The need for autonomy in the new workplace

Why autonomy is an essential need for employees in the wake of the great resignation

The latest COVID-19 variant has ushered in a new wave of challenges for organizations across Canada. Health and economic restraints, staff shortages, and burnout threaten employee retention. 

How can organizations create workplace cultures where employees want to come, engage, and most of all–stay?

In this webinar, Meghan Stettler, Director at the O.C. Tanner Institute, discusses why autonomy is so important to employees and top companies to fulfill this need.

Watch now to gain insight into: 

  • Key factors contributing to the great resignation 
  • How autonomy addresses an important psychological need for employees 
  • Best practices to implement to respond to the need for autonomy 
To view full transcript, please click here

Emily: [00:00:00] Hi, everyone. I'm Emily Douglas, managing editor at HRD and thank you all for joining us today. Today's webinar is brought to you by O.C. Tanner, and it will speak to the importance of autonomy and fulfilling the psychological needs of employees in the wake of the great resignation. I'm joined by Meghan Stettler, director at The O.C. Tanner Institute, who'll be presenting today's event. Now, Meghan has actually addressed over a million viewers as an award winning journalist and producer with Al Jazeera News 12 New York and network news service pioneering organization serving ABC, CBS and Fox. Meghan was also recently named to the HRD Global 100, a list of the very best and brightest industry leaders in HR. Please respond to Meghan's questions at the end of each section in the chat lO.C.ated at the right of your screen at the close of the webinar, we will have some time for Q&A. So if you do have any questions, please type them into the Q&A box. That's all for me now. Over to you, Meghan, and welcome.

Meghan: [00:01:00] Well, thank you so much for that kind introduction, Emily. It is such a pleasure to be able to join you all. And happy St Patrick's Day, everyone. I hope you have something fun planned to either do or to eat. I know my nieces had green pancakes this morning, so quite, quite a fun morning for everyone. I wanted to kick off today's presentation by telling you a little bit about O.C. Tanner. We are an employee recognition and workplace culture company that helps people thrive at work, and our research shows that one of the best ways to do that is, is to form connections of meaningful and fulfilling experiences through recognition. Our culture, cloud, software and services have allowed organizations, leaders and peers to call out the great work being done work individual service milestones or company wide celebrations and deliver those points redeemable in a world class reward store. We don't set out to win awards, but they're one of the best ways for us to keep track of our progress and to measure our success. And of course, it's gratifying to be recognized by several organizations and publications that connect to our purpose and help people thrive at work, including where we are at today. We have a lot of great clients around the world, some of the most well respected organizations, and we help them be intentional about their workplace culture at every industry and at every level. Here's just a small representation of what we've got going on in our Canadian marketplace. But we're a global organization that really services 14 million users working in more than 180 countries around the world. O.C. Tanner is also a well established thought leader, providing research insights into some of the most respected business publications in the world. And all of this is really driven by our research done for our annual Global Culture Report, which is widely cited the world over to help organizations understand what culture is, what are the current culture trends, and what employees need most to engage and to do their best work. So it's really from this report today that I will be drawing my insights from. So let's go ahead and get that discussion started, shall we? Our time today will be divided into three parts, the first being a deeper dive into the real underlying factors driving the great resignation. Then we'll talk about the specific strategies to fulfill the basic psychological needs we all have as employees, and how the best organizations are making the adjustments to transform the great resignation into the great retention. Now, I want this to be an interactive and informative dialogue where we can all share our experiences and we can learn from each other and we can succeed together. So I have a handful of prompted questions along the way. You can pop your comments and stories into the chat, though. At other times if you feel like you want to share and post, then we'll have, as Emily had mentioned, some time for questions and comments from all of you. Let's dive in. There's been a lot of commotion, a lot of hubbub around the great resignation in recent months, which is that popular phrase referring to the millions of employees who have voluntarily quit their jobs around the world since the spring of 2021. That's a long time ago. That's about a year ago, if we actually do the math. I think the widespread fragmentation and disconnection ushered in by the series of health, economic and social challenges have caused employees to rethink their entire lives. And they're really looking for a new way of work that will allow them to create meaningful and fulfilling futures for themselves. I think of all the challenges ushered in by the pandemic, the great resignation may be the most difficult to diagnose and to heal, because in fact, it is layers and layers deep. Not only are millions of people walking out the door physically, but many people are resigning in a more subtle but critical way through their everyday passion and effort. If we look at the engagement numbers that we have gathered through our annual Global Culture report, you can see here that engagement among employees in Canada has dropped drastically from 69% in 2020 to 46% today. I think Krister Ungerbock really hits it on the head with this quote, saying that companies are failing to understand the full scope of what we're calling the great resignation.

Meghan: [00:05:25] Workers aren't just quitting their jobs. Many employees disillusioned with the way their companies are mishandling the new realities of work, no longer feel able or motivated to devote themselves to their jobs the way they did before the pandemic. Call it the hidden resignation. So whether it's a physical or mental, an emotional resignation, I think Arianna Huffington also hits it on the head when she suggests that employees are quitting a culture of workism. The idea that we're defined by our work and everything else in our lives must fit into that small space that's left over. And how backwards of a thought that has been for generations and generations. The pandemic has really put our whole lives into focus. And while the health and the economic constraints, the staff shortages and burnout, it's just making it tougher than ever for organizations to just pause, to rethink and look at opportunities to transform their workplace cultures. At this moment, it's more important than ever that we lean in to these new opportunities and alongside employees, take the chance to re-evaluate, to renegotiate and reinvent a new future that allows everyone to achieve not only their best work, but their best life's work. If not, I don't think we're ever going to get to the great retention because fundamentally the employee value proposition has changed. In February, I moderated a discussion on the rise of HR with the CHRO's of Dao and O.C. Tanner. And as I talked with Karen and Mindy, they pointed out that the conversations that used to be just about pay and benefits have shifted to employees wanting whole life awareness in the forms of hybrid or remote work or opportunities to grow and meaningfully contribute, or those increased sense of belonging where they can show up as their complete selves. And it really is those organizations that can provide homes for those desires that will win the war for talent. But as we continue to listen to these terms and what employees are saying, we're noticing there might be some variations slightly, but it's all running along the same vein. What they're really asking for in flexibility, career development and belonging is actually much, much deeper. What they really want is to have their basic psychological needs be met. So as part of our annual Global Culture Report, we gather the perspectives of 40,000 people to better understand what employees needed at the core level and how the organizations around the world are making those improvements to fulfill those needs. And what we found and discovered is that we as human beings have an innate desire to satisfy three psychological needs the need for autonomy, which is freedom of choice, the need for mastery, which is to develop our unique expertise and connection, that feeling of closeness and belonging, and that as human beings we tend to channel our energy into activities and relationships that help us fulfill these fundamental desires. When you look at the work situation, when those needs are satisfied, we engage, we grow, we flourish. Our everyday employee experience is really packed with positive, emotional responses that supercharge how we feel about our organization and our personal value within that workplace. But when those needs aren't met, our employee experience is just deflated. Not only does that negatively impact how employees view their organization, but it diminishes how they view their value within that organization. And I think that's the big kicker there. You know, employees, come what may, they may not have the greatest experience or they're not really connected to the culture, but that's it. They really think that they don't have value in that organization. Their value isn't seen, it isn't recognized, it isn't noticed. And so they disengage and they leave. Doesn't this all make sense? In the wake of the great resignation, dissatisfied employees are leaving and they're searching for great workplace cultures that will give them what they need most. A sense of autonomy in the form of flexibility, personal mastery in career growth and belonging in the form of genuine connections. Because when you get all three of those rights, it actually leads to a truly, personally fulfilling employee experience where people want to join, they want to engage, and they want to do their best life work at your organization. But we have to be mindful about how we really create the infrastructure to accomplish that. As Aaron Hurst says, when pursuing an employee experience that engages workers. Companies too often make the mistake of looking only at one size fits all solutions. They vow to provide more flexibility, opportunities and an inclusive culture. And while these factors matter, they don't cover what is often the most important thing that's missing. A personal sense of fulfillment. So organizations can create policies and programs. But if they aren't connected to the truth of what employees need most, they're going to only be so successful. So if you start at the core level of the psychology needs and you build your way out from there, then the employee experience has a much better chance of being a truly fulfilling one that is amplified in the everyday experience. Or as a drama teacher once told me in high school, if you're interested in really creating some truthful impact, work from the inside out, not the outside in. So let's talk about these fundamental needs. Let's go deep and let's talk about the strategies for fulfilling them and how the best organizations are getting it right so they can stem that tide against the great and the hidden resignations. The first one up is this notion of autonomy. Autonomy is the need to experience a sense of freedom and control in making one's choices. And when that satisfied, it gives employees an increased sense of ownership. But when it's frustrated, employees are left with feelings of conflict, lack of role pressure, even resentment. And I think we've all heard these sentiments kind of play out in real time as employees have really lended their voices to the future of flexible work. But what is flexibility really right? For some, it's the ability to connect and get work done from anywhere. For others, it's working at home or at the office a couple of times a week. But none of these definitions really hit the mark of what employees really mean when they say they want flexibility. What they really want is autonomy. And within the context of flexible work, that means having the ability to be the primary decision maker of where and when they do their work. And I think this distinction of choice is really particularly important to understand, because often as leaders, we can hear the terms autonomy and flexibility. We can just kind of see our employees starting to act independently from from each other or from the organization. And that's not what we're talking about today as a psychological need. Autonomy is about acting with choice and volition, even if that means complying with the wishes of others. Right. We drive on the same side of the road. There's a green light. There's a red light. Right. There are these reasons, right, where we act with choice and volition, because we can get behind some of these policies and programs. And in fact, at work, we know that employees do best when they're given guidelines and a common framework or a policy to operate within, but with the ability to adjust and personalize according to their needs. So as you look at your policies or your cultural initiatives around flexible work, identify the nuggets of opportunities where where you can provide a unique and a tailored individual work experience that identifies the best way that your people get work accomplished. We're getting some greater insight into this. As part of our global culture study, we found that employees believe that some tasks are better suited for the office and better suited for home. Like, for instance, they prefer to do work where it's heads down, it's focus, it's creative from home, where there's minimal distractions versus at the office, where they think those times of collaboration and networking and problem solving and troubleshooting and and being informed are just better for those types of environments. So when you look at your flexible work model, really maximize those insights, right? It's not about just dividing up the days. It's about providing the best of home and the best of office for employees. With that third critical component, the secret sauce, which is autonomy leaders should really work in tandem with their people to co-create the right combination for their roles, their their preferences, and their cultural experiences that will ultimately help them stay connected, produce great work, and achieve their best life. Because, in fact, when employees have schedule and location flexibility within that common framework, we see a 77% increase in retention and a 41% increase in engagement. And I don't know about you, but I view that as dual insurance against both the great and the hidden resignation. As Daniel Pink says, control leads to compliance, autonomy leads to engagement downs design. Your Day is a great example of this. They recognize that where work gets done is secondary to how work gets done and that their people are at the heart of their business success. And so each one of them gets to co-create their most optimal work schedule with their leader according to their roles, responsibilities, and their personal preferences. Really ensuring that those flexibility plans are in alignment and inextricably linked with Dow's DEI&B initiatives to keep people connected, to keep them visible and valued, not just for the work that they do, but for who they are. I love what Alexander Doll says. He's a director of public affairs in Dubai. He said that during today's call, I was once more reminded about how I enjoy the new US. Two handsome little guys wanted to say hi to everyone on the call and it felt so normal. Business as usual. Thank you Dow. Our global focus on bringing your full self to work and design your day is not just a tick the box corporate program, it's a genuine effort to make our lives easier. I think that's when you know you've got something really successful on your hands. It doesn't feel like you're checking a box like you have to. You're genuinely changing the daily employee experience for the better, and it just feels seamless, like a breath of how it's always, always been done. In this case, by offering autonomy. If we can make people's lives easier, it has a profound impact on their well-being. I love what VMware is doing here. They're taking this to a whole new level where employees drive their own wellbeing, journey through choice and flexibility. The company provides each employee around the globe with an equitable allowance. And I say it's equitable because I've been on their website and I see all of the pricing listed per country. It's quite extraordinary the level of transparency. I love. I love seeing that they can use that allowance for what matters most to them and their families, whether that's a gym membership or a class or programs, anything that aligns with one of their pillars of well-being. But more often than not, that includes doing something fun or cool outside of the office. Pictured here are two employees in India who choose to spend their time or chose to spend their time and their allowance by taking an extended staycation. Spending time with nature in Manali, India, they say here that was full of fun and adventures, working in the daytime and going to mall road after hours for having some local snacks and then enjoying the sights during the weekends. Talk about a great initiative that just rolls all of those into one autonomy, flexibility, flexibility and wellbeing. Cracking this code has been a little bit difficult for those front line workers who are often required to be on site in order to perform their duties and responsibilities. But competitive organizations are really finding opportunities to do just that. Last November, Amazon announced the launch of Amazon Family Flex, which is a program, among other things, which gives frontline employees the ability to swap shifts, to create shifts and pick up shifts, really design their own custom schedule. And this program was a result of feedback of listening to employees and really working with them to identify the most effective ways to provide flexibility and support in managing the work life balance they had hoped to see at Amazon. Brittany says here, work life balance is something that's very important to me. Being able to choose my own schedule allows me to spend time with my daughter. A lot of people can't take their kids to school and pick them up as well. I'm able to do that every day and I love it. Kathleen Hogan at Microsoft says that flexibility can mean different things to each of us, and we recognize that there's no one size fits all solution given the variety of roles, work requirements and business needs that we have. One of the most attractive and awesome things about the future of work is that every organization is determining what works best for them, and we can't leave our employees out of that equation. We need to extend a level of grace and recognize that there really is no one size fits all solution not for the company and not for our people. And so when we look at our flexibility models and and how we design our our office and our remote time. It really is that missing puzzle piece of autonomy that's going to ensure that your program is successful moving forward and you're going to be able to engage and retain your people. So let's hear from all of you. I mentioned that I'm going to turn some time over to the chat. How are you fulfilling the need for autonomy in a flexible workplace? What have you got going on? How are you designing your days to really lean into that opportunity? I'm going to go into our chat. Awesome. Lot of great chat about St Patrick's Day. Fantastic. I know at O.C. Tanner we have something that's a little bit more structured. So we work we work from from home on Thursdays and Fridays and in the office Monday through Wednesday. But, you know, every every individual is willing to work with their worker or able to work with their leader, I should say, to come up with those options for what they need to succeed in their lives, which is made all of all of the difference. Let me scroll down. Let me scroll all the way down here. Yeah, I think this is a great one, Ethel. Setting aside time each day to focus on projects. That's what it is. We have a great there's a great company, Soft Choice in Canada, who did this during the pandemic. And I'm assuming they're continuing to do it now where they really block out hours for people to just either take some time to work heads down or, you know, do what you need personally to reboot and refocus and do what you need to to meet your wellbeing needs, which I thought was a great idea. They block off an hour in the morning and hour in the afternoon and an hour later on in the day. So so it really makes a lot of sense. Fantastic. Maria, customized flex time, trying to figure out how we identify the day we want. Everyone in the office as our team likes to see each other, however, also to manage those core hours and what makes sense. Yeah, it's those discussions of what works best for your culture, your business, and your individual needs. Exactly. Sonia setting time aside each morning to read and personally develop before I start my day. I love that that jump start right of saying, Hey, what is important to me? How do I personally grow and develop? And just carving out that time is so very important. Daniela says, We are just trying to be as flexible as possible with work schedules and allowing for flex time as well. Employees are creating their own shifts and making up time when they need to be somewhere. It's a small step, but I think that's a very, very important step. The knowing that this is a dialogue and it's about creating that whole life awareness that employees know what they need to succeed right in their lives and in their work. And if we we lean in towards that, we're going to ensure a great employee experience where people don't feel like they're they're shortchanging either work or their home life. One last one last comment here. Yeah, some people are still staying at home. I mean, it's we're still in this pandemic. Right. And so I love that. I love that says that we're we're starting our workday early and relaxed. And it's it's a good way it's a good way to lean into what people are feeling right now as the pandemic still moves on. Well, there's a lot of other great comments in this chat, and I would encourage you to to read through them and see how what you're doing aligns or differs and to make the necessary adjustments to receive that great sweet spot. I want to move on to our second psychological need, which is for mastery. And this is the need for employees to develop new skills and feel a sense of competency and command over their environment. In the same way as we're driven to really just grow and flourish in our personal lives. As employees, we have a profound underlying need to take on new challenges and to master our tasks and roles. I was talking with the VP of a global organization the other day. Employees, they're just not here to collect a paycheck anymore, right? They want to do meaningful work and they want to do it by leveraging their very personal passions, their skill sets and their talents in order to uniquely contribute in a way that only they can. And when we engage in those experiences, we satisfy this need to be visibly seen and valued for for what we do and who we are. Then we feel an increased sense of usefulness. I love that word usefulness. It's just saying all of me, my whole heart, my passions, my skill set, all being used towards something that is meaningful. And understandably, when that need for mastery is frustrated, then we experience increased feelings of ineffectiveness and even failure. Quite interesting. I've I've felt that at times during during my career where I'm saying I'm doing the job but I'm not doing the job the way I could really do the job if people if people would let me. And it's leaning in to that personalization once again, interestingly enough, and we look at what's most important to employees in a hybrid experience, being flexible isn't at the top of the list. Organizations have to offer something better to engage and retain their people stretch projects, special projects, leadership opportunities, a great environment for personal growth and development. I think the best career development opportunities signal an investment in helping people become masters of the unique way of contributing to the organization and to the world. Again, how are we letting our people bring their full selves to work and deliver meaningfully? Because the pandemic has put mortality into focus, employees not only want to stay and where and when they work, but they want to know how they can contribute and generate meaningful outcomes. They want an organization that invests just as much in their growth as they do for the companies. Growth and lack of career advancement opportunities were actually cited as the number one reason employees were considering leaving their organizations not to lean in. On the sad note. But a recent Gallup study showed that more than half of their employees surveyed, half of employees surveyed said that no one, not even their manager, had talked to them about how they were feeling in their role in the last three months before they quit. On the flip side of this, organizations that helped hybrid workers develop their careers by providing opportunities to grow in specific areas or learn new practices and skills in their current roles or work on special projects. So a 3.7 times increase in engagement, quite phenomenal. So as we look to the future of work, it's really going to require a critical shift from traditional to modern leadership. Right. The traditional one of directing, evaluating and gatekeeping. Here is your box. I will tell you, your assignments and your responsibilities do not deviate. Just show up and do your work to modern leaders who focus on coaching, developing and empowering their people to do great work, I think modern leaders clearly communicate that they have their employees best interest in mind and they put them in the best possible position to succeed in that vein of whole life awareness and full skill set awareness. And in order to capture the full scope of that opportunity, we need to ask our people two critical questions. The first is what's important to you outside of work? Arianna Huffington says, If we ask that question to our people, it's going to allow them to feel like they can show up as their whole selves and better express what's important to them. I see this as a great gateway question to how to co-create that personalized work experience that help employees succeed in all aspects of their lives. My dad has an employee and he's a he's a referee for a major collegiate sporting group. Outside of his role at my dad's company. And while my dad owns and operates a front line business where it's been difficult, I'm sure to let people off to fulfill their personal passions during COVID. He knows it's important. And so every time there's a game, Brian flies off. They all watch the game. He comes back, they they unpack the game to dissect the game. And it really is a great connection opportunity. And is this type of modern leadership that is really changed, not even changed, but really impacted how Brian shows up at work. In fact, he just got promoted to manage my dad's top store and I visited that warehouse over the weekend and it was in the best condition I have seen in a number of years. CEAT an Indian tire manufacturing company is great at this. They make it a point to support their people's projects and passions outside of work here by helping a young woman really excel in her dance projects and by forming a photography group to expand connections and skill sets. They say here that at CEAT that we understand that our employees passions are an irreplaceable driving force that makes them do better in their lives. And we'll continue to encourage it. Not many people might know this, but beyond my role at O.C. Tanner, I also act as Vice President of World Trade Association of Utah, which is a 50 year old organization with hubs all across the globe. I'm one of very few American accents that you will hear in this organization, which is truly thrilling and the reason why I love being connected. But on March 8th, we hosted our annual Women in International Business Conference, and it was a great success thanks to my leader, my team, my organization, understanding what was important to me outside of work and showing up in a big way to support that from from allowing us to use the headquarters at O.C. Tanner to food preparation to the data and the slide deck to to really having people participate in the panels and in the content as well. It was a really great it was a really great to see a company show up that meaningfully to support a project outside of work. I think this level of grace also extends to those looking to re-enter the workforce after extended career break. I'm encouraged by the sharp uptick in internships being offered by companies. These are 6 to 16 plus week paid opportunities to upskill reskill network and get hired. Melissa here in the UK is an attorney and she left the workforce for five years to take care of her three young kids and after having some struggle getting back into the workforce, she was really encouraged when she saw that the Bank of England was offering a return to law as part of their program. And she really describes the joy of finding an employer that valued her skill sets and her experience that she had gained during her career, but also recognize that her career break didn't make her any less of a lawyer. It's that shift away from workers and where your work defines your value in life to really a whole life awareness of what combination is it going to take to help you succeed 24 hours a day, not just 8 hours a day. The second question we need to ask our people is what role would you love to do, whether it exists or not? And what can I do as your manager to encourage your development in this company? Any Ted Lasso fans out there? I don't know how many subscribe to Apple TV, but it's a great, heartwarming series that really gained a lot of momentum during the pandemic because it focused on kindness and optimism in the face of criticism. Well, recently there was a story on 60 Minutes and CBS here in the United States, and they told about a story of one of their main characters who entered the show as a writer. He was a writer for the program, and as he was writing, he really connected with one of the characters. And he approached the director and said, Hey, listen, I think I can do a good job at this character. Can I send you in a screen test, an audition? And the director said, You know what? Why not? Why not send it in, send it in? And some of the the folks on the creative team were chuckling because they're like, oh, my gosh, a writer, really a writer. And they sent it in and they were just blown away. They were blown away. And he was hired. And he he knew like they all knew he was the Roy Kent that they needed for Ted Lasso. And in fact, he won an Emmy for that role last year. Sometimes we don't know what our people are truly capable of unless we ask and we genuinely provide them the opportunities to explore and support their growth and development in order to succeed. OCWEN is a great example of giving their people the autonomy to innovate and to grow into masters here. Alex says that OCWEN has provided me the exposure to learn and the flexibility to move across verticals. I don't know about you, but in my young career if I would have said to my boss, It's been great in this division, but I would love to just move over there. Oh, I don't know if I would have had the courage to do that. I didn't have the workplace culture that said, Yeah, where would you like to go? What would you like to do? I love that about OCWEN. Anyways, Alex here says that in 16 years he moved from an agent to a director and that his time has been filled with challenges that helped him develop skills both professional and interpersonal, and that he's always had the autonomy to innovate and find solutions to support their philosophy of caring in action. Such a blend of culture and autonomy gives OCWEN a distinct advantage over others. What a great way to champion mastery on the front lines at O.C. Tanner Gary Peterson, our executive vice president of supply chain and production, trains his people on a variety of roles and responsibilities so they can choose where, how and when they want to contribute. This helps against burnout and fatigue. It also helps protect them physically as well. So they don't have injuries. And this has produced highly collaborative teams that are focused on mastery and ownership. They all function like small businesses with transparent communication, with real time data, and then they all get together to really identify the best solutions and for new and to drive new outcomes. And because they're so well rounded and they understand that big picture for doing a lot of different roles, they know that on any given day they aren't just polishing, they aren't just packaging or shipping or printing. They're really creating a product that will tremendously be of value to a client and an employee on the other side of that box. Now, through this leadership style, they've been able to double efficiency and they haven't had to hire people in ten years because they are so fulfilled in their jobs. Gary Petersen says here the more we've increased team members, job skill training and improve their ability to solve problems creatively and think analytically, the more they've been able to step up and improve the business in impressive ways. Gary said It really is a blend of both the hard skills and the soft skills that can develop true leadership. Special projects that I mentioned earlier, I think are a wonderful way to help people express their passions and interests here to want to praise us for organization and her leader at Delta Airlines for champion her opportunities to to be part of the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Council. She says here that Delta has fostered an environment that supports me to take pride in who I am as a black woman, enough to make me start embracing, wearing my natural hair, to work something that I hope all black women are able to do. There are two leaders at Delta who have truly influenced who I am today, Sonia and Karla. They both have created a safe space for me to be vulnerable and transparent. They've supported my growth and they've taught me more about myself and my career than I ever expected. The people of Delta have reshaped my thought process on the possibilities of what can happen when you invest in your career. Can you just hear the inspiration and the motivation behind that story? I think it's just a mark of a phenomenal organization who understands what modern leadership is, is putting people in the best possible position to succeed in all aspects of their lives and taking their whole skill set, focus and passions and putting it towards something great. It's reshaping the possibilities of what can happen when you invest in a career that invests in you. Well, let's hear from all of you. Let's turn back to the chat again. How are you championing mastery? Right. We're at the intersection of people's passions inside and outside of work. How do we make it all work together to drive great outcomes of success and belonging? What are you all doing? Let me hear. Ooh. I love this, Tina. I ask employees when I on board them, what is their superpower or something they're passionate about and empower them to finding ways to spend 10% of their time at work working on that special thing. Those employees are motivated to work on the rest of the 90%. That may not always be as exciting to do right. I think that's such a great a great point to bring up. Sometimes it's just about doing the work right. But it also is providing that opportunity for them to stretch and grow in ways that are meaningful to them and to really lean in to their own superpowers. Because if you give them that green light, that's going to impact how they show up in the other 90% of their work. Awesome. Being allowed to take initiatives to start special projects that benefit the company and employee interests. Those special projects, I can't say enough about those. I think they're so spot on and just letting people champion that outcome. We have we have someone at O.C. Tanner who is a refugee from Bosnia. She's phenomenal. Her name is Selma and O.C. Tanner championed her for a year to go and work in the nonprofit sector sponsored by O.C. Tanner to help the incoming refugees to to Utah, to help find employment and to help find a better path forward, to assimilate into the culture and to give back into the community and to help spread their great diversity of what they're really doing here in Utah. And I think that was a great way as part of a special, a long, but a special project to really help Selma be seen and to actually add her very unique value to O.C. Tanner and to the community. Dr. Raylene We create opportunities for dialogue through performance leadership plans, many opportunities to stretch, grow and develop. It isn't just a one off question. It's something you can ask your people all the time. Are we really leveraging your passion to your skill sets? Everything you want to do. And how can we best tweak and focus, right? It's not of being inside the box, but it's how how within your role, do we have some flexibility to really lean in to your passions? Yeah. Tara Investing in career coaching skills for our people, leaders, and Kate Our team turns allowing our our team takes turns, allowing our team to share their passions and then lead the team in them over zoom like yoga, cooking, painting. It's so fun. And we really learn a lot about each other while expressing ourselves as well. So cool. I love that. I love that notion. Kate Yeah. How do we blend people's passions and help them reshape the experiences of people at work? So cool. Well, let's move on to our final section here on connection and Belonging. I apologize if I didn't if I didn't get to everyone's comment again, go in the chat and learn and interact with each other. Our last psychological need, as I mentioned, is connection. And here at O.C. Tanner, we've done a ton of work on the importance of connection, the importance of connections, especially in the wake of COVID, where I think so many challenges have unfortunately divided us on more than one front. Turns out the need to experience closeness and belonging and connection with a purpose and with other people is not just a workplace culture strategy. It's it's a basic psychological need that we have. And like the previous organisational psychologists, we found that this need is satisfied. When individuals see themselves as a member of a group and they experience a sense of community and they develop those close relationships. And when these conditions aren't met, unfortunately people feel isolation, loneliness and even alienation, right? So really leaning in to connection and belonging. And I want to point out, the connection is more than having lunch. Connection is interconnection, right? Is that true sense of belonging? It's not fitting in. It's belonging and all of your diversity and wonderfulness.

Meghan: [00:41:13] This is really been thrust center stage on discussions of flexible work, specifically as we look to solve the challenges of proximity bias. The idea that employees that are in close proximity to their leaders are seen as better workers and promoted in advance. And this proximity bias really threatens to penalize women, people of color and working caregivers the most, because those are the groups that are spending less time in the office than their peers. That's why we need to ensure a really strong two pronged strategy that we have in person and remote employees getting equal time with managers. That's different than quality time. I want to point that out. Equal time matters because you cannot achieve quality time without quantity time. Your people will never open up to you with. Quantity of time, trust will never be built. The second is we need to equally, frequently and regularly facilitate bonding experiences where everyone can participate. So the first order of business here, one of the best ways to ensure equal time with managers is through 1 to 1. And when that pandemic hit, one to ones were critical to keep connection alive and in order to create the greatest outcomes for connection in those one to ones, we need to ensure first that it's not a top down exercise that employees and managers are there to co-create. That experience is part of a shared ownership of of trust and partnership. The second area is we need to make them meaningful for both of those participants, both the leader and the employee, by using recognition and follow up and feedback.

Meghan: [00:42:51] These conversations are going to deepen over time and become more and more meaningful to one another. The third, and perhaps most importantly in my mind, is consistency. While the organizations before the pandemic could kind of coast through once a month, we need to really lean in on caring for our people and adjusting for proximity bias. So there's really a new prescriptive standard, 1 to 1 conversations every week with informal touchpoints in between. And here's why I love what Frank says. He published some years ago a op ed on the myth of quality time. And this op ed really changed my perspective of where I needed to be in my life, to have great relationships with my family. And that meant connecting frequently and being present for them, he says. There's there's simply no real substitute for for physical presence. We delude ourselves when we say otherwise, when we invoke the invoke and venerate quality time, a shopworn phrase with a debatable promise that we can plan instances of candor. But people tend not to operate on cue. We reach out for help at odd points. We bloom at unpredictable ones. The surest way to see the brightest colors or the darkest ones is to be watching and waiting and ready for them. We need to know our people. We need to be present for our people in both the predictable and the unpredictable times. If we're going to help each other chart a truly fulfilling employee experience that touches on all of these psychological needs. I love what Kristi from Client Success here says. She was she was a leader. When she first became a leader, she really leaned in to the top down experience of 1 to 1. She thought that really it was about the leader and she had the same agenda and learn quickly enough that employees were just not engaging. And and so she kind of flipped it on its head and she said, Now, my 1 to 1 time is sacred, and I allow my team to drive the agenda. After all, we should discuss what's most important to them, she says, Don't get me wrong, there are things that I will check on and check up on. But but after we tackle what they feel is most important, she said, I had an awesome 1 to 1 meeting with one of my high performing CSPs and all we could have used that time to review our book of business, to talk through the projects. We actually let the conversation flow and we spent a good portion of discussing her career growth. It was great to hear how she was thinking about her future and especially how she trusts me to share my thoughts and observations with her. She says We aligned on an interesting path and I was able to connect with her and help her introduce to more folks in the industry, which I think again helps accelerate those connections, she says. Your moral of the story remember that your team needs you. Sometimes it's to vent, sometimes it's to brainstorm, other times to plan. As long as you're providing that value to your employees, be flexible and allow the discussion to go where it needs to go. I love that. I love this notion because I want leaders everywhere to know that if your employees are venting to you, that's a great sign of trust and camaraderie. We also need to be flexible about maybe where our meetings take place. When I was growing up, my mom gave me great insight into this. She said, You know, I can probably talk to you just about anywhere, she says. But to get your brother to open up and to really talk about what he's thinking about, I need to take him for a drive. Later in my career as a journalist, I watched as a mentor of mine, took subjects fishing or bowling or riding horses wherever they felt most comfortable, while the cameras rolled and they opened up and they got to share great moments and great stories. So check out what Paula from Smart Dollars says here. She says, What are your 1 to 1 meetings look like? Mine used to look like a regular meeting in a conference room. Now they look very different and it's been a great thing. Shuffleboard, pool, darts, cornhole outdoor walks, indoor walks and more. Connect with your team, get to know them, have fun, build trust. It matters. It makes a difference. How much of a difference? Well, when 1 to 1 meetings are done, well, we see a 430% increase in the odds that an employee will be engaged. Absolutely amazing outcomes. The second area of frequency and touch point is really to lean in on those bonding experiences in order to eliminate proximity, bias and employee recognition at its core really exists to help people feel more connected to their peers, to their work, to the organization, and is even more important in flexible environments, right, to ensure that people are seeing her valued and fulfilled. Now, in order to maximize this time for connection, recognition needs to move beyond that once or twice a year transaction right to a really integrated approach, a natural response to doing great work. In short, it becomes your your way of life in your organization and culture. And research shows that the most successful companies provide the tools and the opportunities to recognize holistically by focusing on three primary areas. First, they start with encouraging efforts, and this is all about really promoting the ideas and actions that lead to progress. It's the small things. It's the steps forward, urging team members to test their boundaries. Remember, that effort always precedes achievement. And then when they do achieve right and we reward those results, we're talking about blowing through a quota, beating a prO.C.ess or a deadline.

Meghan: [00:48:22] Rewarding results shows that that people it really validates their worth and it affirms their potential in that organization. When we talk about mastery right there. Right. People didn't feel valued. They knew they didn't have any value in their organization, so they left. This helps people feel valued and it affirms their potential in the organization. Lastly, celebrating careers, which are commonly known as service awards, is about acknowledging somebody's full body of work all the steps, all the rewards, and not just their work, but their unique contributions. Right. Calling out what they've done, but also what they mean to you, your team, to the entire organization. And you can see on this cool chart that there are arrows indicating that each of these differs in flexibility and visibility and the awards given. But when you pull them all together, it provides that critical mass where people are getting that great pulse of connection often in the workplace, where they're giving their receiving their observing recognition, fostering that culture of visibility and belonging. So let's talk a little bit about each of these and their unique outcomes and benefits in in our 10 minutes remaining here. First one, BASF, great company, great global company. They use an E card system built directly into their email navigation bar and other social channels. And during the pandemic, they began encouraging managers to recognize their people for personal behaviors and characteristics like positive attitude, or using tools to keep people connected, supporting people and keeping them safe, being resourceful and creative. The list goes on and on. This really was their opportunity to ensure a Samantha Elliott says here that employees are seen, heard and valued. That is really important to understand the value that each employee is bringing to the table, both the impact that they're making on a business standpoint, as well as the character traits that contribute to the diversity and the success of those teams. What a great example when it comes to rewarding results and going above and beyond, CIBC nominates their people for awards, complete with a great certificate and a special points deposit, where employees can select an item they love from a global rewards store. I love what Darren has to say here that going above and beyond gives me purpose at work. I'm very appreciative to be working in such an inspiring, motivating and forward thinking work culture. Thank you for always being present and leading with sincerity and purpose and reaching both hearts and minds. It's the hard skills and it's the soft skills, right? Pulling off a stellar career celebration, as we know, builds loyalty to the organization and to one another. And I love Golden's modern approach to anniversaries and providing the perfect mix of merchandise and memories and symbolism to create an event that is really a career high point, right? This isn't a transaction. This is everybody coming together and saying, this is what you mean to us. Thanks for being here. At the heart of it all is their innovative yearbook that lets them crowdsource a joyful look back on all the reasons why that person belongs at the organization. Fabiano here says Celebrating my work anniversary at Golden where I'm grateful for being part of a team that never stops amazing me. In my three years, a lot has been accomplished from successfully completing complex landfill expansion approvals to working on sustainability reporting projects to leading a risk based approach to rate landfills all locally while collaborating with. Global waste teams. Soon it will be even stronger as we join forces with WSP. Here's someone early on in his career who is excited rather than vulnerable about really seeing what that next chapter in the new partnership is going to look like. What a great example. Lastly, one of the best ways as well, which I don't want to leave off the hook is is really celebrating together as a whole organization and just building that camaraderie and the belonging, celebrating on special occassions like Employee Appreciation Day that we just marked, hospital or nurse week coming up, Banking Week. And when you hit an important company milestone, just putting a simple gesture of a simple gesture of just putting your brand on an everyday item and then shipping it to employees reminded how much they're appreciated every time they use that item. Employees at TD here received a Wow awards gift box in the run up to their special award ceremony. At the end of last year. They had a mug of hot chocolate popcorn, a cozy blanket, all to wrap up in and watch these award ceremonies unfold. So talk about a great show of appreciation and connection during a very special moment of celebration for everyone. This is why all of this stuff matters. When companies celebrate together, employees are 20 times more likely to feel connected and want to stay. We've got to make that critical shift from the great resignation to the great retention. If we're going to win the war for talent, that means being very intentional about how you create those peak experiences of closeness, of belonging, of connection. So take the time to celebrate and call out the great work being done. If it's in a 1 to 1 environment, if it's in a team environment or company company wide. I know we have just about a minute here, but I'll give a minute to it. How are you building meaningful connections to foster a culture of belonging? Why don't I advance to the next slide? That would help. What are you all doing? This. I mean probably furiously typing. So as you type, let's go back to the chat in the run up in the run up to this. But I'm going to wrap up here because I want to save some time for questions and just say that we need to understand what's going on behind employees demands. Krister Ungerbock says employees are moving away from living to work as their guiding ethos, and they're embracing, working to live. They want to feel connected at work and valued by their organizations in ways that transcend salary. You've heard it before in recent articles. It isn't about salary. It's about fulfilling the fundamental needs of employees. Well, salary is a great component of that, but at a basic point, fulfilling their psychological desires for autonomy, mastery and connection. Because when all three of these basic needs are met, organizations see a 1,245% increase in grade work. What a transcendence of just showing up to get paid, of even engaging at work, to ultimately produce outcomes that are driven by a deep sense of personal fulfillment. So just a couple of key takeaways here. When implementing a hybrid model, provide autonomy within a common framework to foster development and belonging. Encourage mastery inside and outside of work. And how you connect may vary. Just make it frequent and convey your appreciation for all of the great work being done. I hope you found these insights helpful and useful, and I would encourage you to download our full global culture report and lean into that peak experiences chapter by visiting us at This Emily, I'm going to turn some moments back to you for Q&A. We've got some great things in the chat from Katie and from Tina.

Emily: [00:55:53] But yeah, we've got so we've had. Thank you so much for that. Meghan That was incredible. We've had loads of questions come through, so I'm going to try to get as many. Dr. Williams asked, Do you feel there is also a great reshuffle taking place? This would be a co-creation of experience within an organisation that may actually mitigate the great resignation and provide opportunities for culture change.

Meghan: [00:56:16] Well, what was the first part of that? My apologies, Emily. I didn't.

Emily: [00:56:20] Do you feel there is also a great reshuffle taking place?

Meghan: [00:56:23] Oh, sure. Oh, yeah, absolutely. I actually had the reshuffle as part of the top four things up there. And I actually I actually took it out. I think there absolutely is a great reshuffle. And I think people people are looking for greener pastures to move to. Right. To fulfil these psychological needs. But there's been a great reframe and reshuffle internally as well. And I think that's the opportunity to to really figure out again where your employees can be their best selves at their jobs. And I think I think we leaned into that a little bit in terms of what we were talking about with OCWEN saying, hey, I've moved across multiple verticals, right, to fulfil that need to grow and develop and contribute a meaningful ways. And that doesn't necessarily mean a through a through line with our careers. We're seeing that with younger generations right where they're contributing over here. And then they want to explore this and they want to explore that. I mean, if you look at even my my career, I went from journalism to diplomat to now workplace culture thought leader. Right? Those have been three different areas. But driving me underneath has been this personal sense of really elevating the human experience by sharing information and creating partnerships. There's a lot of ways to do that. And so understanding what drives employees can help them figure out the best ways they can contribute in an organisation. It may be within that department, it may be elsewhere.

Emily: [00:57:46] Fantastic. Thank you so much. Another question, we've noticed that individuals have different recognition preferences. How do you shape a moment to maximize connection whilst also taking into account people's preferences?

Meghan: [00:57:59] Yeah, sure. You know, some great research that we have coming out with our 2022 Global Culture report really leans in to recognition preferences, and I think it's as simple as asking people how they want to be recognised because we want to make this a peak experience for them. Not everyone loves tickertape parades. There there are people who just want to be recognised one on one or just quietly. And when that happens it can be a really great peak experience for them. The risk is visibility, right? How do we let people know that they've done a great job if they don't want to be visibly seen? I think that's on the leader to really backchannel that up and making sure that people that are in other departments and higher up in job, job responsibilities understand what that employee is contributing. So it doesn't necessarily have to be a public moment, but it is really on the leader to communicate that upward and sideways, have how that employee is really contributing.

Emily: [00:59:01] Fantastic. Thank you so much. I'm so sorry, guys. Unfortunately, that is all we have time for today. I'm sorry I didn't get to all of your questions. There were some excellent ones on there. I just want to say a massive thank you to Meghan, to O.C. Tanner, and to everybody who tuned in. Thank you so much for your excellent insights and questions. And yes, thanks, Meghan and everyone. Have a great afternoon.

Meghan: [00:59:20] Thank you, everyone. Always welcome to reach out on LinkedIn as well. If you have additional questions, happy to happy to converse with you that way as well.

Emily: [00:59:29] Thank you. Have a great afternoon, everyone. Bye.