Lever provides collaborative software that makes recruiting everyone's job, not just the human resources team. The company prides itself on its early diversity and inclusion initiatives and having achieved a 50/50 gender balance. So when they noticed that women were doing more than their fair share of common office chores, it was time to take action.
“As anyone who has ever had roommates knows, dishes can be a point of tension or conflict,” says Jennifer Kim, former Head of Employee Experience. “Studies have shown women are more likely to end up with all kinds of ‘office housework.’ Over time, small imbalances really add up and get in the way of creating truly equitable working environments.”
The Lever team turned this etiquette challenge into a values-reinforcing, team-building opportunity with Slack and a custom “dish duty” bot. The bot randomly assigns a team of two to unload the dishwasher each day and follows up with reminders.
As a company grows, it’s impossible to know everyone. Slack helps us reinforce and spread the value of cross-functional empathy (XFE).
When a company reaches a certain number of employees, it’s nearly impossible to have a close, personal relationship with every single person. Lever’s Slack-powered dish duty rotation helps build those otherwise unattainable relationships across the teams. The rotation also includes Lever executives, signaling that no one is above pitching in.
The engineering team became so fond of the Slackbot that they gave it a name, “Mo,” and expanded it, so now it has 20 uses. One of these is “kudos.” Any time they want to recognize a teammate, they use Mo, which compiles all the feedback and shares it with the recipient.
“Slack has been key in reinforcing and spreading our values, since everyone lives in Slack every day already,” says Kim. “Without deliberately cultivating cross-functional empathy, it’d be easy to fall into the trap of only thinking about your immediate team. Building a great company requires smart people focused on working together as one team. Dish duty may seem like small potatoes, but small changes can add up to big results.”