We all know it—the old way of living and working are no longer working. To thrive in this new world, we need to tap into our collective humanity. We need to learn how to connect with ourselves and each other in new ways. We need a Human Revolution. And Human Resources will be at the heart of it.
Revolutions always start small. So in partnership with SAP SuccessFactors, we asked three top Human Resources executives to tell us their impact story—big or small. We wanted to know how they’ve started the revolution in their respective workplaces, how they are leading change that impacts work and life for the better, inspiring others to do the same. Here’s what they said:
Global HR Services Leader for EY
“Taking time to truly talk with someone (staff person) about what she was struggling with. Really listening and connecting her to [people and resources] who could help.”
“One of my leaders [was] struggling to think about the next career step for him as he was too busy to ‘spend the time’ thinking about himself. [I] encouraged him to take a substantial [amount of] time off. His response now about his career moves (after taking time away) was with more clarity and more energy than he had in a long time.”
Senior Vice President, Human Resources at Corning Incorporated
“I had four kids under [age] eight when I was given a major leadership role. At that same time, the global financial crisis happened and we, as many companies had to, do a restructuring. I worked around the clock to make sure we took care of our people well.
Over a period of months, I worked 12-15 hours a day. I missed many many moments with my family. I was very stressed, over-tired and guilt ridden. And, then my body gave out on me. I had a major surgery to correct a blocked colon. And laying in the hospital for seven days, I had my moment—if I did not prioritize my health and my family, I was going to literally die.
It is hard to change, but it was easy to define what I needed to do with my family and that helps me stay on track, and helps me feel committed to saying ‘no’ when I need to.”
Vice President, Global People Services & HR Transformation at Tapestry
“So I’m not from the U.S. originally, I’m from Australia and for the last 16 years, I’ve lived in Hong Kong before moving to New York. I was a little afraid to be honest with you because corporate America is very different to Asia and different organizations have their different ways of doing things. But I’m quite informal and flexible, so the thing I did when I first got here was have meetings with all of my direct reports where I basically said ‘I’m always available,’ ‘It doesn’t matter what time of the day,’ and ‘your success is my success’ and all that type of stuff.
Because of my job over the last year and a half, me particularly but also, members of my team have travelled quite a bit internationally so me telling them proactively to ease up a bit, spend some time at home and make sure they celebrate important days with their family was a high priority for me.
What I didn’t realize was I wasn’t walking the talk because I wasn’t doing the same thing for me. I was basically running myself into the ground and doing a lot of travel. My story is that my team actually came to me based over what I’d done with them over the last year and a half and they basically forced me to do the same thing I’ve been telling them to do. To me, that really stuck in my mind. It had a big impact on me personally. I’m in the process of trying to make that change and I’m halfway there.”
How have you started the revolution? Tell us your Human Revolution story and be apart of the revolution. Remember, it starts small.
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This article was produced by Thrive Global and sponsored by SAP SuccessFactors.