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In this episode, Kate Walker an HR Specialist and the Founder and CEO of Kate Walker Consulting. Kate shares her wisdom and experiences, discussing the importance of learning from mistakes and the service-oriented nature of HR. She also addresses the stigma surrounding the industry and highlights successful initiatives she has implemented. Additionally, the episode delves into the benefits of engagement surveys in revolutionizing companies by improving communication, cultivating feedback, and creating a stronger workplace. Finally, she talks about her work as an HR consultant and empowers women to take chances and go after their goals.
The Wisdom and Experiences of a Woman in Human Resources
Kate Walker, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, an accomplished Leadership Consultant and HR expert, is the Founder and CEO of Kate Walker Consulting. With a career spanning several renowned global companies, including Nintendo and the United States Tennis Association, she possesses a wealth of experience in optimizing leadership, talent strategies, and human resources. Her journey culminated in becoming a published author, cementing her status as an authority on executive leadership, personal branding, and speaking to influence. In her upcoming masterclass, Kate Walker unveils the key steps that transformed her dreams into a published book, sharing invaluable insights on achieving career milestones and embracing self-empowerment. Here are a few of the topics we’ll discuss on this episode of People Analytics Podcast:
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- The HR industry is rooted in service, with professionals helping individuals navigate various aspects of their careers and lives.
- The perception of HR is shifting, with the emphasis now placed on HR professionals being partners and collaborators, rather than enforcers.
- Successful HR initiatives often involve team engagement exercises, such as SWOT analyses, to gather diverse perspectives and drive actionable solutions.
- Refreshing and revamping company meetings can greatly enhance communication and engagement.
- Kate’s book is set to release on October 24th and she is using this time to build excitement and anticipation.
- She is feeling a mix of emotions during this time, from empowerment and excitement to moments of doubt and vulnerability.
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- 00:25 – “I’ve always been service-oriented, but at this point in my career, my “why” is taking all of my knowledge, all of my wisdom, all of my learnings, all of the things. And in my career, I’ve seen behind the curtain, in the C-suite behind closed doors, taking all of that information and sharing it with people, letting them know the answers to their questions or burning questions.”
- 03:25 – “Coming to HR and we’re servicing people, we’re helping people. And people coming to HR have small questions or have really large life-impacting questions. We’re talking about their career, we’re talking about their life, we’re talking about their compensation, we’re talking about maybe they’re taking a job with the company and they’ve got to move cross-country. The questions that come into an HR department are endless. And I loved it. I really loved when someone felt like they had been successfully helped, or the family got the information that they needed, or they got some information or advice that would help them in their career.”
- 07:00 – “I feel like the industry is shifting a little bit in that you do see HR as a partner. And I think that that’s so important. I know I want to be seen as a partner when I’m in this work. I don’t want to be seen as the HR police. I think you and I talked about in an earlier conversation, that’s not how I want to operate. So I know when I’m in an HR culture, I’m on an HR team in an HR division, I really want the vision for that work to be partnership and not the HR sheriff.”
- 09:56 – “That’s another tool that I really am very fond of. Our engagement surveys, company-wide engagement surveys, which can also be called pulse checks, where we’re really getting a temperature for the company, their thoughts on how’s leadership going? How’s your personal development or your professional development going? What are your thoughts on the benefits? So there’s a wide variety of questions that we can ask in an engagement survey where we can get back the quantitative data, we can get “75% of the company feels this way” as well as qualitative data. I love qualitative data because that’s really like the rich data where people share their perspectives and points of view.”
- 13:30 – “So that’s something I think companies need to be mindful of, what surveys are we doing at the company? How often, what’s the cadence? So I think for a company-wide engagement survey, I’d recommend once a year to do an engagement survey because then people know we can also measure the results year over year. So I think that you don’t want to give people survey fatigue and then you need to know what are we asking and why, what are we getting at? And certainly you don’t want to ask questions that you would never be able to work on or fix.”