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Company Culture, Employee Experience, Leadership Podcast, People & Culture

The human capital factor is the walking image of your company’s greatness

Nestor leadership interviews Erin Leslie

Erin Leslie, our guest for the Nestor interview series is a complex leadership figure, with expertise in the Business Tech field as well as a Leadership Coach. As a Business Tech Leader, Erin Leslie is focused to drive business excellence through technology enhancements based on a human-centered design approach. Her expertise in the field includes over 20 years of senior experience leading business systems in Consulting, Finance, Insurance, Telecom, Retail, and Public Service sectors.

Being passionate about people and leadership development, in 2016, Erin founded EQFootprints, with the desire to provide immediate guidance for career development and to help individuals break down barriers to achieve the next level of success. Through emotional intelligence measurement, coaching and mentoring techniques, Erin aims to support the executive leaders of any business to increase personal or team output, build stronger teams and drive organic development.

You can connect with Erin directly on LinkedIn or check out her website.

Lack of career development and advancement has been cited as a top cause of turnover. What should be the leadership’s role in tackling this problem? 

Erin Leslie: Organizations that have a high turnover due to a lack of clear career development and opportunities for advancement are a call to action on leaders across units to work on a Career Communication Strategy. A leader’s role is not just to lead business but to retain talent and cultivate those careers the company is steered to invest in. That strategy should include how do leaders brand opportunities, entice organic growth in their teams, and implement a strong Mentorship Program where anyone can learn and grow from within and find mentors as well as sponsors. It shouldn’t be a secret where your company is going and how you are going to leverage the bright lights in talent across the organization to enable your company to achieve success. 

From your experience, what are the most essential skills for leaders in today’s world? 

Erin Leslie: As a career coach, I work on this aspect often with leaders and try to make them aware they need to be able to build buy-in authentically, grow trust and demonstrate respect to their employees.

 
Leaders who are self-aware and seek to enrich their knowledge of themselves as well as others around them are powerful. This is the foundation for great business change. 
 

Why the human-centric leadership approach has become increasingly important lately? 

Erin Leslie: Technology, machines, robotics, and science are not enough to deliver services and products.

 
The human capital factor is paramount in establishing the process, demonstrating meaningful customer focus and appreciation, and is the walking image of your company’s greatness.
 

Leaders must be able to lead strategy in business development and see the needs of the employees are met in order to build even greater products and services. In order to evolve you must start with an emotional intelligence approach and create an inclusive space for rich ideation and delivery. 

What do you think are the top three challenges for HR and people leaders for the next year? 

Erin Leslie: Foremost, HR needs to disrupt the status quo and think beyond the fundamental practices of why HR exists.

  • In the first place, better serve the organization with increased HR process automation to be able to focus more on strategic planning.

  • Secondly, attract talent at the right pay levels – Pay parity research and action plans should be a key priority.

  • Thirdly, be realistic about where the market is shifting with respect to compensation packages. In this regard, HR and internal leaders must respect one another’s roles and communicate effectively to create competitive compensation packages, well-being incentives, and transparent talent evolution strategies. 

In the face of a possible economic downturn, what should leaders focus on? What abilities can make a difference? 

Erin Leslie: It is extremely expensive to constantly replace key roles and have high-performing talent leave your organization. With the sensitive economic tide we are riding, the balance between hiring leaders who can build from within and stabilize the “quiet quitting” deficiencies with positive transparent retainment tools will support a healthier talent-producing outcome. Tools such as advanced training, extended health leave for self-development or self-investment, leadership growth committees, and Career/Leadership Coaching can be important stimulants for leadership enhancement.

What’s the most important lesson learned this year? 

Erin Leslie: People can see through those who create passive DEI programs and flat brand recognition awareness approaches, and question their real purpose. We are seeing more and more passive allyship and the response to where their true supports lie. 

Companies that are placating their actions by standing up to an ally committee or program without giving real tools or intention to empower them – will not be tolerated.

 
Authenticity, entrusting all peoples, and forming accountable diverse teams and leaders is key.
 

All these elements play an active and immediate role in enriching diversity, inclusivity, and equity with words, actions, and true ally-enabled products and services that will earn the trust of their consumers over those who simply stamp it on their logo and continue to impede true change. We must transform institutional effects that need to be undone so we can embrace a stronger united world for everyone to work, live and play safely in. 

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