5 Employee Experience Strategies for This Never-Normal

Over the last few weeks, I’ve highlighted key strategies from my conversation with Michele Koch, Senior Vice President and Chief Culture and People Development Officer at Republic Bank on my podcast, “Better Leaders, Better Workplaces”.

One of the themes we kept coming back to is that to attract and retain top talent in this evolving environment, company culture must meet a growing demand from employees to be seen as human beings first.

In Part 2 of our podcast interview, which has just been released, Michele reveals several strategies to create that human-centric culture in this new world of work.

Koch pulls back the curtain on the transformative work she’s been leading at Republic Bank, providing a template for other organizations to follow in order to compete and win the very best talent.

5 Employee Experience Strategies for This Never-Normal

Koch emphasized two important areas for enhancing the employee experience: increasing employee connectivity and enhancing leaders’ ability to engage a distributed workforce.

Here are 5 successful approaches for tackling these two areas from Republic Bank’s toolkit:

1. Empowering a Cross-Departmental Communication Council: The bank established this council to foster communication and collaboration between departments and locations. Employees come together to address the challenges of a distributed workforce, innovating solutions to make the experience better.

2. Engaging via Executive Town Halls: These events are a platform to open up communication and strengthen the connection between management and staff. Executives engage employees in conversations about what’s going on in the business, and provide opportunities for them to share their insights, concerns, and experiences as employees there.  

3. Encouraging Regular One-on-One Meetings: Managers are encouraged to regularly check in with their staff to discuss their performance, aspirations, and concerns. This is not only to track work progress but to understand the employees’ needs and foster a personal connection.

4. Enhancing Manager and Leadership Development: The bank has ramped up efforts to groom leaders from within, investing in their growth and equipping them with the necessary skills to lead effectively in this never-normal.

5. Elevating Business Resource Groups (BRGs): These groups are aimed at creating an inclusive culture that serves the interests of both employees and clients. Regular listening sessions are conducted with senior leaders to build awareness. And BRGs are directly involved in innovating solutions to drive change.

Intention, Adaptability, & Investment Required

As Michele Koch rightly points out, the journey toward a fully inclusive and human-centric workplace is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. It is a continuous process that requires intentionality, adaptability, and an investment in people. Companies can shape an environment that reflects the integration of needs and aspirations of their employees and those of the business, thus defining their future success.


She’s a woman on a mission, prepped and ready to help you create resilient leaders and a workplace that is poised to succeed. Having weathered her fair share of corporate and career crises of all sizes, Vivian Blade MBA, MBB, PMP, is a global leadership expert and thought leader who equips leaders with the resilience that inspires teams to recover quickly in the face of ongoing disruption and thrive in spite of insurmountable odds.

Vivian empowers leaders and organizations as a frequent keynote speaker for association conferences and in delivering transformative leadership development programs, executive coaching and consulting for corporations.

Copyright 2023 Vivian Blade