The Get Reworked Podcast

Podcast: Get Reworked

Forget the status quo — Get Reworked. Join the editors of Reworked, your guide to the r/evolution of work, as they interview business leaders transforming the way work gets done today.

Have a question, comment, idea or guest suggestion? Drop us a line at [email protected]

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About the Hosts

Mike Prokopeak

Mike Prokopeak is editor in chief at Reworked. Based in Chicago, Mike leads Reworked editorial content strategy and production and SMG's modern workplace information services. In between writing, editing and podcasting at home, he likes to jump into his kids’ Zoom PE class.

Siobhan Fagan

Siobhan Fagan is senior managing editor for Reworked. Based in New York City, Siobhan leads SMG's daily publishing operations, including our contributed content program. She’d like to remind everyone working from home to stop, save what they’re doing and stretch. Then drink a glass of water.


Recent Episodes

There's no single recipe when it comes to internal communications. But one thing that's consistent is the importance of employee feedback. Judy Whitcomb, senior vice president of organizational strategy and effectiveness at Vi, a Chicago-based operator of luxury senior living communities, shares how Vi adapted employee communications to the challenges of the last two-plus years.

"One thing we learned early on was that we had to be thoughtful and we had to be intentional about our communication strategy," Judy said.

Highlights of the conversation include the keys to effective internal communications, whether in a crisis or normal times, the role of HR in employee communications and how to ensure that all voices are heard as part of an employee listening program.

Plus, co-hosts Siobhan Fagan and Mike Prokopeak talk with Judy about learning management systems, how useful it is for HR to think like marketing and whether it's better to be an HR generalist or specialist. Listen in for more..

For many companies, remote work was just a stopgap measure to address a temporary disruption to business as usual. For others, it's a way of life. Betsy Bula, all-remote evangelist at GitLab, shares how her company came to embrace all remote all the time, and what others can learn from their example. GitLab has collected lessons learned in a publicly available guide to remote work that runs to the thousands of pages. Despite that experience and documentation, it remains a work in progress.

Highlights of the conversation include how remote work is a constantly evolving set of practices, how GitLab overcame objections to its all remote policy and whether or not a company should hire a head of remote work.

Plus, co-hosts Siobhan Fagan and Mike Prokopeak talk with Betsy about North Carolina basketball, the legacy of Duke's Coach K and why hybrid work as a model is overrated. Listen in for more.

For many people, talking about pay is one of the most difficult conversations they have at work. David Turetsky, vice president of consulting at Salary.com and host of the HR Data Labs podcast, believes companies should be more open about what workers get paid. More often than not, secrets lead to deals that are ultimately bad for business.

Highlights of the conversation include how pay transparency can lead to greater pay equity, why opening up with employees about pay won't lead to bad results for business and why basing pay on location is short-sighted in today's market.

Plus, co-hosts Siobhan Fagan and Mike Prokopeak talk with David about universal basic income, the importance of a realistic minimum wage, and what it will take for them to open up about their own salaries. Listen in for more.

The reason why employees decide to quit is often not very complicated. But that doesn't mean the solutions are easy, particularly as the Great Resignation has legions of workers looking for the door. Beverly Kaye, career expert and author of multiple books on employee engagement, talent development and performance management says retaining your best people during times like this starts with knowing what employees are feeling, and then taking targeted actions based on that understanding.

Highlights of the conversation include how to respond in situations where employees have the leverage and why you don't need AI and advanced technology to boost employee retention.

Plus, co-hosts Siobhan Fagan and Mike Prokopeak talk with Beverly about the power of stay interviews, what it means to be "loose in the saddle," and whether bonuses and incentives are effective retention tools. Listen in for more.

In many ways, the leaders organizations need today are exactly the ones they're most likely to overlook. Jennifer Kahnweiler, leadership expert and author of "The Introverted Leader," sees the strengths that introverts bring to the workplace and shares how organizations can tap into them during this particular moment at work. What's needed is a closer look at how we communicate and collaborate.

Highlights of the conversation include the difference between shyness and introversion, why work structures are biased toward extroverts and what organizations should do differently as they head back to the office.

Plus, co-hosts Siobhan Fagan and Mike Prokopeak out themselves as introverts, talk with Jennifer about the viability of workplace personality assessments and engage in some introvert-friendly awkward silence. Listen in for more.

The future of the metaverse may be the topic of the day for many tech pundits, but the reality is that it's already here. The virtual reality, that is. Derek Belch, CEO of virtual reality training firm Strivr, explains how VR is being used to train employees right now and what potential it holds for the future. We've entered a new era of VR technology, he said, and the recent buzz around the metaverse is only going to accelerate its use in the enterprise.

Highlights of the conversation include a discussion of how Walmart used VR training to prepare employees for Black Friday, why Derek is bullish on its use for soft skills and why organizations that don't invest in emerging technologies like VR and the metaverse will be left behind.

Plus, co-hosts Siobhan Fagan and Mike Prokopeak talk with Derek about his career as a college football player at Stanford, how the end of his coaching career was just the beginning he needed, and why he's both a tech optimist and realist. Listen in for more.

The current moment is a powerful opportunity to reshape and remake work. But getting it right is both relatively straightforward and fiendishly complex. Alan Pelz-Sharpe, information management expert and founder of advisory firm Deep Analysis talks about the road ahead. Organizations are poised to make giant leaps forward, he says, with powerful and useful tools to manage information and deliver better customer and employee experiences. But it's going to take a lot more than writing a check.

Highlights of the conversation include the problem with information management today, why it's long past time to clean out the digital junk in your data closet and why you should approach customer experience and employee experience as one challenge.

Plus, co-hosts Siobhan Fagan and Mike Prokopeak talk with Alan about the metaverse and web3, his side career as a DJ and what his photography background teaches him about digital transformation. Listen in for more.

Many organizations have been serious about diversity and inclusion work for decades, so why has so little progress been made? Cynthia Owyoung, vice president of inclusion, equity and belonging at Robinhood and author of the new book "All Are Welcome: How to Build a Real Workplace Culture of Inclusion That Delivers Results" shares insights and practical advice from her two decades of experience in a wide range of companies. The bottom line: If you're just making it an HR initiative, you're missing the point.

Highlights of the conversation include why the Great Resignation is an opportunity to make a difference, the future of DEIB work in the hybrid world of work and what leaders need to do to move their efforts forward.

Plus, co-hosts Siobhan Fagan and Mike Prokopeak talk with Cynthia about diversity quotas, algorithmic bias and why businesses should stop hiring for culture fit. Listen in for more.

Could your TV be the answer to the challenges of the Great Resignation? It just might be, in part at least.

Meredith Sadoulet, vice president of talent, strategy and experience at Comcast, shares the story behind the development of Xfinity X1 Career Center, a job search destination launched on the Philadelphia-based company's cable platform in 2021. Meredith led the small entrepreneurial team within Comcast to launch this new voice-enabled, consumer-facing job search tool.

Highlights of the conversation include how Comcast discovered TV was a search destination for job seekers, how companies like Walmart are using the platform to meet recruiting and diversity and inclusion goals, and lessons learned from operating as a startup within a larger company.

Plus, co-hosts Siobhan Fagan and Mike Prokopeak talk with Meredith about whether 5G is overrated or underrated, the enduring allure of business travel and bicycle racing as a form of relaxation. Listen in for more.

Before COVID pushed many workers into remote work, collaboration consumed as much as 85% of people's work time. In the post-pandemic world it's gone even higher, adding five to eight hours to the average work week. We're collaborating more, which is a good thing, but we've entered overload territory. Rob Cross, professor of global leadership at Babson College and author of "Beyond Collaboration Overload," talks about what that means and how companies can make sure they're collaborating in the right ways.

Highlights of the conversation include the role of purpose and intention in building effective collaboration, tips for building high-quality relationships in remote and hybrid workplaces and how to drive better innovation through collaboration. 

Plus, co-hosts Siobhan Fagan and Mike Prokopeak talk to Rob about how actor Kevin Bacon is a model for the kind of networked connections we should be aiming for in our organizations, and pluses and minuses of New Year's resolutions. Listen in for more.

Remote and hybrid work is a golden opportunity to make real progress toward diversity and inclusion goals, but only if companies handle it right. Joan C. Williams, professor at University of California Hastings School of Law and author of "Bias Interrupted: Creating Inclusion for Real and for Good," talks about that and the role organizations can play in interrupting bias at work. Here's a tip: Just having a conversation about it isn't enough.

Highlights of the conversation include why diversity, equity and inclusion programs fail to solve the challenge of bias, how systemic bias organizational systems harms women and people of color, how to design processes to be more equitable, and why change needs to come from the top and the bottom of the organization.

Plus, co-hosts Siobhan Fagan and Mike Prokopeak talk to Joan about why she made studying and interrupting bias her life's work and their bi-weekly live conversation with audience members on Twitter Spaces. Listen in for more.

Employee experience has become a primary objective for organizations as they look to retain pandemic-fatigued employees and recruit in-demand talent to fuel their growth. But it's an easy thing to get wrong.

"That's what triggered the thinking of starting to look at it in a different way, in a more end-to-end way and bring those different functions together under one single umbrella called employee experience," said Tom Dewaele.

In this episode, Dewaele, global head of employee experience at Unilever, shares how the London-based consumer goods maker creates a unified employee experience for 150,000 workers across 190 countries.

Plus, co-hosts Siobhan Fagan and Mike Prokopeak talk with Tom about Belgian fries vs. their French counterpart and urge listeners to get their award applications ready for the coming year. Listen in for more.

Hybrid work is the order of the day for many companies as they ponder their future. But what does hybrid work actually mean and how do you design it to work for both employees and the organization?

Jim Kalbach, chief evangelist at digital whiteboard company MURAL, talks about how the current moment is an inflection point for designing places where people actually want to work. "I don't think it's a change in work that we've experienced during the pandemic," he said. "It's a change in lifestyle that we've experienced and because of that people kind of got a flavor of a different way of living and working. And I don't think they're ready to give that up."

Plus, co-hosts Siobhan Fagan and Mike Prokopeak talk about the oeuvre of Nicolas Cage movies and how the journeyman Hollywood actor just might be the panacea for what ails the digital workplace. Listen in for more.

The past year-plus has been one giant, often unwanted and unanticipated, experiment at work. From emerging collaboration tools and AI-fueled bots to new working models like hybrid and remote work, organizations large and small had to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. New ways of thinking and working are a reality from the frontline to the C-suite.

It's also quite obvious it's still a work in progress. In this kickoff episode to Season 2, co-hosts Siobhan Fagan and Mike Prokopeak take a look back at some of what's happened and review their own podcast experiment.

Plus, Siobhan and Mike renew their debate about whether or not raisins in cookies are a good thing. That and more hard-hitting commentary on what's next from the upcoming season of the Get Reworked podcast. Listen in for more.

From established tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams and Google Workspace to emerging whiteboard tools like Mural, we have more ways to collaborate at work than we've ever had before. But that doesn't mean we've got it all figured out.

Angela Ashenden, principal analyst at CCS Insight, shares why the technology is important, but it's the human element that is perhaps the most tricky in the new world of collaboration.

Plus, co-hosts Siobhan Fagan and Mike Prokopeak talk with Angela about her skepticism about the rise of mental wellness apps and reflect on their takeaways from the first season of the podcast. Listen in for more.

In February 2020, Delta Air Lines was celebrating a record year for travel and looking forward to a 2020 that would potentially surpass even that. Thirty days later, nearly all of that business was gone.

Author and executive Brandon Carson talks about living through that moment and how it's opened up a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to redefine work and learning. Until recently, Brandon was head of learning at Delta, one of the world's largest airlines, and recently took on a new role as vice president of leadership development at Walmart. He's also the author of a new book, "L&D's Playbook in the Digital Age."

Plus, co-hosts Siobhan Fagan and Mike Prokopeak talk with Brandon about AI, digital natives, 70-20-10 and the enduring magic of Whitney Houston. Listen in for more.

Corporate social responsibility gets thrown around a lot in business today. Organizations regularly tout the steps they take to make the world a better place and how they're endeavoring to create a more diverse and inclusive workplace.

How much of that is real? Malia Lazu breaks it down for us. She's a diversity and inclusion strategist, founder of consulting firm The Lazu Group, lecturer on innovation at MIT Sloan School of Management, and a former banker and community organizer. Suffice it to say, she sees the issue from many perspectives.

Plus, co-hosts Siobhan Fagan and Mike Prokopeak talk about why corporate social responsibility is top of mind for businesses today. Listen in for more.

The shift to remote and hybrid work is just the tip of the transformation iceberg. To make the most of the massive investment in digital workplace technology over the last year-plus, we need to think much more deeply about digital transformation.

Anh Nguyen Phillips, global CEO program research director at Deloitte Consulting and co-author of "The Transformation Myth: Leading Your Organization through Uncertain Times," tells us why people are the linchpin in successful digital transformation. 

Plus, co-hosts Siobhan Fagan and Mike Prokopeak compare notes on their underwhelming pandemic lockdown-inspired achievements. Listen in for more.

New technologies and emerging challenges are pushing many organizations to embrace the need to reskill and upskill their workforce. But what exactly does that mean?

Shelley Osborne, corporate learning executive and author of "The Upskilling Imperative," explains and tells us why the ability to learn is the essential skill every organization and every individual needs to succeed.

Plus, co-hosts Siobhan Fagan and Mike Prokopeak share what teachers influenced them the most and come up with a new business idea. Listen in for more.

The past year has been a perfect storm of conditions that have sapped employee mental wellbeing. And the sad reality is that less than a third of employees will come out of the experience stronger and more resilient.

It doesn't have to be that way. Psychologist Andrew Shatté shares why companies need to start having real conversations about mental wellbeing at work.

Plus, co-hosts Siobhan Fagan and Mike Prokopeak wonder just how awkward their face-to-face interactions will be as pandemic restrictions ease. Listen in for more.

Visionary strategy, talented people, management excellence, relentless execution, and innovative products and services are hallmarks of a successful business. But ... curiosity?

Simon Brown, chief learning officer at Novartis, and Garrick Jones of The Ludic Group make the case for curiosity as the competitive edge companies need today, based on their business bestseller "The Curious Advantage."

Plus, co-hosts Siobhan Fagan and Mike Prokopeak talk through what they're curious and why this conversation left them hankering for a Big Mac. Listen in for more.

Jobs are being pulled apart into tasks and projects. Degrees and credentials are being boiled down to underlying skills and capabilities.

Professor John Boudreau and futurist Ravin Jesuthasan share the highlights of their forthcoming book, "Work Without Jobs," and how the deconstruction of jobs calls for a new operating system for work.

Plus, co-hosts Siobhan Fagan and Mike Prokopeak talk through what this vision for the future of work means for individuals and society at large. Listen in for more.

Medical advances are making a 150-year life span a reality, meaning the next generation of workers could have a career that spans a century.

Dr. Michelle Weise, author of "Long Life Learning: Preparing for Jobs That Don't Even Exist Yet," explains what that means for education at work and the role of companies in helping workers reskill and upskill for jobs that haven't even been created yet.

Plus, co-hosts Mike Prokopeak and Siobhan Fagan share how their first jobs quite possibly violated multiple child labor laws, but the lessons learned carry on to this day. Listen in to find out more.

Information overload is a problem for you and it’s a problem for your business. Luckily, there’s something you can do about it.

Tech executive and historian David Lavenda provides some perspective on the topic and how we can better manage the flood of information that comes our way, including the role technology can play.

Plus, host Siobhan Fagan opens up about her Internet browser problem and she and co-host Mike Prokopeak set up a Slack conversation to initiate the Zoom meeting to create the Google Doc to address their channel overload problem. Listen in to find out more.

Many companies have mission and vision statements, but do they have a real purpose?

Stacia Sherman Garr of Red Thread Research talks about her research into organizational purpose, what it is and why it's important to the future of business, and offers tips for weaving purpose into talent management practices.

Plus, co-hosts Siobhan Fagan and Mike Prokopeak hear the voice of their internal skeptic and discuss whether this moment of corporate vulnerability will last. Listen in to find out more.

One of the most powerful, if not the most powerful, forces in a company is its culture. It's also one of the least understood.

Kevin Oakes, CEO of the Institute for Corporate Productivity, joins us to share what he's learned about what makes good corporate cultures work from his recent book, "Culture Renovation: 18 Leadership Actions to Build an Unshakeable Company."

Plus, co-hosts Siobhan Fagan and Mike Prokopeak talk through why the culture conversation is important right now and narrowly avert their own clash of cultures over the topic of oatmeal raisin vs. chocolate chip cookies. Listen in to find out more.

For nearly a year, many office workers have been holed up at home with a return to the cubicle just a distant prospect. The arrival of COVID-19 vaccines changed that but heading back to the office isn't so simple. Work has changed and so must office design.

Ryan Anderson, vice president of global research and insights at furniture maker Herman Miller, shares a bit of the history of office design and why and how to embrace this as a pivotal moment in the way we think about work.

Plus, co-host Siobhan Fagan reveals that she lives in a kind of Herman Miller museum and Mike Prokopeak shares why West Michigan is one of the best kept-secrets in the U.S. Listen in to find out more.

While 2020 was a challenge, 2021 hasn't exactly gotten off to a great start either. Despite that, there are signs of spring amidst our winter of discontent.

The pressures of the past year pushed companies to adapt in ways that have the potential to create positive change in how work gets done, says Jennifer Dennard, co-founder and COO at Range.co, a collaboration software company.

In this episode, Jen breaks down the state of teamwork at work and why she's optimistic about the future. Plus, co-host Mike Prokopeak asks why work teams seem to be working while teamwork in politics is so dysfunctional, and Siobhan Fagan works in a choice "I Love Lucy" reference. Listen in to find out more.

While the last year has been hard on many organizations and individuals, it’s important to take the long view.

The crisis we're living through is actually an opportunity to re-imagine what work can be, says Mary Slaughter, managing director of people advisory services at EY. It's given us a chance to reconnect with one another and be more purposeful in our relationships at home and at work. And for leaders, it's a chance to step back and think about how to be better.

In this episode, Mary breaks down the state of our psychology at work and what it means for how we manage. Plus co-hosts Mike Prokopeak and Siobhan Fagan break down their takeaways for leadership during this great transformation. Listen in to find out more.

Organizations are stuck. Far too often, they think about work in a mechanical way that limits their ability to adapt and rapidly innovate.

Work is an ever-evolving experience that requires an organization that can evolve alongside it, say Paul Miller and Shimrit Janes of Digital Workplace Group. Digital transformation is only part of the solution. We’re moving into a “living age” that calls for companies to think of themselves as living and breathing organisms.

The journey is a gradual one but the past year has shown organizations how to plant the seeds of the future. Plus, co-hosts Siobhan Fagan and Mike Prokopeak talk about what exactly the Wood Wide Web is and use an embarrassing number of puns to set up the episode. Curious? Well, don’t make like a tree and leave just yet. Listen in to find out more.

When it comes to employee experience, everything changed in 2020.

In the past, separate departments would have different approaches to employee experience. To IT, it was about technology. To HR, it was about people and culture. Everyone now is on the same page. We're at the turning point, says Dion Hinchcliffe of Constellation Research.

There's no set answer to the questions of the time but lots of opportunity, Dion says. Plus, co-hosts Siobhan Fagan and Mike Prokopeak wonder when they’ll get the new COVID-19 vaccine. Spoiler alert: Not soon, but that’s just fine. Listen in to find out more.

For many workers the digital workplace is the new office, said Sam Marshall of ClearBox Consulting. "They don't get the benefit of going to that major edifice that you've erected with the nice polished tiles and so on," Sam said. "They engage with you through digital channels so you better make that good because it's maybe 80% of the opinion that they form about your organization."

Sam has seen a lot in his 20-plus years in the digital workplace. In this episode, he brings some much-needed clarity to our messy reality and unpacks what it all means as we head into the uncharted territory ahead.

The bottom line? It’s the dawn of a new era. Don’t squander this opportunity to remake work. Plus, co-hosts Siobhan Fagan and Mike Prokopeak explore why we’re not all that different from baboons when it comes to our work behavior.

Employee motivation traditionally took one form: You do X and I pay you Y. This kind of approach worked pretty well, up to a point. But as organizations grow in complexity so too does the work, and what is asked of the workforce. That makes such transactional incentives less effective.

"There needs to be … a reason why people participate in that work other than payment,” said Rachel Happe, co-founder of The Community Roundtable. Rachel believes communities create the kind of commitment that goes beyond the salary or the benefits package to inspire employees to “willingly engage rather than get forced to engage.”

In this podcast conversation, Rachel explains why communities are not only central to management but also the organizational operating model of the future. Plus, she makes the case that joy and work are not mutually exclusive. Podcast co-hosts Mike Prokopeak and Siobhan Fagan ask if this is blasphemy or a fresh approach to the 9-to-5. Listen to find out.

In March 2020, legions of workers walked out the office doors, trekked home and set up shop at the kitchen table to begin working from home. What we didn’t know then, but do now, is that abrupt departure from the office was actually our entrance into a profoundly different era of work.

In this podcast conversation, Sarah Kimmel, vice president of research at Simpler Media Group, unpacks the results of her research into the state of the digital workplace pre- and post-COVID, and the tools and technologies that are making this new era of work a reality.

Plus, podcast co-hosts Mike Prokopeak and Siobhan Fagan talk about how Reworked was started and what exactly we mean when we talk about the digital workplace. Our new reality of remote work fueled the acceleration of the digital workplace and it's not done yet.