Kristen Gallagher is an organizational strategies and learning designer. She is the founder and CEO of Edify, a learning strategy consultancy that solves people operations problems for growing companies.
Kristen has architected and delivered onboarding programs for companies bringing on everything from 1+ to 100+ people a quarter. Specializing in onboarding systems, manager development, and knowledge management, Edify delivers programs that are designed to evolve and scale with rapid changes.
This month, Kristen introduces Human.School, a new kind of HR conference where startups and cutting-edge companies can create their entire onboarding kit in just two days.
What is Human.School?
Human.School is an event like no other – it’s a two day, high-intensity, results-driven conference for people operations professionals in growing companies. It offers workshop-style sessions that you don’t have to choose from; instead, you’ll build a people operations strategy by going through sessions one after another. It brings together some of the brightest minds in HR and related fields to offer an incredible slate of expertise, experience, and inspiration.
What are startups getting wrong when it comes to hiring?
They don’t have a strategy and they aren’t utilizing culture fit the right way. They use that phrase to exclude and make excuses for behavior that may or may not be right for the team.
What are some essential elements of an onboarding process?
Start with the basics! Think about how your new hire will feel coming in and what they need to be successful. They need, at minimum, a plan of things to do and learn in the first 2 weeks.
Culture is a major buzzword. What does it really mean? Which concepts will outlast the trend?
To me, it means everything that your team does on purpose and without meaning to that affects the way they work together. All the ping pong tables and the fireside chats in the world don’t matter if don’t get to the heart of culture – trust, vulnerability, and communication.
What are the components of creating a productive culture?
I’d say start looking at how your team communicates – not just verbally, but via chat, body language, and between the lines. To create a culture or change a negative one, you have to have a handle on how people are communicating. You also need to consider what you do to create trust and safety in your work environment.
As job applicants, how can people do a better job of matching themselves with a company they’ll love?
Look at their stated values and make sure that they match yours, and ask questions about those values in the interview. Push hard about communication and make sure you feel good about them- it’s not just the company that gets to choose!
How can human resources people get their executives invested in the idea of investing in their people?
Make it about the business. Do everything you can to get real numbers and data, and connect your goals to their goals.
How do you define success?
For me, success is about being happy in who I am and being able to be that person all the time.