The Talent Economy Podcast

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Creating an Employee Alumni Network

Season 2, Ep. 13

Many employers understand that their employees are the key to making their businesses successful. Yet, once those workers move on, companies typically don’t keep in contact with them. Should they? In this episode, we speak with Kim Seymour, Chief People Officer of WW International Inc. (formerly Weight Watchers) and Jeff Wald, an angel investor, entrepreneur, and bestselling author, about the value of maintaining relationships with past employees and where the future of work as we know it might be headed. 

In her role, Seymour oversees all aspects of WW’s human capital plan, with a strong emphasis on talent, leadership, diversity, and organizational effectiveness. She spent the previous two decades in HR leadership roles at American Express, Home Depot, and General Electric. Seymour currently serves on the board of directors of RHR International and the board of trustees of Fisk University, a historically Black college. A graduate of both the University of Tennessee at Martin and Vanderbilt Law School, Seymour also holds an MBA from Indiana University. As an expert in business culture and talent, she is often asked to share her forward-thinking HR strategies and personal leadership philosophies with a variety of global audiences. 

Jeff Wald is the Amazon bestselling author of The End of Jobs: The Rise of On-Demand Workers and Agile Corporations, about how companies and workers reacted to the last three industrial revolutions. He is the founder of three tech companies, including WorkMarket, purchased by ADP, and Spinback, acquired by Buddy Media, now owned by Salesforce. He is also an angel investor and startup adviser. Wald serves on the board of directors at TRANSFR Inc., ModusLink, and Costar Technologies. He holds two degrees from Cornell University, and is an alumnus of Harvard Business School. In 2020, Wald announced the $10 million Future of Work Prize that will reward The End of Jobs contributor whose prediction about what the workforce will look like in 2040 proves the most accurate. 

Seymour and Wald discuss what they think will be the COVID-19 pandemic’s most lasting influences on the world of work, what shorter employee tenure means for company culture, and why we should be thinking about ex-employees as ambassadors. They also talk about why healthy employer/employee relationships depend on keeping open lines of communication and not taking things personally, and how to create team success within a hybrid work structure.

Some Questions Asked:

  • What changes have already occurred in the world of work since The End of Jobs came out last year?
  • What emerging technologies do you think will most change the world of work?
  • Is the trend toward shorter tenures a good thing? Is WW doing anything to counteract it? 
  • How do you hire employees who understand the need to be constant learners and adapters? And how do you foster that growth mindset among the employees you already have?

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • Why we need to rethink the system of tying benefits to current employment.  
  • About the idea of alumni labor clouds and their implications for current and former employees and employers.
  • WW’s take on how, when, and where its employees should work.

Links for Kim Seymour:

Links for Jeff Wald:

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11/15/2021

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Season 2, Ep. 17
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Season 2, Ep. 16
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