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‘Every organization has to be true to who they are’: UKG CEO on how managers build trust with their teams

UKG CEO Chris Todd
UKG CEO Chris Todd on what makes a great place to work.
Courtesy of UKG
Two years ago, workforce management software provider UKG acquired Great Place To Work (GPTW), the premier certifier of, well, great places to work. Now UKG is opening the vaults on GPTW’s data banks and using the decades of detailed rankings to launch a new workforce management tool that could help companies build trust: the UKG Great Place To Work Hub.
“The hub is a solution that takes an organization’s HR metrics and turns those into opportunities to build inclusive, equitable cultures,” says UKG CEO Chris Todd. Great Place To Work has been collecting data on corporate performance through its (TIM) surveys since 1992, providing UKG with troves of surveys, reports, and historical rankings to fuel its hub. Todd says the service will also provide users suggestions on how to improve their rankings and hit goals built on the TIM pillars. In short, the Great Place To Work Hub helps organizations track performance metrics based on goals that are relevant to Great Place To Work standards, and lets users compare their performance to other companies in similar fields.  There is a payoff to companies aligning more with Great Place To Work standards. “Great Place To Work certified organizations outperform the market,” Todd says, and ranking high on trust factors specifically leads to even better results, as “Great Place To Work-certified organizations that have high trust cultures outperform in that cohort.”
What’s most interesting to me about GPTW’s Trust Model is that it provides a lens for what trust looks like from an employee’s point of view (“Am I respected?” “Is my job meaningful?” “Are my managers trustworthy?”) as well as what trust should mean from a manager’s perspective. GPTW identifies nine areas where “leader and manager actions, behaviors, and communications have the greatest impact on the level of trust in an organization.” They are Hiring, Inspiring Speaking, Listening, Thanking, Developing, Caring, Celebrating, and Sharing.
I’ll leave you all to visit their to get an explanation on what those actions mean, but it was Inspiring that caught my eye. GPTW says managers should inspire employees to see “how they contribute to the company’s higher purpose.” 

Certainly numerous surveys show employees are drawn to ethical companies that serve some sort of greater purpose, however tertiary it might be. But you could also pull out a ream of reports suggesting younger employees are rejecting the idea of finding purpose through work and serving a company’s goals, instead embracingquiet quitting,” “lying flat,” and job hopping.

I asked Todd whether he saw a generational divide in how employees measure trust in a company and he said that he tends “to be suspicious of those broad categorizations” but that UKG certainly adapts to employee needs based on where they are in their careers, rather than when they were born. “We meet people where they are on their career journeys, when they’ll have different expectations and goals. We tried to build an organization that is reflective of and responsive to that,” Todd says. That’s a tough but vital job for a manager, adapting to employee needs. People may choose to work at a company for any number of reasons—money, convenience, purpose—so a one-size-fits-all approach to trust building might not work. But a corporation can at least narrow the range of requirements by establishing a strong corporate culture and hiring people who best fit.
“At the core, every organization has to be true to who they are,” Todd says.

Eamon Barrett


Xi meets Biden
U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping had their first face-to-face in a year this week, meeting on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco. Trade war tensions have yet to subside between the two superpowers, with the U.S. continuing to rack restrictions on semiconductor exports. Greeting Xi, Biden , "There is no substitute to face-to-face discussions. I've always found our discussions straightforward and frank." 

FTX’s billions
The bankruptcy estate of FTX filed its latest lawsuit last week as part of its attempt to make customers whole, suing the crypto exchange Bybit for nearly $1 billion. According to the lawsuit, Bybit’s investment arm, Mirana, held around $850 million in FTX, which afforded it special privileges on the platform that managers exploited to withdraw funds when rumors of insolvency first started. 

This could be an email
New technology from Microsoft, , and now allows people to skip Zoom meetings and send robot notetakers on their behalf. The practice is still in its infancy, but has already gained some traction, according to the . Some management experts worry that the practice could create a toxic work environment because sending a bot in your place suggests the meeting isn’t worth your time. Although, it might pressure people to reconsider when a meeting is really necessary. 

Unstable states
The U.S. fiscal position is on an “unsustainable trajectory” due to a lack of political will to resolve the crisis at a time when debt costs are soaring, former Federal Reserve Bank of New York President Bill Dudley said last week. Dudley also pointed to ballooning costs of health care and social security as the baby boomer generation retires, further exacerbating the fiscal outlook.


“Even though the desire to achieve broader impact through ESG is good, the devil is in the details: the measurement and choice of metrics are enormously important, and the absence of clarity and consensus around them will introduce significant noise into investors’ portfolio choice conundrum.”

Two researchers in an op-ed for Fortune say they studied 235 stocks and found that ESG metrics “don’t just make a portfolio less profitable, but also less likely to achieve its stated ESG aims.” The issue is that ESG metrics are still too unregulated and diverse, which means stock pickers suffer “estimation risk,” which devalues their portfolio. 

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