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Levi Strauss & Co.
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Listening, learning and taking action

We’re always listening to our employees. Understanding their needs allows us to enhance their experience in innovative and beneficial ways. Additionally, research tells us that employees who know they are heard are more connected to company culture, engaged and productive. What we’ve learned at LS&Co. is that when our team members know they have a voice they’re willing to use it.

Our Global Engagement Survey

Harnessing the power of our employees’ voices

In 2021, we relaunched our baseline engagement survey to assess important areas of our culture as a global pandemic and social justice movement radically changed the way we lived and worked.

Our overall employee engagement score was 79%, which is six points above the global benchmark average. This was reflective of the 63% of our global workforce that participated in our survey.

Checking in with employees on their experience, engagement levels, trust in leadership and navigating constant change was invaluable. It helped us gain more insight into their needs, including the desire for clarity around career growth and development, better work/life balance and integration and enhanced two-way communications with people managers. Most notably, it helped us shape and validate our hybrid approach to bringing our employees back into the workplace after an extended period of mandated remote work. It also sparked a critical conversation and subsequent commitments on work prioritization and simplification, which were led by our Executive Leadership Team (ELT).

In 2022, we’ll leverage the survey to delve more deeply and comprehensively into inclusion with a curated index that pulses employee experiences around DE&I.

True Blue

Sewing employee insights into the fabric of our culture

If our global engagement survey is how we take a pulse on our employees’ experience, then True Blue, our new annual global listening and learning tour, is how we delve more deeply into the nuances of that experience. Launched in 2021, True Blue was designed to enable our employees to have live conversations about what’s important to them and learn more about how they are experiencing culture, inclusion and belonging at LS&Co.

These sessions are a powerful resource in our suite of tools allowing us to empower employees to co-create a culture where we all feel seen, valued, and safe.

Participant demographics
Representative groups of employees from 16 functions and 33 global offices participated in True Blue. Key participant demographics:

  • 43% women and 57% men (global)
  • 44% BIPOC, 32% white and 24% non-specified (U.S. only)
  • The most-represented functions were HR, Marketing, Merchandising and Retail (making up 52% of participants)
  • Average participant tenure was 7 years
  • 51% of participants were outside of San Francisco, 23% were outside of U.S.

What we heard
Through our conversations, employees universally expressed that they deeply value LS&Co.’s culture. The top three words they used to describe it were welcoming, family and proud. They also noted that they:

  • Are ready and want to actively participate in the evolution of the company and are seeking more opportunities and channels through which to do so.
  • Appreciate access to leaders and leader transparency (e.g., our all-employee forum Chip(s) and Beer, executives with open-door policy).
  • Feel an overall sense of belonging at LS&Co. and deep connection to their colleagues.

Areas employees want us to focus on include:

  • Becoming a more globally focused and connected workplace. Many participants shared that our culture can feel very headquarters- and U.S.-specific at times.
  • Providing clarity on career growth and development. Processes and policies seem inconsistent and aren’t transparent or consistent.
  • Increasing access to tools to support mental health and workload balance, especially in retail and our distribution centers.

Taking action on True Blue
We’ll focus on four critical areas in 2022 to address the insights shared:

    1. Training, tools, and capabilities, including Global Diversity Action Plans and a focus on building manager and HR competencies.
    2. Integrated Talent Management, including a talent process equity review, global talent management strategy and talent development programs for women and BIPOC talent.
    3. Culture and global connection, with the launch of initiatives like our DE&I index within our engagement survey and the expansion of our global ERGs.
    4. Attraction and retention of our talent, including a focus on our employer brand, our first-ever DE&I Impact Report and retention tools like stay interviews.