The Importance of Authenticity in Employee Engagement and Social Change
In this episode, Jenny Malseed, VP of Strategy and Talent at GlobalGiving, emphasizes the significance of authenticity in employee engagement and driving social change within organizations. She discusses the evolution of bringing one’s whole self to work and its impact on employee satisfaction and organizational culture. Jenny shares successful practices such as open channels for dialogue, employee feedback, and a culture of inclusivity and learning. She also highlights the importance of HR in managing employee expectations, supporting mental health, and executing organizational strategies. In addition, Jenny stresses the need for organizations to have a clear point of view on social issues.
Jenny Malseed currently serves as the VP of Strategy and talent at GlobalGiving, a prominent organization in the field of social impact. With a background encompassing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Strategy from the Yale School of Management and a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Economics and French from Colgate University, she is well-equipped for her role. Her remarkable achievement includes being named a 2023 Social Impact Women to Watch Finalist by Nonprofit HR, a testament to her outstanding contributions to the world of nonprofit management and social impact. Here are a few of the topics we’ll discuss on this episode of Better People Podcast:
- Organizations need to ensure physical and emotional safety for their staff during turbulent times.
- Encouraging employee voices and involving them in decision-making can enhance engagement and empower individuals.
- Facilitated conversations allow for constructive feedback and collaboration among team members.
- Balancing the need for input from employees with the efficient functioning of the organization is a challenge.
- Working with community-based organizations helps make a real impact.
- HR professionals play a pivotal role in linking strategy and talent.
- Owning a seat at the table and promoting the best interests of employees is vital.
Connecting with Jenny Malseed:
Connecting with our host, Holly DePalma:
- 05:15 – “So employee engagement and culture, of course, are so essential. And again, for me, thinking as a strategist and in a social change organization, obviously we want to be constantly improving and growing. Our impact and our ability to do that is directly linked to our employee engagement, our employee experience, and our culture. In addition, something that’s really important to our employees, but really to all employees, is authenticity. So if we are doing something out in the world, are we doing that internally, right? So it’s that, being real and being transparent.”
- 06:03 – “I saw some research recently that said that employees today, particularly millennials and Gen Z, are not only do they care about their organization or their company’s values and what they’re, are they doing good in the world, but even more specifically, a lot of individuals, the majority now see their work as the way to live out their values, which in some ways is healthy. Because it’s like, you spend so much time at work, you know, so you, you really, you, you see that as the way to live those things out. And then in addition, they wanna, individuals want to see not only that my organization is doing good work, but what am I doing, and what am I doing within the organization? And, and being able to feel connected to that, to that mission directly. It really drives employee engagement.”
- 17:41 – “You ask [the staff] and it’s like ‘We want to be heard, we want to be involved, but also we don’t want you coming to us for everything. You’re leaders. We want a way to give you input where we know that you will ask for it. We will give you feedback and you will act on it. But we don’t want you calling us every minute because we also have jobs to do”
- 08:52 – “And I will say that for nonprofits, it was always the case that to some degree you’re living out your values through your work. Because you’re not doing it for the money, certainly. But this idea of bringing your whole self to work, or, I think as the nonprofit sector has shifted, there’s really been a push and an evolution around are we driving impact? Are we addressing the root causes of whatever challenge, social challenges we’re facing, what are we really doing that’s making an impact? It can’t just be charity. But it’s really about social change. And so the bar has gotten much higher for employees to say, what are we doing? And externally. And then also, are we being honest and authentic internally?”
- 18:55 – “We created a ready team, which is a number of staff members that are doing different, helping us advance different priorities that we’ve identified. One of the things that we did through that team is we trained the team members and a number of other staff members in leading difficult conversations. So they have training as facilitators, which they used, we did a whole program about race, equity, diversity, and inclusion to build a baseline understanding for staff. We thought it was important to have a shared language before we thought about even what are we going to do? But those facilitators serve us in different ways, right? And so those facilitators are available.”