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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Recent Episodes

The Power of Grace Notes: Showing Appreciation and Love with Andrea Driessen

We are honored to have Andrea Driessen, a renowned message strategist and TED speaker, join us. Andrea, known for her impactful TEDx talk, “The Profound Power of Gratitude and Living Eulogies,” shares her insights on grace notes—living tributes that show appreciation and love in our daily lives.

In the episode we explore how these simple yet profound acts can enhance our personal and professional relationships, fostering a culture of mattering and belonging. Tune in to discover practical tips for crafting your own grace notes and learn how such gestures can create lasting, positive ripple effects in our lives and workplaces.

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Radical Humility: Urs Koenig’s Guide to Being a Badass Leader and a Good Human

In this episode of Empowering Workplaces, we sit down with Urs Koenig, a military peacekeeping commander, ultra-endurance champion, keynote speaker, and bestselling author of Radical Humility: Be a Badass Leader and a Good Human. Urs shares his unique journey from academia and athletics to military peacekeeping and leadership coaching. He explains how his diverse experiences shaped his views on leadership, emphasizing the importance of humility, self-awareness, and building strong relationships.

Join us as Urs discusses the critical need for a human-centered leadership approach in today’s fast-paced world. He talks about the balance between being a firm, results-driven leader and maintaining genuine human connections with your team. He also provides actionable insights on the power of feedback, the role of vulnerability in leadership, and how to challenge traditional top-down management styles.

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Elevating People Analytics with Ian OKeefe

In today’s episode, we’re thrilled to welcomeIan OKeefe, Founder and CEO of ikona Analytics. With a stellar career leading people analytics teams at some of the world’s most iconic companies, such as Amazon, JPMorgan Chase, and Google, Ian brings unparalleled insights into advancing people analytics strategies.

Whether you’re new to people analytics or looking to refine your approach, this episode is packed with valuable lessons and actionable insights. We discuss the four pillars of Productizing the People Analytics Function (governance, infrastructure, methods, products), the balance between building and buying capabilities, and much more. Throughout our conversationIan Ian shares both his expert advice as well as practical examples to help you navigate and enhance your organization’s data strategies.

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Transforming Workplace Culture with Wellbeing Initiatives

If you’re interested in learning more about how employee wellbeing can drive engagement, productivity, and fulfillment in the workplace, as well as how to even better advocate for, and drive, wellbeing initiatives inside your organization, you have to tune into this episode.

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Creating Big and Sustainable Change Inside Organizations with Enrique Rubio

In today’s episode or Empowering Workplaces, our special guest Enrique Rubio, top 100 HR influencer and founder and head of global community, talks about the evolving landscape of company cultures and some of the positive changes that we have seen in recent years.

While the pandemic had a positive impact on some employee experience programs, we’re seeing some initiatives and positive changes being rolled back. How can organizations effectively continue to support programs, ones focused on wellbeing for example, even in the face of adversity?

Join us to learn more about how organizations can continue to drive positive change, even in a post-pandemic world, to continue to create more empowered workplace cultures.

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How to Create a Culture Where Employees Speak Up with Stephen (Shed) Shedletzky

Today on Empowering Workplaces we are joined by Stephen (Shed) Shedletzky, founder of Shed Inspires and the celebrated author of “Speak Up Culture.” Shed is an igniter, speaker, and master facilitator who as a part of his career trajectory had also worked on Simon Sinek’s team for over a decade.
In this episode, we talk about the importance of psychological safety in the workplace and its role as the foundation of high-performing teams. Shed shares his insights on creating environments where employees feel safe to voice their ideas, concerns, and feedback, emphasizing the transformative impact this can have on organizational culture and success.
If you want to get ideas and practical tips for how to create an environment where everyone feels valued, heard, and encouraged to contribute their best, while also feeling inspired along the way, this is a great episode to tune into.

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Why Having Trust in the Workplace Is Critical, and How We Can More Effectively Build It

In this episode of Empowering Workplaces, we talk about the importance of trust in the workplace with one of our favorite thought leaders, Dan Riley, co-founder of RADICL. We believe trust is the foundation to good relationships at work, do you agree?
If you do, this episode has found you for a reason, because we are in a bit of a crisis. Based on recent research, only about 30% of people reporting high trust work relationships, and 35% are experiencing neutral to toxic workplace dynamics. Why is this happening? We discuss research and our take about the underlying factors driving these trends.
Tune in to get some ideas for both how you can measure, and strengthen, trust across your organization.

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Tips on How to Effectively Shape Remote Work Policies

We are joined by Mine Dedekoca, Chief Happiness Officer at Happy Work Studio to talk about how organizations can better navigate the transition between remote, hybrid, and in-office models.

Mine sheds light on crucial considerations, recognizing that the shift is not merely about where we work but fundamentally about how we work. Whether your organization is currently embracing remote work or in the process of contemplating a return to the office, this episode is a must-listen.

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Powerful Ways We Can Listen to Our Employees, With Stephanie Murphy, PhD

Stephanie Murphy, PhD, has built an outstanding reputation in the field of Employee Listening by always pushing the boundaries in the ways she connects with, and listens to employees. With over a decade of experience working with large organizations, Stephanie shares her journey from analyzing employee listening data at Dell Technologies to a more recent listening project, where her approach and methodology we bet will surprise you.

Throughout the episode, Stephanie highlights the crucial realization that behind every data point of every survey lies a unique story, an individual narrative, and shares practical advice and best practices for creating employee listening programs. No matter the size of your organization, or where you are on the employee listening journey, we are certain you’ll walk away with some great learnings from our conversation with Stephanie.

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How to Build an Integrated Framework for Workforce Listening with Richard Rosenow

In this episode of Empowering Workplaces, we talk with Richard Rosenow, VP of People Analytics Strategy at One Model, who talks about the The Three Channels of Workforce Information: conversations (“what people say”), surveys (“what people say they do”) and systems (“what people do”) as a way to build a comprehensive understanding of your workforce.

During our conversation, Richard shares practical examples and strategies for harnessing the power of these channels to make informed decisions that positively impact your organization. This episode is a must listen for anyone seeking to enhance their understanding of workforce dynamics and drive success in the ever-evolving landscape of People Analytics.

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How to Show Your Worth to Fast Track Into Leadership Roles With Shelmina Abji

In today’s episode, host Sanja Licina, PhD, engages in an enlightening conversation with Shelmina Abji, a passionate advocate for empowering women and leadership growth. As the bestselling author of “Show Your Worth” and former vice president at IBM, Shelmina shares personal experiences and learnings from her own journey, highlighting intentional manager and mentor relationships as key strategies to career growth.

The episode also explores the transformative power of feedback in improving one’s leadership capabilities. Shelmina shares her experience with 360-degree assessment and the crucial lesson it taught her in delivering constructive feedback for professional growth.

Don’t miss out on the invaluable insights and career advancement advice shared in this episode.

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The Transformative Impact of Recognition on Workplace Culture

Join host Maddie Grant on Empowering Workplaces as she engages in an insightful discussion with Gallup’s global practice leader, Ed O’Boyle. Together, they explore the profound linkages between workplace culture and the art of recognition. Discover the transformative power of authentic acknowledgment, its impact on employee engagement, and how fostering a culture of recognition resonates at every organizational level. Gain actionable insights from Ed’s expertise on aligning values, culture, and recognition programs to drive meaningful outcomes in the modern workplace. Tune in to unravel the fabric of recognition’s influence on workplace dynamics and organizational success.

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Cultivating Gratitude: Elevating Workplace Culture During the Season of Giving

In this episode of Empowering Workplaces, hosts Maddie Grant and Sanja Licina engage in an insightful conversation with Zoe Peterson-Ward, Chief Customer Officer at WorkHuman. They explore the significance of the season of giving and discuss strategies to support employees during the holiday season.

Zoe shares her background, experiences, and insights on fostering recognition, rewards, and a culture of appreciation within organizations. The discussion explores the impact of recognition programs on employee engagement, the importance of tying rewards to company values, and strategies to design effective recognition initiatives.

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Cultural Evolution in the Workplace: Live at Workhuman with Ed O’Boyle

Host Maddie Grant leads a captivating conversation with Gallup’s global practice leader, Ed O’Boyle, unveiling the transformative dynamics of modern workplace cultures. Explore data-driven strategies and intentional approaches that redefine the landscape of hybrid work environments and employee fulfillment.

Gain exclusive insights into the pivotal role of intentionality in shaping thriving professional ecosystems, and discover how organizations can revolutionize their culture for sustainable success in this special episode recorded at Workhuman LIVE in San Diego.

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How to Find the Path to Self-Compassion if You’re Struggling With Perfectionism

Join hosts Sanja Licina, PhD, and Maddie Grant in an eye-opening conversation with Jordana Confino, a certified professional coach and positive psychology professor, on the risks of perfectionism. Jordana, founder of JC Coaching & Consulting, shares her personal journey of breaking free from the shackles of perfectionism, revealing insights and actionable strategies.

In this episode, Jordana examines into the misconceptions surrounding perfectionism. She distinguishes between healthy drive and the relentless pursuit of unrealistic standards driven by fear. Drawing from her own experiences as a lawyer, she identifies the negative impact of perfectionism on mental health, wellbeing, and overall success.

Don’t miss out on this fantastic episode!

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Thinking Differently About Prioritization in the Workplace and Beyond

Join us on Empowering Workplaces as we explore a fresh perspective on the art of prioritization with Deena Kara Shaffer, PhD, owner of Awakened Learning and author of the book Feel Good Learning. In today’s episode, we talk about innovative approaches to managing urgency, value, and meaningful choices in the workplace and beyond.
Dr. Shaffer’s insights will challenge your preconceptions and provide you with the tools needed to navigate life’s complexities. Whether you’re a professional striving to optimize your time or a parent committed to supporting your child’s growth, we’re sure this episode will be a source of invaluable wisdom for you.

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The Role of Spirituality in the Workplace

In today’s episode, our guest Kris Boesch, Founder and CEO of Choose People and Spirited Leadership, keynote speaker, and advocate for transforming workplace culture leads us on a captivating journey as we delve into the realm of spirituality in the workplace.

Join us as we uncover the impact of integrating spirituality into our professional lives, fostering inclusivity, and redefining how we connect with our work and colleagues. Don’t miss this conversation with a true enthusiast for creating empowered and harmonious workplaces.

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How to Better Spend Your Time to Experience More Joy

In this episode of Empowering Workplaces, hosts Sanja Licina, PhD, and Maddie Grant welcome Cassie Holmes, a professor at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management and author of the best-selling book “Happier Hour: How to Beat Distraction, Expand Your Time, and Focus on What Matters Most.”

This episode might just transform the way you think about time and happiness in your professional and personal life. Discover the surprising findings from Cassie’s research, including the relationship between discretionary time and happiness, the power of turning routines into rituals, and the importance of savoring everyday moments. You’ll leave this episode with practical insights to invest your time more wisely and find joy in the ordinary.

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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 sanja.licina@questionpro.com

Empowering Workplaces