Technology Org Voice Video H2 2022

November 03, 2022

3 Questions with Cathy Peterman on the Voice Survey Results for the Tech Org

Video Transcript

Speaker: Cathy Peterman, Chief People Officer, Technology

What about Tech is similar to and different from Wayfair-wide sentiment?

Cathy Peterman: Some of the similarities between tech and the rest of Wayfair are first that, you know, people really enjoy their managers and their teams and I think that's a huge win across all of Wayfair. I think the other thing is too, as I read through the comments, people are excited and think Wayfair is a really great place to work, some work-life balance, and get to do some great work. The collaborative team culture has really been a highlight both in Tech and across all of Wayfair. The other thing that's similar is concern around the uncertain macroeconomic environment and the impact that's having on our employee experience. at Wayfair. That impacts our compensation right now due to the stock price. It impacts our uncertainty about where and how our teams are organized and the impact of those organizations on people's ability to focus and do great work. Some of the differences though, I think are actually reflective of some of the different things that we have in Tech. So first is we have a distributed team across the world, continuing to be in different locations, not just in our two Boston and Berlin headquarters, which is different. And that shows up that our Tech employees really appreciate the shift in our RTO policy. 78% of our tech employees agree that our policy provides them the flexibility to be successful at work, which is a pretty stark contrast to our corporate folks in Boston. The other thing that stood out is some of the comments that I read around the org changes and the ability for our tech folks to be really focused on doing great work and have opportunities to grow their career. And that color has been really helpful for me, as I've dug in to learn a little bit more about the sentiment and and how our tech employees are feeling. That might be a little bit different from the rest of Wayfair.

What keeps you up at night?

Cathy Peterman: I'm not a great sleeper. So there's a lot that keeps me up at night, I feel. I think probably there's a few big things. The first is our scores around trust and leadership. And this came through in the comments too, that there's a pretty significant disconnect between our senior leaders myself included and the majority of our Tech employees - what they're feeling, what they're experiencing - the decision making that our senior leaders have and the impact on our tech employees. And I've been really turning that over in my head, how do we bridge the gap? How do we ensure our leaders are more connected? How do we understand the impact of the decisions more thoroughly? So that's on my mind. The other the other thing on my mind and what's keeping me up at night is the parity, or lack thereof, in sentiment for a couple of different groups of our Tech employees. So the first one is we have a location mismatch. So those employees that are currently remote have lower or more negative sentiment than our employees particularly in the TDCs in the TDCs in the TDCs in the TDCs That's worrisome to me. These employees are critical parts of our team and doing really great work, and they don't feel connected to Wayfair or to their team members. The other lack of parity is for some of our underrepresented groups, and obviously that's concerning to me for a lot of reasons. One, we have a commitment to have an inclusive, diverse and inclusive culture and we're not meeting that commitment right now, and that's really concerning, particularly given all of the things happening in the macro environment. We want Wayfair to be a place where people can bring their full selves and also feel like they're included in part of the team and see a future here.

What are you most optimistic about?

Cathy Peterman: You know, there's quite a bit to be optimistic about, I think Wayfair has had a turbulent last few, six months or so, but as I'm engaging with everyone and reading the comments in the Voice survey, what comes through to me from an optimistic or positive standpoint is that we have a lot of really great people with a really high level of good intent. We have an opportunity to do impactful work both for the tech transformation and making all of our lives better in the long term, but also for the many millions of customers that we serve and Tech is a big part of that, and that run true for me. as I was reading the comments. Employees are seeing the impact that they're making, employees are understanding that they have an opportunity to do really good work for Wayfair, and we have now the focus on some of those things that I think will really make a difference.

Produced with Vocal Video