Diversity Woman Magazine

WIN 2019

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

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We Mean Business > 22 D I V E R S I T Y W O M A N W i n t e r 2 0 1 9 d i v e r s i t y w o m a n . c o m By February, she was working all day, coming home and having dinner, putting her kids to bed, and then going back to work until midnight or 1 a.m. "at went on for a few months with- out a light at the end of the tunnel," she says. "Finally my husband asked me, 'How long are you going to kill yourself?' We decided as a family to cut our income in half. I just needed a break and figured I'd look for something else later." at same day in February, Kerry Wekelo's desk phone started ringing. She picked up, heard Nagalli's news, and sprang into action. As the firm's managing director of human resources and operations at the time, she was keenly aware of Nagalli's contribution to the company and wanted to do anything she could to convince her to stay. "e first thing I did was to sit with Priscila and listen to her pain points," says Wekelo, the author of Culture Infu- sion: 9 Principles to Create and Maintain a riving Organizational Culture. "At that point, she had 10 trips scheduled, which was creating a lot of stress. We were able to take those 10 down to two right there and enabled her to do the other [meet- ings] remotely." Wekelo knew losing Nagalli "would have affected [the company] tremen- dously." Ultimately, Nagalli decided to stay after a number of changes were implemented, among them decreasing future travel, realigning the expectations for her role, and bringing on several new employees to cover a portion of her work pipeline. "I saw that there was hope," Nagalli says. "I love my job, I love my company, and Kerry was very interested in acting in the moment, which helped a ton." The top-performer conundrum Some may argue that Actualize Consult- ing was lucky Nagalli decided to stay. is isn't always the case, especially when it comes to top performers—those em- ployees who are so good at what they do that they get pinged by recruiters weekly (sometimes daily) on LinkedIn with of- fers for higher salaries and cushier ben- efits than offered at their current compa- nies. Are these superstars getting pinged more than high achievers were just a few years ago? e numbers point to the affirmative, and for good reason. Today's job market is hotter than it's been in decades: in September, October and November 2018, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics announced the unemployment rate was down to 3.7 percent, the lowest since late 1969. e difference is stark, especially when you consider that the US unemployment rate was 4.8 percent as recently as January 2017. With a job market this tight, top per- formers hold a tremendous amount of power, and employers are racing to figure out how to attract, retain, and continu- ally motivate top talent whose options are nearly limitless. "e talent market is unprecedented right now," says Katie Burke, chief people officer at HubSpot, an inbound marketing soft- ware company based in Cambridge, Massa- chusetts, with 2,400 employees worldwide. "Companies used to be able to control hiring messages with brochures. Now candidates are doing their own research on Glassdoor, on social media, on LinkedIn." Burke likens this change to the general shift in how consumers make everyday purchases. We are more likely to down- load an app, she says, if a trusted friend has recommended it to us. "It's the same with the employee ex- perience. Say you go to a cocktail party and someone asks you about how work is going," she says. "You may say 'busy' or 'fine,' but if you are someone from HubSpot, and a top performer at that, we hope that you instead say, 'Great, let me tell you about my amazing job.' We are thinking about the experience of the employee at all times." Attracting superstars According to Dianne Campbell, American Express's vice president of global diversi- ty and inclusion, the recruitment process starts way before a company identifies a candidate for an interview. Recruitment is always taking place, she says, and top talent in particular is evaluating em- ployers on a variety of media, including reviews on Glassdoor and on corporate, external-facing websites. "What does your website look like? Does it convey that you are working on innovative things?" she asks. "e face that you're putting out reflects the type of organization you are and person you want to attract. Look at the images on your site. Are those images reflective of a diverse workforce? "As a woman of color, if I look at a web- site and don't see anyone else who looks like me, I won't be sure it is the right place for me. is may seem like small change, but it has a high impact." Top performers are also looking to screen employers based on culture, so it's all the better if an organization includes a page on its site about the employee experience. With this in mind, HubSpot created Culture Code, a slide deck that ex- plains its culture to anyone who happens upon the site. "Our Culture Code has been viewed more than 4 million times," says Burke. ISTOCKPHOTOS

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