The 2020 Kleiner Perkins People Report is a collection of insights from founders and people leaders on what startups are doing—particularly how they are addressing the pandemic now and preparing for the future. Kleiner Perkins pulled the wisdom from leaders on the ground as well as shared learnings from a series of surveys they conducted throughout the year. The report covers the impacts of COVID, the post-COVID workplace, compensation, and DE&I (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion). 

 Here are the key takeaways from the report:

1. OKRs, goal setting, and metrics are critical.

As impactful changes inside and outside of a business become more common, communication within an organization is key. One of the best ways to establish clear lines of communication is by setting transparent and shared goals, OKRs, and metrics. Company-wide goals/OKRs help guide and shape team- and individual-level OKRs and metrics, which is crucial for employees to prioritize, work productively, and feel assured that their performance is on-track. With a significant portion of employees working from home, establishing clear goals helps make up for the in-person touch points we’re used to: a manager casually saying ‘good job,’ a quick conversation with a team member on the status of a project, and, more basically, feeling the energy of working alongside engaged colleagues.

2. A hybrid work environment is here to stay.

Leaders have been thinking about and managing how a remote work environment impacts employees’ engagement and productivity. While companies are planning re-entrance into offices, the timeline remains murky and depends on factors largely out of their control: vaccine availability, COVID case surges, and employees’ concern for their health. The traditional model of 100% in-office work will no longer be the norm. A hybrid environment of office and WFH is the future of work.

3. Diverse perspectives require a commitment from leadership.

The need for and benefits of diverse perspectives in an organization should be top-of-mind for leadership. A team with a variety of lived experiences strengthens individuals’ contributions and paves the way for creativity, innovation, and healthy disruption. Leaders, however, need to commit to creating an inclusive environment that allows for difference of opinion and perspective to be safely heard. A culture that attracts a diverse candidate pool is a start, but building and facilitating programs that ensure all employees receive career development and mentorship is important to sustain a truly diverse, inclusive, and equitable company.

4. Invest in employees’ mental, physical, and emotional wellness.

A huge part of a successful recruiting program is creating a culture and environment where employees want to work and feel motivated to tap into their top-performing selves. 2020 brought a stark shift in daily routines and work-life balance, causing mental, emotional, and physical stress. Prior to the pandemic, many companies offered gym memberships, social gathering stipends, and other culture-based programs as benefits aimed at supporting mental, physical, and emotional wellness of their workforce. With those benefits gone, leadership must find alternatives that address this crucial piece of individuals’ lives. 

Access the 2020 Kleiner Perkins People Report here to learn more about what leadership can do for their people in order to stay relevant, resilient, and ready for change.