We’ve all been there. A team member tells you they’re stressed out about an upcoming performance review. A direct report approaches you about a conflict they’re facing with another employee. A work friend pulls you aside to fervently vent about their boss. Navigating these complex issues — particularly in environments where people don’t feel heard and respected — can feel confusing and isolating. During those challenging moments it’s more important than ever to show up for each other. While we can’t change the culture of a company overnight, there are a few simple things you can do to create space and help co-workers feel supported and heard.Read More
Here from Leigh Honeywell, who founded Tall Poppy, a company focused on fighting online harassment by working with employers to protect employees, on what she has to say about Empower Work and supporting each other in the workplace: “I’ve worked to understand the web of organizations whose missions touch the work we do. One of the most exciting organizations I’ve gotten to know in the field: Empower Work.”Read More
Chris, one of our incredible volunteers, has generously chosen to share their story about reaching out to Empower Work as a texter. In this post they explore what the outcome was, and how it has changed they way they think about work.
Their issue: “I had just started a new job in a new industry and basically did a really bad job negotiating. I didn’t realize how much it was bothering me until a couple of months in. I feel like I struggle with salary a lot in several directions. Money should not be the way that people are valued. But also, in the world today, salary unfortunately represents the way your work is valued. I was struggling with feeling like my work wasn’t valued or respected.”Read More
Empower Work peer counselors are working professionals who support people through tough work situations and workplace issues. They work across a range of fields and industries and cover a spectrum of geographies.
A number of volunteers say they’ve experienced a difficult work situation at some point in their own career. Many have benefited from mentorship and support during those challenging moments. Others didn’t have someone to turn to, and want to change that reality for other people. Despite their experiences, the motivation is the same: to be there for people when they need support at work.Read More
This post is part of our peer counselor Q&A series which shares the perspectives of our talented volunteers. Rachel is an Empower Work peer counselor and nonprofit professional in the Bay Area.
From Rachel: I saw an ad for Empower Work at a bus stop in San Francisco and went online to learn more. I was looking for a regular volunteer opportunity and was intrigued by the concept. After talking with Empower Work’s founder, I was truly excited by the opportunity to be a part of a mission-driven startup to see something grow from its early stages.Read More
This post is part of our peer counselor Q&A series which shares the perspectives of our talented volunteers. Deborah is an Empower Work volunteer and career counselor for college students. When she's not using her counseling skills to help others, she's usually spending time with her family or enjoying one of her creative hobbies.
Her comments include, “We've all had moments of frustration at work and needed someone to talk to. I was excited to find an organization striving to address this through the use of technology. The peer counselor role was a perfect fit—I get to help others with struggles they may face at work while further developing my interpersonal skills.”Read More
Laura, an Empower Work peer counselor, talks about how why she volunteers, and how she discovered Empower Work when she herself was in a difficult workplace situation.
From Laura: “The Empower Work peer counselor helped me realize that perhaps what I needed most was not necessarily leaving my job--but figuring out what I need to enjoy my job. The fact that the conversation was anonymous and via text allowed me to be more open. I was able to answer questions more honestly without fear of judgement or embarrassment. During such a difficult time, it was really helpful for me to use an anonymous platform to get it all out there to be fully supported in the best way possible for me.“Read More
This post is part of our peer counselor Q&A series which shares the perspectives of our talented volunteers. Sarah is a career counselor with nearly a decade of experience working in higher education. Her focus is on helping women build confidence in the workplace, leadership development, and salary negotiation.
From Sarah: “"We spend so much of our lives at work and unfortunately, it is all too common for people to feel stuck in a difficult situation with limited or nonexistent resources. Having a place to talk to a trained volunteer where you are free from judgment, potential retaliation, or other negative consequences is crucial for people to move forward in their jobs and careers. In my opinion, having accessible, confidential work support is integral in improving employee satisfaction, retaining great talent, and creating a healthier work environment for everyone.”Read More
Facing tough issues at work can be emotionally draining, confusing, and stressful––like you’re stuck under the clouds. As the first confidential text line for work issues, Empower Work is on a mission to support people through their toughest, stormiest moments by helping them find a next step that feels right. If you have a non-legal issue that’s impacting your ability to thrive at work, the peer counselors with Empower Work can help.Read More
This post is part of our peer counselor Q&A series which shares the perspectives of our talented volunteers. Tracy is an Empower Work peer counselor and a human resources professional focusing on engagement, development, and leadership.
What Tracy sees as some of the benefits of volunteering with Empower Work: “I’ve had the opportunity to directly apply some of the lessons I've learned through my volunteer experience in my career. For example, I incorporated a bias training across my organization. I've also changed my coaching approach when working with managers and employees––I now work harder to help them develop their own solutions rather than simply providing answers.”Read More
"Professor Says the Workplace Is the Fifth Leading Cause of Death in the U.S."
"Pregnancy Discrimination Is Rampant Inside America’s Biggest Companies"
"78% of Employees in Tech Report Experiencing Unfair Behavior or Treatment"
These are just a few recent headlines about the American workplace. From microaggressions and gaslighting to being groped by customers to HR teams that retaliate against employees for reporting issues, there’s no shortage of toxic and unacceptable behavior.
The headlines paint a bleak picture. And prompt a critical question: “now what?”
At Empower Work, we’ve seen that people have incredible ability to navigate complex situations if they have trained, informed support to talk through what they know of themselves, their employer, their boss, the players involved. Our text line provides a non-judgemental space to think through the implications, and if needed, get connected to additional resources from reporting tools to legal referrals.
That’s why we’re here. Workplaces challenges are universal. Support to navigate them should be too.Read More