Oji Emotions at Amazon and Striving to be the World's Best Employer

Charis Loveland Charis Loveland | Aug 22, 2023
Oji Emotions at Amazon and Striving to be the World's Best Employer
Charis Loveland, Global Program Manager; Amazon EPIC 

In 2020 as an AI/ML Business Development Manager, I attended a life-changing presentation with Rich Hua, the Global Head of EPIC Leadership at Amazon. At that time, Rich was a Global Go-to-Market specialist, volunteering his time to spread the word about Emotional Intelligence. I immediately said…

“I need to get involved!”

I became one of the first certified speakers, when Rich and I were still volunteers working at our ‘day jobs.’ I created a program to certify additional speakers to spread the EQ message across Amazon. Today, EPIC (Empathy, Purpose, Inspiration, Connection) Leadership is our full-time job. We have 50 certified EQ speakers and have taught workshops to over 300,000 Amazonians. We ‘can’t stop; won’t stop’ and have ambitions to reach 1 billion people with our empowering message that you can learn EQ skills to optimize your life.

How did we get here?

As you might imagine, Amazon is extremely data driven. Through a Kirkpatrick L2 assessment, we’ve been able to measure an increase in confidence skills for those who have attended EPIC workshops of 19%. The evidence has shown that leaders who use their emotions in an intelligent way show bias for action and have moved from solving problems for their direct reports to coaching them to discover the answers themselves.

At the core of our teaching is empathy and it has drastically improved Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts. Once you understand someone else’s perspective, the input, you reach a better sense of belonging and empathy with all types of people, with increased DEI as the output.

Enter Oji Life Lab

While our goal remains to reach 1 billion people, we can’t do it alone. Earlier in 2023, we partnered with Oji Life Lab to create the conditions for more people to have access to valuable EQ learning. Those in our EQ Champions network were able to sign up for access to Oji Emotions, a self-paced skill-building program on emotional intelligence. Oji was able to tailor the program to our specific needs. The app already included live video-based coaching and group check-ins for the cohort of learners.

Oji’s Customer Success Team was a true partner, assisting with everything from the coordination and launch, to ongoing engagement discussion and post learning analysis, via their unique Proof of Impact reporting. Our team kept the group engaged through the regular posting of regulation strategies in our slack channel, where we’ve encouraged our learners to embrace the C in EPIC by using this as a place for true connection.

The Results

The life of an Amazonian can be very stressful, so we are especially mindful about the time commitments of training, and only engage in programs that make an impact. In the case of Oji, 100% of survey respondents agreed that Oji Emotions made them feel better equipped to deal with challenges at work. One participant reached out to say:

“I’ve been spending a lot of time in Oji Life Lab sorting through my emotions and reactions and thanks to this work, I am better able to manage myself. This is the first week in months where I have not started the week anxious and that is a huge win for me.”

I’m inspired by the positive impact this program has had on so many Amazonians and this type of feedback resonates with me deeply. If you’d like to learn more about my personal journey with Emotional Intelligence, I’d welcome you to listen to the Women in the Arena podcast, where I was recently a guest. You can also learn more about the EPIC Leadership program here.

Charis Loveland Charis Loveland

Charis Loveland manages the EPIC Emotional Intelligence initiative at Amazon, where she previously led the artificial intelligence and machine learning (ML) team for AWS Cloud Intelligence.

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