The Talent Economy Podcast

Share

Preparing for the New Normal

Season 2, Ep. 6

The past 14 months have changed the way we work. And as workplaces grow more flexible, companies can begin to adapt their cultures in creative ways. In this episode, we speak with Kristin Johnson, Chief Human Resources Officer of Fortune 500 company Edward Jones, about what reopening can look like. 

Johnson joined the premier financial services firm in 1995 as a member of the internal audit department, and continued to climb the ranks over the next 24 years. In November 2019, she was appointed Chief Human Resources Officer and began leading efforts to attract, develop, and engage the 49,000-person workforce with a commitment to diversity and inclusion. She serves as a senior executive sponsor of Edward Jones’ Black/African American and Young Professionals Business Resource groups, as well as serving on the boards of the Center of Creative Arts, Webster University, and the Saint Louis Fashion Fund.

Johnson shares insights into why being a human-centered company matters, the importance of respecting the individual, and what it’s like to work as a high-ranking executive in a male-dominated industry. She also discusses the challenges corporations face in a post-pandemic world, including effectively communicating in a remote environment while still focusing on employees’ continuing education. 

Some Questions Asked:

  • Can you tell us a little bit about your path from accounting to leading almost 50,000 people?
  • What role would you say that continuous learning plays in attracting and retaining top talent?
  • How has Edward Jones expanded wellness programs in light of COVID-19? What direct benefits are you already seeing?

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • About the role creativity plays in human resources
  • How lessons from ballet translate to the world of HR
  • How COVID-19 has affected training and development programs

Links


More Episodes

8/23/2021

Recruiting With AI

Season 2, Ep. 12
As companies work to eliminate bias from their recruiting processes, some are turning to artificial intelligence to help them build a more inclusive workforce. In this episode, we speak with Suzan Morno-Wade, CHRO of Xerox, about how AI—coupled with an emphasis on building human connection—is helping the iconic company hire the best talent.Morno-Wade has been the CHRO of Xerox since 2018. She joined the company in 2016 as Vice President of Global Total Rewards, leading the company’s compensation and benefits strategy. She has more than 20 years of experience in HR leadership for global companies, including Hess, Quantum, Mitsubishi, General Electric, and Quaker Oats. In addition, she serves on the board of directors of A Better Chance, a nonprofit organization whose goal is to increase the number of well-educated young people of color in the United States. In 2019, Black Enterprise named Morno-Wade to the list of Most Powerful Women in Corporate America. She holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting from the University of Illinois.Morno-Wade shares why she believes it’s critical to quantify diversity and inclusion efforts, how the last 18 months have spurred organizations to better anticipate employee needs, and why she feels a responsibility to prepare people for change. She also discusses the decision to have employees return to in-person work and why she believes adaptability and resilience are the two most important skills in today’s business climate.Some Questions Asked:How did you become CHRO of Xerox?How does your work with nonprofits that are dedicated to educating young people of color influence your approach to your role as Xerox’s CHRO?How do you leverage employee resource groups to prompt real, significant change?In This Episode, You Will Learn:The innovative ways Xerox is leveraging cutting-edge technology in its talent acquisition efforts.How other people leaders can effectively use employee resource groups to cultivate honest, open communication that prompts significant change.How AI is helping to solve the issue of bias in recruiting.Links:Suzan Morno-Wade - LinkedIn
8/10/2021

Building Skills With Virtual Reality

Season 2, Ep. 11
As technology continues to evolve, so must the way we learn and work. In this episode, we speak with Dan Domenech, CHRO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Financial Services, about integrating virtual reality into employee training, and how the immersive experience optimized the learning process.Domenech has almost three decades of experience holding HR leadership positions at several Fortune 500 companies. Over the years, he has honed his focus on building talent pipelines and leadership capability, while also creating passionate, forward-leaning cultures. At HPE Financial Services, he works with the president and CEO to drive business transformation, talent value management, and company culture.Prior to joining HPEFS, Domenech shaped organizational culture and empowered employees at companies including Johnson & Johnson, Dun & Bradstreet, and American Express. Domenech holds a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, where he also serves as VP of the school’s Latino Alumni Association, as well as an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business. Domenech talks about why the time is right to introduce virtual reality training for employees, the role a growth mindset plays in candidate success, and preparing for the post-COVID-19 pandemic colleague experience. He also discusses how HPE has managed to maintain their rich company culture throughout the pandemic, promoting diversity and equality in a corporate environment, and why it’s so important to encourage career growth and upward mobility for employees.Some Questions Asked:Why is building soft skills so crucial? And how are you using virtual reality to develop those soft skills?When hiring, are you looking for candidates with soft skills that are already well developed, or are you looking more for the ability for them to be trained?What do companies stand to lose if they don’t give their workforce the choice on whether or not they stay remote?In This Episode, You Will Learn:What the logistics of virtual reality training for employees really look like.Why HPE is taking a role-based approach to bringing employees back into the office post-pandemic.How the advancement of women within HPE is so important to Domenech personally, as well as to the company culture as a whole.Links:Dan Domenech - LinkedIn
7/25/2021

Prioritizing Education

Season 2, Ep. 10
The year 2020 offered innumerable lessons about our individual communities and even society as a whole. As we begin to wind down from a tumultuous year, many corporations are looking to their workforce to see what they can do to elevate them. In this episode, we speak with DJ Casto, Executive Vice President and CHRO of Synchrony, one of the nation’s premier consumer financial services companies, about the initiatives companies can take to help build up their employees.At Synchrony, Casto is responsible for engaging employees in the company’s strategic business imperatives and building people-led development programs that strengthen culture, drive business growth, and nurture the company’s talent as a competitive advantage. He began his career at PepsiCo in human resources field operations, advancing to lead labor and employee relations for the North American beverages business, where he managed union awareness strategies before advancing to the role of Senior Director of Global Organization Development. He holds a master’s degree in industrial relations and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from West Virginia University. Casto serves on the boards of Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG), buildOn, and West Virginia University MSIR Executive Alumni.In this episode, Casto provides an in-depth look at Synchrony’s Education as an Equalizer program, and how important education is in creating an ecosystem for success. He also discusses how remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic has helped the company align business goals, and how it has affected the way Synchrony employees work, including insight into the three different “hubs” the company has put into place—and what that means for the future of their working environment.Some Questions Asked:How did you arrive at your job with Synchrony?What are the specific goals for the Education as an Equalizer initiative?What are you doing to continue to instill Synchrony culture to those employees who are now 100% virtual?In This Episode, You Will Learn:About the implementation of Synchrony’s five-year, $50 million Education as an Equalizer initiative and how the concept came about.About Synchrony’s 100 Days of Wellness initiative and how the company is committed to helping its employees refuel after a difficult year.What the pandemic taught Synchrony about employees’ desire to work from home.Links:DJ Casto - LinkedIn