EW-Empowering Workplaces Podcast Cover

A data-driven podcast ABOUT MAKING WORK BETTER

We are two culture experts conversing with fascinating people doing big things inside their organizations – as well as with authors, consultants, coaches and other individuals who have a story to share or really inspirational research. We always share FRESH, PRIMARY data and insights related to the topic at hand, and we discuss all kinds of topics from both the individual employee and the organizational perspective, answering big questions like: 

  • how do we make work more human and empathetic?
  • how do we build resilience in ourselves and our staff?
  • how do we TRULY attract the people we want to our organizations? 

About the podcast

Welcome to Empowering Workplaces, hosted by culture designer Maddie Grant and organizational psychologist Sanja Licina, Ph.D. If you care about making work better, as a leader or an employee – and helping yourself and others navigate the evolving nature of the business world, you are in the right place!

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Meet Our Hosts

We are two friends who created this podcast to talk to all kinds of fascinating people about how to empower BOTH employees and companies to create the kinds of human, empathetic, happy workplaces we all aspire to have.

Sanja Licina

Sanja Licina, Ph.D.

Sanja is an organizational psychologist and President of QuestionPro Workforce, where we help companies better connect with, and understand their employees, to create the absolute best culture and experience for all those who are a part of their organization.

Sanja’s goal is straightforward: to make people happier.

Find her on LinkedIn

Maddie Grant

Maddie Grant

Maddie is an expert culture designer and co-founder of a firm called PROPEL, that helps organizations design evolutionary and disruption-proof cultures that are truly loved by their employees. As well she is a digital strategist, and author.

A firm believer that the future of work will come from more human workplaces.

Find her on LinkedIn

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Building a great culture is easier than you think.

You just need to see your hidden culture patterns, and then change the ones that are holding you back.

We can help.

Recent Episodes

Embracing Change: Adapting to the Power of AI

In this episode of Empowering Workplaces, hosts Maddie Grant and Sanja Licina, PhD, sit down with Jim Frawley, bestselling author of “Adapting in Motion” and TEDx Speaker, to discuss the exciting world of AI and how individuals and organizations can adapt to the changes it brings. They delve into Jim’s insights on executive development, the impact of AI on different industries, and the need for continuous adaptation. Discover how to navigate the evolving landscape of AI and harness its potential to transform work and unleash creativity. Join the conversation and learn how to embrace change in an AI-driven world.

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Bridging the Gap Between Intent and Impact

In today’s episode, we are joined by Meisha-ann Martin, Ph.D, Senior Director of People Analytics and Research at Workhuman, to discuss a specific way leaders can demonstrate their commitment to creating an inclusive and empowering work environment. Discover the hidden patterns and biases that affect diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives and learn how people analytics can help bridge the gap between organizational intent and employee experience. Get ready for an enlightening conversation that will empower you to make a real difference in your workplace.

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A Well-Being Prescription for a Happier, Healthier, and More Resilient Workforce

In this episode of Empowering Workplaces, hosts Sanja Licina, PhD and Maddie Grant discuss the impact of managers on employee mental health with Dr. Richard Safeer, Chief Medical Director of Employee Health and Wellbeing at Johns Hopkins Medicine and author of A Cure for the Common Company. The conversation centers around the surprising data point that 69% of employees say their manager has a big impact on their mental health, which is equal to the percentage of respondents who said their spouse has a big impact.

The discussion touches on the responsibility of managers to show up for their people with empathy and compassion, and the role of organizations in equipping managers to support employee wellbeing. Dr. Safeer provides insights and tips for creating a healthy workplace culture that empowers employees and leaders to prioritize mental health and wellbeing.

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Empowering Women in Tech: Navigating Career Growth

In this episode of Empowering Workplaces, we sit down with Claudia Miller, a sought-after career coach for women in tech, to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing women in the industry. Claudia shares her personal journey of navigating the corporate world as a first-generation college graduate and how she became a successful career coach. We delve into the importance of networking, developing business skills, and leveraging them to advance your career. We also explore the data that shows women graduate with many STEM degrees but often face barriers to entering and advancing in the tech industry. Join us for an insightful conversation on how women can navigate career growth in tech and break down the barriers to success.

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Unleashing Authentic Leadership Energy

In this episode of Empowering Workplaces, healthcare executive leadership coach and bestselling author Dr. Lizette Warner joins us to discuss the importance of authenticity and energy in leadership. Dr. Warner shares her background in healthcare and leadership development, and how she came to write her book Power, Poise, and Presence: A New Approach to Authentic Leadership.

She explains the concept of biomarkers and how they can be used to identify the things that indicate a problem in leadership, and emphasizes the importance of taking care of oneself and filling one’s own energy cup to show up authentically in the workplace.
We also share an interesting data point: According to a recent QuestionPro Instant Answers Survey, 64% of people feel like they can be their authentic selves at work as a leader. However, 28% of people responded with “somewhat”, 5% said “not really”, and 4% said “not at all.” Tune in to hear Dr. Warner’s insights on how to cultivate authenticity and energy in your leadership style.

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How to See the Patterns in Your Workplace Culture That Might Be Hindering Your Growth

In this episode we chat with Jamie Notter, workplace culture expert and one of the brains behind the WorkXO Culture Assessment, which is part of QuestionPro Workforce Employee Experience Platform. Jamie shares some fascinating data about “culture patterns” that have emerged from collecting over 2m data points from hundreds of organizations.

Does your company suffer from “awkward collaboration”, “heavy agility” or “incomplete innovation”? Find out in this fascinating conversation.conversation.

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Cultivating Compassion in the Workplace – and the Unexpected Benefits

In this episode of Empowering Workplaces, we are joined by Andrea Hollingsworth, PhD, a Psychotherapist and former university Professor who works with organizational leaders to help build cultures of compassion in the workplace.

With only 30% of workers responding with self-kindness versus self-criticism when they make a mistake a work, and just a half saying their manager supports them when they are at distress, we have a ways to go to create more compassionate workplaces. During this episode we discuss the importance of compassion in the workplace and how to better instill it and cultivate it inside the workplace.

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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as a Key Retention Strategy

In this episode of Empowering Workplaces Marcus Sawyerr, CEO of EQ Community and HR tech expert joins us as we dive into the results of a joint study between QuestionPro and EQ Community where we surveyed 1,000 knowledge workers across the US to get a better understanding of their experiences with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the workplace.

With a focus our discussion on action and impact, and among other findings discuss the general lack of satisfaction among workers with current efforts to foster a diverse culture across organizations. Tune in as we explore the importance of creating a supportive and inclusive workplace culture and the impact it can have on employee satisfaction and retention.

You can find the full study here: https://www.questionpro.com/diversity-equity-inclusion-study.html

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The Importance of Hiring the Right People

In this episode of Empowering Workplaces, we have a special guest, Lou Adler, who is a renowned expert in recruitment and a top LinkedIn influencer. He will be sharing his insights on the most crucial question in hiring – “How do I hire the right people?”

Join us as Lou, who is known as the “Sherlock Holmes of recruitment,” explores the importance of hiring and the impact it has on management and success. We will also be discussing ways to avoid the common mistake of hiring too quickly, instead of taking the time to find the right fit for your organization. Don’t miss out on this valuable conversation!

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How to Empower Your People to Drive Innovation in Times of Change

In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing business environment, organizational culture and innovation are more important than ever. As the economy struggles and companies are faced with challenges, it’s crucial that we keep our focus on how the culture can remain a competitive advantage.

In this episode, we are joined by special guest Daniel Strode, Group Director of Culture & Strategy at Banco Santander and author of the book The Culture Advantage: Empowering your People to Drive Innovation. With Dan we delve into the principles that shape organizational culture and discuss how managers play a crucial role in creating a strong and positive work environment.

These are the data points that we discussed during the conversation with Dan, that we collected from 600 workers through QuestionPro surveys.

How open do you think your employer organization is to change?

Extremely open, we are frequently going through change 43%
Somewhat open, we are not always changing but it’s does happen 30%
Not very open, there is some change but it’s very rare 20%
Not at all open, I feel like we have barely changed at all 7%

How important do you think company culture is to your manager?

Extremely important 39%
Somewhat important 44%
Not very important 10%
Not at all important 8%

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Empowering Workplaces in 2023

We set out to create a podcast to help organizations have their people feel seen and heard; like they are making a difference in all parts of their life. We also shared strategies with workers directly about ways they can grow their careers, feel fulfilled and happy inside and outside of the workplace. As we shared important conversations with our guests, one word kept coming up to reflect the feeling that the discussions provoked: empowerment.

From today Work@Life podcast will be called Empowering Workplaces. We are stepping into the new year with a clear mission, and a name that we felt best reflects that mission. We want to help empower organizations to be the best places for their people, and help empower workers to be the best version of themselves.

Thank you so much to those who have been on this journey with us, we can’t wait to show you what we have planned for 2023!

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Work@Life: How to Handle Self Sabotage

How often do you wonder what is holding you back? In today’s episode, we talk about Positive Intelligence and Self Sabotage. The negative voices you may hear in your head can cause stress, and unhappiness, and get in the way of your performance and wellbeing. This is why it’s so important to understand what they are and the best way to deal with them so you can more effectively handle life’s challenges and thrive.

Join us and our special guest Darya Belsner, Business and Leadership Coach, as we talk about how she uses the saboteur assessment in her work to help people grow personally and professionally .You can discover your saboteurs and what may be holding you back by taking this assessment: https://www.positiveintelligence.com/saboteurs/

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Work@Life: Tips for Achieving Work/Life Flexibility as a Working Parent

How do you get to the many things you want to achieve, especially as a working parent? As we start to reflect on this past year and plan for the one ahead, many of us are still searching for best ways to feel fulfilled in various aspects of our lives without burning ourselves out.
While there may not be a magic answer, there are things that both employees and employers can do to make this feeling of fulfillment and flexibility a reality. In today’s episode, Jennie Dede, Director of Sales, Search and People at LinkedIn, a wife and a mom of two amazing boys, joins us to discuss how to prioritize the things that matter most in work, and life.

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Work@Life: How to Manage Communication Overload at Work

As employees, we always want to be “in the know.” And as employers, we want our workforce to have all the most important information. But, even with the best intentions, workers feel like they are either overwhelmed with information and can’t keep up, or simply are not getting the information that’s most important to them. We have so many more channels available than ever before, so what gives?
Join us with our special guest Andy Nester, Chief Marketing Officer at Firstup, for a conversation about how to effectively manage getting the right information, at the right time.

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Work@Life: Reframing How We Think About Stress

When things change in your life, it can impact your mental health and wellbeing. You may even feel out of control in situations that you didn’t expect. However, learning to navigate the way you deal with these different situations and reframe how you think about them will benefit you in ways you might have never thought.
Join us in this conversation to Dr. Deborah Gilboa, author of the book From Stressed to Resilient: The Guide to Handle More and Feel It Less to talk about how to deal with stress better and practice resilience.

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Work@Life: How Is Your Company’s Corporate Social Responsibility These Days?

In today’s episode, we are talking about ESG – environmental, social, governance – and corporate social responsibility with Keesa Schreane, author of Gambling On Green. ESG is a set of standards measuring a business’s impact on its local community, global society, and the environment. 
These issues of sustainability and ethical corporate responsibility have been important for decades, but never more than now as climate change, the environment and also underserved communities are becoming more and more top of mind for workers. Do you know if your company does anything in these areas? Find out what our data says, and listen to Keesa describe how this issue is more important than ever.

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Work@Life: Leading Confidently Without Needing to Constantly Prove Yourself

Leadership is something that seems easy and natural, from the outside, but it takes a huge amount of work to become a better leader. There’s always been this phenomenal opportunity to develop leaders, but now probably even more so.
In this episode we’re joined by Mihaela Berciu, Leadership Breakthrough Specialist, who focuses on exploring personal and professional values, understanding aspirations, removing barriers and visualizing the path to success.

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Want to get in touch?

If you have ideas about people we should have a conversation with, or maybe that’s you! Let us know! Email us at maddie@propelnow.co or sanja.licina@questionpro.com

Empowering Workplaces