Times are changing—from the challenges companies face to the expectations of employees. To be successful going forward, you need to take a new approach, argues Kim Sullivan, CHRO of Sitecore, a customer experience management company based in San Francisco.
Sullivan spoke with StrategicCHRO360 about how to show talent you care, how to “operationalize culture” and helping employees grow.
How can CHROs and other HR professionals address the ongoing issues employers are facing, such as an uncertain economy and continuing tightness in the job market?
When it comes to talent recruitment and retention, I try to take a practical approach. Today’s employees look for more than a typical compensation and benefits package. Companies that want to remain competitive in their recruitment and retainment efforts need to go above and beyond and offer a culture that connects employees’ hearts and minds to the company’s purpose. Rewards should complement the company’s business strategy and culture, flexibility in the workplace, opportunities to grow with a company through career pathing, well-being resources and more.
Leaders must be accountable for ensuring employees feel supported and fulfilled throughout their journey at the company—from the moment they are hired, throughout the onboarding process and carrying through their day-to-day activities. Creating an organizational culture that values, supports and cares for staff—personally and professionally—is key to HR success in 2023 and beyond.
What about Sitecore drew you to the company, and what excites you about this step in your career?
Throughout my career, I have been lucky enough to witness and celebrate the growth and continued transformation of the HR space. I like to think of myself as the CHRO of the Future, so when I was considering the next step in my career, I knew I wanted it to be in the technology space. I see technology as something that is constantly innovating alongside us as a society and has become a core part of everything we do. As a result of this, and my experience in HR at an IT service and solutions company, I knew I wanted to further my career at a technology company. I was drawn to Sitecore because I wanted to be part of building a business that would have a significant impact on its customers and users.
What are your main goals and priorities at Sitecore?
My top priority at Sitecore is to make it not just a great place to work, but also a great place to thrive. One of our strategic priorities is to deliver a best-in-class employee experience, where Sitecorians receive the highest level of care throughout their experience. Along with this, we plan to operationalize culture to ensure it is evident in everything we do, both internally and externally. We want to foster leaders who are committed to creating a culture that amplifies our values.
Additionally, I want to ensure that all Sitecorians have an opportunity to grow in their careers. Learning and development is a huge part of this, and I want to make sure employees are provided with the skills to meet the needs of today, while preparing to tackle the challenges of tomorrow. Finally, I personally am focused on all things that enable growth and innovation, such as positions and skills that create competitive advantages.
In addition to L&D, DEI is a significant priority. I’m working with colleagues on the executive team and the HR department to create a strategic and actionable plan that moves our DEI efforts forward. To achieve this, we are working to attract and retain diverse talent that allows for more innovation and creativity for Sitecore and our customers. We want to ensure that our employees are prepared to meet the needs our business may face in the future as the company continues to grow and evolve.
How do you think your experience will help move Sitecore and its workforce forward?
I’ve held HR leadership roles at companies across many different industries. This has given me a unique perspective on the most effective ways to understand organizational needs and align HR practices. Whether working for a large retail brand or an academic institution—each organization values different employee attributes and requires unique employee engagement initiatives. And it’s on HR teams to digest these needs and develop a people management plan that responds to them.
Working in many different industries with companies of all sizes has made me a more well-rounded professional. I’m excited to help transform and lead Sitecore into the next phase of innovation, transformation and inclusion.