The Evolution of Creating Better Workplace Experiences

Hosted by

Mervyn Dinnen

Analyst, Author, Commentator & Influencer

About this episode

The Evolution of Creating Better Workplace Experiences

Host: Mervyn Dinnen

Guest: Nick Holmes, VP of Employee Experience at Avalere Health

In this episode Mervyn Dinnen talks to Nick Holmes, VP of Employee Experience at Avalere Health, and recently named one of the 10 most influential thinkers in HR Technology by CIO Business World magazine.

During the conversation they cover:

  • Creating meaningful and remarkable work experiences
  • The importance of addressing wellbeing in the workplace
  • Taking a scientific approach to employee health
  • Using data driven insights to revolutionise employee wellbeing
  • Gathering and acting on employee feedback to improve the ‘moments that matter’
  • Adopting long term initiatives to drive continuous improvement



Thanks for listening! Remember to subscribe to all of the HR Happy Hour Media Network shows on your favorite podcast app!

Transcript follows:

Mervyn Dinnen 0:18
Hello and welcome to the HR Means Business podcast, which is part of the HR Happy Hour Network. I’m your host Mervyn Dinnen. Today I’m inviting back onto the show, as somebody who’s a friend and confidant, as well as an influential thinker, Nick Holmes, we spoke about 15-16 months ago about the concept of employee experience. And I recently traveled to Amsterdam for the HR Technology Conference and Expo Europe, with Nick and we had a fireside chat about where workplace experience and employee experience is now and what the future holds. And we’re going to kind of almost recapture some of the things we said there on today’s podcast. Nick, is VP of employee experience at Avalere Health, and has just been named as one of the 10 most influential HR technology thinkers by CIO, Business World Magazine. So Nick, congratulations on that. And would you like to introduce yourself and tell people a little bit about your role and what it is you do?

Nick Holmes 1:20
Fabulous Mervyn. Thank you for having me back. And obviously, I didn’t offend last time. So thank you for the invitation. Lovely to connect again. Thank you for having me. So, yeah, so I do a few things. I wear a number of different hats, which I think is you know, the variety of life is what makes it exciting. So my first that is that Avila health run organization who tries to make the world healthier, by doing marketing consulting advisory services for the healthcare industry. And with them, I look after how people think and feel at work in in the workplace. So I look after the entirety of the employee experience, from the moment you hear about Avila health, all the way through through your first day to your physical office to your learning, your development, your engagement, your culture, your comms and everything in between. My second hat is I am what we call an experienced architect with an organization called Unthink, and I’m thinking connect the dots between people learning and experiences. Thanks. Thanks for having me. Again, looking forward to chatting a little bit more.

Mervyn Dinnen 2:18
No, it’s great, Nick, there’s a lot you do. From people who maybe didn’t hear our first conversation and weren’t in Amsterdam? What what is the purpose of career experience? How is it different to obviously, we talk a lot about employee experience and Tech experience and the world the world of work is full of experiences. But in terms of career experience, how would you define it? And and how does it I suppose manifest itself within organizations?

Nick Holmes 2:46
It’s great question, I think zooming out slightly. So when I first joined Avalere Health, the role that was set out was more of a traditional sort of learning, development professional development role. And the way that I sort of saw the landscape of where we need to take learning in particular at that point, and that moment was actually away from just this singular box of training or learning. The people function as a whole just generally needs to evolve, and there’s a space for it. So we coined and we built the word career experience, because ultimately, we wanted to enhance the way you think and feel at work. And a career is not just about what you learn in a moment, a career is about the technology you involve you you get absorbed into from your day one your career is how your your leader your manager speaks to you is how the exec team prioritize your wellness, its diversity, its inclusion, it’s everything in between. So the idea of creating a career as an experience, and we know that we value experiences as humans more than we value material things. And the more experiences we can provide people in moments that matter to them, the more likely they are to show up to be engaged to stay and not just stay, but stay loyal and tell people about how great they are experiencing their world around them. And that’s what where we sort of found a niche and where we needed to drive this concept or offer across the entire people, organization or community globally, really, is how do we then create these wonderful moments that matter for people and human beings and all organizations. So they feel more part of something bigger than ourselves, they feel engaged, they feel they can make a difference to traditional roles, titles and responsibilities are not just where we are not meeting the needs and demands of where we need to go. What got us here isn’t what’s going to get us there. Right. So evolution is necessary.

Mervyn Dinnen 4:30
Okay. Are there any specific organizational challenges that you would say, Career Experience addresses? I mean, people listening to this, are there situations, maybe in their organizations that they think oh, actually, you know, I need to take note of this because this is something that we could possibly adopt and adapt?

Nick Holmes 4:48
I think if you look at look at the talent, the macro talent environment over the last two and a half, three years, we went through this breaking out of COVID. We went into this sort of big, great recession where people were leaving style worries are being offered 20 plus percent more people hopping left, right and center and it was a good boy market for candidates recruiters were the ones that hot the hottest job in the world was being a recruiter. You fast forward to today, the market is a completely different world you’re living in people can’t afford to move jobs. And when they’re getting offered jobs, it’s at less than what they’re on now, or very little increase. So the risk is great. So what’s happening with this, when people are disengaged within organizations, they aren’t doing what they used to do, which is leave and go to another business, right? Because you don’t want people who’s staying and disengaged. But what’s happening is people are staying and they’re staying pissed off. And if you create an environment where you are okay, keeping people who are staying, I’m staying pissed off, and you have enough of those all of a sudden, you’ve got organizational detractors, and they are not going to be the human beings, they’re going to help you drive your own innovate your business forward. So what we have to do is rethink their experience to turn them from detractors into your positive driving force in the organization create engagement, out of the disengaged, if you can do that, you’re creating an environment where people can flourish and get better at what they do, and drive your business forward. So the idea of experiences is actually to take is not just a golf, this is a huge concept, you know, the employee lifecycle is vast, from the moment from attraction all the way through to our alumni retire, what do we do? So you got to focus on the moments that matter for your people, you got to start with a really good place, which is data as your foundation to understand how your people are thinking and feeling at the points of the lifecycle, you got to then understand what your business is on this planet to do. And you got to focus on what was going to impact people in the long term. So for the future of work, and then using those three principles, you can sort of design interventions and initiatives that are going to create experiences that matter for people.

Mervyn Dinnen 6:39
Now, how does this integrate, I suppose with general HR operations, so the role you do for example, what’s your relationship? I suppose we traditional HR teams, where’s the overlap? Where do you partner? I you looking at things that they’re not looking at? How does it work?

Nick Holmes 6:56
Yeah, what we do is we put we then partner with critical parts of the business like business partnering and operations, right, and HR ops, the operations piece, then obviously looks after the data and the intelligence of the people, people data and how we then flow information through the organization, how we pay people, the benefits, etc. The partnering is how things get done within each capability. So we’re all the organization of Avalere Health is set up through multiple pillars, right. And then partnering happens on each one of those. And you need a relationship with your partners to say, look together, we see a gap, we’re going to innovate and create an experience. But we need your help to make this real on the ground. Otherwise, what happens is, you have this organizational disconnect where centrally, we’re saying we want to be the organization for wellbeing, everyone is going to take an hour out of their day on Tuesdays and do yoga example, right? But then one, okay, but he’s going, we can’t choose those up. Because it’s there, we have our stand ups, we have a client deadline, we’ve got a pitch, this is nonsense, and you’re you’re now becoming a distraction. So you’ve got to be able to partner well with your VPS and the operations team. But the experience function essentially will then craft all of the moments that matter along the employee lifecycle, to then partner embed them with the BPS in their teams and in their capabilities or functions. So it’s lockstep and actually, it’s a different way for the partners to be thinking depends on the the maturity of your organization. But partnering, the mindset of partnering has to actually be strategic. We talked about this in HR, a lot of the business partner function is strategic. It’s not being strategic at the moment in our current shape and form.

Nick Holmes 8:30
So it needs to take a step up and go right how do I really challenge my stakeholders? How do I coach properly, and elevate, and then you need to build out your intelligence hub, or your operations hub. So er flows through that it’s better self service for leaders and managers, so they can deal with er issues rather than having to escalate everything that takes time, compliance and legal have more step in when the stuff gets a little bit hot and heavy. So it’s just about rethinking all of the relationships we have in people. Because if you look at any other function within an organization, no one or no other function has vast responsibilities as HR currently does. Think about everything that happens in a workforce. HR is responsible for so much. It’s so broad, there’s so much variety in Rob, sales, marketing operations, no role, or no function is as extended as what we do. That means we have to really rethink around what we’re going to prioritize what roles we need to drive the future. What is the innovation going to look like in our space, and one of the issues we’ve got as a function, and it’s happened the last three years is we wait for disruption to happen to HR, we don’t disrupt and so we need more disruptors and the way you get more disruptive pretty I’m going down a slight rabbit hole here. So apologies but the way that the way we the way we get more disruptive in our function is by having more diversity in our roles and people who are coming to a close at the minute. Unfortunately in a certain sense we’ve got people who are going from HR advisor into HR business partner into HR director into CPA there’s not enough diversity. We need more marketers we need more sales folks, we need what IT tech engineers pivoting into a role. And people, we need to be better at attracting those humans. So we can then start innovating in our space rather than waiting for disruption to happen to us.

Mervyn Dinnen 10:13
Listeners who have not heard Nick before, now probably picked up how passionate you are about this topic. And one of the things as well, we’ve discussed a lot in the past is around wellbeing, because I think that the concept of employee wellbeing is pretty much top of mind everywhere. And it’s one of the areas which career experience obviously can help support. But what you’re talking about, which is this almost holistic overview of everything that HR needs to have that how does career experience and what we’re talking about that it really impact and promote employee well being. And that’s, that’s not just mental, physical, that can be intellectual, it can be financial, all those areas.

Nick Holmes 10:57
One of the mindsets you need to switch into when you want to come experience lead in your people to is you step in when change is needed. And I think this is this is one of the things you have to be brave and have candor to say like we’re not doing well. And as well, the experience function needs to own that and step into it or partner with the right people and bring them in. But the creativity should come from this function to help solve solutions and learn from mistakes or help partner with the other pieces. So it’s really interesting, I was looking, I’ve been looking into this a lot more recently. So my first cap Avalere Health obviously, the purpose on the planet is to make the world healthier. How do you do that if your workforce isn’t healthy, and actually, it’s like zooming out. So I made a bit of a quip earlier around like yoga Tuesday’s the answer around experiences and how you craft experiences to drive and promote wellness isn’t layering more things on top of people, and taking more time away from people, we have to fundamentally understand why and where burnout happens and where what is causing the extended levels of cortisol in people’s brains. And it all comes back down to rewiring, how you’re working. And also making a bit more of a balance with how you’re living there, too. They’re interconnected. You can’t have one part of your life in complete wonder, like work and your personal life absolutely gutter and then be expected not to have symptoms of burnout at work, right. And so when we talk about that holistic experience, and how you start to rewire, and and re engineer organizations to focus on wellness, you have to focus on the human being as a whole. And when you do that, you need to then understand and actually start peeling back the onion of how wellness happened in our bodies, and then go out and create an environment at work for people to set people up for as much success as possible in their professional lives. And we don’t talk enough about in our workplaces around the chemical reaction, what happens in our bodies, we don’t talk enough about cortisol or serotonin or dopamine, and how we can give people more dopamine or more serotonin to fight off extended levels of cortisol, which is our stress hormone.

Nick Holmes 12:54
We don’t talk about sleep enough in our workplace, how do we get people self assess from their sleep? How do we give them the right education on nutrition and health and fitness, and not just saying we’re gonna go on a 2000 step challenge on Tuesday. It’s educating people and giving them this information so they can see it for themselves, rather than layering more stuff on people if we want. And that goes into everything from the way we meet in organizations, like purging 50% of our meetings tomorrow, we need to do this because there is no health benefit to constantly being online, on zooms, getting people together for purpose for moments releasing that stress piece of the hormone saying we’re mandating you back five days a week, you know, it’s about giving people a choice, but educating them on the risks and what happens. So it’s a big piece of the pie we’re talking about here. Some of the fix I’ve spoken about before is actually bringing in a lot more a specialist, a specialist skill set in our people teams to focus on health of the workforce. And I’m not talking about occupational health where after four weeks you go into your occupational health therapists, because you’ve got a migraine, what I’m talking about is you actually understand how your workforce is interacting with your tech your systems, how online they are, how they’re feeling, what what is what are they firing off, neurologically? How can we embed learning into managers and leaders so they spot the signs of these things early. And tech isn’t isn’t helping. The tech is increasing stress circles at the minute not relieving stress circles because we’ve got applications for everything we’re always on. We’re always scrolling. And I think what’s interesting, and I spoke about this in a recent article is the evolution of health tech for workers in the workforce needs to get needs to get going a little bit more. We have a lot of reactionary tech, right, which is you’re burnt out here’s a resource, here’s a toolkit, here’s a guide, here’s EAP. What we’re not getting better at is tracking and understanding the science which AI can do have, I’ve noticed that I’ve been sleeping badly for a couple of weeks, you’re probably 60% more likely to suffer burnout in the next six months, if that’s the case. So it’s that holistic, you’ve got it we’ve got to ask better questions and experiences to understand what wellness means for our people. that sort of makes sense.

Mervyn Dinnen 15:03
It makes sense. It’s, it’s taking me off an interesting tangent thinking wise in that. You raise an interesting point there, Nick, because we’re talking about things like you know how long people have slept and things like that. This isn’t really information historically that I would have offered up, I would expect a manager or leader to be asking me I might, you know, if I’ve got something on my mind, I’m not sleeping. Well, I might mention it over a coffee to a colleague, who might say look a bit tired today. But it’s kind of it would be almost intrusive. If, you know, one of my managers or leaders was asking me how many hours I slept last night? Was it a good sleep? Was I awake during the night? It would seem I suppose a bit personally intrusive. So where is the line between I suppose gathering some of this information and data you’ve just been talking about to help make things healthier and better? And how can organizations I suppose managers in particular, approach this without making it too intrusive and personal?

Nick Holmes 16:02
It’s a great question. I mean, we live in a data age, don’t we? I think a lot of people have sleep data, if they take that, for example, already on their watches, their phones, the smart applications. I think, as we’re talking about this, how we bring work and life together. It’s the conversations have, it’s really articulating the why we need this and why we can help. And rather than saying, you know, I need to know moment, like you tell me how long you slept last night, it’s going like, are you getting enough sleep. And it’s an education around the conversation to say, This is why we as an organization are actually focusing hard on sleep, nutrition and exercise because we know the science behind it, and you’ve got people who will go, I’m absolutely fine. I work four hours of sleep, and that’s fine. But we’ve got a duty of care has an employer to step in and say we need you know, we need people to feel their best. How do you get someone to feel their best we know the science behind just by losing, you know, sleeping five hours can take years off your life. And so we want you to live longer, so you can have more experiences and be around for the people you care about. As an employer, we kind of wash our hands with that duty of care. And it amazes me, across our organizations and UK globally, how little responsibility, employers are actually placing on the due diligence and the care of their human. And this changed for about six months in 2020, where all of a sudden, the only thing we gave a shit about was our people’s health. And then guess what happened? Engagement skyrocketed. We were the most engaged we’ve ever been through the pandemic because people cared about something other than the tasks that we were hired to do. We cared about our people as humans, and we flexed our needs of our business to meet their needs and the needs of our customer. At the exact same time, we innovated people enjoyed that they felt they were going through something together. Now what’s happened due to a shaky economic climate, we’ve gone I have no idea what I need to do. I’m holding withdrawing investment.

Nick Holmes 17:53
We’re going to slow down on this, we’re going to start putting in more rules. And guess what rules don’t drive innovation, less rules do. So it’s about understanding what matters in the workplace in terms of health wise, and then coaching the conversations and articulating that to the team, just saying that we understand that in order for us to be the best version ourselves and serve our customer or client the best way. We need you to love what you do. How do we help you do that? Well, you need physical wellness, you need financial wellness, you need security around that you need learning and growth. How do we do that? Let’s create experiences to give you that and one of those experiences will be we need to understand and how do we get more of the good stuff in you in terms of chemical reaction for your bodies. And that’s like we’ve got to be open about talking about that. We’re very open saying and we’ve got an why this is now is CIPD recently released some data on those either ons CRPD. Essentially, we have the most long term set we’ve ever had 60% of these long term sick cases in the UK are down to mental health. How you know, the answer of that isn’t, you know, stopping GPS prescribing things to people of the arts that is fixed the way that we’re interacting with people before it gets to that point. It’s not so it stems into you know, we’ll take a march on Parliament soon. But it’s extends into everything that we’re doing, you know, that are costing the economy billions if the workforce and the workplace we will lead our workplaces actually reevaluated how we’re looking after our people. And it’s not to say we let everyone it’s not it’s not about saying anyone do whatever you want is accountability in growth, but it’s just about redesigning what we’re doing and how we’re talking about.

Mervyn Dinnen 19:25
And one of those things is to put meaning back into work, which is something you and I have discussed a few times. And there’s a couple of things that I want to talk, talk to you or get your view on. One is about I suppose improving the way people think and feel in key moments in their lives as well as their working lives. And I think that the designing of work you you you have an expression that I like to use as well about redesigning our physical workspaces to be magnets and not mandates and designing work to boost experience engagement connection. So how, looking at as percentage, I suppose some practical things that people listening to this could be doing to help improve these things in their organizations? How would you start?

Nick Holmes 20:14
Just to piggyback off of that, like, how do you create a workplace that people are drawn to not running, wanting to run away from, which is the magnet piece, I also think is worth noting that don’t forget, in work currently, as we’re standing is mostly forgettable. Right? Most of the things we do are quiet and entirely forgettable. It’s very occasionally remarkable. And what we need to do is focus on more remarkable moments for people. And the way you can start doing that is yes, imagination, creative thinking designed with this, the very first point is understand what’s happening in your workforce now. So use get your hands on any and every piece of information that you can grab, whether that’s engagement, survey, data, listening, understanding. And once you understand how people are experiencing work, and we talk about that through a very simple like belonging workshop, right, so you get a different demographic of human beings together in the room. And you say, this is your employee journey. Typically, you heard about the business, you joined the business, you had an onboarding experience, then you’re off into the wild, and you might have been promoted, you might be a manager. Tell me about that. What did you experience? What was forgettable? And what was interesting, what can we do more of collect this information, and then just go start acting on it? Right, and you don’t have to go too big. We’ve read, redesigned action planning and Avila health. So when we get information, and we do our listening exercises, and data two or three times a year, we have what we called the big thing. That was the big thing that people were gonna go I remember that this year, that was so good. The big thing, and then you have the quick wins are things that people don’t understand, or don’t obviously, necessarily remember, but but they make the difference. It’s the drumbeats. Not the lightning bolts that make your culture and then what’s more, the long term stuff that’s gonna make this because you’re gonna nail it based on what they wanted. Right? So it’s about understanding that moment, and then all of it layers into your business, though. So like I said, at the beginning, there’s three principles, no matter what you do want to hit them. One is the employee voice, there’s no point doing something if your people don’t need it, or want it.

Nick Holmes 22:09
The second piece is your organizational purpose. Where is it your business trying to go? What good is it doing in the world? really bring that back into the meaning of what you’re trying to achieve? The final thing is, is it gonna stay a stand the test of time, next three years? Is it going to work? Right? Looking ahead into your crystal ball, macro climate changes, the world gets shaky, is that still going to be here? Or is that going to get dropped off? So you’ve got to design your initiatives around those three principles. The next piece is to be really open and honest and transparent about what is and isn’t working, and then start to adjust your behaviors as an organization, your language we talk about, instead of saying, What’s wrong, ask yourself what’s missing. It’s such a such a better drug growth driving conversation, rather than saying this is what’s wrong with onboarding, is that what’s missing? And what would add that extra value, and then be purposeful, you can’t do everything. So you got to really prioritize, like you said, What’s the big thing? What are you going to nail this year and just nail it, we have such an issue globally, we’re starting things that never get finished that drain time, energy and resources that you just need to put in the bit. Right? So it’s just about doing that thing, nailing that thing, and then building and doing the next thing. And you can’t get there without discipline. Because it’s consistency. It’s showing up every day with this mindset. Otherwise, you know, it’s just a flash in the pan, a lightning bolt.

Mervyn Dinnen 23:28
As energetic and passionate, as always, Nick, and hopefully everybody listening is copiously making notes about how they can change their workplaces. Because the one thing, the one the two letters that rule the world at the moment when we talk about the world of work letters I in a but not in that order. And you and I had a big discussion, obviously in Amsterdam, as well about how AI Artificial Intelligence is going to kind of I suppose shape the workplace, how it’s going to impact, particularly career experience. Is it going to be a drain? Is it going to be a boost? It What do you what’s, what’s your view? I mean, I’ve discussed it with you, obviously. But in terms for listeners, you know, some of the things that we were talking about is the impact of AI on our people, you know, is it going to be drained engagement? Is it you know, are we going to get efficiency and performance over experiences and meaning? Is it going to take the joy out? Or is it going to actually automate things people really enjoy doing? The AI might be able to do quicker, but it’s, it’s the things that people actually enjoy doing at work. So what do you think? And do you think AI is going to somehow almost kill some creativity in the workplace as well, too much reliance on it. What’s what’s your take?

Nick Holmes 24:40
Great question. I come at this with a nuanced either the left or the right side. I think that, you know, we will need to make sure that we approach the question of technology on the workplace with a balanced argument. You’ve got half the world are saying this is you know, look at all the things that 4.0 can do. Look at how Google is adapting this and we’re moving through the workplace are going to change and transform, you zoom out a sec. And the reality is only one in 10 in our workforce is using AI in their work today, that will change. Of course, it will evolve as the technology ramps up as we move into this new industry, the new and the next workplace revolution, technology and AI, I think we have to be careful around how we position and how we make sure this is really going to elevate the lives of our people. You mentioned that before. It’s like, how is it going to speed up the stuff we don’t want to do? How does it give us time back to do the things we love to do? And is it going to do that one of the things we’ve got at the minute is AI taking away sort of some task understanding elevating data quicker, which helps but it does remove some of the some of the things that drives people is what we know chemically, dopamine, right, we go back to this point. So you get a hit of dopamine every time you get a like, or you complete an email, or you take that thing off your to do list. If we’ve got AI taking all of the dopamine away from some of the tasks that get us through that, I just want to make sure that people have enough tasks and things that they’re ticking off that it’s adding value, where they’re able to still be that human element, and they’re getting their hits of dopamine at the same time. I mean, personally, I use AI every day. It’s a springboard for creativity.

Nick Holmes 26:14
It’s not the answer to creativity is a good jumping off point. But the problem you’ve got now is the inauthenticity of communications in organizations and the distrust that is brought, which is true, like our organizational trust is dipping and declining, not increasing. And one of the reasons is that email I got from my leader, did he write that? Did she write that? Did that come from AI? And the challenge you’ve got then is the lack of effort we’re then putting into what people think, sometimes easier isn’t better. Sometimes people need to know you put effort in and thought into something and you’ve gone the extra mile. Otherwise, everything becomes a bit soulless. Yeah, great. I can translate these language. And that’s brilliant. And that is more inclusive. And that’s amazing way that I can get communication messages out to global that I’ve got a Spanish workforce, I don’t speak Spanish. And now translation makes sense with AI. But if I’m communicating to my team, and all I’m using is AI chatbots across my comms for me, people will see through that immediately. And they know it’s not human. And we connect with that human feel. So yes, AI is going to help advance us in a lot of ways. And like I said before, I think in health tech, it’s got a way to go, we should be pushing that agenda hard. And exploring all the possibilities with that. But people still love getting posed is my metaphor, right? Like we still have things in hands, we kind of drowned and we’re a bit tired already of online tools. And it’s not giving us those wow moments. The problem we have is with that continuous use of AR and technology in the workplace, unless it’s simple and clarity and provides you amazing user experience, more and more is going to get into the mostly forgettable and less and less is going to come into remarkable so we just have to be really purposeful with how do we use it to build remarkable moments, and use it to get time back in our lives, to use it spot patterns and data trends to make us live and work healthier. So we can be around longer and make more memorable moments for our people.

Mervyn Dinnen 28:12
And you’re bringing me back for my final question. To the point of especially humanity one of the things that I’m asking people and looking at this year a lot is is kind of the humanity the putting the humanity in human resources. And when we talk you know we talk about the future of work and we talk about you know, hyper personalization hyper healthy hyper connected hyper human. Where’s the humanity you know, the the experiences the feelings we give people for like, you would just say a milestone moments work achievements, personal anniversaries, birthdays, that kind of thing. What is it now? Is it is it going to be kind of you know, a chat bots going to pop up on the screen and say happy birthday. It’s your birthday today? Yeah, already? What is the humanity? And will AI take the joy out of work?

Nick Holmes 29:10
Exactly. And it’s already happening like already happening there is recognition tools that will just say congratulations on your work anniversary. This hello, world we don’t this is what is going to be draining engagement, which is why Never before has it been more critical to invest in an experience role in your people function whose job it is is to elevate how people feel at work. A perfect simple way of doing this is I recently asked my team Avila health if they’re willing to share it, the email addresses of their parents or a loved one or a person or you know someone who’s close to them. And over the last over week, the weekend last I sent all of those people a note with them in copy just saying thank you for the person that they are like they’re showing up every day at work. They’re bringing their whole selves. They’re a pleasure to work with. Thank you. The responses I got back from some of my team members, parents Just incredible. Like, thank you for taking the time out. This means the world to me to know that we’re doing these things. It’s it’s little touches and tokens that bring people back. And guess what happens now my team are more motivated than ever. They know that we care. And we’re here for them. And that then what’s happened performance wise this last week, they’ve killed it things out the door even quicker. But that doesn’t happen if a chat Do you ever bought just tells you what to do. And it’s like, use the date and use technology in a way that gives you time back and use that time to do something meaningful. But it’s got to happen from the top organizations got to rewire themselves to focus on meaning, focus on humans, focus on how we bring like you said humanity back into the workplace because what’s the risk by going back to this but what is the risk, you will end up blinking your life is over and you’ve had nothing to celebrate? You’ve had no meaningful relationships. Right? If you look at the HBr happiness study, they looked at the happiness across 75 years what are the things that make us happy at that point across our lives two things right the first is obviously health making sure we’re healthy and we feel good we you know, we’ve got all that good going on and we can live longer. The second is connections, genuine meaningful connections with people in our work or personal life friendships relationships. I am not friends with Chatterjee pte. Is there to serve a purpose is it your answer things but I don’t get a connection. I can’t see that person. I can’t laugh, cry, hug them. We can it work. And that’s what it’s all about is the laughter is the joy is the fun, like stop doing nonsense and focus on what means something to human beings for God’s sake.

Mervyn Dinnen 31:41
Right. It’s as always been a pleasure to talk to you. If people want to get in touch with you. What’s what’s the best way to connect?

Nick Holmes 31:48
Best way is to have a peek on LinkedIn, Nick Holmes, Avalere Health, or nicknames. I’m thinking it will show up a little bit of a signpost. We’re going to be launching a YouTube channel later this year. So some things to come there to have a little more rants, raves, things like this coming later, in a way that I can just sort of be a little bit unfiltered. So yeah, that will be the main way but good to get to chat as always and reach out if anyone needs any help with I’m thinking their workplace.

Mervyn Dinnen 32:20
Nick, thank you. It’s been a pleasure.

Nick Holmes 32:22
My pleasure. Thanks, man.

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