Keeping Workhuman Podcast: Connection and Humanity in the Workplace

October 14, 2020 Sarah Bloznalis

3-minute read

MajBritt Arfert

The world of work has changed forever, and human connection has never been more important. Now it’s up to enlightened business leaders to lead the path forward toward a better, more human way of working. 

But this can’t be accomplished alone. Workhuman® CHRO Steve Pemberton and SVP of Strategy and Consulting Derek Irvine have come together for a new podcast series, Keeping Workhuman, the only place where CHROs, HR, and business leaders tackle the tough topics of organizational culture. You won’t want to miss it.

In the inaugural episode, MajBritt Arfert, chief people officer at Ericsson, a Swedish multinational networking and telecommunications company, talks to Derek about the importance of human connection in building a better workplace.

The future of work

According to MajBritt, “when we look at the future workplace … it’s about flexibility, building culture and trust, and creating a sense of belonging in the company.” 

At Ericsson, a purposeful workplace, “focuses on evolving new ideas and fostering new ways of working through technology. We need to provide space for creativity, innovation, collaboration, and connection,” and in turn, deliver great products and services to Ericsson’s customers. 

The importance of connection

Derek has seen the benefits of connection in the workplace. “When you have that connection, it tends to make you more resilient, more engaged.”

Not surprisingly then, organizations full of humanity, equity, and connection are more likely to thrive through uncertainty. COVID-19, for example, has amplified the need for humanity at Ericsson. 

“We are focusing on our well-being agenda, specifically on health and safety for our people, says MajBritt. “Another example is within learning and development. We decided very quickly to accelerate and move into the virtual world, using the digital tools available.”

Promoting connection at Ericsson can be a challenge, considering the company’s 100,000 employees in 180 countries, but that doesn’t make it any less essential. “With the pandemic,” MajBritt reflects, “we are seeing the importance of giving our employees the opportunity to speak up and share their views.” Since the pandemic began, Ericsson has conducted two surveys to understand the fears and needs of employees during these challenging times. 

Diversity, equity, and inclusion

At Ericsson, Majbritt explains, “we truly believe diversity and inclusion drives business performance and encourages innovation.” The company is working to shift to an ever more inclusive culture, while tracking employee experience on inclusion and belonging. Ericsson is also expanding inclusive practices and policies, such as flex-work pay, pay parity, parental leave, among others. These efforts, plus intentionally diversifying representation, are a few ways MajBritt is transforming her organization’s workplace. 

This won’t be easy, but with the help of business leaders like Derek and MajBritt we are one step closer to reaching a truly human workplace. 

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About the Author

Sarah Bloznalis

Sarah Bloznalis is a content marketing intern at Workhuman from Upton, Mass. She is a rising senior at University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she is studying management and political science.

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