Employee Culture in Company Changes with OmniCable’s Cora Walker
In this episode, OmniCable’s Chief Human Resources Officer, Cora Walker, talks about the importance of acknowledging company culture during significant company changes, the need for investment in leadership to create an engaged and positive work environment, and how to create a positive company culture.
Cora Walker is the Chief Human Resource Officer at OmniCable and is a strategic business partner with generalist and talent acquisition experience in highly demanding, client-centric environments.
Cora has been recognized for her ability to cultivate relationships and collaborate in complex, matrixed organizations to achieve business objectives. Here are a few of the topics we’ll discuss on this episode of Better People:
- Why company culture is so important.
- How a company’s culture is created.
- The importance of your employee’s mental and emotional well-being during changes.
- Creating a one-pager blueprint for a company’s culture.
- The value of investing in leadership development.
- Why looking after your employees and leaders is fundamental to a company’s success.
- What evidence of cultural buy-in from employees signals.
Connect with Cora Walker:
Connecting with the host:
- Holly DePalma on LinkedIn
- 09:35 – “Tomorrow you’re going to come, and we’ll be owned by someone else, but ultimately you will come here and do the same job, you’ll have the same opportunities, right? And the next day you’re going to do that, and the following day you’re going to do that. We kept hearing this very nagging, like, ‘oh yeah, but what about our culture?’ I don’t understand, what about the culture. Right? Nothing’s going to change. And for them, the change had already happened, right? They, they were so invested in employee ownership, that’s what they associated with culture. And we failed miserably to acknowledge and accept that for them. And so we just kept saying, it’s fine, it’s all fine. The culture’s the same. Meanwhile, they’re like, ‘no, no, no. We’ve already experienced the loss.’ It can’t possibly be the same, cause it’s not here anymore.”
- 11:59 – “Culture as a leadership topic kind of made a comeback at the end of 2020. And frankly, we didn’t do a great job. We talked a lot. People had tons of ideas. We talked about those ideas. We moved along our merry way. We grew, we grew, we grew. And all along the growth process, even with our parent company, right, who has an incredible culture, we did a lot of talking, and we didn’t do anything very differently except for say we wanted to do some things differently. And so 2021 sort of came and went.”
- 14:55 – “Consistently people leaving told us, ‘I had no idea what to expect here. I didn’t know.’ And, and I think part of that was because we didn’t know how to recruit and interview and bring people on. If you’ve been here 20 years and over that 20 years you’ve trained 10 people, because that was about the rate we were hiring at, no problem. But if tomorrow we ask you to train five people and then the following week two more new ones come in, and then you start to go, ‘whoa, whoa, whoa, this is… my job’s not training, my job’s running this machine.’ Right? Yeah. So that was a lot of it. It was just a lot of those observations from the travel and the hiring pieces and our, our honestly miserable failure in 2021 to, to keep up with staffing and our, our turnover increased.”
- 37:56 – “Culture forms no matter what, right? The culture just naturally happens. If you want it to be a specific way, you have to be intentional about it, and kudos to you and to your organization really to take the time to do that.”
- 39:36 – “It’s hard to do when you don’t feel safe, comfortable, you’re unsure of the answer. I might look like an idiot, what if someone calls me out? But at the end of the day, we’re people, right? Human beings, if I can’t extend the benefit of the doubt, regardless of how I feel internally, then what? Right? Then you’re creating more of things that don’t work for humans. And so I think that’s probably the biggest thing is just you’d be willing to put yourself in a situation to call it out more and recognize that sometimes that’s not going to make you the most popular person in the room, and that’s okay.”
Resources and Connect Section for YouTube Specifically
- OmniCable – https://www.omnicable.com/
- MidAtlantic Employers’ Association (MEA) – https://www.meainfo.org/
Connect with Cora Walker:
- LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/corawalker/
Connect with the Host:
- Holly DePalma on Linktree – https://www.linkedin.com/in/holly-depalma-b07aa831/