Topic: Leadership


Empathy in the Workplace with Guest Lori Henkel

Episode 2 - Lori Henkel

The Work Place is a podcast where we talk to experts about the cultures we work in, and how to make them better.

Learn how Bank of America treated their employees like clients and fostered empathy in the workplace.

Host: Andrew Scarcella
Guest: Lori Henkel

Topics covered:

  • 2:35 - Putting the humanity back in HR
“The employee experience team was set up to look at our employees like clients”
— Lori Henkel
  • 5:00 - Closing the work/life divide
  • 11:57 - How to handle employees’ major life events
“We get incredible feedback … it has absolutely changed the culture at Bank of America”
— Lori Henkel
  • 13:49 - Skill development
  • 15:24 - Cross-positional training
  • 19:04 - Increasing opportunities
“Making sure that we are allowing people to bring their whole selves to work and that they will feel supported”
— Lori Henkel
  • 21:47 - Bringing compassion to your workplace culture

Lori Henkel: SVP, Charlotte Market Executive at Bank of America
Twitter: @lori_henkel

Tangible Takeaways

  • This where we break down the big ideas in each episodes into bite sized pieces you can take with you and implement in your workplace culture.
  • Get personal. Human resources shouldn’t expect people’s personal lives to be completely separate from their work lives. Major life events, triumphant or tragic, affect us all, whether we’re at work or not. If HR can help out, lend a hand, offer support, shouldn’t it?
  • Try cross-training. By giving team members the opportunity to try another job on the team, you’re not only helping them expand their skills, you’re helping the whole team grow. Not to mention be more flexible when someone has one of those major life events we were just talking about.
  • It’s easy to make your own zen room. Turn off the fluorescent lights, turn on the lava lamp (or another, less groovy low-intensity light), and get some white noise going (small fans work great). Now close your eyes and let your mind clear. Isn’t that nice?

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 suite where all employee experience apps are in sync, giving teams the integrated tools they need when, where, and how they need them. If you want your organization to become a place where people can’t wait to come to work in the morning, go to

related Resources

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Why Practical Empathy Is the Skill Your Workplace Needs Right Now

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What Does It Mean to Be an Empathetic Leader?

Explore a new model for empathetic leadership—practical empathy—and learn what it means to be an empathetic leader in the modern workplace.