Returning to “The Office”: Lessons in Leading the Unexpected

10:00 – 11:00 AM

Session Description

This presentation presents lessons from a survey of manager experiences during the June to August 2021 timeframe. Some US businesses were asking knowledge workers to return to “the office” (or not), and managers and employees were adapting “on the fly.” The lessons from this unique period are framed within the context of impact on the entire business ecosystem, with a particular focus on managers and employees.


Attendees will:

  • Learn about the challenges managers and employees experienced during this period and the intended and unintended outcomes of their responses to those challenges.
  • Identify the top 5 lessons of experience from the manager and employee perspectives.
  • Recognize the 5 competencies HR professionals will need to master in order to be effective talent stewards in this disrupted environment.


Gena Cox

Dr. Gena Cox is an organizational psychologist whose executive clients want to make a positive difference regarding diversity and inclusion, but are tentative about treading into unfamiliar and seemingly unforgiving, terrain. Gena understands that although executives support “diversity and inclusion” efforts, they are often unsure which actions can drive their desired outcomes. Additionally, they often get filtered information that camouflages the challenges their employees face at work. Gena has advised many high-performing companies regarding organizational culture, employee experience, diversity and inclusion, talent analytics, leader effectiveness, and Future of Work. She has worked with IBM, Raymond James Financial, Hitachi, Scotiabank, Johnson Controls, Mastercard, American Express, and many more. Gena’s keynote speech educates and inspires leaders to enhance the experience of people of color in the workplace, and she is writing a book to with a related message. Gena earned a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of South Florida.