Punk Rock HR Episode 120:
Gary Beckstrand is the vice president of The OC Tanner Institute. OC Tanner is a recognition company that’s focused on aligning people with their passion and their purpose. They do a tremendous amount of research on the employee in order to accomplish that goal.
I have the amazing opportunity to partner with OC Tanner during the month of August on a webinar series called the Culture Trends Tour. This is a tour that brings together HR leaders, experts, and professionals to really connect and talk about the insights from OC Tanner’s 2020 Global Culture Report. I’m excited and honored to participate in it.
We talk a little bit about this partnership in today’s episode, but mostly Gary and I talk about terms like recognition and employee experience. We discuss what these things really mean for modern leaders and the people that they support. Listen in for a really great conversation about leadership and employee experience in 2020 and beyond.
In this episode you’ll hear:
- What employee experience means to Gary.
- The six aspects of employee experience that matter most when creating a satisfying work experience.
- The 21st-century methodology of leadership.
- The expectations of employees in 2020.
- How to begin moving a company towards modern leadership.
- The role of HR in the employee experience.
WHAT DOES THE TERM EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE REALLY MEAN?
From an HR perspective, we often look through the lens of the organization. However, we must begin to understand the employee experience from their perspective and not just the organization’s perspective. The employee experience is made up of thousands of micro-experiences that we all experience from day to day. It is every email read, every conversation had, every recognition received or not received, and every interaction with leadership. It’s in that context that we leaders have to remember that our primary role is to influence and create experiences that are meaningful and put people in the best possible place to succeed.
WHICH ASPECTS OF EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE MATTER MOST WHEN TRYING TO CREATE A SATISFYING WORK EXPERIENCE?
There are six key areas that are most important to employees. They have the power to attract and connect people to one organization or another. The first is purpose: an organization’s noble cause or reason for being. The second area is the notion of opportunity. We all are looking for opportunities for growth and development, but more than the traditional job promotions or increases in pay, people are really wanting to have a voice and to do meaningful work. Thirdly, employees want to know what success looks like for their organizations and for themselves. They want to know what they need to do and what that looks like for them. The next aspect is appreciation. People want to be acknowledged for the work they do. They want to know and feel like they’re making a difference and like there’s something unique about them that contributes. Additionally, there is the aspect of well-being. Simply, well-being is working in a place where the company and leaders care about their employees. Finally, modern leadership is an important area of the employee experience.
HOW IS THE OLD WAY OF LEADERSHIP DIFFERENT FROM THE 21ST CENTURY METHODOLOGY?
Traditional leaders primarily direct, evaluate, and gatekeep. Their primary responsibility is to give direction based on experience. Traditional leaders hold back information or share on a need to know basis. However, there’s an outright rejection of this traditional leadership style right now in the workplace. Modern leaders’ primary focus is to mentor. Instead of evaluating, they’re developing. Instead of gatekeeping, they’re connecting. They still give directions, but it’s given in a way of coaching or guidance as opposed to imperatives. Modern leaders are also transparent and share information.
HOW CAN I BEGIN PULLING MY COMPANY TOWARDS MODERN LEADERSHIP?
The simple answer is recognition. Organizations need to start to build recognition and really reinforce values and business objectives. They need to move towards integrating recognition so that it becomes part of their culture. Leaders have to pay the price to really become aware and understand the value of their people, what they do, how they do it, and where they can help them get better. From there, leaders should express approval, gratitude, and appreciation. In doing so, they can start to build connections with their employees so that they can have difficult conversations in the context of acknowledging and understanding the great work their employees are doing.
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF HR IN THE EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE?
This COVID situation has exposed both our strengths and weaknesses from a cultural standpoint. It’s provided us with opportunities to think about how we address policy changes and how we approach things differently. It’s given information and incentive to HR leaders to take them over the finish line on things that they’ve been trying to influence in their organizations. We’ve also discovered the notion of valuing people and the importance of the work they do. Executive teams have had to communicate more and find ways to connect. Now is truly the time for HR to double down, champion people, and start to invest and do some things differently. HR professionals can help their leaders move from traditional to modern leaders. They now have the opportunity to step back and address some things they haven’t gotten to before.
Resources from this episode:
Global Culture Report: Our latest organizational culture research looks at current culture trends, company culture statistics, and how employees feel about their workplaces. See how companies with strong cultures recruit and attract top talent, reduce employee turnover, and become places where employees thrive.
Culture Trends Tour: The Culture Trends Tour brings together HR leaders, experts, and professionals to connect and discover insights from the 2020 Global Culture Report—the largest annual study on workplace culture. Come to learn essential best-practices for shaping thriving workplace cultures that fuel organizational success.
Influence Greatness: The most insightful conference on workplace culture is going virtual and international. With world-class speakers, a first look at the 2021 Global Culture Report, a wealth of on-demand content, and no registration fee.
Talent Magnets: White Paper on the Six Essential Aspects of Workplace Culture
The Work Place Podcast: Conversations with leaders in culture and experience, featuring tangible takeaways in every episode.
Request a Product Demo: Culture Cloud Recognition: Welcome to the most complete collection of employee recognition tools for celebrating daily wins and team triumphs.