32 - Step One... Reduce Friction.

We are joined by Tope Sadiku, Global Head of Digital Employee Experience at The Kraft Heinz Company. Tope explains the subway revelation that led to her discovering a blueprint to implementing BIG change with BIGGER egos. We learn how to make seemingly complicated issues easy by reducing friction, and as a bonus, we learn how we can all be successful. Can we get an 'amen'?


Release date: Feb 9, 2022

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[00:00:00] Recorded Voice: Warning, this podcast is about the realities of working in people operations. This is not a stuck-up PC compliance-based or employment law podcast about stuffy outdated HR practices. Shit will get real here and we assume no responsibility.

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[00:00:16] Alexa Baggio: Just another day in the office.

[00:00:18] Speaker 3: There's nothing better than a bunch of people who work in HR getting around people and sharing these stories. We have this outer body experience in HR where you're like, "How did I get here?"

[00:00:27] Tyson Mackenzie: It's just not that bad, it's not.

[00:00:29] Alexa: It's not that bad. Come hang out with Tyson and I on this podcast, we'll make you laugh.

[00:00:32] Recorded Voice: This is the people problems podcast with Alexa Baggio and Tyson Mackenzie.

[00:00:40] Alexa: Hi Tyson.

[00:00:41] Tyson: Hi, how are you doing?

[00:00:42] Alexa: Good, are you batting your eyelashes at me [crosstalk] [unintelligible 00:00:45]?

[00:00:45] Tyson: Yes.

[00:00:46] Alexa: What are you trying to show me over there? Your eye makeup is looking--

[00:00:49] Tyson: I'm really just trying to show you that I put on makeup today.

[00:00:53] Alexa: Last week it was the hair, this week it's the makeup. Next week are we going on a date, do I get [unintelligible 00:00:57] on a virtual dates, I get hair and makeup.

[00:01:01] Tyson: In the deep of winter when there's literally nothing to do in up here in the North, it's like, "I'm just going to put on some mascara today."

[00:01:09] Alexa: Every time I'm on a zoom call I'm like, "How?" It's nice because we tend to film this at an hour where it's just a lot of fake lighting and I don't have any natural light, but in the natural light you can just see the bags under my eyes on most of these calls. I'm like, "Why have these gotten so much worse, am I more stressed recently or have I eaten differently?" Then I'm like, "No, it's just January and I have absolutely no tan to hide this."

[00:01:29] Tyson: No vitamin D, yes.

[00:01:31] Alexa: I got nothing, yes, you can just see them in January.

[00:01:36] Tyson: Brutal.

[00:01:37] Alexa: It's brutal. I don't know why [unintelligible 00:01:38].

[00:01:38] Tyson: A face for podcasting though, right?

[00:01:41] Alexa: I know, yes. I got a face for podcasting. I love it. All right, cool, anything new? Rosie's good, family's good, everybody's good?

[00:01:47] Tyson: Yes, she's good, everything's good, we got outside today. I think I said that last week but it's like a big win. When it's been -40 for the last three weeks, it's a big win for us to get outside, so just outside.

[00:02:01] Alexa: I actually can't fathom that temperature, yes, I can't fathom that temperature.

[00:02:02] Tyson: It's insane. This week we've got the snow coming, so--

[00:02:05] Alexa: The ice or the truckers-

[00:02:06] Tyson: Yes.

[00:02:07] Alexa: -there's a lot of things coming this week.

[00:02:09] Tyson: We're not going to talk about the truckers.

[00:02:10] Alexa: No.

[00:02:12] Tyson: Unless you want this whole podcast to get censored and removed off the air, let's just leave it out.

[00:02:16] Alexa: No, I'm not trying to Joe Rogan people problems many times too, all set. Yes, lots of interesting things happening in your world, Tyson.

[00:02:23] Tyson: Yes.

[00:02:23] Alexa: All right, cool. Without further ado, let's jump into pops in the news.

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[00:02:35] Alexa: All right, so our article this week is titled-- It's a Forbes article titled, Why 2022 Will be the Year of the Employee and Five Ways to Adapt. To summarize this, I'm just going to start with most of this article is crap. [laughs] It's just a lot of words that everyone has already said that are not super helpful or super interesting, but there are some really key pieces of this. I want to just outline the five ways to adapt and then double click on at least the ones I thought were interesting and enticing and obviously give me your thoughts.

This is obviously the great whatever-- what are we calling it, the great something? What was our buzzword, the great-- whatever. The great resignation is forcing a bunch of these changes. The person who's quoted in the article is a as Juliette Meunier I'm assuming is her last name, M-E-U-N-I-E-R, I'm probably butchering that, but she works for EY America's in their people advisory space.

This article is largely a lot of her thoughts and she's talking about why she's termed the coming year of the year of the employee. I think you guys can all probably figure out why it's going that way. There's five ways to adapt that she has outlined. I'll just read all five and then I'll double click on the good ones.

The first one is rethinking traditional work structures. Again a lot of words that I think don't say a whole lot here but then the quote that's interesting is to bring back the human connection, employers will need to focus on creating, engaging in meaningful environments where employees can thrive as well as technology that can help them better engage and collaborate in real life.

Number two, digitally empowering and supporting the workforce. That's just more technology that does this better. I think that's pretty self-explanatory. Number three--

[00:04:09] Tyson: [unintelligible 00:04:09]?

[00:04:09] Alexa: Yes, exactly. Skills and outcomes will supersede roles and job functions. I'm going to come back to this one in a second. Number four, rethinking leadership. She's talking a lot about empathy and being present, being important in this one.

Then five, attracting and retaining a diverse workforce that employers need to demonstrate shared values that make employees feel they are seen, heard, and appreciated. I don't think on the surface, any of those five is particularly novel, but number three, at least for me is where this article stands out. The article talks about skills and outcomes will supersede roles and job functions. The quote is a focus on work outcomes across talent and resourcing processes and systems will enable real-time pooling and deployment of resources to where they are most needed.

New levels of remote and dispersed working will accelerate liquidity potential because talent can now be sourced and leveraged from anywhere for shorter periods with fewer transactional costs orchestrated in real time by digital tools. Basically what I took from that mouthful is people are going to-- companies who are going to double down on hiring for capabilities and outcomes rather than jobs and roles which is something that the article actually says.

Then this piece about you go from anywhere with shorter periods, fewer transaction costs, I feel she's proposing that while they're not only going to hire differently and not for role specific work, we're also going to be doing a lot of the consulting model with good talent. You're going to be sourcing people on projects and in different capacities rather than being like, "You're a digital marketing-

[00:05:35] Tyson: [unintelligible 00:05:35] work.

[00:05:36] Alexa: -coordinator--" yes, "You just do this." There's going to be a bit of gigatization, sure, I just made that up, of your own internal labor force which I think is a fascinating concept. Anyway, I thought that was my big takeaway from the article, Tyson, what are your thoughts?

[00:05:51] Tyson: We want to make sure that people are doing the people work and computers doing the computer work. We've talked about this, this has been a long time coming but the pandemic is just forcing us into doing this a lot faster. You brought up some really great points specifically about the gig work and just focusing on outcomes, but I also wanted to highlight in the section about rethinking leadership, it points out that two things that leaders need to do. It's empathy, and presence or something like that.

[00:06:16] Alexa: Being present, yes.

[00:06:17] Tyson: Being present. I find that pretty interesting because again how are we going to be looking at that from a digital perspective? How can we do those things digitally, because those are obviously two things that are very difficult to do digitally, specifically being present. Definitely something that we'll have to see how that rolls out, but yes, I think it was an article that summed up everything that everyone's been thinking. Again, not novel, but it wraps it in a tiny bow.

[00:06:46] Alexa: Yes, it was a nice bow.

[00:06:46] Tyson: A tidy little package.

[00:06:48] Alexa: Yes, there's some frustrating-- I get frustrated with all the again buzzwords and just the fluff that we're talking about without actually saying anything, this article is a perfect example of that. There's a few nuggets of wisdom. I think this is definitely-- that's a good way to put it it's a nice summary of all the crap people are talking about right now, and it is very clear that the jury is still out on how to attack and how to do a lot of these things.

Digitally empowering and supporting the workforce like, "Cool, those words sound nice in a sentence together but how do we actually do that? What is that? What tools do you need for that? What tools are better than other tools? What should we be tracking? How do you be more present as a leader other than just putting your fucking phone down and looking at the person talking to you via zoom?" Yes, I think it's a nice--

[00:07:33] Tyson: Can people do it? Is the jury out on that? Is this something-- we don't have a ton of research or maybe we do, maybe our guests can speak to that but we'll get to that in a second. Can people feel community for an extended amount of time long term? We've been at this for two years, a lot of people are still digital but is it going to last because I know there's a lot of people that it might not for them specifically. We'll see, but I think we should get into the guests because this is a perfect segue.

[00:08:03] Alexa: I was going to say foreshadowing, great softball into our guest introduction ties, you really teed that up for me.

[00:08:09] Tyson: I'm just so excited.

[00:08:10] Alexa: I know, clearly, without further ado, I would like to introduce our guest today who is Tope Sadiku. She is the global head of employee digital experience at Kraft Heinz and has an eclectic background majoring in finance economics, psychology and human-centric design. Tope has partnered with multiple fortune 500 organizations, integrating her academic knowledge to drive profitability in a more responsible and conscientious manner. She calls herself a corporate doctor which is cool. Tope, welcome to the podcast.

[00:08:38] Temitope Sadiku: Hey, good morning, good afternoon, good evening. I know everyone is all over the world and I know you have a global reach, so good day. I'm super excited to be here.

[00:08:45] Alexa: Good day.

[00:08:45] Sadiku: I love-- I made millions of notes, I'm so going to read that artcile that you mentioned, how have I missed it, I don't know. I follow Forbes on my LinkedIn, Instagram, but now I have my bedtime read for tonight, looking forward.

[00:08:56] Alexa: Yes, it's not a long article, it's only a few pages. The author's name is Mark Perna. Don't worry, we'll send it to you, but yes, it was an interesting one.

[00:09:08] Sadiku: I agree with your summary that it summarizes literally everything that everybody's been saying. I typically like to read something where it's like five key points, three key points and I'll just scroll through, I want to see bulleted. I like the fact that it does that because that really plays to how I like to consume content these days. If it's not in a podcast, I want it to be clear, I don't want to invest a lot of time.

[00:09:29] Alexa: Yes, so just because you only listen to People Problems and then sometimes you [crosstalk] [unintelligible 00:09:33] summarize that.

[00:09:34] Sadiku: [unintelligible 00:09:34].

[00:09:35] Alexa: [laughs] Exactly, awesome, Tope, do us a favor, tell us a little bit about your foray into the work that you do. What's your backstory? You're coming to us from Chicago today but tell us more about you.

[00:09:47] Sadiku: Yes, definitely, actually stuff like my earlier career in finance, and the reason was I just thought-- actually did accounting, finance and economics in school. I really understood how businesses made money and then I wanted to try out in real world. At some point, I thought, "If it's in a book and it makes sense, how come not every company doesn't thrive and become worth billions if not trillions, why not? Why isn't everybody rich? Why do things fail?" I began to realize, "There's this irrational thing that's part of the equation and that's humans."

Economics teaches us that humans are rational beings, but then you have behavioral economics, which teaches you that humans are irrational beings. I remember when I was first introduced to behavioral economics, it was in business school and when they told us to read this book called the Nudge, I don't know how familiar you are with London, but I guess you're familiar with transportation in New York. We have the tube, I think you guys call it the Metro New York and the tube is just our underground.

I remember reading this book, the Nudge, and I was literally bouncing in my seat like, "Oh my God, I didn't know, this just makes so much sense." Why doesn't everybody know this? Why don't we work like this? Why don't we look at this idea of libertarian paternalism where we understand that humans are predictably irrational and what does it look when we can create environments where we remove friction, we increase flow and we make the best outcome of what we perceive to be the best, most desirable outcome, the easiest, but we don't take away free will and choice?

For example, when you look at pensions, what does it look when people have to opt-out of pensions, therefore, they save for their retirement, they save for their future. I was so fascinated by this idea and I was so fascinated by the application of this behavioral economics libertarian paternalism in the workspace. I got involved with the group in the UK called The Behavioral Insights Organization.

The authors actually of the Nudge, Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler, they at least were quite heavily involved with this behavioral insights group. I was just fascinated. By no means, am I a psychologist, I'm just an avid enthusiast and I was lucky enough to be able to grow my career within Kraft Heinz and actually bring in a lot of my external knowledge, experience, and just learnings into the work that I do today.

[00:12:13] Alexa: Amazing, so now, you are doing employee digital experience.

[00:12:17] Sadiku: Yes, that's right.

[00:12:18] Alexa: Do you want to double click on what that is for a hot second?

[00:12:21] Sadiku: Yes, first of all, it's a new role at Kraft Heinz created back 2017.

[00:12:26] Alexa: The first title of it's kind that I have ever seen. You're the first one.

[00:12:31] Sadiku: I can imagine, but now, if you look at what's happening with the pandemic, how many times do you see this digital workspace lead, digital workspace manager, head of digital workspace? It seems to be a growing trend. By the way, I'm not saying Kraft Heinz are pioneers in this space. Actually, when I leaned into it even further, I realized there were some companies that were there in 2017, 2019, but I'm impressed and I'm at least proud that we created a role where the emphasis is to look at-- we have 40,000 employees. Kraft Heinz is the FMCG, fast-moving consumer goods. We make beans, ketchup, mayo, Oscar Mayers.

[00:13:06] Alexa: Oh Ketchup, you make me ketchup.

[crosstalk]

[00:13:10] Sadiku: 'The', every time I go to a restaurant, I'm like, "Thank you for keeping me employed. I appreciate. Thank you [unintelligible 00:13:14] see Heinz ketchup on the table, but we have a workforce which is pretty much split, 50/50 between our frontline workers, people who work in our manufacturing sites in a range of different positions and then the other half what we would call our office workers. These people are typically based in offices, they head office roles, those kinds of things.

We're spread all over the world, making sure we get those delicious products on our customer's shelves. We are B2B though. Predominantly, we don't serve consumers directly. We serve other businesses that help us serve consumers. We are beginning to lean more into that space, but the model is predominantly B2B. What my role is, it sits within our technology function. I report in to our chief technology officer and I look at how we can enable our employees to achieve the promise of life, achieve the promise of work. Really, why do you come to work and how can technology help you be better in terms of what you do?

Our CIO will actually say, "We are here to provide a delightful experience for our employees and technology is a means by which we deliver that. It's not the goal." A successful piece of technology is not successful unless it actually changes, in a way, enhances the way our employees work and provides that delightful experience. Then we have metrics in terms of how we measure and how we define that.

[00:14:36] Alexa: That is a hefty role especially for 40,000 people.

[00:14:40] Tyson: Also, I think we should just highlight we talked about how this is a new role. It's kind, but I also just want to quickly call out the fact that you have a title with employee experience and you report into the CTO. That's very, very different and new, which I love because typically, employee experience, you think automatically of the HR.

[00:15:00] Sadiku: The HR.

[00:15:01] Alexa: Or you'd work for the COO, not the CTO.

[00:15:04] Tyson: Yes, or the CHRO.

[00:15:05] Alexa: Perfect, fascinating. On that level, I'm curious, all of that sounds awesome. Let's double click.

[00:15:14] Sadiku: Unpack that.

[00:15:15] Alexa: Let's unpack that. Let's break that into manageable pieces. How do you start to, you come in day one, brand new role, you're like, "Cool. My job is to enhance and change the way that we work here using technology as an aid, where do you start?"

[00:15:32] Tyson: Wait, that was in 2019 too, right?

[00:15:34] Alexa: Totally, yes, that's right.

[00:15:35] Tyson: Some [unintelligible 00:15:35] the pandemic.

[00:15:37] Sadiku: Literally right before the pandemic. I'm actually not new to Kraft Heinz, I've been here five years. Before I moved, I probably was in the company about two and a half years. I knew how things worked, but I was based in the international zone. I was in London, Amsterdam, Germany, all over Europe and I would come to the US as and when I needed to. It's the same company but it's a very different culture, whatever, it feels a different company.

Alexa, back to your question, what do you do on day one, I was gifted this book, Your First 90 Days. I'm not in my office right now, if I was, I would pick and show you the book, but it's [unintelligible 00:16:13] and it says, "The first 30 days, listen. Even if you have ideas, just listen via sponge absorb. Second 30 days begin to formulate your plan and maybe begin to socialize it with specific stakeholders and in the next 30 days, days 60 to 90, begin to socialize that and communicate and make sure everybody feels that they are part of it."

That is exactly what I did. Actually, what I did is I started with our CEO and that's a guy called Miguel Patricio, and I started with him. I went to his direct reports and I got time with them, got with their direct reports, got time with them until I can-- I wanted to understand how did the different functions work, because I was moving from a role based in London to a role that was serving the globe and I was really curious, like, "I'll be very transparent, I want to know how the company works."

I wanted to know the rituals and routines at a global level, and I also wanted to build those relationships and understand where the low-hanging fruits; for example, someone told me in legal, "Oh, Tope, my voicemail doesn't work well." "It should work. Let me connect you to the person who can help you make that better." We began exploring Microsoft Teams, which now is like a commodity, everybody uses it. Back in 2019, it was Skype, Intercall, WebEx; we had so many different platforms and certain groups were curious about how they use Teams so we got them training.

It was really about understanding where are we today? Where the little pain points that we just need to fix them just so we can start to talk about the bigger question? Within that, I came in already thinking, "Okay, if I think of employee experience, what would that look like as a skeleton?" I realized-- this is even before I moved, I thought, it would make sense, we would look at the tools that people would use, your computer, software that you could have on your computer, the space that you work because actually, is it conducive for deep work creativity, that would probably make sense and the way you interact with people would make sense.

Then I thought, "Okay if you've got these three pillars, I guess then, there should be levels of maturity within that," because I'm looking at you guys, you guys have your headset, you've got a decent mic, I'm just sat here. There's not a lot it.

[00:18:23] Alexa: Studio setup.

[00:18:25] Sadiku: You go to studio setup. Even with my role, I'm [unintelligible 00:18:27] in a space-- how would I describe this? I have a relatively big apartment, I don't really have a lot of interference. Actually, I know where I am, is conducive to where I need to work, but not everybody has that same layout. Really, it's interesting to think about the space in which you work and then actually how you interact with people on a day-to-day basis.

I really loved the empathy and presence. Because, for me, take people out of work, that's just how you build relationships in general and how you communicate with people in general, it's not really rocket science. What you do in life, in general, is probably what you should be doing in the workplace. Like I mentioned. [crosstalk] I'm sorry.

[00:19:04] Alexa: The empathy thing actually irks me. I'm really tired of that. That's a buzzword we need to add to the list for number three, Tyson. The empathy thing kills me. It's like, you're supposed to have empathy anyway. How do you do anything with anybody if you can't empathize?"

[00:19:18] Sadiku: I really get that.

[00:19:18] Alexa: Why is that such a leadership trait? If you're a leader and you have to work on empathy, I'm not sure how you got there, but I digressed.

[00:19:25] Tyson: It's interesting because how we saw that, an interesting-- this is maybe bit of a sideline here but when we moved remote and we had all employees remote, we had some leaders who were very high-level managements making a lot of money. They had the big, nice apartment, big, beautiful office, all the space, and then you had people who were sitting in this crammed little workspace in a one-bedroom apartment or a bachelor apartment.

[00:19:49] Sadiku: I had a friend who lives in a loft and I've never lived in a loft before. I didn't even know the ceilings didn't go all the way to the roof. He told me that she and her fiancé, one would work in the bathroom and one would work in the space and they'd have [crosstalk] [unintelligible 00:22:02].

[00:20:03] Alexa: When I lived with my former partner, he used to take calls in the bathroom.

[00:20:07] Tyson: Right, so when we talk about empathy, even in that, we had leaders, I remember, at the beginning of the pandemic that were like, "We're all in this together, let's look at the bright side of working from home."

[00:20:17] Alexa: Right, and in the background is their Hampton Mansion's lamb steak.

[00:20:20] Tyson: Exactly, they are frigging lounging by the pool. It's like, "Okay, let's just be a little bit more relatable." It's just some of these things that are so tone-deaf that we forget, especially as it relates to going digital. Topi, like I only imagine you starting in 2019, and then the pandemic, and I imagine Kraft Heinz people went remote, and how that just probably flipped everything upside down because everything would have had to shift. How do we make-

[00:20:48] Sadiku: Exactly.

[00:20:49] Tyson: -everybody's individual workspace hit all these pillars that you're speaking out.

[00:20:53] Sadiku: That's right. Tyson, to your point, I nodded when you said everybody went remote, but we have like 20,000 frontline workers who couldn't go remote-

[00:21:00] Alexa: Exactly, yes.

[00:21:00] Sadiku: -who have to work 24/7. I can't even begin to imagine how intense that would have felt. We couldn't even produce enough products for what people needed. Because remember, in the beginning, when it was really like, "Wash everything with bleach. If you buy groceries, you've got to put the groceries into quarantine and then you can--" you remember how intense it was in the beginning? People defaulted even more so to the products that we make, which have like long shelf life.

[00:21:27] Tyson: Crack dinner, man, yes, for sure. Not like a Canadian thing.

[00:21:31] Alexa: That shit is for the zombie apocalypse.

[00:21:33] Tyson: We love our crap dinner up in Canada.

[00:21:36] Sadiku: Exactly, it was really intense. Even being in a meeting, you can't really, on a global broadcast, say something like, "This is fantastic. We can work at home, you can wake up just five minutes," it wasn't the same for everybody in the business. Actually what you're really welcome to have these levels of maturity, which I think my finance background makes me like grades, I love Excel. If you think like three pillars, and then I had these four levels of maturity, then I had this like 12 [unintelligible 00:22:02].

Whenever I was talking with people, I'd socialize but it was really just for me to think, "Okay, which of the three pillars are we talking about and where are you in terms of maturity," and there were four levels of maturity. One was, it exists and I just decided that at a minimum level, something just needs to exist. In a company, you at least need a device to work. If you don't have one, that's a big problem.

Then level two was it's average. It's like, okay. Level three it's in the top, let's say quartile. It's not necessarily leading, but it's let's say, top 5% or 10%. Then level four was this idea, I call it dominating. Actually, then I was advised to change the language and then we called it pioneering so really leading the way. In every interaction, when I began speaking with different business groups, I would think, "Look, where are you? If it doesn't even exist, then we have a problem and that is like an emergency. We've got to deal with it immediately."

Where are the levels of maturity? When we think of moments of truth, or some people call it moments that matter is this one of those? Can I afford to neglect this or do I have to address it now? For example, legal, you probably need to be able to have a voicemail because you work externally all the time. To your point as well Tyson, in the beginning, my roadmap was like a three to five-year plan, and then all of a sudden, it became three to five months.

We had to-- Alexa, please don't kill me, I'm going to say a phrase that I think you're going to hate, I'll just say it, you know this phrase that people are saying, where you build the plane while you're on the plane, I actually hate that too.

[00:23:37] Alexa: I actually don't hate that, because I've done it many times in my life. I usually say driving the car, while I'm putting it together.

[00:23:43] Tyson: We say build the rocket ship as it's taking off.

[00:23:46] Sadiku: I have this thing, it's so cliche, but it is actually real, which is like, we were doing it as we were moving. Actually, I think when you're going through the plains, Tyson, you picked up on this and you said, "Is this actually possible, can people actually do this?" The way we got around, it was just proof of concept, small tests and experiments. Let's not look at 40,000 people, that is quite intimidating-

[00:24:09] Alexa: Oh my God. I love that you just said that.

[00:24:11] Sadiku: -it was small group experiments.

[00:24:13] Alexa: Tell us an example of an experiment that you did, maybe one that went well, and one that failed, because one of the things I think, gets bastardized in this industry, there's a lot of things, is that people aren't given license to test. I was just reading something recently that was like-- it actually might have been a phrase in this article today, where they're talking about how employers are struggling to roll everything out equitably, to everybody.

The answer is, there's a difference between equitable and the same. You don't have to roll everything out-- especially 40,000 people, 10,000 people, 5,000 people. I see groups just all the time to try to be ubiquitous across a large group of people and it's just a recipe for disaster. You can't shop anything. You can't test it. You can't be agile, you can't finish it and make it better before you roll it out. I would love to hear some examples of how you've done that.

[00:24:57] Sadiku: By the way, I love this idea of testing and experimenting. I think it's because I loved biology in school, I loved science. You have your methodology, you have a hypothesis that you want to test your methodology, you have your results, you have conclusion, and then you come back and do some analysis afterwards. I just love that as a principle.

I'll start with one that didn't go so well. Before the pandemic, we tried to roll out Microsoft Teams. I actually just had another conversation about this today, but teams was to be and has now been decommissioned by Microsoft. Actually, that was summer of 2020. We started this exercise all the way in 2018. We gave it to everybody. We just said, "Everyone has access, go and play."

Actually, that was just not the right way to do it because first of all, people had an alternative, which, if I go back to this idea of libertarian paternalism, our alternative was a lot more easier, it was familiar. To get people to-

[00:25:50] Alexa: Status quo.

[00:25:51] Sadiku: Yes, there was no incentive. There was no [unintelligible 00:25:53].

[00:25:53] Tyson: People hate change.

[00:25:54] Sadiku: Exactly. While it was there, and it was available, and actually, Teams is a more superior solution than Skype. I say superior because it's all-encompassing. It's like saying an iPhone is better than a pen and paper, and a camera and a printer. It's better than all of those separate, but they're also good in their own right. Anyway, that just didn't work.

We realized, almost 18 months, and we looked at how many people had transferred and there was like 100 people, 150 people globally, who were using Teams, and not even everybody in technology was using it, because people are moving like 1000 miles an hour, if you want them to switch, you're going to make it attractive and you've got to also make sure that whatever they were doing before, if it's not the right thing anymore, it's like not so easy to use. If you're on a diet, you don't have chocolate cake in the fridge, and right there in front of you and a fork right by your leg.

[00:26:47] Alexa: Yes, you remove your bed light foods.

[crosstalk]

[00:26:47] Tyson: Like what you were saying at the beginning, the friction.

[00:26:52] Sadiku: Yes, you have to [unintelligible 00:26:52] when you think about trying to get people to switch. I can even talk about this later but since then, we really rethought about what Teams is. Actually what we did is we run some discovery sessions., maybe this is an example of one that went well, I'll use a different one. We ran some discovery sessions with different groups. I mentioned, I went to the CEO, broke down different groups.

I sat with him and I said, "How do you work today, let's understand and take away everything you know that doesn't work in this company and that you know is not possible, what does success look like to you in the future?" The reason I did it that way was, sometimes people think barriers exist where they don't and it's not actually because they exist, it's because people don't know that they don't know there's an alternative elsewhere.

What was great about that is, I got to understand how people work today and actually how they define how they want to work in the future and what does success look like for them. Actually, it wasn't really like blue sky. It was like, "We could do this today with greater or better exploitation of the tools we have today, teams being one of them." We did that for a few months. We came back as a group.

We analyzed all of that information and we said, "These are like the three main pillars that we hear in the company in general that people are trying to solve, Teams can do this. Rather than talk about teams, let's talk about these pillars and actually, look, you guys want to be able to collaborate."

Alexa, you spoke earlier about looking at behaviors and hiring people for projects as opposed to functions, actually in Kraft Heinz, we do the same. We don't really work in functions, we're like more matrix. That was a very important trait and a very important way people want to be able to work again in the future. Really, understanding who people are, being more led by what they say and then layering the tool on the end, not necessarily being led by the tool itself.

[00:28:37] Tyson: I was going to say we learned a little bit about that with one of our previous guests where we really highlight like, "What is the pain? How can we speak to people's emotions, like this is the challenges that they're facing [unintelligible 00:28:48]."

[00:28:48] Alexa: People don't want [unintelligible 00:28:48] they want their problem solved.

[00:28:49] Tyson: Then we used the tool, which is Teams as the solution. At the beginning of the pandemic, I was also with a company that was doing the exact same thing. We were just tiptoeing in Teams, it was like some people were going to jump on it and use it. Some people weren't, but then boom, immediately, it was like, "All right, we're all on teams now."

[00:29:08] Alexa: [unintelligible 00:29:08] what's an example of something that you tested that went well?

[00:29:11] Sadiku: I can talk about that one. You might sound like I'm heavy into Microsoft,. Kraft Heinz is predominately a Microsoft environment, so we tend to lean towards what we have. Actually, also not [unintelligible 00:29:21].

[00:29:21] Alexa: [unintelligible 00:29:21] you want to see my suite of Apple products.

[laughter]

[00:29:23] Sadiku: Please, [unintelligible 00:29:24] I'm like tech agnostic. I just want the value and then however I deliver that. There's another solution by Microsoft called My Analytics. By the way, the reason I'm being very open with the tools is that I think, Tyson, you mentioned, what are the practical tools and solutions to do this. One is called My Analytics, which they're actually changing now, it's going through rebranding. It's going to be called Viva insights. Probably by summer it'll be Viva insights.

What that does is it empowers people and employees, I'd say to understand how they work in forming pillars. One is like the ability to focus and do deep work. The second is to collaborate. Third is the network, people you work with and then the fourth one is your wellbeing. It's like a Fitbit for work. It's actually quite cool and it's personal, it's individual, only the employee can see it. It's not shared unless they literally take a screenshot and show someone, no one else really has access to it in the general day-to-day of business.

This was such a cool tool,when you think about, oh my goodness, all of this data just exists and actually, now you're going to consolidate it and give me some insights. If I'm running and I'm eating healthy, imagine now, I have something that tells me how much do I sleep? How do I sleep? How many calories am I burning? How fast am I running?

[00:30:40] Alexa: Watch or a ring. [unintelligible 00:30:44] strap.

[00:30:43] Sadiku: Exactly, you're getting it. You get it.

[00:30:46] Alexa: I'm turning into a gadget nerd.

[00:30:46] Sadiku: I actually genuinely love it and I think that's the way people are leaning towards these days. Anyway, the fear was, we could not roll this out globally because we have 40,000 employees across the world with all of these different data and regulations and we've got GDPR in the UK and then different versions of GDPR literally now across the world.

How do we roll something out, which looks at employee data and make sure it's compliant with all of these different solutions. Who even knows if it adds value, we might invest a lot of time, for something that doesn't actually-- it's great, but it doesn't [crosstalk] [unintelligible 00:31:20].

[00:31:20] Alexa: [crosstalk] [unintelligible 00:31:20] amount of money.

[00:31:22] Sadiku: Exactly, and it doesn't add any value to our family. What we did is we said, "Let's try it in the US because actually the regulations in the US is a little bit more lax than anywhere else in the world, the team are based in the US, we have relationships in the US and we could very clearly quantify a population to test who were also enthusiastic.

It was like, we set up the ideal situation to do a test, this experiment and actually, that was so successful because we were able to learn and grow and change and, and quickly adapt what we were trying to test and, "Okay, this doesn't work, let's put this new intervention in."

What I really liked about that is, it gave us the flexibility to test in an environment where we're able to be safe and we could say, "Okay, that didn't work, try something new. Actually, I really like that. Let's continue to pursue my goal. Okay, population, how do you feel about this? Oh, okay. We thought you might really like this, you don't like this, you really like this." I like love that ability to test an experiment in a protected environment to know if something is viable.

[00:32:24] Alexa: What would you say to the person who pushes back to you and says, "I couldn't possibly roll anything out to 1500 employees." If I was going to have to say, "That didn't work, that failed, we're not using that tool anymore."

[00:32:34] Sadiku: I feel like I would say-- you guys are making me feel very relaxed so actually what I was going to say is, you've got to get over that. You got to get over that fear.

[00:32:42] Alexa: Get over it.

[00:32:44] Sadiku: Get over yourself even, because really it's a lot about ego. In finance, there's this idea of a sunk cost and the sunk cost policy, that you invest money, like in that research and development phase, or even in the beginning of the capital project, if now circumstances change that this is not going to deliver the value you wanted, reverse, come back, it's okay to stop. It's better to write it off than invest more and still have to write it off.

[00:33:11] Tyson: It's big money to committed to

[00:33:15] Sadiku: Exactly and that exists within finance, but it's also a concept that Thaler and Sunstein talk about when they talk about like nudging, this idea of this sunk cost policy that sometimes you feel too invested. I've had to really learn within myself that-- like detached myself from a situation and actually the reason I pause is that I thought, sometimes I even wonder what is the self, but really, that's going to go down a different route.

It's less about me and my ego and more about what I'm trying to achieve, and if I sincerely believe that, it's not, I don't know-- I like the way in Kraft Heinz, I don't really feel like we attack people, we attack problems, so there's never any fear about saying, "We tried this, it didn't work, let's go back."

[00:33:59] Tyson: That makes experimenting safe. If you don't have that, then you can't, experimenting doesn't become safe, because you try something and you're, "Oh, shit, we already invested this much money, we just might as well do the whole thing and I'm afraid to say it failed."

I will say, in my experience in work, I worked for two very large corporations, the technology stuff is often where we sink a lot of money and we fail, because we're just like, "We're not going to test it, we're just going to take this big fancy program and we're going to apply it to everyone," and it does fail and then you're stuck with a really--

[00:34:34] Alexa: [unintelligible 00:34:34].

[00:34:36] Tyson: Yes and that's how I've seen it, so it's great to push for that safety in experimentation which is, "If we do have these sunk costs, then that's okay."

[00:34:45] Sadiku: Yes and I think it takes time by the way. Like I'm sure, even if you speak to people within the same company that I'm in, that might not be everybody's experience, but what I'm at least proud of is that we have, I'm actually quite impressed with our leadership team, because they do give you that psychological safety. We are encouraged to learn. We had Adam Grant come to the office probably November, October of last year and he spoke about his book, Think Again, where he talks about thinking a scientist.

The idea of thinking a scientist is that you're actively looking to disprove your hypothesis. I think that's just such-- it's so fun and refreshing to play like that, as opposed to confirmation bias, look for things that confirm what you have already done and what you believe.

[00:35:28] Alexa: Yes, I teach a course on this in the summer to a bunch of college kids and it's like, "You have to test your hypotheses because if you build it, they won't come." [laughs] You have to assume if you build it, they ain't coming. You've got to figure out what's going to get become, and then you can worry about building it. You've got to test. You've got to, "Hey, I tried to do this. I tried to do that, didn't work."

I think you touched on a really key piece of this topic, which is you got to have leadership buy-in and it sounds you're getting budget from somewhere to do this, whether that's the tech budget or we don't need to go into that but it sounds you're being financially supported in your role to do some of this experiment, to have some sunk costs. It's not necessarily both literally view those as losses, but, financially, view those as losses.

[00:36:06] Sadiku: What I will say is proof of concept and tests and experiments only ever add to a business case. I would struggle to say, "Oh, look at this big tool it's going to cost us $1 million or $2 million." "Topi, is it proven?" "Oh, it's proven in the market." "Is it proven in this company?" "I don't know."

[00:36:21] Alexa: "Did you test kind of?" "A little bit. I tested a little bit."

[00:36:24] Sadiku: "I tested it on myself and I gave it to the girl who sits next to me, the guy sits next to me."

[laughter]

[00:36:32] Alexa: "I asked a couple of friends, they seemed into it [unintelligible 00:36:34], let's go."

[00:36:36] Tyson: "The Google reviews were good."

[laughter]

[00:36:39] Alexa: Yes, "Four out of five stars, let's go."

[00:36:40] Sadiku: Proof of concept strengthens a business case. That's just another reason why to do it.

[00:36:46] Alexa: Yes, I think that's awesome. One of the things I want to just bring this back to put this in a nice bow, you're focused on digital experience, you're focused on employee experience, I think that's very clear. What are some of the things in your role, Topi, that you have seen maybe other groups or other organizations or other people talk about that are just like a missed mark or an obvious failure on this one?

Whether that's tools, whether that's the way they think about the experience, whether the way they're trying to support-- because I imagine you're solving a lot of problems for a lot of people across 40,000 employees, somebody's urgent, "I need a voicemail," is somebody else's, "My robot doesn't work fast enough, I need to shave five seconds off of its left arm." I'm sure the problems are vast, but what are some of the things that you've learned are key insights to doing this work really affected?

[00:37:30] Sadiku: I think the biggest thing, I love this idea of empathy and the reason I say that, I know the word may not sound so sexy, but really it's listen to people. How many times-- in my early career, I used to be in so many meetings where we're trying to solve a problem-- somebody brings a problem to us and then the group thinks we solve the problem just amongst this group and then we execute. We push out the plan and then go and deliver the plan. You need to spend time really understanding.

I love design thinking actually, in fact, we have 300, almost 400 people full-time employees in technology and we are taking the entire technology organization through this design thinking training. Design thinking came from designers, came from with architects. You wouldn't necessarily think IT engineers, should be design, thinking about design. Actually, who more than anybody else?

Because principle number one about design thinking is empathy. It's putting yourself in the shoes of the end-user, listening to the end-user, really understanding, spending all your time taking in as much information about the problem and not just trying to solution in five, two seconds, whatever.

For me, the biggest thing is, let's take the word, empathy out, listening, observing, really watching. My team run multiple activities called ethnographies and I like ethnographical research because it's really watching how people work. I could ask you, "Here's a survey, tell me how long it takes you to drive to your coffee shop." Then I could say, "Okay, thank you, you told me it takes between 5 to 20 minutes. Now let's go to a focus group and do qualitative research. Tell me a little bit about that trip. What do you wear? Are you hungry when you go? Who do you see?"

We can have a bit more of a conversation, but the best probable thing to do is to watch you and you might say, "Oh, Topi, it takes me an hour," but really it takes you two minutes and it's everything you do, all the fluff you do before the fluff you do after that.

[00:39:25] Alexa: You consider part of that experience. Yes, exactly That's why I'm anti-survey, throw it out there.

[00:39:31] Sadiku: Yes, maybe you take a bad route and when we go into the detail that one time, 18 months ago, there was a roadblock so you started to take this route and you never really changed and actually if we talk you down a different route, it's quicker or it's more pleasant, maybe you enjoy the ambiance, I don't really know.

That's what I love about ethnographical research because you watch how people perform and I think, that as a principle, you don't have to be ethnographical researcher, I am not one, we hire them, but at least I understand the principles of it and it really is about observation. It's the things that people think add time, but really, they just save you so much more in the future.

[00:40:07] Alexa: I love that idea. Again, I feel like most people come to this space because they want to help people, and helping people means fixing things. A lot of people come to this position, and I work with them all day, and they say, "I want to fix this. I have this pain for my team or this problem that my leadership team needs solved." Sometimes you have to feel it before you can fix it.

[00:40:27] Sadiku: That's right.

[00:40:29] Alexa: Just saying for a minute, like, "What are you asking me to feel here so that I can fix the right thing?" I think is-- being able to say, "I don't actually have the answer to this right now. I need to go listen for a minute and then I need to test some solutions. Then I'm going to come back to you with the one that not only matches the pain, but also actually solves the problem for 400 now, 40,000 people." That's how you build products. That's what [crosstalk] [unintelligible 00:40:52]--

[00:40:53] Tyson: My favorite thing is what you just said is like, "I don't know the answer right now. Let me take it away." [crosstalk] We need to do that more.

[00:41:01] Alexa: I don't think people get a lot of support to do that from their leadership teams. I don't think teams in this space are funded from a resource perspective. I work with so many companies where the HR teams are less than like three people, for hundreds, if not thousands of employees. The whole team is less than five people. You're like, "I understand why you're not doing ethnographic research."

[00:41:22] Sadiku: By the way, when I describe myself as a corporate doctor, that is why. What does a good doctor do? Patient walks into my office, I imagine if the patient's like, "Doctor, my knee hurts, operate," and the doctor just did that. The doctor's not like going to a fast food restaurant. Really, what the doctor should do is they should say, "Let's talk about it. Can you maybe walk four steps?"

You spend time really analyzing your patient. You might say, "You know what? You thought it was your knee, but actually your foot is bent like this. If we correct your foot through physio, it will fix the knee. Actually, that's it. You don't need medication. We don't need to operate. We don't even need to amputate. We just need to correct the foot." That's [crosstalk] [unintelligible 00:42:05]--

[00:42:04] Alexa: You must be new to the US medical system. The first time you're going to say your knee hurts, they're going to tell you they have to operate. [laughs]

[00:42:09] Sadiku: [unintelligible 00:42:09] European, I have no experience in American [crosstalk] [unintelligible 00:42:12].

[00:42:12] Alexa: "We should do that." They're going to be like, "Oh, your knee hurts, cool, three operations, let's go." Just kidding. Not all of them. The good ones don't do that. I think that's exactly the way to think through it. It's like there's got to be a process and you've got to give the team time to do the process. Can't be everything and solve all the problems and roll them out perfectly and do it without a budget and be perfectly administrative and all the things that are expected of the role. Tyson, any other questions about the digital experience or move to a people problem?

[00:42:40] Tyson: No, I think the people problem is a good one today because it loops in our conversation.

[00:42:45] Alexa: Then let's go there.

[music]

[00:42:57] Tyson: The question is, can you give some examples of activities that maintain company culture that don't involve video calls? Again, in a digital environment, I remember at the beginning of COVID, it was all about the Zoom happy hours and stuff. This individual is looking for some suggestions to maintain company culture that don't involve video calls, but can be done virtually.

[00:43:19] Alexa: Excellent, that's a really good question.

[00:43:21] Sadiku: I like that. By the way, I am not big on these happy hours. I get invited to so many of these. I love data. I'm just a curious person, so I get invited to a lot of them, I'll call them corporate events that are virtual. It's normally like, "Oh, it's going to be wine and cheese tasting." I'll get wine and if you see my fridge, filled with cheese, all this wine. I won't drink it or eat it because I want to consume the information.

I'm actually also not really a big Zoom happy hour, Zoom, I don't know, yoga, all those types of things. Actually, typically I never go on camera because I like to move around. Let me get back to the question. I actually think it's important to really honor and respect the way people like to work in a company. I don't think it needs to be one big event. I actually think it's like the day-to-day things.

Think about your relationships with your closest friends. It's not like the big gift you gave them. It's just the things you do on a day-to-day. Are you in a group chat where it's just so fun and silly? We were talking about this recently about onboarding new people into the business and how do we talk about how we communicate and how we do work? We were looking at statistics with O365.

The reality is a lot of people just tend to-- we use chats a lot. We don't tend to email that much. We tend to email things that need to be set in-- official documents and chat.

[00:44:43] Alexa: Official.

[00:44:45] Sadiku: I also will chat with our Chief People Officer and ask her a quick question, "Hey, look, can you help me with this," or, "What do you think about this?" We we're working on revising our training groups. If I need some advice or recommendations from her, no big presentation, no big email. I think it's important to honor that. I really like to take calls and walk around. If this wasn't on camera, I would probably be outside. I love just being outside and moving.

I think it's important to really respect and honor what's important to that group. There's no way to do anything. If we are virtual, who can tell me that I am the most effective being sat at my desk and working in this manner? In fact, I listened to this podcast, what is today? Tuesday, so yesterday, with Dr. Andrew Huberman from Stanford University.

[00:45:31] Alexa: Huberman, I love him. I'm obsessed with his podcast.

[00:45:35] Sadiku: Please, listen to him Mondays 1:00. It was about designing the optimal workspace. He's talking about high ceilings for creativity. If you want abstract work versus if you need to do focus deep work. How can you literally apply blinkers? That's so cool. You've just got to honor what the body needs, but also what the culture of the organization needs as well.

I think just dying to this idea of, "This is how things have to be," and giving people the scope and autonomy to do what is right for them. That's what makes me feel good at least. That's really what's got me through this pandemic and at least it's what I try and exercise with my team and my groups.

[00:46:10] Alexa: Tyson, what do you think?

[00:46:12] Tyson: I like what you said. We talk about this all the time. When we think about company culture or engagement, it's like a relationship. If my husband ignored me all week long and never talked to me, but then brought me home flowers on Friday.

[00:46:26] Alexa: Wine and cheese on Zoom.

[00:46:28] Tyson: Wine and cheese on Friday, that is not a relationship make. That is not a company culture make. I always use that example even when I'm chatting with managers. It has to be what's integrated into the day-to-day. We started this conversation with empathy and presence. I love what you said. I'm just going to call it out, that ability for you to just instant-message someone with no strings attached to ask a quick, simple question. That is so important.

I think one of the challenges that we've done is we've put ourselves back to back meetings, which doesn't leave space for that sometimes. That ability to just be like, "Hey, I have a five-minute question. Is it okay if we just jump on a call right now?" I think we're starting to lose that in the digital environment. I would like to create a space where that came back. That's presence. That hits presence on the head if we're not sitting next to people. Not having that makes things really intense, especially as newbies. That can really take away from the culture, I'm putting that in air quotes [unintelligible 00:47:27].

[00:47:27] Sadiku: Huberman, he talked about boxing your day into three buckets. [unintelligible 00:47:31] you've got time for like focus time. There's particular times in the day, typically in the morning. Then understanding about the idea of a creativity, which is in the afternoons, and understanding there's a time for wrap up and relaxations towards the evening. I actually book time in my diary every single day that I call focus time. There's nothing built there. Sometimes I have a project that I'm working on that I just need to be void of destruction and really focus on.

Then the rest of the time, I just want time to think. I love giving myself time to think and process. If someone asks me a question, it's a big problem for them, I even feel like it's disrespectful for me to think, "Oh, yes, in 20 seconds, I'm going to give you an answer that's better than anything you've thought of yourself in however long you've been dealing with that problem." Sometimes you just need to create time to think.

[00:48:17] Tyson: Time blocking in a way.

[00:48:20] Alexa: This is also super role-specific. I have been on phone calls and I've overscheduled myself today as with most days, since literally 9:30 this morning, every half hour for almost 12 hours I will go today straight. That's me. I own my own business, I can do what I want. A lot of roles do not have the ability to block off focus time. You asked me to get on a Zoom happy hour at five o'clock and I'm like, "Absolutely, no fucking way. I've been talking all day."

[00:48:46] Tyson: No, exactly.

[00:48:48] Alexa: Full stop, no. Also, there's a really funny Geico commercial that just came out recently, have you guys seen this, where it's two guys who are trying to get into a Western draw? They're trying to do a gun fight and they're trying to schedule time for the gun fight. One of them is like, "Oh, can you do 3:30 on Tuesday?" The other guy's like, "No, I got to take my kid to soccer practice."

The other guy's like, "What about four o'clock on Wednesday?" The other guy's like, "No, I need a coffee meeting with this guy." They're trying to do the Calendly thing in the old Western town to set up a gun fight. It's absolute genius. You got to love Geico. It does speak to this idea that there's way too much overbooking. Tyson, you're 100% right. We've basically sterilized the day by going virtual. We've taken out a lot of those interpersonal moments. I think for the person who's trying to get an answer to this question, go back to the stuff that's working that's not these forced, awkward group-level things.

My team, for example, we have a Monday morning huddle and we have a Friday afternoon huddle. The Monday huddle is like, "What's everybody working on? Give me a thing you're going to do for the week." Team announcements, whatever. Pretty quick. Friday, we spend most of the time doing what we call fucking hurrahs, which is basically everybody goes around and celebrates something from the week.

There are at least one week of every month I cry from laughter during that huddle because my team is hilarious and they're goofy and they're silly. I don't need more than that at that particular moment. That's a good moment for all of us. We're all enjoying that. I don't then need to be like, "And we're going to stay on for zoom for another hour and do [crosstalk] [unintelligible 00:50:22] wine and cheese."

[00:50:21] Sadiku: Laughter, that is it. You've got to bring laughter into it.

[00:50:24] Tyson: Laughter.

[00:50:25] Sadiku: I really think--

[00:50:26] Alexa: Go back to the teams. Go back to that level. Our managers having those moments with their teams. Are they making space for that? Are they starting every call of like, "All right, here's the agenda" or are they taking five minutes to be like, "Hey Tyson, how's your family, how's your new baby, how was that thing you told me you were going through last week?" Then focus on, are the teams doing this stuff? We have some goofy stuff as a team that just came about because we're a goofy squad. That's just what it is. If we tried to do this on a level when we're 200 employees, it won't work. It just won't work.

[00:50:53] Sadiku: Tyson, you raised a point early which was around safety. You've got to feel safe and secure in whatever your environment is to be your truest full of self. For people to laugh and sincerely not laugh, not just because they're laughing-- for sincere humor, you have to feel safe. You have to be caught off guard, but feel safe to be caught off guard as well.

What I've seen successful for me, at least in this pandemic is when I began to open up. Not just about work, like, "Hi, hope everyone's well, into business," but really bring people into my life and bring people into my home because I'll be honest, I'm not typically that type of person. I'm just not typically very comfortable like that. I've learned that it's actually important and actually brought me closer to people. I like the idea of psychological safety laughter and then being vulnerable, I guess.

[00:51:44] Alexa: Just making sure you're doing that at a level that's manageable. Rather than trying to plan happy hours people attend, go spend some time with some of those managers, make sure they're doing that stuff on a weekly basis because that's the reason people are going to stay. They're not going to stay because of a cool company-wide happy hour or any virtual event for that matter.

Do your managers, are there situations like we talked about in our predictions for the year episode, are there situations where there's maybe a local group of people who just all happen to be in Charleston, South Carolina, or whatever. Go make them a dinner reservation. It doesn't have to be the perfect group of people across the org chart. It can be a haphazard group of people who just happened to be geographically close right now or you have a pottery club or whatever. There's other ways to be creative about it, but I think trying to do it just like, it can't be video and it's got to be cultural building is like, you've got to work on little moments first.

[00:52:33] Sadiku: Integrate it into your little moments, 100%. I cannot say that more. I've been virtual and not virtual. I've worked in situations where I've been in the office with virtual teams and all that. I have built really strong relationships virtually. People I've never met before are good friends. It is possible, but it's because you're taking the time to build those relationships into just everyday conversation.

[00:52:58] Alexa: Maybe it's time for an offsite. Maybe it's time to get everybody together, if you're asking this question.

[00:53:03] Sadiku: I will say, and if you're looking for just one kitschy fun thing to do, people love getting shit in the mail. Just send-- even if it was company swag, if my company sent me a mug with the logo on it, I'd be like, "Yeah." You know what I mean? If you're just looking for a quick fix, like one of those husband brings home flowers because he knows he's in the dog house, that's always fun. People love getting shit in the mail.

[00:53:28] Alexa: Send me a charcuterie board, that's one-

[laughter]

[00:53:32] Alexa: -and wine, I love wine. If anybody's [unintelligible 00:53:33].

[00:53:33] Sadiku: [unintelligible 00:53:34] send me your address and I will ship every [crosstalk] [unintelligible 00:53:36].

[00:53:36] Alexa: Yes, I'll just come to Chicago and we'll drink it together. How's that? I'll be there soon. We'll drink it together. All right, Tope. If people want to get in touch with you because they like what you have to say, where can they find you?

[00:53:47] Sadiku: On my LinkedIn. I am very active on LinkedIn and [crosstalk] [unintelligible 00:53:51].

[00:53:51] Alexa: T-O-P-E, yes?

[00:53:52] Sadiku: It's actually my full name, which is Temitope Sadiku, T-E-M-I-T-O-P-E, and then Sadiku, S-A-D-I-K-U.

[00:53:59] Alexa: I love it. Thank you so much for being here.

[00:54:01] Tyson: Thank you.

[00:54:01] Alexa: This was a true pleasure.

[00:54:02] Sadiku: My pleasure.

[00:54:03] Alexa: This episode was executive produced by me, Alexa Baggio with audio production by Ellie Brigida of Clear Harmonies. Our intro music was also done by the wonderful Ellie Brigida of Clear Harmonies. You can find more information about us and future episodes at peopleproblemspod.com.

[00:54:16] [END OF AUDIO]





#notHR #humanresources #peopleoperations #peopleops #work #employeeexperience


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