It’s been three weeks since joining Leapgen and my initial observations confirm that I am absolutely in the right place. In the past 12 years I have worked for three different professional services/consulting organizations and each one keeps getting better.
Prior to consulting, I spent 13 years in corporate HR and Talent Management roles which ultimately created the foundation and also my desire to take a radical leap and move into consulting. Hands down, in 2007, the best career decision I made was to join Knowledge Infusion and I will be forever grateful for Jason Averbook who “took a chance on me” and… “here we go again” (ok, I am a huge fan of ABBA and I’m probably dating myself).
The common themes that continue to keep me engaged and passionate about this work are the people, the workplace culture and the customers I have had the great fortune of working with. The founders of all three consulting firms I have been a part of have created a workplace where employees are passionate about the mission of disrupting and not being disrupted and have created a different experience for both employees and the customers we serve.
The next chapter in my career journey, as Chief People Officer and Customer Advisor could not be more perfect. The two things I enjoy most, building a great team and working with customers who are eager to try new things and transform the future of work. Here are few of my initial observations.
Observation #1: Culture is the DNA of the Company, don’t underestimate its importance.
Leapgen is another prime example of a culture that inspires innovative work, a place where all employees share a common set of values. These values shape every interaction with each other and our customers. The intersection of worker and customer experiences is rooted in our shared values…L.E.A.P has a special meaning to every employee:
Love: We love the pursuits of making the world a great place to work and making Leapgen the greatest team on earth.
Energy: Our positive energy inspires trust and fuels long-lasting relationships.
Audacity: We apply a growth mindset to do the audacious — as individuals, as a team and with our customers.
Proof: We prove ourselves to our customers by meeting and exceeding their expectations, and by holding ourselves and one another accountable.
All generations of talent are evaluating your culture and deciding it’s worth staying or time to move on. Culture influences how people show up everyday, the decisions and behaviors they exhibit. Does your culture embrace the digital revolution where a frictionless workplace is celebrated?
Observation #2: HR is still behind the eight ball and not moving fast enough.
I started consulting with HR Executives in 2007 and the conversation centered around creating a new HCM or Talent Management Strategy with a focus on migrating away from the archaic ERP beasts to a more intuitive cloud-based technology and creating more efficiency for HR. Automation was the topic of conversation while at the same time digital transformation for consumers was rapidly taking off. In 2007, the iPhone was introduced, Airbnb and Uber were launched and changed the way consumers travel, Facebook and Twitter hit the global mainstream and social collaboration created new meaning in the world of human relationships and connectedness.
In addition, big data, cloud storage and open source software platforms emerged changing the way we use technology in the workplace. Fast forward 11 years and it’s disappointing that many of my HR colleagues are still grappling with how to migrate off of their customized and non-supported ERP rather than this concept of a Digital Workforce Experience. This concept emerged over a decade ago and if we want to stay relevant to the future of work, we MUST keep up with the pace of change. Jason Averbook states in his latest book, The Digital Guide to Workforce Experience.
“The world of HR needs to change to keep pace with how digital and mobile technologies have remade society and altered the way people interact with their world. The ease, speed, and convenience with which such technologies allow us to get what we want, when we want it, have raised the bar and changed expectations.”
Do you have a compelling Digital Workforce Experience Strategy or Vision? Are you collaborating with other key stakeholders (i.e.Marketing, IT, Sales, Employees) to ensure a holistic approach to transforming the way we work? Are you meeting the needs and expectations of the current workforce?
Human Resources must embrace the trend, leverage new technologies, rethink labor intensive processes and deliver a new kind of workforce experience that matches employee expectations. The time is now…it’s #ourtime.
Observation #3: Embracing change requires a growth mindset.
I love the saying “get comfortable with the uncomfortable”, I remind myself of this everyday in both my personal and professional life.
I started doing Hot Yoga and Pilates about a month ago. If anyone has done this, you know how uncomfortable it can be in a 105 degree heat and 45% humidity for 60–90 min while stretching, breathing deeply and creating the ultimate mind body connection. However, no matter how uncomfortable, the results and feeling of accomplishment when I’m finished completely outweigh my discomfort. I believe it’s a mindset that allows us to get beyond the discomfort and anticipate the outcome or reward.
It’s no different in business. At Leapgen, we talk about having a growth mindset. What does this actually mean? A “growth mindset,” as Carol S. Dweck calls it, is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a tendency to believe that you can grow. In her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, she explains that while a “fixed mindset” assumes that our character, intelligence, and creative ability are static givens which we can’t change in any meaningful way, a growth mindset thrives on challenge and sees failure “not as evidence of unintelligence but as a heartening springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities.”
If every organization hired talent with a growth mindset and embraced failure as an opportunity to learn, this concept of change management would not be needed. Transforming the way we work is not an easy task and it requires a shift in mindset. Do you have employees on your team with a growth mindset who are willing to imagine the impossible, try new things, fail fast, learn something new along the way? If the answer is yes, you are on your way to success. If not, be prepared for a more challenging transformational journey and engage with experts who have done this work in the past.
In summary, it’s amazing how fast the time goes by when your passionate about your work and having fun with the team. The digital workforce experience is no joke and will make or break the level of engagement for employees of every organization.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kim Heger is a global leader and management consultant with 24 years of experience in Corporate HR, professional services, and cloud technology (e.g., Workday, Taleo, Cornerstone OnDemand, SAP SuccessFactors, Salesforce). She brings contagious energy and passion to help business leaders reimagine both the customer and worker experiences. She is a catalyst for change and business transformation. Her drive for creating meaningful workforce experiences have allowed organizations to solve complex business problems. Her work has varied from strategy to deployment within a wide range of global organizations and industries.
Leapgen is a global digital transformation company shaping the future of work. Highly respected as a visionary partner to organizations looking to design and deliver a digital workforce experience that will produce valued outcomes to the business, Leapgen helps enterprise leaders rethink how to better design and deliver workforce services and architect HR technology solutions that meet the expectations of workers and the needs of the business. Contact us to get started.