Workplace culture and employee experience are differentiating factors in employee retention and engagement. That’s why we’ve invited one of the best in the industry to discuss this. Everyone, meet Jessica Kriegel.
We are moving into a new age of consciousness and business has to adjust accordingly
Hi Jessica, let’s start with a brief introduction. Who is Jessica Kriegel?
Jessica Kriegel is a disruptive thought leader in the area of workplace culture transformation. She has provided strategic guidance to industry leaders at Oracle, Toyota, Lockheed Martin and the Federal Reserve, to name a few. Her insights have led to the creation and implementation of intentional cultures that were directly responsible for accelerating performance. Jessica’s work with national and Fortune 100 organizations across finance, technology, real estate, and healthcare industries inspired her to develop the Culture Equation – a tested model where strategy combined with eight (8) tangible and measurable ‘Culture Dynamic Drivers’ empowers people to deliver consistent results. Jessica is also the author of “Unfairly Labeled: How Your Workplace Can Benefit from Ditching Generational Stereotypes.”
What is the role of a Chief People and Culture Office?
The Chief People and Culture Officer is the executive that has employee fulfillment as their number one objective. We work in partnership with the rest of the leadership team to create an environment in which all employees feel that can be their best selves at work. Business objectives follow when your culture is thriving.
Tell us a bit about the Culture Equation? How does one quantify culture and does that impact a change within an organization?
Culture is quantified by two key metrics:
- The business achievement of strategic objectives. You cannot have a thriving culture that is separate and apart from the strategic goals of the company. The two work in tandem feeding each other’s growth.
- Employee fulfillment. This is the extent to which each employee feels fully developed in their character and their abilities. This goes way beyond engagement. Engagement is about being focused on work. Fulfillment is looking at the whole person beyond work.
What’s your vision of the ideal company culture?
I am culture agnostic actually. I don’t think there is one ideal company culture. It entirely depends on the strategic goals. I have worked at Oracle (a Fortune 100) and Experience.com (a Series A tech start-up). These two companies are so different and what worked for one would not have worked for the other. However, both cultures were right for that time and place.
Having said that, I could tell you the kind of company culture I would prefer to work at… but that’s a personal decision that everyone should be asking themselves when making career moves. My personal opinion is not the be all end all, it just works for me.
The workforce today is more diverse and global than ever. How big of a challenge is to create an environment fit for all?
That is THE biggest challenge for business leaders right now. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) became top of mind for most business leaders in the aftermath of George Floyd. And what I noticed was that most companies leaned into the D of DEI. For a while the fastest growing position was the Diversity Officer, whose focus was on hiring and promoting a more diverse workforce. However, many people missed the mark on the I of DEI. To what extent do these employees feel included now that you have hired them and promoted them? That should be the priority today. Ultimately, diversity leaders will know they have done a good job when their job becomes obsolete. Their mission should be to make diversity, equity and inclusion such an integral part of culture that it doesn’t need to employ a champion.
Let’s talk about your book – “Unfairly Labeled: How Your Workplace Can Benefit from Ditching Generational Stereotypes” Who should read this and why? What should readers expect to get out of it?
Everyone! This book emerged from my doctoral dissertation when I was at Drexel University. I was researching the differences in generations because I wanted to become an expert in how to attract, retain, and engage millennials. Well when I finally dug into the research, I realized how baseless all these claims are! We are stereotyping entire generations. It is essentially age discrimination hiding in a generational label. And the worst part is it is totally socially acceptable. We wouldn’t read an article about how to manage Hispanic employees – but we do read the article about how to manage Millennials. Reading this book gives us a great opportunity to understand our own unconscious bias and how to overcome it. But that’s my bias ?
What is your message to business leaders reading this?
We are moving into a new age of consciousness and business has to adjust accordingly. Throughout history, companies have taken on more and more responsibility for the wellbeing of employees. It began with physical well-being (see the history of ergonomics) then evolved to take care of their emotional wellbeing (see employee engagement), after COVID we saw a spike in mental health care provided by employers and now many companies are now starting to take care of employee spiritual wellbeing (how many companies are providing access to meditation apps and lessons these days? More than you’d think.) My message to business leaders is not only is it good for business but it’s the right thing to do.
What’s next for you? Where can we see, hear or read more from you?