Company: O.C. Tanner, Salt Lake City, UT USA
Category: Human Resources Executive of the Year
As the global leader in employee recognition and workplace culture, O.C. Tanner aims to create great workplace culture for their clients, and head of human resources, Mindi Cox, is an integral part of ensuring that her team’s strategic goals align with the corporate vision. Mindi and her team collaborate on best practices and ensuring employee respect is at the center of everything they do so all employees’ needs are carefully considered.
In 2017, Mindi championed changes in maternity leave at O.C. Tanner—a move that was met with cheering across the organization, including the C-suite who have supported her organizational goals from the start.
One executive made a point to reach out to her specifically to thank her for her efforts and how the change positively impacted his ability to bond with his newborn child. Not only do women now get six weeks paid time off, but men now receive two weeks paid time off for paternity leave as well. Previously new parents received five days of paid leave, so this was a massive improvement that affects many of O.C. Tanner’s over 1,600 employees.
As head of HR at O.C. Tanner, Mindi is attuned to the importance of improving wellness at every level, including in the aftermath of tragedy and in ways outside of traditional benefits. After the series of media reports on workplace violence in 2018, she worked closely with emergency preparedness experts to develop a training program for O.C. Tanner employees for the first time. Rather than employing active shooter training with a live simulation, Mindi approached the sensitive topic by enabling employees to have an open discussion within their teams and ask questions about best practices during a crisis. The program helped alleviate employee concerns in the aftermath of workplace violence reports and empowered them to feel confident in their ability to survive in an emergency situation. Mindi spearheaded this initiative and worked diligently with dozens of department heads and managers to schedule time to meet with employees and address concerns.
Mindi also spearheaded a comprehensive leadership program entitled, “Influence.” Influence aims to train leaders and team members at every level, focusing on developing potential, enabling success and creating value for each employee. The 18-month program is tailored to each participant’s specific needs with the overarching vision of an O.C. Tanner leader who influences business success by developing and enabling people to do their best work, helping people to stretch into their potential, and to create long-term value in the company and for its customers. The program addresses three leadership levels: executive, senior-level and emerging leaders. Trainings are also provided for each position within the company, personalized with a mix of classroom instruction, training within an assigned team, one-on-one instruction, and mentoring by a seasoned professional. Mentoring is ongoing and continues until the trainee and the team manager are confident the position has been sufficiently mastered.
Additionally, Mindi helped with the O.C. Tanner Culture Assessment to help businesses asses their company’s culture and how it relates to six talent magnets: opportunity, purpose, success, leadership, well-being and appreciation. The assessment measures engagement, satisfaction, intent to stay and employee net promoter score. By choosing to participate in the assessment annually, leaders can track the company’s progress toward building a better workplace culture. At O.C. Tanner, the culture assessment resulted in town-hall-style meetings specific to each department, where Mindi and CEO, Dave Peterson, answered employee concerns regarding specific policies. The program resulted in many new well-being initiatives, including bringing in onsite medical professionals to eliminate barriers associated with receiving quality medical care. Employees rave about the well-being program and culture assessment, lauding each for its ability to enhance the employee experience.
-Improved the maternity leave policies at O.C. Tanner so employees could have more time off to bond with their newborn child.
-Led the initiative to partner with One Refugee to educate and employ refugees in the U.S.
-Created an emergency preparedness program for employees to become more educated about -active shooter scenarios and other crisis situations.
-Established a well-being program to include support and on-site visits from outside vendors to make
healthcare more accessible to employees.