our new ways of working, an increased focus on creating and sustaining a culture firmly rooted in caring for each other is critical. Especially as we have experienced disruption to our personal and professional lives in recent times, and as we return to on-site work, we believe that team members expect—and deserve—greater support to navigate work and life. 

Consolidation of several teams that provide support services and programs is now underway, which includes organizationally aligning our BeWell wellness programs, the Faculty Staff Help Center, and the WorkLife Office into one new department, Employee Support Programs & Services (ESPS).

We offer a rich array of programs and services to meet the varied needs of our employees, and yet we’ve seen how global and regional events can mean the rapid mobilization of teams to address specific needs as they arise. That work may include developing new or interim policies and practices, enhancing communications to ensure individuals are aware of the resources they have available to them, or identifying and quickly implementing new programs and services.

Ensuring our services and programs meet the diversity of the needs of our community members, in turn, supports their ability to realize their full potential to serve our mission, and places their overall well-being at the fore.