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HR Superstars
HR Superstars

Episode 20 · 4 months ago

Valuable Remote Work Lessons to Implement Permanently

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

If we choose to revert to a system of work that looks like 2019, we’re missing an opportunity of a lifetime. The role of HR is to enable the talent and culture in an organization, to equate business success with human success.

One of the best ways to do that is to carry forward the lessons we learned about flexible work and communication into the future of work.

In this episode, we interview Tracy Layney, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at Levi Strauss & Co., about how the past 16+ months have transformed work as we know it.

In this episode we discuss:

-Hybrid work models finally creating real work/life integration

-HR’s role in creating a meaningful whole work experience

-Intentionality and motivation among managers and employees

-How the new work framework will stand on flexibility and connection

-Developing a more advanced manager skill set

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

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for HR Superstars in your favorite podcast player.

If we revert back to a model thatexisted in two thousand and nineteen or even a model that looks sort of like it,existed in two thousand and nineteen, i think we will have squandered theopportunity of our lifetimes, and so it's going to be incumbent on us tocreate this new way of working. And what we're talking a lot about at levisis we're not going to have all the answers on day one we're going to haveto learn and grow. You're listening to hr superstars, apodcast from than fine hundred five that highlight stories from the frontlines of h, r and people opps. Each episode will show case fascinatingconversations with leaders offering their unique experiences and advice forbuilding an extraordinary company and helter. Let's get into the show hello and welcome back to anotherepisode of hr superstars and boy. Do we have a hr superstar with us here todayour pleasure to welcome tracy laney from levi straus and company tracy? Isthe s v p and chro at levis? She is responsible for their peoplestrategy on a global scale, including talent, management acquisition,employee engagement and diversity, equity and inclusion. She recentlyserved on the board of agr people in strategy. The executive network of thesociety for human resource management tracy also has a life, long love ofdance, theater and art, and is passionate about travel, visiting,destinations near and far with her husband and son tracy. Welcome to theshow it is a true honor to have you, oh thanks, so much for having me, i'm soexcited to be here and i for those who are just listening. I dawned my mylevees jacket for the special occasion a little warm in colorado right now orjacket, but i will suffer through it because is appropriate. I appreciatethat and i of course have my leave ice jeans on, as i have on every single day,which is is one of the great things about working for this great company.Is there a free jeans perk? You know we certainly have a very healthy and playdiscount, which is really important. I think for any apparel retailer and wedo not disappoint in that arena. That's great, so chase so in some of our preshow conversations this idea of how do we not lose the the fruits, thepositive learnings from the last eighteen months of ovid and racialreckoning and the the american country? And how do we take this, for how do weactually harvest the fruits of these and reinvent work for the better? Andso that's where i'd love to be get, and you know we talked about this idea thatwork wasn't working before tovit has exaggerated a lot of thethings that were already broken, and you know so it's this amazingopportunity. We have a thinking about well, what do we actually want work tobe? What is possible? How do we actually get the best work out of ourpeople, while also elevating this human experience? Let's just start there like.What do you think are the lessons learned from these past eighteen months?That would be a real shame to not actually carry forward, and this is the question i spend almostevery day all day. Thinking about right now- and i know it's a question- that alot of other heads of hr and folks in just corporate america are thinkingabout right, but i think, unfortunately, a lot of the discussion has gottenreduced to this notion of quote a quote future of work, but actually for a lotof people that just means who's coming back into the office one. Are theycoming back into the office? What does that look like? And if we simply dothat, if we revert back to a model that existed in two thousand and nineteen oreven a model that looks sort of like i existed in two thousand and nineteen, ithink we will have squandered the...

...opportunity of our lifetimes to bequite blunt right, so we had one model of work that you know there are peoplewho know much more than i do about this. That goes back probably hundreds ofyears coming out of the industrial revolution that then transited tocorporate life in sort of the organization man at the s, and then itjust continued and and then because of technology andother things it just became more and more intense and more and more alwayson and more and more amplified, and also. We also know from our reckoningwith racial injustice and just our diversity issues across every aspect ofdiversity. You know very unfair and very not you know, a sort of evianworkplace that i think most people aspire to work in, and so we ended up.I think, if you again look at wo thousand and nineteen in work, that, asyou said, it wasn't working, it wasn't working for most people. We have, you,know high levels of burned out, always on long hours, long and longer andlonger commutes, because of things like cost of living and all of a sudden oneday it changed like almost overnight right. We all had to work quitedifferently. We had to go work in our individual spaces in our homes againfor those of us in corporate life. I'll always like to remind myself that themajority of people in the world haven't been working at home, they've beengoing to their jobs, working with the public or in factories, and things likethat. So we need to be mindful of that, but whatever kind of worker we'retalking about. I think it is incumbent on us to takethese lessons of the last sixteen plus months andbring those forward right, the pieces that were better at this last time- andso i think about things like authenticity, we've seen in eachother's homes, this entire time right, you're, seeing my house right now, i'mseeing your house presumably right. We actually have kids in the background ordogs or cats, or spouses and partners or friends and roommates, and that'snot a bad thing right. That's a level of authenticity. The veil got dropped.If you will about you know this this this somewhat artificial distinction betweenwork and life. So i think austin icite is one thing, and i remember thinkingthat very early on. I actually started at levis in march of two thousand andtwenty i've not been in the office regularly how about and so you you areundoubtedly already interviewing- it's not like you not and of like heyeverything's, about to change, so we're going to be bring in jasy because sheknows how to navigate a company through a pen deme exactly no, not at all. I dwe actually announced that i was starting and i very blessed actuallycame in a few weeks before the shut down happened,not knowing that was about to happen and men with my team and got to meetpeoples. That was the huge blessing, but no had no idea right in factstarted a month early because the travel i was planning on doing wasn'thappening, and i got to sort of help help the company navigate this reallytough period. But at the beginning i remember noticing. Okay, i get to seepeople's lives in a way that i probably wouldn't have seen, i think, sort oftime as stressful as it is, and i don't want to make any of this sound like itwas a happy period. There was a lot of lost a lot of fear, a lot ofuncertainty, and you know- and that was really real- i think grief has been abig part of this whole experience. Unfortunately, but i also think that,as there were blessings you know, you were more integrated with your life.You did spend more. We did spend more time with our families. We did.Actually, you know, stop commuting which isn't always a a. I thinkcommutes can have their place, but you know i know for myself. I have beenwalking regularly and things like that there were. There were good elementsthat just felt like my life was more connected to my work and i think that'swhen we think about a future. How do we take some of those blessings with us aswell as go back and actually really challenge ourselves to sing, as yousuggested, how do people bring their full selves to work? I believe workactually is important to the human experience in a way that createsenviron works. Face for all right. That to me is what i would like to tounderstand and to bring forward, and we can dive into some specific elements ofthat, but that's really really. I think that it's time for all of us,especially there's an hr to not be...

...afraid to really imagine a differentfuture of work in a meaningful way, that is about the whole work experienceand how that relates to the human experience. How do you think about some of that? Imagining you know one ofthe one of the things that i've noticed is that there were. There were a lot ofassumptions. People had before ovid happened about different ways of worklike it's not going to work for us to work remotely or it's not going to work.If people do this and- and i think a lot of these assumptions and beliefswere refuted and squashed in away and people say- oh my god, it actually doeswork and there's probably a bunch of assumptions that we're still carryingon that. Maybe we need to question to be able to imagine that new future. Sohow do you tease out? You know what are the things we should keep versus? Whatof the things we should question versus? How do we determine what is the optimalway to work? That's going to create thriving yeah. I totally agree, and i i mean ican't tell you how many of my peers i've talked to in the hr space or evences directly. He that i never thought we could do x. I never thought we could.Actually, you know, keep our culture going in a virtual way, etcetera andwe've learned that we can we've learned that you know all the statistics.Helles productivity has gone a you know. A lot of companies have, you knowcrystal, including levis has leaned into our strong culture and actuallystrengthened it. I think during this time, because of how we've responded-and so some of those have already, as you said, been dash, and i think wehave to resist the temptation to default back to something else, i thinkthere's still some of that still exists right, because you know and also berealistic about what we're missing. You know. I think there is an element ofpersonal connection. I think it's an interesting period right now in partsof the world, including where i live in northern california, where our personallives are getting a little bit back to normal right, like we can kind of seeour friends again, you know thanks to things like vaccines which have been.You know, life changing literally, that you know that's starting to feel morenormal, and so i think they're also starting to feel like okay. Now i kindof missed the connection with my colleagues, and so i don't, i think,for me, it's also not operating in binaries and allowing ourselves tothink about how this could work right. A lot of companies leave is included,are moving to what we call hybrid model and for corporate life right peopleyou're in you're out you're, managing your life in a way, that's veryholistic. I think it's actually work life integration in a way that we'vetalked about free years, but in some committies have been doing for a longtime, but i don't think has been done on a mass scale. So i think part of itis just is figuring out how to imagine what that new way of being is andresisting the wawet and the whatabouts, and i this and oh my gosh, and thatespecially because we actually don't know yet right right. We don't know ifyou had asked us in two thousand and nineteen. Oh my gosh. This is going tohappen and we all have to move to remote work, a lot. How many companieswould say. I can't do that, like i don't have to t p, i physically justcan't do i don't have the technology and frustratur. I don't have that andsomehow within days, if not weeks, the vast amounts of corporate you know notjust america, the world figured out how to do it right. So i trust us as humans were extremelyadaptable and resilient and i'm confident we can figure it out, but wealso fall into old patterns, and so it's going to be incumbent on us tocreate this new way of working. And what we're talking a lot about at levisis we're not going to have all the answers on day one we're going to haveto learn and grow, and that means managers aren't going to have all theanswers on day, one which may be uncomfortable for them right. But we'realso going to talk about what it's, what it's like to lead in a differentway and to lead with empathy and to lead with grace and to lead with alsohumility, to say, i'm not going to have all the answers and we're going tofigure this out together and to do that, we have to be dependent on trust,openness, communication, accountability and all the things that just makestrong human relationships right, and we have to do that individually and inteams and then ultimately organizational ly. But even if we triedto write everything out and get it all perfect sitting here now, we would thatwouldn't be possible because you know organizations are, you know, made up ofhumans who are going to continue to...

...learn and grow and by the way thepandemic is not over. A lot of countries are still in the sick of it.Even you know, we don't know what the future holds there, but we should atleast use this opportunity to try for a new way of working, because, as i keepsaying, if not now, when are we going to do this like? When are we like? Whatare we ever going to have this opportunity to get again to basicallytake the best of these last sixteen months and take the best of what my haveexisted before and build something new? Okay? So that's that's why i dare todream for a moment what, if you had a magic wand, youcould reinvent the corporate world and mass. What are some of the otherassumptions, ways of of doing and being that you would challenge andpotentially reinvent a for instance. You know one that i think has beengetting a lot of press lately and that's been kicking around in my headis the four day work week. For instance, you know this idea that hey me weactually maybe we can get as much done in four days and we give people thethree day weekend and i kind of changes the game on that, and you know it'sfunny. I, like i'm tempted to try this internally fifteen five and kind oflike david like oh, we do you know just not yet. Maybe next quarter you know,and so it's that that kinshan of kind of planting the seed of these kind ofradical ideas, but you know so like what are the other aspects that youthink are ripe for me invention. I think that the nation of radical ideais really important right and i think, what's interesting about this whole.Even using that term, though, is that, given what we've just done in the lastsixteen months, it doesn't really feel as radical anymore right some of theseideas, even the forty work queek, doesn't feel as radical i'll. Give youan example of something we've done at lescin co, and i don't know if thiswill continue, but we did move to meeting free fridays in like septemberof last year, because we knew the organization was dealing with asignificant amount of exhaustion and sort of the nature of such anintegrated work in life. We just need to give people space to not have ameeting and to be able to have time to kind of catch up, and then we also tookthe last friday off ice, a corporate holiday globally of the month. Soeveryone's had the last freddy off of the month. They have a three dayweekend and culturally. We don't send emails ever that time. We really try torefrain from just living. Everybody have it, and i will tell you time awayis actually really important. I don't have an opinion really about the fortywork week as an example, but i do have a strong opinion that flexibility tocome in and out of, like your work, life with your personal life iscritically important and that's basically what we've lived this pastyear plus right. So i think flexibility and also o. You know time to reallystep away and say i am away now, because the challenge of flexibility,the flipside which happened, was it existed, pre pandemic and has its ownflavor. Now is the always on nature right, so it has to be okay to say, i'mreally stepping out and i'm stepping out for vacation, i'm stepping out fora weekend, i'm stepping out for my evening, i'm doing whatever and how i interact with my team mates. Theorganization has a degree of flexibility right that they are in anintentionality right. You know we need intentionality around. This is gettinga lot of news right in at press right now to sink rennes work, an actingcringes work. Does this have to be done together? Does it not have to be donetogether? How do you come in and out of that right as we get back togetherphysically? How are we physically together and how we not physicallytogether- and i think that just that to me is the most radical idea. If youwant to call it that which is just there is no prescription, there is noone size fits all, because sometimes the work again, if you're working in alevi store, you have to be in the store right right now, so there's the natureof the work that requires that certain you know physical places at certaintimes, but there's also thinking about you know we're a very global companyand we work across. You know dozens and dozens of time zones, and so how do wealso make that work? And so to me the most radical? I dan the most when ihave a vision for the future of ivison for the corporate world is to reallythink quite differently about all the norms that were put in place that gotput in place probably decades ago and...

...evolved that we never really took astep back to think about, and now we've actually had to. You know, step backand think about it. So, let's think about all the aspects of that yeah. We spend a lot of time, thinkingabout performance, managements and that's what we're in the business of ofwhat were the assumptions that old models of performance management werebaked on. You know that humans are lazy, that you always have to use extrinsicmotivators, that you need to just constantly be kind of pushing peoplelike the only way to achieve high performance is by working sixty hourweeks. You know all of these kind of archaic ideas and then reinventing thehorror idea of performance management based on the cutting edge socialscience, because it's like we're twenty first century human beings right, weactually have different needs, even though there's like universal corehuman needs. I think that that culture is really about meeting human needs andhelping helping people fulfil their own potential and there isn't a cookiecutter approach to that. I totally agree, and so what i often think aboutis okay. I think i really do think it's an essential part of a fulfilled humanlife to do work that you are motivated by right. Whatever that is, and itdoesn't have, it doesn't have to be that you're, an artist off creating apiece of art work. That's keep great people that who do that and it could beany kind of job. It could be anything right and people find greatsatisfaction. I believe in work. That's done with excellence among commodore ofpeople that they care about spending time with again virtually or in person.I think working for a place whose values and lines with theirs. That'swork that we talked a lot about at levis, because we were very values,different company and just how how they are contributing to the world aroundthem right. I think that is actually the essence of human need, and i don'tknow to your point that all of our systems quote unquote within humanresources or corporate america have aligned to those assumptions right. Ithas been sort of more all the time more. I don't trust you. I've got to. Youknow check on you. I've got to do all these things, including where peopleused to you know. Are you in your seat every day for a certain number of hoursright, and i actually just don't think to your point. That's at all the humanexperience of of two thousand and twenty one, and i think this is thetime to say if the companies can, you know, figure out how to actually drivethat engagement as well as in you know, support employees in their just basicneeds around work. It will create a much much much more compelling cultureand also a much higher level of productivity results, business outcomes,etcetera, so good. 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 up leveling their managers and increasing company.Why engage men learn more at fifteen five com? You know i'm thinking a lot as you'retalking about the kind of nature of employee choice versus systems andstructures and expectations set by the company and one of the things that wetalk about culturally and everything you just said. I very much resonatewith you know, creating a culture that an organization that has very clearvalues that people want to be a part of co workers that they love working withtoward a mission that they believe in, and we want people to self select intoand out of that, so that we get, you know a really really cohesive culture,and if you take that you know even further might say well this whole ideaof hybrid work. We really want this to be all about employee choice. If youwork really well at home, great spend most of your time working at home, butthere are going to be times you need to be in person to collaborate, but youlove working in an office great we're going to have collaborative spaces foryou. How much? How much are you guys...

...thinking about leaning into that modeof employee choice versus you know kind of dictating the way that things needto go? We are really trying not to beprescriptive. I think i've spent a long many months now, as all my pures, an hrhave thinking about this new way of working right thinking about even thenut symbols of how do you implement a hybrid model which most companies havechosen to do, and so, as i've watched other companies talk about this? Myobservation is that companies who are still being very prescriptive, even ifit's in a hybrid environment i would like apple as an example. I like you tocome in on. I forget what days they said, but monday, tuesday, thursday.Whatever the days were, everybody got a lot of push back from employees,because they're saying well you're sort of giving me some flexibility butyou're still prescribing how that's going to work in my life right which tome is a little bit not consistent. I mean, i think, you're just you got akind of a fit in both camps right we are. We are firmly levis, ellis and coe vi, rosson co in the bout. What you call it in journal alesson to be called sin o because we actually have doctors brand as well. Soi gin to make sure we are representing our brands, as well as the some subbrands that work in different parts of our business, but i feel like that, aninsider. No, i know right, but if i say it without giving a definition, i feellike people know what i mean so leave use it interchangeably, but one thingthat we are definitely we are definitely and they were not going toprescribe this we're not going to overly prescribe this we're going to we're going to create basically someguidelines and, if a framework that people can operate it in the twobiggest proponents of the framework or flexibility, we think you know, we'veproven that we can work flexibly, we're very global workforce. By definition,people are on calls all times of day in different parts of the world, soflexibility to manage your work in your life, excellent and connection right inconnection isn't always the default to physical. But it's about intention right. That's the other wordthat i keep using over it's. What is our intention right? How do you createa culture of both physical time together and time apart and time aroundthe globe, et cetera? So those are the kind of the two headline tenants if youwill and then our our subheaders or things around it's all about the worktoo. Sometimes the work requires you to be in a certain place and that'simportant, and we don't want to minimize that you know. We know thatleaders are critical to this, and so we're going to lean in heavily togetting managers heads around this and how, with the role that they play andthen we also really want to make sure we're being equitable and fair rightthis, and that doesn't mean it looks the same for every person right. Sothat's, maybe not. We always think about it. But it's like if we're goingto allow this. That means that people can opt out we're going to let there bea level of flexibility that we're all comfortable with right. So those aresort of the framework that we put in place that were about to roll out tothe organization, and i think it's really really important that wecontinue to say- and i say this all the time with the team- that's working onthis- we're going to learn as we go. We're not going to you know. This isgoing to evolve, and most companies haven't really done that. Yeteveryone's been at most doing this for a few months right in most parts of theworld, so we've got to be able to to learn as we go and imagine a differentway and if we see things that aren't working, we're going to fix them, butagain it's again resisting the binary of this or that it's all of the above.It's both and and that's the sort of montra that i've been preaching for awhile now, okay. So how much of this is the responsibility of you and your team?You know hr people, operations in designing these guidelines and trialand errori and coming up with the plan of global policy and cultural,universal cultural dynamics and what the responsibility of the individualmanager since, as we know they, you know you, the bulk of your experienceinside of a company, is going to be influenced by your direct manager, andso how do you? How do you work with your managers inimplementing these things? How much...

...freedom of choice did they have to kindof guide? The our own team is least he's bit. You know, what's thebreakdown of that, so it it is to me this is that this was one example of abigger question right. I think that, as i've really thought about, the work isthe last year and as we, this work of the future of work, is we sort ofshorthand call this in the hr right now? I think that more and more what i'vecome to learn is that everything depends on the managers right.Everything depends and i think in general corporations, i'm not speakingespecially about leaves under serve that like we all sort of under servekind of what that means, and that's how that's we all know an electuary. That'slike every emplace that, like we all know, every survey like the directmanager is the biggest factor in engagement or attrition. We all knowthat we all say this has been decades shocking, how little we've done givenexactly oh, seventy percent of people say they leave a job because of themanager rightexactly. So what so? What h, r w we're responsible for, alongwith my leadership team, so the executive leadership team for ellisonco, who be my partners on this journey, have basically said: okay, here's theframework, here's the tenants, here's the guidelines and they can't estly beoverruled so no ma. If i a manager, can't just say well, my team iseffective working remotely. They don't they're, not a job. That needs to bethere to do xyz, but i don't like that. So everyone's in four days a week,that's not we're going to say: that's not possible, like you've got to getset some guard rails right and and guardeen arnalls of what you can't doright and so, which can you engage your team in agreements and discussionsabout we'd like called to be physically together on next day. Yes, that's aproductive conversation. So one of the things that we did last year that werepulling into this work is we did what was called a manager reset and it wasin the middle of the pandemic, and we understood that i could say everythingship burger s. You can say everything we have every two weeks we have anelmley call, that's been going on during the pandemic. We could say allthe right things tell people to take time away, tell people to turn offtheir phones or their computers. We implemented these days off, as i strandmeeting free days as i mentioned, but at the end of the day it all came downto the manager and so the manager reset the entire couple hours that we spentwith them, which every manager had to go through. The company was aboutleading with embassy. The entire thing was about leading with empathy, andthis is another i think, step change that i would like us corporate americato bring into the future during the pandemic. Given whateverybody was going through right and everybody had it was it was. You know,we've all heard the analogies. Now we were all in the same ocean that wasreally rocky and stormy, but we were all in the same boats right like somepeople had nicer boats and some people had dingies and, like that's an analogy,we all want to use and, and also what i would say is sometimes it was differentboats at different points in time. Right, like sometimes, you were kind ofokay and everyone was okay and then the next month someone was sick with covinor your kid was like melting down because they've been on zoom school forthree months. At that point, and you know, we've all had. I think we allhave a shared common understanding of that period of time or or your in r andthe way you are completely capsizing, your ship. I yes, that's a careening right for myteam for sure for sure, but i would say the headline of leading with empathyfor me that we were teaching managers last year and again. If we had to pullthis into today, i would i really want to see us take forward again. All of usnot just linco, is it's all about understanding. Anyone specific need anygiven time. I don't think we've ever taught managers really how to be inpersonal relationship with somebody to the point that they know what'shappening for that person right, i think generally manager training isabout setting clear goals and acount and there's nothing wrong with thattrain like that's by the way that's good like you need to set pure vision,goals, accountability and, unfortunately, even that doesn't alwayshappen, or we don't train well on those...

...key issues and tenants. But how do iknow what's going on with shame having what's going with david? What did theyneed at this moment from me and in a way, that's not one size fits all omitsaying that right now, i'm i'm like oh somebody's interested in knowing what'sgoing on for me, somebody's tracking me exactly and so that our program in agereset was really about that it was about how to have that level ofconversation. Now, as we go into okay, we're going to start working in adifferent way, i think that's even more important right as important, if notmore important, again, resisting the temptation to go back to the old way ofhere's. This thing we have a team meting on tuesday morning and everyonehas to be there, and you have to tell me if you're like not going to be there,and i need an ex. You know. I need a you know from your doctor or whatwhatever kind of bureaucracy we put on this, as opposed to just saying, like iactually know right now, what's happening with every member of my team,i also knew the dynamic at the team collectively, which is another level ofsort of development. We need to give managers and how to navigate that andhow to know if things are working or not working and how are we achievingour goals and gan? This doesn't take a right way: the need for accountability,it's almost a more advance, it is a more advanced manager. Skill set- and ithink, rounding and empathy is really important, and then the organizationneeds to back that up right. We need to make sure all of our programs are alsoempathetic. So just to give a few examples, we have paid leave ellison co,which i know for a lots of companies, doesn't sound ground breaking, but it'sextremely unusual in retail to have paid leave for store employes it'sunusual and we are now advocating in washington dc and with other companiesdirectly actually retailers to say you really should go. Do this and here'swhy it makes smart sense for you as a company, we send ed recently brement lyfor most companies just three days. That's insane when you think about it.Who's lost a person, they love and only gets three days off like it doesn'teven make any sense. If you actually just step back and think about it. Theweek to week m really yeah to l, we did are doing two weeks and then people canat top or leave or whatever the thing s if they need more time. Top sorry isour is our abbreviation for pta or time off so there's other back end supportment causes of people need more time, but two weeks is stand. I mean that'slike that's the base line, and so that's about, then. How do we show upas a company with emphase, even as we then train the individuals to lead withempathy? So we talked a lot about this this thispractice that ris doing called manager enablement like how do you enable yourmanagers to have the right mindset, skills tools, technology and now i loveyou- know kind of starting at the highest end, not starting it. You know,let's set your goals and make agreements, but let's, let's start withhow to be really empathetic managers and leaders. It sounds like you didthat that reset. But how do you do that on going ly for new managers who comein and to reinforce that? And and how do? How do you think about that ongoingconversation and training and enablement? I think it has to becomethe heart of the training. I think it's actually. I think it's a reallyinteresting concept to put together the empathy with sort of the nuts and boltstools right, because there's just tools that people need- and this is that youdo right for a living and and especially a new manager if we allthink back to those days like and whether you're permitted internally oryou get your first job as an external new hire, it's very daunting right. Ithink people at my experience of working with leaders at all levels andputting very senior leaders. They want to have the answers. They want to dothe right thing right and there's more and less skill at it, but so giving thetools plus saying look here. This is just about being a relationship withyour team and let's understand where people are and by the way you're goingto be a better leader to them. If you understand that, and then here'sspecifically things you can do to understand that i think also, as we think, about newcapabilities, so the one that you know, one thing we haven't talked about yetis diverse, ty equity and inclusion right. This is a huge focus for i thinkevery organization i certainly can...

...speak for my own organization, it's fer.I spend a lot of my time and even today i was talking to our chief diversityofficer about how do we grow capability right? It's one thing to have the d niteam, great they're. The experts extend that to hr. Hr also needs to grow itscapability and t, and i, as he across the board that needs to come throughevery aspect of hr, but the real impact is in the broader organization andthat's where the managers have an outsized impact of just understanding, even how to have conversations arounddiversity. How to you know encourage their. You know either to just absorbthe programs were giving increase. Their own capability understand what itmeans to create an inclusive culture again, on top of also having a culture.That's in flux, because of you know the changes of where we work and how wework as we in vision a new way and dan is a part of that. Again, it all comesback to the managers and that's an area where, again, i was talking to myamazing chief diversity, acquitting inclusion officer, elizabeth morrisontoday, and i said i sort of see you know two thousand and twenty was alittle bit of triage. We had some stuff in place, but we, you know, had a lotmore to do in cleaning hiring her two thousand and twenty one is a lot aboutart infrastructure, we're building all the training programs, the recruitingplans, the you know, lots of nuts and boltscritically important it's the foundation, but as we had into twentytwo, it's about dispersing all this into the organization so that youactually are educating and empowering leaders across as well as employeesdirectly to you know, help us achieve elever t and i gels. So i just thinkthis a doll. I guess the headline is: it all comes back to the manager,because all of that regina come back to the man he, so these jobs are actuallygoing to get more complex, potentially, but i think also more fulfilling for that yeah right. Ifi re about it, you know, i think i think we do a disservice to the role ofthe management part of a managers will in today's world. All managers also dolike day to day work. It's just the way the world operates, but just theleadership piece. I think we that is key to this new way of working. So in terms of the you know, i agreeit's all about the manager and and- and i think that hr teams are realizingthat and realizing they need to to enable managers and support them intheir growth and development. On these, what we might have you knowhistorically called soft skills. How do you as an s hr, have your managers feel like you've,got their back, that you're actually a partner of theirs versus saying here'sa bunch of stuff that you have to do and that they look to it and say youknow this? This is busy work, or this is something i isn't really valuable tome. So how do you? How do you engender that trust as a partner and have themanagers feel like an extension in some way of of a r? I think that this is almost aproverbial question about h, r and t is your specific question was about themanagers themselves, but i think there's lots of hr processes et cetera,that organizations can feel like are just either perfunctory or have to door not adding values. So this has been part of my goal in being an hr leadersince i came into this profession gosh over twenty years ago, but really an hrproper about fifteen sixteen years ago to really change that mindset to saylook. This is like it are the people every day who wake up and think aboutthe talent in the organization. It's not that other people don't, but thatis my job every day i wake up every day and think about this organization, thetalent in this organization or culture. How do we enable that and that's truefor everyone into my mind- everyone, an hr, whether you're a compensationanalyst or your senior trup business partner, right, that's sort of your job.Every day, and so as we put that headset on to me, that's all aboutenabling the business, it's not about programming or program b, it's aboutdriving the business and achieving its...

...business strategy right, and so thatalso means that we get rid of things or we change things that aren't working,and so i think, to hrs. The evolution that profession has been on is to beeven more of that more of the business focus, less pegrani, less driving ofprograms that checks the box. So everything we do. We say: why are wedoing this right? Why are we delivering an no performance review process? Whyare we doing this, and should we rethink this? As an example, like lastyear, we threw out ratings because who could write anybody in two thousand andtwenty? I don't even understand how you could do that, and i remember thinking we made that decision in the fall and iremember being in the heart of the performance of view process where weactually leaned in on. I want you to have a conversation with your employeeto say i saw what you did last year. I see you, i see how hard you worked intwo thousand and twenty back to empathy. I see you, i want you to feel seen andheard and let's talk about your career going forward and let's talk about eventhe opportunities you have going forward, so there's febe to be giveninto that context. But it's about personal engagement- and i remembersaying in the middle of that process like thank god we didn't tranio ratingis because i don't even know how that would have happened and the drama andthe organization that would have created would have been deeplydysfunctional given the year we'd, all just collectively been through. Sothat's an example of like listening to like what the needs of the organizationare and then creating something that for managers was felt real andauthentic et ce. So i think it is this listening to either leaders in theorganization to your specific question or just employees in general and sayinghere's what i feels authentic for what we need now and again. I think thechallenge hrs had is, i used to always say a charge, never met a program. Theydon't like right, like we like, we like the shiny objects. We like this andthat there's always new ideas coming out and all that's great and there's somuch enthusiasm and the profession which i love. One of the reasons i'm inthis profession, but it always has to be thought about again and again andagain, given the news of the business right and it doesn't mean you throweverything out and start over, it just means. How does this evolve, and so ithink that's actually the relationship the function needs to develop withleaders and managers so that they feel that we are in partnership and to somedegree service to what their needs are and not that we're just some extraneous.You know, function brother's box, checking that happens, because that these were not doing our job. Ithink the big eureka moment for business an hr is understanding that, what's what's actually good for thehuman beings is actually good for the business. Yes, i eally a great so long.It's been this idea, no though human needs and business needs are actuallycounterproductive, and so we're going to almost develop an icy heart thatdoesn't feel that it doesn't empathize with the human needs, because thatwould just be as exercise and being sad and we've got shit to do so. I willtell you that's exactly why i'm an hr so just a little bit of my background,so i started my career in consulting an organization strategy, consulting whichis a critical part of human resources, but it was not. It was a consultingfirm. It wasn't in h, r at the time and i loved it. I love taking again the thebusiness strategy of a company or a transformation and saying okay, how doorganizational ly we design for this? How do we create the change mechanismsto achieve this and i loved it and still my first love and my last coupleclients i was this is way back this dating myself, but late s, early sand,it was at price. Word has coopers and my last couple clients for h, r teams.Actually there was an hr transformation. I was doing a big technologyimplementation at another one, and i was working with the h organizationsand i had never at that point considered being an hr person, and i would see how these teams operated, andi would hear companies say things like talent is our most important asset and i rarely saw them behave in thatway. Right, i rarely saw them behave in away that actually would justify that...

...statement and whether that was forprioritizing talent, putting talent mechanisms in place to your point chantlike just thinking about treating the human being as a human being and itbecame. It was always very, very clear to me that employee interests andcompany interests are almost always a line, occasionally they're not, andthat's actually a lot of the work of h, r right when they're not aligned. Youhave to navigate through those situations but they're, mostly aligned and thefact that so many so few organizations i felt like especially this many yearsago, actually saw it. That way, really shocked me right and that's whatactually led me into hr, and so i first more traditionally char gig, and i amdeeply grateful to the leaders who taught me sort of a not simpully playrelations and compensation and all the other aspects of hr was a gap. I spentten years a gap, and then i spent five years at shutter plays the chro and nowleave is, and i think all those companies have in common is their veryvalues. Different companies right. They always have values as a explicit way.They operate, and especially in sort of the employees space- and i can tell youspecifically for les and co- were completely aligned. Right again. Itdoesn't mean that we don't have to make hard decisions that impact employees.It doesn't mean. You know that we don't have to navigate the situations, but itis something that is part of the fabric of the business. It has been from whati can tell for you know, most of that, all of our hundred and sixty eight oldhistory right. So this is very much who we are. So it's a privilege for me tolead r in a place that is so like this, but i also am a bit of an evangelistabout how having these values and how have it driving how you think aboutemployee value proposition is actually a differentiator and makes you knowit's a competitive place for talent right now, especially now. Oh, mygoodness, like we think about how many jobs are open and how many you know wehave a supply and demand mismatch with talent right now. If i can do somethingin my culture and my values, that makes me stand out, especially for youngergenerations, who we know care about this even more deeply than that's hugeright, and so i think that again, as we go back to this future of work, understanding that employee interestedcompany interests are generally aligned and let's figure out how to leveragethat and not necessarily take a different approach that creates somesort of artificial barrier between the two. So you know thirty, forty yearsago, you could smoke on planes. It's almost unimaginable. Now right. It'slike what you know like her. My stories of my dad like smoking pot in thebathroom on an airplane, i was on a plane one time when they were somethingmean, maybe a few times in my child here where they were smoking, and i waslike there was a smoking section on an airplane- is totally totally crazy toeven entertain. What do you hope in twenty or thirty years in the hrprofession in the business world seems as antiquated, is smoking on anairplane yeah i mean i would. I hope that, like the fact that everybodyshuffled into sort of cubes and sat there all day and did their own work attheir own computer and then like went away like into this every single day isgoing to feel really strange and again because i've spent time and tack aswell as retail. Like you know, in large parts of the world, this was alreadychanging. Let's be very honest right, like you know the commute in the bay rand gets significantly better on fridays right in the morning, becausepeople are working from home, and that was the case for many many years now,like maybe more than a decade. So i just think if it's this notion of, like you, show up every day and youjust sit there and you do your work and there's no. I know that feels very well,i think, feel very antipate, and i don't even think it's going to takethat long. I think that's going to feel weird really soon. I certainly thinkthat just notion of it's all about sort ofthe employer with the employer wants et cetera versus like taking into accountand conversation with employees. I hope...

...that also feels filter, and i think itis, i think it is changing. I think i hope think that will feel veryantiquated employees or making their voices hurt right, they're, makingtheir voices heard not just on their own work spaces, but on social issues,and things like that on things that you know in the esg realm, and i don'tthink that's changing right, and so i also think one thing that's quicklygoing by the wayside is that companies can sit on the sidelines and not getengaged in sort of the dialogue of the day. Whatever that is right, you knoweven waiting into things that make them uncomfortable right, and so i thinkwe're already seeing employees and as well as other state holders, investorsand others push us collectively in a different direction. The good news likeit for me and my job on one of the reasons i took my job was that a listencos red comfortable, being very vocal about issues we care about whether it'svoting rights or you know, quality and equity across all spheres or en gun, violence, prevention, thingsthat you know we're just quite out spoken on and that remenil ine with mypersonal values and sort of impact i want to have in the world so, but ithink other companies are feeling that in ways that maybe they've never hadexperienced before and and the ones that are choosing to try to stand thesidelines, i think you're going to have a hard time tracy. Thank you so much for an amazingconversation and really really great to get your perspective on this. If anyoneis listening and has follow, questions or just wants to connect with you,what's the best way for them to find you they can totally just find me on onlink on is probably the best way linked in i'm on lington all the time. That'sprobably i'm not as good on some of the other social media like twitter, i tendto lurk and not post, because it's makes mile trepidations i'm not goingto lie, but i'm very cochon linked on. So anyone can find me. Tracy lany, headof h, r for levis on linkedin i'll be easy to find. Sometimes i kind of questit's funny. I almost like what happened to my life. I spend so much more timeon link dan than any other social media platform and- and i feel good aboutthat ye ye and but i can't keep up i at a tiny else. Has this problem like ican't i feel like. I can't keep up. It feels like it's just it's, so it isgreat right. It's vibrant its robust. I think it's actually a very positivesocial media site, but i just i think i got a notification to it says you havenine d unread message. I was like. Oh my god, i wired messages now i feelvery behind again i like a cleaning box. So luckily ninety eight percent ofthose are just prospecting. Messages agreed, but i like to look at the re,did get my message tracing it's possible. It's sitting in there,it's possible. I will admit it. My half of my linked in response to say i'm sosorry for my delay, i'm really bad at keeping up with lington. So, okay, thank you again and reallylooking forward to staying in touch and reinventing the world of work andmaking a more beautiful work world together. Oh my gosh, i i'm excitedabout that up that possibility and it's i feel like it's my life's work, and soi love any partners and friends and this endeavor, so it was fantasticspending time with you. I really appreciate it. Thank you, jacy yeah,what an exciting time to be in the business world absolutely and the besttime i think in decades, if not ever, to be in humanresources. So so that's at my little plug anyone is considering a careershift. You should come to hr because it'll be the best work of your life.Somebody was saying that playing out of like this is. This is truly one of thegreatest callings on the planet. Right now is reinventing work of of elevating humanity because we canhave such a global impact. Absolutely yes, i cannot agree more and i feelvery, very blessed and privileged to be a part of the group of folks who aregoing to figure out a new and better way thanks for tuning and you've beenlistening to hr superstars stories from the front lines of h, r and people, opsbe sure you never miss an episode by subscribing on your favorite podcastplayer, if you're listening on apple podcasts, we'd love for you to leave athoughtful with you or give a quick...

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