Learning & Development

What We Learned From… Elevating the Employee Experience Day 1

With day 1 of HCI’s Elevating the Employee Experience completed, here’s some key takeaways we’ve learned from our speakers.


Lindsey McGregor, author of Primed to Perform and Founder of Vega and Factor.ai, discussed how to make leadership engaging again. She explained to unlock leaders’ full potential, companies should regularly assess team goals, health, and skills. In this process, she also recommends considering what motivates your employees in these three steps:

  • Play,
  • Purpose,
  • Potential,
  • Emotional pressure,
  • Economic pressure, or
  • Inertia.

The first three motivators–play, purpose, and potential, are direct motives which help improve performance. Tapping into these positive motivators, and adapting to better inspire workers, is a sign of great leadership.

Reggie Willis, Chief Diversity Officer at Ally Financial, spoke on leadership during times of social and political upheaval. He explained that HR leaders have a difficult job in balancing being a counselor to managers and being a confidant to employees.

When engaging with leaders, he recommends to:

  • Be courageous and willing to have a conversation,
  • Model the behavior you want leaders to demonstrate,
  • Be clear on your stance as a leader and comfortable with vulnerability,
  • Remember that what’s right for the organization and your personal values can be at odds,
  • Call out actions or decision that go against core values, and
  • Support your organization while creating space for people with different opinions.

To better support employees during challenging times remember that:

    • Silence isn’t acceptable as a response to social issues,
    • Create space for conversation in the moment
    • You may not have all the answers,
    • Hold a safe space for people of all backgrounds to contribute,
    • Political discussions are going to happen,Help managers and team members work through these conversations productively, and
    • Share outcomes of employee conversations

Company Culture

Dr. Trish Holiday, VP of HR at Nashville Electric Service, explained that in addition to strong leadership, company culture plays an immense role on the employee experience. She explained that corporate values need to be more than just know. They need to be incorporated into daily work and deeply integrated into company culture.

To begin infusing values into culture, leaders must attend to the “Three R’s” of the employee experience:

  • Recruiting,
  • Retention, and
  • Rewards

In the recruiting stage, leaders have an opportunity to showcase company values and culture through storytelling. Once a candidate accepts a job offer, the retention process starts. Onboarding especially is an opportunity to showcase the company’s character while showing a new worker just how much you care. And, as many leaders know, rewards go far beyond just salary–it includes benefits, learning opportunities, support, and overall culture.

Be sure to tune in next week for even more coverage on this event!

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