This episode of the RAISE podcast is a bit different. Brent chats with EverTrue’s recently-hired (and first!) Head of People and Culture, Gail Wilkinson.
Gail is 60 days into her EverTrue journey, and she reflects on her experience being recruited and onboarded to the EverCrew, the aspects of the journey where we’ve done really well, and the areas where we can improve. She talks through the employee lifecycle, some common blindspots for HR/People Ops teams, and her suggested fixes along the way.
Gail has worked for big companies like Walgreens, mid-size companies like Office Depot, and small start-up companies like Urban Skin Rx, so she has broad and deep wisdom to share with our listeners.
Listen to the full episode here, or catch the highlights below.
Highlights from this episode…
Gail reflects on her studies at Temple University and Bethune Cookman University, and the mentors who suggested that she blend her two passions – people and business – to pursue a career in human resources and organizational development.
Gail has learned that it doesn’t really matter how strong your product is, or how strong your marketing strategy presents itself, and it almost doesn’t even matter how much you pay people; if you don’t treat your people right, you don’t have a company.
Gail talks through some commonly-overlooked aspects of the recruiting process (are you hiring folks you like or folks you need?); in the interview process (are the right people asking the right questions?); in the onboarding process (do new employees have a detailed two-week plan and onboarding buddy?); in the retention process (do your employees have a sponsor and a mentor?); and even in the off-boarding process (do your current employees perceive that someone was off-boarded with respect?).
Gail reminds all the leaders out there that when you have great people on your team, the best way to keep them engaged is to make time for them. You might think that your A and B players are all set and don’t need you as much, so you spend time more time on the C and D players. But it should actually be the reverse.
Gail talks about how diversity can’t be just a checkbox or a conversation. It has to be a way of operating that is organically woven into the threads of a company. This shows when every team member understands that without a diversity of race, religion, ethnicity, socio-economic status, ability, skill, and opinion, the company simply will not thrive.
Reflecting on DEI, Gail recalls how the companies she worked for in Southern Florida didn’t really talk about diversity – it was just a natural part of how the business operated. Although Boston is a metropolis, it doesn’t have the same diverse makeup as SoFlo. So, since they’re not geographically limited, remote-first companies (like EverTrue) have a huge advantage to recruit an “unlimited terrain of diverse talent”.
Gail reflects on why she joined EverTrue, saying, “The fact that we’re doing things that impact folks not just today, but for generations to come – that’s what I joined EverTrue. It’s a legacy-changer.“