The Future of Work Podcast With Jacob Morgan

Mala Singh serves as Chief People Officer for Electronic Arts (EA) where she focuses on developing their talent and cultivating the company culture. In this role, Mala oversees Human Resources, Talent Acquisition, Facilities and Corporate Services.

Prior to this position, Mala spent three years as Chief People Officer at Minted where she helped to define the culture and grow the creative and technical teams during a high-growth period for the startup. Mala began her career in the pharmaceutical industry, serving in Human Resources roles in Asia, Europe and North America.

Founded in 1982, Electronic Arts is a leading global interactive entertainment software company. EA delivers games, content and online services for Internet-connected consoles, personal computers, mobile phones and tablets. Some of their games include Sims, FIFA18, Maden, and Battlefield. Close to 10,000 EA employees are found around the world.

How does EA compete with other organizations for the best talent?

Mala says they don’t compete with Google, LinkedIn and other similar organizations with a focus on compensation – that, she says, “is a race to the bottom.” Instead, they look at supporting their mission system and finding people with a similar focus. They also provide a manager that supports them, surround them with people they admire, have fun with and want to hang out with. In addition, they provide opportunities to learn and grow – providing different experiences. The quality of leadership, learning and growing, this is how they compete.  “I refuse to compete on ‘perkage’. How do we care for our people while they are here?” It is based on the quality of the work.

How did the trend towards a focus on mental and physical well being of employee begin?

“We used to think about work/life balance - this a false concept,” Mala says. It is really the idea of managing our whole selves while at work. Also, talented people, the skills in our environments are polarizing. The jobs are becoming more specialized. Because tech is available – those skills and great team members are highly in demand. So in order to compete for the same people, you have to bring a different experience for these people. This is why EA is moving in that direction.

How does learning work at EA?

The general philosophy is that 70% of learning happens through experiences. Then, 20% is through direct coaching from the manager and finally 10% occurs through formal learning. What appears to resonate is just in time smaller snippets of learning that allows people to learn and then use it.  

“Diversity of experiences is the lynch pin to everything. When presented the obvious, chose the opposite”. Mala stated that, “Progression comes best from diverse experiences” Apply what you have learned and move to a different setting that you can allow you to apply your skills there.

The mistake often made is that looking at the only way to progress in one's career is to move from level to level - rather than the gathering of skills. If we can create progression where we gain different skills, then “the best way to get different thinking and innovative approaches is by constantly changing your context and experiences which helps you to become more agile. It teaches you how to adapt, helps you diagnose the situation and figure out solutions. That’s why the diversity of experiences is so fundamental to how people should grow their career.”

What you will learn in this episode:

  • What it is like to work at EA
  • What the first days are like as a new employee at EA
  • What should non-HR people know about HR
  • Why tenure is not the metric to track anymore
  • Innovations happening in HR at EA
  • Why it is futile to compete solely on the basis of compensation

Contact:

Mala Singh On LinkedIn

Direct download: Mala20Singh_Podcast_done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 10:19am PDT

Garry Ridge is President and CEO of the WD-40 Company headquartered in San Diego, California. WD-40 Company is the maker of the ever-popular WD-40 (found in 8 out of 10 US households), as well as 3-IN-ONE Oil, Solvol and Lava heavy duty hand cleaners and X-14, Carpet Fresh, Spot Shot, 1001 and 2000 Flushes household cleaning products. With just under 500 employees, they boast a 93% employee engagement rate – with an average tenure of 10 years - which helps keep the number of employees low.

Garry has been with WD-40 since 1987 in various management positions, including executive vice president and chief operating officer and vice president of international. He has worked directly with WD-40 in 50 countries.
A native of Australia, he received his Masters of Science Degree in Executive Leadership from the University of San Diego, CA, in June 2001.

Way back Aristotle said, “Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.” However, people are slow learners. A lot of companies struggle with this because leaders are afraid of letting go and giving people the opportunity.  Garry’s learned to say ‘I don’t know…’ and to make sure that WD-40 “leaders involve their people.”

What can we do to change the mentality of leaders not letting go?

  1. For public companies – take the emphasis off ‘short-term-isms’. Looking at 90 days, etc. so they will make short term decisions that are not as productive.  “Coffee that is brewed over time, tastes better than instant.”
  2.  Education should be a core value– be a learning and teaching company. Instead of ‘mistakes’, look at them as opportunities to get better
  3. Have a clear plan, a clear purpose and clear values
  4. Be open to learning across the company

There are 7 characteristics at WD 40 that shape their workplace culture. They are:

  1. Learning & Teaching – a dedication to it, a number of programs and a commitment to learning and learning moments.
  2. Values – part of their talent development program, everyone sits down with their coach/manager and talks about the values. Employees share how they lived and their values as part of their conversation. The number one value is ‘doing the right thing’. Creating positive lasting memories is another.
  3. Belonging – based on Maslow’s hierarchy of self actualization. The level of belonging in the company is around treating people with respect and dignity. We want to show everyone in everything that is done it is with those in mind.
  4.  Future focus – they understand where they are today is good but they need to move to a new place in the future. One value is to make it better than today
  5. Specialized skills – they have identified certain specialized skills and people that have those skills
  6.  Warriors – for a purpose, not of destruction. They fight for people, brands and for what is right. The spirit of winning
  7. Celebration – reminder that we need to take time to celebrate together.

Garry’s advice to employees is to start an idea within a small team to introduce the concepts to them. You will probably see a change in the team.

His advice to leaders is that change needs to start with them

What you will learn in this episode:

  • What it is like to work at WD 40
  • The ABCs of Trust
  • What The Tribal Culture looks like at WD-40
  • Why WD-40 Invests in People
  • How WD-40 is Excelling in Employee Engagement

Contact:

https://thelearningmoment.net

https://www.linkedin.com/in/garryridge/

 

Direct download: Garry20Ridge.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 9:08am PDT

We all have many relationships throughout our lifetime; relationships with friends, family, significant others, etc...Some relationships we have thrive, they make us happy and encourage us to be better. But some relationships are unhealthy. They stress us out, cause depression and wear us out. We have relationships that we would fight for and relationships we would not fight for.

Working for an organization is very much like being in a relationship. The question is--is it a relationship you would fight for or not? If it is one you would fight for, that is great. You are lucky and you should fight hard to keep that relationship going strong, just as you would for a relationship in your personal life.

If it is not an relationship you would fight for, and so many of us fit in this category, then you should get out of it. So many people are unsatisfied at work, but they don’t do anything about it. If this is you, do something! You owe it to yourself to be at an organization you are willing to fight for and you are the only one who can control your career path.

Direct download: Should_you_stay_at_your_organization.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 8:52am PDT

This week’s episode is all about creating meaningful employee experiences and a thriving corporate culture. We are taking a look back at some clips from CHROs, Chief People Officers, and CEOs who are helping their organizations excel in these areas.


This episode features:

  • Chairman, President and CEO of Rosetta Stone, John Hass on the corporate culture at Rosetta Stone, how he manages, how he deals with complacency and the importance of a clear company mission

  • David Fairhurst, Chief People Officer at McDonald’s explaining why a huge, iconic brand like McDonald’s is going through a transformation and how culture plays into that

  • VP of Enterprise Social Responsibility at Chick-fil-A, Dee Ann Turner on how to create an amazing corporate culture and how does extraordinary talent impact that

  • Chief People Officer at GSN Games, Peter Walmsley on how to scale employee experience in a large company with offices across the world

  • Kimberly Samon, CHRO at Weight Watchers gives an inside look into what it is like to work at Weight Watchers and some of the perks and benefits they provide.

Direct download: Mashup_07.15.2018.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 2:00pm PDT

We are obsessed with Employee Engagement in our companies today, but we give employees surveys to fill out with 50-100 questions on them. There has got to be an easier and more direct way to find out if our employees are engaged at work.

Have you ever had to fill out an employee engagement survey that was 50 to 100 questions long? I think most people these days have. Organizations are obsessed with measuring employee engagement and they feel that in order to get a true picture of how they are doing they have to ask hundreds of questions once or twice a year. But does this really give an accurate picture of engagement?

In a marriage you and your spouse have a good idea of whether or not the relationship is healthy. You could ask your spouse directly, “are you happy with our relationship”, and they would be able to answer you immediately. You wouldn’t have to give them a form with 50 questions to get that answer.

In the same way, employees know if they are engaged at work and enjoy their job and if you ask them they can give you a yes or no answer on the spot. We need to come up with a way to simplify the process. Our challenge is we have to find the one question that we should be asking employees to find out if they are happy, engaged, passionate and feel like they belong. What do you think that one question should be?

Direct download: What_is_the_one_question_we_should_ask_to_measure_employee_experience.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:24pm PDT

Tim Munden is the Chief Learning Officer at Unilever. Tim has worked there since 2000, holding roles such as Senior European HR Manager, VP HR – Unilever Food Solutions Americas and VP HR for their Global Business Services.

Unilever is found in over 100 countries with more than 160,000 employees. Seven out of every ten households around the world contain at least one Unilever product. They produce more than 400 items - including household-name brands such as Lipton, Knorr, Dove, Axe, Hellmann’s and Suave.

Tim’s career started to have focus when someone asked him two questions:

  1. What do you really love?

- he answered human beings

  1. What do you want to learn about?

- for Tim it was how companies and communities can allow people to be their very best

What are your big challenges at Unilever?

  1. Unlocking the characteristics of learning
  2. Unlocking agility. Encouraging people to be constantly curious and courageous.
  3. Getting rid of the stigma around mental health. The goal is that people would feel free to share this illness with their line managers.

The top initiative at Unilever is to ensure that every employee is one click/chat away from the well-being help they need – via phone or internet. For example, legal advice, or mental and physical health support.

Tim’s advice for managers is to know how to answer-- what is the purpose of our business? Keep asking why, why, why. Go on the journey with the senior leadership team.

Also, ask yourself what is the business case of the potential of all of your people. All the passion and energy. What is the price of not doing this?

Tim’s advice for employees is to make sure you challenge your own humanity, don’t check it at the door. Don’t be shy to bring yourself to work.

What you will learn in the episode:

  • What is ‘reverse mentoring’?
  • What Unilever is doing to help their people find their purpose
  • Why do companies need to focus on purpose?
  • What learning looks like at Unilever and how it has evolved over the last 25 years
  • How to create a culture of curiosity and hunger to learn at work

Contact:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/timmunden/

Direct download: Tim20Munden20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 5:16pm PDT

Corporate culture is really hard to define, but I think it can be defined as the side effects of working for your organization. Take the example of some well-known prescription drugs that are out on the market today. You see advertisements for them on TV and they list off a huge list of potential side effects that could happen to you as a result of taking the medicine. Some side effects include hair loss, weight gain, bleeding from the eyes or even death.

You may sit there and watch those commercials and think, who would take these medicines when they have all of these potential side effects. But the fact is, many of us experience these same side effects from the organization we work for. Due to work stress, burnout, bad leaders etc… we experience hair loss, weight gain, arguments with our spouses and sometimes even death.

The question I pose to executives is, if I were to bottle up what it’s like to work at your organization into a pill form, would you swallow it? If the answer is no, how can you expect your employees to swallow that pill if you aren’t willing to?

If you are not willing to swallow that pill, you have to ask yourself why not and what can we do to fix it. How can you create an organization where you yourself would swallow that pill?

Direct download: how_to_tell_if_you_have_a_good_or_bad_corporate_culture.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 4:06pm PDT

Welcome to another episode of The Future of Work Podcast. With this week being a holiday week in the States, the format for this episode is a little bit different. Instead of the usual format where I interview one guest every episode, for this week’s episode we are going to hear clips from multiple past guests on the topic of Big Data and Analytics.

You will hear from the Chief Learning Officer at SAP, the CTO of Dell EMC’s Services in their Big Data Practice, the Global Head of People Analytics at PayPal, the President and CEO of Humanyze and others today.

I get a lot of questions about this topic, so I hope that this episode is helpful, interesting and motivating and I hope it will inspire you to think about how you can leverage these concepts and ideas inside of your organization.

 

What You Will Learn In This Episode:

  • How to define Big Data
  • How to start using People Analytics in your organization
  • How companies like Humanyze use sensors to gather data in real time and how companies leverage that data
  • Important tips, tricks and advice on how to use the data you gather
  • How to use data and analytics to track retention and attrition
Direct download: Mashup20Podcast_July202018.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 9:01am PDT

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