HR Superstars
HR Superstars

Episode · 1 year ago

Creating Equitable Outcomes For Teams with Different Roles and Responsibilities


The question of equitable outcomes is an uncomfortable one. A proactive change leader will recognize that equitable outcomes require different approaches for different team members in different populations.

In this episode, we interview Jevan Soo Lenox , Chief People Officer formerly at Stitch Fix, about creating equitable outcomes across wildly different teams.

Join us as we discuss:

  • The emotional labor of the people function
  • Offensive and defensive approaches to the mental health conversation
  • The relationship between perfectionism and burnout
  • Achieving equitable outcomes with deliberately different methods for different populations
  • Challenging people leaders to be proactive change makers

For the entire interview, subscribe to HR Superstars on Spotify , Apple Podcasts , or Stitcher . Or tune in on our website. 

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The three principles that I would sort of use and you think about creating these cohesive cultures across these very, very different team contexts, is one is look, you know, wherever you can do something really universal, that's, I think, both great for people. Then also, I frankly, just what powerful cultural symbols do that, to also recognize that you're gonna have to top up. So they're going to be points in time where you're actually going to have to do some things are actually quite specific in service of outcomes that you want to actually say. I can look anyone across the company in the eye and say in service of your supporting you and your family and supporting your financial wellness, whatever it is. Right might be doing slightly different things because the context are different, but it's in service of that kind of outcome. And then, third and wherever you can design into structure and process in ways that will just hold you accountable. But you're listening to HR superstars, a podcast from fifteen five that highlights stories from the front lines of HR and people ups. Each episode will showcase fascinating conversations with leaders offering their unique experiences and advice for building an extraordinary company and culture. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to another episode of HR superstars. I'm Shane Metcalf, Co founder of fifteen five and our chief culture officer, which I'm actually so soon to be are achieved people and culture officer and take on a little more responsibility of the whole bull organization. I really happy to have our guest here today, Jevins Sue Lenox, and Jevin is someone that we've had the pleasure of interacting with through a couple of different events that we've hosted and have just gotten to know him over the last year or so. Jevin is the former chief people in culture officer. That's why I was kind of tune my horn that I'm like yes, chief people and culture officer for the win. Jevin was the cheap people do in culture officer for stitch fix, which is I really cool company that I've actually used for my own personal styling, and Jevin began his career at McKenzie, eventually leading their Asia Pacific recruiting strategy across twelve countries and has led held multiple people ops and business leadership rolls at square blue bottle coffee and minted. He lives in San Francisco with his husband, two sons and a large Air Dale terrier. Welcome to the show, Jevin. Thank you so much for having me. So great to have you and I'm also wearing a my stitch fick's shirt today also. Was a longtime customer. Took a break, but I think I'm not inspired to go. Okay, I get back, get back in there. But it's funny how like style, probably, I mean would be interesting this year, how I you know, stitch fakes did through the pandemic because it was kind of like, Oh, okay, I don't need to look good anymore for a while. But yeah, curreya is how combining with I don't want to go to the store and shop. So be interesting to say, understanding downst each other out right. I'm really curious and I'm actually I also don't want to take responsibility for a bunch of our listeners getting jealous or quitting their jobs. But but you know, I understand you've taken a big break right now. Are you taking some time off? And I think that that's something that a lot of people don't think to do. They jump from job to job, career to career, and I'm curious, for you what was behind that decision and what are you learning about and maybe just share a little of the back story there. Yeah, I am taking a break. I finished up with stitch fix last month after an incredible runs, a credible experience, and I would say I've been lucky to have taken a few different breaks in my career. The first was for Grad School, which is kind of a natural one that kind of people go through, but I went to Grad school a bit later. So most people go to this is school after only a few years of working and I went after seven years, and so is a little bit more of a not I didn't have you didn't have to go. I wasn't the obvious sort of choice, and so I think the deliberation process of is this the right thing and, if so, what I want to get out of this experience for me in terms of my personal growth, it was just it was is an interesting sort...

...of way of thinking about the choice that I think stuck with me. And this is actually the second break I've taken in my career, not counting Grad School, where I've left a job and not had the next job lined up. The first one was four years ago and I left blue bottle coffee. and honestly that one was scarier because I've never done it before, but I'd sort of said, you know, blue bottle was that an interesting in my point. I had had kind of put in a good run there and said, you know, I just think it's kind of the right moment. But it's a it's a bit of, you know, leaping into the void or to saying I go know so many of us, I think, certain least you know, certainly for me, find so much meaning in work. You know, we kind of grind hard at it right, and so I sort of talked about is sort of, you know, this sort of a I'm just to jump out of bed and to start kind of you know, kind of going at it right and and not having that, you feel almost a little bit lost. And but what I found that first time four years ago was realizing that the most precious sort of luxury in life that that only you know, very thankful you think few of us can get. It's time. It's sort of unadulterated time. And sort of once you have that, what would you sort of do with yourself, like what would you allow yourself to think about? A reflect or just give yourself back in life at sometimes, no matter how amazing a job, it tends to kind of fill the void pretty dramatically. And so so this one is. I know how precious it is. I know how much I think luck and privilege allows someone to take a break like this, and so I definitely don't take it for granted. I do have two kids now, which I did not four years ago, and so it's a little bit and and we're still in the middle of a pandemic, so it's not quite as carefree Galip anting break per se. But but I think the opportunity to just wake up and say, what do I want to get out of this day, this week, in a kind of really curious exploratory fashion. My my all this is three and he just started preschool and you know it's a bit Cliche, but I think just sort of returning to that, there's no agenda right, just kind of what I want to learn, what I want to contribute, what I want to experience. We just introduced a sabbatical program at fifteen five because, you know, it's you know, not everybody has the act, the the financial means to just take a time, take a couple months off in between jobs, and so we really wanted to create an opportunity for people to not work for a moment and not worry about money and experience. Who Am I when I'm not working full time, which is a confronting question right. It's kind of because it's easy to be on autopilot with work, like cool, this is this is my purpose and this is how I'm going to make meaning in my life, and so we take that out for a moment. I was like, Whoa, who am I when I'm not working? I think that's great and it's you know, it's not a surprise that I think sabbatical programs. There may not be a macro trend, but I do think there are micro friend and I think companies just sort of recognizing, you know, when people are sort of jumping more rapidly from chapter chapter of you're the kind of organization that can give people the space to do that. The chance that they'll actually decide this is the place I want to stay as probably higher, and so Kudos to you all for leaning into that. Do you feel like there's been a bit of unwinding, you know, because I mean, you know, leading people, teams, lead, being responsible for the human beings. The hearts, minds, bodies souls of the people in our organization were at least, you know, creating conditions to support them is not always easy, right. It's especially we're in Pathic we can sometimes take on a lot of that stress and I'm curious has there been kind of unwinding detoxing from just the intensity of running larger companies? Yeah, the the emotional labor of the people function is not to be underestimate. I have I come from a family where my father was in healthcare. All Chinese Americans, all my cousins are doctors. I'm actually the black sheep of the family being in business. It's, you know,... I know a lot of people are really, you know, literally in the caregiving business in terms of in terms of with it you today day. But the people function, I think, is probably one of the most analogous to that. If you've kind of look at a non healthcare sort of business organization and the and the emotional labor is real and I think the emotional labor after they'd last year and a half that we've had it's only kind of gone multiple step functions from where it used to be. I think for me the choice to step out and take a break from when you and do this far along in your career. You know, hopefully you sort of know yourself well and and what I sort of felt in myself was a little bit of the fraying of the edges, because, you know, one of the things I really try to bring as a leader is that, is the resilience and is the ability to sort of let a lot of it wash off of you. And as I started to sort of see and feel of some of those edges free as and I'm like, Hey, I want to I want to kind of go out on my terms. I want to go out in a way where I feel like I'm still actually bring my best self to the work and my band, my best off to the team, versus, you know, burnt out and actually kind of running from it, and so really doing it as a more sort of deliberate and selfaware choice. I was joking with some of my colleagues and the date me, but I'm a child the D S and so the original Beverly Hills nine two and I was very popular when I was kind of red. Yeah, yeah, it's so there's okay. So then you might get this reference. So there's this now sort of famous storyline where Kelly Taylor is in this love triangle between Brandon and Dylan and and finally, when they say, like who did you choose, she says, neither of you. I choose me. Like this is a nice choose the moment right. Actually, I know it. I'm I'm just gonna choose me and take some time and you know what, I whatever I do next, the team that I end up next with is going to be the better for it. That's so good, you know. I mean it's really interesting, like I resonate with some of the fraying edges and you know, and it's like we're, you know, been doing this, but David for ten years, and it's there's ups and downs of startup life and it's days where you're feel on top of the world and there's days when it feels like the weight of it is all crushing you and needing, you know, and then I'm not I might take a sabbatical next year. Actually, you know, me and David are like, oh, that's you know, let's probably not take him ours at the same time. But needing to learn, like needing the necessity of how do I regenerate? How do I choose me in a week right, you know, how do I choose me to really do go to the root of my praying edges and nourish myself at the deepest level, can get help when I need help and do therapy and really actually try to feel the intensity rather than just numb myself to it, and I think that's part of a we're all learning. I mean every single professional has their own version of this right now, I think, and I'm curious as you go back into your next role and whichever company you find yourself in, you know, how do you, how are you thinking about mental health of the entire employee population, maybe differently than you were two years ago? It's a great question. It's a golden question. I you know, I think there's been a real sea change in how companies and leaders talk about mental health and relative to two years ago, where, I think, you know, to to three years ago, it felt more there are a few kind of progressive leaders a bit ahead of the curve, but it was sort of you know, oh, that's that's their pet issue, that's our personals look good for them right, and everyone else it's sort of no, keep you know, work really hard and you'll figure it out. Right. And now I think this idea where I think there's both the sort of offense and defense move to it right. The I think, the offensive sort of saying hey, actually, by definition, high grow organizations and people, you know, sort of contributing in big ways, that there's ortizations and leading there. Really they take a lot out of you, right, and if you if you really want to you know...

...those people that have the maximum impact that they possibly have and for them to stick around, then you have to think about how to attend to these questions that ineverably come up with the kind of the human condition. You know, and I think Brit large in the past people probably thought about that more. It's just, you know, what are all the benefits and books that we can sort of throw at people to support them in their lives and so on. Right, but if you just get to the core of the emotionality, if sort of how people are dealing with life and stress, and you know some of that's from work and some of that's from stuff that's outside of work, it becomes you're only core to actually like how do we be a high impact, high performing organization full of individuals who are constantly feel at their best and the defense move is, I think, you know, organizations that aren't taken serious are just going to get left in the dust. Yeah, I like it's just it's just it's no longer, you know, that one or two kind a cool companies that are doing it. It's now it's candidates ask about it, employees ask about it. You know, it may not be quite table stake chet, but it's getting there, m and so I think bring to that next organization, I think they're I've had a little bit of an awakening on that, I think, over the past year and both of my sort of what I see what's going around in the world, and then just for my own personal journey as well, just sort of, you know, how do I how do I create a company that I can be at for, yeah, five, six, ten years, right, and have that ability to sprint and recharge and take space for myself and get support where I need it? I love the the sprint, recharge, take space for myself where I need it. Like you know, that kind of feels like the formula, right. We we can't sprint, sprint, sprint, sprint, sprint, sprint, sprint, sprint, broke, break my leg, you know, completely deplete my reserves. Yeah, did you feel equipped to do that well in your last couple of roles, and how did you do that for yourself and encourage, you know, some of the members your team to do that? Yeah, I you know, the risk of being work days, but I think it's a good think it's a journey rights, I would say, equips and find full of full of the power. But I would say certainly I felt better at it that I did a number four years ago. Yeah, it might, Yo my what I left boo bottle coffee. One of the first things I did was go on my first silent meditation retreat. Oh well, I spent seven days up in Sonoma at this amazing retreat. I highly recommend it. Spirit Rock, right for those in the Bay are your rock is wonderful. They're incredible. And so I spent seven years. Seven your Sud be a one day, one day, one day. Maybe. I don't know how much my family like that, but I spent seven days and you know, the first two days were brutal because you sort of realizes, at least for me, you know, your synapses are firing and you're just wired to want to think about work, like I was like literally cringe to do list my head like every hour. And and I desperately wanted to read the news, right and I need content, and I was just a my brain was just wired for like more and more and more process, process, process, like create, create, great, do something. And and I took I took the rules y seriously, so I wouldn't write anything down, you know, no devices and so on. And and by the end of the first day I had a massive migraine and if I hadn't told so many people in my life that I was doing it, I was like I would have gone home. I can't do this, I can't about to do this. And over the week, of course, right, I started to understand and and sort of develop these new sort of mental muscles. And and it's interesting because I think one of the things that I realized is in my psyche is what I call achieve a fine and so, you know, I would, you know, sort of be, you know, a meditation and sort of thing say, you know, when I get back to the real world, I'm going to meditate for an hour every day I'm not at sea, and I sort of like, Oh man, I'm already turning this into, you know, a gold medal sport, right, and so I think one of the biggest things, and and that I did take back with me, and I spent actually a lot of time talking with my team at such tips about, I think it's really is this idea of you...

...can hold a high bar for yourself and you can push hard and you can also, I think, be present and to sort of, you know, I think, to sort of honestly forgive yourself right when it's not always, you know, everything that you'd sort of put on the paper or kind of hoped it would be. And so I, you know, to spoiler, I do not meditate every day for an hour, but when I do, and however I do that right, it might actually be a sort of formal, you know, listen to head space, to sit down kind of thing. It might actually just be literally walking the dog and purposely not looking at your times while I'm walking the dog and and just, I think, recognizing there are lots of ways to sort of give yourself that space to rejuvenate and if you sort of hold it to it has to be exactly this way and asked to be this perfect, gleaming thing. You never way are going to be disappointed and frustrated. Right. I think allowing that that imperfection, you know, that permission to be imperfect while actually still striving for greatness, is such a funny juxtaposition. But I actually think is kind of core to you know, sort of thriving in and these kinds of jobs that are so hard and so demanding and and I think, be you know, creating a team culture and creating a company culture with that people really feel welcomed and supported and want to be there for a long time. It's so yeah, and so they're everyone has these different things, right. So for me that that give them sort of, you know, sort of spiritual nourishment besides the professional stuff. And so for me I love to cook, I love to get outside, I like to exercise or not super creative, right, but again of recognizing that these things are actually critical for me doing good work, yes, right, versus sort of saying like well, this next quarter is really rough, I got to achieve all these things, like I'm not going to work out as much, I'm not going to you know, I'm not going to cook for my family. But like it's okay, I'll get through it. Versus, Oh no, I'm going to deliver ben work the entire quarter if I don't find a way to do some of these things. And again, it may not be that I do it every single day. It's like not my perfect achieve a fide ideal, but if it's not something, the whole sort of aggregate declines. I mean really feels like we're in a shift from thinking about things and they very segregated way, like work is just work and you are a high performer at work and that's like the only source of high performance at work is raw talent and drive and grit. And we're shifting from that kind of segregated model into a more holistic, integrated model of work, of understanding. WHOA sleep is so critical to performance? WHOA exercise, nourishment, taking a break from constant dopamine stimulation, so important for our best self, for our highest creativity, for our genius to actually come through in our work? And I mean it's it is. It's a real bit to paradigm shift for a company to start valuing and supporting the whole human being. Versus is just the one slice of the pie that we think we are going to get make money from right and I think also the you know, as you shared, you know, knowing yourself and what it is for you, because everyone has, you know, similarities and that we all need this generally. But knowing you know for you it's cooking and getting outside and exercise. For someone else that might be the meditation, it might be something else, but I think until you take that time to figure that out for yourself, you know, I think you're in a situation where, you know, you may just be compelled to just keep pushing and I've certainly been there in my life. Hey, David Hassel here CEO at fifteen five and I'm excited to announce that fifteen five virtual HR conference in power is returning in two thousand and twenty one. This to day transformational experience will include a keynote from Harvard professor and author Amy Edmondson, who has made psychological safety of focal point for all modern organizations. Psychological safety is also the theme for Empower Two Thousand and twenty one.

It's not only the foundation of high performing teams, but it is vital for staying resilient and strong through the challenges of this new and let's be honest, strange decade. Please join US October six to seven. That in power to connect with thousands of other HR professionals and learn from amy and our other fantastic speakers how to transform your organization. Registration starts in August. Sixteen. Register now at fifteen fivecom. So I'm curious. One of the sources that I've always used for building culture and for trying to push the envelope and create different things is my own personal experiences of like, Oh wow, the experiences that have been the most beneficial and transformational for me, that have helped me in my awakenings and my own journey of development. How can I bring aspects of that to our company and make make things available? And it's you know, it's always a little tricky, right, because we have our own biases and we don't want to just project our own process and journey on to everyone else. We want to create optionality for people. But I'm curious, would you ever consider making, you know, seven day silent meditation retreats a benefit who? I love that question, I think and honestly, yeah, I mean I think. Maybe. I mean because I I mean, I like I'm asking because I you know, I've done a couple silent retreats and they're so wonderful and I've thought, wow, what, how wonderful would it be for people who have no idea about silent meditation retreats, you know, that's just not on their radar, to get introduced and have easy on ramp do something something like that? I. I mean, I think what would be very cool. It's a little bit riffing off what we were talking about Sabbaticals, but also, I think we know one of the things I think has been really interesting in the last few years is you a number of, I think, sort of for thinking progressive companies, sort of thinking about how do I how do I create the opportunity for employees to personalize, you know, aspects of the experience or the way that the company supports them in service of an outcome that actually, my hope, is relatively universal, right, and you know, typically, I think increasingly around sort of fitness and health and wellness and so on, this recognition that if you sort of offer a universal thing that's sort of prescripted to everyone and it doesn't actually speak to some people sort of situations or so on, you just end up, you sort of end up at the lowest common innominor situation, which is kind of painful, right, versus sort of saying, you know, ten percent of the ten percent of the team is going to love this and the other ideas going to be like what, no, absolutely not, I want this thing over here, and that's great. Desid to be actually operationalized around that. And so it's your point. The reaction from most of my colleagues when I talk about the meditation retreat is abject horror. I'm pretty sure I'd be a massive attrition driver. This was a good of course, but your point. Yeah, I think some people would sort to be very curious with but maybe didn't feel like they had ever been introduced to something like that or so on and and so if you sort of say, actually, I would love for everyone on the team to have some deep, meaningful experience around sort of recharge, reflection and wellness, you know, every year, and the company would support them in some way to do that, right. Yeah, yeah, and then your points sort to say for me it's this, for another executive it's this, and and then sort of have have the team, you know, kind of go to the things where their heart is most pulled and maybe have a yeah, many of those items. And you know, it's very funny because I had a very similar experience. I had done about a year and a half ago at the ten day silent meditation retreat, and it was it was two days and I was also like, oh my gosh, this is this is how and by the end I found out it was actually going to be a twelve day meditation retreat and at that point, on Day ten, I was like, Oh, thank God it's going it's going longer because I didn't want to end. And then David say I'm going to meditate at least thirty five minutes every single day like a you know, I did. I did for an hour every single day for six months and then I did, I did break the string and pretty good. Yes, I'm very impressed. I...

...did not and I did not get there. So we have a annual company retreat and if we had our revenue target, we're going to go to Italy next year and I'm thinking, Oh, I'm going to make this a company wide silent retreat and how cool that would actually be to do a silent, silent meditation retreat with the whole company, because you know, I mean I don't think I could ever really pull that off, but it would you really cool, I guess, drop into the pure being space with the people that were in constant doing space with. Yeah, all right, I'll this is hilarious to entertain this idea like that. Sorry, on your team are going to be listening to this with I mean, I do try it. Always push the envelope. I don't know if you were you caught window this, but a couple of years ago we decided, like I was like what is one of the most incredible transformational experiences of my life if, and that's going to burning man. You know, I've been ten times and it's just a profound experience. It really has positively impacted my life in ways that I can barely even begin to describe. And so I told David, I called up David. I was like, David, you know, this is one of the greatest experiences available. Why what if we offer to buy people's first ticket to burning man? And so we created that as a company policy. And you know, and it was kind of edgy, right, because burning has a reputation of sex and drugs and, you know, debauchery and there's all these stories that people have about the experience that our quote unquote, unprofessional and so but we did it and it was really cool to say, Hey, let's break the rules a bit. And what's really funny is, you know, this was pre covid in two thousand and nineteen, and so we had two people. It was kind of a lastminute thing and we had two people take us up on the offer and they went and they both ended up quitting fifteen five to become full time Dj's. It's so I just think it's like hilarious, because some people would say that I think it was a win and I'm like, I love that. So at Bekinsey, near the end of my time, they're there. had been this, you know, really powerful sort of reflection exercise that you go through at this training, you know, kind of a couple years into your consulting sort of path whatever, and they had to discontinue the exercise. This must so might be her legend, but I believe peopleould all be us. Yeah, they had to discontinue the exercise because so many people had this amazing sort of reflection and then said it's time to leave agains. underlieve it's all, yeah, well and that is a really interesting dynamic. Right, of do we want people that are internally compromised by being in this role? Right, because I think as external compromises that we make, that you know, we have to make because we're live in a complex world, and then there's internal compromises if we're we're not actually aligned at our heart level with what we're doing. And then so, as the organization that is kind of employing those people, is it more valuable to keep them in that role that are not aligned in, or do we want to create space and help them in that selfdiscovery and then they either choose to still be with because because there are aligned, or we liberate them to the next stage? Oh yeah, found. I mean all seriousness, that's that's exactly right. And I can never remember which CEO this was, but someone was once telling me about a CEO who, when they met new employees, their first meeting, they would ask them, so what's the job you're going to get when you leave this company, which you know would terrify people, a task of about to get by sort of a Bodis and get fired? And, and he's real about it, he said all of them, you know, basically all of you are going to get another job at another company after the NCITY? Right? So that's a great question. That or for me to be super real and know what your dream is and so that we can...

...make sure that this helps you get there. And it's just it's such a powerful I mean I yet I think, you know, a lot of context would buy free people out, but at the spirit of it is amazing work. It's exactly right. You know, we we have left behind lifetime employment with a single company decade ago, right, but there's there's something about this sort of sort of spiritual overhang, I think in our culture sometimes a little bit right and and I think there's there's something in between that and the sort of, you know, deeply mercenary everyone's there for you know, you're in a half tour of duty. Don't bother investing, they're just going to top to the next company and so on and so on. There's something, there's something in between those two that I think is is great for talent and great for companies too, but it does require, I think, leaning in on both sides with a level of vulnerability and nuance that is is hard. It's really uncomfortable. You know, I I talked to my teams a lot about how, you know, what managers now have to do in conversations with their team members relative to to date myself, right, a decade ago, two decades ago. I mean it's you have to have a lot of empathy, right, because it used to be much more straightforward and now, you know, the way that we, you know, sort of expect and hope them to coach on career and coach on identity at work and dynamics at work and and and balancing, you know, sort of the demands of the job and the demands and sort of in their personal lives. I mean it's just the the the role of the manager has gone, you know, to a pretty far far dementia relative where it used to be. This would make an incredible infographic and I'd be curious if you'd want to, if you'd be down to collaborate with us on creating an infographic of like what management used to be and what management is now. Yeah, that'd be ground be really great. Okay, so you've played a really interesting role. You know, the companies, some of the companies you've worked at have had a really interesting dynamic where you have headquartered technology workers salaried, you know, kind of high salary tech workers, and you have hourly wage workers, you know, stitch fix being the most recent example, and you are sharing some interesting things you did are on creating more equity between those two different teams that had very different responsibilities, and I'd we'd love to understand how. How did you approach that, because I think often when people have those kinds of dynamics, you know, I coach a CEO who has a technology company, but then a bunch of people that work in oil fields, and so it's San Francisco programmers and North Dakota oil field workers, very different, you know, a lot of diversity in that and they struggle with how do we create one culture that brings them together but also be a you know, treat them appropriately and pay differences and all of that. So We'd love to hear your thoughts on this big topic. So there's a few things I think about here, you know. The first I would say one of the reasons I joined stitch fix was that it was already in the DNA at them and when I was interviewing in kind of one of the final stages, they brought me to one of our warehouses and I'd spent a lot of time at the headquarters office at that point, interviewing and so kind of gotten to know that facility and gotten to know the team and so on. And I walked into this fair house and they're giving me a tour and introducing the people and showing me some of the the tools and how the algorithms sort of guide people the where they go into them. And and I looked over at the break area and I noticed that it was all the same snacks as headquarters and and one made a big deal out of it. I was want to notice it and I brought it up and they said yeah, and as and I kind of said that's not typical. It's like such a...

...small thing and not a small thing, right. And so I think there's this element of I mean I could I could imagine it's like at the headquarters you have all the free snacks and all the you know, variety of you know, overpriced fancy tech work or snacks, and then you have like a vending machine. You have I believe this is thy hour. The as a consultant, I've worked with a lot of companies, right, and so I I've seen just the very clear divide on how you think about some of those things. And so, you know, it's both a small thing but also, I think, just a very powerful kind of cultural signal. And so there are these these moments where you, I think, you have choices around things that are, yeah, I think, relatively small on the level, but kind of day to day experiences and the more that you can actually create, you know, sort of true equanimity across these different teams and that they understand that, I think it's really powerful. I think the thing that gets tricky is, you know, I personally really really love that the sort of continued evolution of diversity inclusion now includes equity, right, because this question of equitable outcomes is really uncomfortable. But actually there is, I think, the real thing, right, and I've vent I'll venture into territory here, but equitable outcomes sometimes requires very, very different approaches. So it's actually not to sort of say I take an identical approach and I'm good to go right. You had to sort of think about what am I really trying to achieve here on behalf of the team. And when you have, for example, in the case of stitch fix, hourly Frontline Workers Warehouse, you know, warehouse is very physical work, very specific work. You know, relative to engineers and data scientists, you have a lot of flexibility in their time, with a lot of geographic buxability, location flexibility. Right. You know, the the the sort of same snack thing that I think it is great, it's a great cultural signal, but if you sort of just say I'm going to do these things exactly the same, I'm not necessarily going to speak to well, one of my what are these? What are the what is most impactful? What are these team members most worried about and that I can actually really really address? And so, you know, just a very specific example. Again, no surprise, but you know, when the pandemic first hit in March two thousand and twenty, you know, six fix essentially shut down the business because we had the shutdown the warehouses right every one of the geographies that we had, like every people come around the country. We sort of said like this, we you know, we can't operate right fight by face of the things were first coming and then as we're sort of working through the very not clear I'm sure that wasn't any stress for while the different states. You know, I you know, definitely wasn't working all nighters or anything. I've that. But so you get to a point where, okay, I think we can legally operate. Which should we right? And and so you sort of working through that as well. And you know, and we chose to pay all of our warehouse workers full wages for four weeks, right, and that is a that was a very specific intervention for that team that we did not, you know, we went doing any things for other teams, right, because it was very specific to their context, to their challenge. And then we actually went even further and we created a fund for single parents working in the warehouses because the demands on them without child here and so on, we're even sort of more extreme. And again that was something that we did as a very specific intervention. I actually use the term intervention because it's kind of this delivered choice to sort of go and intervene around a specific situation. And you know, and I would say that that isn't always popular. Right, it feels good, I think, to sort of do everything exactly identically, the same, but when you think about equity across and these different team members in these different populations, I think sometimes it's create some interesting thought bought around. How do you problem solve around like, well, what's the outcome like? What's the what's the security? What's this sort of sort of sense of belonging and support that you actually want to create here? And then, more recently, as we were creating womeny companies call Arg's, we call community sets, touch fix. So sort of I love that. There's something I've...

...always not liked about ARG language and it feels, yeah, Brid and it's horrible. I was dead steadfast. We're not going to call it an acronym. I mean just that we already, you already lost a game, right, and it's like and it's like employee resource groups, like what that ethic is? That exactly? It's like the last thing that I want to be part of, right. It's so so we created these communities, but I'm stealing this, by the way. I'm like immediately telling my pop stating is it is not a stranger. I would love, I love for that to proper, switching your rites to communities, because so much better. Fifteen five is the only evidence based people and performance platform for highly engaged and high performing organizations. Strategic HR leaders in all industries use the platform to win by improving communication, up leveling their managers and increasing company wide engagement. Learn more at fifteen fivecom one of the things that was really hard, as you know, I and others were kind of creating the diversity, equity and inclusion strategy of switch fix, was I, for probably obvious reasons, sort of said well, whatever we do, it has to have a really effutable approach across our team. And my experience of Vargs and so on, and what I've seen a cross sort of other industries is they tend to be very headquarters focused, they tend to be very knowledge worker focused, right, and as I sort of poked around and talked to people at other companies with lots of hourly employees, what I basically always found was these mechanisms were not sort of open to them, right, not participatory because, you know, you had to. How would you do that in a way that sort of accounts for all the challenges of scheduling, in time and so on? And so most companies just didn't try, which I thought was pretty unacceptable. But to be real, right, why do you think they didn't try? No, I don't want to speak on others bath but I think it is hard break because I wouldn't say that we solved everything, although one thing that we did I'll talk about in this that kind I think was really important around how we thought about the leadership rolls. But I think gets hard and I think also, honestly, unfortunately, I think some organizations they just sort of focus where the noises and so they focused on the highest paid, hardest to recruit and retain, although that's starting to change her and hourly as well, and I kind of they just kind of live there, right, and they did. I don't think they challenge themselves to really think more expansively about really what we're trying to achieve. And so one of the things that we did then at Stich fix was we we had this selection process for employees to become leaders of these communities, the cockpit, compensated roles actually for their you know, for they it sort of additional time that would be spending on these responsibilities because ultimate we said, you know, you are making the company a better place and we actually should recognize that in a formal way. But we acquired that one of each of the two colleagues of the communities had to be from a majority our organization, and so the design prompt, if you will righte was is not to say that I or you know the other leaders involved had figured it all out, but was to say if you if you literally create the two sort of leadership pillars of each of these communities and one of them is immersed in that context, there's basically no way that you can kind of, you know it, sort of just not sort of create something that is truly a proople that really speaks to those teams and make sure that you're engaging those teams in thoughtful ways. And so I think there's this peace around, you know, sort of zooming out. I think you know the three principles that I would sort of use and you think about creating these cohesive cultures across these very, very different team contexts. Is One is look, you know, wherever you can do something really universal. I think both great for people then also, I frankly, just what powerful cultural symbols do that to also recognize that you're not to top up. So they're going to be points in time where you actually going to have to do some things are actually quite specific in service of outcomes that you want to actually say. I can look anyone across the company in the...

...eye and say in service of your supporting you and your family and supporting your financial wellness, whatever it is. Right, might be doing slightly different things because the context are different, but it's in service of that kind of outcome. And then, third and wherever, you can design into structure and process in ways that will just hold you accountable. Right. So it's just I said, you know, we sort of said the simplest thing that we can do is make sure that the leadership of these groups is represented and they're going to be the first one is to raise their hands and tell us you're missing you're missing the plot on this, you're missing it on this, so on, and here's how we can actually get better. Wow, I love this. I means so wealth thought out and I love how you've really kind of considered and taken in, you know, made it possible for these these groups to participate because of all the barriers that would naturally kind of be in the way. We're a bad at a time. One last question. I'm curious. You know your you are clearly a very progressive HR leader and you're on the forefront of a lot of things and thinking about things differently. What's one thing you'd like to see the kind of your space in the industry of HR and people, ops, of all all of even further in the next five years? Who? I love that question. I would love to see the function and the leaders within the function really become more proactive change makers. So I think one of the sea changes that I think has been great to see is, for better for worse, the multiple crisis of the last, you know, sort of a couple of years. I think I've sort of re elevated the function, but in, I think, in a crisis driven kind of reactive way, right, and so, nevertheless, I think many teams and many leaders are at the table in a way that they haven't been before and so, you know, I'll take that, I guess. But if you really think about the challenge of the business world that we live in now right where things are so dynamic, companies are evolving so rapidly and really the best companies in the best CEOS are always trying to think two steps ahead and look around the corner and and really proactively evolved their organizations. And of course that means business strategy and so on, but usually that also comes along with, you know, how the organization functions like how it runs itself, how it structured, like who the talent is and so on, and for, you know, hr to actually be on the offense as a true partner in that. I think, you know, in the past they've sometimes been left out of the equation almost completely other than to rights between the orders, right. And I think the transformation to the CFO roll over the last few decades. It's is a perfect sort of analogy of this where, you know, a few decades ago it really was, it really was a sort of big FBNA leader, right, just reporting and analytics and and now I think any company that doesn't think about the CFO is a true sort of transformational business driver. And partners the CEO, you know they're just toast and you you sort of can see the glimmers of wow, the HR leaders of the future will be that, or should be that. How am I thinking about the next three to five years in close partnership with the CEO and how rapidly or dramatically does the organization need to keep sort of transforming and changing to be on offense in a world that is very, very fast? Jevin, this has been super brilliant. In just that last comment on CFO we're hiring a CFO right now, then you just helped me. You got me inspired about raising the bar of making sure they are that transformational, proactive role. And I love, love the analogy. It's really, really good one. So we're at a time. I really appreciate the just just inspiring conversation. Love, love getting insight into some of your journey. If anyone wants to stay connected follow your work, hire you. You know. How can they get in touch or how can they follow your work? Yeah, Linkedin is is super good...

...for that. So feel free to drop me a line there and yeah, and stay in touch. I don't think anyone has ever said anything other than Linkedin. You know, I've Hey, if you want to follow so and so, find them on Linkedin and instagram. But I think if you want to just look at my dog and thinking, it's probably less how putty. professially, I am curious about your dog, you know, after reading your bio. Okay, so if you're a people leader, you can check out our HR superstars community, which even actually I don't know if you are familiar with or not, but we have a community of progressive HR leaders and so we would love to have all of your you listeners, come join our community. You have thousands of h our professionals gathering for amazing events and Resources, and you can find that at fifteen fivecom forward slash community. Would like to thank our guest jevins sue, our producer sweet fish, media guest coordinator and overall superwoman, Sidney Lee, our executive producer David Misney, all of our fifteen five ers who make this possible, all of our customers that make this possible, and thank you for listening. You've been listening to HR superstars stories from the front lines of HR and people ops. Be Sure you never miss an episode by subscribing on your favorite podcast player. If you're listening on Apple PODCASTS, we'd love for you to love a thoughtful with you or give a quick rating by tapping the stars. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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