Mike Schneider, Mental Health First Aid Training

#61 Driven by Care, Connection and belonging, Kylie Green, Managing Director APAC, Reward Gateway

Mar 18, 2024

Kylie Green is the Managing Director APAC for Reward Gateway, who provide technology for organisations to embed a reward and recognition culture. Kylie gives us many examples of how small recognition and rewards lift motivation and productivity. She highlights the findings from the Workplace Engagement Index for 2024, revealing that a staggering 83% of employees feel more motivated and productive when they have a caring manager. It's a testament to the undeniable connection between empathy and efficiency in the workplace. Kylie also offers timeless wisdom on on balancing empathy and productivity.
"Care in the workplace for me is all about ensuring that your people have an opportunity to have a voice. And that voice counts. And for me, that's about creating an opportunity for psychological safety."
- Kylie Green


  • What caring means in the workplace for Kylie
  • Inspiring examples of how cultivating a culture of recognition can lead to remarkable results
  • The importance of embodying compassion and humanity in leadership


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Transcript from the interview

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Graeme Cowan, Kylie Green


Graeme Cowan  00:03

It’s a real pleasure to welcome Kylie Green to the caring CEO. Welcome, Kylie.


Kylie Green  00:08

Thank you for having me, Graeme.


Graeme Cowan  00:11

Kylie, what does care in the workplace mean to you?


Kylie Green  00:15

Yeah, care in the workplace for me is all about ensuring that your people have an opportunity to have a voice. And that voice counts. And for me, that’s about creating an opportunity for psychological safety. And I think carefully in the workplace for me as evolved throughout my career. When I was younger, I grew up in a family that was heavily involved in construction. So care in the workplace was a lot about physical safety. And I heard a lot about h&s, obviously, care moving in towards an environment where psychological safety becomes a much bigger factor is something that’s really important to me and creating that environment where everyone feels safe to bring their authentic self to work. And then everyone feels that there’s an opportunity that they can have a voice and contribute. And that that voice counts is is certainly really important for me and creating a really incredible workplace. And


Graeme Cowan  01:11

we’re going to talk in a moment about the workplace engagement index at your company reward gateway, just released in 2024. But just sharing this, one of the findings was 83% of us employees state that they feel more motivated and productive. If they feel they have a manager who cares. And it jumps to 87% for Gen X and 94%, to Baby Boomers. So it just really qualifies doesn’t impact that care. If people sense that they’re supportive, we have each other’s back, we accept each other for who they are.


Kylie Green  01:46

Absolutely, and I think one of the thing with the workplace engagement index, it was a really interesting process of going through developing that research. And obviously launching that over the recent weeks, we surveyed about 1000 people leaders and 1000 employees across about 14 different verticals and, and one of the things that the findings that I found really interesting was not only reinforcing what we all know how important it is to have a manager that cares that old expression that you know, you don’t leave a business you leave a manager is absolutely true. And what I actually found really interesting is that only one in four employees would actually recommend their manager. And in what it really showed to us when we looked at that research is that supportive managers or a manager that cares and is in very much in high demand. Employees are demanding them. They’re making active career decisions because of it. But they are very much in short supply. So it’s definitely a real challenge to face they’re


Graeme Cowan  02:51

about a year ago, I shared a post on LinkedIn, and it was backed up by research from the American Scientific American. The post essentially says that the single best way to boost employee well being was to give them a good manager, not even a great manager, a good manager, right? That way, absolutely vital in having 2.7 million views, comments and shares. And so to me, that was a real validation of that. It’s not just here he this people actually feel it. And we also feel it when we don’t have a manager that supports us. And it can be very draining if we feel we have a manager that we don’t feel has our back, Carter.


Kylie Green  03:35

Oh, hugely so and I think you see it time and time again. And I think it’s Gartner’s book that it’s all about the manager is such an important one. And one of my ex colleagues, Deborah quarry has written a great book, bad bosses ruin lives. But on the flip side of that great bosses, inspire and uplift. And I think there’s a significant opportunity for managers to be able to create a really healthy and a really productive and a really inspiring workplace. And I think to be fair to managers, though, it’s not all their fault. One of the things that did come out in our research and that we’re seeing time and time again, when we’re partnering with organizations is the limitation in how much support we’re providing to managers and particularly middle managers. When you look at the state of workplaces nowadays, middle managers have a higher level of expectation than what we’ve ever seen before. On the one end, we have more generations in the workforce than what we’ve seen before. And we’ve seen such a big evolution in our world of work, greater evolution than what we’ve ever seen throughout the pandemic. And so we’ve got people working, trying to manage employees in either frontline workforces hybrid workforces remote workforces, we’ve got more generations in the workforce with different levels of individual expectation around them. Are you proposition they would like to see from work, we’ve got the rising cost of living and challenging economic conditions, meaning employees have greater expectations from their employers. And, and if you look at things like the Edelman trust index, people are putting more reliance on their organizations than ever before and moving away from some of those previous community groups that they might have actually used as a moment of connection. So their workplace becomes a purpose, in terms of belonging in terms of connection. And so there’s a lot of expectations on managers. And on the other hand, organizations are trying to do more with less trying to drive productivity trying to drive performance. And so if you think about it, from a middle managers perspective, it’s the perfect storm in terms of the squeeze of expectations from employees on one side, and organizations on the other. And I think one of the things that the research showed is that there is very little support for managers as they transition from being top individual contributors, to try to be great people, leaders, and actually supporting them with appropriate training and development, as well as the tools to be able to set them up for success. So I think there’s a lot of work we can do to help managers as they go through that transition and ensure that they can actually provide an environment where they can have really healthy workplaces in the future.


Graeme Cowan  06:27

And one of the other things that I’ve seen as well is that often managers have really cumbersome bureaucracy. And so you know, setting up processes that free them up from that time, then allows them to have more time with their people, which is ultimately where they should be, isn’t it? Absolutely.


Kylie Green  06:44

And I think time is obviously one of the most precious resources for everyone nowadays, and none more so than managers. And I think one of the things is managers can’t have their eyes everywhere. So I’m the tools that can help them to be able to create moments of connection and belonging, one of the things that we see a lot is organizations that are creating a digital campfire. So for their managers, they can actually use the power of storytelling, and storytelling used to be for people that were working in office environments really easy. We used to stand around the water cooler, we have the staff townhall events, you could hire fire for colleague, you could grab them over coffee, and you could physically see how they’re doing now we’re working in such dispersed teams in so many environments, there’s an opportunity for us to stop and reflect on how do we create really intentional moments that matter? How do we create an opportunity to celebrate individuals contribution in different ways than what we did before. And some of that is providing tools to managers to help them. And also providing opportunities that we can have multi directional feedback into managers. So we’re seeing a lot of businesses that nowadays are investing a lot into recognition tools of all different kinds. And one of the things that that actually creates a focus on is multi directional feedback. And so that’s where managers have the opportunity to have peers of employees shining a spotlight on the contribution that an employee’s made, it might be other leaders in the business, it might be up through to the manager for the manager’s contribution, but actually tagging and recognizing the manager in that and what that really does is create an opportunity that you never miss the the opportunity to celebrate an employee and celebrate behaviors that you would like to see repeated. And then managers can use that to shine a spotlight and set an example of what great looks like in any organization and, and shine a spotlight on those values and behaviors that they’d like to see repeated. So I think tools are really helpful in both timesaving but also in the power of belonging and storytelling, and the power of visibility. Because one of the things that came out in for us in the research is just how much employees want to have greater visibility and greater appreciation for their contribution to an organization. And certainly giving managers tools to do that in a really time efficient way is so important when they’ve got such big demand hands on their workloads, and in many cases, larger and larger and more and more dispersed teams that they’re working with as well. So anything that can help that is certainly certainly important. Remember


Graeme Cowan  09:32

reading Therese embolized book called The Progress principle. It’s probably about six or seven years old now. But one of the key findings she found there, as I’m sure you know, is that the most rewarding energizing creative thing for an employee is knowing they’re making progress on meaningful work. And it didn’t necessarily mean these massive awards or, you know, celebrations even just micro rewards, you know, just to tap on that. I’ve you know, high five, a well done, you know, congratulations, let me get your coffee, those things really matter. And and I know that with hybrid and the disconnection that’s become more and more challenging. So for those that may not be aware of reward gateway, which was just explained the service that you provide? Yes, sure.


Kylie Green  10:23

And so we’re really privileged to work with one in 14, working Aziz. And we support them through their employers, and those employers, a range of businesses that have partnered with reward gateway, to really be able to attract, retain, and engage employees. So we provide an HR Technology Service. And that service is one centralized unified platform to connect the organization on one side with the employee on the other end, we do that through a number of ways we do an employee reward and recognition solution. We do employee discounts and benefits solutions. And we do communication and Survey Solutions. And what we bring together is an opportunity to package and promote all of the elements that makes a business a great place to work, and then celebrate and remind employees why they joined that business in the first place. And I guess coming back to your point around the power of recognition, I think that you can never underestimate the power of a thank you. So whether people use technology, like reward gateways, and they use other technology, or they simply use an email or a note pick up the phone, right. And it doesn’t really matter. What matters the most is that people will never miss the opportunity to underestimate the power of a thank you the power of visibility, how much that matters and the power of saying I see you and I appreciate what you do. And that really resonates and time and time again, that comes out in the research. In fact, in when we were looking through the research around the top five things that employers were looking for, and having work that had a really well defined purpose and a purpose that aligned to the individual was really important. And then having a manager that cares, like we talked about over caring, but also having visibility and recognition for their contribution. Employees consistently want to see where their piece in the puzzle fits in and understanding how they can contribute to the organization. I think that progress principle is really important. One of the things that we really encourage clients a lot is to celebrate not only perfection, but progress. And for employees feeling like they’re making meaningful progress forward is just such an important part of people’s mental well being and it came out consistently in all of the research we’ve done. And one of the things I did love about during the workplace engagement indexes, and having been with reward gateway for nine years now. And having led our global consultancy business for seven years. I saw a lot of engagement research globally from a lot of great leaders, and a lot of great businesses. But a lot of that research was global, and it didn’t always reflect the nuances of our Australian economic cultural conditions, even our regulatory conditions. And so, for us, the workplace engagement index was a chance to be able to really reflect what we’re seeing here locally and then that that nuance in in that research and be able to give back a little bit the Australian people community and and hopefully inspire a few organizations that are going through this journey, as we all are in trying to navigate how to best create a sense of belonging and connection amongst our employees and to inspire them to create really healthy and productive workplaces.


Graeme Cowan  14:03

You were nominated by someone that works within reward gateway. And they said that, you know, you don’t just talk about that. You live and breathe it within or gateway. So can you sort of describe this event recently had we brought in a lot of people? And there’s obviously a lot of people working on the project internally. How did you celebrate that? How do you reward people and recognize people for that big project?


Kylie Green  14:32

Yeah, so we had our event called IG live. I have to tell you, at the end of the day, I was actually a little bit emotional. I’m getting a little bit older and I do my family does laugh at me. They say I cry at Telstra ads but um, ay. Ay, ay was actually really quite emotional at the end of the event because I was quite overwhelmed with pride with the team. And one of the things that we have Arkenstone is how we can really give back to the people community and become Australia. Most loved engagement platform and community and we wanted to provide a really incredible event. And that gave a lot of inspiration and gave an opportunity for our clients to be inspired. And now, HR community in general to be inspired. And so we celebrated the event in a number of ways. We, at the end of the event, we brought everyone together. And our CEO and myself said a couple of words to thank the team immediately for their contribution. The next day, I sent out our recognition ecards to each one of the contributors to the event, um, a lot of people then jumped on light and commented that and we got our photos back. And we shared amongst our team photos and celebrations of that. And we’ve now got feeds to our walls, amongst our TVs in the office with feedback from either prospects or clients that attended as long with colleagues to actually thank people for their contribution. And, and we’re doing a town hall event tomorrow, and we will be actually shouting out and celebrating people’s contribution as part of that. So it was a really nice way to be able to share. And I think one of the things that we did when we reflected on each person’s contribution, we use a model called the AVI model, and it’s share the action, reflect the value that they’ve showcased and share the impact. And I think one of the things that we did is not just you did a great job at the event, but we talked about what specifically and an individual did, whether that was Evan Smith and joy den are amazing hosts for the day and the way that they you know, inspired and engage the audience and the research and work they did to add value and make sure we had you know, great teachable moments for our audience throughout whatever it was that they did, I think it was really important that we took the moment to celebrate it. And for me, a great recognition moment can take place in a lot of different mediums. So we used obviously our platform to celebrate and recognize via ecards and encourage other people to come in and like and comment. And we had some rewards go out to employees that had gone above and beyond. So that difference between good and great. But we also you I saw some people in the office and give them a hug the next day and thanked them for their contribution. And we created moments where we had a lot of different multi directional communications. And I think, for me, I think that’s the power of like the authenticity of that genuine moment of appreciation. That was interesting, because we had a client that spoke to me, after we rounded everyone up and took a team photo and thanked them. And he commented on feeling really moved by just that genuine moment of appreciation and just seeing the the connection that that created amongst the team. So I think everyone felt a great sense of belonging and really proud around the way we were able to add value there. And I hope that what we can do along the way is inspire other companies. I did have a chat that evening with the team from Suncorp. And that Danna have done great work with their shine platform and their employees send out over 80,000 moments of recognition a year, that’s a lot of times where their people are actually recognized for their contribution. And I think if you think about the impact of that on mental health, on belonging, and there’s a lot of people that come to work every day and give it their all. And that’s 80,000 times that someone’s actually taken a moment to stop and, you know, have someone feel seen and feel visible and feel appreciated for their contributions. So I think that’s an incredible part. If we can inspire a few others, regardless of which method they use. That’s that’s certainly something that we can to do.


Graeme Cowan  19:21

Yeah. You had a you’re now in the role of managing director of AIPAC. But before that you had some real stellar success in the sales arena, you know, first of all, and account executive and right up to senior VP for global sales. What do you think has been a key element of your success as a salesperson first and foremost?


Kylie Green  19:50

And I think like a lot of people I fell into sales initially, it wasn’t certainly a pathway that I had intended to take. I’d studied business you uni and did HR and marketing major. And I fell into that. I think one of the things for me is that makes great salespeople is the best salespeople I know and not what I’d call traditional salespeople. They are very consultative in their nature, and they’re highly curious. And they love to problem solve. And I think that’s really, what it comes down to is, they really focus on a genuine care, a genuine understanding around a business and its challenges. They are great storytellers. So they can inspire and share best practice across a lot of organizations. And they love to problem solve. And so the best consultants that I’ve worked with, and I’ve been really privileged to work with a lot of great consultants, and over the last 25 years of my career, and really, really focused on truly being a great problem solver. And spending a lot of time doing detailed discovery, they probably spent two or three times in the discovery part of the process than the average person that just goes straight into a pitch mode. And I think that’s an important part of it, and then they genuinely care. And so there will be quite authentic in that process around. If they can’t design or provide the right solution. They think that builds them a lot of trust and a lot of credibility. And, and it builds a really strong, long standing relationships that allow them to be really impactful, not only in the short term, but but right, throughout a long career as


Graeme Cowan  21:39

well. I worked in recruitment for a long time, roughly 10 years or so. And it’s not always that there’s sales person that becomes the sales manager or, you know, SVP you prepare for that transition from being a really good salesperson to then being able to lead and inspire and coach your team.


Kylie Green  22:02

Yeah, it’s it’s an interesting transition. And I think that you’re right individual contributor. If you look at actually the research globally, an individual contributor often makes a terrible sales lead. So and, like you, I’ve had a brief stint in recruitment as well and live to live to tell the tale. But a lot of great experience from there. I think one of the things that the transition from an individual contributor to a leader is a lot of skinning my knees along the way to be honest, and and a lot of learnings but underwritten by a deep curiosity, and a passion to learn and to grow. And for me, I think that one of the things is you transition throughout his having great mentors and great opportunities to learn. So as I moved from an individual contributor into sales leadership, and then taking on our Australian leadership I worked with SVP of global sales was based out of Boston called Shelly Lavery. And Shelly now is co founder of a conversational intelligence business called Jiminy, and, and surely was able to really inspire me around really having quite a deep consultative process and trying to understand how to best support the needs of employees and understand how to actually coach and support the employee employees, where they’re at and meeting employees where they’re at. And she also inspired me to make sure I was really connected with what global best practice looked like. And so I went across to sastra, which is a global meeting of SAS leaders. And I went across to San Francisco and was able to meet with a lot of founders, a lot of Chief Revenue officers, and a lot of SVP of sales sales directors, and really get inspired by what the leading SAS businesses were doing from right around the world.


Graeme Cowan  24:17

And you shared before we came on here that there have been similar events, there’s approximately 5% or less of women who achieved revenue officers. How was that solo?


Kylie Green  24:29

Yeah, it was really it was an eye opener for me. I think I was a little bit naive when I went across to the event initially, because I think at that event, it was about 2% Female attendees. So the line from the females bathroom was certainly gonna be some advantages. And actually, I was really shocked. I remember dropping Shelly note at the time and and commenting, just where were all the female leaders and so much Oh, that actually one of the female leaders there and actually created a connection one lunchtime, because there was such a small group of women there. And we all we all went and met up. And I think, then when I did a little bit of further research at the time as I moved into our global SVP of sales role, and I was able to learn that only 5% of Chief Revenue officers globally were female. And and certainly when you consider the tech industry, that’s certainly been been the case. And I think one of the things that’s been really pleasing for me is to see the progress that’s taken place. And I think with them, International Women’s Day, coming up later this week, I think it’s a real focus. And certainly, Australia over the last week has released a lot of research on gender pay differences, and certainly the medium pain in the tech industry still has got some work to go. But I think one of the things back to your progress principle, one of the things that I celebrate his progress, and if you look at the difference from seven years ago to now, the amount of females you see in tech leadership has changed significantly. And I think we’ve got some really great next layers of leadership coming through. And we’ve also been able to see, and really inspire many organizations that are celebrating that journey towards that progress. So I can see a lot of investment in the next level of talent. I know certainly at reward gateway, we’ve been really focused on how do we create an incredible workplace that supports representation from all groups, and we’ve had some of our top sales leaders and top sales talent as actually, our top performers consistently have been females. And I think the fact that we’ve had representation from strong female leadership consistently, across different parts of our business has actually helped us and we often hear in interviews, about around how much representation matters. And people want to come and join a business where they can see where they would like to go and where they’d like to grow to. And so I think that’s helped us to really be able to attract and inspire and create a workplace that creates that, that change over time


Graeme Cowan  27:24

that you’ve had, along the way, you’ve had twins who shared before we came on here, how’s it what’s been, like, you know, trying to juggle or integrate family life with with a very, very, very, very busy work life as well. Yeah,


Kylie Green  27:41

I have. So my twin girls now, Maddie and Sophia 15. So I often make jokes, I’ve got Sass at work and Sass at home. So, but internally, there’s lots of balls, like everyone, every working parents the same lots of balls in the air. And Maddie and Sophia are absolutely my number one priority in the world. So I am very passionate about them as as I am about my work. So every week is a learning curve around sort of juggling and integrating, and then working out how to how to make that work. And I think for me, it’s been a real learning curve and, and a journey around how to do that successfully. I think, having led a global consultancy organization for seven years, there’s a lot of early starts doing that from Australia, and with the US and a lot of late finishes with the UK. And managing that well was something I had to learn over time, so that you can still continue to be great at the work that you love and that you’re so passionate about doing. But also be your tribe be a great mum, you know, be a great partner be great friend, daughter, and all the rest of that too. So I think that that’s something I had to learn over time means how to best manage that. And I think part of that is actually learning around scheduling. So I do some things now around and some evenings that I have blocked out to make sure I’m there for whether that’s, you know, taking my kids to basketball and or just evenings with them, you know, spending time with them. I think that’s really important around sort of blocking out the things that matter most. And I think that when you work in a global business, it’s always particularly in the tech space. It’s very fast paced, and so you can get easily caught up with what’s urgent and sometimes miss what’s most important so my I don’t think I always got that right. I skinned my knees a lot on the journey and in in trying to sort of balance that and it’s a continual learning for me, but I think the trying to come back to prioritization has always been really Put along that journey there with the girls.


Graeme Cowan  30:02

And Kelly also shared before we came on air that, of course, the birth of your twins was great joy. But there was also personal challenges through that as well. Would you mind just letting our guests know about that? Sure.


Kylie Green  30:16

So when the girls were born, they were born naturally and healthily, which I was beyond excited about. Obviously, it’s a higher risk pregnancy there. And however the day they were born, I did then have some complications. And my husband had never actually held a baby before. And then he held to for the first time. So that was a steep learning curve. And I did have some complications on the day they were born. And he was left sitting in intensive care, sort of holding two newborn babies. And I had quite sort of a health challenge there. And I guess following that, that surgery in that recovery there, I experienced some postnatal anxiety, and I’m forever grateful for my obstetrician Dr. Vijay Roach, he does a lot of work with the Gidget foundation dealing with postnatal issues. And so he early spotted that I needed some further support and help. And I think one of the things that led me into was it was a challenging year for our family, my daughters and had a lot of sleeping challenges. So for about 18 months, we had a child awake, right throughout the night, every night. So one of them are post feeding, one of them would scream for three hours. And then the next one would scream for three hours. So my husband and I actually worked shifts, we called it and right throughout the night, one of us was always up with one one of our babies. So it was a very long, 18 months. And a very challenging time, as I struggled with the recovery from some of my trauma, and then the postnatal issues. But I’m really grateful for that personnel anxiety, because it was actually a gift. While it was a really, really challenging time, all of the cognitive behavior therapy and the treatment that I did, actually gave me a real gift for the future. And that was the ability to a build resilience, but be to be able to actually recognize the opportunity to perceive a challenge differently. And that’s something that I was actually able to then take into my career moving forward. So while it was a really difficult time, and and and my heart goes out to anyone that is going through that, I think speaking to others about that difficult time, and encouraged other people to seek help. And I do encourage anyone who is having a difficult time, there is so many great resources to be able to provide support. And also my other I guess, message to share is that while it can be really challenging in a really difficult time, and it can also provide you some blessings that can actually give you a lot of strength and, and a lot of opportunities that can actually help you in your future as well. So that that for me has been a real help in other challenges throughout life, but also in the way that I sort of face difficult times or challenges at work too. You


Graeme Cowan  33:37

know, I had a similar experience not postnatal oriented, but just a really profound depression, which lasted for five years. And I was out of work or that period. And when I was going through it, I was trying everything and nothing really quite worked. But you know what, what it led to was like yourself a new way of looking at life and you were looking at priorities and what’s important, and I also stumbled across a a book called a first rate madness by Americans high. Psychiatrists called nessa gamey. And he said people like Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Ghandi, Luther King, Eleanor Roosevelt, and they’re all people that had really severe episodes have an issue of bad anxiety or depression or bipolar. And it’s heated argument that they weren’t successful despite those issues. They were successful because of them because, you know, going through them really increase people’s sense of empathy, and also and also their resilience, you know, just discovering that you never want to go there again, and what do I need to do to keep myself on a good track? So, for Anyone listening, whether it’s Kylie’s story, or mine, if you’re going through a hard time, seek help and do the right things. Because very meaningful things can come from those experiences.


Kylie Green  35:13

Yeah, and I think one of the things, you know, you sharing your story, and others that share it, I think hopefully we can create an environment where more people feel comfortable to be able to speak up when they’re not okay. And you’re right, I think not only the resilience and the opportunity to perceive challenges differently. But also, there’s a great gift in the empathy that it builds, my understanding of mental health has certainly evolved. For me throughout that experience, and and I’m grateful for that, because I think that helps me when I’m working with teams are working with individuals to have a far greater degree of understanding and and then also, to allow an environment where we can be more proactive, and start to seek out some of the elements that might affect people’s well being. And and you perhaps consider how can we create an environment which is more inclusive, which creates a greater sense of belonging? How do we create an opportunity to create connection, all of those things that are so important, and I see it now on a day to day basis, not only a workplace, but can when I’m speaking with my daughters about school or other environments. It’s just so important. And it really does come back to the fundamentals of you know, you think back to you know, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and those basic fundamentals that all of those elements are still the same. And just depending on the phase of life we’re at, we’re shifting into terms of different priorities. And I think, as we think about creating really healthy workplaces, and really healthy communities, there’s such a privilege that we have, and it’s certainly one of the things that I feel incredibly grateful of, throughout my career, is there’s a privilege and an opportunity, we have to be able to hopefully inspire others to make that impact on their world, whether it’s their families, their communities, their workplaces, that’s, that’s a real opportunity for us.


Graeme Cowan  37:30

We’ve really found, we have a program called we have three, six fire learning programs that show people how to identify and support people that are going through a difficult time. And one of the big things we try to encourage after a launch is for people to share their stories. And it has to be a safe place for people to be able to do that. But we provide a guideline, and there is nothing that has more impact than employee stories about this. And, you know, we we did a program for Aldi, supermarkets, and what made it you know, immediately relevant was the CEO, you know, shared a three minute video at the start of the program about why mental health was important to him, and his family and those around them. And, you know, we need to have an environment where it is okay to say, I’m not doing well, now, I need to seek help. Because there has been very, very good progress with mental health awareness. But there is still stigma there. And it’s it’s the stories as you said before, it’s the stories that create a change a lasting change.


Kylie Green  38:37

Yeah, and I think that great days, like, are you okay day and others really create that environment, but it’s in between those days? How do we create an environment where that can become a more comfortable place and creating openness and transparency in the workplace is really important. And obviously, we’re seeing an environment where we get the opportunity to work with so many amazing people, leaders across many businesses, both here in Australia and globally. And I think I get really inspired by the way some of them share their stories and they create environments and forums for employees to share stories and the resources and the tools they provide to support around that those organizations. We’re doing some work with unmined at the moment in the work that they’re doing in supporting organizations and employees. I think it’s just becomes another part of that part of that journey and part of that story, to be able to provide that psychological safety and for me, the other thing that I’ve seen a big shift on is the way that executive teams back to your story there around the CEO lead. I think it’s leading from the front when we see authenticity and and a bit of vulnerability, you know, if you think about Brene Brown and the whole power of unknowability That, you know, she talks to their when we’re seeing our organizations that are encouraging their leaders to be vulnerable. And to go first, what we’re seeing is then that creates a real ripple effect throughout organizations. And one of the things that we’re seeing on on our platform is a lot of updates from leaders that are not what they used to be going back nine years ago, they were corporately produced, they were very heavily scripted by marketing. And they were beautifully polished. Nowadays, they’re filmed on an iPhone, they’re delivered in real time, they’re much more immediate, they’re much more authentic, I’d call them more raw. And because of that, they’re all the more powerful because whether it’s a high or a low on the employee, on the organization’s experience, the fact that the leader is being genuine and authentic, encourages other people to, to be authentic to and to be able to think about how they can bring their best self to work. And I think one of the things that I feel very privileged about is to be inspired by other leaders, and the way that they’re creating an environment that encourages greater storytelling, a greater representation of more diverse voices we had, at our recent event IG live that you touched on, we had Janani de Silva from Capgemini share about how they’re creating a workplace that creates greater storytelling, greater representation for a broader and more diverse group of employees. And for me, thinking about the opportunity to give a greater profile to others, and the way that she talked about the privilege that a lot of that she had, and other individuals had. And the way that we can actually share and create a greater sense of belonging for more individuals is a real opportunity. And, and I think, one of the things back to your progress principle, it’s so important that organizations don’t hesitate on their journey. And because of seeking perfection, and that’s where I think the leader going out with war and authentic iPhone delivered, recognition, moments, company updates, anything that creates a moment of connection that is authentic and open, I think only can create an environment where people can feel a sense of connection and feel a sense of belonging. And so it comes back to that digital cafe that we created earlier. It brings people together in a moment that matters.


Graeme Cowan  42:53

Yeah, good leaders go first, and they prepare to be vulnerable. And there’s massive rewards if leaders prepare to be vulnerable. It builds trust, it allows a much more accurate discussion about, you know, the pros and cons, what’s going on. And no leader can know everything, you know, we have to be able to tap into the best input in a team. And, you know, it’s how teams work together, how they have each other’s back, how they enjoy their time together, has has massive, massive rewards. Sorry, I was gonna say it’s been an absolute pleasure catching up today, Kylie on the carrying CEO. I just like to reflect now on what you know, now, after what a few years of work, what would be the message if you go back to your 18 year old self? What message would you give that person?


Kylie Green  43:57

Yeah, well, apart from not having McDonald’s at six o’clock in the morning after coming home from an evening, dancing on a podium somewhere. But on a serious note, I think if I was to go back and have a chat to my head in Europe self, I will probably share a strategy that I use now, which is called the rocking chair test. And I wished I’d learned it sort of years earlier. And the rocking chair test is one that that I use quite regularly. And that is imagining I’m 90 years old, and I’m sitting on the deck of a home in a rocking chair, and reflecting on my life. And one of the things that I often think about is will this matter when I’m 90 years old on that deck, or the rocking chair, because I think it’s very easy, particularly when you’re a driven person to be focused on the next goal you want to hit in your life and I forget sometimes around what’s most important, so what what is urgent sometimes gets lost in what’s most important to us. So I use the rocking chair strategy quite regularly and really do assess whether something could matter when I’m 90 on the deck out in a rocking chair. And that would be something I wish I could go back in time and share with my 18 year old self. I


Graeme Cowan  45:25

love that it really talks about clarity and perspective and what’s really important. And I once heard a 90 year old woman interviewed and she said, when I was 20, I used to really worry about what other people thought of me when I was 50. You know, I didn’t worry about what they would think what they thought of me and said, now that I’m naughty, I realized that they weren’t thinking about me in the first place.

 Kylie Green  45:47

Very true. I love that, Graeme.


Graeme Cowan  45:50

Thanks for being part of the caring CEO, Kylie,


Kylie Green  45:53

Thank you so much for having me.





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