HR Mavericks

Eddy’s HR Mavericks Podcast

People Success: What Work Will Look Like in 2023 and Beyond w/ Kelly Loudermilk

In episode 76 we talk with Kelly Loudermilk about what she thinks will happen in the people industry during 2023.
Episode 76
Nobody can see the future. But Kelly Loudermilk, talent innovator at BuildHR, has a knack for predicting HR trends. In episode 27 of the HR Mavericks podcast, she predicted that 2022 would see an anti-work movement. Now, she’s back to discuss what she thinks will happen in the people industry during 2023.In this episode, we talked about:
  • How people ops has transformed the workplace
  • What the term “people success” means—and why it’s important
  • How the people industry had been impacted by the 2022 layoffs
  • Why Kelly believes HR will have to adopt a “less is more” mentality
  • How to become a true partner with your employer (even when times are tough)
Kelly Loudermilk
Kelly Loudermilk
Talent Innovator, disruptor of the status quo, and proud HR Nerd, Kelly Loudermilk, has been transforming HR for over a decade as an HR Consultant & HR Department of One. She works with executives and managers to change the way Talent is defined, recruited, and developed. She has a Masters of Science in Employment and Labor Law, is part of SHRM National, SHRM MileHigh, Association for Talent Development, along with SCORE Mentoring for Small Business Owners, and is SHRM-SCP, MASTER PERFORMANCE CONSULTANT and Talent Optimization Certified.
Full Transcript
[00:00:00] Garrett Jestice: Welcome to the next episode, the HR Mavericks podcast. I'm Garrett Jestice, and today I'm joined by a familiar face we have with this Kelly Loudermilk who is a talent innovator at BUILD HR. Kelly, how are you doing today?

[00:00:17] Kelly Loudermilk: I am doing well, snow on the ground, getting ready for the holidays, so very, very festive

[00:00:24] Garrett Jestice: it's coming up quick here. We were just talking before you and I jumped on here about. How you and Colorado and me and Utah, how there's so many similarities, especially when it comes to that weather. And we just both got hit with a bunch of snow recently. Huh?

[00:00:37] Kelly Loudermilk: Yes, I am the shoveler in the family, so I shovel the snow, as a workout and it was pretty wet packed, meaning it's heavier for those who don't get snow

[00:00:47] Garrett Jestice: Yep. So for those of you not in Colorado or Utah, it sounds like you need to come for some ski trip or snowboarding trip this winter, because we're getting some good snow back, right? So well. Kelly, it's so great to have you back on the show. For those, who have been listeners of HR Mavericks for a while, you might recognize Kelly's name.

Kelly was actually a previous guest on episode 27, way back last year, about a year ago. She joined us right around the same time to really talk about a trend she was seeing and predicting for 2022, which at that time, Anti work movement. So we have, that's a really great episode. I know we talked about that, and it's interesting to see how some of that played out in this last year too with, you know, some of the stuff we see in the mid media.

It's still, it's still happening, right.

[00:01:32] Kelly Loudermilk: Absolutely. the pivoting point is unionizing between Starbucks and the different locations. That's gonna be the next thing in that regard. That's gonna really take off.

[00:01:42] Garrett Jestice: Awesome. So, because Kelly is so great at reading her crystal ball about what's coming in the world of hr, we asked her, we wanted her to come back and talk about something similar for. What is, what do, what do you see as you've worked with, you know, so many companies as well. So we're gonna get into that.

But before we do, tell our listeners just a little bit more about you and your background and what your company build HR does.

[00:02:05] Kelly Loudermilk: Yeah, so, my background is essentially anything and everything people related. So I've been in HR department of one, and I've also been a part of a team. I've managed companies as small as three people, and I've worked with companies as large as 15,000. And I've scaled seven HR departments from a department of one to a department of many.

and so I've worked with CEOs and VPs as well as down to frontline warehouse workers and across all sorts of, industries as well. Tech is probably one of my favorite industries, and essentially what I do is I work with companies to help facilitate in filling the gaps around their people so that.

[00:02:44] Kelly Loudermilk: Be anything related to compliance, to people coaching, to leadership development, anything and everything in that regard. But that is me in a nutshell.

[00:02:53] Garrett Jestice: I love it. And we love the expertise that you shared with the HR Mavericks community, and so thank you for being involved in being here with us to share some of that expertise today. So should we jump in ready for.

[00:03:04] Kelly Loudermilk: Let's do it.

[00:03:05] Garrett Jestice: Okay, so as we talked about again, what do we, what do we talk about on this episode, similar to last year, we want to talk about, you know, some of the trends, some of the things that you're seeing that you feel like will impact, you know, the people industry, if you will, in 2023 and beyond.

And just before, we jumped on here, you were mentioning this article. That you saw that kind of introduced a new term of people success and you know, there've been so many names for HR or you know, people, operations or so many different variations of that. And this one kind of introduced this new idea that's maybe just barely starting to catch on, which is people success.

So tell us a little bit more about that article and what you like about that term, people success.

[00:03:49] Kelly Loudermilk: So it was actually a job description. A company was hiring for it and the title. People success partner, and I loved that because just like an HR business partner, I think if we really start to think about the people's success, it's really important. So I wanted to to correct that real quick, but what I.

What most people learn in HR now that it's actually a degree , I didn't get that degree. but is It's very fundamentally traditional in the 1950s about how to get the most out of the people with very little decision making, right? And that was what really led to product management, time management, everything that's traditional in HR. People ops was born within the last decade or so to really transform the way we think about people in the workplace because that fundamental knowledge of HR no longer works.

That finger pointer, that principle, if you will, that kept all the rules in place. That's still required to an extent, but people ops basically allowed that to evolve into the workplace that we have now. And there are still some companies that keep that separate. Some companies that still believe HR is HR and people ops is

people ops. I believe they're interchangeable because technically they should be doing the exact same thing. I feel like after reading that job description, people success, that kind of clicked for me where I was like, that's the next evolution of people in the workplace is we think about employee experience.

Now we're talking about the human in the workplace, the human experience, and what does that look like? And I think very similarly, We should be thinking about the success of people and that can encompass a lot more than just the compliance and the development, but also that human element or that human experience and that success partnership between the employer employee.

And I loved that cause I thought it was super interesting and something that I think will actually take off, especially after this year with all of the layoffs and the economy. Shifting, as well as this anti work movement of people wanting more from their employers from a partnership perspective.

So I think it's something that we'll start to see more and more of beyond, you know, 2023 and beyond.

[00:05:55] Garrett Jestice: Yeah, I think you're absolutely right. I really, really like that idea. And you know, for, for me coming. More of a marketing background, especially in software and technology companies is where I've spent a lot of my time. marketers in that space are familiar with this idea of customer experience, right?

It's been something that's been talked about for the last 10 plus years. How you're thinking about the ex, the holistic experience that your customers are having and delighting them at every stage of that journey. And you know, that's kind of evolved like you talked. That has, that has evolved into human experience or employee experience as a big topic in trend, especially in the HR space.

So similar mindset. How do you approach and look at the holistic experience of your people and delight them at every stage of their journey with your company? And you know, similarly, a lot of technology companies have a discipline of customer success, right? It's a department that is related to support, but it's about helping customers find a lot of success with your product or your services, right?

And so I like that analogy because I think it follows suit, right? With human resources kind of evolving to this mindset of, and maybe literally to. People success, like how do we help the people at our organization to be successful? How do we think about the holistic experience that they're having with our company and how do we make it better?


[00:07:19] Kelly Loudermilk: Yeah, and it's a partnership as it should be, and that's something that that whole anti work movement is demanding, is they want more of that partnership. And I think that we're seeing that shift to this day and that with all of the massive layoffs, there were some good companies that really stood out on treating people with.

Dignity, knowing it was difficult, even accepting the responsibility that they made wrong decisions. And I think that's huge. And then also, we saw really bad apples in this case where it was just shut off and no communication. And I think people's success in the future is really around that holistic view of that partnership and treating people.

The way that they wanna be treated. The platinum rule, it's not how you wanna be treated, it's how you, they wanna be treated. And so I think that's something we're gonna see shift over time. It's going to be very microburst at at a time, but as we start to incorporate more and more about the human experience and the overarching.

Psych, you know, psychology and biology that comes into the workplace, whether you're physically there or virtually there. I think there's going to be a lot of more science that are gonna be introduced into how we frame or create frameworks for the workplace to ensure success. And that's gonna be really interesting to see.

[00:08:34] Garrett Jestice: Yeah, I wanna double click on that. So tell us more about what that, what does that mean for 2023? So what do you. we might see more of, related to this idea of people success as we move into this next year and beyond.

[00:08:48] Kelly Loudermilk: So this year I think is gonna be a very, very micro movement. I don't think there's gonna be a huge leap into people's success, mainly because of what we've seen the economy do, especially around jobs and the people related jobs. Most importantly because they're the ones that got cut outside of sales and customer success.

And so your recruiters and your HR business partners and your admins, a lot of them got cut. And I think what you're going to see as a trend in general regarding anyone who's still working, whether they're a department of one now, or a department of many and they have less to work with... so I think less is more when it comes to the expectations that the people operations team are going to be working with.

So they're going to have to have, more ingenuity. They're gonna have to be innovative. They're gonna have to think of how to work things together without having big tech systems or without having, you know, a huge team to facilitate it. So they're going to have to do a lot more with a lot less, and I think that's a really big opportunity for HR Tech in 2023.

I really believe that partnership mentality is gonna be huge for the people team in 2023 with HR Tech. They're going to expect more out of their partners in the HR tech space to facilitate what they need because they have to work with a lot less. And so having a lot more client interaction, having a lot more, workarounds that may facilitate, you know, forms within Microsoft or forms within Google instead of like an actual application within the system, but having more of.

Design thinking mentality to break the mold and do a lot more with a lot less. That's gonna be the biggest move, but that partnership. I think we'll start to ignite some fires and some flames and some passion within people's spaces, and they're going to think of that partnership as, how can I create this type of partnership with my customers, who are my consumers, and that's all of our internal customers and any company.

And I think they're going to be thinking, how can I partner with this particular part of the company better? What can I do with them? And that manager or that leader to facilitate. More with less. And how can I do more for them without having to create more work for others or myself? Like what are some of those small things and there's small hanging fruit everywhere.

We just don't really think about it until we ask or we start to brainstorm or tear apart things and you're like, oh my God, that would be an easy win. Right? And so I think what will happen is this partnership with HR Tech will be a requirement in, 2023 is a very, very small micro move towards people success.

And then that will start to ignite the fire for more and more people to want to go in that strategic conversation partnership route for their internal teams. And then you're going to start to see more and more conversations around people's success and what the overarching experience is beyond just the employee life cycle, because that's all we care about.

An employee experience. Like when it comes down to the terminology of. But it's beyond that. We've seen CEOs, boomerang, the c e o of Disney just got hired back the previous one. He boomerang, like anyone can be a boomerang and be successful. And I think that, you know, we want to as affiliate our brand with long-term success of individuals, whether they were separated with on a voluntary or involuntary basis, and.

It's beyond just that employee life cycle that I think people are gonna start thinking about in the future as well. So, huge, huge, huge, atmosphere, but I think it's gonna be very micro in 2023. But I think that will start that, that choose your training of thought, if you will. Going on beyond that.

[00:12:31] Garrett Jestice: I love that, and I think you're absolutely right. I what, part of what I really like about that is it's something we've talked about a lot, especially with, you know, I know a lot of our listeners are those small business HR teams of one. Right. And especially those teams are often faced with. trying to figure out how to do less with more or how to do more with less

Exactly. There you go. I, I said that and I'm like, Nope, that's not right.

[00:12:57] Kelly Loudermilk: that's where your Fortune 500 companies,

[00:13:00] Garrett Jestice: Yeah, exactly, exactly. Those small, those small businesses need to do more with less. And a lot of times they're stuck in this rut of, of really just the administrative HR work because there's so much of it, especially being that HR team of one or that small HR team.

And I love what you talked about because it's something, you know, we talk about a lot on, on this show and and others, is we need to empower those people to. Think at a more strategic level and have the time to focus on that strategic level. And a lot of times what that starts with is. Technology and partnerships and things in place to support that HR team of one.

You know, really good core HR technology should help save a lot of time and it should help automate some of the mundane tasks so you're not spending your time doing the administrative stuff and you can think about how you better partner with others across the organization to work on more of that holistic people success strategic type work.

[00:13:57] Kelly Loudermilk: Yeah, and I think, I mean, for a lot of small businesses, brokers or PEOs, Them. That was my key to success as a department of one. I was a department of one for so many years, and it is life sucking sometimes and finding those right partners, I was able to find a broker that took that entire burden off of my plate and they really took on a more active role.

And I think that's what really ignited me to do more because I no longer had to worry about that. They were, they set everything up and so finding those types of partners who are willing to. Take that time and work with you is extremely important, and I think what we're going to see is more and more people asking for that time and asking for that partnership to ensure they can get the most out of it.

Because yes, customer success is great at reaching out saying, Hey, I noticed you haven't utilized this feature in this feature, in this feature. It's not about that. It's about, Hey, I know that you originally signed on. To answer this question or solve this pain point, we now have these features. We see that you are not using them.

If you use 'em in this way, these will solve those pain points and give you back time. Let's walk through those together and actually set that up. The one thing I have learned, with everything virtual. I can't stand meetings just for meetings talk. So I have been doing a lot of working sessions, as I call them, with my team members or my managers or my leaders.

And so what I'll do is I'll actually like have an agenda where. We're gonna do some work together, we're gonna share a screen, and we're literally gonna walk through things together because their time when we say we're gonna work on things separately, it doesn't happen. And then we come back and we're like, well, there's no updates.

So I, I actually use those times now to do that, and we physically walk through it. And I think customer success will start to do that. With their partnerships, and I think more people will ask that of them because it's not just in random meeting that says, Hey, we have these features. These will help. It's like, no, how will these help?

These are what you can do and how you can build it or how you can utilize it. These are the automations within Eddy these are the automations within a. How we can connect with Zappier or Slack to create these things that you no longer have to do manually. And being creative I think will be very important to that.

And it's also something that I think is very important to the longevity of people's success, is that creativity. And we have to turn that back on because right now with everything that's going on, it is very deflating and it is turned off. And I think we have to reunite that, that flame again, and that's something that you'll see hopefully happen in 2020.

[00:16:28] Garrett Jestice: I think that's like the perfect lead in to the next question I wanted to ask, because really it's, it's really about what's the, what's then the evolution that you predict specifically to the people industry or that function or that role in 2023. We talked about, you know, some of those bigger industry changes, but what does that mean for those small HR.

Teams or the HR team of one, the people who are working in that, how does that evolve and change in 2023?

[00:16:58] Kelly Loudermilk: I would say stop bearing that burden because we do it as HR and people at professionals all the time. That's what we join for, is to help people. But don't be afraid to ask for help and lean on your partners. You pay for a service. This is what I always believe with brokers. I am paying you to help with this, or you're getting a commission based on X, right?

And I am wanting to receive a service because of that. And if we can't make this partnership a true partnership where we can both be successful, then it's not the right partnership for me. And so I am a little bit more forthcoming in that regard with my partnerships and my tech, my particular tech partners.

So I would say from a small perspective, Or an HR department of one or a leadership bearing that burden. Stop bearing that burden and share it, delegate it. Find out what you can lean on for your partnerships or what kind of services they provide, or what type of conversations you can lean from them and utilize, like I love just looking at different resources like the HR Mavericks and seeing what people share of different frameworks or different things that have worked for them.

And I. . When you can lean into those scenarios, it really helps to. Lift that burden and allow you to get to that thinking space or that creative thinking space because it starts to ignite different ideas or like, oh, that's interesting. What if we did this instead of, that won't work here because that was an Apple framework, but I like this piece and this piece.

How can I make that work for my company? And doing stuff like that, it's still a good program or it's still a great idea that you have to make it work for your company. So don't be afraid to lean in on those resources and your partnerships to facilitate, to make everything work for you so that way you can do more with less and have a network or helping hand in doing so.

So that's gonna be the biggest thing that they need to do, especially in those smaller companies, to help them be more successful and think larger picture into that people success realm,

[00:18:59] Garrett Jestice: Yeah, and I think, man, we talked about this so much on this podcast before and you and I talked about it before we jumping on here too, but yeah, it's absolutely, you're absolutely right. I think that, Especially for those small teams, and especially in this next year as we are forced to do more with less like l leveraging.

Some aspect of community partnerships, others to kind of help you so you don't have to feel like you are completely alone on your island because the truth is, if you are, you're not gonna be as successful as if you link arms with those around you, even outside your organization and inside your organization.

But you know, kind of share some of that burden. and leverage some of those partnerships, service providers, whoever else you're working with, to take on some of that. And that's the only way to really, accomplish more with less. Right.

[00:19:47] Kelly Loudermilk: Yeah, I mean, Example for me with onboarding, when I was a department of one, we could not afford a, like a survey tech, technology. And there was a lot in different H R I S as well, but we couldn't serve. Like, we just couldn't, even if it was only $3,000 w that was something that we just couldn't. Use because it's too big of an expense to justify for our size of the company.

And so it's those types of things that small businesses have to think through. It may not seem like a large amount of money to some, but to others in the actual larger schemes, it's a lot and you can't justify that. And so what I did is I created, I looked at all these different survey templates and I created that in what I had for free, either on Google Forms or Microsoft Forms, and utilize that in my process.

And whether you have teams of the chat or Slack or Skype, whatever you have, you can use those shared links and start creating scheduled messages. so if somebody's coming up, 30 day check-in, you can do those automations yourself or using Zapier or using a reminder on a calendar. You can get really, crafty, so to speak with what you have in your toolbox.

And I think you have to have the time to know what's in that toolbox and that's where, you know, leaning on others can really help. And it's just one of those things where like you don't realize what all you've gone through until you get out of it. , and we've gone through a lot this year and I think that message of just.

Nifty, crafty and smart, and navigating the different challenges that you see in people is going to continue. I think we're going to see people. Be a continued resource that's cut in most businesses where you're going to see the requirement to do more with less. And I think it's going to continue into next year if the economy does not, you know, kind of bounce back, I don't think you're gonna see a huge massive hiring correction happen in the next year.

I do think it will happen and people are gonna start hiring like crazy again because they didn't learn from their last lesson, because that happens quite often. But I do think that we will see. People become important again, as retention starts to decrease because people want that partnership. And if they're not getting that partnership, they're gonna leave.

it's not just compensation anymore. It's above and beyond. And that's something that we have to really understand. How can we impact that without having more tools to do so? And that's where that creativity comes into play.

[00:22:15] Garrett Jestice: Yeah, creativity, community, tapping into others who can help and give you some ideas. So it's awesome. So I guess the, the kind of final question here, to, as we kind of wrap this up, is what's, what, what can people, leaders do now to start preparing, right? We've talked about some of these things coming, some of the impacts that may, you know, come to, you know, those small HR teams of one or small teams.

Those people who are listening, were thinking, okay, great. So what? What do I do right now? What would you say to.

[00:22:47] Kelly Loudermilk: I would say it's the end of the year. Your account managers are either busy doing renewals or they are trying to strategize for. Next year with their clients and how to retain them. Churn is one of the biggest things with every partnership or vendor that you are dealing with right now or thinking of because people are cutting costs.

And so reach out to your account managers, find out who those account managers are. Create a strategy session of, hey, I don't know. Depending on what you've looked at in terms of your budgets, we may or may not be able to continue certain types of, services. Let's talk through how we can create a partnership that's going to be successful for us, moving forward.

Or, hey, I would love to talk to you more about how we can use this technology or this platform better. So I would say really reaching out to your partners and your. Account managers is step one, especially in the holiday season. And I think also just joining, looking at the different resources that are out there, looking at, You know, places like HR Maverick or LinkedIn communities or Facebook communities, there are so many different communities that if you just Google them, they have a plethora of information.

And I think just not being afraid to have that conversation or ask, or, you know, talk to others or join them is something you can start to do in the holiday season. because we often get really busy focused on things like open enrollment or, you know, end of year wrap up. And so, I think just adding that to your list to proactively do something for you in your profession to help you on, put that on your to-do list before the end of the year.

And I think that will help you transition into this mindset of, I need to do more with less. How can I help myself to help that mission happen in 2023? And that is something now that you can do at least to facilitate those first steps.

[00:24:35] Garrett Jestice: Yeah, it's, it's kind of preparing, you know, for, for. So that if it hasn't happened already, if a, if a business leader were to come to you and say, you, we gotta do more with less in your department, you already have some ideas on how you can go about doing that, right? You're not completely caught off guard.

So it's starting that prep work now, right?

[00:24:53] Kelly Loudermilk: And it's also really being that partner with leadership. If you want people, if we want people as an industry to truly be taken seriously and stop being just a cost center to these companies. And a lot of companies realize it's not. but a lot don't see it that way. And so you have to be a real partner.

They're worrying about how will they make money. Your job is to worry about how you keep people and keep the business growing. And that fundamental partnership is key to success. And if you're coming to the table when the CEO is saying, Hey Kelly, we gotta cut costs. I don't know where to start. Like, we gotta work through this.

It's like, Hey, I've already thought about this, of how we can save some money or utilize different resources to help X, Y, and Z. Let's sit down and talk through that, or even work up a plan together. That we can start to implement. And that shows your proactive thinking of solving this problem. And I think that will also create more trust in that relationship and, and help you become more of that strategic partner in the future as well to where when you want to create a new initiative around maybe people's success or whatever that might be, you're gonna have a lot more buy-in initially as well because you've already created that trust.

and so that's really, really difficult in the department of one or a small business to really facilitate that because it's very much. You do what I tell you, and now you have to really turn on that consultative mindset and say, if they come to me, I'm already prepared for these and I can have this conversation and be a partner for you.

[00:26:18] Kelly Loudermilk: And you have to kind of assert yourself that way to be able to prove that you are not just a cost center, but you are a strategic partner in the overall success of the business.

[00:26:27] Garrett Jestice: I love it. Kelly, I learned so much from you every time we chat. This has, it's been such a great conversation. Thank you for joining us and sharing some of your insights and knowledge with us. We'll have to do this again in about a year, if not sooner, to kind of follow up on this like we did in this last year.

So, Thank you for being with us today and sharing some of your thoughts. If there are listeners that want to get in contact with you, either to follow up on this topic, maybe they have questions about it or maybe they wanna just learn more about working with you, what's the best way for them to do that?

[00:26:57] Kelly Loudermilk: LinkedIn is actually the easiest. My website needs a little bit of updating. Not afraid or ashamed to admit that, but it's, LinkedIn is gonna be the thing that I'm most utilizing or on and active with, so that will be the easiest way to get in contact with me.

[00:27:10] Garrett Jestice: Perfect. So anyone listening who wants to connect with Kelly, we'll drop her, LinkedIn profile link, in the show notes here, soon. So Kelly, thank you again for being with us today. Hope you have a great rest of the day.

[00:27:21] Kelly Loudermilk: Thank you so much. You too.
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