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During this time of layoffs and economic uncertainty, HR plays a big role in removing obstacles so people can do their best work and feel valued. But do people feel like organizations don’t care about them as a person? How should HR help employees being laid off and employees remaining? And how do you ensure a good employee experience no matter the generation, culture, and work norms differences? We invited Kelly Gonzalez, Director of Employee Experience & DEI at Motive, to join one of our podcast episodes to answer those questions and more. Let’s first start with finding out more about Motive.

What is Motive?

According to Motive’s LinkedIn profile:

Motive, formerly KeepTruckin, builds technology to improve the safety, productivity, and profitability of businesses that power the physical economy. We serve more than 120,000 businesses, across a wide range of industries including construction, field service, agriculture, trucking and logistics, delivery, and more.

At Motive, we are committed to building a company that creates products customers love and fostering a culture that enables people to do their best work. We are looking for people from all backgrounds who want to make an impact on the millions of businesses that power the physical economy.

Who is Kelly Gonzalez?

I had a great chat with Kelly Gonzalez on our podcast. Here’s more information based on her LinkedIn profile:

Demonstrated history of engaging and developing employees and fostering a values centered culture. Passionate advocate for historically underserved communities. Former #tech HR leader @Tesla and @SolarCity. Protector of the earth, with a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) focused in Environmental Biology and Management from UC Davis.

Now, let’s dig into the topic of the podcast, How HR Problems Are A Moving Target. 

What Are Your Thoughts About The Current State Of HR?

We see all the headlines with massive layoffs in a lot of tech companies. In HR you have to manage those layoffs, and it’s hard to do well. It’s important for HR leaders to help direct the executive team on the best way to treat employees the right way. And, it’s important to not only think about the people that were laid off, but also about the people that remain. Everyone gets impacted with layoffs.

Do People Understand How Layoffs Are Such A Challenge For HR?

It’s important that people understand it’s not typically HR making these business decisions. HR’s role is to guide and give the data to executives in order to make the right decisions. But at the end of the day, I don’t expect them to empathize with HR at that moment. The employee is the one who has this major life change happening. Hopefully, HR teams know how to build a brand around empathy and that people do know they care. 

What Is The Impact For The People Who Remain Employed?

If they are in the company that’s being acquired, they have to make a deliberate change in mindset that it’s not the company that it was before. They need to now align with a new mission, make new friends, and make a choice to connect again. If not, they could spiral into not having faith in the executive team, not feeling valued, or feeling guilt that they weren’t chosen to be laid off. They must stay motivated so they can avoid burnout.

What Is Burnout And How Can Companies Help Employees?

Burnout is the feeling of being overwhelmed by all you have to do. Feeling like you’re not enough and you have to do more. Organizations can address this by encouraging employees to take care of themselves, celebrate wins, and let them take time in between big projects. It’s important for companies to prioritize and be clear about what they want employees to do. Employees also have a responsibility to recognize physical and emotional signs of burnout within themselves. Focus on gratitude, hugs, nature, and positive messages. Ownership needs to happen on both sides.

Is Employee Personalization A Good Direction For HR To Pursue?

Employee personalization has been a hot topic over the last few years, where they are viewed as customers and get what they like. There is a lot of power in AI and machine learning. For employees, yes we can provide content they want. And from an HR perspective we have to provide what they need with benefits and policies. But there must be a balance. It’s also a fact that there aren’t as many dollars that go toward employee experience. Not everyone realizes the power of it and how it impacts customers. Right now, money to create a great employee experience is a nice to have versus a must have.

Discover More

There’s much more we cover in the podcast, such as:

  • How do you ensure a good employee experience with so many employees from different generations and cultures?
  • How do a company’s values affect the employee experience?
  • How do you provide community for people from different generations, cultures, etc.? 
  • And more!

Listen to the whole podcast here: How HR Problems Are A Moving Target. Enjoy!