May 04, 2022

A culture transformation at Autodesk brought them to Bravely seeking more individualized support

It’s an exciting time to be in the field of HR. Yes, there have been many challenges and obstacles, especially over the course of the pandemic, but as with any major disruption in the status quo, there is an opportunity to reflect on what was working, what wasn’t, and how we want to move forward into the future. This opportunity to define the future world of work is intimidating, but also incredibly exciting! Leaders in the HR space are learning more about the values of their people and now it’s time to set some plans in motion. The Great Resignation has shown us that our employees are deciding whether they want to stay with their organizations for the long term, so how can we show employees that we’ll invest in them? 

Terry VanQuickenborne, Global Head of L&OD at Autodesk, shared her experience implementing Bravely as part of Autodesk’s employee support strategy in a recent webinar. Here, we’ll recap highlights moments from the conversation.

Autodesk, a publicly-traded, multinational software company headquartered in California, proudly employs 12,000 employees worldwide. They’re a global leader in design and make technology in industries like architecture, engineering, construction, manufacturing, and entertainment. When Autodesk wanted to create a new and safe space for their employees to feel heard, included, and supported, they researched employee coaching as a potential resource.

After having rolled out the first phase of Bravely’s coaching platform to half their employee base, they decided to expand Bravely as a resource for their entire workforce. As a cutting-edge innovator in the tech industry, Autodesk is also walking the walk when it comes to innovating for their greatest asset: their own people.

A Culture Transformation

About a year before the pandemic, Autodesk began their culture transformation. They built a Culture Code that defined what it means to live out the company values and sought to embed that code into the foundation of the organization. By committing to the value of a healthy culture, Autodesk enabled its employees to be adaptable, flexible, and resilient even as the pandemic brought unexpected challenges. Their timing was essential for Autodesk, and because their plan of action was solidly in place, they were able to design pandemic-specific initiatives around the Culture Code. 

This plan of action gave Autodesk’s employees the level ground they needed and allowed their People Team to recognize the continued need for greater individualized support. With the help of Bravely coaches, Autodesk’s team was able to identify a need for clear prioritization. Terry shares that they needed to “get clear on how to adapt priorities to ensure that [they weren’t] exhausting people.” Autodesk leaders began to ask themselves: “What is critical to the business right now and into the future? How do we map those out to continue the course?”

The culture transformation at Autodesk was multi-pronged. Terry shares that they “created materials for managers and employees to look at hybrid work reflection, how to prioritize for balance, and how to make sure everyone is included in prioritization.” They encouraged their people to work out loud and were clear on the expectation that managers should regularly check in with people. Terry emphasizes the importance of listening. “We’re doing a lot of listening. Understanding the data points from engagement and pulse surveys, while also looking at technology to listen to their wants and needs.” The leaders at Autodesk looked at the employee experience journey and asked themselves how they would continue creating opportunities for people to thrive. 

Human-centric leadership begins with individualized support. 

One of the biggest challenges that companies are trying to solve is finding ways to communicate with employees about what’s going on in their personal lives and how to work with them so their professional lives aren’t negatively impacted. The line between work and home is incredibly blurry these days, but by implementing professional coaching for every employee, Autodesk is now able to offer an objective listening ear so that employees can confidentially talk through anything that might be impairing their ability to show up fully at work. With this individualized support, Autodesk employees now have an additional tool that may help them tap into their individual strengths and talents. Bravely became the evident solution when Terry asked: “What are the resources we can offer at scale, while tailoring to the individual?” 

Bravely supported Autodesk in ways they didn’t even expect. 

Via regular, curated reports, Bravely offers insight into the themes that an organization’s employees are bringing to our Bravely coaches. Autodesk’s leadership was surprised to find that their employees were not talking about stress, but instead were talking about career development. Managers have been experiencing the weight of burnout differently from individual contributors, and offering more pathways of support for employees lightened the load for managers. . Between early 2020 and that summer, Bravely saw a 700% increase in sessions about stress and burnout. What was still present in these conversations was the employee’s desire to learn, grow, and move forward with career development. Autodesk reaped the benefits of proactively providing access to individualized support.

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