Marilyn Zakhour on TheJamesCast
Updated: Mar 30
This week, Marilyn Zakhour was featured on TheJamesCast, a podcast hosted by Dubai-based award-winning communication professor and podcaster James Peicowye. This episode explores Marilyn's background, the value of employee engagement, what life is like as a Lebanese expat in the aftermath of the Beirut explosion, and the work we do at Cosmic Centaurs.
In their conversation, Marilyn breaks down just how we are 'helping organizations and individuals reimagine and build the future of work and education.' As Marilyn chronicles her non-linear career, she explains how the inception of Cosmic Centaurs began during COVID-19, just as the enforced lockdowns catalyzed a surge in remote work.
"That was the honeymoon phase. Anyone who thinks that type of work is sustainable is just naive. Everyone was panic working out of fear for losing their jobs. We solve for the problems that come 12 months from now when companies adopt flexible working policies without the tools and processes to nurture productivity and collaboration."
In response to the changing landscape, Marilyn established Cosmic Centaurs to offer consulting, insights, and training to help clients make sense of the new 'how' and 'where' of work. We help individuals and companies structure remote work, design the physical and virtual workspaces, invest and implement the relevant technology, and train and upskill employees to become confident and fluent in location-independent work.
"We want to solve for the questions we don't have answers to yet, like how do you create remote environments for meeting moments, engagement, and those serendipitous moments so companies don't lose their momentum?"
When asked about how to justify to clients the need to invest in these services, Marilyn and James discuss the dollar value of employee engagement referencing a study by Bain & Company conducted in conjunction with the Economist Intelligence Unit.
"Employee Engagement isn't just a 'fluffy' HR term, there is real data out there showing the dollar value of this to organizations."
The findings of the research revealed that if satisfied employees are productive at an index level of 100, then engaged employees produce at ~1.5x as much (index level: 144). Comparatively, inspired employees produce at 2.25x as much on the same scale (score: 225).
”Essentially, it would take two and a quarter satisfied employees to generate the same output as one inspired employee, said Marilyn."
Cosmic Centaurs consulting services can enable organizations to unlock the potential of engaged or inspired employees and make remote work a competitive advantage. "There will continue to be unforeseen challenges, particularly as organizations adopt remote work within their long-term organizational design. Inevitably, will be new structural problems that have not been solved for, and that is exactly where we come in,"
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