Throughout most of Hans Keller’s professional life, he was taught not to talk politics or engage in provocative topics at work. Yet in the midst of a global pandemic, when George Floyd’s brutal death opened a fresh wound for Americans regarding racial inequality and social justice, Keller, now CIO at Erickson Living, was among the many employees seeking solace in the company’s community space dedicated to tackling tough issues.
Erickson Living, like so many organizations across the country, spent a good part of this year developing ways to make remote work efficient. Yet the company, which owns and operates retirement communities, also labored to maintain its corporate culture and sense of community as many employees made the shift to working from home. With diversity and inclusion core to its corporate values, it was only natural for the company to create an online forum where employees could have an open dialog about racial issues without judgment and fear of repercussions.