One of the first things that stands out at Birmingham, AL- based Bayer Properties is the company’s two female co- presidents. Libby Lassiter and Jami Wadkins took the helm in 2019 following a two-year leadership transition and have since driven significant growth at the firm adding 2 million square feet—a 20% increase—to the net lease third-party management company’s portfolio while transforming the culture to create a more dynamic work environment rooted in transparency. “With Bayer’s female-dominant leadership team, there is much higher emotional intelligence represented throughout the company, which has resulted in an empathetic and transparent environment,” says Doug Schneider, EVP of operations at Bayer.
The shift in company culture starts with the Culture Club, an in-house team that oversees employee needs and promotes a healthy, balanced and enjoyable work setting. This includes hosting events and working to secure better employee benefits. “I’m a member of the Culture Club and we recently conducted an internal survey to guide our focal points and initiatives for the 2020 calendar year. In large part, employees were focused on fringe benefits, such as healthy snacks and socials, which speaks volumes to employee satisfaction with the larger company policies and procedures,” says Elizabeth Boldin Thomas, director of marketing at Bayer.
To promote growth within the company, Bayer offers in- person and video training tools, and department leads meet regularly to collaborate and improve company practices. This has led to technology improvements, restructured hiring practices and enhanced diversity throughout the company.
Bayer has a workforce with 57% women, and more than half of its leaders above the director level are women. Turnover has decreased significantly since implementing these workplace strategy changes, with only 6% turnover in 2019. “We’ve witnessed a transformation in the company’s culture,” says Schneider. “By encouraging and empowering employees to get plugged into departments outside of their typical wheelhouses, Bayer is creating a wider pool for growth and development within the company.”