HR Superstars
HR Superstars

Episode 19 · 3 months ago

Impactful HR Through the Lens of Empathy


In this episode of HR Superstars, we talked with Elisa Garn, VP Digital Brand at GBS Benefits, Inc., who shared several personal stories explaining how she became more empathic and learned firsthand the sting of pity and sympathy in a vulnerable and painful situation.

With great humor and candor, she offered unique perspectives around the difference between tactical and strategic HR. She also provided a fascinating framework for the evolution of roles and responsibilities in one’s HR career. She uses the metaphor of a city to refer to your business and the three HR archetypes are: The City Planner, The Traffic Cop, and the Mayor.

You can read more about “The Governance of your HR Career” in Elisa’s Forbes article.

We also talked about:

-How HR can reshape society by improving the employee experience

-Understanding strategic objectives, not getting bogged down in admin

-How Elisa increased her empathy after experiencing discrimination at work

-It’s not your job to engage employees, it’s your job to empower them

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

These people that are at to fivers gohome at the end of the day and how they, how they were at work affects the kindof spouse they are. It affects the kind o apparent they are. It affects thekind of neighbor that they are and when you start to really like think aboutthe ripple impact of that of how h r is showing up in that environment tocurate that experience for the, however many dozens, hundreds, thousands ofpeople in their in their care, that's mind, blowing to me, you're, listening to hr superstars, apodcast from th fifteen five, the highlight stories from the front linesof h, r and people of each episode will show case fascinating conversationswith leaders offering their unique experiences and advice for building anextraordinary company and culture. Let's get into the show, welcome back to another episode of hrsuperstars, i'm your host chain, medcalf and i'm here with my co founderand co. David hassell really excited today to have lisa garn, join us now,alisa somebody that i've been following on lington for quite a while now andi'm always just completely touched, inspired and kind of amazed at thetruth telling that she does on link in, i recently described her to david asone of the most bold, no f given yet equally compassionate and loving voiceson link in so i highly recommend, go and follow her on linkedin and herofficial bio is that she is vp of thought, leadership and brand marketingfor g bs benefits a full service broker based in salt lake city. Her experienceincludes, more than fifteen years in h, r recruiting an employer brand strategy,primarily with small, to mid sized businesses. A true believer of theglobal impact h r can have on creating a better human experience. Lisas careerpath now focuses on the advocacy and influence for the progression of the hrfunction within the business environment. So welcome to the show he say it'sreally great to have you. Thank you. I just so you know. I know everybody saysit's about their bio, but i wrote that really late one night,while i was eating a big bowl of ice cream and probably feeling pretty goodabout myself, so i'm so sorry to all of your listeners that they had to g getthrough that whole thing. To finally hear us talking, but thank bios are oneof the weirder weirder things especially to hear other people readthem and you're like what is this? You know you know, but i i do. I think i am.I love writing, though, so i feel like when other people read what i wroteit's sort of like a testament that hey i'm like a published author now,because my bio was after and being read by other people, not me it's officialokay, so one of the first things i'm really curious about is this. You knowthis intersection of thought, leadership and brand marketing with hr,and can you just break down a little bit of what do you actually do? How areyou combining you know h, r, with brand marketing and brand development, andjust how does that all work? Well: okay, i'm colin a spado spadehere you want to talk vulnerability. We made that title up, because i wentthree months being at this company without a title and we're like i needto have something for business cards, so it was like well, we want you outadvocating on our behalf. We want you serving our clients in our prospects.You know the hr community at large you're, a great writer. You talk onlincoln a lot. So let's call you a thought leader which anecdotally, ifeel like the minute that you get the title as thought leader. You've justlost all credibility in the universe like it's, okay for somebody else to callyou that, but you don't call yourself that this other side of what they haveme doing, though, on the branding side and really understanding and tappinginto the mindset of our clientele of...

...hur professionals. Most brokers don'thave that trojan horse. You know they sort of they have their brokers. Thatknow what they know and they're amazing, at the skill set of being an advocatefor providing great benefits and negotiating great rates for their fortheir clients. But gps is pretty progressive in the way that they seeyou know, selling through service, really like there's more that we can dowhen we understand the cornets of our clients and the quartes of our clientsare not always centered around insurance, believe it right, yeahshocking. Yes, it's a crazy day, but i think that the intersection of thosefor me, which, interestingly enough, at the day that we're recording this justyesterday, i announced that i have a new title, which is the vp of digitalbrand, because the other one truthfully didn't fit on a business card. So it'sfunny, but also true andd, that whole concept is again about customercentricity. How do we make hr the hero of their own story? We're not the hero,they're, the heroes, and i think that nobody understands that, like you guysand- and you having been a practitioner for for so many years now, actuallyhelping to understand and translate those the those needs right. What haveyou learned about? How the kind of core challenges needs to have evolved for,or people over the last say five years like what's different now than it waseven five years ago? Well, we're there's hr has always been one of those.You do a million things and the people that you serve know that you do threethings and then they complain about two of the three things exactly. I think that the last five yearsspecifically, but i would even go back probably ten years- yep, of course,technology as benefactor. The big discussion, the big buzz five years ago,was how artificial intelligence was going to like, and machine learning wasgoing to just any at hr and we were going to be obsolete. I think that youknow like it's proving that that's probably not the end of the world thatwe thought it might be, but it is absolutely having an impact on how weare providing the most value to our businesses. So historically, where youknow, when you look at even just a progression of hr in general, startingin the early nineteen, hundreds hr was around to protect people fromgetting killed and mutilated at work and and working in horrible conditionswith rats and disease, and you know losing limbs and basically like puttingthe production ahead of human life. And thankfully, today, we've come a longway. We've got a lot of progression since then, but there's still a lot tobe said about the new wave of the new nature of our profession is still aboutprotecting human life. You just do it in a lens, that's not maybe asphysically as relevant, but people are still people and think thinking abouteven topics like mental health, which i advocate for very openly, i'm very openabout. You know my own journey and my therapist knows way more about me thanany other person on the planet, probably more than i know myself, butthat's the that's the evolution of where i see the difficulty of ourprofession and the challenges that we face is taking care of peoplephysically is a lot easier right. You can have safety protocols and youfollow ocean regulations and you, you know you put the yellow tape and youwear your safety equip, but protecting people on the inside ofcaring for their mental health and their stress levels and theirprofessional development, and all of these different facets that are thecomplexity of being a human being were not. Most of us are not training humanpsychologists. No, we not. We know things like how to process pay roll andhopefully on time and how to tell people not to park and handicap stallswhen they are not qualified to do so,...

...and you know keeping people safe thecomplaint of following policies. So this new challenge, i think, reallycenters around putting the human and the people at the center of thebusiness to create opportunities to set people free to do the best work thatthey can yeah. I mean that's why he lost we think of it. As you know, hrskind of following the progression of going up the hierarchy of human needs.You know like if you look at mazles hierarchy of needs and it's like coolphysical safety is first one physical safety is handled then great. Well, doyou belong? Do you belong to the tribe and then you have a steam? Andultimately, i think, there's more of a demand and cariers clears your thoughtson this of self actualization of companies providing a viable path ofi'm going to come to work and not just be sae, physically, safe or even have asense of belonging, but i actually want my company to be providing some someavenue of self actualization yeah and david. Did you have something to add?Because you were i, you know, shame you and i i love that you just shared that,because that's exactly what i was going to say is, it seems like hr isfollowing this path of maslow's hierarchy, working from the bottom tothe top, and i would say that most people are still just making that leapfrom the physical to the emotional. But what's beyond that and where i'malready way out in the future, is that you know the next level of you knowbecause mesocarp you remember, because physiological safety belonging esteemand then self actualization and- and i think that the most progressivecompanies are going to start leaning into you know, we've already got thebelonging piece handled. We've got the love and belonging now we're intohelping people identify their strengths and then unlocking them, like you saidto do their best, the best work of their lives and have fulfilment in theprocess. So i think it's a great road map for where we're going and locatingyourself on where you are as an organization. I man you guys justsummed up basically the essence of all the shits that i give about rightthere it's interesting because itcomes into playing branding too. So when you're trying to create a brand,you know that people resonate with and have shared values and they're morelikely to to take the past to purchase. There's like the yucky side of tryingto manipulate human psychology. I don't sign off on that particular approach.There is something to be said about human psychology and understanding howwe need decisions and what we're looking for a different phases of ourlife and masel hierarchy gets, of course, there's other variations. Noteverybody believes in masle and thinks that that's like the bible of ouruniverse, but i particularly prescribed to it in the ends of hr and branding,which is a fun intersection, sometimes that you know if you can createopportunities for people that need their needs. You know like it ifthey're so worried about, am i even going to be able to pay rent this month,yeah forget about sense of community and showing up, but you know some treeplanting ceremony or like they don't give a shit about any of that becauseit's like, i don't even know if i'm going to be able to feed my family orif i'm going, to have reliable transportation or put food on the tablefor my kids tonight and that's real what i've noticed over the course of mycareer. I've been very fortunate, and i would say, probably arguably hashtagblessed if i may be so bold, but i have really benefited from being able togrow and progress in my career financially through stability throughgrowing my network, and so i have been climbing mansell's hierarchy in anorder that i haven't had to take a lot of steps back, but what that has done, unfortunately,for me, and i can't speak to everyone, but i've seen it in my network. You getto a certain point and you forget sometimes what some of those lowerlevels feel like. That's right, a empathy empathy. I almost has a shelf life. You know likewe forget, you know like we don't just...

...because i was i went through poverty. Ialways will have empathy for people that are in poverty yeah. I think, andi think we we assume, that we will and then we actually just get verydisconnected from the actual lived experience. So i want to get empathy.Has a shelf live needle, pointed on a bunch of pillows and send those out aschristmas gifts this year, like beautiful? I love that quote. You're.Absolutely right and the the cool thing about being a late bloomer. I wal, ihave what i call ugly duckling syndrome so in high school i was not only notpopular, but i had no friends. I had no sense of identity. I was painfully shy,like would just flush at the drop of the hat, because i had very thirst skin.So i get very red and embarrassed, and just i just wanted to be invisible. Idid not want to be around other people, and so finding, like my place in thisworld, was really hard for me until later in life. Interestingly, sales iswhat did it for me? That's what my confidence, but i see kids at my agethen, and look at like just the crap that they're going through and the youknow the bowling, the social media crap that happens now that, thank goodness,i did not have to deal with it that age, but i still noticed that i'm likeyou're, going to be you'll, be fine like don't even worry about it look. Iwas the same way but look at me now. I have a great career and i'm amazing,and i'm on the fifty five podcast talking about hr you're, going to bejust fine. I hate that that's my instant reaction, because when iremember the pain of the moment of what it felt like to be ostracized to bealienated to not have that sense of community and tribe and not feel valuedand accepted, which really is like a core need as a human, i hate that i'veforgotten that feeling and it's it's it gives me passsometimes that it has to be intentional. Empathy has to be intentional. I know iderailed a little bit on this particular part of the conversation,but it is such a critical element of anything related to doing impactful hrif you're not doing it through a lens of empathy and by the way, i'm nottalking about pity. I'm not talking about sympathy. I'm talking aboutempathy, which is the next level you know and then ultimately compassion. Itreally is going to stunt your career growth. So one of one of your linked inpost that i really loved was the you know: kind of like white pep. What whatpeople on what hr professional talk about on linkedin and kind of theaspirational vision of what we think we're doing and then there's thereality of hr, which is often very reactive and difficult, and dealingwith people that aren't really empathetic towards hr. You know the thedifference between the aspiration and often the live reality, but i'm curiouswhen it comes to leading with them, but the and building empathetic cultures.What's where's the gap there you know like. What do you think is theaspiration, because empathy is all of a sudden totally in vogue and which isawesome right. People are talking about this. There's a almost a share tocollective understanding that hey, we should have more empathetic culturesand then what do you think is some of the the uglier truths about wherecollectively were still at around empathy? That's that's a hard one too that that particular post that you'rereferencing it hid a nerve. I mean men hr people were all over that they hadlots to say about that particular topic, because when we, when we think aboutthe potential of hr, the cool thing about working in this profession, is, ican't think of another profession. Truly i mean- maybe you guys haveperspection this, but i cannot think of another profession that impacts as manylives as we do on a secondary and tertiary level in h, because we arecreating the human and employee experience at work. As far as you knowlike how people feel and the physical environment that they're in and youknow what we celebrate and tolerate and... values and all that, but thesepeople that are eight to fivers go home at the end of the day and how they. Howthey were at work affects the kind of spouse they are. It affects the kind ofapparent they are. It affects the kind of neighbor that they are and when youstart to really like think about the ripple impact of that of how h r isshowing up in that environment, to curate that experience for the, howevermany dozens, hundreds, thousands of people in their in their care, that'smind, blowing to me me to the people, don't take it as seriously and with asense of i don't know, if expectation is the right word, but what a gift thatyou have this opportunity to help shape the world like, i know it's i like it,gives me goose bumps, even talk about it, because i know it's like really bigpicture stuff, but that is the highest calling i can possibly. Think of so youknow when you're talking about this deal with the bullshit day to day astuff of making sure the fmla paper work isfiled and that you have your inones audited and up to date and just likethe bullshit stuff that has to happen in hr to free you up for hopefully thattwenty percent chance of having the opportunity to engage in the strategyto understand the business objectives, to really get to know your people in away of what motivates and drives them to tap into that discretionary effort.You know magic sauce, like those those are the moments that we live for ineach or the other stuff is the necessary evil to get us there. But theother thing that i think is important with that is the perspective. Speakingof empathy, the perspective that it gives you to be a better leader whenyou're in those conversations, if you, if you, if you start your career,intending to be a strategist and you're going going in and advising we need todo this in order to accomplish this- and you haven't had that boots on theground. Experience you're probably doing it through the lens of anexecutive and not an employee, and then that's not always going to be the wrongchoice, but i can definitely think that if you're doing it through the lens ofyour employees, the ones doing the work you're likely going to get betterlonger lasting results. Yeah, and i think the what you justsaid about the ripple effects is the potential for the collective culturalchange in hr across the board is so is so massive in terms of the human impact.I actually think that it probably has bigger potential social impact than allof our political systems could have think about everybody's involved incorporation. If we, if we move the kind of center of gravity and in the in thediscipline and and profession of hr in that direction, it could reshape oursociety in a really positive way, and i think empathy is the super skill. It'sthe thing that we all need to learn for all that to actually happen. So i'mcurious, like your own personal journey and in learning to be more empatheticas a leader. What were some of the keys for you and in folks listening i'mcurious to the kind of help you know as we all lean in to be becoming moreempathetic. What are what are some of the things that you think about in thatregard? Hm well, empathy usually doesn't comewithout pain, and i got a lot of pain in my life.There's there's one scenario that i share very openly about about thistopic because it gender in the workplace, especially as an hrprofessional, is delicate. You know we're known as being a very femaleheavy profession, because hr the history of hr has been very subservient.Very you know, fill an need, find the gaps, do a bunch of things multitasking,which i'm not here, to talk about the science of that today, but don't getthanked for any of it. Yes, exactly like, we don't need to be thanked, ourmothers, we just do it for the love of people bullshit. We do want to bethings. We do s. I have never been in... entire life or career. This isprobably my privilege talking so i'll just give that copy out, but i've neverreally had to deal with what i would consider blatant sexism or racism, oryou know things that a lot of people in my circles have had first first hand.So without that perspective, it's a littleembarrassing to admit this publicly. But i was not a big advocate for thingslike women's rights and the feminist movement, and to me i was just like girls like it's okay, to be a lady likedon't. Why are you being this way like men can be men and women can be womenand can't we help just get along it. Wasn't that i disliked them per se, buti felt like the intent was still very polarizing and ostracizing, and it wasabout like an us versus them thing, and i also just i'd, never witnessed it.I'm like okay, like this, is one thousand nine hundred and six madmenanymore. If you want a job, go get a job if you want to stay home stay home.Until a few years ago, i had an executive hr position that i hadstarted a really really excited about, and i'd only been there a couple ofweeks and i started to have some coaching conversations with with mywith my bosses with the founders. One of them included some coaching on adress that i wore that did not have sleeves, which in utah is kind of a bigdeal, because we have a predominant religious culture here, where, if youdon't wear sleeves, it's very obvious that you're not a part of saidpredominant religion which can absolutely affect your reputation andsome of that community and tribe that we referenced. Eventually, it led to usparting ways, but in my termination meeting they had asked the h r will love this. They asked me: doyou feel like you're, a good culture fit here? You never want to hear that during aincrimination meaning, but they had also told me that one of thereasons they chose they were choosing to. Let me go was because their maleadministrative team, their gems of their various locations, were reallystruggling, taking directions from stretch such a strong femalepersonality wow. First of all, i should have fording that shit right, likelawsuit, lawsuit lawsuit, but i was so stunned and at the time you know thisis at a point in my life, where this hit me hard, i mean i was. I wasquestioning myself worth. I went into a pretty dark depression for severalmonths. This one shook me and i grew a lot from it whatever i got alot of positive things, but it wasn't until that meeting where i was toldthat, because of who i was and the value that i had brought to otherorgans, unsatin of that personality was now a reason for me not having a job.You want to talk about empathy, building experiences like oh my goshagain, i'm so ashamed to admit that i didn't see this for other women andother people of minorities that go through this more than motes in theirlife, if at all like it should never happen. But that moment like i'm still,you know, i'm not a run, my braw up the flag, pole and burn around and protestmarches or anything, but the new found empathy i have for that particularexperience and cause. How i show up in those conversations is very different.Now i'm grateful for those again in retrospect. You're always you're,always happy for the pain right. If you go into the gym and killing yourselfand you hate it, you always like how you look at the mirror when you're done,you just hate it when you're going through it and that to me has beenevery empathetic lesson. I've had in... is the ship storm of when you'rein it and then the opportunity to reflect and say wow. I grew so much asa person because of that a kind of more spiritual teaching thati subscribe to is in idea that suffering is grace. You know that oursuffering is actually part of the root of our awakening that you know that,like i used to say that i i mean i guess maybe i still do have like. Idon't really trust somebody. That's never had their heart broken becausehaving had my heart broken having gone through deep grief, deep suffering,there is a there is a level of knowing thatsomebody that hasn't gone through that just isn't ever really going to get me,doesn't really understand what that's like, and it really i'm just reflectingon this right now of how that has led me to being a moreempathetic human, but there's very few things that people can share with methat i can't actually relate to on some level and of course, there'slimitations to that. But that- and so so i guess, then the i'm kind ofwondering is there: is there a way to manufacture and kind of grow empathyinside of a human being without them actually having gone through the painand the suffering? Fifteen five is the only evidence basedpeople and performance platform for highly engaged in high performingorganizations. Strategic hr leaders in all industries use the platform to winby improving communication of leveling. Their managers and increasing companywide engagement learn more at fifteen five com. Well, empathy by definition, empathy isputting yourself in somebody else's shoes and situation and seeing itthrough their lens. I empathy i do think is hard to really really getright without a shared experience, because the other thing about empathyis we're also experiencing that situationfrom our own life lens right like if i did grow up, and i did early on in mylife- experienced a lot of discrimination or you know other thingsthat shaped my expectation of what work was like that exact same experiencewould have manifested differently and i would have processed it differentlythan i did because my previous lens, you know the under the iceberg,waterline stuff that came into that for me. That's why it shook me. So much isbecause i didn't. I didn't think that that was a thing that that was real.You know, so i do think that a lot of people i'vementioned this a few minutes ago, but i think there's a lot of confusion,especially in hr between the difference of pity, sympathy and empathy and empathy, is you put yourself in somebody else'spain? You see it from their perspective, not your perspective, and it takesintent. I mean you got to spend time with somebody. You have to askquestions of that person you have and by the way they have to allow you in,which is another super vulnerable. Ask when somebody is, is in a situation ofmeeting empathy, so there's so many variables and parts of that recipe thathave to come together. Just so in order to have true empathy for another personor something they're going through sympathy is like you know, i lost my son, i had twinboys and we lost one of them at birds very unexpectedly. The sympathy that wefelt from people as an example of the difference between the two people wouldcome up to us and at the funeral and say things like you know we're so sorryfor your loss. God needs another angel. At least you have another baby likejust they're, trying they're trying to help us find peace from their lensright, like as a non religious person.

They were telling me things that werecutting me to the core, but it had. It said those things to them in the exactsame situation, it probably would have provided them, peace, and so that to mewas sympathy, and i appreciated the effort of it, but it meant thingnothing like please just stop talking to me ay, so the sympathy seems like itoften does exactly the opposite of what it's hoping to do, which is actuallycause more distant. I sorry for them yeah, it's like! Please don't pity me,but here's the thing. So there was a couple of people that came to thatfuneral that had also lost children. One of them had a pretty far. You know,part far advanced miscarriage and the other had lost a baby to size at abouteighteen months. So those two people came up and were talking to my husbandand i about about what was happening. First of all, just just the presence imean you could just tell it was very different. The way that they werecommunicating with us, but here it was the magic of it. They didn't say muchall they said was we love you and there's nothing that we can say thatmakes this better for you and we're just so sorry for your loss. That wasit i was like. You know what thank you and by the way they also didn't go theextra mile and say we get how you're feeling we lost a baby too because,like their experience, was completely different than what we had just gonethrough. But when you have experienced it, you know better than to say that tosomebody else, because you know what it feels like. So i use that example when i, when itry to talk about the difference between the two people, have good intentions. You knowwe don't like to see people in pain unless you're a psychopath, so spath ormassicus, possibly which you know, only makes up about seven percent of thepopulation, so there there there after i get that, but i think that h, r,especially, is notorious for we do care and w. We want to express our care andwe want to make people feel better, and we almost take on this ex tis likepersona of like the camp chancellor for our businesses, even though i talked somuch about human advocacy and human experience and like seeing thingsthrough other people's lenses. I am the first one to stand up and say it is nota business's responsibility to take care of their people like yourresponsibility, is a business to create and foster an environment where peoplecan have a sense of belonging and they can do great work and they feelaccepted and there's not like all of these layers in bullshit to to try torifle through, in order to be able to do that. But it's not a company'sresponsibility to make them engage or make them happy. Or you know like allof these variations that are still intrinsic decisions for us as people,and i think that's hard for each or two. You know we because we just want tohelp. We just want people to be their best and we take it upon ourselves toto figure that out for them. Instead of teaching them to fish for themselves,thank you for sharing the story, really really powerful, and i reallyillustrates the you know the importance of us shifting out of sympathy and intothat empathy. I'm changing gears changing direction a little bit. I'mcurious! You know, so the part of your job is understanding the hearts andminds of hr practitioners, and so i'm curious right now in you know, mid twothousand and twenty one. What what do you think is top of mind for the hrindustry? I think a lot of them have had tofigure out how to rebalance additional expectations and responsibilities. Youknow in a post pandemic world where people are starting to return to workand even in the thick of figuring out how to move people remote, keep peoplesafe. All the compliance factors that were coming in unemployment claims, thethe task, role and responsibility of hr...

...professionals really amplified over thelast year of you're. Already a generalist, that's expected to do tento fifteen things really well, but now we've added three to five morewhen it comes to prioritization of that, i think that's difficult for h, r rightnow from from the temperature that i'm getting, it is putting a huge back seat to their ownself care. I've talked to a lot of hr professionals that feel it's. You know it's their job, it's theirresponsibility to take care of the the employees that are inside theorganization at the cost of their own mental health. Like you know, wesponges as people like we hear all of this stuff- that's happening and likewe take it upon ourselves, and i talk to. I have a manage a board ofdirectors for hr professionals in the state, and one of my directors wassharing with me. You know they're one of the largest employers in the state,and you know when i was talking to herabout her daily work. You know, what's going on with you right now: she's likewell, it's performance for view season. You know, so that's not super fun, butit's a nice break from dealing with the suicides that i've been dealing withover the past few months, and i was like oh my gosh. Okay, that's reallyheavy right there and maybe that's not indicative to ally char professionals,but when you think about that scope, but that level of responsibility oflife and also trying to maintain businesses, keep the doors open, keeppeople getting paid like you're already at the bottom ofthat, like you, don't get to go, get massages you're not going out for forhiking. You know, like your exercise, routines your pobs right now,processing payroll, but i think that that is indicative of what we're challenged with in thisprofession. Right now is we're having to figure out the next evolution, notonly how we get this work done, but how do we balance the responsibilities ofthe tactical skills that are still necessary with this higher calling ofmaking sure that people are okay and that we're okay? And you combine thatwith you know the disintichute before around. I think that sometimes weforget that our job isn't just to create the in conditions in whichpeople can choose engagement. Sometimes we think we know we need to createengagement. We need to create high performance and take on a lot of thatextra weight that we put on our own shoulders versus understanding thatpeople are are actually responsible for themselves. Ultimately m. This is kind of related kind ofunrelated, but sometimes in a lot of my public speaking, it's really importantto me to create shared language, whether you're talking to an audienceat a conference, whether you're, trying to pitch something to a ceo, whetheryou're on a podcast like creating shared language, to understand eachother's points of view on perspective is so important when you're trying e tohave shared understanding yeah. So i have this analogy that i use for thevariations of how h r tends to show up in most businesses right now and if youthink of the analogy of a city, the first personn or the first personalitythat it's going to show up. There is the traffic copy, char person, trafficup ajar. They are like, usually hr departments of one sometimes are theoffice manager, but they are all about compliance, super reactive, blowing,their whistle directing traffic all day long and their biggest value of wherethey feel most important is keeping people safe and that's by followingpolicies procedures. You know talking to managers about how to coach whatever is going on with the withperformance, but they are so in the thick of the drama that they don't havethe opportunity to slow things down and just go now. Just wait a minute if wemove this traffic pattern or if we put in a stop light over here or we couldautomate this process if we did xyz,...

...they don't have time to do that becausethey are literally having traffic stuff come at them all day. Long, everysingle day, the second person that i talk about is the city planner, hr,professional and it's not as necessarily always an hr title, butit's usually a head of responsibility. It could be a cfo, it could be a vpcompute director could be chro, but these people are tasked with thestrategy of a lining business outcomes with people initiatives, so they'resuper good at organizational development and design. Looking atinfrastructure, they're usually heavily involved with, like merger acquisitionactivity, but these people are in the high rise they're looking down on thecity. Thinking infrastructure: where do we need to put in additional plumbingand lighting and where's the next residential neighborhood going up? Andat what point do we need to put in a whole foods? They don't care in ashouldent? They don't care and take that back, they're not connected to thepulse of the community. They don't have that tide to understand. What's thesentiment? What's the emotion, how are people feeling what you know are ourvalues being lived and breathed, so their value is very much tied tobusiness outcomes. Now the third persona that i talked toor talk about, i added this one a few years ago because like for years, i waslike well, i'm not a traffic cop or a city planner, so i've got to create anew one, but this was just for me not you like creating you titles that youlike. I don't t an i'm going to just make my make my own role here. Hey, ifeel like that's how i want to let their life if it doesn't exist, go makeit happen for you for sure yeah. So the third one is the mayor persona and thesake of the analogy looks as soon politics are noble. We know they're,not, but let's just assume they are mayor, hr professionals. A lot of timesare tied to something related to the talent in the employees, so whetherit's recruiting talent management, talent, development, training, they're,the extroverts of h r, so they love love, love, shaken, hands, kissingbabies. They want to know what you did over the weekend. They want to know allof your kids. They you know, want to come out and greet you at every singlecompany party and can reference something that you mentioned at thewater cooler eighteen months. Prior, their value is usually tied heavily tobeing a great brand ambassador, so they're typically very positive andreflective about the company they're good at getting other people, they'rekind of like the internal pr getting other people excited about ideas ifthey're, if you're implementing a wellness program. This is the personthat you want watching the program because they're going to get everybodyexcited about it. Mayors can sometimes also have the capability to be a reallygood hybrid of understanding that pulse of the community and seeing what'shappening with those traffic cops but being capable of having the skill setin articulation to also take the elevator up to the city, planner'soffice and say hey based on what's going on down here and where thecompany is headed. Here's some things that we need to consider or that we canpossibly implement to meet those goals, but they hate the details. They don'tget jazz about fmla paperwork. They don't want to be doing compliance. It'snot that they won't do it, but that does not feel their cup. They areenergized by being around people and understanding how to help them be theirbest selves. So, basically just described my role you're, the mayor inthe marriage. I know i'm like yes, i'm the mayor. The mayor is a fun place tobe. If it's your personality man, i've met some traffic cops that got put intobearpit, but like positions, they were very, very unhappy. So thereason that i talked about these analogies again creating that sartlanguage is ceos when they learn about hr, especially like if they go tobusiness school or find out about it through hard. Not their expectation ofhr is one hundred percent tied to traffic cop mentality like therethey're, whatever two week course that they get in their nba program about ris all about compliance t how to...

...mitigate risk. You know like at whatstage do you need to offer benefits? They are not getting this new way, thisprogressive side of hr strategy and what can happen when you tap intointrinsic motivators and masle tirakana, like they don't get? The humanpsychology one o one, no, so what this is done is absolutely changed: thelanguage, the er, the conversations that i have with executives, because ican come in and talk about these three things and say based on your companyright now, if you were to hire an hr person, what's going to be bring themost value to you for where you are today, and i can't even tell you howmany times they say well, i want one person to do all three. Oh do you well,do you also have a cfo who happens to also be your accountant as well as youraccount capable and accounts receivable and your controller? Oh, of course not.I mean maybe like when you're ten employees, but as your scale, yourbusiness, you need to look at these different applications of h r, in a waythat, like taps into the talent of theindividual person, as of those hr professionals, but also aligns withwhat you're trying to accomplish as a business, otherwise you're going tohire a mayor, hr person super excited that your brand and then put them in atraffic cop, roll and they're, going to hate it and leave in six months, and itis terrible, like impression of your of your company, so, okay, my rant is over.I know that was a lot, but i love sharing that story, because i think ithelps a lot, especially from this empathy point of view. Sometimes youhave to approach people with intentional shared language that youboth understand in order to bring them to your community and understand yourown dialect completely, and i think that you know most organizations ifthey want to do it right. You've got to have all three of those roles right andyou have to understand the distinctions between them only only if you want afunctional city exactly if you want to complete jet show of a city, then youknow ignore this advice. Yes, so so at lisa we have time for one last question:i'm curious as you look out into the future and all the work that you'redoing and how you've seen things progress. What do you want to be trueabout the world of h r, ten to twenty years in the future, if you could justwave a magic one and say this is how i would love that he the function tooperate? Well, i'm really good at waving magic ones. So i feel like wewere, we were met. We were meant to be friends. I actually have several unci believe or i should say what i would love tosee of my beloved hr profession and what will eventually change to the youknow. The common is for one valuing themselves in a way thatcreates the sense of confidence needed from the employes on team to knowreally and truly what it is we do and and what we have to offer withouthaving to discount it and without having to hide it or dismiss it or downplay it. I would love to see that confidence level increase, but, alongwith that, i'd love to see the credibility of the profession reallyrise in business as well. We are, we are challenged with. You know the the lives of so many different humanswithout the authority to really have the autonomy and the authority to makethe right decisions to protect that. So i think it's a combined effort of it'snot it's not a very specific thing, but in general i want to see hr treatedwith the respect that it deserves from itself and from those that they serveall right. So if you want to co elevate together with other hr and people,leaders go to fiftie community and you can sign up and there's a wealth ofresource and information there at least a what a fantastic conversation. Wetruly appreciate your perspective and i...

...just want to reflect the point you madeabout hr. Being one of the greatest callings humans can have. You know thepotential, the purpose of us being able to influence tens. Hundreds thousandsof human lives is something that we all need to remember, and i hope thateveryone listening to this takes a moment to appreciate yourself that youhave either answered that calling or if you are just collaborators with h r, toshow them a little bit of that love to remind them of that higher purpose ofthe work that we're all doing. If anyone has questions or follow up,what's the best way to connect with you, i mean obviously i'm a big fan offollowing you on link. Then what are the other ways to stay connected? Linton is my love language. So all ofmy contact information- i'm super easy to stock, but if o you go to lindonyou'll find everything my email, my phone number you can text me like i getso many scam calls. So if you call me i will not answer. If you leave me avoice miller, send me a text i will, but linton is wonderful. I m so you're going to crochet empathyas an expiration date, and i'm going to put put linked in is my love languageon a t shirt. Thank you so much what a pleasure. So we would like to think ourdest at lisa garden, our producer sweet fish, media desk coordinator sydney,lee our executive producer, david misner, all of our fifteen fiveemployees and customers who make this possible and thank you for listening.You've been listening to hr superstars stories from the front lines of hrpeople offs be sure you never miss an episode by subscribing on your favoritepodcast player. If you're listening on apple podcasts would love for you toleave a thought over you or give a quick writing by tapping the stars.Thank you. So much for listening so next time i.

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