Keeping culture alive and well during the coronavirus pandemic has proven to be challenging for many organizations, but can you imagine trying to keep your culture intact in the middle of a pandemic while also going through a merger and acquisition? Today’s guest did just that and is here to share the challenges of maintaining a strong culture throughout turbulent times.
Meet Kimberly Cassady, Chief Talent Officer at Cornerstone OnDemand.
So, how did you get into HR?
I only know one person who probably grew up wanting to be an HR professional, but it was not me. It’s not something you think about as a career, like they speak to you about in elementary school. It actually started when I was in school and working full time. The warehouse where I was working needed somebody to support and help with HR-related activities.
Much like a lot of HR professionals, it starts through the gateway of recruiting, the entry drug to talent and Human Resources, and I just really enjoyed that aspect of interacting and working with people specifically and helping them in their career. And it just springboarded from there.
It’s true that a lot of people come in from recruiting but not just there; pretty much a lot of psychologists have come into recruiting. A lot of people go for business management and end up in HR. I mean, it’s always like they fell into it or someone advised them. I may have said this a lot to other people, but I just think it’s so interesting how HR collects people in a way that I’m not really sure other roles can.
Right. I think it comes from the notion of working with and helping people because any function you go into touches people, whether you’re in manufacturing, a leader, a salesperson, or in finance, even if you’re only working within your peer group. You have that human interaction that I think for some people speaks to them in particular.
Absolutely. It can be a very nurturing kind of role. It should be, anyway. I think if you want people in that HR role, you’re going to want them to be a little bit of a humanitarian because they’re going to do some difficult things. You’re going to see people at their best and at their worst—when they’re getting hired, when they’re getting fired, and when they’re having kids. It’s pretty high stakes emotionally and interpersonally.
Yeah. I think a lot of roles in HR today are akin to someone’s ability or relatability to put his or her own self in someone else’s shoes. But even as we look to the future of HR in that intersection between technology and HR and where we’re going, not every role is going to necessarily need to be akin to doing that directly.
If you become an HR data specialist and you’re looking at what the data are telling you, either via artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning, you have to be able to take those data and really adapt them to the human. You also need somebody who may not relate but at least understands the background in psychology of human behavior to apply those mechanisms to.
Speaking of transferring skills like HR into automation, we’re undergoing obviously a huge transformation. It’s been a pretty crazy one. I mean, other than the fact that so many people are remote now, we’ve also had the concern of “how do you transfer company culture remotely or in a mixed environment,” where some people are remote and some people aren’t?
Any company that doesn’t understand company culture is going to have a crisis at some point. And now, we have this multiplying factor of remote work. I think under the best of circumstances, it’s probably difficult to maintain a good culture, and it would be very, very difficult to create one from scratch at this time. How have you guys tackled that?
To describe how we tackle it all, I’ll dial it back just a little bit. I think when you ask, most people say, even in recruiting, “Tell me about your company culture.” A lot of places go to a place of describing perks. “We have this in the office, and we do this. We have free lunches. We have happy hours.” And that’s just interaction.
Culture is really built around most companies’ core values, and most of them are public. They’re the way we either approach work or interact and behave with each other.
If you’re really holding dearly to those values and they’re not just words and you’re not just giving them lip service, then that’s transferable no matter where you’re sitting. Whether you’re sitting. . .
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Source: HR Daily Advisor