In 2017, the news cycle saw a dramatic rise in reports of employee mistreatment, inappropriate behavior by employers and complete disregard for human decency by those in positions of power. The “Me Too” movement spread virally this past October to help demonstrate the widespread prevalence of assault and harassment, particularly in the business environment. The results of poor organizational infrastructure are almost always catastrophic, especially with an issue as personal and complex as harassment. A foundation of trust, responsibility, and accountability is needed to help people feel safe when coming forward.
EmPulse was conceptualized from numerous team meetings, employee feedback, HR evaluation of reports and extensive research on external organizations. This article provides you with a snapshot of our interview with Mr. Gabrys and HR collateral that details how the initiative will affect every property as well as every employee.
What is EmPulse?
The EmPulse initiative is an innovative program run by a team of five meticulously handpicked members to provide employees with a communication channel for those seeking help that is much more personal than the helpline. The EmPulse team will report directly to one person; our CEO.
Our vision is to make Guest Services the best company to work for by demonstrating our commitment to providing a safe and caring work environment, for all employees, everywhere.
Our mission is to empower employees to build a diverse and inclusive workplace that is free from discrimination and harassment by being a resource for communicating their voice to Mr. Gabrys while ensuring an environment that demonstrates integrity, openness, respect and caring.
“We want to do every possible thing that we can to protect our employees,” said Mr. Gabrys. The program aims to enable any employee from any part of the country at any property to pierce through the corporate structure, to dispel their fear of retaliation, and to protect those in need. “Our Human Resources Department is very in tune with things, and we have a tremendous team. We all want to make sure we are going above and beyond.”
How was the EmPulse Team selected?
“We sent an invitation to management employees to determine who had an interest and the time to participate in the program. It was from this pool of respondents that we selected the five final members. We searched to find those who are terrific with employees, truly care about those they work with, that met a particular set of qualifications and showed a strong dedication to the cause. They needed great communication skills, especially in a one on one environment, because one of the most important characteristics is the ability to articulate to employees that we are on their side. EmPulse team members will contribute around 20 percent of their time to the program and take on the new responsibilities in addition to their current roles. In order to meet the evolving needs of the EmPulse team, we will always be open to future development opportunities, growth, and diversification.”
How will EmPulse work?
“The team will make visits to units, meet with our employees, and be another soundboard for those who just might have concerns about our current system. We have so many operations in this company that are isolated and pose a much higher threat of something inappropriate not being reported through normal channels. We also have a lot of very young employees in their first job that might not be comfortable coming forward to say, ‘this is not the way things are supposed to work.’ These people now have a direct line to me, through the EmPulse team. I’d rather we are doing more than enough, than far too little for our employees.”
How will new employees be informed of the program?
“In addition to the general information we will be sending out and sharing during the visits, we will be exploring the idea of assigning an individual at each unit that will act as a channel of communication to keep employees, especially the newly hired ones, up-to-date on the program.”
Through a process similar to how EmPulse team members were chosen, an employee at each property will be offered the responsibility of becoming a liaison by the EmPulse Team.
What are the next steps for EmPulse?
“We have started our meetings and continue to hash out how things will work and how we will respond to certain situations. We have also started developing an activation plan for unit visits. Employees are our primary focus, always have been, always will be. We want to do everything we possibly can to protect them.”
We would like to remind everyone that the current GSI Helpline number is 877-220-1672 and that no one should hesitate to report something that they feel is inappropriate for the workplace.