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Topic: Culture

Designing a workplace that reflects your values with guest Meghan Tuohig

season 4 episode 3

The Work Place Podcast with guest Meghan Tuohig of Overstock.com
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Welcome to The Work Place, where we talk about the cultures we work in, and how to make them better for everyone. I’m Andrew Scarcella. 

This episode, we’re talking with Meghan Tuohig about ways to design an intentional work culture as well as a work environment that offers support, belonging and flexibility to a modern workforce. 

Join us after the interview for Tangible Takeaways, where we’ll talk about the ideas and actions we can take with us and implement our own workplace cultures.

Meghan is the Chief People Officer at Overstock.com where she has worked for more than 15 years. She has an MBA from Westminster College, and Utah Business listed her as one of their 40 under 40 to watch in 2017, the same year she founded O.W.N, the Overstock Women’s Network, which aims to provide education, training, mentorship and professional development to Overstock’s female employees.  In 2021, Utah Business recognized her again when they named her CXO of the year. 

Meghan was interviewed by me in the summer of 2021, but her thoughts on attracting and developing the best people and teams in our increasingly “hybrid” work climate remain as relevant in 2022. Let’s get to it. 

TANGIBLE TAKEAWAYS

Now it’s time for tangible takeaways. Where we take big ideas out of the hamper, sorting them into colors, lights, darks and delicates, before carting them haphazardly down to the corner laundromat, only to discover we forgot to bring our wallet, but as it turns out, we have found a crumpled 5 dollar bill in that extra inside pocket of our favorite jacket, but the change machine doesn’t really like our crumpled bill, so we spend way too long trying  to flatten in on the counters with a heavy box of detergent so that the machine will graciously convert our humble fiver into a cascade of glistening quarters, so we can sit down for an afternoon of washing, drying, and tenderly folding our unmentionables in a public place. 

The first, is that if you really want to put your cultural money where your mouth is, consider crafting a work environment that will reflect your company’s values instead of giving them lip service—what good is building a Peace Coliseum if that campus then fails to meet the actual needs of your workers?  This means practical amenities like daycares and in-house clinics, not just ping pong tables and pop tarts. Tailored benefits show your workers that you truly listen to their feedback and that you value their well-being and that of their families. 

The second, is that in this moment where workers are at a premium, one of the most reliable tools for attracting talent is word of mouth. Talents scouts and recruiters are no substitute for sheer, unfakeable power of a current employee who is willing to say to an esteemed friend or colleague, “Trust me, this is a great place to work.” But how do you cultivate this word of mouth? See takeaway number 1 above…

The third, is that if you are building an epic campus, consider an equally epic moniker to go with it. Let’s see….peace coliseum is already taken…how about

Equality Cathedral? Umm… Recognition warehouse? No, no. I’ve got it: 

The psychological safety arena? No? Hmm..the integrity bathhouse? Getting warmer…

The accountability amphitheater…? The equity emporium…

Tower of empowerment...

This episode was narrated by yours truly, and produced by Annika Rapp, with writing, music and sound design by Daniel Foster Smith.

If you liked this episode, or even if you didn’t, please rate, review, and, of course, subscribe to The Work Place wherever you get your podcasts. If you have a burning question about workplace culture, or a story about why YOUR workplace culture is the best (or worst) send it to theworkplace@octanner.com.

The Work Place is sponsored by O.C. Tanner, the global leader in engaging workplace cultures. O.C. Tanner’s Culture Cloud™ provides a single, modular platform for influencing and improving employee experiences through recognition, career anniversaries, leadership, and more.

If you want your organization to become a place where people can’t wait to come to work in the morning, go to octanner.com.

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