Shaping Culture: The Future is People Driven
By: Tracey Santilli, President of Tierney
In the beginning of the pandemic, everyone just wanted things to go back to normal. But the truth is, we
have been living through a period of “unplanned reinvention.” Yes, over the past few years, we have
learned how to work differently – understanding and collaborating with one another in new ways. And
through it all, what we value has changed.
A May Bloomberg study of U.S. adults showed that nearly 40 percent of people would consider quitting
if their employers weren’t flexible about remote work. The pandemic has proven remote work is
feasible for many jobs, validating suspicions that our standard in-person, five-days-a-week model no
longer serves all of us – and in fact, can be a barrier in some instances.
For Tierney, the pandemic wasn’t a setback, it was a lay-up; it provided us with an opportunity to
deepen our appreciation for each other by doubling down on inclusivity in our culture and diversity in
our perspectives. We experienced and continue to feel a bevy of emotions as we reconfigure our work
and home lives. As we look to the future, we are confident the path forward is one that will continue to
be powered by a focus on people and purpose.
The Future is People-Driven
Even with all the best business strategies in the world, the organizations that successfully navigated the
challenges of COVID-19 were those with strong cultures. Why? Because on average, companies with
healthy, thriving cultures have three times higher productivity, outcomes, employee engagement and
But culture, as we’ve all learned through working from anywhere, is not about an office or getting work
done in the same room. It’s about being able to meet the ever-growing demands and needs of your
people; brave enough to respond to an evolved society; and strong enough to be accountable.
At Tierney, we know the only way to truly cultivate belonging is by mobilizing our leaders, managers and
teams to remember relationships matter. We do this not by saying, but by doing. By actively listening
and putting effort into relationships, we can build trust and better connect with each other and our
partners. This is what we like to call a human-first mindset, and it’s what allows us to continue to drive
actions for change in our community. For us, this looks like weekly agency check-ins, monthly
community forums, mentorships, bi-annual retreats, outside speaker inspiration, scholarship programs
and a diverse partner database—just to name a few.
But really, our focus is and always will be shaping an environment where trust, empowerment,
empathy, inclusion, flexibility, and psychological safety transcend all else between a vibrant, talented
team of diverse people.
We understand there will always be more work to do, but by trusting each other and taking care of
ourselves, our loved ones, and our community we can build more than a successful business. We can
continue to build a foundation of empowered leaders, change makers and dreamers.