C-Suite talks HR: Chris Taylor, CHRO at Best Buy Canada

A staple of the high-street, Best Buy is a household name across the world. With over 125,000 employees across 1,000 locations in the U.S., Mexico and Canada

C-Suite talks HR: Chris Taylor, CHRO at Best Buy Canada

A staple of the high-street, Best Buy is a household name across the world. With over 125,000 employees across 1,000 locations in the U.S., Mexico and Canada, the electronics giant has undergone a huge turnaround thanks to their revamped corporate strategy – and is now competing with the likes of Amazon.

We spoke to Chris Taylor, CHRO at Best Buy Canada, who revealed how innovation and a renewed focus on employee ideas has changed the Canadian organization for the better.

To start off, we asked Taylor what advice he’d give to any HR leaders looking to revamp their company culture.

“Don’t be afraid to let go of the past,” he told us. “Often, we think of an initiative that’s worked and we’re reluctant to move on from it. It’s time to really re-think culture, and we transformed ours by listening to our employees and their ideas.

“We put considerable efforts around developing culture through the eyes of our people – both employees in our stores and in our offices. HR professionals need to listen more than ever – as well as following it up with a call to action. It’s one thing to hear to employees’ ideas, but it’s HR’s role to bring those ideas to life.

“Recognition is also massive. If I look at one of the most successful things in the evolution of our culture in the past few years, it’s been our ability to recognize innovation. If I was a new HR player, or giving out some advice to one, I would say to never take their foot off the gas on recognizing great work and innovation.”

With that in mind, it’s important to look to the future of your organizations; specifically, how the HR function will change in the coming years.

Taylor believes these changes will stem from a need to evolve and become more streamlined to keep in with the fast-paced nature of the function.

“The HR function will be markedly different because work and workplaces will look so different,” he explained. “When I think of the traditional office we have today, it’s a world away from what it will look like in 10 years. And so, from an HR perspective and a disruption perspective, we have to evolve and be ready for that. We need to ensure we’re investing heavily in whatever may transpire in the next few years and making sure we can be manoeuvrable and supportive in reaction to this.

Taylor went on to tell us how Best Buy Canada future-proofed their people strategy through the use of cloud-based tech.

“Our first step at Best Buy Canada is moving to cloud-based technology which will allow us to reach our employees differently – and have the ability to upgrade our tech on an ongoing basis,” continued Taylor.

“This means we’ll never be behind and will be able to accelerate as fast as the workplace changes. I also believe HR will become more and more decentralized. As we move to agile methods of work, we’re moving HR into those streams and decentralizing where and when we can.”

 
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