Meghan Stettler, who was recently recognized as one of Human Resources Director's Global 100 Leaders, is a celebrated and integral member of the World Trade Association of Utah team. With years of experience in the television and digital media world, Stettler has used her communication talents to help guide organizations through the transition to the new era of digital workplace in her role as Director at the O.C. Tanner Institute.
“When COVID-19 ramped up in the U.S. last Spring, the O.C. Tanner Institute sprang into action by producing a weekly webinar series uncovering employee sentiment on a variety of topics across a 12-week period. During this time, I became the host of the series, and presenter of global roundtable discussions to deliver information to guide leaders on the impacts of their decisions during this crucial time, including the importance of communicating frequently and transparently, valuing, and recognizing your people, and prioritizing wellbeing.”
According to Stettler, these strategic changes in the previous year have caused the role of human resource leaders to take center stage. “The global pandemic has shined a spotlight on our human resource practitioners, who have been placed in a crucial position to help organizations and their people weather this storm with culture intact. Prior to the pandemic, the role of HR was often in the context of delivering on back-office lifecycle programs - such as recruitment, onboarding, development and so on. However, they’ve become an essential thread across organizations with the power to knit together and influence an entire workplace culture and its people.”
The role of an effective human resource leader combines knowledge of the employee experience with the skills to create successful collaborations. Partnership between company departments can lead to greater success in creating an effortless employee experience.
“Studies show that the role of HR leaders will continue to expand in the months ahead to more intentionally intertwine with various departments, including IT, to ensure a cohesive, consistent and powerful employee experience.” said Stettler. “How will practitioners seize upon these moments is a question we are looking to explore this summer in a new live conversation series.”
An increasing need for human resource reforms arose with moving to an online work environment. Stettler shared her thoughts on outlining a successful work culture, particularly in the digital workplace. “Now more than ever, we need leaders who will abandon the traditional mindset of directing, evaluating and gatekeeping their people against information and resources, and instead take a more modern approach by coaching, developing, and connecting their people to purpose, accomplishment and one another.”
These methods are reported to have significant effects on workplace culture. “Our 2021 Global Culture Report reveals that when leaders succeed in all three areas, there is a 10X greater odds of having a thriving culture, 11X greater odds of having an inclusive culture, 7.5X greater odds of easily adapting to change (an especially relevant outcome during COVID),“ said Stettler.
As reported in the O.C. Tanner 2021 Global Culture Report, these efforts to build strong and diverse relationships need to be authentic and integrated down to “common micro-experiences” such as conversations, their environments, or feedback. “To achieve inclusive cultures, we need to think micro,” said Stettler, “Simultaneously working to reduce exclusionary behaviors, while fostering inclusion, making room for peak macro experiences and memorable everyday moments. “
Looking ahead, Stettler encourages building a work culture that is supportive and aligned with success. “Clearly, leaders must make the transition from doers to influencers who find ways, in context of employees’ everyday experiences, to build strong collaborative relationships and align their successes to what matters most to the organization.”
Connections to the various aspects of culture that matter most to employees, such as purpose, accomplishment and one another, have kept culture intact during an ever-evolving year of remote, hybrid and frontline work. Those organizations who are actively addressing their culture shortcomings, and working to make meaningful connections for their people, will be the winners in the year and decade ahead.