What the heck is a “People Champion”?
I’m starting at Procurify as Principal People Champion. It sounds like a superhero designation but what am I working on?
Throughout my career, I’ve managed a range of different teams: from the Navy to game development to software teams. Bumping up against human interactions of various sorts and weathering various pressures, I identified patterns of behaviour in teams that were sometimes very helpful in working effectively together, and sometimes very not. I’ve gotten good at untangling the knots and smoothing the lines so that teams could perform at their best.
And I’ve figured out how to talk about it so others can understand. In my next adventure, I wanted to take all of that experience to support high potential individuals building an amazing product.
During the pandemic, businesses have differentiated themselves in how they took care of their employees (or didn’t) in their response to COVID-19, and this has highlighted the importance of leading with compassion.
Compassion is one of Procurify’s 4 core values, so joining this community is an opportunity to align with a culture already primed to evolve further in this direction. I wanted a role that could push the company’s values of Creativity, Courage and Curiosity full ahead on Compassion for the members of its team.
There’s been a shift in titles within departments whose roles focus on staff. A decade ago, it was common to find job titles in various levels of “Human Resources”. In 2015, AirBnB’s Chief Human Resource Officer became the company’s Chief Employee Experience Officer with the focus on optimizing employee experience during the time they intersect with the company.
Reducing friction, improving predictability, and ensuring individuals have the support and training they need to work at their best.
MIT research shows that companies with a top-quartile employee experience achieve more than twice the innovation and customer satisfaction with 25 percent higher profits than organizations with a bottom-quartile employee experience. Employee experience looks at the journey from being hired into a company to working and growing within it. My role will look at the full scope of how people find the company, express their interest to work within it, come on board, and grow all the way through their journey.
When I negotiated this role onto the Procurify team, I felt it would make a powerful statement to describe the precise focus it would have. According to The Cambridge Dictionary, the definition of champion is a person who enthusiastically supports, defends, or fights for a person, belief, right, or principle, which feels a good description of what I want to do for people here.
I am thankful for the opportunity to contribute to a great environment for this community and help unlock the best that everyone can bring to it.
[Edit: Note that I no longer work at Procurify but I appreciate the time I had with the team. I hope their career journeys are fulfilling and that they receive the support they need throughout.]