Your Employee Experience Is All FCDD-Up!

An Interview with Jason Cochran


At the heart of every organization are employees–but when we forget they are people, we can start getting in trouble! But our attempts so far to keep employees satisfied and engaged have proven to be lacking. Endless surveys, meaningless performance reviews, and other tired tools have all had their day, and it’s time for something new.

Jason Cochran brings his psychology training to the table to deliver iAspire, a full-service employee experience service that puts human behavior right in the middle. Surveys don’t work because they don’t always reflect reality, and data is now good unless action comes from it. iAspire solves these problems by combining behavior-based insights with concrete actions. With a tool like this, workplaces are ready to create a well-balanced employee experience.

SEGMENT #1 – Jason Cochran

We have moved from employee satisfaction to employee engagement to employee experience–but this is much more than just a change in verbiage. Creating a good employee experience doesn’t happen by accident. The best companies invest time and money to make sure their employees are cared for throughout their tenure at the company, and Jason Cochran’s software solution iAspire is designed to help companies do that.

SEGMENT #2 – AHEAD OF THE CURVE with Joyce Gioia

Today on Ahead of the Curve, Joyce discusses small business COVID pivots.


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[11:55] “It’s better to measure what people do than what they say they will do.”

[13:12] “Leaders think that engagement surveys are turning into the new annual review: something you just do.”

[14:09] “We need to get practical before we get surgical.”

[22:58] “Employees need to be the ones driving the bus.”

[29:33] “At the end of the day, it is about helping people continuously grow throughout their life.”

Podcast Notes

Improving on Traditional Systems [10:57]

[11:55] “It’s better to measure what people do than what they say they will do.”

There are plenty of tools out there to help companies curate their employee experience. How does iAspire differentiate itself from the herd? It all comes down to measuring behavior.

Many tools gauge employee experience by giving surveys. And, of course, a lot of valuable data can be gained from surveys. However, this data is not useful. It is data on what people say they will, or how they say they feel. This does not always align with reality.

iAspire creates feedback loops to track every metric that deals with performance management. They track things like whether employees are receiving appropriate feedback, how well employees are tracking goals and following growth plans, and the level participation in learning and development programs. All of this and more is coded and analyzed to send signals to leadership about what is going well and what needs work.

These behavior signals go above and beyond data collected from other tools, like surveys. And this is coming right when leaders are beginning to believe that surveys are the new performance review because by the time the data is ready to use, it’s too late! People and workforces change so often that data needs to be usable and implemented immediately, and that’s exactly what iAspire aims to do.

The Four Principles of Connection [14:03]

[14:09] “We need to get practical before we get surgical.”

Not every problem requires a scalpel. Many leaders think that for every problem, there needs to be a survey, but that isn’t the case. Rather, there should be a core rhythm in a company that touches on the primary areas of employee experience that we know are important from years of feedback and research.

Jason sums this rhythm up in the four principles of connection:

  • People want to connect with themselves
  • People want to connect with others
  • People want to connect with their role
  • People want to connect with their organization

Organizations that can help their employees make these four connections will be their employees’ hero. Not only are these connections great for individuals, they are great for communities and for growing a cohesive workforce. It creates a base for tapping the untapped potential of your people.

Making Real Change [18:30]

[22:58] “Employees need to be the ones driving the bus.”

Deloitte identified adaptability and flexibility as the number one trait sought after by C-level executives in 2021. Technical skills, alignment with values, role expertise, curiosity, courage to challenge the status quo, empathy, and inclusiveness were other top traits. However, all of this can begin to feel like just another thing to check off if employee experience is not at the center.

Just like how jumping on a scale won’t make you lose weight, simply measuring workplace problems will not make them better. If employee engagement is just hopping on the scale, then employee experience is doing the work. Once strategic data is gathered, real work has to be done at the appropriate time to make change. But doing this work cannot just come from the top down. Rather, employees need to be in charge, because it’s for them. 

Most importantly, tracking employee experience at work must be respectful and unintrusive. Using personal, confidential information, even from platforms licensed by the company, is strictly off limits. But at the same time, no one should have to fear that their personal journeys could be used against them. Going through divorce or becoming a caregiver should not be disqualifying. And, thankfully, as leaders encourage more and more authenticity in the workplace, this idea is becoming more real.

Evidence of Change [28:37]

[29:33] “At the end of the day, it is about helping people continuously grow throughout their life.”

All of this is great in theory, but what are the results? One anecdote that has come out of client experiences is inspiring. As employees engaged in micro-coaching to improve communication skills, something remarkable happened: conflict at home dropped. 

Employees are able to communicate more clearly and regulate their temper more effectively across their lives because of skills they are learning at work. This is the strongest evidence to Jason that his platform is working like it’s supposed to. Of course success for iAspire means helping employees become better at their roles, but it also means helping them grow as a human being. 

Ahead of the Curve: Normal 2.0 [35:32]

The topic today is small business COVID pivots. Joyce saw three small businesses in particular that made strong pivots during the pandemic. Principles from these stories can be applied to your own business or workplace.

First up is Ginger Burr. She pivoted from working as a wardrobe consultant to becoming an expert on Zoom fashion, complete with a course and individual coaching services. In fact, she is now busier than ever before catering to this new market. 

Next, Underground Tours of Savannah led by Sistah Patt, a Gullah Geechee storyteller, began giving virtual tours through Zoom! What they have discovered is that there is plenty of demand for both virtual and in-person tours. Just like Ginger, they are more successful now than before the pandemic because of the additional revenue stream. 

Finally, Chef Giovanni in Florida lost his job at the beginning of the pandemic and was forced to pivot as well. As a vegan chef, he now collaborates with growers to create prepared vegan dining experiences. This is just another example of being flexible and leveraging experiences to adapt to change.


The Geeks, Geezers & Googlization TV Show is live every Wednesday at 1 PM ET on Facebook, YouTube, Talk 4 TV, and broadcast on W4CY Radio, part of Talk 4 Radio on the Talk 4 Media Network.  The podcast is also available on Talk 4 Podcasting.

Following the broadcast, the replay will be available at the same links for YouTube and Facebook, our podcast website Geeks Geezers Googlization, and on most podcasts including Apple Podcast, iHeart, Spotify, Amazon, Stitcher and more.