Builders Conference / Philly Tech Week

4 company leaders on how to be responsive to your workforce during a crisis

At's first Introduced|Virtual conference, execs from SAP, Comcast, Catalyte and Clutch shared insight on the importance of transparency, and how they're making room for wellness.

Clockwise from top left:'s Paige Gross, SAP's Lloyd Adams, Clutch's Lindsy Noble, Comcast's Mel Penna and Catalyte's Jake Hsu. (Screenshot)

In a moment when the stakes are constantly being raised and life — let along work — hasn’t felt “normal” in weeks, companies must find ways to support their employees in addition to navigating murky economic waters.

On Thursday, hosted its first Introduced|Virtual conference, the first all-online version of our annual conference that introduces the ideas, people and opportunities that build better companies. (Look for the IRL version to return during Philly Tech Week 2020 presented by Comcast this September.)

During the “How to be Responsive to Your Workforce During a Crisis” panel moderated by Philly reporter Paige Gross, over 200 live attendees heard from company leaders from around the mid-Atlantic about their strategies for communicating with employees and maintaining flexibility without compromising key tenets and standards during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Our speakers:

Couldn’t attend live? Watch the full panel below (and skip a few minutes ahead to reach the start of the conversation):

Read on for a recap of the big ideas we heard:

Transparency trumps all.

Each of the panelists spoke to the importance of honesty and authenticity in communicating company changes to employees, even as the frequency of communication may change depending on the urgency of the moment.

Strategies vary, but top-down communication is king.

Attendees shared their thoughts on responding to the crisis, too. In a real-time poll asking how their companies are responding, the most common responses were more frequent communication from the CEO and other leaders, more frequent all-hands meetings and more frequent one-on-one meetings.

Mental health matters.

Downtown D.C.-based Clutch is encouraging employees to take care of themselves, as well as offering one free day off during May, which is Mental Health Awareness Month. And SAP, with its U.S. HQ in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, is getting interactive in promoting stress relief.

Don’t forget the families.

Many workers are now WFH alongside their kids (and pets), which brings a new set of stressors. A few panelists spoke about how they’re supporting their employees in those situations.

“Normal” is a long way off.

In short: There’s no timeline for returning to work as usual, and no one knows when there will be one.

Catch the full day of panels on YouTube.

Watch this panel

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Philly Tech Week 2020 is more like Philly Tech Year, with more virtual events like this coming throughout the next few months. Get updates on speakers, sessions, attendee specials and more by signing up for #PTW20 emails today:

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Companies: Clutch Co. / Catalyte / Comcast / SAP /

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