By: Jessica Caldwell, Community Relations Specialist at MassTLC
Having a leader with a vision of what their company culture should be is a fantastic starting point, but there aren’t enough hours in the day to run a business and follow through on all of the details that inspire people to work hard for the company. Often the job of turning that vision into reality is left up to the Chief People Officer or the VP’s of HR.
CPOs joined us at our Talent Summmit to tell us how they manage to get sh*t done. Our panel was comprised of Christina Luconi, CPO of Rapid7, David Almeda, CPO of Kronos, Lawler Kang, CPO of Rue La La and Dena Upton, VP of People and Talent for LogMeIn.
So, how are these successful CPOs building a great place to work? In one word; differentiation. It seems like a no-brainer, that creating a workplace that is truly different would cultivate internal loyalty and therefore a successful culture. However, talking about differentiation and truly practicing and implementing a differentiated environment are very different.
It all start with engagement. A company’s mission, vision and values are not just words but should be unequivocally practiced and preached throughout your organization. From the ground floor to the C-suite it is paramount for every person in the company to believe in your vision. Once you have engaged all of your internal employees they become ambassadors of your brand, it strengthens the internal team dichotomy. Running a company and a successful culture is a team sport, taking the time to get everyone involved only increases your chances for the proverbial win.
In multinational companies, there is always that large middle layer of employees. How do you hold them accountable and get them engaged? HR technologies allow you to put systems in place and provide that pulse for the company. Development is the driving force behind engagement and managers need to be responsible for engaging their people. You can implement an incentive program for your managers, much like a sales team. Evaluate them based on certain touch points and checkpoints to make sure no one is getting lost in the middle.
Now that Millennials have begun making their mark on the workforce, companies have to engage with multiple generations in the workplace. Does there need to be a balance hiring for culture fit versus diversity? Many of our CPOs believe that their target characteristics are blind to age, race, pedigree, etc. They are not looking for things that factor into diversity, but are always opening up their talent pool and building a culture for all thoughts to be welcomed. Everyone’s voice needs to be part of the solution. As a company, you need to be genuine and you need to make all employees feel as though you really care about them. An open flow of communication between employees and constant feedback will lead to success.
In order to be a great HR professional, you need to know all of the business functions well. You need to be engaged and passionate about what the company is doing. Authenticity and conversational leadership are also a must.
How do you start to build a great place to work? It is paramount that HR professionals recognize this paradigm shift that the work force is expecting with companies. Companies need to sell themselves to their employees to get them to buy into their vision and therefore their culture. You need to actively listen to your employees with authentic grassroots efforts. What do they want or need to excel? It is also important to use evidence based HR. In the past HR operated in reaction to trends in the market. With the new prevalence of HR analytics and data tools; internal HR personnel have never had more power to forecast those trends and be proactive in building and shifting the internal environment and policies and no longer being reactionary.
It is obvious that HR is seeing a major shift from benefit management to culture creation. Creating that differentiated work place with a great culture and great people, who believe in your mission is ultimately the factor that helps get sh*t done.