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 Janet Skolud of TD Bank Group, about creating a culture of care through scalable platforms and innovative thinking when it comes to employee appreciation.
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.
Janet Skolud is the Sr. Manager, Global Recognition Programs at TD Bank Group where she has worked for an impressive 21 years and counting. In her role, she has overseen the adoption of a new enterprise-wide recognition platform to enable easy access and consistent experiences for showing appreciation at their organisation. Throughout the pandemic, TD managed to inspire appreciation for 100% employees who were thanked for their contributions, strengthening TD’s culture of care in truly tangible ways.
Janet was interviewed by me, and our conversation was just the inspiration needed to look at the challenges we’re currently facing as opportunities to reassess and grow. Let’s get to it.
Now it’s time for tangible takeaways, where we take big ideas down to our allotted patch at the community garden, clear a spot for them right next to the rutabagas, amending the soil with some organic compost and free-range fertiliser, equal parts nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, adding just a touch of sand and vermiculite, then sitting back on a lawn chair with a cool glass of lemonade to watch our ideas take root and begin to sprout beautiful blossoms of possibility and wonder.
The first takeaway is actually…well, five. TD’s Five shared commitments are the behaviours that define how TD wants to grow its business while supporting and empowering its workforce.
One: think like a customer. When each employee thinks like a customer, their actions are seen in a new light, unlocking a perspective that leads to greater empathy and customer retention.
Two: Act like an owner. Much like the first, this commitment will ensure that each employee maintains a globally minded perspective regarding the organisation as a whole.
Three: Execute with speed and impact. No cutting corners, simply work to achieve a desired outcome with appropriate action and haste.
Four: Innovate with purpose. It’s easy to come up with new processes and approaches, but for maximum value, it’s essential that we have a goal in mind, a desired outcome, as we abandon old methods for new ones.
Five: Develop Our Colleagues. No one works in a vacuum (well, maybe astronauts…), but the rest of us earthbound workers must rely on each other to grow and develop. I need your feedback, and you need mine if we wish to reach our full potential.
Your organisation may have different principles and commitments, but TD demonstrates that having shared goals across your organisation is what is needed to succeed when your workforce spans across continents.
The second takeaway is that while the pandemic has wrought its share of pain and disruption to our lives and our livelihoods, it has also provided an apt moment to pause and reevaluate our organisation's priorities and programs. What’s working? What isn’t? Are we meeting the needs of our employees and our customers? But more than just asking the question, once we see the necessary change, it’s time to move forward, to execute with speed and impact so we can truly grow and innovate with purpose.
The third is that if you want to innovate with purpose in your own life, why not start by looking in the mirror? Is it time to shave that covid beard? Maybe it’s time to pull the trigger with your hairdresser and rock those bangs you’ve been dreaming of. Maybe it’s time to take that Keto-cooking class and kick-start a healthier diet.
As for me, I’m going to spend some time this year on a bit of old-fashioned correspondence. Dear Tabitha, it’s been years since our summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. How does this new century find you? Have you gotten those bangs you were talking about? What do you make of the new marvel series on Disney plus? I must confess I’ve not seen it, though I do find Owen Wilson very charming…
This episode was narrated by yours truly, and was executive 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 organisation to become a place where people can’t wait to come to work in the morning, go to octanner.com/sea/.
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