#HRTechChat: Make Work Better with Betterworks’ Doug Dennerline & Jamie Aitken

Both my guests for this episode have appeared on the #HRTechChat video podcast previously — here, here and here — and it only made sense to host the two of them this time, at the same time. Why? Betterworks CEO Doug Dennerline and Vice President of HR Transformation Jamie Aitken have co-authored and published a book titled “Make Work Better,” and our discussion revolved around it.

Let’s get something out of the way first. Employers have six ways to Sunday to make work better: make scheduling better for work-life balance, make onboarding better for immediate employee engagement (and faster time-to-productivity), make payroll better so employees get paid incorrectly less often, make on-the-job learning better so staff can build their careers…

Have I missed anything? Probably, and we’ve been talking about how to make work better for years. Over 10 years ago, when I worked with executives at one of the well-known vendors of technology for workforce management, we argued (correctly) in our thought leadership that you could make work better for retail associates by modernizing WFM systems.

The list goes on. You could start anywhere to make work better. One of the best places to start to make work better, however, is by upending tired old approaches to measuring and assessing employees’ performance. More specifically, the central tenet of Doug and Jamie’s book is that you can make work much, much better by dispensing with performance management that revolves around the tedious annual performance review.

We’ve all heard the tongue-in-cheek term, The beatings will continue until morale improves. Well, what are we doing? We can do better than rely on an approach developed by the U.S. military early in the last century and specifically for military scenarios. As for the private sector, “massive research shows that it doesn’t change performance,” Doug said. “It’s a ridiculous thing. Yet people still do it. So, this book was aimed at helping people understand the value of making the change, and giving them a bit of a roadmap on what happens when you do that” and insight into “the profound impact it has on companies that are brave enough to make the change.”

What kind of organization doesn’t want performance to improve? What’s great about leaving the traditional annual review behind is that employees’ performance finally does improve — the goal all along. New approaches aided by the state of the art in cloud software for this (like Betterworks) promote regular dialogue between managers and their direct reports, result in greater workforce engagement overall, and elevate the caliber of leadership throughout the organization.

Over time, in fact, turning away from the old ways of performance management can be an important precursor to organizational transformation — and HR transformation, certainly. Traditionally (and tellingly), HR departments have always measured success vis-à-vis performance management in simple terms of completions — “as opposed to impact, what is it that you’re trying to achieve?” Jamie said. “Well, it’s not just ‘check the box.’ We need to have a completely different way of showing up for our employees. We need to be thinking about different ways to get them engaged, and focused.”

HR departments end up escaping this cost-center-reinforcing mentality and, armed with rich data on workforce performance and engagement, elevate their own standing with organizational leadership. Getting out of the past and into the future of work with their performance management, in other words, is good all around for everyone involved.

For an example of how this plays out, watch this episode of #HRTechChat from last summer, when we interviewed Betterworks user Jeff Andes, vice president of talent management at University of Phoenix.  And I almost forgot: another member of leadership at Betterworks appeared on the podcast last year. In the meantime, and as always, Doug and Jamie were great guests. We unpacked a lot in this episode. Be sure to view it (and get their book).

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Brent Skinner 00:00
Well welcome everybody, to this the latest episode of the HRTechChat video podcast. And I’m really looking forward to today’s episode with me today I have Doug Dennerline who is CEO of Betterworks, and also Jamie Aiken, who is VP of HR transformation also at betterworks. Welcome to you both. Okay. Oh, yeah, absolutely. And you are both repeat guests on the podcast, which is a is a rarefied, rarefied space. I’m standing. I’m sitting actually, but I’m in rarefied space right now. And you we have a really interesting topic today, you both have come out with a co authored a book about performance management and the sad state of sort of legacy performance management and all that. And before we get into that, though, if you could both sort of just reintroduce yourself, yourselves to, to our viewers, some of you haven’t seen some of them haven’t seen you before. And let’s, let’s start maybe with you, Doug.

Doug Dennerline 01:01
Yeah, Doug down the line, the CEO here at better works. I’ve been here about five plus years now I’m working on on this product. I’m attracted to this space, I’m actually the ex president of SuccessFactors. And so I was there when we got acquired by SAP. And, you know, I left shortly after the acquisition, not wanting to be part of a large company and went to another sort of startup. But I’ve been attracted in this space for a long time for a couple of reasons. One is, I’m ex exec at Cisco Systems. And I had a team of 6000 there. And I had general business partner supporting me. And we did all those typical HR practices that that everybody knows and loves and hates, for the most part, and now building software that trying to change those processes that people don’t get much from into something that they see value. And it’s been fun for me.

Brent Skinner 01:54
Yeah, yeah. That’s great. Thank you for sharing. And that’s quite the resume. And you’ve been around the block, which is, which is you’ve seen, you’ve seen some of the some of the big things that happened in the space. That’s really exciting. Jamie, how about you just sort of introduce yourself to our audience again?

Jamie Aitken 02:11
Absolutely. So Jamie Aiken, and I lead up the HR transformation practice here at betterworks. I’ve been in the HR game for over 25 years, led large global HR transformations. And, you know, business transformations over the course of my career, spent the last 10 years or so in the HR tech space. And actually, that’s where I met Doug is a customer of success factors. And, you know, joyously went over to work with him. And my primary focus at betterworks is to work with our HR clients to think through talent strategy, change management strategies, with an eye to having sustainable transformation over time, which I think is, you know, everybody talks about transformation, but it doesn’t stop when you buy the software and implemented the you know, you have to think the long view of you know, what changes you need to make over time with your organization to sustain that transformation effort?

Brent Skinner 03:16
Hmm, yeah. Yeah, it’s really important, you bring up a great point, those HR transformation is a longitudinal game, to use a pretentious analyst word. But anyway. Again, welcome to both and, and that you’ve both come up with a book and I want to talk about it for a little bit. It’s called make work better. And I wish I had remembered to bring I have a copy of it on the other side of the room, it’d be poor for him for me to walk over there right now, because we’re on the podcast. Oh, there we go. All right. And we’ll have a link to the book landing page for it and all that when this podcast goes live for the viewers. But, Jamie, when we will start with you. What, what inspired you to collaborate with with Doug on this book?

Jamie Aitken 04:07
Well, I think first of all, I mean, as an HR practitioner, I have been, you know, the police man for many, many years of enforcing what was a very, you know, traditional performance management is a very backward looking very antiquated, you know, 100 year old process that, frankly, wasn’t delivering a lot of you no impact for the business from a performance perspective, but also, for employees and managers. The experience was morale crushing. So, you know, the catalyst was how could we do this better? And really, at the crux of it is also how do we get HR and the business leaders to be partnering together to take what is an earnest offered by HR to move performance and make performance happen. But in a way that moves the needle for the business. So, you know, we sort of we, we collaborated because we shared, we share a clear vision, but also different perspectives dug much more from a, you know, a big business leadership perspective. And then me from an HR perspective, and when you join those two forces together, you really get an end result that both drives engagement for employees and managers, but also moves the needle from the business perspective.

Doug Dennerline 05:41
For me, Brent, it was more about, you know, now having led to companies in the HR space, especially now better works. And I see customers that that are HR people that are brave enough to do something profound, which is take a risk and really change an old process to something new. And working with a CEO understands how important people are to their business, when they pair up together and see the impact of that. Yet 75, or 80% of large companies in the world have not done this change. And and this book is about poking at them saying why are you doing something that is literally created 100 years ago by the US Army made popular by Jack Welch. at GE, when massive research shows that it doesn’t change performance, people hate getting it, it’s filled with bias. People aren’t getting it. I mean, it’s a ridiculous thing. Yet people still do it. So this book was aimed at helping people understand the value of making the change, and giving them a bit of a roadmap on what happens when you do that. And what’s the profound impact it has on companies that are brave enough to make the change?

Brent Skinner 06:58
Yeah, I can. You both bring up great points, just a parlay of something you just said around it. We’ve been. And Jamie, I recall our discussing this in the past in a previous episode. Yeah, this was developed by the US military. And the workplace is not the military. Let’s, let’s just let’s get that out of the way. You know, that the military does, you know, they do a great job at what they do. But it’s really interesting, if you’ve both heard, we’ve all heard the term, you know, the beatings will continue until morale improves. But this really is the embodiment of that. And in in you, I think, I imagined that there are a lot of see, this is such an important message. Because there are a lot of organizations probably don’t realize that annual reviews don’t like really have no bearing like they really don’t have don’t affect performance at all, and what organization really doesn’t want performance to improve. I mean, the purpose is not just to experience bad performance, so they can just punish it. I mean, that’s not the purpose of being an organization, you want the performance to improve. And that’s what really sticks out to me. It’s sort of what we’ve been stuck in this rut of thinking for a long time, where it’s just it happens a lot of areas where you just kind of get into a certain mode of thinking, and you just keep doing the same thing, because that’s the way it’s always been done and expecting it to work. Because at some point way back in the beginning, people thought that it would.

Jamie Aitken 08:30
Well, and if you if you think about it, the way that it traditionally it’s measured in terms of success as a process is percentage of completion. As opposed to impact, you know, what is it that you’re trying to achieve? Well, it’s not just 100%, check the box. Yes, everybody’s completed their performance review. And that traditionally, is the way HR has measured if they were successful, and I think the pandemic in particular has accelerated, that we need to have a completely different way of showing up for our employees. And therefore we need to be thinking about different ways to get them engaged, and focused, then then we did before, so if anything, it became even more of a catalyst than before, because we’ve been talking about making this change for a while in HR, but not a lot of bolts have stood up to do it. You know,

Doug Dennerline 09:33
you made an interesting point, Brent, because, you know, having been an executive at multiple companies. Guess who doesn’t bother with this process? Is the top leaders in the organization really don’t put their direct reports through this? You know, and so, they don’t really experience how horrible of an experience they’re having their people go through and first line managers going through this process and how terrible it is. for both the manager and the employee, because they are not doing it with their own direct reports.

Brent Skinner 10:05
That’s a really good point. That’s enough. Because those are close relationships. And, and it’s a great segue into something I want to talk about in a minute. But I want to go back. So first of all, Jamie, you mentioned, you know, that sort of the key, I maybe call it a KPI for HR is how many completions? Right? That’s, I mean, talk about the ultimate sort of poster boy for calling yourself a cost center almost right? It’s HR, right? This is this is almost the epitome of that. I’m thinking about just an unrelated conversation I had recently with a company that does AI for AI based stuff, like skills matching that kind of thing. And when it comes to talent acquisition, recruiters, recruiting departments, they often sort of measure success on a higher volume of potential new hires candidates coming into the system, right. But when you’re putting when you’re applying AI, to better skills met to achieve better skills matching, you may have fewer candidates coming into the fit into the system, but their higher value. So it’s just another example of this. Really, as a profession in so many ways, so many areas of HCM, we need to really, we need to truly rethink how we’re measuring success.

Jamie Aitken 11:30
No question. And I think we candidly, also have to build some business acumen or more business acumen around that I worked with one colleague years ago, in HR. And in every single HR meeting that we had, she would look at some point and say, and how is this helping the business? And it would always stop everybody in their tracks, because we were deeply involved in the HR lifecycle. So we were all just about running the machine and the processes. And her challenge to us was apt, which was big, why are we doing this if it’s not actually to serve, how we move forward for the business, right. And I think, you know, you can get in that mindset in HR very, very quickly. But building out that business acumen, and understanding and having much closer finger on the pulse of what the business needs, as opposed to just running a cycle makes a huge difference in terms of being able to, like, throw out the old metrics, really examine the processes that you have in place and challenge yourself of, do we really need to be doing this? And if we do, how can we do it better so that we’re aligned, not only with the business needs, but also with the employee needs, in terms of, you know, career growth, development, etc? Yeah,

Doug Dennerline 12:55
I think a lot of this is going to be forcing their hand in today’s world, because, you know, smart employees are going to want to understand how they’re going to get developed. And I think a really good interview question these days is how are you going to develop me? And if it’s so we have this annual review process? Run? You know, I mean, Millennials don’t want to be talking to you once a year. They want to be talk to you every day, about how they’re performing. And so the processes of the past do not meet the needs of the workforce today.

Brent Skinner 13:23
Yeah, absolutely. Right. Absolutely. Right. There’s a real retention risk by not making this change by not moving forward getting it. Yeah. moving, moving into the future of performance management. And, and, Jamie, you mentioned sort of the biotech bidirectionality there is, you know, that, that it’s the mutuality of what have been the beneficiary ality that mutuality of benefits reality, right, where it’s, it’s good for organizational leadership strategy for the business. And it’s good for the employees, it’s kind of interesting that a lot of things that end up in Oregon as being end up with organizational success are good for all stakeholders within the organization. Yeah. And now, now, going back to, Doug, what you said, though, round, you know, like, at the top levels of an organization, excuse me, you know, their direct reports, let’s say the VPs, and the SR V PC, these types of people don’t have to go through this kind of, you know, annual performance review. And, and because there’s so much more interaction almost on a daily basis between these people that sort of the top of the organization of the of the totem pole. And, you know, you have to wonder leaving aside sort of the chicken and the egg question, is that because they performed to get to that level or as or as part of it just because that’s how it works better to work, right. But, but thinking about this, this really kind of gets at the, at the at the sort of the, the main one of the main tenets of modern performance management, we want to call it enablement or whatever is it there’s more interaction, more frequency of communication between direct reports and their managers. Do you want to maybe dive into that a little bit?

Doug Dennerline 15:09
I think that’s what it’s all about. It’s this notion of, you know, what we’re trying to do is build an engaging application that, that begins with a conversation between a manager and individual contributor, and it’s around, what are your goals going to be, for the next 90 days, both for helping the company achieve what it wants to achieve, but what do you want to achieve as an employee in this organization, and it’s being able to look up at the top company goals and when good leadership needs to set those on an ongoing basis, because you no longer can do this annual goal setting thing, because the world moves much quicker than that. So maybe you need to pivot in a 90 day in the middle of a 90 day period of time to pivot to be competitive to do something different. So it begins with that conversation. And then it’s, Hey, let’s check in on a regular basis on how are you doing against those goals? How are you achieving them? Are you hitting roadblocks? How can I help you achieve those goals? Let’s build a couple of developmental goals for you. So you can become who you want to be in this organization. And I’m invested in your success as your leader in getting you there. It’s much more engaging. And when we see people that use our products and products like ours, and other companies, you know, tremendous increases in engagement scores and competence in leadership and understanding strategy. It may it’s an incredibly dynamic, Brent, that we just wish the world knew that if you went ahead and met through this change, which by the way, it takes multiple quarters to get people to understand the value of it, it’s not taking the annual thing and doing it four times it’s much lighter weight than that, much less time consuming. And with AI will be able to do most of the work for you and write it without bias and give you competent feedback on how you’re performing based on the data inside of our application. And a much more meaningful way than we would have in the past. So a lot less work candidly for managers to

Brent Skinner 17:07
you know, I want to get into a into the AI piece of it a little bit. I love AI. All conversations in HCM seem to lead back to AI these days, but it’s tough to talk about it without and I don’t think it’s definitely not just hyperbole about it. But one of the things that I just want to go back to what you’re, if I what you were sharing made me think something is like the old the old approach to performance management is predicated on what I think is we can all agree is a false postulate that that that every single supervisor and manager is a good manager, a good supervisor, or knows, let’s put it differently, knows how to manage well. And supervise. Well, it’s predicated on that possibly. And that, I believe, is a false postulate. It’s what I like. Yeah, yeah. We’ve all had great managers, and we’ve all had, you know, floor managers, you know, so that runs the gamut. This is, this is not sort of a, you know, an implication of all managers or anything, we’re not gonna rag on managers here. But the whole point is that I love the new process, because it, it’s not just about the direct report, improving their performance, it’s about the manager getting better, too.

Doug Dennerline 18:26
Yeah, very much so.

Jamie Aitken 18:28
And we’re spending a lot of time focused on building up that competency for managers. So in the in the product itself, we’re giving guides we’re giving just in time, training, and nudges, etc, to help the manager become better because we recognize that in the past, and I was guilty of it, in the past, HR would sit in a room, we design a beautiful process, and we’d hack it over the fence to managers and assume that magically, they were going to transform. And that’s just not the case. So I think part of the part of the burden needs to also rest on the shoulders of HR, because we didn’t take the time or make the effort or recognize the importance that managers needed some support and enablement themselves to be better. So we’re doing a lot of that work at betterworks. And so yeah, you’re absolutely spot on. Not all managers are born to be, you know, born immediately to be, frankly, there’s an awful lot of new inexperienced managers that are out there right now. And so we know that there is a gap. So we’re working very hard to fill that gap as well.

Brent Skinner 19:42
Yeah, and, and that that’s, that gets into a little bit. We’re often a little bit of a tangent here, but it’s interesting because I have read that there is research and I haven’t read the actual resource full disclosure. I haven’t read the actual research, but I’ve read that there is research showing that leadership is a learnable skill there’s, there’s sort of this myth of the born leader, there probably some people with some innate sort of traits that make it easier for them. Or more, you know, it’s more of a intuitive thing for them to become leaders, but maybe they become leaders on their own, but it is definitely a teachable thing, which is interesting. And that’s what I love about this new process as well. What’s your favorite part of the book, Doug?

Doug Dennerline 20:32
My favorite part is, is again, this notion that, and I’ve seen this in so many companies, Brent, where the CEO is like, oh, that HR stuff, hoof, you know, I just I, sometimes they took the HR person literally under the CFO to get far enough away from it, you know, and I tell my sales team don’t even call on that account, because that that HR person is going to have no ability to affect the culture. But when you find a CEO that knows probably the most important relationship on their direct reports, be your CFO, your CEO, your head of HR, you know, your head, your functional leaders, is your HR leader, when you have a good one. And they they’re invested in the business, not HR, all the time, they understand where you’re trying to go in five years, and they can hold a mirror up to the CEO and say, you know, these two people on your team, we’re not gonna have the skills to get you where you need to go in five years, you need to make a change, and make them force them to think about that, like, Hey, maybe I really need to do make that change. And I’m being blind from a personal relationship that I’ve developed with that person. And you see the profound impact that has when you have a partner like that on your team. And the difference they can make, in their, in their I call mobilizers. They’re like, you know, what, I’m changing everything we do here, I’m going to change how we do performance reviews, I don’t even like performance reviews, by the way most managers aren’t capable of you’re not we’re not psychologists, we don’t know what motivates people to perform. You know, and I think, to your point, leadership has often changed the qualities of a leader of 25 years ago, you wouldn’t work in today’s environment, today’s about empathy, it’s about understanding the work environment, what’s happening at home, how are you integrating work with your life, not work life with your work, and you know, good leaders like that are need to be trained. And we can help do that with through the product ourselves and take that burden off of HR a bit. And so the book points, all all those things in multiple chapters on the power of when a good, ah, good CEO and a good HR leader together have a profound impact on a company.

Brent Skinner 22:43
That’s such a great point. I’ve read research, going back many years, where, you know, one of the top sort of perennial concerns or strategic imperatives that save CEOs is, is finding and retaining the best talent, they don’t want to lose their good people. percent. Yeah. Jamie, how about you? Another really interesting part of the book that you like,

Jamie Aitken 23:09
I would say, you know, it’s sort of a riff off of Doug, but from an HR perspective, because we really do. I hope and courage, courage, because the, you know, it can be daunting, if, you know, if you’re facing as an HR leader, if you’re facing, you know, you know, in your gut, that transformation needs to happen. And by the way, you know, also that it’s happening in companies other than yours, it’s to encourage that they become courageous enough to step up and say, we need to do this here, this is time to do this here. And we give some really good, very, you know, bullet point, here’s, here’s the sort of steps that you need to take, in order to do this, here’s, here’s what that transformation is going to entail. And number one is also finding a really strong CEO is a partner. But I love the fact that we’re, you know, this is this is a little bit of a challenge to both CEOs and HR. But there’s also an empathetic side to it, which is, be courageous, be bold, this is the time the you know, the marketplace is asking for it, you know, in your gut, you need to do it. So, let’s go.

Doug Dennerline 24:30
And Brent is also I think, you know, seven or so stories of examples of companies, real companies, like Intuit and others that have made these transformations and they discuss the impact that it had on their businesses when they did it.

Brent Skinner 24:45
Yeah. Oh, yeah, absolutely. Those are those, those all important metrics that are that are very, very helpful and impactful and in convincing other organizations to do this to do the same thing. Absolutely. And I love what you have to stay to about, about courage, Jamie, you know, it’s, it’s, you know, oftentimes you have an HR organization at an employer that’s sort of inundated or overwhelmed in with operational HR, what we’d like to call concrete HR. So that cost center stuff and it, it takes courage to kind of, you know, raise your hand and say, you know, hey, we can be better, let’s, let’s, let’s do this. And to have also to have help, to help them have that epiphany. So they can fathom that, that life can be different, you know, and they can start, Jura started that journey along the HCM maturity, to to full HCM maturity, which is so exciting. I want to talk about AI just for a minute here, because I think it’s really, really exciting. You know, that performance management and all this stuff around generative AI, and let me just sort of set the stage with what I’m thinking, you know, is that, you know, and I’ve heard this from other people, certainly, this is not, you know, like, my sort of unique statement or whatever, but, but I’ve heard it from others and thought it myself too, is that it’s kind of interesting, if you insert AI in the right way, into the workplace, it’s gonna be into the into HCM with HCM, right. And it can make, it can actually make the work experience feel more human. When you eliminate when you take out some out human elements to it and replace kind of, you know, or enhance it with AI. That, and that’s what I’m thinking might be happening here. I heard you talk about eliminating biases in this sort of stuff. And stuff, Doug, I’d love to, I’d love to hear your thinking about that.

Doug Dennerline 26:50
Yeah, it’s it’s going to be as profound as the invention of the worldwide web, and probably even more. Because it is getting so smart. So fast, we are we are deeply in involved in thinking about the impact that has on all of our processes. It can, if you think about probably one of the big deterrence of a manager in this process is on average, they spent five weeks writing getting right up to the end of this thing, writing performance reviews. And it’s filled with recency bias, what’s the last thing I did with this person with AI, you can have it look at all the data in the application over the course of time, it can, right you can give it a period of time you want it to look back and this person’s body of work and write a review that is is that is empathetic that’s written in a certain voice that that would remove any language that could be conceived to be biased. And then it can be reviewed by manager to say, Yes, this represent accurately what this person’s achievements were in the last quarter. You can have it do things like look at a person’s body of work, and put that person in a nine block calibration process in a larger organization in the right block, versus haven’t been somebody’s ability to debate where their people belong based upon their effort. In the list of things that we’re doing are endless the ability to give an administrator of the HR software, AI roadmap of how to build a program, and not have to reach out to us as a vendor to help them understand how to do that they can literally have aI built the program for them. And so the list of things that this can do to make what HR does seen as an incredible value in an organization to actually move the needle on enablement of people is going to be profound. And it’s probably one of the you know, we’re using it even to help us write the code, right? I mean, we use a we use copilot today. And so we’re you know, we’ve gotten the question, well, aren’t a bunch of people going to lose their job? And the way I answered that as well, I could have 10 Less people or I can do 10 times more work if I keep the people that I have. Yeah, right. The people that the people that do the reduction are going to fall behind because smart CEOs are gonna keep the number of people they have, but operated a much higher frequency of output.

Brent Skinner 29:19
Yeah. Oh, I love that. I love that. That’s it. You know, I’m just gonna let what you said, Stan, I mean, this is let’s get to try to put a fine point on it. But I mean, that’s just great. So fascinating. Just we really live in a very, very exciting times when it comes to HCM and the management of the employment of people or the inspiration of the employment of people, you know, the leader, the leading of the of the employment of people and, and performance management, it’s, you know, if anything else it really the rubber is really meeting the road. If any, if anywhere else in HCM than then then it’s definitely performance matters.

Doug Dennerline 30:00
I’d make one more point than I think it’s important because you touched on I do think the, that enterprises around the world neglect first line management in probably the most serious way, they just don’t put the investment in somebody that, you know, made somebody new manager. I mean, when I was at Cisco, and I would promote somebody, I call him back in 90 days and say, What are you doing differently today than you did 90 days ago? And they go nothing? I said, well, then you’re just being an individual contributor, not being a manager, you know, I mean, there’s an art to managing well, with AI, we can also look at, when’s the last time you reached out to this person? When did you have an interaction with them, we can send them a nudge saying, hey, you know what, you have a one on one coming up, and you haven’t had a conversation around these three topics that you should bring up in your next one, we can lead a horse to water here in a very serious way, and helping, you know, build pedagogy into the process of education of managers in it using AI.

Brent Skinner 30:56
That’s, yeah, that’s it. You know, it’s also about it’s helping, that’s helping HR be that that advisor, that mentor when it comes to the employee experience, too. Yeah. Yeah, this is,

Jamie Aitken 31:09
I mean, think about it, think about it, as opposed to HR and I’ve seen this in a few different organizations, more than more than I would wish for, where HR at the end of a performance review process, their job is to run around in hound managers to complete their you know, check off the box, right? Make sure that the process is complete, what a switch they can have with, you know, as opposed to that bureaucratic, administrative, heavy, heavy activity. HR now is, you know, unencumbered by that and can be therefore, given the time space. And, and

Doug Dennerline 31:56
they’ll be seeing that they’ll be seen as heroes for the first time. Oh,

Brent Skinner 31:59
yeah. Heroes, it all HR departments, they, they have a burning desire to be seen as the heroes. And if we can give them the tools to help them do it, then then then they’re off to the races. Yeah. Oh, wow. This, this has been a fantastic conversation. Thank you so much. I’m looking at the time we’re out of time. But it’s always great. Speaking with you both always great conversation. This is really looking forward to this to this podcast being live and, and thank you both for joining me today.

Doug Dennerline 32:34
Thank you for the time and thanks for the interest. Appreciate it very much. Always

Jamie Aitken 32:38
a pleasure.

Brent Skinner 32:39
Absolutely. Thank you very much. All right.


  1. Just added this to the playlist! Can’t wait to hear more about the book and the subject matter from two key (prior) members who were critical to the early success @SuccessFactors. Excited for my next commute!

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