Unlocking The Humanity of Work With Mindy Honcoop


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Episode Overview:

In this enlightening podcast episode, Skot Waldron delves into the profound conversation with Mindy Honcoop, unraveling the essence of unlocking humanity within the realm of work. Through their dialogue, they explore the transformative power of empathy, vulnerability, and genuine connection in fostering a more compassionate and fulfilling work environment. Mindy's insights illuminate the importance of embracing authenticity and valuing human connections, ultimately emphasizing how these elements can catalyze positive change, not only within organizations but also within individuals themselves. Waldron and Honcoop's discussion serves as a compelling reminder of the profound impact that embracing our humanity can have on our collective experiences in the workplace.

Additional Resources:

* Website

Skot Waldron (00:00.014)
once I start recording and then I have to end up switching stuff again. So we'll just kind of chat for a second. I make sure that it's not. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, I'll I put stuff on YouTube. I mean, I just put it there for indexing purposes and just have content, you know, making the Google monster happy and. Yeah.

Mindy Honcoop (00:07.266)
Sounds good. Do you use the video as well as audio? Awesome. Some people, you know, you just never know. It's amazing.

Mindy Honcoop (00:24.706)

Skot Waldron (00:29.518)
Let's do that.

Mindy Honcoop (00:30.658)
Well, it's smart, right? Because in one episode, if you're spending that much time, why not? Like, really, it's like squeezing a lemon, like getting all the juice that you can out of it.

Skot Waldron (00:40.27)
Get it out. Yeah. Yeah. Super cool. So how did you, um, so you came through the company you hired to like get on a show, right? I mean, so you're using a service.

Mindy Honcoop (00:53.666)
Yeah, people forward, which I'd never done that before. I had a, that someone that I've worked with through an HR services company that said, Hey, Merry Christmas. We would like to give you a discount to people forward network. And I was like, what is people forward? Like Mindy more people need to hear you. You're on all these podcasts that doesn't have a large audience. You really should boost. And I hadn't really thought of, uh, using a service.

And I had looked into it, but it was just very expensive. And I just didn't know what is the return on value of that going to be. And also there's just something about, I don't know, about people who, and maybe that's just me being naive, but it's like, is paying, is that a cheat? And so that's where.

Skot Waldron (01:44.846)
Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm.

Mindy Honcoop (01:49.858)
I really struggled. He's like, Oh, this deal is about to go up. And I was like, okay, it's a discount you're giving. You are giving me a gift. It is. It was a huge discount compared. And so I was like, this will be the best time to try it out and see what it would be like. So he did. And I love the owner, Nikki, and I love that. Yeah, she's fantastic. And then she made me see it in a different way. And it also helped me think.

Skot Waldron (02:07.662)
Nick, he's all. Yeah.

Mindy Honcoop (02:15.298)
And not that I'm going to start paying for all my connections. Like I connect people all the time. I'm a super connector. I love to help people. I love to help people. Yeah, I do it without even thinking. And then I hear all of these amazing stories, which brings me great joy of what people have been able to accomplish as a result of the connection. And they're always like, oh, now it's kind of like gotten out. It's almost, you know, like the matchmaker. People just know you're like the town matchmaker.

Skot Waldron (02:22.574)

Skot Waldron (02:40.878)
Mm -hmm.

Mindy Honcoop (02:44.994)
So like, you gotta go to Mindy to like figure out who you need to talk to. And so then I realized all these great things and I was like, oh, I guess, I was like, if I can make money out of doing that, I would be rich.

Skot Waldron (03:01.838)
People do. People make money out of doing that, Mindy.

Mindy Honcoop (03:01.858)
But I know, I just, I know, but I just, I can't, I can't. It's not, not who I am. That's a bad thing. Please don't put that on.

Skot Waldron (03:07.566)
Yeah, yeah. Well,

No, I'm not. That's going to be our outtake. That's going to be the one outtake we take from the whole thing. No, it's, it's really no people for network. They're for, they're awesome. They're really great people. Nikki's fantastic. I've partnered with her on a, on some different things. Um, so she's, she's really great. So, I mean, good luck with it. Hope it works out for you. I mean, is it working so far?

Mindy Honcoop (03:37.858)
And I've met some amazing people. Yeah. And I've had some really great conversations. This is the second part, no third, it'd be the third podcast that we recorded. One has been actually published, but it's really funny. The one that went live, that woman, Jill, Jill Boyle, she was amazing. But when I was talking to her, she's like, oh my goodness, you remind me so much of my friend and the work that she's doing. And when she was telling me about her mission, I was like, you have to talk.

Skot Waldron (03:40.366)
Really? Good.

Mm -hmm.

Mindy Honcoop (04:07.746)
my friend.

Skot Waldron (04:08.782)

Nice. Nice. See? It's your superpower. You can't help but use it.

Mindy Honcoop (04:17.218)
It is my superpower. It is my super.

Skot Waldron (04:20.302)
Can't help but use it. That's really cool. Well, good for you.

Mindy Honcoop (04:22.594)
I wish I was like being able to teleport myself.

Skot Waldron (04:27.758)
Teleportation you would take that over can be in super connector

Mindy Honcoop (04:33.602)
I mean, it would just really be cool to say, hey Scotty, beat me up. You know, just say, like, hey, beat me to Scott. Exactly.

Skot Waldron (04:39.822)
Let's go. Let's do this thing live. Come on over. Come on over. Oh, that's cool. Well, good for you.

Mindy Honcoop (04:45.218)
So what is the what's on your what's on your arms there? I cried so hard she did.

Skot Waldron (04:49.87)
Oh. Oh.

Skot Waldron (04:57.902)
So there's this, I was speaking at a conference yesterday for Shurm, for Shurm Atlanta. So I spoke at their annual conference. I did the keynote last night and the keynote in the morning was this organization called Dear World. Have you heard of them? So they go around and they're really cool. So you should check them out. They go around and they talk about storytelling.

Mindy Honcoop (05:01.666)
Um... Okay.

Mindy Honcoop (05:16.802)
Hmm, nach Uhr.

Skot Waldron (05:25.102)
And they get everybody in these, in this environment to like tell a story and everybody has a story and they document these stories and they write them on their bodies. Like they write them on their face and on their hands and on their neck and on their, and they take pictures and they're really beautiful. And, uh, these people, they stay up and they share their story of impact and, and value that they felt in their lives and things like that. So, um, they have a booth at these conferences and you can go over to the booth.

Mindy Honcoop (05:41.89)

Skot Waldron (05:53.422)
And you like write your, you write your story and then they take your picture and, um, they, they use these pictures as promotion and documentation of all these stories that they've taken. Um, so it's really fun. It's really cool. Like just to hear people's stories and, uh, they're using it. Um, now they're trying to get into like the corporate training space of helping. Certify leaders inside of organizations to tell stories better, um, for employee engagement and.

Mindy Honcoop (06:08.802)

Skot Waldron (06:22.734)
wellbeing and how to promote other things within the company. So, it's so cool.

Mindy Honcoop (06:27.17)
Oh, I love that. I always wanted to, when I was at HomeAway, I was at HR Chief of Staff and the head of people, John Adcock. We were playing around with the idea of how to hear from the employees that we have in our own workforce. You know, often you bring in people from outside to motivate. What about our own people and their stories? Why don't we highlight them? And before, you know, this is,

probably before like podcasting and so we just took our phone and just started doing like in the raw, the voices of the employees and hearing from them. And it was like, I was like an on the walk reporter, just getting in the live, just snapshots. And it was fun. I wish we could have like gone in and done more of that, but it was as Expedia was acquiring HomeAway.

Skot Waldron (07:04.174)

Mindy Honcoop (07:26.178)
But it was a really great idea and ever since then I thought, you know, how could we do that? How can we highlight employee stories? Because I do think they are really powerful and know what brings someone to that workplace. And if it's healthy, hopefully what have they been able to realize and what are their hopes and what has been their impact?

Skot Waldron (07:26.19)

Skot Waldron (07:46.254)
That's awesome. Well, if you look at it and you're interested in connecting with them, um, I, I, I talked to Rob, uh, the CEO yesterday and, and met him and we hang hung out for awhile and connected really well. So if you need a connection somewhere there.

Mindy Honcoop (07:53.122)

Mindy Honcoop (08:04.194)
I'm always happy to talk with people that amplify stories and how they do that in a unique and different way. I would love that.

Skot Waldron (08:11.278)
Yeah, yeah, he's really cool. So, um, well, we should do the interview at some point. Wait, was this what we were doing? Um, no, this is about you. We're going to make this about you, Mindy. Uh, what, um, so how can I serve you on the show? What is the thing that you're looking to do? What are you looking to promote or what's the message or what's the call to action? What do you want to do?

Mindy Honcoop (08:16.61)
Well, I thought we were.

Mindy Honcoop (08:26.37)
Thank you.

Mindy Honcoop (08:37.794)
My call to action, the work that I do is my calling. It is my passion. My husband's like, it's like you kind of like approach this as a nonprofit.

Skot Waldron (08:49.102)
No, Mindy, stop that!

Mindy Honcoop (08:51.65)
you know, but I, though, my, really my, my hope is that HR leaders are able to realize that there is hope that we can, we can do things in a different way, that work can be healthy work. I truly believe that healthy workplace is healthier community. And like, I think that's really through being able to work with leaders to see organizational capability as the balance of people.

process and systems. Often we really think about process and systems and we forget the people aspect. And even as we look at something as simple as digital, actually it's not simple, digital transformation is very difficult because change is difficult. And we often think about the process and the systems. We think about the leaders that own the strategy of the digital transformation. And it's often like the CIO, maybe the CFO, maybe the COO.

is involved in that, but where is the chief people officer? Where is the head of people? And often they may feel that they have a seat at the table, but are they actually, and they may have a voice, they may be listened to, but how much is their voice actually shaping and driving change within the culture? And that's where I start to, that's where I've started to really use different words around co -sharing and voice.

and to really thinking about how are we driving action? How are we driving and influencing those strategies? So that is kind of what I've started to talk about.

Skot Waldron (10:26.126)

Skot Waldron (10:30.446)
Okay, good. What do you want people?

Mindy Honcoop (10:32.13)
It seems like all of the action is nothing about me. It's really hard.

Skot Waldron (10:35.118)
Dang it. I need it to be about you, Mindy. What do you want people to do for you? Do you want people to call you? Do you want people to buy your book? Do you want people to fly you to Japan and.

Mindy Honcoop (10:43.234)
Yeah, I would love people to call me and to pick my brain on how they can make organizational capability truly happen in the organization or hire me to speak and talk about that work or do a workshop or facilitate their executive team through thinking about how to do things in a different way.

Skot Waldron (11:05.422)
So is that what you're doing now is coaching, speaking, facilitation.

Mindy Honcoop (11:10.082)
I actually have started to lean into that more. I do still do my fractional work and my advising, but I do find that the greater change often happens with the ignition of being able to help someone start to see what's possible, help them get started on the path. Because often when we talk about change, we don't know where to start. And sometimes I just need someone to kind of open the door and just kind of peek.

Skot Waldron (11:16.814)
You do? Okay.

Skot Waldron (11:34.574)
Mm -hmm.

Mindy Honcoop (11:38.626)
through and understand what is just that next step. What can I control? I may be frustrated about where things are at today. And then often we get stuck there, right? We may brainstorm, think about the possibilities, but we still stay stuck in this current state. And because we often talk about the process and the systems and the people, there's nothing ever really happens. We just kind of run around and we forget about how do we align.

Skot Waldron (12:02.19)
Mm -hmm.

Mindy Honcoop (12:08.194)
in order to execute and make change happen.

Skot Waldron (12:13.646)
Okay. All right. Well, that sounds fantastic. I love that idea. Um, so we're going to go 30 ish minutes. Probably go a little bit longer. Um, I've got a feeling we're going to chat it up pretty good. So, um, again, I'll do the intro and outro afterwards. You don't have to worry about that. I'm just going to come in and we're just going to fly. I've got your questions here that we can talk about, um, and going off this, but I just kind of riff off of these questions. So.

Mindy Honcoop (12:28.834)
Thank you.

Skot Waldron (12:42.606)
Thanks for filling this out and I think that's all I need to tell you. Any questions for me?

Mindy Honcoop (12:48.802)
Awesome. No, it's good. You can still hear me okay? Awesome. You said just I got quieter for some reason.

Skot Waldron (12:52.494)
Yeah, yep. You sound, I sound quieter or you sound quieter?

Mindy Honcoop (12:58.146)
Mm -hmm. You sound quieter. Yeah. It's okay. No, I can still hear you.

Skot Waldron (13:01.422)
Do I? Okay. I will. I. Okay. Good. Good. Good. If I start whispering and it's some weird way, it might be some weird new tick I picked up at the age of 46. So please let me know if I do that. Okay.

Mindy Honcoop (13:17.442)
Happy 46th too! Happy 46th!

Skot Waldron (13:19.374)
Are you? Oh my gosh. How come you look like 20 years younger than me? Like, can you please stop? I look around and I'm going, oh my gosh, my friends look so stinking old. And like, that is not me, you know? I think it's like this. I think it's all this. Yeah, so I don't know.

Mindy Honcoop (13:34.21)
What? The hair.

I feel the same way. I feel the same way.

Skot Waldron (13:42.126)
Yeah. Well, okay. 46 year olds unite. Here we go. We're going to conquer the world. You ready?

Mindy Honcoop (13:47.682)
Love it.

Skot Waldron (13:50.893)
Mindy, I am so stoked. This is you. This is me. We're going to talk. We're going to do some cool stuff today. Hello.

Mindy Honcoop (13:57.698)
Hey Scott, it's a pleasure to be here. Thank you so much.

Skot Waldron (14:01.102)
Well, we have pretty much already recorded a podcast before we're recording the podcast. So if people want to pay extra, they could pay like $4 ,000 and they can get access to that first, like, you know, exclusive content, we'll say, exclusive. I'll split a little bit of the profits with you.

Mindy Honcoop (14:20.418)
I love that. I do think there was value in what we were talking about earlier.

Skot Waldron (14:24.014)
I think there was, I think there was like you were spouting off some cool stuff. I'm like, Oh my gosh, I should interrupt her right now because this is really good, but I didn't because.

Mindy Honcoop (14:31.618)
You can go ahead and use some of that, especially around organizational capability.

Skot Waldron (14:36.366)
It was so good. It was so good. Um, why are we listening to you today? Like where did you come from and why are you talking about what you're talking about right now?

Mindy Honcoop (14:49.282)
Where, I love that. Where did you come from? I don't think anyone has asked it like that. I, it's not like I just, I was just boom, beamed here overnight. It's been a journey. And I've been in HR for over 20 years and I came on that path through social work. And the work that I do is definitely a calling. I have a passion for creating healthier workplaces, healthier community. I truly believe that.

If we were to change a narrative of work, if employees actually left work feeling like they had a purpose, that they had a sense of self -worth, that they had emotional health and well -being, that they go home back to, and their communities back to the people that they care about, a different version of themselves. And then that has a positive ripple.

And that's what I'm here. That's what I talk about, because I think it's possible.

Skot Waldron (15:42.734)
And then.

Skot Waldron (15:48.046)
Your, your whole, like just, just talking to you the way I've talked to you, like your heart is so in it and you're so hopeful and you're so you've got this vision of what could be and what is possible. And that's what's so energizing. I think about you is that, um, and I think you talk about this cause I'm, I'm going to hit on this a little bit. Um, I was, I was at an HR conference last night and it.

Mindy Honcoop (16:03.714)

Skot Waldron (16:15.086)
And I feel like the world of HR and you tell me if I'm wrong, cause I don't come from the world of HR. That's a lot of who hires me, but in that world, I feel like it's very reactive world as opposed to proactive world. Um, but you talk about that and the idea of embracing agility and how do we move from reacted proactive? Can you talk about that concept?

Mindy Honcoop (16:32.194)
Mm -hmm.

Mindy Honcoop (16:36.418)
I definitely that's let's head off the heart of what I do. Um, cause agility is about active. You can only be agile if you're proactive, but in the world of work and HR, we are often reactive. We're reacting to the strategy or the change within the organization often.

We are, we enter in as heads of people, we enter into a workplace with the best of intent. We have strategy, we have an idea of how we can impact and drive change. But there's so much that is put onto the island of HR with the person, with the team that's on the island to own the culture, to own the benefits of payroll, the compliance.

all the legal things that change when we have employees in different states. And that work, that tactical work has not gotten any easier. And we also speak about it as tactical, but it's actual, it actually can be tied back to the business. We can reframe how do these tactical things tie to the strategy of the business? How is it tied to the work that we're doing?

to drive value to why we exist as a company. Like we exist for some reason, to provide value to a consumer, to a customer, you know, whatever it is that, why, or why that we exist. Well, we can tie that back to the tactical items, the tactical, I put in air quotes, because those pieces are about, are we hiring the people within our organization? How are we acquiring the right skills that we need?

to be able to accomplish the outcomes to drive the business strategy, to be able to attain the vision that we have. And I can go on and on and speak about these things, but even payroll pays an incentive. And so we get very nerdy and talk about though it seems very boring and tactical, but then tie it back to how this, the why of our business. And if we started to speak like that, I think we can start to become more proactive. Because it starts about talking about,

Mindy Honcoop (18:50.85)
How are we supporting and helping the humans in this organization? It goes back to organizational capabilities about the people, the process, and the systems. But the people shouldn't be reactive. We shouldn't be thinking about them at the end. We should actually be thinking about them in everything that we do. They should be at the center. It's the heart. We want to be able to exist. These companies wouldn't be able to exist without the humans in them.

And can you think about what that would look like? And there's organizations that do do this well. And the ones that do are pretty amazing. We don't necessarily hear about them, but one that I recently read about was the Turani, the syrups you see in the coffees and the liqueurs. And that company's been around for a very long time and it is pretty lean and it's been pretty successful. And their CEO, when they are talking about,

And as a company, they've never done a layoff. Even through the economical difficulties, such as the pandemic and other times, they've never laid off one person. She said, as a CEO, people often look at the financials, but they go to the non -financials first because it's about the humans. They wouldn't be able to make the syrup without the humans. And I just thought that was really powerful.

Skot Waldron (20:13.902)
Do you, is that one of the injustices you're fighting? Like that thing that hurts your heart. When you look at an organization, when you go into work with an organization as fractional work or go in and they hire you to bring, come in to speak or to do anything else. What is the thing that like hurts your heart when you're hearing like, what's that injustice you're fighting?

Mindy Honcoop (20:36.29)
I love that you use the word injustice because it does actually kind of feel like an injustice. When we don't treat humans with respect, with care, with support, I do think that is an injustice. And if we could change that, if we actually could create a space and we know as humans we're messy, we're not perfect.

And if we really thought about who are we as humans, if we created the space of that for us to team, to come together and to be able to have the space and the time to think through, how is this going to impact the human? How is this going to impact the people? How we come together? The outcomes are become very different. It becomes, if we were to treat humans as important as the finances, that if we looked at humans,

is not just like a cost. And you hear this all the time. The people, the HR team, it's just a cost center. But what they do drives revenue.

Mindy Honcoop (21:45.986)
And why are they on the island? Why is our HR tech stack often on the island, devoid of the rest of the organization? Why is the people strategy often not part of the business strategy if you have a business strategy? Because often I find that companies truly don't, especially in small medium business, don't have a business strategy. And you wonder why is there so much disconnect in our workplaces? Why are humans coming to work and they don't even have role clarity?

And then we as a business look at the human as it's their fault.

Is there a problem?

Skot Waldron (22:23.022)
Yeah. And I see that a lot too. Right. And I, and I, it's like, and we have this, this analogy will tell sometimes. And I heard this from a founder of giant where I'm, I'm part of a consulting group at giant, but, um, Jeremy Kubitschek, one of the founders of giant, he talks about this idea of the plant, you know, how we have these plants that we're trying to grow and.

We're trying to nurture them and they tell us that they need certain light and certain amount of water or whatever. And we have these beautiful plants and then we buy these plants. We want to invest in these plants. We want them to grow. We really want them to grow and they want to grow. But sometimes we put them under the table and then they die. And then we wonder why we can't find any good plants these days. Like what's wrong with the plant? Why didn't the plant like, can you please grow? And then we get frustrated that the plant isn't growing and we wonder why.

Mindy Honcoop (23:14.178)
Right? Yes, so true. And then we may have the best intentions starting out, but we get so busy. We get so wrapped up into the day to day. When we start thinking about the tactical again, right? It's about how do we take a step back and holistically think about the workplace as an ecosystem? And how do we start thinking about if we drop change over here, how does that impact over here? And once again, if we go back,

And I'm not trying to make this sound simplistic, right? It is difficult. It takes time. And I think that's the part. It takes an investment in time. It does require us to slow down. It does mean we have to get curious. It means that we may not be the most brilliant person in the room. We need to kind of check our egos at the door and realize that we're better together.

and really think about how are we working? What is our why? What are we working to accomplish? What are the skills that we need to do that? And then inform what happens next. There are no true quick fixes. It's about how do we even take the time to understand the true problems of what is the current state? What is the future desired state that we need to be? And then help think about how do we baby step?

and think about iterative change, this is agility, continuous learning. And how do we, instead of just dropping one large change, think about micro -dosing it over time, and how do we support and carry people and drive alignment as we together, hopefully in the same boat, are rowing towards that future desired state.

Skot Waldron (24:58.478)
Okay. So we've, we've gotten, we've established this idea that there's a problem out there and that injustice, we're trying to fight. And the, I think we got some head knots. I think some people are out there going, amen. Like amen. Yeah. It's too close to home. It's too close to home. This hurts too much. I, I, so what do you do to.

Mindy Honcoop (25:11.49)
Or they're just like, we can't listen to this.

Skot Waldron (25:23.086)
help solve this, right? Like again, again, there's no magic pill. It takes time over to happen. Um, what are the things, some of the strategies you implement, what are some people, things that people can do? Uh, whether they're leaders of companies, um, managers and companies, HR, whatever department, like that are listening to this. What are some things people can do that you help try to implement when you go into organizations?

Mindy Honcoop (25:24.77)
Mm -hmm.

Now it does.

Mindy Honcoop (25:47.138)
Yeah, first of all, it's just kind of like being able to take a step back and look at what's happening today. It's about getting curious and asking why. Often, I try to start with one thing. And let's just say that DOOR is onboarding. They realize that that's a pain point. And so let's look into that slice of the employee journey and really understand that. Who's involved in that?

Who are your employees that are stepping through that? What is that experience for them? How do we speak with your current employees that maybe just walk through onboarding? How do you even define onboarding? What are the outcomes that you currently are seeing as a result of your current process? And how would we want to change that narrative? It's also about stories, right? It's about hearing from the stories of the employees.

and understanding how were they or were they not supported and what would it look like to, if they're the hero of that story, what would it look like to be able to shift that, to make it even more impactful, to make it even better? And through that, you often, this is all about human centered design, right? I don't have to, if I say human centered design and agile, people just want to run away. It sounds.

That's too much. I already am overburdened. Work is already too hard. So it's really just like, let's start simple. What is one thing that we can do? And often that's the door that I then come in and they see how by thinking about the current state, asking questions, inviting employees to co -create and co -shape to understand what are the true problems.

in order to be able to find right size solutions to step us as we're talking about to that future desired state. And then just deliver one slice of value and be able to understand we now know our baseline and our hope. We have a hypothesis that if we do this thing that we'll start to see this occur. And now we know we have a measure that we'll be able to monitor in order to see is this working or not.

Mindy Honcoop (28:03.682)
And then how do we start to fine tune? How do we start to build on that first thing that we did? And are we moving in the right direction or not? But it is about rethinking how we work with our people. Often in the past, the tactical would be, okay, let's deliver this program. Okay, now it's done, checklist. Employee resource groups, done. Pre -boarding through an HRS system, getting the paperwork done.

And are we actually looking at these things? Why are we continuing to do them? Are they still serving our employee population? And when was the last time we looked at the things that we're doing and how we're supporting employees? This is all the things that I kind of come in and start helping get curious about and creating dialogue around to help inform, creating a strategy and creating kind of that agility in order to inform.

How can we have continuous change without it being overwhelming to always be evolving and rethinking that employee journey? And then it goes on to other engagements.

Skot Waldron (29:14.798)
Okay, so I hear you talking about this idea of like, hey, let's do some market research. Yeah. Like, so let's listen to the people. Cause a lot of things will, the leadership will sit there and they'll get in a room together and they'll say, gosh, we've got this problem. Let's bring in this person to fix this problem. And it's just kind of coming from the top. Now they see symptoms, they hear some rumblings, whatever. And then they come in and they decide.

But you're talking about, how do we hear the, the voice, the stories of the people and really document those. Now we have to create an environment where they want to share those stories. Some people will be like, wait, you're recording this. I'm not saying a word, you know? And, um, so there's some self preservation you gotta work through there. But if we create an environment and really go in and start to analyze these stories and what they are. What, what you're talking about is intentional. Program.

Mindy Honcoop (29:50.946)
That's right, yeah.

Skot Waldron (30:08.526)
development, like you're talking about intentionality here because as opposed to reaction, that's what we're talking about. Leadership sits in a room. They decide what we think we need to fix, bring in a consultant, bring in somebody to help fix it, or they try to fix it internally and they just go with it. This is more create a plan, develop a process. These are the things we're going to do. We're going to analyze this at certain checkpoints. Like all of that sounds a lot more. Hmm.

digestible and I guess less wasteful.

Mindy Honcoop (30:40.706)
Yes, yes. Because it often doesn't have to be expensive. It doesn't. And we often, I find that unfortunately when I do come in, they've invested in a system or invested in something. And because they didn't understand the true problem, they just put a bandaid on it and it didn't work. And if you go into why did we purchase this, the system,

And they didn't actually take, they may have talked to one or two people, but they didn't truly get into the day in the life of the employees that this system was impacting or the employees who would be using the technology.

Skot Waldron (31:30.286)
I think that's really important. I mean, I mean, you wouldn't think about doing that if you're a company. I don't think you would think about doing that if you were developing a product for a consumer. Like you're just going to go, I don't know. We're just going to kind of put this out there and see what happens. Now you do that to a certain extent and you do some market testing and whatever. Um, but I don't think companies do that when they think about their internal development of their people or anything like that. It's so interesting when you, when you think about those things.

Mindy Honcoop (31:32.258)
Mm -hmm.

Mindy Honcoop (31:57.538)
Yes, right, right. And how much powerful, like we think about our consumer brand and you're right. We have like all these tools to capture like the net promoter score of the service that or whatever the value that we're bringing to our customers. There's so many choices and that reoccurring revenue if you're a subscription -based service, like you need, you're always thinking about renewals, upselling, how are we supporting our customers?

If you took the same tools and thought process, not that it's a hundred percent cut and paste, I'm not saying that, but if you do take some of those learnings and thought about how do we think about our employer brand, because for me, I think about an HR every day, we do have reoccurring revenue and our humans deciding to come to work. And that's like, they're signing up, they're signing up, they have a choice.

and they're coming to work and how are they coming to work? Are they coming to work 100 %? 60 %? 50 %?

And so in some ways, we also have a churn rate, just like we look at the churn of our customers.

Skot Waldron (33:10.798)
I love that. I've, I've, I, you know, coming from the brand strategy world and things that I did in my past life, I think about this a lot and I, and I put this spin on kind of like developing your leadership brand and what's your, your team's brand and your, you know, what is the brand that you're representing? Are you the team that always acts that way or that leader that always acts that way? Like, what is your brand that you're carrying throughout? And people are loyal to that or they're not loyal to that. And I love this idea of this next level of.

Mindy Honcoop (33:17.058)

Skot Waldron (33:39.79)
recurring revenue from our, that is what's happening. I mean, we're selling somebody on coming to work for us. They buy it. They want it. Then they choose us and we have to build that relationship and people will either become loyal to us. So that when we have things happen, like a pandemic, they say, you know what? We know times are rough and we're with you. Like we're not going anywhere versus wait,

Mindy Honcoop (33:45.058)
Yes, yeah.

Yeah, that's right. Yeah.

Mm -hmm.

Skot Waldron (34:08.974)
Yeah, I'm out. Like, this isn't cool. I'm going to go over here. And then we sit there and we wonder why people aren't loyal. And we go back. People aren't loyal anymore. Those young people, they're not loyal anymore. And it's like, I don't think it's them necessarily. So I love this churn rate. I love that whole idea. That's really smart. Very cool.

Mindy Honcoop (34:29.218)
Mm -mm.

Mindy Honcoop (34:36.098)

Skot Waldron (34:38.126)
Then let's talk about, um, do you have any stories that you could share of companies that have done this well?

Mindy Honcoop (34:47.874)
No company is perfect as no human is perfect. But yes, I do. There are like companies that I've also like learned from, right? I've learned. I think that one of the companies that really stood out to me that I think for the first time I saw the power of really bringing that customer and that employee together. And they actually highlighted customer stories within our town halls. They always brought in a customer and the customer would talk about how they're using the

product and how that was driving change within the organizations. And that was so powerful because you would see people in that room who had touched that product and they, you know, you get lost in the day to day, you're doing these things. But when you hear how your one maybe widget resulted in the impact of this person being able to, you know, bring water to countries that don't have clean water, you, you.

You get excited, you get motivated. Wow. My widget is helping people have clean water. This was BlackBod. BlackBod does a lot of work with their software platforms to help equip, especially nonprofits and socially good focused organizations. And in BlackBod, for me as an HR leader, really helps me rethink how are we

How do we not just go through the motions? How do we actually take a step back and be curious and really spend time on the people, the process and the systems? We always had an HR leader that would really question, okay, well, what's the employee's story in this? Not just the business, how can we try and harmonize what is going on for that employee and the business?

And there's so many powerful stories of me as an HR leader, as an HR person in BlackBod and how we step through thoughtful change and being agile without them realizing that they were being agile. I learned about agile later and then kind of went back into my workplaces and thought about the leaders that did that innately. And BlackBod definitely was one that stood out.

Skot Waldron (37:14.798)
So we're talking about, and I, I totally agree with you. I think that there's, especially in really large organizations where there are like the trickle down is you got people that are on the manufacturing line, people that are the engineers just working on this one piece of code for this one piece of thing. And they don't really see the overall impact of their work and what they're doing and how, what they're doing is part of.

the bigger hole and they're just like, I just make a widget. You know, I make this one thing I put on this arm on this doll 400 times a day. And why do I matter? And when you can connect the customer story to the employee story, they marry those two. That's that's power. I think that's really cool. So I love that.

Mindy Honcoop (37:51.266)

Mindy Honcoop (37:55.106)
I don't.

Mindy Honcoop (38:05.25)

I think when you ask, or you think about very large organizations, but I even like with some of the work that I do with even 50 people organizations. Now, maybe if we get below like 2012, you feel more of the immediacy of what you do and how it impacts. But even at 50, I, you know, when I first come in, when you start speaking to individuals and you ask about, you know, how are you driving change? Like, you know, how is your role impacting? There is a breakdown in that role clarity.

there is a sense of, I don't understand what I do every day. I don't understand how I drive impact here. I don't understand how this company makes money and how we add value. And that's really when we start thinking about that business strategy and how are we articulating it down from that executive team down to middle managers down to line managers.

Skot Waldron (39:06.702)
And this goes through when you have organizational alignment, when you get into that idea of what's our purpose, our values, our behavior, our mission, our vision, and where we're going, what we're doing, or you bought in, are you bought into this? Because this is what we represent and this is what we live and you have to walk the talk, you know, and that aspect. But then when you have other people that believe what you believe as you know, Simon Sinek also preaches about the why. And when you have people that believe what you believe, there's something really powerful.

Mindy Honcoop (39:10.754)
Mm -hmm.

Mindy Honcoop (39:18.562)
Yeah, yeah.

Mindy Honcoop (39:30.306)

Skot Waldron (39:36.046)
in that and it becomes much easier to quote unquote sell yourself, sell the organization, sell what you're doing when you have people that are like, yeah dude, you don't need to sell me. Like I believe that too. I'm on board. Like whatever we're doing, I will put arms on that doll all day because I believe in what.

Mindy Honcoop (39:55.458)
Right, right. And then you just like, if you were to just unwrap that, cause that's like at the core, right? If we're doing that really well, but then if you layer in like psychological safety and trust and teaming and how are we able, and the belonging, how are we hearing from the unique voices that we've hired? And if we layer in that along with some other things, wow, that's, that's.

that gets to the loyalty because then you have an emotional response. Just like when you think about habit loops, like hooking people, like when you think about customers, you want to find what is that thing that we've gotten them into the habit, we've hooked them and now they can't live without our product. How are we doing that for the employee? You need to get to the level of an emotional response. When we feel cared for,

When we feel heard, when we feel supported, you have an emotional response. When we start as employees and as peers, taking time at the beginning of these, hey, Scott, I sense that there's something going on. What's going on today? How are we entering into this meeting? I feel seen. I feel cared for. I feel like a human.

Skot Waldron (41:14.702)
There's a lot of, uh, I, and we'll go back to, you know, consumer marketing type tactic, right? Where, where look, you look at this idea of a lot of companies just do the, the logical brain stuff, like the thinking brain stuff of like checking the boxes of, Hey, we've got this offer for you. We can pay you this money, this many days off this whatever, and check all the boxes. But people generally.

Mindy Honcoop (41:18.594)
I'm sorry.

Mindy Honcoop (41:33.922)

Skot Waldron (41:44.558)
don't buy based on the stats. They buy based on emotion. And there's a perfect analogy of this. When my, when we were shopping for a car for my wife a few years ago, um, it was like, there was option a option B option. A is the one she's always wanted. Option B was much more logical. Like the warranty was insane. It was newer, had better features, like all the little tactical boxes check.

Mindy Honcoop (41:48.45)
Great. Yeah.

Mindy Honcoop (42:04.706)

Mindy Honcoop (42:12.066)

Skot Waldron (42:13.934)
but she wanted this one. And it was like, it was very hard for me, but I, it was like, okay, that's it, you know? And she still loves it and she's still loyal to it. And you know, and she protects it and she's defensive of it. Even when I'm like, oh my gosh, the transmission, this thing's really, you know, and she's like, no, it's, and there's that. And do we have that with our people? Are we just saying, Hey, I checked all the boxes. You should be loyal. Or like, hold up a second. Like.

Mindy Honcoop (42:37.858)
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Skot Waldron (42:43.278)
Where's the emotional response to all this?

Mindy Honcoop (42:44.866)
Right, right. And I think the agility and like with that human centered, those, the dos steps that we were talking about earlier, we, we are just naturally hearing from our employees. We're naturally hearing from how are they feeling supported? How are, how are we still serving them in, in the moments that matter along the employee journey? And because of that, we are continuously improving and changing. We're able to have flexibility.

we realize that we don't have a one size fits all. We realize that we need to have some ability to support people in different ways in the organization. And we realize that, yes, we need to obviously obey federal and state laws and have compliance. But we also, like with lawyers, if we have a situation that's going on, how do we think through all the things?

How do we not just have a black and white answer? Because a human isn't, and situations aren't black and white. And how do we step through that and think about all of the, that holistic, like what is going on here? And how can we think about the different tools and resources to support the people involved in, in whatever situation we may be taking a look at. And even if we're thinking about like,

the digital, I think we hear, we talk about digital transformation a lot around AI and how is that impacting the workforce and who's involved in those conversations. Often it's the CIO and it may be some of the engineering and the product part if we're talking about the software industry where my background is. But where are the, where is the people element of those conversations?

Skot Waldron (44:34.414)
People are a big deal.

Mindy Honcoop (44:36.258)
They are, yeah, yeah.

Skot Waldron (44:38.638)
They are, they are. So let's, um, let's wrap this up. What is the main thing you want people to take away from this? What is the main thing people need to work on emphasize or, you know, take that next step to do right now.

Mindy Honcoop (44:43.234)
He he!

Mindy Honcoop (44:58.274)
It's really, I think, to understand that everything that we talked about can feel overwhelming. It can feel that it's happening to you. I don't see the possibilities. But all it requires is just one person seeing what can I do differently? What can I control in this?

How could I start a dialogue or a conversation? How can I just take one thing that we're doing as an HR team and put it under a magnifying glass and get just curious about it? Just ask some questions. Why are we doing this? Why? I think there's such power in that question. Just take one thing. You don't have to like, you're not gonna fix everything overnight and nothing will ever be perfect. What is this one thing that we could do differently and better?

Skot Waldron (45:52.11)
That's powerful. It is just get the ball rolling. Yeah. Let's get on the bike and start pedaling. Cause, uh, I have this quote too that I share. It's like, it's, it's really difficult to steer a bike that's not moving. And so if we can just do that, then just get started.

Mindy Honcoop (45:55.106)
Yeah. Yeah.

Mindy Honcoop (46:05.858)
Great. And.

Yeah. And if you're having trouble figuring out like what that one thing is or where you should get started, ask for help. There's so many amazing people that can come alongside of you to get a different perspective. And sometimes that's all it, that it's, that's all it, it takes. And, and so that's where I guess I, that's where I often like come in. Like people will reach out and say, Hey Mindy, I heard you talk about something. Can you help me see this from a different perspective?

what is that one next thing that I could do or one what is and that made that one thing could just be talking to someone.

Skot Waldron (46:48.942)
That's it. And if people want to do that, how do they do that?

Mindy Honcoop (46:53.538)
They can reach me on LinkedIn or on my website, AgilentHR .com.

Skot Waldron (47:01.07)
Okay. Um, that's fantastic. And you speak on this topic, you facilitate, uh, do workshop facilitation and consulting as a fraction, fractional HR individual to come in and accompanies. Yeah. Is there anything else that you do that's, that's hidden under your rock of brilliance that we don't know what about?

Mindy Honcoop (47:19.938)
People are like, man, Mindy, you do so many things, but it's all directed towards this injustice that we've been talking about. The other thing that I do is I do work with HR technology companies to help provide them with equity advising or just even like, how do we create better tools to equip our HR teams to be able to do the work differently? And so I'm really passionate that we need.

Skot Waldron (47:29.934)
That's right.

Mindy Honcoop (47:49.634)
also better tools. And so being able to help leaders with that are really rethinking our HR technology, I have a huge passion to come alongside of them.

Skot Waldron (48:01.998)
Hmm. HR tech. Yes. That's very cool. I love that you do that. See, I didn't know that that was under your rock of brilliance that I didn't know about. So very cool. Very cool. Thanks Mindy for being on. You're awesome. Um, I hope people got something out of this. It was a really good conversation and I wish you all the luck.

Mindy Honcoop (48:03.362)
Thank you.

Mindy Honcoop (48:16.258)
Thanks Scott, it was great. I loved the connection of your experience with mine, with the customer and the employee.

Skot Waldron (48:24.686)
Well, you made it happen. You brought it up and I was just like, Ooh, light bulb moment. That was really awesome. So well done.

Mindy Honcoop (48:27.01)
I don't know.

Mindy Honcoop (48:30.594)
Well, thank you, Scott.


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