Culturati: Magazine June/July Issue

By Eugene Sepulveda, Co-founder & CEO, Culturati

What’s the future workplace? Is it a Great Resignation, Great Attrition, Great Attraction or a Boomerang?

These are still in play.

The Future Workplace

On the future workplace . . . there is still no consensus. Some are calling this the Great Resistance. The consensus among companies small & large appears to be that they want employees back in the office at least a few days a week. Only 4% of employers are requiring a full time return to the workplace.

In May 2021, Jamie Dimon said, “Working from home doesn’t work for people who want to hustle, doesn’t work for culture, doesn’t work for idea generation.” Though, by April 2022, he wrote that “working from home will become more permanent in American business.” Elon Musk was last quoted in May 2022 saying executives must work at least 40 hours in the office. I haven’t yet seen reports contradicting this edict but expect to.

Considering the value of social capital in the workplace and the power of in-person gatherings for ideation, innovation & creativity, payoffs aren’t elusive but might require programming.

Many employees thrived with the extra time — less commuting, fewer meaningless meetings, less interruptions, more time with the family. Sixty percent of workers say they prefer a hybrid work place. And, we as employers & managers must provide a payoff when employees do return. Considering the value of social capital in the workplace (I’m eagerly awaiting Brooke Weddle’s and Bill Schaninger’s piece on their latest research) and the power of in-person gatherings for ideation, innovation & creativity, payoffs aren’t elusive but might require programming. I like what McKinsey’s Phil Kirschner says about the workplace . . . it’s the new offsite . . . it should be designed and laid out to foster connectedness, creativity and inclusion for those participating remotely.

Great Resignation, Great Attrition, Great Attraction, Great Reshuffling or a Boomerang

We’re reading that one quarter of workers who quit their job during the COVID pandemic now regret that decision, and nearly half of those who moved to new jobs say those have not lived up to expectations (1). Culturati members Bill Schaninger & Bonnie Dowling wrote about the Great Attraction nearly a year ago. Member Mark McClain wrote about the Boomerang effect in Fast Company. Paul Krugman in his NYTimes column believes it’s been a Great Reshuffling rather than a mass resignation. I still recommend these articles.

It would appear employers are regaining some of their power as concerns grow about a recession, though the latest job numbers are very strong. And, I’m not sure that helps strategically. The very best employees (and from McKinsey article linked below, we should differentiate between traditionalist and others), for whom the competition will remain stiff . . . still value flexibility, great compensation (& benefits), greater work-life balance & personal wellbeing, and the ability to do what they do best. I know, I know . . . we continue to see decks that say pay isn’t in the top 10 list — well, depends what questions we ask and who we ask. But, unless it’s already seen as fair and as recognizing one’s value, compensation & benefits are a big deal. I don’t know if the importance of work-life balance & personal wellbeing will continue as a top 5 but, especially among the creative classes, it appears many of us value this more now than before the pandemic.

Bill, Bonnie, Bryan & Aaron at McKinsey & Company just released a new article, The Great Attrition is making hiring harder. Are you searching the right talent pools? They cite a continuation of the high level of resignations, a large pool of active and potential workers who are shunning traditional paths, differently prioritizing what they want from their jobs and out of life. They conclude that “there is now a structural gap in the labor supply because there simply aren’t enough traditional employees to fill all the openings.”

We’ve set the date for our next in-person Culturati Summit — April 2 & 3, 2023, again at Campus on the Lake.

We expect McKinsey & Company and Microsoft back as Knowledge Partners. I’m kicking off meetings with McKinsey in a couple of weeks. Matthew (Microsoft) & I never go out of conversation. We so also enjoyed the collaboration with NI, DLA Piper, NXP, Atlassian & Indeed. I suspect some of these underwriters will be playing even bigger roles going forward.

We will be surveying Culturati members and outside CEOs and CHROs for the cutting edge culture issues you are confronting and want to learn more about in 2023. In the interim, feel free to write us with your comments, suggestions and questions.

Inside Culturati Magazine this month

My friend an Culturati Scholar, University of Texas Professor Craig Watkins explores to what extent do AI systems practice bias and replicate inequities as we deploy to augment human labor and lead to greater workplace efficiency.

Microsoft’s Rebecca Kay, Sr. Writer, Future of Work, explores how making time for work friendships is worth the effort, especially in a hybrid workplace. Microsoft researcher Nancy Baym offers idea how to encourage and foster these relationship.

We’ve created a link to Fortune Sr Editor Ellen McGirt’s interview of Indeed CEO Chris Hyams during the in-person Summit. The discuss the transformation of hiring during the pandemic.

Culturati Scholar and University of Texas Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Management, Ethan Burris is a leading scholar on employee voice. We’ve included a transcript of his podcast discussing the organizational dynamics surrounding employee voice and leadership.

More information on who attended the in-person summit and has viewed these sessions during the Virtual Summit and since.

And, Myste Wylde shares her perspective as a first time Culturati attendee.

Myste Wylde (left) and Heather Bailey (right) at Culturati Summit 2022

Finally, a huge shout out to Myste Wylde who’s been promoted to Culturati COO. Myste just joined us in October as Culturati Manager. She hit it out of the park managing logistics, marketing and customer experience for the in-person and virtual summits. Josh & I couldn’t be more excited to have Myste join us on the leadership team.

Eugene Sepulveda is the co-founder of Culturati as well as the CEO of the Entrepreneurs Foundation, an advisor at Capital Factory, and a senior advisor & treasurer for Austin Mayor Steve Adler. Eugene’s played at the intersection of business, politics and community in Austin and nationally for nearly 30 years.



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Culturati Team

Culturati Team

Culturati is a community of CEOs, entrepreneurs, investors and other c-suite leaders who practice & study culture building and share our play books.