[Keynote] Beyond the Office Walls: Building a Connected and Motivated Workforce in a Changing World

[Keynote] Beyond the Office Walls: Building a Connected and Motivated Workforce in a Changing World

At Epoch’s Employee Experience Symposium, Luiz Whitney, Senior Principal of Business Communications at Workday shared valuable insights during his keynote - Beyond Office Walls: Building a Connected and Motivated Workforce in a Changing World. View the full recording here. Scroll down for notes! 👇

About Luiz

Luiz Whitney is a Senior Principal of Business Communications at Workday. Luiz has a wealth of experience in internal communications, diversity, equity, inclusion, employee experience, and more from companies including Atlassian, Zynga, and now Workday. Luiz has a proven track record of creating and executing impactful campaigns that drive alignment, collaboration, and performance across multiple geographies and functions. Luiz is passionate about empowering people and teams to achieve their full potential through effective and inclusive communication. At Workday, Luiz leverages his skills and expertise to support the company's mission of enabling customers to adapt and thrive in a changing world.

Employee Experience Trends 

The global economy loses $7.8 trillion in productivity annually due to disengaged employees (Gallup) so it’s important to understand the primary reasons driving disengagement. Companies with positive employee experience tend to see higher productivity, better customer satisfaction, and lower turnover rates. In fact, Gallup reports that organizations with strong employee experience have 25% higher profits and employee engagement can lead to a 21% increase in productivity.


In today's world, employees want a tailored experience and the ability to create meaningful connections between themselves and their companies. It's all about building a sense of community. Each employee wants to feel like their needs and preferences are recognized, which means tailoring experiences to match their individual interests.

Continuous Learning

It's important to understand that what we are doing today may not be what we'll be doing tomorrow. The business landscape is constantly evolving, with changes such as layoffs, acquisitions, and changes in leadership. To adapt to these changes, companies need to prioritize change management. This involves reskilling and upskilling employees to ensure they have the necessary skills and knowledge to thrive in the evolving workplace.

Wellbeing Initiatives

The importance of mental and physical health has become increasingly evident, especially during the pandemic. We have all experienced the impact of the pandemic in various ways, and it's crucial for companies to support their employees' well-being as they navigate the lingering after-effects. 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Programs

Creating an inclusive and diverse workplace is not only beneficial to organizational results but is also highly valued by employees. For instance, Glassdoor's events on teaching sign language have garnered significant attendance. People want to connect with others and learn something new. 

Tech in EX

Incorporating technology into Employee Experience (EX) is emerging in the workplace: 

AI-Driven Tools

  • AI chatbots for HR support
  • Personalized learning platforms to facilitate individualized skill development
  • Smart scheduling systems to automate tasks while maintaining a human EX 

Immersive Platforms

  • Virtual and augmented reality for training
  • Collaboration
  • Team-building activities

Challenges of EX Management

Managing the Employee Experience comes with its own set of challenges. Today's workforce consists of five generations, each with different life experiences and expectations. Ensuring their happiness in the workplace requires understanding and accommodating these diverse perspectives. Additionally, gaining executive buy-in for EX initiatives has become more complex, and people teams need to find effective ways to communicate the value and impact of these initiatives. It is important to stay agile and responsive to the changing work environment and evolving employee needs. 

Overcoming EX Management Challenges 

Regular employee feedback

Conducting weekly surveys with a set of rotating questions can provide valuable insights into employee engagement. Since only 22% of companies know what drives disengagement (The Predictive Index), surveys act as a snapshot of a moment in time. 

Flexible policies and programs

Flexible policies and programs are also helpful because there is no one-size-fits-all solution for EX management. Each company has its unique culture, and aligning policies and programs with this culture ensures they resonate with employees. Continuous improvement and innovation are key to creating a positive Employee Experience.

Continuous improvements and innovation

Continuous improvement and innovation can help improve the Employee Experience. Metrics don’t say anything until you create an action plan and its narrative. It's important to correlate activities with engagement and continuous improvement, by making those connections through data. 

Optimizing Hybrid Workplaces

Benefits of the Hybrid Workplace Model

  1. Improved employee engagement: Employees who spend 60-80% of their time working remotely have the highest engagement levels (Gallup)
  2. Better workplace model: Hybrid work arrangements can help employees achieve a better balance between their personal and professional lives
  3. Increased productivity: Hybrid work models can lead to a 20-25% increase in productivity (McKinsey)
  4. Attraction and retention of talent: 81% of employees reported that they would be more likely to stay with their current employer if they had the option to work in a hybrid model (FlexJobs)

Best Practices for Engaging Employees in Hybrid Workplaces

  • Consistent communication through multiple channels: Utilize various communication channels that employees already use to ensure messages reach them effectively.
  • Fostering team cohesion through internal moments of connection: Organize events and activities that bring team members together, both in-person and online, to foster a sense of belonging and teamwork.
  • Ensuring equitable access to resources and opportunities: Provide equal access to events, opportunities, and resources for both in-person and remote employees, avoiding any barriers that might hinder their participation.

Simon Sinek (2019) once said, “When people are financially invested they want a return, when people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.” We want people to create relationships and be emotionally connected to what they’re doing. Otherwise, they’re just going to want a return. 

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