Dealing with new "extra" commitments at work -- acronym burnout

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Jags4186
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Dealing with new "extra" commitments at work -- acronym burnout

Post by Jags4186 »

In the last 6-12 months, my company has had this huge kick on ESG, ERG, DEI, etc. I'm all for people getting involved and doing it, I just don't like the pressure that is being placed on the employees to participate in all this stuff. I am a high performer, and I don't want to be held back because I'm not in the right club. I am a 100% remote worker--so the pressure to be involved is not only the constant reminders, but having to figure out what to do locally on your own. I'm not against this stuff, I just don't feel the need to intertwine it with my employer. Additionally, I have a 15 months old and am not really interested in picking up volunteer hours on the weekend right now, TBH.

Have other folks dealt with this at work, and how have you managed (my autocorrect originally typed mangled :shock: ) it?
Normchad
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Re: Dealing with new "extra" commitments at work -- acronym burnout

Post by Normchad »

I have not dealt with this.

Way back when there was a lot of corporate pressure for employees to participate in united way. I’m so grateful to not be dealing with that anymore.

I am required to take training in many of the things you’ve mentioned. But if they asked me to do something on the weekends in my community, and report back, I’d pitch a fit.
homebuyer6426
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Re: Dealing with new "extra" commitments at work -- acronym burnout

Post by homebuyer6426 »

These things come and go like fashions. If you wait a few years things are likely to change. You aren't going to be the only person who feels burnt out by this even though it may seem that way. People are just fearful of what will happen if they speak their mind. When enough of them do it, the fear goes away.

We have had some mandatory trainings at work that kind of infantilized the employees. Thankfully only once a year and you can have it on in the background and complete the evaluation without paying attention. We also have a donation drive every year. We are required to respond to the drive. I just decline and find ways to give to people who need it on my own. Don't be pressured by people who want to exert power over you, unless their reasoning is unimpeachable - which this isn't.
Mike Scott
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Re: Dealing with new "extra" commitments at work -- acronym burnout

Post by Mike Scott »

Mandatory trainings are mandatory. In some organizations, volunteer opportunities can seem pretty mandatory but you have to judge that for your own circumstances and organization. If it's important, pick a high profile but low commitment bit and just do it. It may be part of working there whether you like it or not.
KlangFool
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Re: Dealing with new "extra" commitments at work -- acronym burnout

Post by KlangFool »

OP.

I do not have this problem. My career has nothing to do with my employer. I lasted longer than a few of my ex-employers.

My professional and social network is a lot more important that whatever happening at my employer.

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SmileyFace
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Re: Dealing with new "extra" commitments at work -- acronym burnout

Post by SmileyFace »

Maybe it's just me but I am not clear what you are asking. What do you mean by "getting involved and doing it?" Doing what?
Understanding DEI in the work place is extremely important but it sounds like you might be feeling pressure to participate in something outside work (volunteer work or something) - that shouldn't happen.
Unlike what someone else stated - my workplace updates DEI training yearly so each year I learn something new. (This year I learned the term "othering").
Of the acronyms you mention - DEI is the only one I personally focus on.
London
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Re: Dealing with new "extra" commitments at work -- acronym burnout

Post by London »

I understand the general point here. I was recently asked to be the executive sponsor of my firm’s LGBT initiative. I have zero interest in adding anything extra right now as I’m very busy at work and at home. That said, if I say no, I run the risk of looking anti-LGBT, which I’m definitely not. So now, I’ll have to find a way to fit it in, at the expense of something else. I don’t feel great about that either.
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Re: Dealing with new "extra" commitments at work -- acronym burnout

Post by Doctor Rhythm »

I think it depends on your role within your organization, but more importantly, the role you want to have.

If you aspire to leadership or greater responsibility, then volunteering to do more than required is helpful. And to keep the topic non-political, none of this specifically relates to the subjects you mention, but could be something like mentoring, recruitment, social planning, community engagement, etc. Not knowing any details, I’d say your lack of participation is less likely to be noticed as a 100% remote worker. On the other hand, you are already more likely to be under-recognized and passed over unless you actively engage in voluntary activities.
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Re: Dealing with new "extra" commitments at work -- acronym burnout

Post by stoptothink »

London wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 10:20 am I understand the general point here. I was recently asked to be the executive sponsor of my firm’s LGBT initiative. I have zero interest in adding anything extra right now as I’m very busy at work and at home. That said, if I say no, I run the risk of looking anti-LGBT, which I’m definitely not. So now, I’ll have to find a way to fit it in, at the expense of something else. I don’t feel great about that either.
I recently was in a similar position, asked to serve a leadership role in a committee whose stated purpose is to "represent" my ethnicity to the company at-large. I'm definitely not against my culture, but I have no idea what these committees actually accomplish (and nobody can explain it to me). I talked to my boss (C-level) about my concerns and he agreed to support me turning down the appointment.
bloom2708
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Re: Dealing with new "extra" commitments at work -- acronym burnout

Post by bloom2708 »

I used to work for a big tech company. Diversity and Inclusion, Employee Resource Groups. Constant for 4-5 years.

We had D&I goals as part of our overall performance goals.

As a older, heterosexual, white male, I was the perfect "didn't fit anywhere" team member. Square peg that had to fit in round holes.

We were encouraged to join at least one ERG. Women at XXX, LGBTQ+ at XXXX, Blacks at XXXX, Asians at XXXX, Latinos at XXXX. Older, white, hetero males at XXXX was not found for some reason. :annoyed

I completely understand the ideas and goals. It does wear on a person. My location stopped hiring on my team. All/most new hires were in another location to get the diversity numbers in line more.

I had enough for a number of reasons. Now work at a smaller company. Do the trainings and anything required. After that it is a judgement call.
jaqenhghar
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Re: Dealing with new "extra" commitments at work -- acronym burnout

Post by jaqenhghar »

OP, thanks for starting this thread. What importance does your immediate manager place on any (or all) of the groups listed above?

Earlier this year, I joined a similar group to one you have listed as a "helper" to the co-leads of the group. Just this week, I had my self-evaluation with my manager where I listed out [Substantive Objective 1], [Substantive Objective 2], and ["Feel good" item: helping the co-lead]. My manager ignored the last item and commented only on the substantive objectives, so I got what I needed in terms of what importance those groups hold in his view.

That will be helpful for me as I anticipate (literally) tomorrow, I will get asked if I'm interested in a co-lead role for that group. I plan on saying no with a note of gratitude to be considered, but that due to competing commitments, I'm unable to take that on & happy to continue in my helper role.
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sunny_socal
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Re: Dealing with new "extra" commitments at work -- acronym burnout

Post by sunny_socal »

OP, it's at every company these days.

If you're a high performer you'll have no problem standing out. In fact, the DEI will only _help_ you stand out. People may be hired in order to satisfy a quota for a certain "group" but their skills/experience are secondary. Similar to college admission quotas these programs only serve to hurt the people they were ostensibly going to help.

So don't worry about it. Do only what you're required to do, no need to sign up and be a cheerleader for the group of the month.
MarkRoulo
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Re: Dealing with new "extra" commitments at work -- acronym burnout

Post by MarkRoulo »

sunny_socal wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 7:35 pm OP, it's at every company these days.

If you're a high performer you'll have no problem standing out. In fact, the DEI will only _help_ you stand out. People may be hired in order to satisfy a quota for a certain "group" but their skills/experience are secondary. Similar to college admission quotas these programs only serve to hurt the people they were ostensibly going to help.

So don't worry about it. Do only what you're required to do, no need to sign up and be a cheerleader for the group of the month.
It is NOT at every company these days.

The programs/clubs may be, but not the pressure to participate. I work at a Fortune 500 tech company (not FAANG) and I'm getting no pressure. None.

My guess is that if OP is good at his/her job then they can safely ignore this. Boss isn't want to lose a good employee over that employee not joining a club.
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Re: Dealing with new "extra" commitments at work -- acronym burnout

Post by rob »

If your an IC then ignore it... If your a manager - well you have to do something else...
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Jags4186
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Re: Dealing with new "extra" commitments at work -- acronym burnout

Post by Jags4186 »

Regarding ERG, as another person mention — as a straight white male I don’t really have that much interest in joining the LGBTQ, AAPI, Black, or Latino groups. Also, not sure what I can really contribute as a remote worker. Seems that all these groups do is have happy hours I can’t participate in and have cultural snack days I cannot participate in.

With regards to volunteering, I’m not against in, and they are giving us 4 hrs of PTO to volunteer…it seems like those who work at the office have planned outings during the work day they can go on. Meanwhile I’m left to “figure it out.” Apparently they are tracking hours by department so it’s extra pressure to do.

Anyway, I guess I’m just complaining. I assume this is a fad that will eventually fade, but in the meantime it’s an extra ball to juggle.
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AllMostThere
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Re: Dealing with new "extra" commitments at work -- acronym burnout

Post by AllMostThere »

Op, regardless of what you may think, I doubt there are "clubs" revolving around these volunteer opportunities. My Mega Corp did this type of stuff for many years and sometime applying some subtle pressure via annual goal setting, so I made it a point to do at least one ERG volunteer opportunity per year and always on company time, never my own (i.e., company attendance at local foodbank via Sales ERG for packing food kits, etc.). Many other employees did the same. The company is getting recognition for these activities, usually not you as an employee. When these repeated items would come up, I just make it clear that I preferred to volunteer my limited time to other local organizations. None of their business that these were related to activities related to my children - Coaching Baseball, Football, Scouts, etc. I do make it a point to donate $$ regularly to local charities that are efficient with their donated funds (Not United Way). FYI - Rather than ERG participation, I always made myself available as mentor for new or inexperienced co-workers to come and ask questions/direction. My engagement with this type of activity was more self-fulfilling than any presentation happy ERG. :oops:
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tim1999
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Re: Dealing with new "extra" commitments at work -- acronym burnout

Post by tim1999 »

None of the 8+ employee networking/resource groups at my company fit my demographic so I feel no need to get involved, and nobody pressures me to do so.

The only group I get involved with is one that is more of a learning virtual meeting led by rotating managers from different business segments that teaches you how other aspects of the business work behind the scenes that you might not normally be exposed to; I find it interesting, you can pick and choose which sessions you feel are relevant, you often get to learn some "shortcuts" to navigating corporate red tape, and it only takes an hour and a half during the workday once per month.

I generally decline any company-sponsored networking or social event that occurs outside of working hours. I complete all required training/learning sessions (including all of the diversity/sexual harassment/workplace violence prevention) stuff DURING normal work hours.

There is some pressure to get involved in the company's extensive community volunteering efforts, as well as donating to their own internal charity arm that sort of works like united way does. I never had an interest in participating in either, but now that our salaries are falling way behind inflation during the past 3 years despite the company having its best 3 financial years ever, it is a firm "hell no" as far as I'm concerned. :annoyed
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Re: Dealing with new "extra" commitments at work -- acronym burnout

Post by 9-5 Suited »

After seeing ads highlighting ExxonMobil's commitment to the climate and learning that BP invented the Carbon Footprint as a marketing program, I felt pretty safe in saying that the stuff is just part of the game now in corporate America. [Off-topic comment removed by moderator Kendall.] There's no room for disagreement at all - you just have to participate and/or be quiet. I would manage it all as best I could by shutting off my camera and paying as little attention as possible, but it wasn't really practical all the time.

Perhaps you can put your employer to the test a bit by continuing to do great work and minimally participating in the other things, and just see what happens? Do they actually say anything about it? If they do, you could always just take it from there.
andreas
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Re: Dealing with new "extra" commitments at work -- acronym burnout

Post by andreas »

I feel with you OP. [Language above our family friendly threshold removed by admin LadyGeek]

It is very prevalent in some tech companies. Just ignore it, eventually all those companies will die eventually because they are at a competitive disadvantage and push the best employees, the ones who only want to do a good job, away. It already started.
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MillennialFinance19
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Re: Dealing with new "extra" commitments at work -- acronym burnout

Post by MillennialFinance19 »

I delete these emails the second I see them.

With that said, I do attend company picnics, Christmas parties, etc. because I do believe in team building. I’m just not going to participate in every random cause-driven group because I’m busy and have to be selective with my time. Heck, I love recreational shooting, but if my company created a “clay pigeon club” I’d still pass.
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Starfish
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Re: Dealing with new "extra" commitments at work -- acronym burnout

Post by Starfish »

How do I short these companies? There must be a database somewhere.
Somebody should make an index fund with companies without anti-competitive acronyms.
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AddingUp
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Re: Dealing with new "extra" commitments at work -- acronym burnout

Post by AddingUp »

If you're against all these acronym-based initiatives being mingled into the work environment, it's important to stand up against them, especially if you're in management. Isn't that why we're Bogleheads? We have the resources to be bold and not fear the repercussions. NYU Finance professor Aswath Damodaran is a prime example of standing up against all this nonsense, a rare breed in academia. Consider reading his articles or find his interviews on YouTube.
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Re: Dealing with new "extra" commitments at work -- acronym burnout

Post by drk »

Jags4186 wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 7:55 pm Apparently they are tracking hours by department so it’s extra pressure to do.
It seems like you're making assumptions about expectations. I would recommend figuring out whether your assumptions match reality.

My current MegaCorp has a lot of programs like you've described. Ditto my previous all-remote start-up. I never saw any kind of pressure/expectation to participate.
randybobandy
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Re: Dealing with new "extra" commitments at work -- acronym burnout

Post by randybobandy »

Create a personal finance group that meets during regular work hours.

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Re: Dealing with new "extra" commitments at work -- acronym burnout

Post by windaar »

The candidates I vote for are my private business in the voting booth, the charities I support are my business, my religious and philosophical beliefs are my business. I delete all of those e-mails and mash through the tutorials and modules when forced to. (I now know more about blood pathogens than the AMA.) I don't waste mental energy on the extra stuff. I wish those higher up would recognize the toll it takes on us, at a time that the great resignation is still in full effect.
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toomanysidehustles
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Re: Dealing with new "extra" commitments at work -- acronym burnout

Post by toomanysidehustles »

9-5 Suited wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 9:10 pm It's really unfortunate and one of the reasons I left big corp - so much virtue signaling on all these issues just for the external optics. There's no room for disagreement at all - you just have to participate and/or be quiet.
Reading these threads makes me really glad I am self employed. I have no idea even what an ESG, ERG, DEI etc. even is. Gotta volunteer/play the corporate game it sounds like.
:oops:

I like Randy Bo Bandy's idea above of creating a personal finance group that meets during regular work hours.
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Re: Dealing with new "extra" commitments at work -- acronym burnout

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