What’s Up in the Workplace: Bots, What New HR Pros Need to Know and One-on-Ones

What’s Up in the Workplace: Bots, What New HR Pros Need to Know and One-on-Ones

In the first episode of the series What’s Up in the Workplace, Lacey Partipilo joins Brandon Laws for a fun and engaging discussion on three articles related to the workplace.


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Run Time: 33:59

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Brandon Laws: I’ve got my good ol’ friend Lacey here, Lacey Partipilo. Good to have you back on the podcast.

Lacey Partipilo: Hey, good to be here.

Brandon: I always like to do topics with you that can live forever, or I’ve been wanting to do forever – you know. A lot of podcasts out there will do what’s in the news and that kind of stuff. Why I haven’t done that – and listeners, I’m trying to explain to you why I haven’t really done a whole lot of that.

It’s because a lot of it has a limited shelf life and it just can’t live on forever. I try to create content that you can get value from, regardless, even if you listen to this in three months from now.

So today, Lacey and I are going to go over three articles we found that touched on workplaces, touched on HR, – in some capacity – and these are pretty basic topics where they won’t be expired after a week from now, right?

Lacey: This stuff will live on.

Brandon: Yeah. OK, good. So I’m going to start things off. I found an article in SHRM, so Society for Human Resource Management – and I don’t know how you will take this, Lacey. I hope you don’t mind.

Lacey: Well, when you sent this to me, I’m like this is totally a Brandon article.

Brandon: It’s not going away. That’s the thing. OK. So this title is Artificial Intelligence Comes to HR as a Conversation. It’s by Josh Bersin and – OK. So I will just give you a synopsis. Then I wanted to talk a little bit about all this stuff.

So in the article, Josh mentions that a lot of money is being invested by organizations, not necessarily HR-focused at all, but in artificial intelligence. OK? So lots of money is going to artificial intelligence and he states that a lot of HR software companies are already making A.I. part of their strategy.

Lacey: Yeah.

Brandon: OK? So money is being dumped into it. They’re thinking about A.I. at some capacity and Bersin states in the article that once A.I. starts to become embedded—so it’s a strategy, maybe an idea at this point—once it actually becomes embedded in some HR software and systems that we’re using, the platforms will probably start to predict who to hire, what next job we should take. Maybe what we should make from a salary standpoint, what training to have based on companies, when you can expect some risk or fraud.

So like just basically take the data from the A.I. and then start to make some predictions about what’s to happen from a people stand point.

Lacey: I know. It’s crazy.

Brandon: It’s crazy, right? He gives this example and I took it right from the article. So I want to give him credit for this. So he goes on to say that HR systems, especially – first off, it will become conversational. So nowadays, you would go to your manager or your HR person to flag for planning PTO or something, right?

You would send an email and then you wait a week and probably finally hear back from your manager. OK, it has been approved. They’re saying that with A.I. systems, you would have a conversation with a bot or something. So you go to this live chat within a platform and an employee would say:

“I would like to take Friday as a vacation.”

And then the AI or the bot would reply, “You have two scheduled meetings on Friday.”

Employee says, “Can you cancel them, please?”

Computer or bot says, “Yes. Meetings cancelled. Should I request paid time-off?”

Employee says, “Yes, please.”

Bot says, “Requesting manager approval.”

Employee, “Thank you.”

Bot, “Your manager has approved. You’re all set for PTO on Friday.”

Lacey: It’s crazy.

Brandon: That doesn’t seem too farfetched, right? It’s definitely a difference from what we’re doing now.

Lacey: Well, and it’s integrated. That’s the cool thing and what – and I mean I’m thinking about this. You know, just on the topic of just vacation requests. I mean you think about staffing, right?

So like if you’re in a small company or a small team, what if somebody else already has the day off? So I think about how we do it here. We’re sending Outlook invitations. So it’s already on people’s calendars.

Brandon: Just so you can see it.

Lacey: Yeah. So I look there first. Is anybody else going to be out? If not, then I can send the email to my manager. Some companies have PTO requests through their payroll platform. But this integrated way of looking at it, I think it just makes sure that things don’t get missed, that a payroll platform isn’t going to be able to catch.

Brandon: You’re saying humans make mistakes in what we do.

Lacey: Yeah, we do.

Brandon: But I do think – the way I kind of look at – the way technology is meant to operate, because I see it a lot in my role. I’m in marketing. Everything is so digital now. I spend a lot more time behind a computer operating software than I do talking with people and that’s –

Lacey: Yeah, or sending pamphlets out.

Brandon: Right? Yeah. So there are – the software, what it does is it streamlines and makes efficient really basic tasks. In this case, like having a person-to-person conversation for something as simple as I need to request a day off. Well, if you can have a bot, like check schedules, check your balance, all within like a matter of microseconds. Doesn’t that make more sense? Because then it frees up the HR Director or a manager to do the work that is more meaningful.

Lacey: Yeah, I do. There’s a part of me though and this is just – I don’t know. I’m a people person.

Brandon: I know.

Lacey: I would just worry about – and we’re going to talk about having relationships between manager and employee and why that’s so important in a minute, in one of these other articles – if we just outsource all of the interaction to technology, I think the pieces that are so important and fundamental between a manager and a direct report, that all goes away. And then the really difficult conversations that are going to come up, that a bot is not going to be able to handle, they’re harder to have because you don’t have the foundation for the other stuff. So that’s the piece that I just – I don’t know. It makes me a little uncomfortable.

Brandon: So I think about internal culture stuff, or just experience from an internal standpoint, and then external stuff. I kind of think of it in the same way. You want to be able to control the experience that people are having in a very consistent way, and that sort of becomes your internal or external brand.

I think if you have bots doing very basic stuff, then that makes a lot of sense to me. Because you would be able to control the experience that employees are having versus if you have a bunch of different managers. Say, you’re an employee; I’m an employee. We report to different people. We have to ask for – say we’re asking for PTO from our managers and your manager does it so differently than my manager. You may hear back instantly. I may hear back in two weeks or maybe something is missed. I think it’s hard to control the experience when you’re talking about stuff like that.

Lacey: Yeah, yeah. I agree. I think for the fundamental things – and I think about stuff that we’re doing even to support clients that are just a lot of back and forth communication that could be handled by some type of AI tool. I think there’s definitely a place for it. But just putting it out there that I don’t think that it can really replace the culture and the relationship between people –

Brandon: I’m really saying it could be valuable for very basic tasks, where it frees you up to do something that’s better. That’s what economics is all about, right? If something can do it better than the old way of doing it, let’s do the new way and then free up the person to do something that’s more meaningful.

Lacey: Yeah, yeah.

Brandon: At the end of the day, it’s what I think we should do. I’m actually going through this experience from a marketing standpoint – the way people interact with us from a sales standpoint, or inquire about our business. I actually installed a bot – like a live chat. It’s called Drift and there’s a bunch of different ones out there.

But I thought this one was unique because it has a bot component to it where if you have somebody coming to our website for example – I’m trying to translate this to how you would use it from an HR standpoint – but say somebody goes in there and they ask a question, or the bot prompts a visitor, “Hey, are you a client? Are you not a client? Are you an employee?” It asks a series of questions. Then the response prompts another set of questions based on the criteria that they’re providing.

So I think it’s cool. These tools are becoming so ubiquitous because the costs are pretty cheap nowadays. This live chat feature, it was free for the baseline service, and then for the bot components, it’s more expensive. But I see this becoming a trend.

Lacey: Well, yeah, and employers – you know, I have clients that were putting together FAQs and things for new hires. So to have it be an interactive experience where someone could ask the question and rather than having to go look on some intranet for some document, where it’s maybe even outdated, to keep all that stuff up-to-date, I could see a ton of value in that in terms of just sharing information with employees, being able to ask questions about policies and things like that. There could be some value in that too.

Brandon: Imagine – this happens to me all the time when I can’t remember what holidays we get off that are paid – could you imagine going to a bot and instead of having to find your handbook somewhere, you go to the bot and you say, “Remind me which holidays I get off again?” or “Do I get off Martin Luther King Day or Fourth of July?” Those kinds of questions give you a fast response.

Lacey: Right, because the content has already been created in the handbook, or whatever extra SOPs and policies that you have, so I think there could be some value in that, in a way.

Brandon: Yeah. I know people love that people component to HR, or being able to talk to managers when they’re touching questions like that. But to me – this is my personal opinion and I’m putting myself out there – I think it’s a waste of time to be able to respond back with, “Oh, let me check into that for you,” and then like a week later, you hear, “Yeah, you get Fourth of July off,” and –

Lacey: Yeah, it would be nice to get the information to people in real time. As an HR person, sometimes you have to prioritize. You’ve got multiple things coming in. What’s the highest risk, highest value thing for me to be doing? It’s probably not answering a question about a policy. So that maybe falls down and maybe it gets missed, and then employees are feeling like their questions aren’t getting answered and they become disengaged. I mean it could go really sideways. So I think it could be a cool tool.

Brandon: Yeah. I think the other benefit I see is a lot of data. So you see how people are interacting with them, what kind of questions they’re asking. So you can provide more clarification if there’s a lot of the same questions coming up.

Then I think as a lot more millennials enter the workforce and take leadership positions, this is going to become the norm. People just want to interact with technology for this kind of stuff. So those are my two cents.

Lacey: Yeah, definitely.

Brandon: OK, let’s move on. Your article is –

Lacey: So I found an article. This is also from Society for Human Resource Management, SHRM. This one actually just came out last month and it’s written by Christina Folz, The Ten Biggest Mistakes New HR Professionals Make.

So I have a team of folks that are newer in their HR career that I’m supporting and developing. Having grown up here at Xenium, in the Stoller Group, I just can so remember being new and wanting to have all the answers and feeling like I was going to mess up all the time.

The things that this article talks about just really resonated with me. So I will just maybe list off the 10 things and then we can talk in detail about a few.

  1. Not balancing between employee advocate and company rep.
  2. Being too friendly.
  3. Sharing confidential information.
  4. Forgetting that your employees are human.
  5. Believing HR is one-size-fits-all.
  6. Having a know-it-all attitude.
  7. Failing to take the position seriously.
  8. Believing that a degree equals experience. It’s tough stuff.
  9. Underestimating the importance of compliance.
  10. Not thinking beyond HR.

Brandon: Which ones do you want to hit?

Lacey: So let’s just talk about number four first because it’s just –

Brandon: Forgetting that your employees are human.

Lacey: It is so important. So if you’re in a large organization – and it is a tough job, these roles that we have, in terms of supporting the business, supporting employees, it is hard – I think what sets apart the best HR professionals are the ones that really see people as a resource but also that we’re human. And so having this mentality that people are just a means to an end, I think you’re not able to get the best work out of people.

I really see my role as trying to share with managers and business owners, that people really can be the most valuable resource and that treating people kindly and with respect and understanding that we’re all just doing the best we can is a huge help. In the article, it talks about saying that not digging deeper to understand the employees, what they support and treating them like numbers on a spreadsheet or just a resource. That is the biggest mistake and really people – they are a resource for us. But not just a number. We have families and experiences and circumstances that come up and I think all of that plays into how we make decisions about those people.

Brandon: I resonate with this point so much because, obviously, I want to have deep relationships with our people, because I think it’s part of our culture. On the sales and marketing side, I often think about this a lot because often you hear B2B or B2C, which means business to business sales, business to consumer sales, right? I’m say let’s throw that out the window. It’s human to human. We’re all humans. Regardless of whether you’re selling to a business, you’re still selling to a human at the end of the day.

When people reach out – I get sold to a lot in my role – at the end of the day, those people reaching out to me, I could be rude to them in response. But I know what it’s like to be on their side and they’re humans. They’re trying to hit goals. They’re trying to do all these things. You don’t have to be a non-human about it and treat them like they’re some entity or something. They’re a human being.

Lacey: Well, I think having empathy and being relatable is really important too in this role. So – and we do that. I mean we’re trying to match the right service teams or business partners, payroll specialists with clients. We really do, I think, look at that human aspect, and I think being able to be flexible is important because in HR, you’re going to deal with a wide variety of people. But just keeping in mind that even my own experiences – remembering that I’m human too. That’s playing into my decision-making and my ability to remain impartial through decisions and when I make recommendations.

So the other one I thought we could talk about is number five, believing HR is a one-size-fits-all. So I feel a little biased about this one, only because I’m currently supporting 30-ish different clients, different industries, different sizes, different revenues.

Brandon: Their needs are different.

Lacey: Yeah, totally. I’ve probably supported – I don’t even know how many in the last 10 years, different organizations, and we, I think, have shifted and grown as an organization here at Xenium, and while it’s important to be scalable and try to be efficient and not overly customized –

Brandon: Templatized.

Lacey: I know.

Brandon: Yeah. You don’t want to do that.

Lacey: I think organizations are more savvy now. And if you’re a new HR person in your career, just knowing that everything that you maybe heard about in school or you’re reading about online or hearing about in podcasts, it may not work for your company and that could be for a variety of reasons.

Brandon: Good advice.

Lacey: So just paying attention to that, I think, is important. Asking for feedback. What’s working? What’s not working? Don’t get hung up on, you know, if something didn’t work out. Because it’s cool to try things, test it out and see what happens.

Brandon: I resonate with this one too just because we’ve – I’ve seen it on the client side where we’ve had a lot of success over the last few years, specifically with our HR consulting that we offer – when we go in from a sales standpoint, we don’t just hand them the playbook and say, “Hey, here’s the Xenium way. Do it.”

We actually sit there for an hour probably, listening to what their pain points are, or where they want to go as a business, and we truly try to have a seat at the table with them and say, “OK. This is where you want to go as a company. Here’s what you want from a people standpoint. OK. Let’s customize a program based on your vision.”

I think HR internally is no different. We have unique business needs. HR doesn’t need to be consistent across the board for every single company. It’s so vastly different. Different people, different culture, different laws, different everything.

Lacey: Yeah. Where the organization is at in their life cycle is a huge part of it because what might not work right now could work two years from now. So just remaining nimble and flexible is important.

Brandon: Yeah. One of the things I would say about just the HR is one-size-fits-all comment is that HR people need to have really good business acumen. I think this is where if you really truly want to deeply understand this point, it means if you want a seat at the table and you want to go where the business is going and you want to be able to provide people resources and all that stuff, that’s going to help the business get to that area, you need to understand the business and what the needs are.

Lacey: Yeah, what the needs are, what the pain points are.

Brandon: Yeah.

Lacey: I think that’s incredibly important. OK. So last one here, number eight. Believing a degree equals experience. So –

Brandon: Yikes! Yeah. This is a tough one.

Lacey: It is so hard and I remember some of our senior people. So like Tana and Suzi and some of the people that I’ve just learned and grown from saying to me, you know, when I was just so frustrated and like, “When am I just going to know it? When is it not going to feel uncomfortable? When am I not going to be worried anymore?” Just hearing, “It’s going to come with experience.” There’s no replacement. There’s no classes. There’s no degree that you can take. I really believe all that stuff supports. But there’s nothing like experience.

Brandon: And then accelerate it too. Like if you have all the classroom knowledge, it might accelerate where you end up. Yeah, I agree.

Lacey: I think it is points of reference as you’re experiencing things. But I think the best learning that I have had has come from really challenging situations that have built sturdy shoulders. So when something comes up, I now have a mentality of ‘bring it on.’ I’m going to learn from this. We’re going to grow. Together we’re going to learn through it.

It might be uncomfortable. But I think that’s where the best learning happens and that mentality has probably only happened for me in the last maybe three or four years. Really in the first five, six years of my career in HR, wanting to have all the answers, I think came from a feeling of thinking that I had all this classroom knowledge that I’ve acquired and I’m going to all these classes. Even here at Xenium and I’m reading and I’m trying. Why don’t I get it? Well, it’s because we’re dealing with people. So you need people experiences to help put it all together.

Brandon: Your field in HR is such a tough one because the experience seems to be everything. I remember taking a class, a human resource class, in college. There was just one class and we literally went over like just definitions of stuff and laws. It was so boring and I think half the people were probably asleep. You know, it was undergrads. So I get it. But if you don’t have the experience – how do you pair the definitions that you’ve learned and all the theory or psychology, whatever, with real world issues that businesses are having?

Lacey: You have to have the experience.

Brandon: Yeah.

Lacey: A good example is so my undergrad is in psychology. So I had a much –

Brandon: Go figure.

Lacey: Yeah, I had a much greater interest in people than anything related to business. In fact, I took one business class and thought I am not going to have a career in anything related to business.

Brandon: What?

Lacey: I know. Isn’t that funny?

Brandon: How dare you.

Lacey: So now I’m doing HR. But what’s interesting is when I came over to Xenium, after having a few years doing recruiting, I was planning on sitting to take my PHR. So I’m doing the study groups, reading the books and it was so hard. I did not get it. I couldn’t get it to sink in and I think it’s because I didn’t have those experiential learning examples where I could say, “OK, I’ve supported an employee through a really tough FMLA situation.” I’m trying to memorize these laws and how they work.

But being able to see the application of it, I think is a really great way for HR folks to learn. So if you’re out there and you’re new and you just graduated, just know, like everyone told me, it’s going to come. It will come with time. But the experience is where the good stuff is.

Brandon: I am going to be vulnerable for a second. So I think I’ve probably told you this in the past. But there was a period probably four, five years ago where I was really considering going to get my MBA, right? I was already down the marketing path and I had so much on-the-job experience and I read a ton of books – mostly non-fiction stuff whether it’s leadership, HR or marketing – I felt like I was getting enough textbook theory, definitions, that kind of stuff. Then I have so much freedom here where I’m able to create. I’m able to just kind of go off and do whatever I want from a marketing standpoint to help generate leads and create our brand.

So at this point, I’ve got two kids. I’m thinking, “Is going back and getting a degree –?” You’re cringing because I think everybody goes through this where they’re at a crossroads. They’re thinking, “Is this going to help me or is it not? If I get this, does it mean I’m–?”

Lacey: Elevated.

Brandon: I’ve arrived. I’ve arrived. I’m like the best marketer in the world now. For me – it is going to be different for everybody. For me, I made the decision not to. Maybe that will change in the future. But I feel like I’ve got a great thing going on and I feel like the experience was the most important thing for me. What do you think?

Lacey: Yeah, I’m the same. I’ve actually thought – not necessarily about the MBA because everyone now knows how I feel about business classes. But I thought, you know, I’ve dealt with a lot of really sticky situations that have ended up some even in litigation, and thought maybe I would go to law school. If I was going to do something else, maybe that would be what I would think about doing and I just feel like for me right now, I just love the work that I’m doing and I’m still getting to interact, in a way, with attorneys. And with some of these things that I’m having to deal with, with supporting my clients, this is not the right time for me to do that.

I’ve also got a young one and appreciate having my free time when I do. So I think the experiences that we gain here, especially in this kind of environment where it really is – we joke it’s like your learning is in dog years when you do consulting work because it’s just – it’s a lot and a lot of variety that you maybe wouldn’t get when you’re internal. But that experience is important.

Brandon: One last thing I would say on this point because I think it’s such a huge one, especially if we’re talking to people who might still be in college or thinking about going back to school.

If you think you’re going to go get a degree in whatever it may be and you haven’t done any sort of real world experience while you’re studying, like an internship for example or – I don’t know. I was able to do an internship while I was in school for business management, right? So I had a summer thing where I was able to get real world management experience to say, “Wow, this is for me,” or “This is not for me.” I advise people to do that.

Lacey: Seek it out.

Brandon: Because if they just go through school, get their degree and then all of a sudden think, “Wow, I hate this. Why did I do this?” and then they’ve spent all that time, all that energy and the degree did not equal experience.

Lacey: It doesn’t and –

Brandon: They were miserable.

Lacey: And you may be picking something that isn’t even aligned with what your true interests are. So just seek those people out. There are so many organizations that offer mentorship, to allow people to talk with some of their senior people and talk about where they’ve been and what they’ve done. I think young people should get as much information as you can from people who have done the jobs that you’re considering before you finish those programs.

Brandon: Anything else on this article you want to touch on?

Lacey: I don’t think so. I think we can go to the last one.

Brandon: All right. So my last article I found on Medium.com and it is called Why One-on-One Meetings are Your Most Important Work Meeting and it’s by Jose Bautista.

He had a quote in here and then he had some other points that I just want to – I will bring up and we can discuss it. He says just about one-on-ones, “One-on-ones is the best way for managers and leaders to connect with their team members on pressing issues, develop a strong relationship, create a culture that facilitates feedback and open communication and ensures that team members feel like they’re working towards their goals.”

Lacey: I love it.

Brandon: Do you agree with that?

Lacey: Oh, totally.

Brandon: I think it hits on all the points that I would think should come out of a one-on-one.

Lacey: Yeah. And I especially appreciate the piece about feedback and I think it’s both ways. It’s an opportunity for a manager to get clear with the employee about what’s working and maybe what’s not.

Brandon: Totally.

Lacey: And for the employee to have this open space to share with a manager. These are the resources that I’m not getting that I need. This is what you could do better for me to support me to get these goals accomplished. I totally agree.

One of the other things he says in here, “You spend so much time finding great people. It’s worth it to help them grow to be the best they can be.” With the way that the talent market is, I mean we talk about that all the time. I feel like every podcast we do. But it’s true. There aren’t enough talented people to fill the skilled jobs that we have available.

So if you’ve got great people, retain them and there are so many statistics out there. Gallup does research on this all the time around engagement. Managers that don’t give feedback to employees are – there’s a 98 percent chance that those folks are not going to rate that they’re engaged, and disengaged employees leave organizations. They create conflict and issues in organizations.

So being engaged and talking with your people, not just about the work. That’s the other thing I wanted to point out is he gives some tips about how to frame up these one-on-one meetings, how to get the most out of them. I think there’s a place to talk about what’s on people’s plates and it depends obviously on the job and the relationship. But focusing on the future and growth and giving feedback and building trust and remembering that your employee is a human, all those things that we talked about.

Brandon: Yeah, yeah, exactly.

Lacey: I think that’s where the best meat is in those meetings.

Brandon: I agree. He had a list of obviously like 10 or 12 reasons why one-on-ones are important and I had four that I highlighted as my favorite, that I just want to emphasize.

So one, share feedback from both sides. I think that’s important because it’s not just a one-way dialogue, like a manager pushing information down to the employee. It’s a two-way conversation. So feedback should go both ways. If I’m an employee and I’m with my manager to say, “Hey, you know what? I don’t like to be communicated with in this way,” or “I don’t like when you dump something on my desk,” and just be able to provide a forum where a two-way dialogue is good.

Highlight good performance. So obviously reward the good behavior or the good performance. I like that.

Address issues before they become serious. I wanted to highlight this the most because it goes back to your point about direct feedback. Before you and I started this podcast, I interviewed Suzi Alligood on the whole harassment thing that’s becoming so ubiquitous in nature. It’s touching every organization, it seems. It’s on people’s minds and I think her point was that a lot of this is becoming such an issue because people weren’t willing to go direct.

Lacey: Yeah.

Brandon: And it just stews and stews and then all of a sudden there’s a complaint. And you could have nipped that right in the bud immediately if you just had an open dialogue.

I think for a lot of people, they’re not comfortable doing it. They don’t know how to give direct feedback. They feel like somebody is going to be defensive or whatever. But one-on-ones are a great place to address these issues.

Lacey: Absolutely, because you don’t want employees to be surprised when they find out that their job is on the line or come up to their annual performance review and it’s like wow, I had no idea that this was an issue because my manager didn’t feel confident enough to tell me. I generally believe most people go to work to do a good job truly. I think people want to work hard.

Brandon: Yeah, I agree.

Lacey: They want to contribute. They want to know that what they’re doing is adding value and when we give them constructive feedback to shift performance, to get more out of them, they’re only going to be more apt to do that. It’s when managers withhold that constructive feedback that you get those folks who are going to keep doing what they’re doing. So you can’t expect to see a change or they’re going to leave. Then we may be losing someone who’s really talented.

Brandon: Yeah. So on a similar note, another point that I love was reinforce company messages about vision and company changes. I think this might be a tougher one for organizations or employers at the leadership executive level where they maybe don’t share as much as they probably should.

But if you know what your vision is and you know what goals you’re supposed to be hitting, OK, let’s roll that down to the managers and during one-on-ones, they can talk about that regularly. Because then, to your point, if you know where we’re going, you either want to get on or off and you want to give employees that opportunity.

If I don’t see the vision the same way you do, or I just don’t want to be part of it, let me leave before it gets really awkward.

Lacey: Yeah, and tying that feedback that we just talked about to the organization’s values. So here are some examples of where you really hit it out of the park and you demonstrated our core values. And I would like to give you some feedback maybe about some things that have happened where you’re not really showing up and your behaviors aren’t aligned.

Brandon: Yeah.

Lacey: So incorporating it in a way that is not fake and really authentic and transparent I think is important.

Brandon: I wanted to end this segment by asking you what’s one thing in a one-on-one that you absolutely want to accomplish before it’s like a job well done on a one-on-one or you feel like you’ve made progress?

Lacey: For me, it’s asking if there’s anything that I can be doing differently or if there’s anything that they need from me that I can support with. So I really view my role as a manager here at Xenium, as someone who can support people to be their best selves.

Brandon: Yeah, agreed.

Lacey: At work and at home. So sometimes it is about personal things and a lot of times, it’s about work stuff. So for me, that’s the most important piece.

Brandon: That’s good. I think I would – you know, similar. I think for me, I want to make sure I’m talking about a goal. Like if we set a goal, I want to make sure that we’re checking in on progress of the goal or if there’s some direct feedback, that it’s just better for in-person or something about like, oh, I might have done it this way or that way. I like to do that in person.

Lacey: I do too.

Brandon: Versus just like doing the work for them or something like that.

Lacey: Yeah, that’s great.

Brandon: Because I’ve done that before. Anyways, so that was Why One-On-One Meetings are the Most Important Work Meeting. That was on Medium by Jose Bautista. So that kind of wraps it up. This was fun. We should do this again.

Lacey: We should. I think yeah, if the listeners like it, we should do some more. There are tons of articles out there.

Brandon: We have a survey, show notes on our blog, all that stuff. If you like this, let us know because we could do more of those –

Lacey: Yeah, they could even send us articles that they want us to talk about.

Brandon: Yeah. Send us articles that you want us to talk about. That would be awesome. We will kind of do like a mailbag sort of thing.

Lacey: There you go.

Brandon: So Lacey Partipilo, thank you for being part of the podcast. Where can people find you?

Lacey: I am on LinkedIn. My email is lacey.partipilo@xeniumhr.com.

Brandon: Yeah.

Lacey: So happy to chat with anyone.

Brandon: Good stuff. Cool. Thanks for being part of the podcast.

Brandon Laws

As Director of Marketing, Brandon Laws leads all marketing efforts for Xenium, providing oversight on all marketing campaigns, digital marketing strategy, events, sponsorships and public relations. Brandon brings a positive energy to every aspect of his role at Xenium—from internal initiatives around culture and wellness to industry thought leadership through the Xenium podcast and other social efforts. Active within the HR community, he currently volunteers on the board of the Portland Human Resource Management Association as the Director of Marketing & PR.

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