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Vulnerability in the workplace

Avantika KolluruT522 - Impact by Design

The big problem

Young employees across the world (aged 18 to 30) are unhappy, disengaged and exhausted.


disengaged at work

experiencing high stress



unable to perform well

Sources: Pew Research Center, Gallup, Deloitte

What's really going on?

Self-determination theory

The central research




  • Matters five times more than compensation, hours
  • Personal connections as highest-rated measure of job satisfaction by young workers (65%)


  • Commonalities
  • Authenticity
  • Strategic honesty
  • Imperfection
  • Humility
  • Humor
  • Psychological safety
  • Vulnerability

constructs & dimensions

  • Modelling vulnerability (Shaver et al, 2010)
  • Taking small risks (Brown, 2012)

If managers learn about the value of vulnerability through shared storytelling Then they will prioritize vulnerability in interactions with young employees and team membersSo that young employees are able to find more satisfaction in their workplace


Engagement with content

Sharing own stories



Vulnerable interactions at work

How we'll know it's working

  • Increasing views
  • Content requests
  • Shares with friends and colleagues

  • Increasing contributions
  • Comments with own stories

  • Honest conversations
  • Admitting to mistakes
  • Improved relationships at work

"It's a good way to know that others are going through the same thing"

Early tests

"This makes me think of the time in my life when..."

"Drop quick pieces of content into my inbox as daily reminders"

"Making the links between vulnerability and high performance clearer through guided content might be nice"

Where next?


SEL at work?

Mindfulness training?

Leadership program?