Punk Rock HR Episode 134:
Today’s guest is Heidi Spirgi. She is the Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer at Cornerstone On Demand, an HR technology company. Heidi has done a little bit of everything, but the common thread of her career has been helping organizations to unlock the best of their employees through emerging practices and programs, building cultures that ensure people can be the best version of themselves at work, and leveraging technology to do all of that.
Heidi is someone who I admire and look to in real life as well as on social media. Whenever there’s a new tool, trend, or something that’s gotten a lot of hype, I’ll know it’s real if Heidi buys into it.
Our conversation today touches on all the good stuff: leadership, growth, learning, development, and what it’s like to be human at a time where it’s crazy even to be alive. If you’re wondering how to be there for your workforce and, really, be there for yourself, sit back and enjoy this conversation with Heidi Spirgi.
In this episode you’ll hear:
- What it’s like to be employed in 2020 for Heidi.
- How organizations need to change in order to prevent employees from reaching a breaking point.
- How she, as an executive and a leader, shows that she’s an employee, too.
- Why self-leadership is such an important emerging skill.
- How to manage zoom fatigue for our teams.
- How Heidi has seen remote work change over the past 6 months.
- How organizations can be a force for change and do some good in the world.
HOW DO ORGANIZATIONS NEED TO CHANGE IN ORDER TO PREVENT EMPLOYEES FROM REACHING A BREAKING POINT?
It can’t just be about changing the employee. Rather, organizations need to change around them in order to ensure that all people can thrive. The first way to do this is through vulnerability, which has to start with leadership. Leaders need to be vulnerable and show their organizations and teams that they, too, are struggling. This gives employees the permission to feel and be who they are instead of trying to not be their authentic selves at work. The second keyword is authenticity. Basically, keep it real. People want to be treated as adults and they want the truth. Organizations should make it clear where they stand as a company and where each employee stands as a person. Connect with people in a really authentic way by showing them every side of yourself. This is the only way to get people to trust you and bring their own full selves to work.
WHY IS SELF-LEADERSHIP SUCH AN IMPORTANT EMERGING SKILL?
People need to learn how to be truly mindful about not just building their careers but running their careers. We all need to start making the choices that are most important to us, even if those are hard choices. Employees have gotten to the point where they’re sacrificing their personal lives in order to accomplish more at work. This is not a healthy practice. Without self-leadership and being deliberate about your boundaries, we will see our mental, physical, and family health erode very quickly.
HOW CAN I MANAGE ZOOM FATIGUE FOR MY TEAM?
Consider making screens optional for your team members. This gives them permission to do whatever they need to during meetings and thus plan their lives accordingly. You could also consider instating walking meetings. During these meetings, everyone gets some fresh air and exercise by walking during the Zoom call. You don’t look at one another’s faces but just focus on what everyone is saying. In this case, the creativity and level of connection with your team is much stronger.
HOW CAN AN ORGANIZATION BE A FORCE FOR CHANGE AND DO SOME GOOD IN THE WORLD?
It starts with organizations creating a positive workplace environment where their employees can be fully understood and valued. Guide and coach them in a highly personalized way that is based on their natural strengths. People thrive and explode with energy when they experience high levels of engagement and genuine positivity. Play to your individual team members’ strengths and create a sense of belonging for them. When you can create extraordinary people at work and help them be the best versions of themselves there, they will go out into the world and create change. Another part of an executive’s role is to look beyond the employee and look into the community. Do things outside of the four walls of your office. Finally, consider how you engage with your customers. This engagement should be just as authentic and vulnerable as your interactions with your employees. Build a mission together with your customers to try to change the world. In sum, businesses can create a tremendous amount of positive change in the world by being creative, being thoughtful, and trying to instill that sense of connection and vulnerability with those around them.
Resources from this episode: