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“Dynamic Feedback Can Be So Powerful” With Mary Poppen, Chief Customer Officer at Glint

“If a leadership team sets goals to make a company people-centric and commits itself to a culture of continuous feedback and growth, this…


“If a leadership team sets goals to make a company people-centric and commits itself to a culture of continuous feedback and growth, this sentiment will cascade down the organization, and employees will in turn have a sense of pride and loyalty to the company.”


I had the pleasure to interview Mary Poppen, Chief Customer Officer at Glint. Mary is responsible for driving and scaling the company’s ability to delight its customers. She was previously Global Head of Innovation Enablement at SAP SuccessFactors, and Chief Customer Officer for SAP’s Global Cloud business before that.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?

As an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist, I’ve always had a passion for connecting the dots between the employee experience and customer success. Prior to joining Glint, I served as the Global Head of Innovation Enablement at SAP SuccessFactors and Chief Customer Officer for SAP’s Global Cloud Business. Before that, I held the position of Chief Customer Officer at SuccessFactors, where I spent 11 years.

I believe Glint is a game-changer. I was drawn to Glint because I truly believe the software we afford our clients is tremendous and wanted to take on the challenge of bringing to life a customer success program that engages all Glint employees and drives the people outcomes for our customers that lead to successful organizations.

It’s been extremely rewarding working at a company that is so purpose driven and encourages employees and customers alike to engage in mission-driven work.


Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you began working at Glint?

I play softball with local community teams where I live. I wore my Glint t-shirt one night and as I walked up to the batter’s box, the catcher said “Glint? As in employee surveys? I love Glint!” I was so excited to talk to her about her experience while batting, I struck out! It was an unexpected customer interaction at an unexpected time. It’s a great example of how Glint is positively impacting employees everywhere in having a voice and helping companies make important changes that positively impact their people.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Glint is on a mission to create a world in which everyone loves their job. It doesn’t just take a look at the pulse of an organization; it finds its heartbeat.

Glint’s software enables companies to understand what is really going on with their people, what’s driving it and how it is impacting business results. For a start, our platform enables on-demand surveys, anytime feedback, and always-on pulses in addition to regularly scheduled programs, allowing data to be gathered frequently and easily. The analysis happens in real time. As results come in, the platform begins to analyze all populations and provide insights and recommended actions immediately. Without this real time glimpse, managers and leaders don’t know how to take impactful action.

These opportunities, while powered by algorithms, AI and automation, ultimately create a more people-centric and human workplace. By gaining a better understanding of their employees, companies can make strategic decisions to create a more positive and productive workplace.

For example, one major manufacturing organization was able to bust the myth that bureaucratic processes were keeping employees from feeling empowered. By harnessing Comment Analytics, they were able to quickly see that the culprit was actually leadership decision-making — a far more actionable roadblock.

In another instance, a tech company with offices in the midwest realized that their parental leave policies weren’t meeting the expectations of their employees or their future hires. Based on the insights they received with Glint, they were able to make dramatic changes to their policy that not only made them a more competitive employer, but also indicated to employees that they cared deeply about their families and their wellbeing.

These are just two of the many stories we hear from our customers on a daily basis!

Are you working on any new or exciting projects now?

Always at Glint! We focus on employee voice internally, but we also focus on customer voice everyday. We are just now launching Live Communities, which expands our online community engagement to live, interactive sessions between our customers and our internal Glint experts. We intend to help customers optimize their employee experience programs through leveraging best practices and innovations. The best way to generate thought leadership is to combine lessons learned with new ideas and continue a cycle of action and sharing. We want to facilitate this with our customers in order to deliver on our mission: To help employees be happier and more successful at work!

What advice would you give to other leaders to help their employees to thrive?

Putting the right people in the right roles is paramount for organizational success. The notion of employee engagement and success is not rocket science. However, the need to execute on it is something leaders should place at the top of their lists. The right people in the right roles with the right empowerment to deliver the most value to a company.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I had a boss earlier in my career who was very empowering. He had a way of letting me take risks and build knowledge and experience while ensuring I never failed. He recognized and supported my early career enthusiasm and channeled me to opportunities that would allow me to accelerate my career growth while creating significant results for the company. Some managers would be threatened by people who are so eager to succeed, but he provided the path to allow me to soar. I ended up in a peer role to him, and we continue to have a great relationship to this day.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I believe in giving back and helping others find opportunities for happiness and success. This applies to the world of work as well as outside of work. I continuously seek and accept opportunities to mentor other women. There are many times I have spoken with someone who didn’t feel she would be qualified for a role she clearly was, who didn’t speak up in a meeting because she wasn’t sure if her idea was good enough, whose boss was taking credit for all of her work results, etc. Sometimes people just need a little guidance or motivation to take action, and it can change their life related to their careers. I love being a mentor or coach to other women where I can share lessons learned or give those extra words of encouragement.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became The Chief Customer Officer at Glint “ and why.

  • That I could love my job this much! Joining such a purpose-driven organization allows me to see positive impacts on people every day and leaves me excited to get to work every morning.
  • How powerful dynamic feedback can be: If a leadership team sets goals to make a company people-centric and commits itself to a culture of continuous feedback and growth, this sentiment will cascade down the organization, and employees will in turn have a sense of pride and loyalty to the company.
  • When you love an organization, every day can truly be great! In working with our customers, I have seen organizations where their people are all-in. They are positive, happy and delight their customers every day by going above and beyond to deliver an amazing customer experience. They love their company and it shows. A contagious enthusiasm is spread both within and outside the organization. This in turn delivers great business results. We see this at our customers and we also see this manifesting every day at Glint.
  • A leadership team that is transparent and mission-driven can impact both their people and their customers in powerful ways: At Glint, we believe in full transparency and ongoing, candid feedback. We use our own product monthly to listen to our employees and we share feedback and take actions with each and every pulse. During our monthly company meetings, we share the employee voice results and discuss direct impact on our people and the business. It is powerful to share how people are directly impacting the business and our customers and in turn, they are even more transparent and productive.
  • Improving the lives of others is really possible with technology: The mission of Glint to help employees be happier and more successful at work is a powerful mission, and one that is possible to attain. We have seen customer results directly related to our mission — helping organizations navigate uncomfortable acquisitions and mergers, or sparking the idea to implement diversity & inclusion programs. It’s incredible to be a part of driving this kind of change for people.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would love to see “pay it forward” come to life. If everyone in the world did one kindness for someone else everyday, there would be far less negativity to go around. The kindness can be very small and not cost a thing, simply giving a compliment or asking someone how they are can go a long way in brightening someone’s day. Other kindnesses can be gestures such as opening a door for someone whose hands are full or sending a thoughtful card to someone going through a hard time. If everyone did a kindness for someone else just once a day, think of the positive domino effect on people’s lives.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”?

You can be kind and successful at the same time.


Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this 🙂

Oprah Winfrey! She is an amazing woman who is a strong leader, inspires people across the world to do good, has created her own success, leverages her success to give back in so many ways to so many, she has changed the lives of individuals and families and her bright, positive energy is contagious. I would love to have breakfast with her and discuss her top 5 career recommendations for women today. Also, if her best friend Gayle King were to stop by for breakfast, it would be even more cool. Another strong, intelligent, successful woman who has her own opinion and shares it, and is also really funny. I’m inspired by both of these women. FYI: I can work around their schedules for coordinating breakfast.


Originally published at medium.com

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