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205: Balancing Compassion and Productivity with Becky Jacobs, Founder and Chief Engagement Officer of Simple Change

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Photo Jun 17, 8 39 35 AM

As organizations return to in person workspaces, leaders are tasked with the responsibility of encouraging productivity without increasing already high employee stress and anxiety. Today’s guest, Becky Jacobs, Founder and Chief Engagement Officer of Simple Change, believes balancing compassion with the push for productivity is the key to facilitating this transition with minimal negative impact on the workforce.

With more than 20 years in senior leadership roles at industry giants such as Bank of America, Red Hat, and Rise Against Hunger, Becky is uniquely poised to help organizations improve engagement and productivity by building healthy, high performing teams.

Becky’s company, Simple Change, offers support, inspiration, and encouragement on the path to transformational change in organizations through leadership coaching, workshops, keynotes, and consulting.

In this episode, Becky discusses the considerations organizations should keep in mind while transitioning employees back to the office and how important flexibility and creative solutions are during this unprecedented time. She mentions a few missteps she’s seen and offers some advice for leaders during the transition to both take care of themselves and their teams.

Becky explains what she means by balancing compassion with productivity and how leaders can communicate effectively and minimize employee anxiety. Lasty, she implores leaders to look ahead to what is necessary in the new normal, rather than looking backward at how we can return to pre-COVID operations.

Interview Highlights (with timestamps):
  • [7:40] Considerations organizations should make as they bring people back into the building
  • [11:12] Creative solutions for employees with kids not returning to in school education
  • [13:58] Missteps employers should avoid as people come back to work
  • [16:58] Advice for leaders during the transition back to the office
  • [22:51] Balancing compassion with productivity
  • [28:34] What is necessary in the new normal?
  • [34:07] Communicating compassion and productivity
Mentioned in this episode:
Full Bio:

Becky Jacobs is the founder and Chief Engagement Officer of Simple Change, an organization dedicated to improving engagement and productivity by building healthy, high-performing teams. She has dedicated her career to the study and practice of personal and workplace productivity, successfully leading teams to greater efficiency, process and overall impact.

Becky spent more than twenty years in senior leadership roles at various multinational companies, including Bank of America, Red Hat and Rise Against Hunger. She graduated from Old Dominion University with a degree in Business Management and completed her MBA at UNC Chapel Hill. 

Becky serves on the Advisory Board of Alexander YMCA where she serves as chair of their We Build People Campaign, and also volunteers with the Youth Faith Formation ministry at her church. She lives in Raleigh with her husband, two teenage sons and spoiled rescue dog.

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