The Talent Economy Podcast


Humanizing Human Resources: How Cardinal Health Prioritized People During the Pandemic

Season 2, Ep. 23
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced all sectors to change, but perhaps none has been affected more than healthcare. To keep employees motivated, Cardinal Health, one of the country’s largest healthcare companies, established a sense of belonging by creating a culture of transparency and communication. This led to a robust hybrid work environment, cohesive company mergers, and an increase in retention and diversity.Ola Snow began her career with Cardinal Health nearly 20 years ago as regional director of the pharmaceutical segment’s human resources department. She continued to support other functions, including legal and public affairs, prior to becoming SVP of HR in the medical segment. After six years in this role, Snow became Cardinal Health’s CHRO in 2018.In this episode, we discuss Snow’s passion for people that started, and continues, with her family. Her father ran local arenas and baseball stadiums and, as a child, she would accompany him to work. These experiences led her to embrace the power of vulnerability and authenticity—qualities that foster an inclusive workplace. Building on such personal anecdotes, Snow segues into Cardinal’s plans for diversity and inclusion, details how she has handled more than 25 mergers and acquisitions, and provides advice on preparing for the workplace of the future.Snow is also involved in many community organizations, including the Cardinal Health Foundation, Baxter Credit Union, Ohio State University’s Women and Philanthropy, and the Go Red for Women’s National Leadership Council. She speaks about her passion for Flying Horse Farms, a transformative camp for children with serious illnesses, where she presides as a board member.Some Questions Asked:What are the biggest pivots you and your team have made since the pandemic started? (3:17)How do you create a cohesive culture among people with such diverse roles and backgrounds? (9:12)What is Cardinal Health doing to achieve gender parity? (12:29)In This Episode, You Will Learn:The power of listening to employees to increase employee engagement.How to create a sense of unity when companies merge. .How Cardinal Health’s “Midweek Moment” aids in retention.Links:Ola Snow - Cardinal HealthOla Snow - LinkedInCardinal Health - LinkedinTalent Economy Podcast

What Guides Decisions During Difficult Times?

Season 2, Ep. 22
The past two years have been the most challenging in recent memory for the hospitality and travel industries. Hyatt Hotels Corporation has met these challenges by prioritizing employee well-being and focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion. In this episode, we speak with CHRO Malaika Myers about how Hyatt’s mission to care for guests starts with caring for employees, and how the company is looking to an untapped talent pool both to fill its ranks and provide opportunities for young people.Malaika Myers has been Hyatt’s CHRO since 2017. In this role, she sets and implements the hospitality company’s global HR enterprise strategy. She previously served as SVP of Human Resources for consumer products company Jarden Corporation and CHRO for Arysta LifeScience. She has also held various senior management roles at consumer products company Diageo. Prior to that, Myers spent more than 10 years at PepsiCo Inc., which she joined after serving in several HR roles at FMC Corporation, an agricultural sciences company.Myers shares what attracted her to the HR field and reflects on the differences between working in the consumer products industry and the hospitality sector. She discusses the difficult decisions the company made as the COVID-19 pandemic forced people to cancel travel, and how Hyatt created a Care Fund to help employees struggling amid the furloughs and layoffs of 2020. Myers also discusses Hyatt’s diversity initiative, Change Starts Here, and how it has been met with enthusiasm by employees across the company.Some Questions Asked:What first drew you to the field of HR?Have you been concerned about the Great Resignation?What are the steps you’ve taken to become one of the Fortune Top 100 greatest companies to work for, particularly when it comes to diversity?In This Episode, You Will Learn:How a shared purpose as a corporation has helped see Hyatt through the tumultuous past few years.How Hyatt is expanding its talent pool to include “opportunity youth,” people between the ages of 16 and 24 who aren’t in school or working.About the wellness checks that Hyatt has implemented for its employees and how caring for its employees’ well-being helps Hyatt take better care of its guests.Links:Malaika Myers - HyattMalaika Myers - LinkedIn

Architecting Scalable Engineering E-book Podcast

Season 2, Ep. 21
For many CTOs and directors of engineering, building scalable and successful software engineering teams can be difficult, due in large part to competing pressures and responsibilities. In addition to managing growing teams, they are tasked with keeping an eye on overall business objectives and navigating the pressures of their leadership roles—overcoming technical challenges, motivating the teams, planning for scale, settling disputes, tracking key metrics, and reporting to executive management—all of which require them to make countless vital decisions daily.Toptal’s new e-book, Architecting Scalable Engineering Teams, helps leaders build the right team structure to overcome technical challenges, motivate talent, plan for scale, and track key metrics. In this accompanying podcast, Toptal Director of Engineering Marco Santos interviews Josh Holat, the Chief Technology Officer and Co-founder of Cube, a company dedicated to making FP&A faster, smarter, and simpler. Marco is also joined by Nik Patel, Chief Technology Officer and Co-founder at Cohesion, a cloud-based IoT company for smart buildings.This episode highlights three of the e-book’s five team models, acknowledging that any given structure for success rests largely on an organization’s size, industry, and product:● Stakeholder-focused squads. At Toptal, these squads are integral to building strong relationships between engineers and business stakeholders to ensure consistent delivery of business value.● Front-end/Back-end split structure. Cube, a financial analysis and planning platform, employs two different leaders—one to helm the front-end team and another focused on the back-end team.● Satellite teams. At Cohesion, a cloud-based IoT company for smart buildings, satellite teams ensure rapid scale and eliminate the complexity of hiring, onboarding, paying, and managing each team.Across all five models, engineering leaders recognize the value of temporary help—whether it’s to build their teams or to add expertise that they may not have in-house.“Sometimes, a project needs to get done, but the leadership team isn’t sure if the increased capacity will be necessary in the long run,” says Santos. “That is why so many startups rely on talent networks like ours to augment their teams. When you have an extra load, it’s really nice to have an amazing network of talent that can help scale up.”Download the Architecting Scalable Engineering Teams e-book here to find out:How to overcome the short- and long-term challenges engineering leaders face when building their teams.How engineering leaders structure their teams for scale and success.How to hire and retain the best engineering talent.How to strategically hire freelancers amid rapid growth.Links:MARCO SANTOS, Director of Engineering at ToptalNIK PATEL, CTO and Co-founder at CohesionJOSH HOLAT, CTO and Co-founder at Cube

Can You Train Managers to Be Empathetic?

Season 2, Ep. 20
The COVID-19 pandemic not only brought about sweeping changes to the way we work, but it also offered crucial insights into what employees truly want and need from their employers. In this episode, we speak with Tracy Layney, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer of iconic apparel company Levi Strauss & Co., about the adjustments the company has made since the pandemic when it comes to flexibility, wellness, and overall work-life fit. She shares the lessons the pandemic has taught her and why she feels strongly that these learnings shape the workplace of the future.Layney is responsible for Levi’s people strategy on a global scale, including recruiting, employee engagement, talent management, compensation and benefits, HR technology, and HR communications. She brings more than 20 years of experience in human resources and organization strategy to her role.Prior to joining the company, Layney served as Senior VP and CHRO of Shutterfly, a leading retailer of personalized photo-based products. Before that, she spent 10 years at Gap Inc., where she held numerous HR senior leadership roles. Layney has also held positions at PwC/IBM Business Consulting Services where she worked with Fortune 500 clients in the high tech, financial services, retail, and healthcare industries. She is active in the HR thought-leader community and serves on the Board of HR People & Strategy, the executive network of the Society for Human Resource Management.Also in this episode, Layney talks about what it was like to work in the Bay Area at the beginning of the dot-com boom and how she discovered her passion for organization strategy. She discusses how navigating the early days of the pandemic called for crisis-management skills, and how Levi’s pledged to emerge from the most tumultuous times stronger than ever. Finally, she explains why empathy is so integral to leadership, and why the company offered an artificial intelligence bootcamp to its employees.Some Questions Asked:How did you navigate Levi’s COVID-19 response so quickly after joining the company?What are some strategies that the company is implementing to achieve a stronger, healthier, and more productive workplace?Do you believe it’s possible to train people to be empathetic?In This Episode, You Will Learn:How Layney credits her experience of being laid off with helping land her current CHRO position.Why Layney believes that forgetting the lessons learned during the pandemic would be missing the opportunity of a lifetime.How Levi’s has implemented a comprehensive employee support mechanism that includes child care and access to mental health services.Links:Tracy Layney - in FortuneTracy Layney - at Levi Strauss & Co.Tracy Layney - LinkedIn