Ditching Talent Management

with Nasdaq's SVP of People Experience, Rich Taylor

listen to apple podcastslisten to spotify podcastslisten on amazon podcastslisten on google podcastsWatch on YouTube

What can you do to lift up and empower your team? What does it mean to have a map at your business? How do you create a safe space and an environment for open communication?

Today we’re talking with Richard Taylor, the senior vice president of People Experience and Diversity at NASDAQ. Rich offers his unique global perspective on talent empowerment. He also gives tips on how to build and maintain a strong positive culture in your company.

Rich has developed his skills by working as an HR leader for years, at businesses like LinkedIn,Reuters, and several tech startups. He has the ability to transform business cultures by and through talent attraction, enhanced employee experiences, and people development. Richard’s passion lies in trying to ensure that diversity is in the heart of everything he pursues.

  • What it means to lead People Experience and Diversity at NASDAQ
  • How Rich’s background led to his career in talent empowerment
  • Building a safe space and trust in a company culture
  • The meaning behind a map and how to build a healthy culture
  • Creating a road map and spelling out career paths within your company○Being transparent with compensation
  • The importance of communication within a company
  • The Great Resignation: retention versus resignation
  • Creating a brand around managers that grow and share talent
  • Lifting up and empowering your team in order to create more value for your business

[Tom Finn]    00:00:02    Hello, and welcome to the Talent Empowerment podcast, where we lift up people leaders so they can lift up their organizations. I'm your host, Tom Finn, co-founder and CEO of LeggUP together. We'll learn how to drive people innovation, how to transform HR into people ops, and how to secure buy-in to disrupt the status quo. And as I like to say, it's finally time to stop smoking on airplanes and update your people strategy. Let's transform your organization and move from a culture of talent management to talent empowerment. This week's episode of the talent empowerment podcast is brought to you by LeggUP’s Talent Insurance, an inclusive people development platform designed to help HR leaders empower their people through one-on-one professional coaching with results like a 66% improvement in avoiding burnout, a 54% jump in leadership skills and a 73% increase in job satisfaction, LeggUP guarantees, improved employee wellbeing, productivity, and retention.  In fact, they ensure it, your people stay or they pay!  Visit LeggUP that's L E G G up.com to learn more. And without further ado, this is talent empowerment. 

Welcome to the show. Everybody. Our guest today is Richard Taylor. Rich is the senior vice president of people experience and diversity at the NASDAQ. His experience, which he developed over years of working as an HR leader at major corporations like LinkedIn, Reuters, and several tech startups is in building and transforming company culture. He does that through talent attraction, enhanced employee experiences, people development, and a lot more. But his real mission is ensuring that diversity is at the heart of everything he pursues. So you might ask where that came from. Uh, very simply, Rich received his bachelor's degree in philosophy and religion from Bates college. He has a master's in divinity from Harvard, and he almost finished his Ph.D. in Buddhism and Indian studies at Berkeley before switching paths to join the tech world. So this is an angle in experience, um, that we haven't really seen before, and he's done it not just in the US. He's done it in Europe, he's done it in Asia and I am really excited to get a unique global perspective from Rich today on talent empowerment. Rich, welcome to the show.  

[Rich Taylor]    00:02:36    Thanks so much, Tom. 

[Tom Finn]    00:02:38    Well, we are thrilled to have you, I'm gonna start off with an easy one. You lead people experience and diversity at NASDAQ, help us understand that role. 

[Rich Taylor]    00:02:47    Sure. Uh, it's basically a role where my job is to ensure NASDAQ is a great place to be and that people want to be there, that people stay there. And then we pull in awesome, great new people over time. And it touches on things that are typical HR, things like talent management, uh, leadership development, learning, and development, career development, diversity inclusion, and other things that are, are typical HR things. There are also things that I've chosen to take on and tackle that are maybe not typical HR things. For instance, what's the working environment like, and I work with our real estate and facilities group a lot. What's our tech like, is it, is it easy or is it frustrating to get your job done? Can you get things purchased in a reasonable time that you need to get to do your job done? Um, all the things that touch on how we actually work and whether they are classic HR things or other parts of the company, I want it to be a great experience, and to be clear, I'm not running all those things. I'm working with people across the company and department leaders to ensure that things are teed up to make life easy for our employees to make it a great experience and to get the best out of them. And my philosophy is that when people are set up to do their best and they feel at their best, they're gonna do the best for customers. And that's a winning proposition for a company.  


[Tom Finn]    00:04:02    Yeah, very, very well said. And teamwork is the most important thing we can, uh, inspire in an organization to create the right culture and the right momentum, um, and, and have the right conversations and the right communication within an organization. Now you are, your background is in philosophy and religion and it feels like to me, it feels like a, just a beautiful fit to go into, uh, people and diversity and, and creating an environment. How, how does one lead to the other? 

[Rich Taylor]    00:04:36    So the big picture is that I really care about people, and I'm glad that I'm in a role like this, where I get to be paid to care about people, but it's come from a place in my life where I had a lot of big questions. I had a lot of big questions about the universe and the meaning of things and why humans are here and why we're so different and just all the big questions many young people have. And so, even though I began as a physics major in college, the math got outta control and I found out it was easier to answer some big questions in the philosophy and religion domain, where there's considerably less math, but I'll also take you back to earlier in my life were like many people, I grew up in a family without a lot of resources. We were frankly, quite poor. 

[Rich Taylor]    00:05:14    There are poor people on the planet, but my family was pretty poor. And I was in a poor neighborhood where my friends were poor as well. And this isn't a poor me story. This is around the situating, the listener to like, what do I care about? As I grew up, I realized there were differences in society. I realized there were people who were well off and not well off, but it was very puzzling to me. I remember being an early teen and even realizing there are some better cars, like a BMW and so not so great cars. And it, it, it was hard for me to understand like some of the stratification society and some of the economic differences, I just, I came from poverty. So I didn't really know how wealthy families lived or how they ticked. And this affected me through school where I realized I had to work really hard to try to be economically successful. 

[Rich Taylor]    00:05:59    But I also felt like compared to some people I met when I got to college. And I wanna tell that story in a second too, but I just didn't have a map. Like I, I like compared to people I met in college who grew up with families who had other people who went to college or who were professionals like color professionals, and they knew how to navigate. I really felt kind of helpless. Like I don't, I don't even know what the points on the map are. So just a quick story about choosing colleges, because I was poor. I couldn't afford to apply to a lot of schools. I didn't know what good schools and what not great schools were. And I didn't even realize you could probably get application fees waived. I didn't know. I didn't have a map. Nobody in my extended family had gone to college. 

[Rich Taylor]    00:06:37    And most of my friends' families hadn't gone to college, but I got lucky that I did well on the pre-SATs and colleges get those scores. And they sent me catalogs full of beautiful pictures and stories. And so literally surrounded by like these colorful catalogs on my living room floor. I'm like that one looks good and that one looks good and I can only afford to apply to two schools. Well, I got into one, so guess where I went to school, right? <laugh>, through that incredible opportunity, I began to meet people who didn't have backgrounds like me. And I realized there are very different ways of living in the world that I was completely UN exposed to. And college was my chance to get that exposure. 

[Tom Finn]    00:07:14    Well, that's, that's fantastic. Uh, in terms of a background story, I, I think we can all relate to, to parts of that story and that college admissions process, uh, can be a little intimidating, uh, when you're a young person. And, and if you don't have, uh, the expertise in the household, uh, you're sort of doing it on your own, um, which, which I think is, uh, kudos to you for making that happen. So you end up, you end up going to college and then you go and you, you get a graduate degree and then you're going to, um, Berkeley for some time. And you're thinking through all of this. And then all of a sudden, poof, you're in the tech world. 

[Rich Taylor]    00:07:53    It may feel like poof. Yeah. It may feel like poof, it wasn't poof. Um, first of all, I did a lot of years in grad school, probably too many. So the master's degree was three years because when you're getting a divinity degree, you're studying a lot of ancient languages and that takes time. So three-year master's degree, the Ph.D. was seven more years. Wow. So by the time I was in my sixth year of the Ph.D., nine years, total grad school, I'd had a lot and I had begun thinking, wow, I'm not even sure I'm really good at this. And it's also kind of lonely. A lot of Ph.D. work and scholarly work as people know, is in the library and your nose is in a bunch of books and you're reading and you're writing these very Aite papers that three people in the world may read. 

[Rich Taylor]    00:08:37    And so I thought is this, is this the career I really want thinking about a 35-year career. Is this what I really love? But what I also had the opportunity to do as a graduate student at Berkeley was begin to do graduate student teaching. And Tom, I loved the teaching. I loved it. I had students in my religion, 1 0 1 class that were freshmen, and they would take another class with me in their sophomore year and another class with me in their junior year and senior year. And I got to watch these young minds unfold and they learned to write really well. And they learned critical thinking. They learned about comparative religion and the history of humanity. It was just fascinating to watch these young people grow up into young adults. And I finally had a moment of reckoning. I don't know what, like the day, I don't remember sitting on the floor thinking about this, but I realized I should get a job doing what I love a career can be a multi-decade thing. 

[Rich Taylor]    00:09:26    And I finally had a heart-to-heart. Like, I'm not sure I'm great at this thing. I'm supposed to be doing what I enrolled for. And I signed up, but I love this kind of side job where I'm teaching to pay the bills. Maybe I should get a full-time job teaching. But the sad thing is, again, I didn't have a map. I didn't know anything about the corporate world. In fact, I'll tell you a funny story. My first job, when I finally got hired by trolling through monster.com, which was a thing then, and finding jobs and instructional design, for whatever reason, my first boss hired me. I don't know what he was thinking, but he hired me. And in my first day in the office, I filled out all the paperwork. A new hire has to fill out insurance forms and background checks. 

[Rich Taylor]    00:10:02    And he's like, great. You're all set. Take this up to HR. And I stood there looking at him with a dumb look on my face, cause I didn't know what HR stood for. So that, and I wasn't working in HR at the time to be fair. But like that's where I came from. I'd come from an academic world where I had, I had soaked up academia and I'd learned the language and the lingo and the terms. I knew nothing about the corporate world. I didn't know how a company was structured. I didn't know about marketing and sales and HR and operations. I had no clue and I had to build myself a whole new map. 

[Tom Finn]    00:10:33    Well, I think that can inspire a lot of confidence in people. I love your phrase, get a job you love. Uh, I think we're all looking for that. And, and for those that are in HR or in leadership positions, managing people, I think sometimes we forget we're supposed to love our job. Um, and not every day. Uh, but in the main, we really want to obtain value in terms of our overall wellbeing and productivity from our, from our role, which I think is so, so critically important. Now the role you have today, uh, you are focused on diversity, equity and inclusion, which is a, a very important topic, uh, here in the US and certainly globally around the world. Um, how is, how is that manifest itself in your role? What are you doing in that space in particular at NASDAQ? 

[Rich Taylor]    00:11:29    Uh, that's a great question. And I think diversity and separately, equity touch on pretty much every aspect of working at a company or, or any other organization. Academic, nonprofit, NGO, diversity for me is who is in the room, who is able to knock on the door and even get in and equity is around how you're treated and whether you're treated equitably in the hiring process, in the performance management process, in the promotion process, in the compensation, all of that is equity permeating. Meaning for example, in pay, if you have two people in similar jobs, are they being treated equally? Doesn't mean exactly the same, but are like equitably. Do they have similar titles? Do they have similar teams? Do they have similar pay, et cetera? And so a big part of my role in the people experience is to assure that all people from whatever background, majority white background, minority, different gender, by the way, all their dimensions of diversity, first language, national origin, sexual orientation, the way you think, the way you were educated, your different backgrounds of degrees, et cetera, all of that diversity, I believe makes a stronger company, but many people feel left out. 

[Rich Taylor]    00:12:39    And as we talked about earlier, I can relate to that. Although I'm not ethnically a minority, I grew up feeling like I didn't have a map. I wasn't oriented to the world around me. Like some people who were more clued in and empowered were. And so a big part of my mission in life and my mission at NASDAQ is to ensure that people do feel clued in. They have every resource available to them equally, and they feel treated equitably. They feel welcome. They can speak up, they can express it, different opinions, and say, Hey, I'm thinking about this a little bit differently. Is it okay if I share that? And the room says, yes, we'd love to hear a different thought about this. We'd love to hear a different approach. It's good for business. And so these diversity and equity aspects permeate every aspect of the people experience. And it's also important to your brand. If you wanna attract more diverse people, you have to convince external folks that working here is a great place for somebody like you, whatever that may mean to somebody like you. 

[Tom Finn]    00:13:35    And how do you create a safe place within your organization where people feel comfortable to raise their hand and say, I have a different opinion. That to me seems like maybe one of the, the greatest challenges is creating safety or, or perhaps trust. 

[Rich Taylor]    00:13:54    Yeah. And there's a lot of research on psychological safety and when it feels safe or not, and it may not be, there are literally sharp things in the room. It's, it's a psychological sense of I'm welcome. I'm valued. People want to hear from me as I've worked with many different groups in the company, including, you know, very small minority groups. They often have a sense of, I'm the only one like me in the room. I'm the only woman. I'm the only black person. I'm the only Hispanic person. Is it okay for me to be so different and already feel so foreign as it were? Is it okay for me to go a step further beyond just being in the room and say, can I speak up and share an opinion on that? It may not be the majority opinion, but that's a vulnerable place to be. So as you say, a big part of this people experience role is making sure people do feel that way. And there's a variety of things that go into that from setting clear leadership expectations from the CEO on down to training, to programs, to messages we use to employee communication, so many dimensions of this, but it has to be re reinforced and reinforced and reinforced saying it once is not gonna cut it. 

[Tom Finn]    00:14:59    So if I'm an up and coming HR or people leader, uh, and I'm, I'm managing perhaps for the first time, and I'm listening to you and I'm, I'm TA I'm hearing this map, this story about a map, help, help me unpack what the, what the map means. And, and how could somebody, uh, use this theory in terms of building their own culture, 

[Rich Taylor]    00:15:23    Right. Well, yeah, we could talk about this for hours. I'll try to keep it concise. But I think transparency is really, really important, particularly for new employees and for new managers, meaning as clearly, and as explicitly as you can, as simply and transparently as you can. What does it mean to work here? Like spell out many, many companies have an employer value proposition, which is something the marketing or the talent acquisition team may use to tell the story, but inside the company, I rarely see this. What is the social contract to work here? What do we expect from you, the employee, and what are we the company going to give back? And I think through the internal communications function through the HR, we call it at NASDAQ. The people at NASDAQ function really focusing on communication with a really high tone of empathy, meaning we don't say here's your benefits. 

[Rich Taylor]    00:16:14    Hope you enjoy them. We take the time to spell them out in very long brochures, but also hold workshops, our leader, Molly O'Brien, and the rewards team holds vast workshops supported by her team to walk through. We have an employee stock purchase plan. What's an, what's a stock. Many people don't know what a stock is even at NASDAQ. Right. And why would I want to buy them? And why is this a good deal? And how does it work? Or you've got medical options, let's choose from them. So our benefits package, we take time to sit and explain them across, you know, we're in 30 countries, so there are different packages per, per region. But also I meet with employees, including our diversity groups. And I say, let's talk about the career opportunities at NASDAQ. They may not always be obvious. If you sit in a group, you may not see, you don't have a map of the whole company. 

[Rich Taylor]    00:17:00    I sure didn't when I started, like I said, I, I didn't know what HR stood for. Right? Never heard of human resources. So, provide employees with a map of the company who was the leadership team, what reports to them, and what are the functions? Somebody on my team named Darrell Daryl Kovski has done a wonderful job filming, little short snippets. So just a few minutes, each with different leaders and talking about what we do at NASDAQ, it's a whole series of what we do at NASDAQ. What does the tech team do? What does the marketing team do and make them available to all of our employees? And they're also great marketing outside as well. So telling the story of the company, telling the story of why it's great to be an employee here, getting other voices outside of HR. So something I'm super proud of is my CEO, Adena Friedman who holds an all-company town hall every two weeks. And she has a variety of speakers. Sometimes external speakers talking about the work we're doing wins. We've had to showcase employees, helping people get through COVID, which has been tough. So my point is providing more than just a here's your brochure of benefits. Go sign up. People need a lot more context, a lot more support, and communication again and again. It's okay to ask questions. It's okay. To be curious, we're here to help you be successful and not just say, here's your desk, your laptop, sit down, get to work. People need more. And they, then this is my, my metaphor of the map. People need a bigger and better and more detailed map of what's possible because then they can see themselves in different places and take advantage of the opportunities that may not be obvious for a new hire or somebody from a background like mine, where I didn't have any corporate parents or friends. I had no idea how to succeed in corporate life. 

[Tom Finn]    00:18:37    Wow. I, I heard a lot there <laugh> and the, the idea of the map you're right. I think we could talk about it for hours, but in its purest form, it's creating career paths for all employees at all levels and showing them the way, and then backing that up with a whole lot of empathy, to really understand where they're coming from and then what their unique and individual needs are to grow within the organization. And I think if we boil it down, um, to sort of its purest form, maybe that's a good place for people to start. It's not the whole story, but a good place for folks to start. If they're looking to, uh, really lift up, uh, and empower the talent in their organization. 

[Rich Taylor]    00:19:24    I agree. And, and one quick comment I would make Tom too is about communication. Many companies don't put this in the people team, but I've been in companies that will start all company emails with like dear us employees, or dear associates, please be informed, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, corporate speak. What if we said, hi there, we wanna explain to you something that's really important and beneficial for you and, and have a tone of friendliness and welcoming versus just downloading information in the most efficient and robotic corporate-speak possible, speak to people like they're your good friends and you're there to help them. And you're there to help them be successful. It changes now you're the think, yeah, <laugh>, you're 

[Tom Finn]    00:20:03    Gonna get me going here. Uh, I, it sort of speaks to that whole idea of this former phrase, you know, talent management or top-down management, where, you know, the leader at a large organization or a small organization gets the final word and, uh, you know, they sort of pound the table and tell everybody what they're gonna do at each level in the organization. And I, my hope, my dream is that those days are gone, uh, and that we are lifting up, uh, individuals, uh, across organizations to really let their greatest skills shine, um, and empowering them to be productive, uh, individuals within the organization without top-down management, 

[Rich Taylor]    00:20:44    That would be ideal. And even the term talent management ranks me, although many companies use it as human capital management, it's almost as if we're treating employees like capital or like resources like lumber or coal, right? Like I'm gonna manage the lumber, I'm gonna ship it, right. That's not, I think what employees want today of, of any generation people today want to be empowered to use the word empower. This is the talent empowerment show, right? So I, I think people wanna understand they have options and they have agency. And, and by the way, I don't think companies can tell people what their next career move will be or what they're gonna be doing in three years. First of all, we don't know. Second of all, employees are literally customers. They are choosing their employer, like a consumer might choose their next acquisition or next purchase. And so treating employees as if they are fully formed adults who are autonomous, who have their own wishes and dreams, yes. The company's trying to accomplish things and is trying to make sure they have the talent supply say for open leadership roles or the next role they have to fill, but it's more of a two-way deal or an Alliance. I learned this at LinkedIn, there's actually a book called the Alliance, published by Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn, around how to set up an Alliance with employees, where the company gets what they need, but employees get what they need and treating it. Like you're making a deal, uh, a, a constructive deal, not a manipulative deal where both sides have a say and both sides need to agree. And it's a very constructive thing. 

[Tom Finn]    00:22:12    Yeah. Agreed. And, and what I think I heard there was transparency and building Alliance is really important. So help me understand from a leadership perspective when you're dealing with people, how, how do you outline that career ladder? How do you outline compensation? I mean, this is the, the scary word. When we get into HR discussions and the room has to, the door has to close very quickly because we're gonna bring up the compensation table. And it's all very secretive, uh, certainly in larger organizations. So is there a way to create a career ladder and compensation structures that we can be transparent about?

[Rich Taylor]    00:22:51  I think there is, and I certainly wish companies did more of this. I don't see a huge risk and I see a lot of upsides. So for example, even for a brand new employee, let alone a mid-mid-career employee, why not lay out what the career levels are at the company? So we have an associate entry level, senior associate specialist, senior specialist, director level, VP level. Why not spell that out? I mean, really? Why would you not communicate that? Is it a secret? Like people can see the titles of their colleagues. Why not tell them like, what's the, what's the hierarchy, but also why not be open with compensation? I don't mean we're gonna share Tom's compensation right now. My point is you look, you're talking about a role as the specialist. One level, what is the compensation range for a specialist? One, maybe it differs a little bit between technical roles and HR role sales roles. 

[Rich Taylor]    00:23:43    Cool. Do you have like broadbands, can you share something like the specialist role in New York is probably gonna make between 90 and 120 K? Is that risky? It helps employees understand, oh, there I can make more money in a different role, but spell out that that role has more responsibility. And, and as granular as you can, you're now managing budgets. You're now managing projects. You've got a lot of stakeholders. You're gonna have some time pressure. You may, in fact, be working longer hours and the way salaries work, which took me a while to figure out I'm not paid by the hour. I'm paid every two weeks to get a bunch of stuff done, frankly, as much as I can. So the more clear we are that these are the more senior roles and here's about what they pay. I'm not gonna talk about Jane or Laura, but here's about what they pay. But also this is the deal you're gonna work harder and have more responsibility. And if you're not up for that, that's okay. But then don't find yourself in a role you're not happy with. And if I could just double click for a second, I have seen companies not be so transparent and people kind of into it, cuz they don't have a great map. They Intuit, oh, people managers are more senior. I should be a people manager. And the tragedy is they're often not that good at people management. And they actually don't even like it. And that's okay. It's not for everyone. If you put me in an accounting role, I think I would be terrible. Rich. Don't get yourself into an accounting role. You're not gonna like it. You're not gonna be good at it. And you probably won't stay so helping people understand what really makes you tick. 

[Rich Taylor]    00:25:09    And again, this diversity thing, we're not all the same. It's great to be wired differently. We need accountants. We need HR people. Do we need hard-charging salespeople about what that pays? What does the hierarchy or, or, uh, technical like career ladder look like? Even if it's not a straight ladder, maybe more of a matrix, but the more transparent the possible the better, because I think employees really appreciate, that you're not hiding things. You're being open. You're saying here's the deal, but it's a two-way deal. The company's offering this. You're going to need to offer this. If that's not a good deal for you, don't take it. And we can look at other possibilities. And so to help people think, get away from like, you have to move up, up, up, whether you like it or not, whether you enjoy it or not, whether you're good or not. And say you actually have like a garden of possibilities and show the map. Here are all the roles and these roles are open and here's the job description. Are you interested? And by the way, ballpark what they pay. Why, why not share that? What's the risk? 

[Tom Finn]    00:26:05    Well, I completely agree with you. I, I think there's a lot we can do if we just share with people what their opportunities are and then you create mobility within an organization, instead of people getting frustrated and leaving. So, you know, if we're being a little self-serving, um, as a leader in a company, if you wanted to look at it that way, you could say my goodness, this can help with retention as well. Uh, by creating transparency because we're creating a place that people wanna work and they want to grow at this company and not leave to go across the street for, uh, you know, $10,000 more a year, 

[Rich Taylor]    00:26:41    Completely agree. But it also requires a really transparent conversation with managers because often managers wanna optimize for their team. They aren't thinking like the CEO about the whole organization. And so I have to have a little heart-to-heart with managers frequently around, you may lose this person on your team to an adjacent team. I know that's good for the employee. It may not be so great for you, but it's better than leaving the organization. You're probably gonna leave this talent. Anyway, you lose this talent anyway. And some managers are like, I call them talent, hoarders, they're hoarding their talent. You can't have it. That don't look at it. Don't talk to them. I've actually had, I have managers say like, don't even talk to my employees about opportunities. I forbid it <laugh>. And of course, my CEO is horrified to hear that, but employees are not prisoners. 

[Rich Taylor]    00:27:26    They have choices. And if you don't let them out of jail, they're gonna go down the street. Like you said. So I'd rather you lose them to an adjacent team. And I myself have had the experience as a manager where people have left my team on great terms inside the company, they pick up new skills, they become more senior, they form more relationships and they come back to me cuz they want to at a higher level with more pay. And I'm like, oh, I'm so glad you're back. Welcome back. So it's the opposite of shaming and don't you dare. It's like, yes, I would love for you to build your career. How can I help you build your career? And you know, my CEO talked about this a lot. She loved the boomerangs, you've left and come back and now you know why you want to be here. And you're really happy to be here. Isn't that a much better story than like you're in prison and you can't, you can't leave.  

[Tom Finn]    00:28:11    I, I think so. I think we all want opportunities, uh, to be able to sharpen our sword, uh, along our career journey. And we have to, we have to empower managers to feel comfortable that it's okay to lose the most talented person on your team, to a different division leader, or to a different part of the business. That's okay. Let's find the next up-and-comer that we can invest in that we can show the next career path to and start building teams from within, which is really where you, you get a lot of value for the company when people have been there over a period of time. And so I completely agree with  

[Rich Taylor]    00:28:47    You and one little PR tip for our HR listeners. You can build a brand around those managers who are the best at building and losing town I'm being completely sincere here. They're building and they're losing town. They're losing them for good reasons to other divisions as you said, but you can actually reward and recognize that you can make that like a heroic manager and others are like, I want to be that guy, right? So you can actually do PR around the managers who are the best at, at shedding talent, not shedding is the wrong word sharing and, and fostering and helping them grow. That means other people want to be on that team. You become a talent magnet. And so you're a net gainer rather than a net loser.  

[Tom Finn]    00:29:24    Well, I think this all leads us to a lot of conversation about retention versus resignation. Um, help me understand sort of your thoughts on this, this global idea, that there is a great resignation going on out there.  

[Rich Taylor]    00:29:43    It's probably true. I mean, we've all seen the news stories, right? But I have to give my colleague Molly credit again. She helped NASDAQ re she's our global rewards leader. She helped us reframe it for NASDAQ as not the great resignation, but the great retention. This is an opportunity. And yet we're probably gonna lose some people and some that we would regret. And that's unfortunate. But again, think about the big picture. Why not be net gainers? She's pointed out as well, research from Gallup that it's literally valuable to have a strong culture. Meaning if you don't have a great culture and people aren't having a great time, it takes almost nothing for a competitor to woo somebody away, like almost the same salary bonus benefits. It takes nothing for people who love their culture, loves their manager, enjoys their teammates. Feel empowered, feel challenged in a healthy way. And to your point earlier have options to move around. It takes a lot to peel them away. Gallup estimated at least 20% total comp, maybe more so having a strong, positive culture is literally valuable in terms of dollars and sense. I met with our board not long ago and we had a great conversation around like literally culture is valuable, but also make sure that people feel they have great, uh, ability to move around. And so they're more likely to stay and tell that story externally that, that this is a great place to come join. So they may be resigning from their other company, but we become net gainers. And the big picture here is that compensation can maybe save some people from resigning in the short term. Here's a, here's a quick bonus or a raise long-term. If they're unhappy, they're still unhappy. 

[Rich Taylor]    00:31:18    You can still pay them to be unhappy, but they're unhappy the best solution long term for retention. And to be a net gainer of talent is to have a great culture and make sure people know it. And one of the ways I do this with my team is to find employee ambassadors, representatives of, of many different kinds of employees at the company. Again, diversity, white, black, Hispanic, Asian multiracial, but also different parts of the business. And with their permission, get their face, get a, get a picture, get a short video, get a quote and tell that story outside that NASDAQ is a great place to be for somebody like you and you and you and you and you and you in their own words. This is really authentic. It's not HR B has its employees without a gun to their head tell a positive story about why NASDAQ or why your company. And so that culture and, and real authentic champions of your culture are frankly far more valuable and also cost-effective than paying people and begging them to stay. And I'm seeing frankly, some organizations, I won't name names are dramatically bumping up their salaries right now. You know what I think they have to because their cultures are well known. It's not positive and you're not gonna get any talent. If you don't at least pay them, you know, pirate's wages, but is that a sustainable business plan? 

[Tom Finn]    00:32:35    It's not, no, it's not. And, and it puts a lot of pressure on the business, uh, when you're constantly increasing wages above market value. Um, and it puts a lot of pressure on your, your customers as well, uh, to support that, that increase. I, I think you're, you're right on and, and culture is so important to any organization and, and it is the, it is not just the people leaders or maybe called HR in a different, in a different company, but it's not just those folks. It has to be every manager. It has to be, um, every division leader. It has to trickle down through the organization. And I think that's just so critically important because cash is not gonna win the day, uh, over a period of time. It can only win in short spurts, uh, to hold onto people. So now that we're thinking about this in a different way, we've, we've walked through a number of topics we've walked through this career map. 

[Tom Finn]    00:33:30    We've talked about transparency. Um, we've talked about, uh, creating a different approach leading with empathy, um, really understanding your people. And then that this inclusive environment creates a place where people want to be. That's really important. How do we lead a people team and create value for the business? How do we actually become a part of the business? There's some legacy thinking that says the HR and people team are an expense. Um, and there are other parts of the business that are contributing at a greater level. There's some thinking there, uh, I don't personally agree with it, but how do we, how do we unpack that? How do we really lift up and, and empower those in your roles and in HR to create more value for the business? 

[Rich Taylor]    00:34:23    So this is my philosophy and I encourage others. I think anybody can do it. And we're actually doing it at NASDAQ, literally run the people team or the HR team as a business. And I mean, literally, who are your customers? Are you surveying your customers? Do you know your customer sat your satisfaction? Right? So I'll give you an example. We recently rolled out an anniversary program, which people loved like gifts or recognition. You've been here one year, two years, three years, five years, seven years. And we rolled out this anniversary program with a variety of recognition and rewards at the different year milestones. And then we asked our customers, AKA employees, how are you liking it? And they're like, well, we like some things better than others. What we really, really want at different milestones is swag. We want company swag. For some reason, NASDAQ's had a dearth of swag. 

[Rich Taylor]    00:35:11    And so people want the socks, the baseball cap, the t-shirt, the sweatshirt, the leggings. When we have employees who have a new baby, they have a, you know, they've adopted or they've given birth to a new baby. We send the little care package of a baby onesie with NASDAQ all over, like NASDAQ's newest employee. And we give our interns swag. And so my customer spoke and said, we, we love the program, but some of the stuff you're offering, like, um, points toward a, a donation to a third party, something nice thought, but what I really wanna swag. And I said to my team, the customer has spoken. So taking a step back from that, literally running HR as a business, do you know your customers? Do you survey them or speak with them enough to know what they want, but also, do you have really crisp and clear key performance indicators? 

[Rich Taylor]    00:35:55    I mean, hard numbers, our management score, we measure regularly, is it going up or down our leadership score? Our culture scores, our diversity and equity score as judged by the employees. So do you have hard numbers, like a salesperson trying to hit a quota? Do you know? So we really run it like a business at NASDAQ and we treat our customers as the most important person. We keep our business partners well informed and we support the business with their own numbers. Do you know, week by week, month by month in the business, do you have a clear idea of your own employees, engagement, scores, their retention scores, their views on X, Y, and Z. And particularly during COVID working remotely really understanding how are people doing? Are they okay? Do they have the support they need? So running it like a business, like any other part of the business, you're, you're being data led, you're being customer driven. And you're focusing on adding value as if you literally were a business. And my experience Thomas, the rest of the business sees you as a, as a true partner who understands their world. They're running a business, you're running a business, but your business happens to be people. 

[Tom Finn]    00:37:02    I love the way he said that. Um, and I think on that note, your business happens to be people is a great way to wrap this up. So, Richard, you are the senior vice president of people experience and diversity at NASDAQ. Um, if somebody wanted to get a hold of you, uh, and reach out to you, how would they do that? 

[Rich Taylor]    00:37:21    The best way is probably LinkedIn. I'm a, I'm a LinkedIn alumnus, and I spend a lot of time on LinkedIn. So feel free to reach me there. 

[Tom Finn]    00:37:27    Well, appreciate that. And appreciate your time and thoughts today. Uh, rich, this was an incredibly, uh, deep and thoughtful discussion. Uh, I want to thank you, uh, from our team at talent empowerment, uh, for joining us on the show today. Uh, thank you so much for your thoughts. I know it helped a lot of people, uh, out there in the people space.  So thank you very much for being with us. 

[Rich Taylor]    00:37:48    Thank you, Tom. 

[Tom Finn]    00:37:56    I hope you enjoyed this episode of talent empowerment for more information on our show. And today's guests head to the show notes or visit talent, empowerment.com. And as always, don't forget to subscribe wherever you're listening. So you never miss an opportunity to empower yourself and your people. And if you enjoyed today's episode, please leave us a five-star review. It really helps the show grow and a final thank you to our sponsor LeggUP and their people development program, Talent Insurance, to learn more about how they guarantee retention, employee wellbeing and employee performance through one-on-one coaching. Please visit LeggUP.com.

Featured Episodes

Engagement & Experience

How to be a "Great Place To Work"

Michael Bush, CEO, Great Place To Work

Listen Now
Engagement & Experience

Using Mission, Vision & Values for Everything

with Bamboo's Director of HR, Cassie Whitlock

Listen Now