There's never been a better time to be in HR

HR has increased in visibility within a business says one Australian CPO

There's never been a better time to be in HR

There’s never been a better time to be in HR

After two years of reacting to disruptions from the effects of a global pandemic, HR leaders are embracing the chance to start planning for the future of their businesses and the timing couldn’t be better, global trends reveal more and more executive teams are showing a willingness to invest in human resources.

“There’s never been a better time to be in HR,” says Ashleigh Loughnan, Go1s chief people officer (CPO). “The last two years have been incredibly tough, but HR has come into its own and increased in terms of visibility within a business and what contribution we make to the experience people have,” said Loughnan.

Go1 is a corporate learning platform that links 3.5 million users to a library of more than 80,000 pieces of content. They were accepted into the prestigious Y-Combinator accelerator in 2015. Since then, they’ve expanded globally and today are backed by investors like M12, Madrona Venture Group, Salesforce Ventures and SEEK. 

Loughnan started the newly created CPO role at Go1 in January. “It’s been a wild three months but a great three months,” she said. Looking to the future Loughnan says her focus will be on talent acquisition and retention. “The talent shortage is real, so once people join Go1, we really need to make sure we retain them,” Loughnan told HRD.

Go1s Australian operations are going through a period of growth, they recruited a record 52 new staff last month and grew their workforce from 250 to 550 last year. Despite that growth they have a relatively unknown employer brand here, something Loughnan says will soon change.

Loughnan says her focus at Go1 will be on building an ‘employer brand’. “Having a strong brand and a purpose driven and aspirational mission is very important. Defining what our EVP (employee value proposition) is, working on our employer branding and putting in place a framework to communicate it,” said Loughlan

Once you’ve got those employees on-boarded, Loughnan says, the focus shifts to retention. “We’re looking at our entitlements and our policies and thinking, how can we make them more meaningful to our employees?”

Go1 recognised they had a lot of employees who are around the age where they would be thinking about having children and ensured they had a robust parental leave policy in place to support employees becoming parents. The policy clearly has the backing of their executive team, Go1s co-founder and chief revenue officer, Chris Eigeland, is currently using the leave to welcome his newest born. “It’s important for employers to have a really strong parental leave policy, they have such a big role to play in how our little people are supported through their family arrangements,” said Loughnan

Another unique initiative to combat arbitrary public holidays was installed after an employee expressed their struggles with the concept of Australia Day. Go1 announced, a ‘public holiday swap’ – employees could choose to take Australia Day off or save the day for a time that was more meaningful to them. The initiative has now been rolled out globally. “We just thought why not? And why aren’t we doing this more broadly?”

“Those are just two very small pieces in a much bigger program of work that we need to look at in terms of how we make people feel that they belong and are included in the broader Go1 team environment. So that will be a big focus moving forward,” said Loughnan.

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