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3 Ways Technology Empowers Your Frontline Workforce


How to Build Systems to Enhance the Manager Experience: Morningstar's Mary Slaughter

by Dani Johnson and Stacia Garr | February 14th, 2023

Enhancing the manager experience starts from the ground up which is why Mary Slaughter is helping to drive managers’ roles at Morningstar by implementing systemic ways to better the employee experience.  

Mary brings years of experience to Morningstar and on this episode of Workplace Stories, she explains how the manager and employee experiences are tied together. As you listen, you’ll be fascinated by the way that Morningstar conducted research to identify and define concrete sentiments that would improve the employee experience.  

Listen in to learn how managers can operationalize company culture to improve the employee experience across the board.  


Mary works to promote Morningstar’s values through the employee experience 

Morningstar is a 40-year-old company that was created to demystify the world of investing to empower investor success. The company has created a rating system similar to Consumer Reports that measures a company’s financial fitness based on a variety of metrics including human capital and sustainability.  

As the Global Head of Employee Experience and Communications at Morningstar, Mary Slaughter is continually considering the employee experience from various perspectives. Mary has worked in a broad range of roles over the course of her 25-year career. Her current title was created during the pandemic and is a great fit for her background. 

The company culture is an important connective thread running through Morningstar which is why they came up with Mary’s position. The executives realized that there would be an employee experience one way or another, by creating this role, the management team has a hand in shaping what that experience would look like so that it could more effectively fit Morningstar’s values. 


How things have changed for managers over the last three years 

The evolution to a more employee-centric workplace has shifted roles both inside and outside of organizations. Individuals have more control in the workplace than they did in the past and even though the economy is beginning to contract, the work environment has shifted. People now understand what is possible and will continue to demand flexibility.  

The biggest change that Mary sees for managers is that the domain they now have to traverse was an optional one in the past. Managers are now expected to play a role in working with employees’ emotional space.  

Managers are expected to have empathy and understand the end-to-end realities of employees’ lives. They must have an awareness of the whole person since it is the whole person that shows up to work each day–not just the employee. While this has always been true, it is a reality that organizations are just now coming around to.  


Morningstar is improving employee sentiments  

Managers struggle with ambiguity which is why Morningstar wanted to define the emotional states that people desire to feel in the workplace. By conducting qualitative and quantitative research both internally and externally, Morningstar was able to identify five emotional states that their employees desire: flexibility, purpose, belonging, growth, and fairness.  

Now they are working on creating the conditions across the company to cultivate these emotional states to help their employees feel supported.   

Morningstar is creating the context to allow employees to thrive by improving their policies, technologies, and workspace while at the same time setting new expectations for leaders and new hires. By changing their recruitment and onboarding they are creating new expectations of a thriving employee-centered culture.  


Connect with Mary Slaughter


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