In The Modern People Leader Podcast, we go behind the scenes with HR executives to hear about their daily routines, what it means to be a Modern People Leader and we will discuss the latest topics in the HR world. Our goal is to keep you up-to-date on the latest trends, and to help spark conversations and change within your organization. You can access our episodes below. Or you can subscribe to The Modern People Leader directly on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

Episode 23 – Michelle Wax (Founder, American Happiness Project) on Happiness

Michelle Wax, the founder of the American Happiness Project, joined us on The Modern People Leader.

We talked about her journey across the USA to learn what brings everyday Americans happiness and fulfillment and much more.

Timestamps: why Michelle started the American Happiness Project (3:34), the 500 people that she interviewed on happiness (12:18), “you’re protected on this earth until you’ve served your purpose” (15:25), biggest lessons learned along her journey (19:32), consistent themes for creating happiness (25:04), why you should make the big life shift that your family doesn’t totally understand (32:01), the YOLO economy (33:42), & self-awareness will lead to a happier workforce (49:02).

Episode 22 – Rhiana Barr (Chief People Officer, KushCo) on Nailing the People Piece of M&A

Rhiana Barr, Chief People Officer at KushCo, joined us on The Modern People Leader.

We talked about why HR needs to be involved early in the M&A process, how to ensure a successful cultural integration, and much more.

Timestamps: why working in a wide range of industries has been so critical to her career growth (3:38), strategic workforce planning based on legislation (10:22), the changing perception of working in the cannabis industry (17:26), why HR needs to get involved early in the M&A process (23:39), the culture diligence is the missing piece to successful mergers and acquisitions (24:41), her step-by-step process for assessing culture pre-integration (29:16), why an HR leader is running their integration management office (33:25), and creating a single culture is a journey with your people (47:16),

Episode 20 – Adrienne Barnard (SVP, People Operations & Experience, AdmitHub) on Building Great Managers

In episode 20 Adrienne Barnard, SVP People Operations & Experience at AdmitHub, joined us on The Modern People Leader.

We covered all things manager-related: the secret sauce to becoming a great manager, rookie mistakes to avoid, how to run effective 1x1s, and much more.

Timestamps: the secret sauce for becoming a great manager (9:12), the biggest rookie mistakes for new managers (13:42), people ops is important & companies are starting to take notice (25:36), why most 1x1s are ineffective (28:10), putting all managers through management training (32:34), having someone look after People Ops makes a big impact (37:50), leveraging engagement surveys to measure manager effectiveness (41:17), and using micro-learning opportunities to get quick wins with manger training (47:35).

Episode 19 – Emma Brudner – Head of People, Reggora

In episode 19 Emma Brudner, Head of People at Reggora, joined us on The Modern People Leader.

We talked about what it has been like building out Reggora’s people processes from scratch, going fully distributed, and what they’re measuring on their first-ever pulse survey.

Timestamps: how Emma made the jump from being a journalist to Head of People (3:52), prioritizing people processes being put into place (13:17), why she meets with every new hire (17:23), influencing without authority in HR (19:13), building the employee handbook & ensuring the policies are equitable (21:31), how going fully distributed is fueling headcount growth (28:03), how Reggora designed their first pulse survey (32:16), recruiting for industry-specific expertise ( 39:20), and the difference between radical candor and being a jerk (40:45).

Episode 18 – Jaclyn Jussif (Director of Talent Acquisition, EnterpriseDB) on Hiring & Onboarding

In episode 18 Jaclyn Jussif, Director of Talent Acquisition at EnterpriseDB, joined us on The Modern People Leader.

We talked about hiring, onboarding, and how to create custom ramp plans for new hires. Timestamps: biggest differences hiring internationally, using the WHO method for behavioral interviewing, calling out the elephant in the room (COVID) in interviews, front-loading information in the onboarding process, creating customized 30, 60, 90-day ramp plans, tying references to ramp plans, nudging people to connect, why the EMPLOYEE needs to drive the onboarding process, and the magnified imposter syndrome that people are feeling right now.

Episode 17 – Gillian Godfrey (Chief People Officer, Storable) on Psychological Safety

In episode 17 Gillian Godfrey, Chief People Officer at Storable, joined us on The Modern People Leader.

Gillian shared how Storable is creating Psychological Safety across the entire employee experience. We also dove into the recent work that they did with their Employee Value Proposition. Timestamps: why Psychological Safety is front and center right now, how their leadership team is “wrapping their arms around their people”, the two new roles that Storable created to improve employee engagement, “making deposits to the trust bank”, how they’re creating psychological safety from candidate to “graduate”, now is your time in HR to step up as a leader, how Storable launched their new Employee Value Proposition, how they grew their LinkedIn page from 1,000 to 10,000 followers, and how Storable connected their EVP to a compelling story.

Episode 16 – Building Recognition Programs for a 6,000 Person Company

In episode 16 Sarah Salbu Young, Talent Experience Partner at Pegasystems, joined us on The Modern People Leader recently.

At Pegasystems, Sarah’s role is fully dedicated to building recognition programs for their 6,000 people worldwide. We talked about “the lost art of saying thank you”, how companies can incorporate traditions and rituals to build a stronger culture, and lastly, she broke down the 3 core pillars of Recognition at Pega. Timestamps: how Sarah made the jump from PR to the People function, Sarah’s unique role & the 3 core pillars of recognition, the power of saying “thank you”, creating a culture of positivity, incorporating traditions and rituals to build a stronger culture, creating “water-cooler” like moments virtually, infusing humor into the workplace, creating unique “badge of honor” moments for big milestones that everyone can look forward, peer-to-peer recognition and awards at Pega, and measuring the success of recognition programs.

Episode 15 – Dena Upton (Chief People Officer, Drift) on Going Digital First

In episode 15 – Dena Upton, Chief People Officer at Drift, joined us on The Modern People Leader the other day.

Drift is a hyper-growth startup (440 employees) that has been named to Deloitte’s Fast 500 List, Forbes’ AI 50 List, and Inc.’s of the Best Workplaces of 2020. Dena shared the details around Drift’s recent decision to go Digital First: Defining Digital First, how it’s different than a hybrid approach, and why it’s a mindset shift, why the hybrid approach will start to deteriorate post-pandemic, doubling down on what’s working for your culture in a digital work environment, Monday Metrics and Friday Show & Tell, giving employees permission to make big life decisions and picking an edge, focusing on impact and outcomes over facetime, putting the finishing touches to their culture deck, the importance of storytelling and showing your work, the Drift leadership team’s commitment to their people agenda relocation and market-based compensation and the metrics that Dena is constantly looking.

Episode 14 – Lyndsay Lord (CHRO, Team Car Care, dba Jiffy Lube)

In episode 14 our guest today was Lyndsay Lord, CHRO at Team Car Care, dba Jiffy Lube, the largest Jiffy Lube franchisee in the US.

For all of the HR practitioners that work in multi-unit businesses, this episode is for you! And for everyone else, listen to Lyndsay on why working in HR for a blue-collar company is so rewarding. What we covered: focusing on their 5,000 teammates to deliver an amazing guest experience, how role clarity can drive high engagement, building a strong data foundation on the HR side, 2021 will be the year of anticipation with their analytics, managing data for a multi-unit business, laying out a clear career path for employees, identifying high-potential teammates to promote, working in HR for white-collar vs. blue-collar companies, listening to employees to make their experience better, trainings to develop inclusive leaders, International Women’s Day shoutouts, qualities of the great leaders she’s worked with navigating motherhood while focusing on your career, and more.

Episode 13 – VP of People + Talent at Privy on Performance Reviews (Jennifer Paxton)

In episode 13 we covered quite a bit: the craziest thing Jennifer Paxton is experienced in her career.

Why she loves her job, the monthly HR/Talent breakfast that she hosts, the employee preference for a quarterly performance review vs. the manager pushback for a less frequent cadence, how she built Privy’s performance review process from scratch, how she built a competency bank & tailored competencies for different teams, the debate on whether or not to include self-assessments, how to enable managers to have professional growth conversations with their direct reports, and more.

Episode 12 – The Gray Area of “Anonymous” Employee Feedback

In episode 12 we talked about the importance of anonymous feedback and the new “gray area” that has emerged.

Challenges companies are having taking action on employee feedback, skepticism from employees on survey anonymity, “confidential” surveys that aren’t truly anonymous, the argument for pseudo-anonymous feedback, what a world of fully-attributed surveys would look like, and how people might be able to one-day “opt-in” to attributed feedback channels.