Today kicks off the first in our takeover Friday series where we feature first-hand insight from CHROs and C-suite people leaders who are addressing today’s most pressing issues. Jacqui Canney, Chief People Officer at ServiceNow, shares how she set priorities in her first year at the company.
Canney joined ServiceNow in July 2021, following HR leadership roles at Walmart and WPP. He now leads the talent strategy for the software company’s global workforce. Despite the notoriously tight labor market, he set his sights on developing competitive talent programs aligned with the company’s value proposition for employees. (Editor’s note: ServiceNow is the sponsor of CHRO Daily)
This essay has been edited for clarity and brevity.
“Do you want to make the world a better place?” ServiceNow CEO Bill McDermott asked me about a year ago.
Making the world better is the ServiceNow mantra for its customers and the businesses it serves, and I quickly embraced it when I was named Chief People Officer—focused on making the world better for our people.
I have worked hard to develop an HR agenda that is as unique as the employees I serve and as ambitious as our company’s vision. As I reflect on my first year at ServiceNow, here are some principles I used:
1. Make clear, tangible commitments to employees.
One of the first things I did was partner with our marketing and brand teams to refine ServiceNow’s Employer Value Proposition. As a result, we’ve defined our “People Pact”—our commitment to our people to help them live their best lives, do their best work and fulfill our purpose together. The People Pact serves as our north when making HR investment decisions; if an activity does not enable our People Pact, we do not prioritize it.
2. Revive that talent engine and fuel it with data.
To scale, we’re innovating with a talent engine that helps us attract, grow and retain the best people to drive our business forward. How we hire, train, plan, manage performance, and reward our people needs to work together. Over the past year, I have prioritized collaboration across all HR functions so decisions are made as a team to keep the engine humming. And the best way to fuel that engine? Data—and lots of it. I spent countless hours with our people insights team to build a data-driven HR practice.
3. Remember that world-class leaders build world-class teams.
As a hyper-growth company, ServiceNow needs to evolve quickly. During my time leading HR for Accenture, WalMart and WPP, I learned you don’t grow by hiring, you grow by leading. That’s why I’m committed to “transformational leadership,” which ensures that our leaders at every level have the skills to thrive in the new world of work. Empowered leaders help turn accelerated growth from a daunting challenge into an achievable goal.
There are other values I’ve leaned on in my first year at ServiceNow, but I’ll leave you with this thought: CHROs must also continue to grow and develop. It’s easy to get comfortable as a senior-most leader in what you know, but I welcome the question, “Do you want to make the world a better place?” as my own personal mantra. It reminds me to be better, so I can better my team and together, we can better the company.
—Jacqui Canney, chief people officer at ServiceNow
I want to hear from you! What are HR’s biggest challenges and priorities today? Reach me at [email protected]. I host a 15-minute deskside with HR and DEI executives. You may find your answer in a future newsletter.
The Labor Department released its July jobs report this morning. US added 528,000 jobs, which far exceeded expectations, while the unemployment rate fell to 3.5%, down from 3.6% in June. Unemployment is now at its lowest rate since early 2020, before the pandemic, which further muddies the possibility of a possible recession. Economists had the Department of Labor is expected to report lower job growth in July following a slowing economy.
Around the Table
– Apple’s HR team is facing backlash after allegedly dismissing 15 claims of sexual misconduct by women at the company. Eight of the women reported that they had also been retaliated against. Financial Times
– Shake Shack may be the best litmus test to date for the return to the office (or lack thereof) in big cities. The burger chain’s quarterly earnings report missed estimates, indicating a slower return in metropolitan office hubs. Bloomberg
– Using the slow return to the corporate office is WeWork. The office leasing company posted a slightly smaller loss last quarter as more companies embraced hybrid work arrangements and continued to shrink their commercial footprints. New York Times
– Winter is coming to Wall Street. Job cuts and smaller bonuses are expected to hit finance workers as IPO issuance slows dramatically and stocks continue to fall. CNBC
– Salaries for professionals across the country are close to San Francisco. Some are calling it “The Great Salary Convergence.” Yes, that’s a thing. Remote workers fled the big cities during the pandemic and many companies allowed them to take their big paychecks with them—a trend that seems to be sticking around. Business Insider
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