[Keynote] Evolution of Workplace and Experience

[Keynote] Evolution of Workplace and Experience

To kick off Epoch’s Employee Experience Symposium, Michelle Lozzi, Senior Director of Experience at Reddit, gave a captivating keynote addressing some of the biggest challenges—and opportunities—facing our industry today. Drawing learnings from her 6+ years leading experience at the "front page of the internet," she explained how to reinvent your company's post-pandemic employee experience: by acting as a true partner to the business, making "hybrid" scale with employee empowerment, and anchoring all of your strategy on building internal community. Highlights included a walkthrough of Reddit's office onsite program "Project Atelier," creative virtual and IRL gatherings like Reddit's "Cakeday" events, and, of course, Reddit-y jokes and references Lozzi peppered in throughout. Scroll down for notes! 👇

Meet Michelle 

Michelle leads a team of 20 at Reddit who are responsible for managing employee experience across Reddit’s ~2000 employees (Snoos)! Reddit is an online community of communities - they give people a place to belong. Michelle’s team exists to build the same thing for all of their employees: to foster a sense of community and belonging every day. 

Feb 4th, 2020: Seeing the Future of Employee Experience


When Michelle and Jade (Co-Founder & CEO of Epoch)  first met in February 2020, they saw the same future. They wanted to build for what employee experience teams needed, not what people had done before. They saw endless possibilities in the sphere of employee experience. Michelle has always wanted to rebuild and try new things - while processes weren’t necessarily broken at Reddit, she knew that with her expertise and experience, she could hone in on the things that worked best for Reddit employees. Then the pandemic happened. 

So! Many! Learnings!: Employee Experience During the Pandemic

During the pandemic, Michelle and her team were walloped with lesson after lesson - turns out virtual karaoke wasn’t a huge hit. But they learned what worked, what didn’t, and how to help their employees focus on what matters most to them. They were able to turn the dial up on what virtual events meant through a co-wide summit. 

“If you’re having fun, we’re all having fun”

Intentionally misquoting Amy Poehler, Michelle talked about how everyone has seen an agenda where “fun” is a part of the onsite or meeting. She stressed that, for Employee Experience teams, the critical thing is that we all “feel it in our bones.” Employees need to feel that their Employee Experience leaders care deeply about the work they’re doing. 

As EX leaders we get to spread sheer magic: we get to make employees feel cared for And if you understand the value of what you’re doing, you get to have fun doing your job - even when it’s hard! 

Post-pandemic, Employee Experience leaders were faced with an unprecedented opportunity: to rebuild brick by brick and to redefine Employee Experience in exactly the way they’d always wanted to. True creativity, fun, balance, community, and belonging could be built - rather than reverting to the way things had always been. 

What Tactics does Reddit’s EX team use to spread magic? 

  • Michelle still meets with every single new hire - important to make sure people know the employee experience team is there for them and that they meet people directly to get a sense of who the team is 
  • Empower employees to provide feedback on their experience 
  • Understand that the job of every team member on the EX team is to make people feel at ease, to alleviate the awkward moments people might feel upon first coming to the office or even participating in an IRL or virtual event, etc. 
  • Reddit’s EX team is the group that says hi to all employees (even the ones we have not met yet), creates connection every day - even when you’re in a meeting, even when you’re frazzled

Reddit Team Mantras 

  1. We are here to create FOMO - be plugged into what your employees want so they don’t want to miss your programming 
  2. Not above stealing - none of Employee Experience is proprietary! Connect with and learn from other leaders - nothing will apply across the board, but you can take things and make them work for your organization 
  3. Nothing is too precious - you can always scrap the whole thing and rebuild if something isn’t working

Reddit’s Project Atelier 

Reddit’s ‘Project Atelier’ was Michelle’s team’s version of taking resources they already had (office spaces) and repackaging them and serving them back to their employees. Offsites became onsites, where teams would travel to different host cities and leverage the existing real estate. 

Atelier was 90% marketing campaign, and 10% office upgrades: they were able to invest in improving Reddit’s existing spaces and making sure those spaces have value and are impacting the business. 

Part of Project Atelier was creating a calendar where employees can see who is in what office, and when. Michelle’s team also created a booklet for each location, as well as one for the entire program. Our industry is evolving into semi-hospitality, and with Project Atelier, Michelle wanted to take the discomfort and mystery out of Reddit’s physical spaces. Allow people to virtually understand the ins and outs of an office or event space, so by the time they enter, they are familiar and confident.


Michelle’s team even created an entire branding package for the program - Michelle highlighted that part of her job is to think through every little aspect of a project, and make sure that every choice the team makes is creative, thoughtful and can generate a feeling or impact.

Atelier has been an enormous success - they have seen a consistent uptick in daily utilization of 20%+ week over week and their employees are acknowledging they feel more connected to their fellow employees as a result of the time in office. 

Want to join future events?

Join the Epoch Employee Experts community. An invite-only community for connecting like-minded individuals in the employee experience space. Get access to a private Slack community and event invites. This is a safe environment for meaningful conversations and connections. Apply here to be a part of future events and conversations!

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