This is a case study that's a part of the 2021 REIT Industry ESG Report, an annual report detailing the REIT industry's environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance details in the publicly traded U.S. REIT industry. Featured case studies showcase REIT leadership and ESG innovation from a variety of sectors and serve as a practical tool for stakeholders to assess the scale and impact of the REIT industry's ESG commitments and initiatives.
To ensure continuity with existing benefits as well as expand programs and resources for the current moment, Brixmor implemented the following initiatives, among others:
- Transitioning all-staff meetings to a virtual format to maximize ongoing connectivity, with over 20 virtual forums in 10 months hosted by the CEO with timely and dynamic discussions—highly attended by an average of 88% of employees nationwide.
- Mobilizing staff to support the property management team, asking employees across different departments to volunteer to regularly visit properties near their homes to limit non-local travel, while also ensuring properties were well-maintained and tenants were appropriately supported.
- Responding to social justice movements by initiating a Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council, inviting diversity experts to engage in dialogue with employees, matching employee donations to social good organizations, and hosting book clubs to encourage team connections and dialogue.
- Providing mental health support by expanding benefits to provide no-copay counseling sessions and free access to meditation services.
- Instituting a company-wide Day of Service, closing the office for a day to allow employees to volunteer virtually or in their communities—with a focus on addressing food insecurity in the communities Brixmor serves by orchestrating food drives at properties.
- Surveying employees to gain a deeper understanding of satisfaction and engagement across levels, positions, and demographics. The organization saw a 10% improvement from prior surveys regarding Brixmor's culture of "taking action when people see opportunities or problems," and found that 99% of employees "feel proud" to work at Brixmor. The survey, completed by 97% of employees, indicated that despite the work-from-home shift, employee satisfaction and engagement was at an all-time high.
"Great real estate matters, but great people matter even more. That is not only Brixmor's first Cultural Tenet, but how our approach to COVID-19 employee support truly manifested itself. We have taken actions to ensure our stakeholders, communities, properties, and culture are equipped to thrive in the face of adversity—all while remaining true to our strategic imperatives of helping employees remain connected, feel engaged, grow personally and professionally, and stay healthy."
Carolyn Carter Singh, Executive Vice President and Chief Talent Officer
Brixmor is confident this focus on employee engagement will continue to improve its workplace, and business success, in the years ahead.
Brixmor owns and operates nearly 400 retail centers across the country—centers where retailers and communities connect and thrive.