Jen Alessandra is the Chief People Officer at FrontDoor. Starting in 2019, she guided the company through a rapid and complete transformation into a virtual-first workforce while preserving its strong, adaptable, and action-oriented culture. She is an expert in all aspects of people strategy, including learning, DEI, engagement, and more. In this conversation, Jen explains how FrontDoor built its people strategy from the ground up (pun intended).
Mentioned in this Episode:
- Assessing Personalities w/ Erich Kurschat on The People Business Podcast
- Quote – “Small minds discuss people. Average minds discuss events. Great minds discuss ideas.” – Elanor Roosevelt
(3:29) – Jen’s origin story in HR Leadership.
(4:20) – What initially drew you to Social Work?
(6:17) – What did you learn from Social Work about setting emotional boundaries?
(8:35) – What is the role of HR?
(10:34) – What are the principles you use to keep people motivated?
(12:23) – How do you scale individual attention?
(14:16) – How did you create a common language across the organization?
(17:20) – How do you structure your pulse surveys?
(20:17) – What have you learned from studying the future of the workforce?
(22:09) – Thoughts on creating a culture.
(23:22) – Creating time boundaries when piloting programs.
(24:18) – How have you managed the ongoing uncertainty of Covid-19?
(26:18) – The importance of slowing down to speed up.
(28:39) – Setting boundaries at work during the pandemic.
(30:11) – Do you have any rituals for disconnecting?
(31:51) – Integrating psychology and behavior science in HR.
(34:51) – What have you learned about communication that has surprised you?
(36:02) – How do you hold the line when it comes to accountability and performance?
(38:21) – How are you communicating OKRs? (Objectives and Key Results)
(41:19) – Balancing how much a company defines guidelines and roles.
(46:20) – What do you believe about people or business that might be contrarian?
(47:12) – Helping people receive hard feedback.
(48:44) – What are you sick of talking about?
(50:29) – What aren’t people talking about enough?
(55:26) – What is the purpose of business?
(57:16) – Wrap up and final thoughts.