It's Time to Start "Loving Up" HR

Jeremy Ames, Business & Tech Delivery, Accenture

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Jeremy Ames is currently the Business & Technology Delivery Senior Manager for Accenture, a Fortune 500 company -$50.53 billion in 2021, delivering human capital management technology services to their many clients. Previously, Jeremy was the VP of HCM Services at Workforce Insight and the founder and CEO of Hive Tech HR, a company servicing the the lifecycle of human resources technology. Here Jeremy became known as the “the HCM Guy,” but has since abandoned that nickname, wanting to be part of the shift away from the “human capital” terminology to “people management.” Today, Jeremy is a go-to resource for many companies and loves to share his knowledge on how people management does, in fact, impact an organizations’ bottom line.

Talking Points: 

  • How do people impact the bottom line? 
  • Jeremy's background as a consultant and becoming an HR thought leader
  • Combining people and technology
  • What are the current trends in employee transformation
  • Supporting for people who are surviving versus thriving
  • How to increase utilization on wellness apps
  • Biggest challenges holding HR back
  • HR and burnout
  • What should HR focus on to retain employees
  • How does the function of HR pivot for the future/5 years from now

Resources/Links: 

[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! And without further ado, this is Talent Empowerment.

Welcome to the Talent Empowerment podcast, where we lift up people leaders. So you can lift up your organization. I am your host, Tom Finn, and we have someone who has committed his entire career to people and human capital innovation today. His name is Jeremy Ames. Jeremy, welcome to the show. 

[Jeremy Ames] 00:01:37 Great to be here, Tom. 

[Tom Finn] 00:01:38 Well, we are thrilled to have you as a part of our discussion today. And if you don't know, Jeremy, let me take a quick moment to introduce you to him. Jeremy is currently the business and technology delivery, senior manager for a small little company. You may have heard of them. They're called Accenture. They did about 50 billion in revenue last year and are a Fortune 500 company. And he delivers human capital management technology services to many clients, uh, around the world. Now, previously, Jeremy was the VP and human capital management services leader at workforce insight. He was also the founder and CEO of a company called Hive Tech HR, which will dig into in a little bit. Now that company serviced the entire life cycle of human resources technology. So you might know Jeremy as the HCM guy or human capital management guy, but he has since abandoned that nickname, cuz he wants to shift away from human capital as terminology to people management. Or if you were on this show, you might say talent empowerment. Um, today Jeremy is a go-to resource for many, many companies and he loves to share his knowledge on how people management does in fact impact an organization's bottom line. 

So Jeremy let's start there. My man, uh, people matter organizations matter, how do people actually impact an organization's bottom line? 

[Jeremy Ames] 00:03:04 Well, that's funny Tom, because that, that exact question is something that I spent a long time, uh, as part of high tech HR, uh, answering that question for our clients. So we would take them through an entire SWOT analysis to find out, you know, their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, specifically in both the human capital management and business sides of their organization, and find out where those gaps were and in, in, in narrowing those gaps, what they could stand to gain. And, and obviously what everyone's most concerned about is how to gain on that bottom line. So we would come up with all these, uh, different activities and things to be targeted, which would actually increase an or an organization's return on investment and uh, and basically improve that bottom line. So, so that was, uh, something that I proved out that there is a direct impact. We had to write quite a few reports that specified that that was the case. So, uh, yes, the answer is definitely a yes. 

[Tom Finn] 00:03:59 Yeah. Can you give us a couple of examples, maybe one or two that, that you saw in organizations where you were doing your consulting work? 

[Jeremy Ames] 00:04:08 So, I mean, clearly the most recurring, uh, area that we uncovered was everything surrounding turnover. And, uh, and obviously not only the cost of losing people but the cost of rehiring and replacing that talent. So, uh, that, to be honest, was the easiest way to kind of tie that connection between, you know, how your people matter to your organization and what losing them does to that bottom line. So we definitely spent a ton of time uncovering, you know, that's like the macro, uh, issue, but then uncovering specifically what within that topic was, was causing those problems and then how, how they could be rectified. So that was, that was definitely something that we consistently uncovered. Um, the other one that we, we did spend a lot of time on and this may seem kind of boring and mundane, but, uh, everything around transactions, both HR transactions, payroll transactions, uh, even like time management transactions. Those actually were, were one of the biggest root causes of challenges within organizations and, you know, a cost to the, to the bottom line for organizations. So we would hone in on where, where those root problems were coming from and help organizations come up with ways to improve them basically. 

[Tom Finn] 00:05:22 Yeah. Fantastic. So what I'm hearing is turnover has a huge impact on the bottom line of an organization. If you can't get the people part, right? Not only do you lose people, but you're losing money, uh, which is, which is not a great look, and then to operationalize all of that, you need to have systems and processes in place that smooth out the back and forth within a company. So that payroll, et cetera, are all functioning appropriately. 

[Jeremy Ames] 00:05:47 You said that way more concisely than I did. Yes. 

[Tom Finn] 00:05:51 Well all good man. Maybe that's why I'm the host. Yeah. I don't know. um, but look, let's find, find out, let's find out a little bit about you because I think that's the most important part here. You've got this great background track record. You've been deep, uh, into human capital management. As you put it, I call it talent empowerment. But we're saying the same thing as how do we lift people up? How do we retain people? How do we treat people the right way? But let's, let's learn a little bit about you, my friend. 

[Jeremy Ames] 00:06:18 Sure. Yeah. I mean, I'll try to take you from how I started to where, where I ended up. So, uh, my roots were in consulting. I started out, um, as a consultant, uh, doing some international consulting. So I got to help build this, uh, this decision support system in a hospital in BU OS sorry's back when I was the young age of 23. So that was like kind of where I cut my teeth in, in helping clients and, and working with clients. Um, I then got a little bit more technical being a help desk manager at, uh, communications company called LCC, also got into the management realm there. Um, I spent some time in, in, uh, Spain taking a hiatus, uh, and, and did some writing. I wrote a book at the time, so that was fun. Wonderful. What I then entered.

[Tom Finn] 00:06:59 What was a book about Jeremy? 

[Jeremy Ames] 00:07:01 It was called the ATA exchange. It was about a Spanish teacher who goes from the US to Spain and gets wrapped up in all the terrorism that was going on in, in, uh, Spain at the time. So's so fictional novel. Yep. Um, I then entered the world of employer services, uh, over at fidelity, uh, implementing systems for both the defined benefit and defined contribution world. Uh, and then, then I, then I fully entered the HR and HR tech world. I, I started to ma uh, manage projects that implemented HR systems at a company called new view. I managed a team of implementers, uh, over there. Uh, so that's where I really learned the ins and outs of the HR practice as well as payroll. So, uh, from there, I did go out on my own. I started, uh, what you called hive tech, which is accurate it's it was originally called GTO group in honor of the time that I spent in Buenos CES. 

[Jeremy Ames] 00:07:54 Um, yeah. So, and then we rebranded as, as high tech later on, but at, at Hive Tech, I was basically, uh, really hands-on with clients, helping them find, implement, enhance their HR systems, doing that ROI and SWAT analysis that I was talking about earlier. Uh, and, actually what I did at that time, as well as I got really into the HR and HR technology realm. So I sat on the board of directors at, at IRU, which is the international human resources, information and management, uh, association, and then got involved in Sherm and sat on their HR management and technology expertise panel, and just started talking at a bunch of conferences, uh, or speaking, I should say, writing a whole bunch, uh, in industry, um, in industry publications and, and really just kind of learn the ins and outs of every aspect of HR technology. 

[Jeremy Ames] 00:08:45 So that was my, uh, my stint at hive tech. And then, um, I ended up selling my business. So we got to a point where I kind of wanted to see where else, uh, I could take things. So I sold my business to workforce insight, uh, combining my human capital management practice with their workforce management practice. So kind of like the HR and the time coming together. And then, um, as you said, I now work at Accenture. So Accenture ended up acquiring, uh, workforce insight. And so it's just been this the last couple years has been this trajectory from, from my company to, to other companies, just essentially doing very much the same thing, working with our clients on, uh, both, uh, you know, identifying the places where they can get more benefit out of their technology and then implementing the HCM technology for them. 

[Tom Finn] 00:09:31 Yeah. I think the beauty of your career, you've done so many different things. Uh, but the beauty here is that you've found this balance between people and technology, and it's not an easy balance to strike. Usually, you're on one side or the other, I'm the technology guy. I know the technology inside and out and integrations or I'm the people person I lead with my heart. I love people. I wanna support people, but you found this way to connect both. So how does one look at technology and look at people and combine them the way you have? 

[Jeremy Ames] 00:10:04 I mean, first of all, having a business degree. So I got my undergrad in business at Washington, Washington University in St. Louis. And then I got my MBA at Clark. So having kind of that, uh, background in business, it allows me to not only see that, you know, that there's potentially a people management problem but how does that translate to the bottom line? Like your question earlier and, and understanding that you know, people are at conduit to, you know, if it's a nonprofit yeah. It's a conduit to some greater good, but a lot of times in, in for-profit businesses, it's, it's what, what affects your revenues, your profit margin. So being able to understand that, understand that there are additional pressures that businesses have then just keeping their employees happy, uh, is really what I've kind of cut my teeth on. And, and when you said, when you said that, how do you find that intersection? Like there was, there's a slide in one of our decks when we're working with our clients. That's like literally taking the people management side and the business side and has like that intersection right in the middle, which is where we, we literally spend all our time talking about that. So it's not just a, you know, something we talk about here, it's like in practice, what we work on with our clients. 

[Tom Finn] 00:11:10 Yeah. And, and as we start to unpack this a little bit, talk, talk me through what companies are doing specifically in transformation, through technology in the HR space. Like what, what are some examples of what others are doing, uh, as you work with your clients? 

[Jeremy Ames] 00:11:26 I mean, essentially, so this topic of transformation and digital transformation was the huge, uh, buzz buzz phrase or, or terminology used, I would say starting at about 2019. And, and so people or organizations I should say started down that path of, of transforming digitally. And really, it just meant all the things, anything you could identify that a company might have done previously in some other way, I, you know, either on paper, uh, in spreadsheets, in, in something that was basically not, not as optimized now was moving into a more, um, digitalized format. So one of the most obvious, uh, examples, especially early on was, was digitalizing, the employee records. So, uh, employee documents going online, uh, storage of those documents being, being part of HR systems and part of systems where you could, uh, you know, basically access them as part of somebody's somebody's actual HR record. So that was like, kind of like the initial, like, oh, this, this is where we need to start. You know, because the, the typical I've worked with plenty of clients that had an entire basement of just employee files, like literal, like, you know, middle of binders and, and locked, uh, locked, um, closets, whatever. Uh, and, and that was the first place to start. We need to get rid of that. We need to go online with all of our documentation. 

[Tom Finn] 00:12:47 I can, I can see you with a headlamp, like a minor going down like a dark steep staircase down into a musty room with Manila folders and file cabinets, everywhere. 

[Jeremy Ames] 00:12:58 Filing cabinets was the word i was looking for. 

[Tom Finn] 00:13:00 And, and somebody saying, Hey, Jeremy, here's all the data. Can you make it, can you magically put it into a technology system? Did that ever happen? 

[Jeremy Ames] 00:13:07 I mean, I never would go down there, but I knew it was down there. And, and even though I wasn't physically down there, when we went to then convert all the data, you know, whether it was the actual employee files or like converting data into new systems, it was coming from places like that. You know, it was very rudimentary and a lot of times it was on paper, so I've never physically been there, but I've been conceptually there for quite a long time. So, 

[Tom Finn] 00:13:33 Well, I think we can all visualize, uh, some of those spaces. And think back to those times where we had to digitize employee records, is there something now, I mean, I would venture to guess most cus customers out there, companies have taken care of some of that homework by now. Um, you know, the Interwebs have been around for a little while. Yeah. So what in 2022, are there things that customers are working on in terms of transformation that, that you're seeing? 

[Jeremy Ames] 00:14:02 Yeah, I mean, of course, it's always, there's always, uh, more transformation that's happened. I know, uh, you know, one of the biggest areas that people have been focusing on because of the, both the talent crunch, the talent movement, um, you know, it's specifically in that talent management space. So all the systems that, that encourages employee development that, uh, you know, encourage employee learning that en you know, all those kind of central systems to try to, to account for the employee journey is where a lot of that time has been spent most recently, you know, so, uh, for a while, during initial COVID times, and when there were so much movement employees, it was really about the transactional side. And do you have an HR system that's gonna, you know, basically allow you to push people from, from step to step, but now it's honing in, on the actual individuals. Thankfully it's, it's like we took a little hiatus and now we're starting to dip our toes back into that. 

[Tom Finn] 00:14:56 Yeah. You know, politicians would say it's about the economy, right? Uh, you know, there was, I think it might have been Ronald Reagan, but somebody will probably check me on this that said, it's the economy stupid. Um, and, uh, you've gotta sort of translate that into the business world and say, it's about people, my friends, this is about people and talent, uh, to, to grow your organization's top and bottom line. And certainly, the culture has to be there and you have to have the systems in place, and you have to have the people most importantly, in place that can carry this out. 

[Jeremy Ames] 00:15:29 You know, the people are, some are thriving and some are struggling, right? So that's, that's kind of been the learning, I would say over the past six months, maybe even a year, is that everyone is in a different place and you need both systems. You need, you know, even just the HR processes, the HR touchpoints, that, that can address both sides of that. You know? So the people that are thriving, you need to continue to push them forward. Employee development becomes hugely important. The people who are struggling need to have more, uh, touchpoints from their managers, they need to feel like they're being recognized, um, more frequently. Uh, and in fact, you know, even we talked about this, uh, in, in, before, before this meeting, like anything wellness related, instead of it just being a whole portfolio of things that a company's offering, they need to figure out ways to actually access that wellness, uh, or, and so that they can use that to improve themselves. You know, so that's, that's been one of the huge, uh, aspects of that has changed from my standpoint, the last six months or so is focusing on that. 

[Tom Finn] 00:16:28 Yeah. I think that's a great point. Organizations are notorious for finding programs that are cheap, uh, or inexpensive putting them on a shelf, and then checking the box and saying, I've done my homework time to go back home. And the problem is that there's this disconnect between the leadership experience of I've done my homework. I went to the leadership meeting, I've checked the box and actual utilization of any of those products. So what we tend to find is we're spending thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions of dollars on point solutions that if you've got a couple of thousand employees nobody's using it, nobody knows about it. Nobody knows how to access it, right? This was the wellness revolution of the, of the early two thousand, um, for the last 20 years or so. And it just doesn't work because people don't have access to it. So is there, is there something you've seen that does work, uh, in terms of creating environments where utilization goes up? 

[Jeremy Ames] 00:17:32 I mean, I've been hearing, uh, some of our clients go to pretty drastic measures to address that. So it's like they put all this stuff in place and, you know, probably what needs to happen is to, to streamline, to slim down to find out, you know, what's being used and what isn't, but they're going to even more drastic measures of, of actually having people to kind of guide the employees to where they need to go. So, you know, if there's a, an issue, if there's a challenge and not a full-on EAP type method, but more of like a coach to say, all right, you know, you're, you're interested in doing some more wellness you're interested in doing, I don't know, well yoga or whatever. The desire of the employee is you have people who actually shepherd them through the process that doesn't obviously speak to a technology solution for that. 

[Jeremy Ames] 00:18:19 Um, but, it does speak to like the fact that there's this problem of too much to consume and, and no real path towards consuming it. So, uh, other than that, it's just, you know, a lot of HR systems have kind of like this, um, you know, landing page or, or a place that you go, you want to basically start directing people to one place instead of 15 different places. So that's been the most commonly used, you know, way that, that, that our organizations are doing this is, is having it accessible from one spot, you know, just to avoid as much, not only information overload but like, where do I go for such and such? You know, you just go to one place and that's your starting point. 

[Tom Finn] 00:18:57 Yeah. It's a great point. It's almost like using machine learning or artificial intelligence and it's and assessments and data on the person and triaging where they go, uh, and what products end up on their computer screen, because ultimately we don't all need the same thing. We all have different lives. We have different backgrounds, we have different demographics and we need different products and services from our employer at different times. You know, I imagine Jeremy at 22 needs something different than Jeremy at 42 in your life and in your career. Right? 

[Jeremy Ames] 00:19:30 Yeah. So I mean, it, it leads to a lot of single sign-on, so that's, that's the one downside, you know, you, you get them to one place. They can search where they need to go. But in the end, a lot of times, since these services and, and products are being offered by different companies out there, the point solutions that you referenced, you know, you do, you do end up hitting that single sign-on quite a bit, but it's, it's better than the experience of saying, I, I don't know, as a 22-year-old where to go for, for, uh, I don't know, like, um, you fertility support or whatever that might, you know, whatever the need of that person is. Uh, it's, it's, it's impossible to find it. So this at least helps 'em find it. And then you, you go to the single sign-on path. 

[Tom Finn] 00:20:11 Yeah. Well, well said. Um, and so as you, as you think about this market, and you think about the interactions that you have with leaders in this space, what holds them back from getting this homework done? Is it resources, budget, uh, maybe just too much work on their plate, something as simple as that? 

[Jeremy Ames] 00:20:32 Yeah. I mean, HR and I will add payroll to the mix cuz we, we work with, uh, both of those, both of those functions they've been in crisis mode for, for a minute here. yeah. And the, you know, the crisis of the day has kind of morphed over the past two years, but there's never been a moment where there wasn't that, that crisis, you know, so, so obviously, you know, at the time when things first hit, when the, when the crisis first hit, it was, it was just everyone's hair was on fire. So it wasn't the best time to consolidate your wellness programs into one concise location. Uh, since then it's been a lot of turnover happening at the, in the HR departments of the clients that we work with. So, um, you know, I won't even say thankfully, but what the impact it has on us is that there's more work for us to do so that, you know, from our standpoint, there's more to do, but we see it's also tougher for us cuz we see how much our clients can be struggling, uh, as far as just not having the people to do the work. 

[Jeremy Ames] 00:21:31 So they end up the transactional side of HR is still in place in many cases. So that's priority number one for better or for worse. And then it's like, whatever's left beyond that is where we can help them be truly transformational. And, and so it's just having less time for that. Um, just because, you know, I'm not gonna use the term about people leaving that that's being thrown about had been thrown about for about six months now, but it is real as far as the number of departures that have been happening. And uh, you know, while you, you can end up with great resources that come into your company, uh, and new, new, uh, ideas, it's still it's stressful. Right. Cuz you're always, you never feel grounded as an HR department. 

[Tom Finn] 00:22:12 Yeah. Let, let's unpack that a little bit because you hit on a couple of, um, really important topics that I think people are feeling and facing, um, HR folks and talent development leaders are moving companies. That's what you said. Uh, they're moving they're, they're going from where they are quite frankly, to where they want to be, uh, and or where they think they want to be, where they think they wanna be at based on some of the conversations that they've had. And the question that I think is on all of our minds is why are, are they not being treated well? Are they not being paid well? Are they overworked? Are they overwhelmed? Like why are HR leaders moving at such a rapid pace? 

[Jeremy Ames] 00:22:50 I think, uh, I think it's, it's like this, um, this arc, uh, and almost like a career arc, if you can kind of boil it down to a career arc over the past two years, specifically two years and three months, there was a, a period of time where their job was to keep, keep the ship afloat. You know, I had one client that was literally, they did services for the cruise industry and they were literally trying to keep things afloat. And, and while there a lot of the ships that they supported were docked, right? So you go through, it was probably a one, a full year period of crisis mode, just trying to keep, keep, you know, keep up with what was happening, the number of thousands of employees being furloughed, which had never been happened in, in anything other than seasonal businesses and, and just, it was just mayhem. 

[Jeremy Ames] 00:23:38 So, they worked their tails off for a year just to keep things afloat. And, and when you go through that, it's a very, it's a very straining time. It's, it's emotionally straining and you've done, you've performed this huge value for these organizations. So I think we have to be careful when we get to two, just over two years beyond that, which where I'm going with that is there's some burnout that happened, right? Yep. There's a ton of burnout and you get burned out trying to support an organization. So when you finally, you've done your job, you've made, you've helped that organization get through the toughest times and now it's the breather. Okay. Now, what am I gonna do? So I think what we're dealing with right now is the, I mean, it's, there's other stuff there's natural, uh, turnover that happens, but it's, it's the now what am I gonna do? And a lot of times people are deciding they want see that next phase of that company's recovery and, and seeing them onto new Heights. And in other cases, they decide that they want to achieve that elsewhere. So, um, it's just real talk, but that's, that's kind of what I've been seeing. 

[Tom Finn] 00:24:35 Yeah. Well, we appreciate the real talk. Uh, I think that's the most important, uh, part of these conversations is, is really getting down to what's happening in the marketplace and, and how people are feeling. Uh, and I think you hit the nail in the head here. People are feeling burnt out. And I think what happens when you get that sense of strain over a long period of time and your time horizon in this example was two years and three months when you're straining and burning for that long? At some point, when you sit down on the couch, uh, and you grab yourself a beverage and you, you sit back with your family, uh, or your friends and you say, holy cow, what just happened? Uh, you, you start to feel like my goodness, my value has been extreme. Maybe I should look at the market, uh, and take a second step and just evaluate. And then the minute that happens, the market goes nuts, right? Because everybody's, we want new talent. We want people that have done really cool things and strenuous work and are resilient. And then all of a sudden we start to see people move. Right. Yep. It just makes sense that that would happen. Um, so I guess the question for us, for you and I right, is how do, how do organizations keep those really talented HR leaders in place? 

[Jeremy Ames] 00:25:57 Yeah, that is, that is the question. And, and it's, uh, it's the same things haven't changed from that standpoint. It's, it's all about recognition. It's about career development, you know, career development within the HR space is a tricky concept, right? And what are those next steps and what is that end goal? And, and it gets back to the same kind of boring, old topics of, of, you know, how can HR be impactful to the organization? You know, not only affect the bottom line, but be in the same room about discussions where the bottom line is being discussed, you know, and I'm not gonna use the seat of the, but the point is, you know, to be there and have that career path is, is I think one thing that, that HR does need to solve, what, what is that ideal career path? Are there paths into the technology side and then technology leadership potentially, uh, you know, so that's, I think that's one of the easiest starting points I would say to, to kind of, uh, stem the tide? 

[Tom Finn] 00:26:59 Yeah. So I think what I'm hearing is, um, one of the low-hanging fruits here on this tree is developing a path for HR professionals to see a bright future within their own organization. Um, which 

[Jeremy Ames] 00:27:13 There is some irony to this topic because they're responsible HR that is for doing that same exact thing for the rest of the organization. So it's almost like they need to it's, they need to help themselves, you know, help, help me help you. It's like, they need to sit down and say, let's do this for everyone else. But in the, you know, as a result of that, you know, maybe even make themselves the pilot group, you know, like let's, let's, let's create a new, some new automation let's create a new, uh, I don't know, competency, hierarchy, whatever it is. Um, you know, just, just do those things that I've heard. So many clients talk about it over the years. And they always, they always kind of deprioritize them as far as you know, in, in their list of priorities. 

[Tom Finn] 00:27:56 Yeah. I think the challenge from a human standpoint is that folks in HR and people, leadership positions are very others-focused, and they tend to lead with their heart, which is exactly the type of person I want leading HR. And unfortunately, the drawback to those behaviors and skill sets is that you don't take care of yourself sometimes and your own folks. And so we've gotta give the confidence, the tools, the permission, the strategy, right? That support that all-encompassing support to HR folks to say, it's okay, my friends to focus on you for a little bit. Right. And that sometimes has to come from the top. It's gotta come from the CEO, it's gotta come from the board. Right. And we have to prioritize HR and talent leadership roles as strategic thinkers, and we have to prioritize their careers and their advancement. Exactly what you said. So look, I'm on board with you here, because I think it's so critically important 

[Jeremy Ames] 00:28:55 That exhaustion you just referred to, or, or I should say that kind of like selflessness of HR is also when we were just talking a few minutes ago about how we ended up, you know, two years and three months later with this, where we're at it's it's that they're exhausted from being so selfless, you know? So, so always worrying about the rest of the organization. Not necessarily having the people worry about them, you know, and now they're just exhausted from that. So that's why, you know, they need the love right now, to be honest. And they have probably for the last six months organizations that maybe were insightful enough to figure that out are probably in a better place right now. And those who figure it out right now are gonna be in a better place than those who are still behind the curve. 

[Tom Finn] 00:29:38 Yeah, beautifully said they need the love right now. Uh, I love the way you said that. So as we transition from today to tomorrow, where should HR be headed in the next five years? How does that role shift and pivot and move over the next, uh, five years or so? 

[Jeremy Ames] 00:29:56 I think it, it kind of goes back to, you know, when you were describing my background and the human capital management, I was the HCM guy literally said, all right, this, I don't like humans as capital. Like we're not cattle, we're not, you know, so, so moving to people, management, you know, that's where we're gonna be. You know, it's, it's kind of ironic because four or five years ago, everyone was talking about being replaced by robots. You know? So, and now in, you know, June of 20, 20 we're or 2022, we're talking about how do we, how do we take care of the humans, uh, more than we have been. And, you know, so I think a lot of what's gonna happen over the next couple years and how HR can continue to add value is, is really focusing on the individual human experience of working in organizations. 

[Jeremy Ames] 00:30:43 So, uh, you know, we were talking earlier about wellness-type stuff, but it's, it's about making sure that, that the employee feels like they're appreciated. Like we've just moved beyond this, just being a job. Right? So we're well past that people, I would say two years ago, it became super important that you were being a part of a cause and, you know, part of something that's gonna change the world kind of thing. So, so the only way to kind of be an HR leader in support of everything that's happened is to truly focus on people. And in order to make that happen, you have to have all the programs in programs in place. You have to have the automation in place that, that doesn't get you stuck dealing with the transactional side of HR. And you also need all the information at your fingertips, which is not something we really talked about on here, but, you know, there's, there's a huge amount of necessity and value in having as much information about your organization at your fingertips. So you're not relying on us, we don't have the water cooler conversations anymore. So we need to find that out in all sorts of different ways. Uh, so having that in place and getting that information into HRS's hands is the only way they can truly have a pulse on the organization and make those decisions to push them in the right direction. 

[Tom Finn] 00:31:55 Yeah. Beau beautifully said, uh, and so many others are, are feeling the same way you are. Uh, how do we push this forward? How do we make sure we have water cooler conversations? Um, how does that transpire in a more digital world where we're turning down, um, the huge office spaces and we're turning up home offices, right? Yep. Uh, across the globe, we're all doing it. Uh, and, and it makes good business sense. And we're able to draw from broader talent pools in different parts of the country and different parts of the globe, um, which makes our businesses more global and it makes our team more diverse, uh, which is exactly what we want, uh, to impact the bottom line, uh, as well. So you've done a lot of things for HR. Um, you've sat on some boards you've worked with Sherm, uh, help, help me understand sort of the impacts you've made, uh, personally and professionally on the HR community. 

[Jeremy Ames] 00:32:53 Oh, I mean, that's been my goal. It it's always been centered on client service. So, so just trying to get the best out of the clients that I work with. And in order to do that, I had to learn from the rest of the HR community. I had to learn from the specifically the HR technology community, and that includes vendors, you know, so ven, uh, software providers, it includes, um, you know, the organizations that you mentioned as well as others, those who run the conferences. So I tried to just put myself as a, kind of the epicenter of the whole HCM technology space and both listen, attend conferences, speak, and write. Um, and, and I, it wasn't that I ever said, boy, I really wanna make an impact. And, and I'm just gonna, I just did it because it was kind of in support of the business that I was running. [Jeremy Ames] 00:33:40 I couldn't sit across from a client and advise them on, you know, how to find that intersection between human capital management, the people side of things, and your business without actually absorbing everything that was going on. And I couldn't, I couldn't, uh, look myself in the mirror and point them to different technology products without attending conferences, where there were huge expos of those, of those products and walking around and figuring out which was the best for that particular situation. So, so that's been, it's been in support, you know, candidly it's been in support of, of, uh, my business, but in the end, I hope that I've made, uh, a decent impact on people that I've interacted with. That's all I can say. 

[Tom Finn] 00:34:18 Yeah, well, well done, and thank you for, uh, the blood, sweat, and tears that you've put in over the years, uh, to support the space. And, uh, I'm sure you've had, uh, wonderful lasting impacts, not only on, on businesses that you've supported, but most importantly on the people, uh, that, that you've supported along, along your journey. So from, from all of us, uh, at the talent empowerment podcast, and for, for all of us in the space, thank you, uh, for, for your excellent work, uh, over the years, um, now Jeremy people are gonna listen to this and they're gonna say, this guy sounds like he knows what he is talking about as you're probably get in touch with him, um, 

[Jeremy Ames] 00:34:52 Where or not, where 

[Tom Finn] 00:34:53 Would be, uh, where would be a good place if I'm listening and I'm going, wow, this, this is a good conversation. I really want to get in touch with Jeremy. Where, where would we do that? 

[Jeremy Ames] 00:35:00 I mean, LinkedIn is always the best place to start, right? So that we can see, uh, where you're coming from. You can see a little bit more about my background. So, I mean, if you search Jeremy Ames, Accenture you'll find me or Jeremy Ames. One is my profile on LinkedIn. Uh, or, you know, I guess email is another option. So, uh, you can email me@jeremydotadotamesataccenture.com. So I've got my middle initial inserted in there. Uh, but those I'm sure are places you can find me. 

[Tom Finn] 00:35:29 Yeah. Wonderful. So J Jeremy is J E R E M Y, and Ames is a M E S uh, and we will put all of that in the show notes. Uh, so if you're driving, please, don't, uh, take a note on your phone. Uh, we will, uh, have all of it in the show notes available, so you can, uh, get in touch with Jeremy at Accenture wonderful career, um, and, and great talk today. I love what you said. We've gotta love up the HR folks, uh, and people in leadership and development and talent and people development. We gotta love 'em up because they have worked their tails off the last, uh, as you said, two years and three months, 

[Jeremy Ames] 00:36:02 And because they need to continue loving up the rest of their organizations, you know, so it's the best example of pay it forward, right? You, you help the people that can help your organization. So that's, that's where we're at right now. 

[Tom Finn] 00:36:14 Beautifully said, my friend. And for those of you listening, uh, thank you for joining the talent empowerment podcast. I hope this conversation has lifted you up so you can lift up your teams and organizations just as Jeremy said, uh, we'll see you on the next episode. In the meantime, let's get back to people and culture together.

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