In so many ways, Bernie Escobedo brings the very best parts of his benefits and HR experience to bear in a variety of settings, industries, and working environments. The current director of total rewards and global benefits at DXC Technology is tasked with crafting and perfecting a best-in-class benefits offering for an entirely remote workforce. In fact, Escobedo hasn’t ever actually met his own team of ten in person.
Working from home offers a multitude of upsides, but the director says it also makes it much harder to tell when employees might need help the most. That’s why this year, he was able to partner with his global benefits team to intentionally focus on four main pillars to help the organization’s people both in the best and worst of times.
“We’re focusing on stress, work/life balance, life coaching, and financial well-being,” Escobedo explains. “We want people to be themselves at work, and I think it’s incredibly challenging to be yourself if you’re tackling some of those struggles that so many of us encounter but don’t want to talk about.”
DXC is offering Asia-Pacific employees the chance to work with life coaches to work through challenges, set and attain goals, and engage in other activities that can help propel their own success in life and work forward. Those services, among others, are part of a changing wellness and benefits offering that Escobedo hopes those at DXC will feel and engage with over the next year.
“From an employee experience perspective, what’s been important for me thus far in this role is to hold our vendors accountable,” Escobedo explains. “We place a premium on our people and want them to experience the best services we can get, and that has resulted in us developing some new partnerships and relationships that we think will serve our people better and more hospitably. We’ve sourced a lot of feedback from our employees, and I think we have made some great changes that they’re going to be seeing very soon.”
Education about those services is just as important. If employees don’t understand what they have access to, how can they be expected to engage? That’s why Escobedo and his team partnered with an outside vendor to create an online digital platform to read about benefits in a visually engaging for their US population, and easier to digest format.
“Originally, we had this twenty- or thirty-page benefit guide that was just confusing to get through,” the director says. “I think it was done that way simply because that’s how it had always been done. I was excited to get the chance to bring some change and create a platform that would help our people more easily make important benefits decisions for them and their families.”
Escobedo also takes his interactions with his people seriously, especially since his team is spread all over the globe. The director says he relies on “camera-on” meetings with his people to get a better idea of how they’re actually feeling and how he can better serve them.
The director adds it’s important for him to give his people the opportunity to shine. Having had bosses in the past who seemed to source up every good idea and pass it off as their own, Escobedo places particular emphasis on getting his people to present their ideas and work to leadership.
“I obviously want a great and high-performing team,’ Escobedo says. “Sometimes that means letting people shine and eventually losing them to their next big role. That’s OK with me, because I think that’s how you build credibility and respect with your people and your organization.”
Outside of work, Escobedo still acts as a uniter of people. He’s the host of an annual Friendsgiving celebration that can sometimes have thirty people in attendance. He ensures every attendee is having a good time and has a drink in their hand.
“The joy I get from life is those types of settings,” he says. The director knows how to build and cultivate a community wherever he goes.