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TecHRseries Interview with Wendy Rand, Chief Human Resources Officer at InMoment

Wendy Rand, Chief Human Resources Officer at InMoment takes a few minutes to share some of her best practices in HR while discussing her views on what HR leaders need to do in today’s new normal to ensure a better work culture…

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Tell us a little about yourself Wendy, and your journey in tech..

What most interested me in the opportunity at InMoment and tech was the chance to improve the employee experience as a way to drive company growth.  I first learned about the experience space from my most recent employer in the ski industry – Vail Resorts.   Their mission was to create an experience of a lifetime for employees so that they in turn could create an experience of lifetime for the guest.  The goal was to live and feel the experience to better connect with the guest.  That concept really resonated for me and I think it can help to take InMoment to the next level as we continue to expand and grow.

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Tell us about some recent people development initiatives and programs from your journey that have seen early success.

I have found that initiatives I’ve led that develop manager capability to effectively lead expanded teams and to drive change during an acquisition integration are the most effective.  Additionally, it’s especially powerful to treat all employees like new hires when you are building a newly combined organization and culture, ensuring you reveal and enhance critical moments that matter to them in the talent lifecycle, while creating line of sight between business strategy and their day-to-day work.  This approach helps to prioritize areas of greatest impact for experience improvement focus.

When planning training and development programs, within B2B and Tech today, what are some of the missing elements that you feel HR teams need to work on more with other business heads to streamline?

We need to understand what problem we are trying to solve in conjunction with business leaders to ensure a focused, flexible and scalable solution that is measurable and aligned with desired business results.  One of the biggest challenges and opportunities in doing so is to create solutions that can be effectively applied to a global workforce.

What have been some of your most commonly used HR Technologies over the years?

A few are: Peoplesoft, Successfactors (talent acquisition and talent development), Service Now (manager/employee self service), and multi-rater/upward feedback technology.

What should HR leaders keep in mind when identifying high performing or high potential talent in the hierarchy using technology?

Having access to the right data and being data-driven is fundamental to identifying the right talent to create a pool of future leaders for the organization. Technology is indeed an aid, but it relies upon both upstream and downstream HR capabilities: a talent management strategy, an employment brand, and the ability to execute upon that brand throughout and across the employee lifecycle.

Technology is just one input to enable the identification of high performing/high potential talent. Ultimately, it’s the talent conversation and development actions that are most important – whether it be horizontal across the organization to calibrate on high performing/high potential talent or in the two way developmental feedback component between manager and employee to unlock his/her potential.

As workplace trends change in light of COVID-19 and employees still battle to adjust on several fronts, how do you feel today’s CHROs should step in to enable businesses and teams? 

Employers in the tech space seem to more naturally apply the concept of work-life integration than in other industries, a concept critical to employee retention, particularly now, in light of the challenges COVID-19 is placing on working families.

CHROs can enable businesses and teams in this environment

1) by focusing on mental health and wellness to provide resources for employees and their families to navigate the pandemic,

2) creating connection opportunities to promote inclusivity and a sense of belonging while the workforce is operating remotely and

3)  strengthening the relationship between the employee and his/her manager by building capability for leaders to effectively manage a remote workforce

Can you talk about some of the most innovative hiring trends in tech you’ve seen in the recent years?

Tech has been earlier to the game than most industries in recognizing the criticality of the concept of work-life integration.  Tech companies are offering an experience where individuals can integrate their personal and professional lives.  Younger generations require this, and also require more purpose-filled work.  As a result, tech companies are starting to understand who they are from a culture standpoint, looking beyond a candidate’s core skill set, also assessing for style/culture fit when selecting candidates.

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Keeping this in mind, it’s critical for organizations to deliberately brand themselves as an employer of choice, then ensure that at each moment that matters throughout the employee lifecycle (note: this may involve employee-driven moments, i.e., a spouse job status change, versus an employer-driven moment, i.e., a performance review), employees are given an opportunity to communicate with the organization about whether or not their actual experience is matching their expectations set by the employment brand as part of recruitment and hiring. Where gaps emerge, the organization must take action to realign actual experience with expectations.

Additionally, the evolution of AI has greatly improved the ability to source, attract, and select talent in today’s world, expanding an organization’s capability to reach a truly global audience.  Where in the past a company lived through a one dimensional job ad in a newspaper or jobsite, social media and video interview conferencing trends have revolutionized what would typically be an impersonal candidate experience.  Now more than ever, we have the capability to speak to someone in Singapore by sending a link or uploading a video to a social media forum that can reach thousands of people.

Tell us about the employee culture and experience at InMoment and a few of your plans in enhancing core policies and processes?

InMoment recently acquired Maritz CX and we’ve been integrating the acquisition in the middle of the pandemic across our operations in multiple countries.  I joined the organization during this time while the integration was in progress, and have a vision to create a global, inclusive, connected, talent-focused, high performing organization.  As we build the newly combined organization, we have an opportunity to shape our culture.  With that in mind, I’ve engaged the employee base to paint a future picture of what our core values of Bold, Human, and Invested, definition of high performance, and great leader traits could look and feel like.  We will continue to have a two way dialogue with them as we design and evolve our global people practices in support of this aspirational culture.

What are a few parting tips on what companies and HR leaders should keep in mind as they shape their strategies in 2021 amid the new normal?

Clearly define the problem you are trying to solve in conjunction with your business stakeholders as you develop strategies in the new “normal”.

Ensure the employment brand you are creating aligns with your culture, people practices in the talent lifecycle, and the moments that matter to employees so that actual employee experience aligns with the expectations set by the employment brand in recruitment and hiring.  Where gaps emerge, prioritize to realign actual experience with expectations.  In other words, line of sight is critical to success: the connection between company values, culture, practices, the employee’s work/role, and how HR enables it.

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We have the advantage in tech to operate remotely more effectively than in some other industries.  Leverage that capability in how we think about the talent landscape – it expands talent pool possibilities, development assignments, and provides more flexibility on geographic location.  Shaping the desired culture is more important than ever, and the need for the development of great leaders and high performing teams will continue – we just need to challenge ourselves in creative and innovative ways to do so.

InMoment

InMoment helps clients improve experiences at the intersection of value—where customer, employee, and business needs come together. With their hyper-modern technology platform, decades of domain authority, and global teams of experts, theyr deliver a focus on Experience Improvement (XI) to help customers own the moments that matter.

An innovative HR executive with a passion for scaling businesses and cultures, Wendy has had an impressive career in various HR Business Partner and Finance leadership roles across industry leading global companies including Vail Resorts, TransUnion, Fonterra, Jones Lang LaSalle, Diageo, Honeywell, and AT&T. Before InMoment, she most recently was a member of the senior leadership team who successfully married the people, culture, process, and systems of Park City Mountain Resort and Canyons Resort to create ‘Park City Mountain’, the largest ski resort in the United States.

She is an avid skier (boarder too!) and traveler and enjoys wine and vegetarian cooking. An adventure seeker, Wendy once jumped off the highest bungee jump in the world (Pipeline/Skipper’s Canyon, Queenstown, NZ) on the way home from a semester exchange at the Melbourne Business School in Australia.

Wendy has a Bachelor of Science from Lehigh University, as well as a Master of Business Administration and Master of Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University.

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