New Episodes of The Era: Fighting the Ghost of Employment Past
The employee experience in your organization doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Employees join you with expectations ranging from all-in to jaded—expectations they’ve formed from prior working experiences.
In our two latest episodes, BambooHR CEO Brad Rencher talks with Jeff Hunt, CEO of GoalSpan, and Teresa Mitrovic, Managing Partner and Founder of Oro Collective, to explore how employee experience intersects with employee identity. Listen for insights on how to account for prior experience and varied backgrounds when creating an authentically employee-first culture.
Here are some of the key takeaways from each episode.
Episode 9: How Better Culture Leads to Better Employee Experiences
Jeff Hunt, CEO at GoalSpan and host of the Human Capital Podcast, details how to create a healthy culture through impactful employee experiences—not just as items on a universal checklist, but in a holistic experience that grows with your organization.
How Outside Experiences Influence Employee Expectations
Building a high-quality customer experience provides many lessons for building a great employee experience. As Jeff notes, customers come to recognize a good experience through their daily interactions with the companies in their lives. It’s not the companies that set the standards.
Companies found this out the hard way when shifting to digital interaction with customers. Conventional wisdom said building an app would solve any customer difficulties, but even with the best app, customers still interacted with employees, whether directly or indirectly..,
Likewise, organizations don’t set the benchmarks for a good employee experience—employees set those standards themselves through all of their experiences. And like customers who’ve had bad service experiences, employees are less likely to stay with you when they’re unhappy with their positions or roles, don’t feel aligned with organizational values, or feel disconnected from their peers. They’re also less likely to provide good service.
This is especially true during the ongoing Great Resignation, which is why your employees’ connection to coworkers and your organization needs to be consistent and continuous—an ever-present culture, not a periodic checklist.
A Consistent Vision Determines Culture
It takes more than listing out a set of core values for employees to recognize culture in an organization. You need to consistently communicate your vision of your goals and how you plan to reach them together.
From the CEO and company leadership down to the lowest levels, everyone should act in accordance with the organization’s mission, vision, and values, talk about them often, and use them to drive their actions and decisions.
Listen to the full conversation with Jeff.
Episode 10: Leading a Workforce with Generational and Cultural Differences
One coaching session made all the difference for Teresa Mitrovic. After realizing the transformative power of understanding employees as humans, she took her leadership career across the world, from Hasbro to Disney, from New Zealand to London. Teresa now manages Oro Collective, the organization she created to help employers create psychologically safe workplaces and reap the benefits secure employees bring.
Helping employees of all generations and backgrounds see the value of humanity in the workplace can overcome many traditional workplace weaknesses. Brad and Teresa explore the difference that comes when leaders focus on building value and trust in their teams instead of managing output, which results in the following benefits:
- Employee engagement
- Employee development
- Improved retention
- Better outcomes in business ventures
The Challenges of Working with and Leading Diverse Teams
Teresa’s travels exposed her to many different work cultures, each with as much history as the countries they’re based in. London businesses practically shut down in August as employees go on holiday, but during other seasons of the year, staying ahead means putting in long hours. This contrasted with the more measured pace of work she observed in Australia and New Zealand. This illustrates how perception matters in performance management: an employee used to New Zealand’s working culture may be labeled unproductive if they keep the same standard of work when moving to a London-style employer.
Different generations also learn different lessons from their employment: some that promote human-centered workplaces and others that justify toxic work environments. Brad shares his experience at the beginning of his career where a senior employee in the finance company told him he was a unit of production—who he was or how he felt didn’t matter as long as he was performing.
The Role of Trust in Your Team
It’s only human to protect yourself, even if that means holding back your best efforts from your workplace. It takes time, capability, and consistency to develop trust and safety on your teams. While leaders can’t directly engineer psychological safety through mind reading, they can create a work environment with the conditions that enable it.
“Trust is people speaking up, raising concerns, committing and then following through. And from there comes performance.”
Building this trust requires more than surface-level efforts like team lunches or trust exercises. While employees may appreciate these efforts, they won’t build much trust if the reward ends with a trip back to an unchanging toxic work environment.
But with bold, sustained efforts to resolve conflict and support employees, trust can grow and pay dividends.
Listen to the full conversation with Teresa.
Whether you’re convincing jaded employees of the value of your culture or setting up trust-filled teams that span generations and cultural expectations, one thing is clear: the past is there to learn from and improve upon. Focusing on your employee experience can lead to a bright future.
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