The Most Innovative HR Practice that will Separate you from the Pack

Each year, the Birmingham Business Journal honors Birmingham’s top HR Executives and Innovators. They recently announced the 2016 Top HR Executives. One of the winners was Debbie Smith. Debbie has been in HR for 29 years, and is the Director of Human Resources at the Lakeshore Foundation. Winners were chosen “based on their contributions to their companies and their status as innovators in the HR field.” Lakeshore values their people, but did not have a leadership development strategy. In 2016, Lakeshore chose Wildsparq as their plan to develop their people. Here’s why she was selected:

Originally featured on Birmingham Business Journal.

Debbie Smith, Director of Human Resources at Lakeshore Foundation

“What is your top tip for creating a great work environment for employees? We all have a story. Learn employees’ stories. This will help them to feel open to share ideas and take feedback in the constructive way in which it should always be intended.

What’s your philosophy on HR in 10 words or less? Firm but fair. Compassionate but practical. Always be focused on mission.

What are ways that you continue to stretch yourself and increase your knowledge base about new and different business ideas? The ever-changing world of benefits and labor laws have provided with opportunities to learn more about how they can and will effect our organization.

Give us an example of some tough feedback that you received about yourself that caused you to make a major positive change. I can’t think of any specific tough feedback, but I’ve gotten good advice. That advice is to be consistent and fair while understanding the human element of every situation.

We often hear about the challenges of merging all the generations. Give us specific example of how you have helped all the generations to feel that they have something of value to contribute to the organization. We certainly have multiple generations represented in our workplace at Lakeshore. By all of us being encouraged to learn from each other and work together, I think we have all realized the value in our multiple perspectives.

What challenges are you facing as an HR professional to keep your organization competitive in this tough economy? Like most organizations, health insurance is a hot topic. The goal is to remain competitive by providing the most comprehensive coverage we can while encouraging employers to make choices that best fit their individual needs.

What is the most innovative HR practice your organization has implemented to “separate from the pack?” We recently introduced a leadership development program, WILDSPARQ. Cross departmental teams participate in the program and it’s had remarkable impact on performance and team building across the entire organization.”

For more information on how Wildsparq can impact your company culture, schedule a free demo.

Wildsparq is a web-based leadership development platform that has quickly become the go-to way for companies — from small businesses to large corporations — to invest in developing leaders. Developed by the recruiting and leadership development experts at FireSeeds in Birmingham, Alabama, Wildsparq is an indispensable tool for companies that are serious about building their culture.