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.

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Recent Episodes

How Employee Voices are Helping World Market Transform their Values and Culture

In today’s episode, Eric Ortega, Employee Experience Manager and Culture Coach at World Market, takes us on a journey through the company’s remarkable transformation, driven by the redefinition of their values, and how they use them to guide their culture transformation. Discover how they truly leaned into their employee feedback, navigated organizational change, and empowered their workforce to create a workplace where everyone thrives.

Eric shares both strategic and practical advice from the first moment that World Market decided to evaluate their values, all the way to how they are bringing them to life during every step of their employee journey. This episode is a must listen for all culture champions who are looking for better ways to use employee surveys as a part of their organizational strategy, especially when it comes to redefining their organizational values and using them to ignite their culture.

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The Power of Being Authentic

In this episode, we talk about embracing your true self in the workplace, featuring our special guest, Erin Coupe, founder of Authentically EC, and whose personal journey from the corporate world to self-discovery serves as a powerful testimonial to the significance of staying authentic.

Join us as we unveil Erin’s inspiring story, her strategies for self-exploration through journaling and meditation, and the profound impact that embracing your genuine self can have on your overall life satisfaction. If you’ve ever felt confined by the pressures of conforming to external expectations, this episode is a must listen.

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Redefining Workspaces for Empowered Productivity

Join Sanja Licina, PhD, and Maddie Grant as they engage in a thought-provoking conversation with Janet Pogue McLaurin, Gensler’s Global Director of Workplace Research, in this episode of Empowering Workplaces. Explore the transformative insights from Gensler’s 2023 Workplace Survey Report, uncovering the evolving needs and desires of employees in the post-pandemic era.

Discover the balance between remote work and in-person collaboration, as well as the crucial role of thoughtful office design in boosting productivity and enriching experiences.

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The Wheel of Life: Finding Balance and Fulfillment

Join host Sanja Licina, PhD, along with special guests Jasenka Šabanović Facilitator & Executive Coach Facilitator & Executive Coach at The Fast Forward Group and Guille Santana, Marketing Manager at QuestionPro for an insightful exploration of the “Wheel of Life.”

In this episode, we delve into the art of achieving work-life harmony and well-being. Discover the transformative power of assessing and nurturing the diverse facets of your life – from career and relationships to health and personal growth. As we hear stories of self-discovery and growth, you’ll gain insights into aligning your values and priorities to lead a purpose-driven life.

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How Organizations Can Help the Right Job Seekers Get Over the Imposter Syndrome

Join hosts Sanja Licina, PhD, and Maddie Grant in this enlightening episode of Empowering Workplaces as they dive deep into the world of imposter syndrome with their esteemed guest, Aoife O’Brien, founder of Happier at Work. Discover how organizations can support job seekers in overcoming imposter syndrome and unleash their true potential. Aoife shares her personal journey from the fast-moving consumer goods industry to becoming an expert on workplace culture, imposter syndrome, and podcasting. Learn how imposter syndrome affects visibility, novelty, and representation, and gain insights into recognizing and managing these challenges.

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Embracing Multiculturalism: The Evolution of Workplaces

In this thought-provoking episode of “Empowering Workplaces,” hosts Sanja Licina, PhD, and Maddie Grant engage in a fascinating conversation with the esteemed guest, Juana Bordas. As a leadership and diversity expert, author of “The Power of Latino Leadership,” and the founder of Mestiza Leadership International, Juana brings a wealth of knowledge and experiences to the discussion.

Juana shares her multicultural background as a Nicaraguan-born Spanish Indian with French and Mexican heritage. Having immigrated at a young age, she reflects on the sacrifices made by her parents to provide her with a better life, and how this experience has shaped her understanding of multicultural societies.

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The Value of In-Person Meetings: Rediscovering the Power of Face-to-Face Business

In this episode, we sit down with Kori Gorman, director of catering and events for entertainment, as we dive into the value of face-to-face meetings and the significance of building strong relationships in the corporate world.

Discover how remote work has provided a unique opportunity to glimpse into the personal lives of employees, bringing a newfound sense of authenticity and human connection to professional interactions. Kori explores the impact of creating comfortable, relaxed environments that foster organic collaboration and meaningful conversations.

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Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace

In this episode of Empowering Workplaces, we dive into the crucial topic of psychological safety with renowned experts Dr. Karolyn Helbig and Minette Norman, authors of the book “The Psychological Safety Playbook.”
With years of experience and research, our guests shed light on the importance of psychological safety and how it enables high-performing teams, fosters innovation, and cultivates a sense of inclusion and belonging. Discover practical strategies for individuals and organizations to enhance psychological safety and create safer, more empowering workplaces.
Join us as we explore what psychological safety means, how it impacts workers, and why it is gaining significant attention in today’s workplaces.

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Navigating the Future of Work

Join us in today’s episode as we venture into the intriguing world of the Future of Work, together with our special guest Al Adamsen, CEO of My Future of Work and author of the Future of Work Study. This time, we explore the profound implications of technological advancements, AI, automation, and globalization on both organizations and individuals.

Throughout our conversation, we emphasize the importance of evidence-based decision-making, effective governance, and integrated approaches within organizations. Moreover, we delve into the advocacy for a purpose-driven workplace experience that aligns individual, team, and organizational goals, all while addressing the crucial aspects of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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On location at WorkHuman: The Power of Recognition

In this episode, Maddie Grant reports from on-site in San Diego at the WorkHuman conference (“the world’s most transformative HR conference”), where she interviews Tom Libretto, President at Workhuman, Khalil Smith, Vice President, Inclusion, Diversity, and Engagement at Akamai Technologies, and Peter Church, Chief People Officer at Point32Health, about how to empower humans in the workplace and what’s top of mind for these industry experts.

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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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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