In this episode, Leeza Klimetz, Director of Human Resources at TAPPI, discusses breaking the stigma in HR by embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. She emphasizes understanding employees’ needs, creating a total rewards package that is inclusive and attractive, and supporting DEI from the top down. Clements encourages HR professionals to listen to their staff and advocate for and support them. The pandemic has helped organizations recognize the needs of workers and the importance of empathetic leadership in humanizing the workplace and recognizing employees.
- Solo HR professionals need to learn how to prioritize and lean on third party resources.
- Diversity and inclusion go beyond race and culture, and companies need to walk the walk.
- Understanding employees’ needs and communicating in a way that works for them is key.
- Breaking the stigma in HR by advocating for employees’ happiness and growth.
- Creating a total rewards package that is inclusive and tailored to employees’ needs and wants.
- Supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion from the top down by having a diverse leadership team and diverse speakers at conferences.
- Listening to employees and adapting to their changing needs and wants.
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- 03:19 – “That’s one part of HR that I love, is that it is always changing. I’m a lifelong learner, so I am constantly growing my professional development, personal development and hopefully sharing that with my leadership and my staff as well. But yeah, you have to figure out what fits with your team, and that may change tomorrow. And you just have to keep on top of that and understand how you can keep the company flowing.”
- 06:13 – “And I think that if anyone is starting their DNI education, whether it’s personally or in the corporate world, you need to really understand that and dig deep into each category. You know, it’s not just about race and culture, it’s about gender, sexual orientation, military status, disability age. And really from a corporate standpoint, figuring out how you can make your workplace inclusive for all of those people from the top down.”
- 09:13 – “And I know one thing that you really are passionate about is humanizing the workplace and leading with empathy. Empathy. And you can’t do that without getting to know the people that you are working with.”
- 10:42 – “That is so important because, you know, I remember when, when I was a leader, like I would offer, you know, the people that I was working with, opportunities that I may have wanted, but they’re not me. So those opportunities, that gave them a little bit of anxiety.”
- 08:40 Lindsay: “But someone who’s doing more of that work that you need focus in your eyes on, they’re not able to access their phone or email right away. So how do you kind of find a balance for communication?”
Leeza: “Yeah. You have to, to really figure out your staff and what, and that’s with everything, you know, even outside of communication, but what, what fits with them? Do you, you know, maybe phone communication for this employee is great and email communication, but then there are employees that you need to be face-to-face with and have more of a hands-on role with them.”