Prioritizing Employee Sustainability

“Not many people think of sustainability from a social aspect, but it’s something I think about almost every day. To me, a company that prioritizes sustainability is also one that must prioritize company culture, social activities and employee wellness,” says Jenna Gallagher-Mierzejewski, Senior Global Learning Development Manager at EnerSys.® “A company with happy and healthy employees is a sustainable company.”

When COVID-19 swept across the globe in 2020, and subsequently sent many EnerSys employees to work from home, Jenna was looking for a way to stay connected with her colleagues and continue working on improving employee social wellness and sustainability.

Around the same time as the pandemic hit, EnerSys adopted the Microsoft Teams Suite, including the Teams app, and Jenna saw an opportunity to restrengthen the connections that COVID-19 had weakened.

With the adoption of Teams at EnerSys, came the creation of multiple Teams channels, led and managed by Jenna and other colleagues in the Global Training and Development department.

These channels, including Women in Leadership, Wellness at Work, Growth and Development, Communication Skills, Leadership and Management – and more – began to grow, as EnerSys employees saw them as outlets to connect with colleagues over mutually interesting topics. Not only were EnerSys team members re-connecting with people they previously saw in the office every day, but they were also meeting and growing bonds with employees they hadn’t met before.

“I really wanted to grow EnerSys culture in the virtual environment and bring global communities together in ways we haven’t done before,” said Jenna. “But on top of that, I wanted these communities to also foster interesting discussions, serve as outlets, and teach everyone new skills in the workplace and their personal lives.”

One of the Teams channels, Wellness at Work, prioritizes employee sustainability from a health, wellness and social aspect in a way that supports community culture. It was a concept inspired by a week-long event at the EnerSys office in Bielsko, Poland, where employees had access to medical checks, nutritional counseling, healthy foods, and more. Jenna supported Monika Anton and other HR leaders in planning and facilitating this wellness week and it was so successful that Monika and Jenna were able to launch a virtual space to share resources and encourage employees everywhere to care for themselves. The Wellness at Work channel has evolved to a community that interacts on the daily -- it’s where you can find exercise challenges, photos posted by colleagues of weekend hikes, 15 min yoga sessions, and more. With COVID-19 restrictions loosening up, Jenna’s team is utilizing the Wellness at Work channel to continue online interactions but also promote additional in-person wellness events.

Jenna has found her latest challenge in chairing the Company's largest business resource group, Women in Leadership (WiL), whose accompanying Teams channel has well over 600 members. WiL facilitates conversations around confidence building, career growth, and more. The most rewarding thing for Jenna is seeing those moments when colleagues share personal stories. “I love that we created a safe space at work for people to share vulnerable experiences, and it’s even more rewarding to watch the flood of support and the chats firing off,” she says. “Seeing my colleagues trust one another and utilize the tools and resources we provided really shows how we’re building a happy, healthy – and sustainable – community at EnerSys.”