Leading with Purpose: How to Engage Employees from the C-Suite with Fredda McDonald

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Fredda McDonald is Managing Director with World50, a member-based organization that brings leaders together from around the globe to share their ideas, insights, and solutions. On today’s episode, we’ll be talking about the role of the Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO), storytelling, and leadership qualities that foster employee engagement.

In this episode, Fredda and Sally will discuss how to leverage storytelling to lead with purpose. When employees understand what they are working toward and why it actually matters, they are drawn into their work. Leaders who can engage both the head and heart of their employees have a better chance of gaining buy-in.

We’ll discuss how leaders can generate and boost morale within their organizations by building a strong relationship with other members of the C-suite. Some of the methods she will cover include polling for employee engagement at all levels of the organization and even having a third party collect information directly from the source.

We also follow Fredda down memory lane as she traces some stories where leaders have effectively implemented the steps mentioned above and how they impacted the overall employee experience.

Show Highlights

  • 03:10 – What is the difference between mission, vision, and purpose statements? How does understanding why employees are doing their job impact their experience at work?
  • 07:00 – How do weak relationships at the C-level impact employee experience?
  • 08:10 – Each executive needs to have their own story and be able to explain it simply.
  • 08:30 – Be real. Employees watch actions more than they listen to your speeches.
  • 12:00 – How did a Silicon Valley company work with a 3rd party to get unfiltered information in employee surveys?
  • 16:00 – A CHRO is frequently tasked with making the call to focus on enterprise success and collaboration. What struggles do businesses face in seeking to stand the test of time and survive disruption?
  • 20:00 – How have employees expectations of leadership qualities changed over the last half decade to highlight vulnerability and authenticity? Can too much vulnerability undermine employee confidence?
  • 27:30 – Does having a background as a CMO help in the CHRO role? How so?
  • 28:10 – What is the brand behind a company?
  • 39:00 – Identifying non-traditional ways to foster collaboration can pull even the most disparate teams together. One company uses an annual “Battle of the Bands” to foster collaboration.

Guest Information

Prior to taking her role at World 50, Fredda published a book entitled, BoxBreakers, an Amazon bestseller in the business category, for leaders seeking to inspire innovation in the workplace as a sustainable business practice. The content for the book was gathered from experience she gained serving in senior executive roles with the International Olympic Committee and electronic payments giant MasterCard Worldwide – and from working with global leaders from Delta Air Lines, the Coca-Cola Company and other Fortune 500 companies as a consultant.

You can find out more about Fredda on Linkedin:


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