How Motorola Solutions puts The Oranges Toolkit to work

Motorolans, as they’re affectionately known, are some of the heroes behind our everyday heroes. Their work involves powering the mission-critical communications technology that enables frontline workers to be connected and visible to each other in real-time.

“We simplify the tools they use to make their jobs easier and we give them reliable communication in the worst conditions, our technology allows critical emergency personnel to work heads up and handsfree,” says Elise Mann, the Human Resources lead at Motorola Solutions Australia.

It can be high pressure, intense, behind-the-scenes work. At times, Motorolans need to draw on incredible resilience, innovation and strength. So, how does Motorola Solutions retain and build the team they need to deliver such critical services so successfully?

“Initially, we were considering what we could do to arm our people with a different set of tools, a set of coping mechanisms. We had just rolled out a program to build grit, encouraging people to think differently.  

We felt that The Oranges Toolkit spoke our language and was the right next step. It recognises that you bring your whole self to work and offers practical tools our team could use to improve their performance.”
Elise Mann, HR Director of Motorola Solutions is pictured with Andrew Haslock, Inclusion and Diversity Council chair, Libby Lyons, Director, Workplace Gender Equality Agency and Steve Crutchfield, Vice-President and Managing Director of Motorola Solutions, accepting an Employer of Choice award for Gender Equality

The ORANGES 'Seven segments of wellbeing' training program – Optimism, Resilience, Attitude, Now, Gratitude, Energy and Strengths - was initially rolled out amongst the executive leadership team in 2018, followed by the next level of management to cascade and embed wellbeing throughout the organisation. Next, it will be delivered in an APAC leadership training program and amongst the Sydney-based team who often experience high levels of intensity and complexity.

The impact of investing in employee wellbeing

Since rolling out The ORANGES Toolkit programs in Australia, Motorola Solutions employee engagement data has been improving, with over 80% favourable results in “flexible working practice, commitment to inclusion and diversity and collaboration”. These results are off the base of a 75% participation rate in the survey process. High employee engagement levels like this drive better results - PwC estimates that for every dollar spent, employers see a return of $2.30. Reflecting its commitment to employee wellbeing, Motorola Solutions was recently recognised by IDG's Insider Pro and Computerworld 2021 as one of the Best Places to Work in IT, and named in the list of 'Best Workplaces for Innovators - Large Companies' by Fast Company.

“The ORANGES Toolkit training has had some fantastic traction. The biggest change I find is the change in language we use – terms like resilience - and the conversations we have with each other. We’ve embraced ORANGES into our organisation and within our 12 APAC Leadership Principles – particularly Optimism, and 'Never Give Up' which is an adaptation on the segments of Resilience and Energy.”
Motorola Solutions 12 leadership principles are one of the ways that the learning from the Oranges Toolkit wellbeing program is being embedded

Motorola Solutions recognises and promotes its leadership principles with employee awards, including a peer-nominated Optimism Award which is now awarded at the end of every year. The Strengths segment has also been built into individual development plans and is used to reframe approaches to problem-solving.

From the top - a program that benefits everyone

Elise Mann wears a few hats at Motorola Solutions. She is the Head of Human Resources for Australia and New Zealand, HR Business Partner for APAC Direct Sales and she leads learning and development programs across the region. With 2500 employees across the Asia Pacific, Elise has been actively involved in designing the new leadership program for senior APAC business leaders called LEAP. This 8-month program kicks off with a Resilience and Optimism training session led by ORANGES Toolkit to set the tone for the inspirational learning and development ahead.  She’s hoping that the broader APAC senior leadership team will reap the benefits of this fresh approach to team development and consider rolling ORANGES programs out in their local teams too.

“Beyond the organisational impact, The Oranges Toolkit training has definitely helped me personally too. A lot of it is about the noticing – being aware of when you have an ‘amygdala hijack’ (a response to stress). I notice now when my focus narrows. And working from a strengths basis is one of the most important outcomes for me, I use it a lot.

I’m now studying my Masters in Cognitive Psychology and had already done a lot of mindfulness meditation before the Oranges training. But this training was also was a good reminder to take 5 minutes to have a mindful moment amongst the chaos.”

Aligned, purpose-driven organisations

Elise believes that one of the key factors to their outstanding talent retention and engagement levels is that people who work for Motorola Solutions are driven by a strong sense of purpose. Many of the 400 Australian-based employees are also involved in emergency services. “A number of our employees responder volunteers in their spare time – they want to give back to the community,” explains Elise.

“The fact The Oranges Toolkit is a social enterprise and returns profits to Camp Quality to support kids facing cancer strongly aligns to one of our corporate missions around community and foundation. We are a purpose driven organisation - we help people on the frontline.

There’s a pull towards doing good and having a positive impact in our community so the social enterprise status really adds to the impact of The Oranges Toolkit programs.”
Elise Mann and fellow Motorolans demonstrating the company value of community and foundation, completing a 30km walk for Beyond Blue

The future of work and why employee mental health matters

As COVID-19 and the rapid rise of technology affects businesses globally, the future of work will significantly change. McKinsey predicts there will be shortages of talent, particularly in information technology.  

Elise anticipates that the rise of virtual teams working across time zones, increasing expectations and responsiveness will increase the need for employers need to pay attention to employee wellbeing.

“The mentally healthier your workforce is around managing boundaries, and the more practical tools they have to manage their wellbeing at work, the more effective your workforce is going to be.”

“If we’re not offering a broader support structure that considers overall wellbeing, people will find another place to go. The company needs to look after the whole of you. Thinking back to the days when things like employee assistance programs and flexible work practices were ‘nice to haves’ - those days are gone if you want to have the best talent.”

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