May 09, 2022

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is More than Black and White

Screen Shot 2022-05-06 at 11.09.43 AMRobin Rodriguez is on today's episode of TribePod. Robyn is from Austin, Texas and has over 18 years of extensive HR experience. Robyn started her career at ADP and quickly developed into a Leader in the Payroll space. Using Payroll as a foundation for continued growth, Robyn has developed expansive knowledge in all aspects of Human Resources. Robyn specializes in partnering with Senior Leadership to help develop and deploy advanced HR strategies that align people, process, and technology initiatives. Robyn has been regarded as ‘employee of the year’ and was the youngest, female, Latina to be awarded a VP title at a previous organization. Robyn mentors' various women in the Payroll and HR space and extends that mentorship in her personal life by supporting various non-profit organizations. Robyn is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion for all and regarded as a thought leader who is invested in the betterment of workplace culture and innovative ways to work.
  • Has HR and the payroll industry caught up with the post-pandemic world of work? 
  • Will political pressures cause HR to play a more significant role in the lives of employees? 
  • Will the "great resignation" era issue a bigger trend of boomerang employees?
  • Will silver haired consultants be tapped to resolve the brain drain caused by the great resignation?
  • Which generation has the higher degree of emotional intelligence? 
  • How to operate a company with so many different generations at work?
  • Any ideas on how to resolve gender pay gaps?
  • Better ways to evaluate workplace performance and improve job descriptions
  • DEI needs to expand beyond a black and white issue
  • How to get better DEI data from job applicants
  • Will META bring gamification back to HR? 
  • How does Ageism affect the modern workplace? 
  • Are more disabled workers employed now since everyone is remote? 
  • Is returning to the office racist as some Apple employees allege? 
  • The likely trend of talent hubs in response to hybrid workers
Tune in for a very lively and informative conversation! HR Leaders, pay close attention to this one. 
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0 (1s):
Hello, dear listener. And depending on when you are listening to this good morning, good afternoon, good evening, Or good night, either way. Welcome to another episode of TribePod today. I talk with Robin Rodriguez. Now Robin Rodriguez is from Austin, Texas, and has over 18 years of extensive HR experience. Robyn started her career at ADP and quickly developed into a Leader in the Payroll space. Using Payroll as a foundation for continued growth. Robyn has developed expansive knowledge in all aspects of Human Resources, Robyn mentors, various women in the Payroll and HR space and extends that mentorship in her personal life.

0 (42s):
By supporting various nonprofit organizations, Robyn is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion for all, and regarded as a thought leader who is invested in the betterment of workplace culture and innovative ways to work. Stay tuned for a very informative and enjoyable chat with a recognized thought leader, HR Leaders pay close attention to this. You are listening to TribePod a podcast series of interviews of interests to the HR community.

0 (1m 23s):
It is hosted by Jim Stroud, sponsored by Proactive Talent and enjoyed by you. Today's episode begins right after this.

2 (1m 39s):
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3 (1m 59s):
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2 (2m 26s):
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4 (2m 32s):
Proactive Talent helps out clients with their employer brand by going in and working with them in several phases to learn more about the culture, the people, what are the important values to each and every employee. And then to share that story and refresh the employer brand, or build it from the ground. The benefit of having an effective employer brand is that you're going to be able to attract the talent that you've really want to join your company and not just people who would be simply applying for whatever requisitions you have out there. They generally love your message, love your culture, and out there to be with you for the long haul.

0 (3m 7s):
For more information on Proactive Talent, visit them online at Proactive Talent dot com or click the link in the podcast description. Hello, and welcome to another edition of TribePod with me is a very special guest special guest. Tell us who are you and what do you do?

diversity downloadable

5 (3m 25s):
Hey, Jim, my name is Robin Rodriguez and I am in human resources. I am an HR transformation consultant and just recently launched my business, which is my HR help desk to bring HR consulting to over burned out overworked and underpaid HR teams everywhere.

0 (3m 50s):
You have a lot of work ahead of you.

5 (3m 52s):
That's right, right.

0 (3m 55s):
I liked the allergy. How you refer to yourself, HR transformation consultants. So what are you, what are you transforming when and when you say that?

5 (4m 5s):
Yeah, I think it's a different skillset because I think a lot of times HR people get stuck in the weeds and we're seeing this now in talent acquisition. So really as a transformation consultant, we're like a fresh set of eyes. And we come in and we look at what are we doing now, how we can fine tune or make small tweaks to your process to help improve the process. But in working with really large companies, what's been interesting is we always focus on strategy, but fall short on execution because oftentimes we run out of time or money. And so really the goal of my consulting firm is they anti transformation for, well, we'll come in and identify strategies, but then quickly help you execute.

5 (4m 50s):
And that's where we really need the most help right now, right at post pandemic is on execute pivoting and being able to execute quickly.

0 (4m 60s):
Yes, yes. This post pandemic world really changed the game in a lot of ways. That's for sure as much as things have changed over the years, do you think that the HR and payroll industry has caught up with all of the changes going on right now?

5 (5m 16s):
Oh, come on Jim. You know that answer? Well, I mean, I think it's really interesting because the younger generations are now driving a lot of the change. So I think a lot of us that have been in HR for a long time, not only are we reacting to everything that happened from the pandemic, we're reacting to these younger generations of workers and how they want to work. So it's requiring a lot of a mindset shift. And I think that we're not shifting quick enough to respond the new knee, the needs of the new workforce.

0 (6m 1s):
Interesting. You say that. Cause I just saw this article literally yesterday and hopefully we won't veer too off topic with this one, but Amazon and a few of the companies, they were introducing a new health benefit saying that they would put some sort of perk or I don't know if it was a travel perk or some sort to help their workers go to another state if they wanted to take advantage of, of reproductive rights in another state from, from production saying that correctly. And I thought that was interesting. That's certainly a new kind of HR perk that we didn't know it back in module.

5 (6m 46s):
Right. There's so many like gym memberships, like what, we didn't have that. Right.

0 (6m 53s):
What is this? But I saw it more. So not necessarily as a response to employee outbursts or employee requests, but more so resulting from political pressures. Do you, do you think that's, that's the case and do you think HR will play a bigger role in the life of the company in regards to political pressures? Cause this, this today, tomorrow would be something else?

5 (7m 20s):
Yeah. I mean, I think we have to, I think what's now is that, you know, there has to be a social impact at your company or you're not going to attract a younger workforce, which is driving companies to have a, some sort of alignment or stance in regards to political issues. Even if that means, Hey, we're not taking a side, but we're responding this way to, to have a fair environment for our workforce. Right. And I think that that, you know, clearly ties in to DEI initiatives. But I saw an article yesterday that I thought was really interesting that I didn't realize that baby boomers are the w are like the, the most amount of workers in the workforce were baby boomers, pre pandemic.

5 (8m 13s):
And a lot of them have not returned back to work and have retired early or are starting to retire. So we need to replace them in the workforce. And I think because of technology, we always think, wow, there's, you know, so many young people in the workforce now, but we're, they're not the majority right now. And so again, it's just, lots of things are shifting. This is gonna be an interesting next two years for HR. Right?

0 (8m 41s):
Definitely, definitely. It would not surprise me if a lot of baby boomers or I'll say silver-haired workers started their own consultancies and go back to work for the same companies that they retire from the sort of like a boomerang thing. We have like this great resignation era right now where people are leaving in mass for various reasons, but I'm also seeing boomerangs employees coming back to the office. Our S our, our, our CEO actually was just interviewed on CNN earlier today on this very topic about boomerang employees. So I'm wondering if we're going to see more boomerang employees become consultants where the brain drain that occurred when they left is going to be, feel bad.

0 (9m 23s):
It's boomerang in them back, even if it's just on a contract or consulting basis, what do you think, do you think that'll happen?

5 (9m 30s):
Yeah, definitely. I was talking with somebody about this when I read that article, which for the boomers it's called the great retirement. Right. And so All these different things, right? Whatever, whatever makes you sleep at night. But I find this interesting because I feel like, you know, we're talking about something like benefits or payroll that is an HR function traditionally, but it's so compliant. And I feel like because a lot of the focus right now is on employee engagement or hiring new talent. We're going to need those boomerang employees to come in to really focus on that compliance piece.

Diversity Equity Inclusion

5 (10m 13s):
And, and that's where I see a lot of that. Being able to leverage their skills, the skills of the older workers, and, and then marry that with what we need to attract the new workforce. But that's, you know, a big divide in HR right now, right? Like the old school versus the new school.

0 (10m 34s):
Definitely. Definitely. And I, I lean towards the old school maybe because I'm older, but one of the, one of the reasons why, and this is not a slam against millennials, there was young hoopers numbers, but I tend to see more among the older workers, a higher emotional intelligence. There are more patients, they're more people, people, persons, they can look someone in the eye carry on a conversation. They're more interpersonal. I don't really see that as much among the millennial crowd. I, I definitely, I mean, I see it to an extent of course, but not, I think the older workers take for granted certain interpersonal skills that millennials tend not to have.

0 (11m 22s):
It seems like because they're so into the machines. Have you noticed that? Or is that just me?

5 (11m 27s):
You know, I think I would say I view it a little differently. I think the millennials have come in and forced us to be more empathetic in the workplace. And I see a lot of the older workers, you know, getting salty, like they're coming in and taking our jobs or changing things. But what I think is so interesting is what we're talking about. And, and so what I think is just a huge missed opportunity in organizations in general, and specifically in HR is the marrying of the minds here, right? Because I can learn a lot from millennials, new apps, new things, tools, right within HR.

5 (12m 7s):
And they can learn a lot from me, but we're not leveraging each other's skills. Because again, we're just stuck in this old school, new school, or really stuck in this reactive state to react, react, react. And that just burns everybody out. So then you don't want to work with one another. You don't want to talk to each other, right. It's just like, let's just get the work done. We don't want to talk about new things. And that's because people are overworked, you know, really in the HR space and, and the pressure's on right now,

0 (12m 39s):
It seems like with so many blended families going on these days, I don't know the demographics of, but there are a lot of blended families, people who come to a marriage with children, for example, and someone else has children that blend a family together, you would think the population would be more amenable to that kind of mindset in the workplace because we have so many different generations working, whether in person or virtually, I think now than ever before, but to your point, we really need to work together to be a, become a more cohesive unit instead of fighting each other.

5 (13m 12s):
Yeah. But, but that that's right. And I think that, that goes back to, this is why DEI is huge because we need fair and equitable processes. Right. And when we can apply fair and equitable processes and there's transparency and an organization about who's making what money or what role pays this, you're eliminating a lot of those pressure points so that people can just come in and do their best work.

0 (13m 42s):
Hmm. Interesting. Someone suggested, made a suggestion to ne about what they would like to see them mentioned it to you see how you feel about in the military when you reach a certain rank, everybody knows what everybody makes, right. It's not a secret. If you're a Sergeant, everybody knows what you make. If you're a Colonel, everybody knows what you make. And so when you get a certain rank, it's sort of equality in that regard, is that something you would like to see, or how do, how do you think the work, the world of work would react to a universal policy of open salary? And if you are on a certain level, whatever level you're on, what are you in the mail room or the C-suite, everybody knows what your salary is.

0 (14m 24s):
How do you think that would affect things? How would that affect recruiting? How would that affect a Employer Brand? Can we even do that? Because I would think at some, yeah, at some point You got to be competitive at some point, right? So everybody knows what you're making. And I know what my competitor is paying. I said, well, I'll just pay more. What do you think about all that? I'll be quiet and listen.

5 (14m 50s):
Well, I like it. And there's again, when we go to fair and equitable processes, I mean, equity in a DEI initiative, we focus so much on diversity and bringing people in house. We're not talking enough about paying them fair and equitable for their skillsets. So we're not talking, we talk about a lot, a lot about inclusion, but we're not talking about belonging, making sure people feel like they belong in a workplace. So this really hits on the E for me of equity. Again, we might not have a choice, right? Colorado has a law in place where you've got to put the range for the role. And then New York is probably going to pass something soon about that too.

5 (15m 32s):
So we are starting to see ranges on roles. What the interesting conversation is, is let's say the range is a hundred to 200. What people are saying is everybody's going to come in and want the 200. Sure. And so I think that's where we've gotta be clear about, you know, those kind of salary bands and how that works for me. I it's a double-edged sword. I like it. I think people should be transparent about the Rangers. If they're on jobs upfront, then people aren't going to apply. Because right now we've got a lot of companies with a fancy title where it's like, oh, a head of HR and that role's making $80,000 a year.

5 (16m 14s):
If you were to go on, you know, any salary compensation structure, that's not in line with that title. That's an HR manager probably. And so I think it pushes companies to be a little bit more accountable. It, and it has a protection for workers, right? Like myself, maybe a female Latina. I don't have a college degree, but I have a lot of years of experience, where would I fit in? Right. And it's, it's not ambiguity because then that's where the tension comes in because I'm seeing a lot of people right now that go, Hey, I've been working with this company for 15 years and we just hired somebody from the outside and they're making 15,000 more dollars than me. So do you think that person that's been there is going to help that new person out and other, not From a recruiting standpoint good and bad.

5 (17m 5s):
You know, I think it allows saves recruiters a lot of time, because if somebody's just not interested in the concert, just not going to apply, but on the flip side, you'll probably get a lot of people under-qualified applying for roles.

0 (17m 19s):
It seems like there should be an audit. Maybe, maybe, maybe your company does this already, but in audit of job prescriptions, because I know there's been a lot of arguments, arguments over is a bachelor degree, worthy, worth more than actual experience to your point. You know, and I, when I say that I'm thinking about something I heard recently, from what IBM is doing, when they do their work performance evaluation, they'll look at what they've done, what their works they've done over the past year and, you know, consider that. But they also will look at the amount of training and new education that they've acquired over the past year.

0 (17m 59s):
And they say, okay, this is your potential for the new year because of what you learned this year. And we're going to affect that into your workforce performance. I'm wondering when people are developing their, their job descriptions, should they say, okay, experiences is, is worth so much to us. Education is worth so much to us, but what really matters the most to us is how well you can learn and how much you can prove what you can learn, because that's going to be a factor in how quickly you elevate in the company. Does that make sense? Or if I fuck up sort of rambled that,

5 (18m 31s):
No, I love it. It's really continuous learning. Right. Cause how do we stay up to date? I'm seeing like a lot of like loom, for instance, I think loom is a great app that you can walk. People, make videos, walk people through things. It's easy, it's user friendly, but you know, maybe if you've been in HR, you've been off the scene for a while or you're not into tech. Right. You just would stumble upon that. But if there was a requirement to go like, Hey, I want you to go look at or have sales calls with 10 HR techs and come back to me and tell me what you like about them and why that's going to keep your mind fresh about what's new in market.

0 (19m 12s):
Yep. Yep. Totally agree. Totally agree. You mentioned DEI earlier in our conversation. Why do you think that companies are doing enough to support DEI efforts, particularly women and people of color in the workplace? You think they're doing enough, or if they're not, what, what could they be doing?

5 (19m 32s):
That's another easy, no

0 (19m 37s):
Softball pitch.

5 (19m 38s):
Well, you know, DEI is really interesting for me. I come from Los Angeles where I feel like everybody it's very diverse. The workforce is very diverse. And then I moved to Texas and in Texas, I feel like everybody's a Texan first, no matter your ethnicity,

0 (20m 1s):
Don't mess with Texas.

5 (20m 2s):
Don't mess with Texas. And then, you know, I, I'm finding though, as I open up where I work more, more in the south or with the east coast, DEI to me has seemed to become a very, very black and white issue.

0 (20m 19s):
Sure. Yeah.

5 (20m 20s):
And I think that it really needs to be really expanded upon to be an everybody issue. Obviously we know there's a lot of, you know, Indian programmers there's, you know, Asians in healthcare. And so I think that we're pushing DEI initiatives, but I don't think we're thinking big enough when we do that. And so I also think now though, you know, pre pandemic, everybody was talking about it, but post pandemic again, I, and I think this is not even a millennial thing.

5 (21m 1s):
The younger workforce gen Z is pushing companies to be about it and take action. And, you know, metrics are all over the place. It's very hard to measure DEI and set goals because I see a lot of applications and talent, you know, side saying, asking people to identify themselves. And there's always that no bubble, but when you fill out that I'm not interested, no bubble, we're not pushing the initiatives enough. Right. We need to be saying, Hey, I'm a Latina female. And I'm applying for this role. And you know, somebody in the HR department needs to start tracking that and guiding that metric and understanding, okay, you know, we've had women apply for all these roles in somehow white men are still landing in that role or is the white guy the most qualified and that's okay.

5 (21m 60s):
But you know, you need the metrics behind that to guide the story, build the story and guide accountability at the top.

0 (22m 9s):
I think along those lines, what would help getting more numbers of more data around that? If, is if it's explained to the applicant, the jobs applicant that that information will not be seen by the recruiter or the hiring manager, it will only be seen by HR or the head of the eye or whatever the case might be. Cause I think a lot of people would see that and think, okay, I'm not going to open myself up to discrimination by just telling them, you know, maybe I've gone to the trouble of using my first initial. So you don't in my last name. So you don't know my background. You can guess it by my initials or other things I may have done to sort of have my identity so that I won't be discriminated against.

0 (22m 51s):
I think to your, to your point, it needs to be specified. This will go to a totally different department, nobody line with your job or the decision of hiring. You will see this information. I think if that's more implicit in the application and the job seeker believes it that's something else and the job seeker believes it, then you'll probably have more data like that.

5 (23m 12s):
Yeah. I was a couple of years ago introduced to an app that I, that I love the concept and it's called And it is a woman here locally in Austin. And that is what she does. It screens, resumes without looking at bias, data removes the name. So even the recruiter, looking at that data is less biased. And what's great about that is that it exists. The problem with things like, again, tech like that. If we're not looking for new technologies, how many people know it exists in many companies really want to commit to their words, put their words into action and utilize a software like that that will help them remove the bias in their hiring process.

0 (23m 57s):
I've seen two examples of companies that think doing their best to remove any kind of bias from the hiring decisions. One is pretty easy to, to sort of see as is like it would think was the New York symphony orchestra. You know, you play an instrument behind a curtain. Nobody knows what you look like. They just listened to the music. They lack what they hear, boom you're hired. So there's that. And then I've seen companies like Unilever, who they have a process where they hire, I think 500 people with this process. They will place an ad advertisement in social media and advertise. It would say, Hey, if you're interested in working with us, click here.

0 (24m 40s):
It leads you to some sort of online game and you play this game, which is like 12 minutes long. And while you're playing the game is measuring different skills you have. And then the hiring manager will look at the people who scored the highest, no idea who they are or where they come from. They just know that they scored the highest in this game. And then it's okay, well, you, you scored the highest in this game, the top 10%. I want you to apply interview through hire view. And then the recruiter is gonna at that point, see you for the first time and make an assessment. And then all of those who, who impress the recruiter would then go into the hiring manager and get hired on the spot after that.

0 (25m 21s):
So putting in those kinds of blind initiatives, I think to your point would help a lot in terms of removing bias from the hiring, because I think some companies would hear even the word bias and say, well, we're not biased at all because I got hired.

5 (25m 39s):

0 (25m 40s):
So, yeah.

5 (25m 41s):
Yeah. That's interesting. And that's the gamification in HR is also interesting. That was big a couple of years ago. And I'm curious to see with web three and what they're talking about, right. It, and, and Metta, if it's going to come back, if gamification is going to be back in the HR game. So that's really interesting

0 (26m 3s):
When you mentioned also about expanding on DEI. Age-ism, I'd imagine this is becoming a bigger, bigger issue. Can you speak to that ages of, in the workplace?

5 (26m 14s):
Yeah. We've been talking about it, right? Like the, you know, the old versus the new right. And it's just how it's becoming a thing. But I feel like also too, I work a lot in tech and, and you know, smaller companies and founders are really young and been interested, not interested in hiring these boomerang employees let's say, because maybe they don't want to be talked down to, or maybe they don't. So again, it really just goes back to mindset and collaboration and really having people to your point, exploring emotional intelligence in a deeper way or empathy, whatever, you know, I've just, Hey, like I'm here to help you.

5 (26m 57s):
And I think letting go a lot of the ego and the control, it's going to be really interesting. Cause I think we're going to have to do that to succeed in the future. Because right now I think the statistic when I had looked and when, when I left corporate America, right, which was in December, it was like 78% of HR. People are burnt out. Somebody, somebody made a comment or had looked in the new statistic, came out a month ago, I believe. And it was like 90% plus. Wow. But I will tell you that in starting a consulting firm, I have sometimes a lot of resistance and I'm like, wow, you're so burnt out.

5 (27m 39s):
I'm throwing you a lifeline and you don't want to take the help. And so that has been really interesting, I think challenging for me. But again, that's something that I think it goes back to that emotional intelligence of, Hey, and that mindset of this, isn't going to make me look bad. You're just going to go to leadership and say like, look, I'm getting crushed in the market. Like everybody's saying this right. And I just need help to get the best people in the door for you, for us. Right. By no means, does that message convey? I'm not doing my job.

5 (28m 20s):
And so I think we've got to let go of a lot of that. And a lot of that is control and nobody can do it as good as me. Right. We can, you know, deliver the way I do somebody young can't do this or doesn't have this skill skillset. Right. So the mindset shift needs to be like, how can we work together to get it done? Because they can kill that Excel spreadsheet that I've got all these ideas and they can execute. And that's when you really get your team at optimal performance.

0 (28m 49s):
Very good. Very cool. I've been looking for some so far for some statistics on this phenomenon. I don't know if you would have access to them by the meat, throw it out there just in case you do, or in case of the listener has some statistics that they want to share with me. I know that a lot of people or from home that's like become the norm for a lot of a lot of folks. And prior to pandemic, I know a lot of people who were disabled were having issues finding work because they could not get into the office or the office wasn't optimized for their presence. And I know that also people with autism or order sort of newer diversity issue were having challenges.

0 (29m 36s):
But since so many people are online now and doing the work from home and that's like the norm, I'm wondering if there are statistics out there that show that prior to prior to the pandemic, people who are disabled were working in at this percentage point in the, in the world of work. And then prior to dependent, these many people with autism were having trouble finding work, but now post pandemic. Hm. We, we ha have these numbers to compare. So I'm wondering are people who are disabled and people who are neurodiverse, such as people with autism, are they more gainfully employed? Now my assumption is yes, but I don't know of any numbers anywhere to substantiate that.

0 (30m 20s):
Have you seen any reports or data around that? Because that's, that's just a gut feeling for me.

5 (30m 24s):
This is something new. I mean, this is again, I think being tacked on to DEI initiatives in good, in places that are doing it right, is looking at employees with special needs. Now the challenge for me right now, post pandemic is the numbers are maybe skewed because what I'm seeing is that a lot of employees that are companies that are asking people to go back to the office, a lot of employees are trying to get ADA accommodations so that they can continue to work from home and an environment where it's not allowed. And so, or where it's not accepted, right. The employer wants everybody to come back in the office. I also think there are certain jobs like you're saying right, that people can do based off of certain skills.

5 (31m 10s):
So when I think of people with autism, I love seeing them in service jobs. That is just, it brings me joy, like the Walmart reader and stuff. It brings me joy to see them working. And I do think that, you know, big corporate enterprise companies really need to drive some of these programs. It's hard for mid-market to small employers to do that. But, you know, I think, I think that needs to be really looped into DEI initiatives. And again, it's hard though, because ADA accommodations are, you know, again, probably off the charts right now.

5 (31m 55s):
And, and that's why when you, when you asked me about, you know, being a woman or woman of color and as the workforce responding to that in that way, I think this is a good example when the answer's no, because you know, if we have like big issues with working moms, you know, moms have gotten accustomed to working from home, taking care of their kids. They've gotten in a good flow and then an employer is coming back and saying like, no, we need you in the office every day. Well then working moms are quitting their jobs because they've got the flavor, the taste of we can have it all. We can have it both ways and working moms are great workers.

5 (32m 35s):
So, you know, we need the workplace to adjust, right? And so I feel like a hundred percent remote work, probably not, but hybrid is going to be the way to go. And hybrid is going to be the most successful, but giving people the opportunity to work within their means, you know, and I think that that also is going to be for employees with special needs or special needs programs that work with employees and work around their schedules or work, let them allow them to work in environments where they feel comfortable. And so sometimes that is at home or sometimes it's out for a couple hours, you know, in certain environments, but every, but you know, that is a pretty individualistic approach.

5 (33m 28s):
And that's hard to manage when you have 15, 10,000 employees.

0 (33m 33s):
Sure, sure. And in the era of the great resignation, great retirement grade, whatever it companies see to be as flexible as possible, the field, those fill those open, open jobs. I'm curious. How has your experience as a, as a Latino woman influenced your path and what do you hope to accomplish overall with, with your business?

5 (33m 55s):
Yeah. Great question. Just to finish a thought. I think what's interesting on the, on our last thing is when we say flexible environments, I think a lot of employers don't realize having flexibility for your employees does not mean they are not being held accountable. I have this conversation with somebody else and they'll say the same thing about empathy, having empathy for your employees and their situations does not mean they are not being held accountable. That's that's where I think we really need to, to understand that we're still a company. We still have guard rails. We still have policies in place and procedures and flexibility and empathy does not NOLA five, those policies and procedures within our company.

0 (34m 45s):
Well, let me ask one more question on this. Cause when you sit at or reminded me of something, I read yesterday about that apple, right? And so in the comments of the article, what the article basically said that people did not want to return to work at apple because they thought that returning to apple and mass was racist. And so in the comments or the article, people were saying, it's, people are just want to, are used to working from home and they don't want to adjust to the will of the employer. Right. And then some are saying, that's not the case.

0 (35m 25s):
It's unfair because everyone doesn't, can't physically accommodate being at the location. And then someone says, well, it's only three days out of the week. You're coming off as lazy and entitled and other people saying, well, no, it's a matter of again, accommodation. So what would be your answer? How would you referee that situation? If you had a bunch of people saying is racist to go back to the office, but you have the, the, the business saying we pay for this office space. Somebody needed to be here.

5 (36m 4s):
I don't know that it's racist in some, in some cases I have seen it be racist, but in this case, in particular, I don't know that it's racist. I think they're trying to drive a shift in that company's mindset. And again, from a leadership perspective, we all go back to this control, the ability to control, or we think it's better to collaborate in person. And are there some advantages to that? Yes, but this is where there is no, this is where the meeting of the minds needs to happen here. Okay. And you know, there are just, there are people, not everybody wants to stay at home. Trust me. I have talked to plenty of husbands who are like, I want to go to the office every day.

0 (36m 50s):
My family is driving me crazy and get me out.

5 (36m 54s):
Right. I'm just fortunate that I happen to live alone, but, but some days the dogs drive me crazy or I need human interaction. And that's why I think hybrid is so important, but I think it needs to be an option. And I don't think you can, you know, these employers have like, no it's going to go that way or whatever. You know, then I guess you're going to have to hire somebody to work through these leases or think about how you're going to utilize that office space in for the future of work. If you put you put, so what I am seeing companies do now that I do like a lot is they're saying these are our preferred states to hire.

5 (37m 36s):
And, and I think what they're doing is they're creating hubs. And I do, like, I did see a company. I forget which one it was when I was looking at some jobs the other day, doing research. I did see a company who said, you have to live 200 miles within this hub. And what they, what they were saying is that's for their collaboration days. So let's take somewhere like, like Texas, right? If I want somebody to live 200 miles in the hub of Austin, cost of living is going up in Austin. I can farm maybe some good talent from San Antonio or, you know, the outskirts of Austin and, and you know, almost a Houston maybe.

5 (38m 16s):
And then we have a hub where I need you to come into the office and collaborate, right. But everybody's driving two hours at the most or a quick flight. That's going to really drive the hybrid. So that's, that's what I like. That, that to me, I thought was very innovative way of thinking, like, we don't need at the mothership, but we need you close by so you can get there. And then they're establishing or re-establishing offices in different parts of the us to have those hubs,

0 (38m 48s):
You know, a variation of that, that company-wide, but rather citywide, I've seen several initiatives. I'm thinking of one now in Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma, Oklahoma, where they say, if you move, if you relocate yourself to Tulsa, we'll give you 10 grand off the top. Now we're not going to hire you to work for a particular company. We're not going to dictate your time. We just want to see you living in our city, spending your money in our town to help the economy. And you do that for a year as tin grant. And I've seen other other locations. There's, there's a location in Alabama.

0 (39m 28s):
That's doing something similar as well, small towns and small areas who want to revitalize their community, paying people to relocate there, you know, and of course they're optimizing the wifi, I guess, to make it attractive for people to, to, to, to move there. But I think that's, that's something else that I think companies could take advantage of along the lines of what you're say, you know, these, these establish hubs, you know?

5 (39m 53s):
Yeah. I was talking to somebody yesterday who was saying that a benefits broker, who was saying that Austin again, I've just been in Austin networking. So he was telling me that Austin, the city of Austin is giving credits to help small employers provide benefits to their employees. And I thought, well, that was awesome. So they're basically, their employees are getting free healthcare because of that credit, back to the employer from the city.

0 (40m 23s):

5 (40m 24s):
And so, yeah, I agree. I mean, they knew we want to attract companies and attract talent, right? Cities got to, got to get in it. And I'm seeing a lot of cities do that in a lot of press. You know, Louisville is one that's really got my eyeball going to it right now.

0 (40m 41s):
Very cool. You know, if a company wants to offer a really good perk, they should offer health benefits for aging parents. Oh my gosh. Talk about some golden handcuffs. Keep a lot of workers there. Robin Rodriguez. I have enjoyed our conversation so much. If somebody else wanted to continue to conversation with you personally, how can they find you online?

5 (41m 8s):
Yeah, definitely. So you can hit me up on LinkedIn, Robyn with a Y Rodriguez or they can shoot me a

0 (41m 19s):
Very cool. Thanks again for being a guest on TribePod you are appreciated.

5 (41m 25s):
Thank you.

0 (41m 41s):
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you a thousand times. Thank you for listening and subscribing to our podcast. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please send them to us. You can reach us at TribePod that's T R I B E P O D at Proactive Talent dot com. We look forward to hearing from you.

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