It's time to rethink culture, says NEW panel at FMI
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Posted by: Rufino Cabang
NEW Talent SuperSession co-host Kerrie Peraino of
American Express connects with
former NEW Board Member Mike Gorshe of Accenture
at FMI Midwinter.
To attract and leverage the best talent, retail and consumer products companies
must better address the needs of Millennials, women and multicultural employees,
according to a panel of industry leaders participating in "Talent
Strategies to Drive Growth and Competitive Advantage," a special SuperSession
hosted by NEW and American Express at the FMI Midwinter Executive Conference in
The existing "ways
of working" will not engage a changing workforce, according to Gerarda Van
Kirk, partner for change management consulting at Accenture, who shared
insights from "Are you the weakest link? Strengthening
your talent supply chain."
Van Kirk was joined by Glenn
Hartman, senior vice president, channel business development at Starbucks;
Sabrina Wiewel, chief customer officer at Hallmark Cards Inc.; and Kerrie
Peraino, senior vice president, global talent management, American Express. The
event, which marked the one-year anniversary of the launch of the Network’s
It’s Time Movement for workplace change, was co-hosted by Peraino and NEW
President and CEO Joan Toth.
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"Culture is the
single biggest competitive advantage anyone can have." Hartman said. Embracing
openness and a sense of community, Starbucks engages in ongoing conversations
with partners — how they choose to refer to employees—eschewing traditional
annual reviews. "Culture is homegrown," he added.
"You have to have a
sense for what's meaningful to [employees]," Peraino added. "It's the
single most important thing our leaders can do in a highly competitive
Wiewel agreed. Hallmark
chooses to personalize their work experience by reinforcing social
consciousness toward customers and employees. The needs of Asian, Latino,
African American, LGBT and Millennial demographics are explored and addressed
through Hallmark's many targeted business resource groups.
Millennials will replace
Baby Boomers as the majority of the workforce in the next five years, and
"only about 15 percent of younger employees want to work for large
companies, so small is in," Van Kirk said, noting that 'small' can mean more
opportunities for mentoring.
"Millennials still want to come into an
office," Peraino added. "But maybe not with the same strict schedules
as prior generations."
Additionally, Millennials won't settle for the "work hard and pay your
dues" mindset of older generations. Work-life integration and access to
development are among the professional values Generation Y values the most. "These
are the same things most employees want — especially
women and multicultural employees —
who have too often felt, and been, excluded," Toth said.
"We need a
workplace culture that matches our workforce, not the other way around," she
said. "This workplace transformation is where we find competitive
advantage. It’s how you not only attract and retain, but get the enthusiasm,
collaboration and sense of purpose today’s worker wants."