45 - Pros in Different Area Codes

There is no better way to learn the intricate workings of various cultures than to experience them as an HR professional...said no one ever. Except for Jess Lajoie! Jess is the Chief People & Culture Officer at Doodle and has worked in the HR industry across the globe. She shares how understanding culture is a big part of understanding people. There's nothing better than real-world experience to reduce your biases. Pour yourself a glass of wine and join in on this casual chat across the globe, friends!

Release Date: May 11, 2022

[00:00:00] Speaker 1: Warning. This podcast is about the realities of working in people operations. This is not a stuck-up PC compliance-based or employment law podcast about stuffy, outdated HR practices. Shit will get real here and we assume no responsibility.

[00:00:16] Alexa Baggio: Just another day in the office.

[00:00:18] Tyson Mackenzie: There's nothing better than a bunch of people who work in HR getting around the table and sharing these stories. We have this out-of-body experience in HR where you're like, "I get you." It's not that bad.

[00:00:26] Alexa: It's not that bad.

[00:00:28] Tyson: It's not.

[00:00:28] Alexa: Come hang out with Tyson and I on this podcast. We'll make you laugh.

[00:00:31] Speaker 1: This is the People Problems Podcast with Alexa Baggio and Tyson Mackenzie.


[00:00:39] Alexa: What is up Tyson?

[00:00:42] Tyson: Not too much. I spent the afternoon in a playpen today.

[00:00:46] Alexa: Oh. What does that mean?

[00:00:49] Tyson: I thought that I was going to be really smart here and put my baby in a playpen that has like this-- It's like the mega playpen. It's got some roof on it that protects from the sun. It's very spacious, got nice pad in there. I put some toys in there. I'm thinking I've just won motherhood, and that I'm going to get some yard work done, but no. No. I had to sit in it with her and then she was enjoying herself. Then not only was it me and the baby but we also brought Wolf in for good measure because he wanted to be outside. The three of us just like-

[00:01:17] Alexa: Oh, nice. Does your cat have a leash?

[00:01:20] Tyson: He does have a leash-

[00:01:22] Alexa: Oh, my god. I can't believe you.

[00:01:23] Tyson: -but of course, he wanted because we were in the play-- He also has a stroller.

[00:01:27] Alexa: Your cat has a stroller, Tyson?

[00:01:29] Tyson: Yes. I live [unintelligible 00:01:30] Toronto. He likes the fresh air too. What was I supposed to do? I live in a condo in Toronto.

[00:01:34] Alexa: That poor cat. Just be a normal person.

[00:01:34] Tyson: Not in a condo in Toronto. No, no, no. He needed the fresh air. It was during the pandemic. It was my silly pandemic buy, but anyways.

[00:01:45] Alexa: We're still friends but I'm going to put [unintelligible 00:01:47] for walking your cat in a stroller.

[00:01:50] Tyson: Well, you know what, a lot of people stop me and asked me where I got that stroller so there you go.


[00:01:57] Alexa: I guess there's people for everybody. There's people for everybody.

[00:02:01] Tyson: There's stuff for everybody.

[00:02:02] Alexa: Different strokes for different folks.

[00:02:04] Tyson: Exactly.

[00:02:04] Alexa: There's shit on Amazon for everybody. That is probably the more telling than-

[00:02:09] Tyson: Yes. There's stuff for everybody. Anyways, so it was nice. I got shit all done, but it was nice just to be outside. It's so funny. If I had known what mat leave was going to look like, this is not what I would have pictured but it was nice.

[00:02:22] Alexa: Good. That's good. I have found I'm also in Vermont and fresh air is always a good thing. What I have realized is I think I have finally realized why women do so much gardening because it's a major fucking stress reliever.

[00:02:37] Tyson: It's so relaxing. I love it.

[00:02:39] Alexa: I have to till new flower beds that are our property and it's just been a nightmare to try to get anybody to do anything professionally in this area. It's just the labor is-- Home improvement is good luck. You got to schedule shit for next year. It's fucking crazy. I'm like, look, I grew up in the burbs. My parents made me do a lot of yard work as a kid. I'm just going to do this myself. I'm making flower beds where there weren't flower beds before and you meet some of these fucking roots and you're like, "Oh my God, it's cemented into the core of the Earth. I'm never going to get this fucking thing out.

[00:03:09] Tyson: Isn't it so satisfying when you're-

[00:03:11] Alexa: It's so satisfying when you pull it out. Ah.

[00:03:11] Tyson: -pulling out a weed and you get the whole thing? When you get the whole root.

[00:03:14] Alexa: It's amazing.

[00:03:16] Tyson: Oh my God.

[00:03:16] Alexa: It's incredible. I had one that-

[00:03:17] Tyson: I love gardening.

[00:03:19] Alexa: -it wrapped halfway around the freaking house. I was like, "Oh my God, I'm going to be here all day." Now I understand why women garden so much. It's like men who do a lot of yard work and cutting the grass. It's like a stress reliever. I totally get it now. I totally get it. It's not that I want to do it. It's that, in a way, it's actually good for me. Get my hands in the earth and fight with the roots instead of thinking about the rest of my life.

[00:03:40] Tyson: I love it. We haven't really gotten started too much but I can't wait to dive in this summer if my baby will let me.

[00:03:46] Alexa: Nice. Well speaking of diving in, we got to pay the bills around here. Today's episode is brought to you by Ink'd stores. Are you looking to build your company swag store, no minimums, no cost to build, no monthly host fees, all the merch none of the fine print? Visiting inkdstores.com, I-N-K-D-stores.com or call Jay and his team at 774-266-2391 and tell him People Problems sent you and they will help you set up your company swag store for free today.

I also should mention, Tyson I'm going to get the dates right this time, that you and I are going on the road this fall together. We will be at PERKSCon San Francisco on September 15th. We will be at PERKSCon LA on September 21st and we will be at PERKSCon Toronto in your hood on October 5th. Listeners of this podcast can use the code Peopleprobs for tickets to any of their events. I think the next one is coming up will be Chicago on May 11th. Use the code Peopleprobs, P-R-O-B-S at checkout at perkscon.com for free tickets to that.

I think without further ado, let's do some pops in the news.


[00:05:00] Alexa: Tyson, you're up on this one. You had something to say.

[00:05:03] Tyson: This is from the HR Reporter. It's called "Growing number of workers say they'll quit if they don't get a raise." I will actually say that I enjoyed this article, but what I don't like about the article is what's very, very distracting is every sentence is two in five, 30%, 45%. [crosstalk]

[00:05:25] Alexa: It's also like 300 words. It's barely an article.

[00:05:29] Tyson: It's very short. That's what I love about it. It's short and sweet. If I was to rewrite it, I would just pull all those percentages out because I think that they just make it seem like-

[00:05:37] Alexa: It's a lot of stats.

[00:05:38] Tyson: It's a lot of stats and it takes away from what the article's saying because I found I had to read it a couple times. Anywho. Basically, the gist of it is obviously that people are looking for more money.

A lot of people haven't gotten a raise recently and what they really track this down to is the fact that-- I think the three reasons people aren't getting raises: the cost of living, market is going up. What was the other one? Inflation or something. I don't know. Anyways, I should probably have had that hashed out better.

[00:06:18] Alexa: I guess the major discrepancies are between existing employees and new employees. People are starting to sniff that and then cost of living with inflation. Then what else? Higher cost of living. Additional job responsibilities was the third one.

[00:06:32] Tyson: Yes. That was the third one.

[00:06:35] Alexa: Scope creep.

[00:06:36] Tyson: Scope creep. I liked the article because those are first of all three reasons for a lot of things changing. I think what's important when you're looking at this is exactly what you just said. What happens is over time, you hire someone at the market rate. Over time, they get their annual 3% or their annual maybe 5% even, their increase. Over time, their salary starts to dip below the market. As you're bringing people in, you're hiring them at the market rate so the newer folks are making a lot more money.

People historically have said, to make a lot more money, you need to switch jobs. That's the only way to increase your salary in big ways. What's becoming more popular now is organizations actually looking internally and doing mass bumps for the tenured folks to go up, which I think is why I like this article because it's highlighting the fact that companies really do need to do that.

Challenge with this is when we're looking at the market right now, it's actually so volatile that even in regular days before COVID and before all this other stuff that was going on, when you're using market data, it's usually already outdated. The comp team does special magic to push those numbers up to make sure that they're not outdated. That would be the caveat to this is that when you're just looking at market, that number becomes outdated really super quick.

Anyways, that is just my-

[00:08:02] Alexa: There's a lag.

[00:08:02] Tyson: Yes, there's always a lag. The market's always lagging. That's just my call out with this article. The reason I wanted to talk about it was just that people are really starting to fall behind and gone are the days. I remember when I started in HR, it was like, "It's about career development." "You love working here," and "It's such a great place to work. You should be happy that you're here." That shit doesn't fly anymore. Everybody's got the same-

[00:08:29] Alexa: Because it's either true for that person or it's not. You just can't bullshit anymore. People know there are options.

[00:08:32] Tyson: I just find there are companies-- There are options especially for competitive talent, competitive markets, the top talent because what happens is like, let's look at tech for a sec. Facebook, Amazon, Google, they all have really good benefits. They've all got good namesake. You can't just say like, "Oh, you should just be lucky that you're working here," kind of thing. Salary's becoming more and more-

[00:08:56] Alexa: You can in a market where the labor does not have the upper hand. That's the seesaw here.

[00:09:01] Tyson: When we're not going through the great resignation.

[00:09:04] Alexa: Right. When we are going through the great good luck finding a good fucking job, they can do a 3% standard cost of living raise year over year and tell you you're lucky to have a fucking job because that is true at the time, but the market is not there right now.

[00:09:18] Tyson: Exactly.

[00:09:19] Alexa: I think what you've uncovered, which is a really important point for people to realize, is when you are in a labor market like you are now where workers have the upper hand and there's-- Look, some of this is just the way the labor market is playing out right now particularly. Some of this is just the future of people just have a lot more transparency and mobility on this shit especially with more remote work, digital nomad, the flexibility here is only increasing.

What you've uncovered is we have to get rid of this concept that there is some fucking standard for raises. There just isn't. There should not be this rhetoric of like, oh, it's 3% and then 5 to 10 is a big deal. It's like, "No. I'm going to give you a raise that's commiserate with what the fuck I think you should be making if you went to the market right now. For some of my team, that means in the years where you can afford it and where you can do it, it's like, I don't give a fuck if it's 5% or whatever, it's like, I'm going to bump you up $20,000 because that's where I know you need to be for me to be a competitive employer right now. Nothing to do with percentages. It's all like--

What was the-- There was another episode where we talked about, you have to be able to look someone in the face and be like, "I can do this for you," or "I'm going to do this for you and I'm not being a fucking asshole." Raises are the same way. It's like, I have to be able to look at you and be like, "Your base salary is $125,000 a year, and I'm about to make it $145,000 because I know that that's commiserate with what you would get on the market, and I don't give a fuck what standard is."

[00:10:45] Tyson: The problem with those standard percents is usually it's like, okay if you're a high performer, you get maybe max 7% but if you're a mediocre performer, you get, let's say 3%. Then if you're a shitty performer, you get zero, but no manager has the balls to do that so they never do the zero thing.

[00:11:02] Alexa: Right, so then the cost of living.

[00:11:02] Tyson: It just turns into what we call like the peanut butter, everybody gets somewhere around 3% to 5%. If you're a top performer, you're getting 5%. If you're mediocre, you're getting 3%, and if you're shitty you're getting 3% as well.

[00:11:11] Alexa: Which means every 5 to 10 years you're paying this tax anyway because you're going, "Oh fuck we're underpaying our biggest performers who have been here the longest.

[00:11:17] Tyson: Yes, right now it's happening faster than 5 to 10. Back in the day maybe, but now I feel like it's just, it's wild. It's very volatile out there. That's why I like this article, because it brings some of that to light. If you read it on, I think it's on the HR Reporter. Just read it and then read it again without all the stupid percents because it gets distracting.

[00:11:36] Alexa: Yes, you got to go back and read a couple of the sentences a few times. They also write the word percent funny instead of just using the symbol, but it's a good one. It raises a good point.

[00:11:42] Tyson: Yes, it makes it very distracting but it's good.

[00:11:45] Alexa: You know what else is good? When we have good guests on the show. Today we have a very good guest who I am going-- I see I'm getting good at my segues. It's almost like we do this every week. Jess, I committed the cardinal sin here and didn't ask you how to pronounce this before we started recording, but I'm going to try. I think it is Lajoie I was like, "I know it's French and there's no way I'm going to get the French pronunciation right."

[00:12:07] Jess Lajoie: Whenever I go to America, like to the US, it's Lajoie.

[00:12:12] Alexa: Yes, Lajoie. There we go. Lajoie.

[00:12:15] Tyson: Lajoie. [laughs] That's my French. Lajoie.

[00:12:16] Alexa: Jess Lajoie. [French language] I can do the accent. I just never, would've gotten that the first time. Jess is the Chief People Officer & Culture Officer at Doodle, my favorite calendar scheduling app. Jess is a superstar enthusiastic people and cultural leader with tons of international experience within fast paced multicultural environments with a focus on transformation. Welcome, Jess. Thank you for letting me butcher your name for everyone's entertainment. I apologize.

You're recording with us today in Montreal. You are normally based in Berlin. Tell us a little bit about your background and how you wound up at Doodle across the pond and all of the above.

[00:12:55] Jess: Yes, absolutely. It was not intentional for me to leave Montreal. I love being in North America. I'm always missing it. I had an opportunity to work. Actually, I had this opportunity to go work for a company as a consultant in Ghana. Then that led me to an international experience, range of possibilities. Then I ended up in Europe. I worked in different companies, but then I ended up settling in Berlin and I just fell in love with it. Then Doodle appeared. It was the first position that I applied for and I got the job. I was like, "Okay, let's stay here," and then Doodle kept me all this time.

[00:13:36] Alexa: Walk us back real quick. You don't just get hired as the chief people officer at Doodle out of the gate, so tell us a little bit about your-

[00:13:43] Jess: Unfortunately not. No, I started really-- I was like a HR manager, and what happened was this whole People Ops thing started sprouting, if you can say that word. Then I basically ended up saying, "Hey, I want to become People Ops." I was talking to my, to my boss at the time then who was the CEO, and then I just said, "Look, that's what I'm interested in. That's what I want to do, so, hey, let's do it." That's what I loved about Doodle. We could be quite creative because we were so small back then too. Then I became people lead and then that led me to people and culture lead. Then I wounded up the chief people officer and now my title changed to Chief People & Culture Officer also just recently.

I'm new at being Chief People officer. It's new for me, but it's an amazing experience. I've grown with Doodle, so it's been amazing. What I like about it really is just being creative and being able to say, hey it's People Ops as a product. I have an amazing team as well that grew with me too. It's just nice to see the growth as we're growing with the company and seeing the team grow with me. It's been a phenomenal experience for me.

[00:14:54] Tyson: We should start like a drinking game now. Every time we say "people" take a drink.

[00:15:00] Alexa: Oh, my God. We'd absolutely hammered on this podcast.

[00:15:03] Tyson: Already.

[00:15:06] Alexa: I don't have enough wine in this house.

[00:15:09] Tyson: Jess, what was interesting about the people space in gen-- like way, way, even back further, what brought you into the people space.

[00:15:17] Alexa: What brought you into this crazy-- Everyone who works in this space is a masochist so what was your-

[00:15:21] Jess: Exactly. That's what I was thinking too back at the time. I remember my boss when I was in HR was like, why did I choose this? This is like a brutal branch to be in. That's why I listened to your podcast too because especially the headline you have is like "people not HR" and that's always what was driving me in general, this like, I want to get away from this HR.

[00:15:44] Alexa: #notHR,

[00:15:45] Jess: #notHR.

[00:15:46] Alexa: No. I'm not HR. Don't call me HR.

[00:15:47] Jess: It's like, get away from me. I want to even delete it for my LinkedIn. I just would like the drive away from this, but.

[00:15:55] Alexa: LinkedIn just recently added People Ops as a title. That was in the last year. That was not a thing. It's very limited. It's just People Ops. There's not variations on it yet. It's pretty funny.

[00:16:10] Jess: Also in Europe, it's quite new, but I think it's stem more from the US and North America, but then in Europe it just started booming. All of a sudden I'm like, "That's the opportunity. That's what I want to do." What interests me, I just feel it's being more data driven, having a seat at the table, because before I think it was more seen as administrative and now it's more you have a seat at the table, you know what you're doing. We're specialists and we know where we should be focusing on for the employees. It's more data driven.

I think it's more about empowering people and just being creative on how do we also adapt with the changes of how the world is going and constantly adapting. I would be miserable if now I was not in a domain like People Ops, I cannot just do a steady job just eight hours a day. I need a lot of hectic chaos.

[00:17:03] Alexa: You need the chaos and a little [unintelligible 00:17:04]

[00:17:06] Jess: Yes, and that drives me. Of course, I need more vacation time, but I feel, yes, that's what drives me really.

[00:17:11] Tyson: Did you have a stuffy HR job early in your career that motivated you to be like, "This sucks. I want to do something new," with the People Ops thing?

[00:17:24] Jess: That's exactly why I left Montreal. I was like, "Okay, I need something new. Let me get out of the country and see what I want to do."

[00:17:30] Alexa: Then you were like, "Oh, I'll go to Ghana." What, Accra was just the obvious next step? [laughs]

[00:17:36] Jess: Obviously that job got me quite bored, but yes, so that actually helped me get away and I thought, "I need to see something new and see a bit more different perspectives," but yes, it was a stuffy job. It was very admin, very corporate. I think there's a different side of corporate when you're in these types of roles before. That really led me to being like, "Look, I like it, but there's something different out there." Then People Ops appeared. When I started in HR, I'm sure you both know, just there was nothing about People Ops and I was studying in university or whatnot. I don't even know today if they actually offer People Ops courses. To be honest, I very clueless about that.

[00:18:18] Tyson: It's just, they call it strategic HR, which is pretty much People Ops.

[00:18:22] Alexa: Yes. There's some of the associations are trying to like, "Oh, we'll certify you in People Ops," and I'm like, "Fuck you. That's just another way to charge me for a test." Like "No, stop it." They just teach you the same shit.

[00:18:34] Tyson: In college, they teach strategic HR which is honestly it's People Ops. When I studied HR, I was studying People Ops.

[00:18:43] Alexa: Yes.

[00:18:44] Tyson: Yes.

[00:18:45] Alexa: The academia is always a little behind.

[00:18:47] Tyson: Yes. College is even further ahead than the real stuffy academic like doing a master's, they don't even know what they're talking about. How many times do I do I dis my masters [chuckles] on this podcast? There's another drinking game. Every time Tyson shits on her master's degree.

[00:19:01] Alexa: I know. Every time Tyson shits on her extra degree.

[00:19:05] Tyson: [laughs] I'm not salty at all about that.

[00:19:08] Alexa: Yes, serious. It just got you on your current career path. No big deal.

[00:19:15] Tyson: Yes. Seriously, the master's is--

[00:19:16] Alexa: By her own choices. Amazing. Jess, tell us a little bit about, so you've had an interesting career. You've bounced around a little. You're quite the international people pro. Question for you. What have you learned in between Montreal? I'm assuming you've done some work with the states or multi-- the national organizations, Ghana, West Africa, different world from a HR perspective I'm sure. Then now you're in Europe where even listeners of this podcast know and we talk about quite frequently, within Europe there's

800 million different things that you've got to do different ways.

I assume and I don't presume to know how big Doodle is or anything about that organization, other than it's a great product. What have you learned are ubiquitous and universal rules across ponds, across countries? What are your big takeaways having worked in so many different environments?

[00:20:14] Jess: I've actually been reflecting a lot on that recently. Looking at the past, seeing how my mindset has evolved, because I'm so sensitive when speaking to anyone from any different culture now. It's like you can be in a different culture and you don't-- For example, when I was working in one of the other countries I worked in also, it's like, you have to greet them in the morning and have a conversation. You have to be like, "Hey, how's your day." If you don't do that, that's considered rude. When I then shifted to Europe, then I started realizing, it's the same for other cultures.

If you're greeting people and we have so many different people from all over the world at Doodle, how you interact with them, you need to also be mindful of where they come from. I think it's that sensitivity that you gain and you end up trying to study it before, understanding where people come from and what are the norms and what is the etiquette. That's really the main thing that I would say right now top of my head that I really learned a lot. Whenever I'm interacting with anybody, I shift a little bit the way I introduce myself or how I ask questions. That to me was the biggest learning I've had actually since these travels I've had.

[00:21:28] Tyson: I feel like that's probably helped you a lot with your unconscious bias as well. When you're doing anything, you already are thinking the way that this person is going to act and behave is based on wherever they're coming from, whether it be their life experience, their culture, where they live, et cetera. You're already going in with an open mind that can reduce that unconscious bias that so many people have, especially in this space. We work so hard to obliterate that. Your worldly travels and stuff I feel like is the best unconscious bias training you could have had.

[00:22:05] Jess: Totally. Actually, it's spot on. That's exactly how I feel. I try setting that into-- Sometimes you feel like that person doesn't really understand that they're being rude with somebody, but then it's like trying to make them understand is a little bit difficult when you see it happening. It's exactly that, it's unconscious bias. Then I feel like everyone should be more trained whenever I'm interacting with a few people, but yes, totally.

[00:22:31] Alexa: Training will go so far. I think international etiquette and this stuff is fascinating. It's one of the things we're actually working on adding to our agendas and our events coming up for the year, but it's nothing like the experience you're going to get just bopping between those places and having to interact regularly with teammates from those cultures. It gives you a chance in a way to step the line and do the taboo thing and then get educated on it in a way that's really going to stick for you. That you're like, "Oh shit that guy's not unfriendly. He's Russian, they don't say good morning." Or whatever the cultural etiquette is.

I was talking to a friend recently who was dating, I forget which country in Eastern Europe, but it was Serbia or somewhere. She was like, "I didn't realize that my boyfriend's native language doesn't have a word for empathy." Literally, the word doesn't exist in that language. I forget which language it was. I don't want to misquote it, but I was like, "That would explain why he could be a little rigid in his arguments with you sometimes. His language literally doesn't have a word for empathy."

You would never know that unless you were having a conversation with this person on that level. You got to be able to mix it up sometimes. I think you just wind up creating so many different lenses you can look at things with that's such a good skill set.

[00:23:47] Jess: Absolutely. A good example following what you just said is I had a friend visit me from Montreal in Berlin and he got stung by a bee in the throat. Anyway. I don't know how that happened. Went back to meet him. I was like, okay, he needs to go to the pharmacy. Then went to the pharmacy. He is like, "Oh my gosh, the pharmacist is yelling at me. She's really, really upset." He was really startled and like, "No, no. She's actually really nice right now." It's like really not used to the culture or really not used to that. That's [unintelligible 00:24:19]

[00:24:19] Alexa: She's just really excited. ,

[00:24:22] Jess: It's very different. The culture is different here.

[00:24:24] Tyson: That must make being a chief people officer interesting as well because when you are looking at the global scope, you have to think about how does that then apply to things like benefits, things like the way that we pay people. You can't just think that-

[00:24:41] Alexa: General experience.

[00:24:42] Tyson: Right. The experience that you're providing to people in different countries. I'd love to hear more about that from what you've experienced. For example, I'm currently on a year-long mat leave, which just seems outrageous to people in the US and we're just right over the border. I know in places in Europe the benefits are so much more important than getting something like stock plans. They don't really care about equity or stocks. They just want good benefits or time off because that's how their culture is. Building HR policies and practices and whatever based on these cultures and the different things that people value.

[00:25:21] Jess: Yes, absolutely. We actually have an office in the US in Atlanta and when we were putting together the office space we also realized that. I was also working with US before but then we realized, okay, because we're working in Europe, we have so many-- vacation days are completely different and all the benefits. Now we also wanted, because we're quite remote and we're very spread out, but we wanted to stabilize it and make it fair.

We said, "Okay we have to balance it out." It felt there was a transition between the benefits. People are saying, "Hey, but that's also nice. I want to appreciate more vacation days." We increased and tried to balance it out. I feel like as we're growing and becoming more international, the benefits are changing too in the ways the employee sees it because they have more access to knowledge as to the other countries. They speak to each other so people know. That has been-- it changed a lot.

[00:26:19] Tyson: That's an interesting approach, taking the best from each country.

[00:26:23] Alexa: Yes, I love that.

[00:26:24] Tyson: Yes, I love that. So make one policy-

[00:26:24] Alexa: Just means no one's ever going to work if you combine Spanish siesta with French summer, [laughs] no one's ever going to fucking work.

[00:26:35] Jess: Double the workforce, yes.

[00:26:36] Alexa: Best benefits packaged in the globe. We just never actually have to work.

[00:26:40] Tyson: Could you imagine?

[00:26:42] Alexa: Exact, great retention. That's hysterical. I do like that idea though. You so often hear to Tyson's point about people get-- and I get it, it's a ton of work. Let's just remember how much work it is to get all this-- Labor and comp policy plus benefits in 22 different countries, even if your whole workforce is remote, it's still fucking insane.

It's nuts. There's whole groups so that's all they'll do is help your organization do that but it's a lot of work.

The idea that you could instead of trying to make it bespoke to each country and like, "Oh, we're going to do this 22 different ways." It's like, "Let's pick the ones where we can just, all right, vacation time the max is four weeks. We're just going to make that universal or whatever."

[00:27:27] Tyson: Everybody gets the same. Love that.

[00:27:28] Alexa: Exactly. We're close to the same. This is based on the German standard or whatever.

[00:27:34] Jess: I [unintelligible 00:27:30] also through surveys you can see what in general the people no matter where they're located. Right now what's come up is really flexibility of course, obvious, but also learning and development and having a good relationship with their managers which I think has become really important too. Being remote, I feel you need to have a bit more empathy and be more sensitive to people. A lot of it has stemmed I think especially since.

[00:27:59] Alexa: It's interesting that learning and development is peaking as an interest although that does not surprise me because if you are at home all day, you're probably soaking up a lot less of the intrinsic osmosis style development. People are probably going, "It's just me over here. I'd like to learn some stuff and get better at this." It's interesting that you're seeing L&D as a more concentrated, professional development as a more concentrated ask, but that does not surprise me.

[00:28:27] Tyson: I'm feeling as though people are looking for more experience-based learning versus-- I don't think I've been asked by someone to compensate them doing a course in a long time. I just don't get that anymore.

[00:28:42] Alexa: I'm lumping it all in one category. I'm just lumping it all into good professional development.

[00:28:48] Tyson: No totally, but if we break it down. I feel like we can break it down as the three Es: education, experience, and exposure. So so so much more people are looking for exposure biggie biggie. They want to see what their boss is doing and be exposed to those conversations they wouldn't normally. Then experience obviously, they want to get put into stretch roles or stretch projects. Then education I just feel like is so on the back burner. People just don't care as much. I've seen this change in the last maybe five years that people just aren't really as interested in taking. Here I am wailing on my master's.

[00:29:27] Alexa: You going to wail. I'm going to say you going to knock on your master's again. Thank God this is water drinking otherwise.

[00:29:32] Tyson: I could tell you if I look at my own experience, it provided zero compared to the work experience and exposure that I've gotten on the job. That's the trend that I've seen at least in Canada, North America.

[00:29:46] Alexa: I don't know. I'm a nerd in my own right in my own way and everybody's their own person but if you were going to offer me exposure, experience, or education, I would take exposure and experience over education all fucking day.

[00:30:02] Tyson: Absolutely.

[00:30:02] Alexa: That's how I've always learned. People are like, "Oh, you ever going to get an MBA?" I'm like, "Why the fuck would I get an MBA?" I've run multiple businesses at this point. That would be a fucking waste. By the way, I tell you, everything my friends learn in their MBA, they don't learn shit about running a business. Doesn't work like that at all.

[00:30:20] Tyson: It's more meaningful too. For my boss to take the time to give me an experience or to expose me to something new. It's more meaningful versus like, "Ah, yes, I'll pay for you to take this course," whatever, right?

[00:30:30] Alexa: I think there's also skills where that's different, but go ahead, Jess, of course.

[00:30:34] Jess: No, just to add to that, actually what people are asking from us is more time to learn, but I think that also has to do with learning on the job and getting up to date. We give them 12 learning days a year and they were asking for more. We only had five before, but they actually use more of the days than the education budget. That is true what Tyson was saying too.

[00:30:55] Tyson: I would like a day, 12 days to just take off from work and read books. I would use--

[00:31:02] Alexa: Dude, every single morning I wake up and I'm like, "I wish I just had time to read." I read a lot like articles, all the shit we read for this. I read a lot. We have a whole expertise channel on my team where it's like, you read something interesting, you drop it in. I always try to read it, but it's just like, [crosstalk] [unintelligible 00:31:19] read a book

[00:31:20] Tyson: [unintelligible 00:31:20] one reading day a month. Just you don't have to log in. You don't have to worry about responding. You just get to take the day and read. I would love that. Let's make that happen.

[00:31:28] Alexa: Then you get to be like, "I don't read."

[00:31:30] Tyson: Or listen to a podcast or something, like turn on People Problems. I don't know. Like a-

[00:31:36] Alexa: Just a full day of People Problems. [laughs]

[00:31:38] Tyson: -heads down day.

[00:31:40] Alexa: Yes. Heads down. There's a couple policies like this. Jess, I'd be curious if you've ever seen creative stuff like this that's worked where-- What's the one where it's-- Is it Google or somebody that does or Facebook that does the one day a month or one day a week where you get to work on your own projects? You don't have to do-- You just get to work on whatever interests you that's in the company. It doesn't have to be the thing that you're staffed on.

What they found is that it drastically increases their rate of innovation and retention, because people just get to work on the fucking shit they want to work on. It's good for everybody. They thought it would drastically hinder productivity. I think it's Google or maybe it's Facebook. I'll find it. I promise, listeners, I'm not making this shit up, but it's one day a month where it's just work on whatever interests you because it's good for all of us.

[00:32:26] Tyson: No, it's popular in tech for sure just to have either a handful of days or a day just to do something where you just take on a big project with teammates that you might not get to work with normally as well.

[00:32:39] Alexa: Has nothing to do with your core roles or responsibilities.

[00:32:41] Tyson: Yes, you can work on whatever you want. For sure.

[00:32:44] Alexa: Jess, what are you-- Let's talk about this. You have an interesting, and sorry to harp on the global thing, but you do have a good perspective on this. We largely talk about North America on this podcast because Tyson and I are extremely biased. To broaden our scope here a little bit, given the environment that we're in where the labor seesaw has switched and workers are in positions of power.

There's so much flexibility across the globe and you're working with a largely global digital workforce. What are the things that you've seen change in the last, let's say, year or two that you're like, "We just as an employer have to be on top of this stuff"? Like the "war on talent." How do you see that from a global perspective?

[00:33:27] Jess: It's exactly what we've been going through. The whole thing is that everyone wants the flexibility. Also, it's the war on talent. People know. What you were both talking about about the wages, that has been shifting too, and I've seen a huge change in the past year.

[00:33:44] Alexa: It's getting harder to arbitrage labor by geography.

[00:33:49] Jess: Yes, absolutely because people know. They know they can get a job remote, no matter where in the world. That's where we're also struggling is like, we're trying to open in new countries now. There are all these tax issues and stuff. You got to be careful. There's the remote.com and all of that which works wonderfully, but you need to also be compliant with the tax and labor laws and all of that stuff. That's a bit tricky, but people know. There's a bunch of unicorns out there too and people know.

They're putting shitloads of money to hire a lot of talent and people are getting really attracted by this too. I really think in the end, what it comes down to is really the leadership. How is the leadership driving an organization of different generations, because everyone is changing and how they're interacting with the people. I've seen that. I've seen there's a disconnect sometimes between the newer generation and the oldest and people need to find a way to communicate better.

I felt that being remote, this has been a challenge a little bit more and I feel that has shifted the way we approach people management. This has been shifting a lot also at Doodle how we work and how we lead.

[00:35:04] Tyson: I think one of those discrepancies that is going to become a lot more apparent is old school of thought in HR has always been retention. We want to retain, retain, retain, retain, retain. Everyone's obsessed with retention and if you're not retaining people, then you're doing something bad.

[00:35:19] Alexa: I wish there was a sound for how hard I just rolled my eyes. [laughs]

[00:35:23] Tyson: Yes. That's like old school of thought and I think what we need to get used to is being comfortable with people coming and leaving. They did their thing, they were engaged for the time that they here. They didn't get to a point where they were burned out on their job or became resentful of their job. They stay for the amount of time that serves them and serves the company and then they leave and if they come back, and we've talked about this a million times on this podcast, like boomerangs, woohoo. Celebrate a boomerang. Never leave on a bad note.

I think retention is one of those things that we need to stop putting so much emphasis on because I just don't think that we're moving into a world where, obviously, we're not even there now, where people are going to come into a company and stay. We haven't been there for a long time but it's going to get even more so. I don't think we're going to get to gig economy anytime soon from that respect thinking about these big companies. Definitely this idea of project-based work and just coming into a company and then leaving, I think that that's going to become more common.

[00:36:26] Alexa: At least in the US nothing about the gig economy is labor friendly truthfully. It's a fucking pain in the asshole for yourself, between taxes. It's messy. It's not as easy as like, "Oh, I just want to work for myself." It's like, "Okay, cool. Good luck."

[00:36:38] Tyson: Companies don't like doing it. From my experience, we don't like hiring consultants. We very much steer away from hiring consult-- like big companies. Some things you might only because it's like, "Ugh, this is gig type work," but it's not a good meaty work usually. In my experience at least, it's been less likely to hire consultants.

[00:36:59] Alexa: Jess, how do you think about the retention game?

[00:37:02] Jess: I think Tyson made also a great point and that's been really-- IWe had a little wave last year but we've been also accepting it and as Tyson was saying and I--

[00:37:15] Alexa: Wait, wave of what? Wave of people leaving or wave of people coming?

[00:37:17] Jess: Oh, no, wave-- Sorry I wasn't concise. A wave of people leaving. We had a little wave in Doodle.

[00:37:22] Tyson: We all did. [unintelligible 00:37:22]

[00:37:23] Alexa: Yes.

[00:37:24] Jess: Normal little wave. That was a little bit hard at first but then we're like, "Look--" Then of course then comes the war on talent so you're struggling. You're trying to retain, get people in. You're like, "Oh, my God." That has been a challenge but I think we've now accepted that people do leave and then we just need to be better at getting people in. Then we're focusing more on employer branding and keeping cool. I think we are now accepting the fact that people will not stay for 10 years.

[00:37:52] Alexa: One thing I will say, I'll play devil's advocate here, is I think people can stay for that long and some people will, it's just the percentage of people where that is going to continue to fit their roles, their interests, and their lifestyle is just smaller because of how many opportunities there are and the general hamster wheel that is modern life where everybody wants the latest and greatest newest thing and also they can arbitrage the labor market. Right now we are asking people to leave because they know they can go shop their offer and their talent for more money.

That has nothing to do with you as an employer and the culture you built. It is purely just a sign of the times. To our opening article, if you can't keep up with the salary changes and the market rates, the market is going to create it for you. There's just nothing you can do. You can be the best employer in the fucking world if you're $20,000 off the market rate, people are going to leave. There's just too much information about what they can make and where they can go and people are getting poached digitally all the time.

What I think people-- as with all things in this industry, everybody's like you used to stay for 20 years and now nobody stays for-- damn millennials don't stay for more than 3. The truth is actually probably somewhere in the middle which is you've probably always got a chance to keep someone if you do a really good job somewhere between two and seven years on average I would say, but you've got to know for each person.

[00:39:18] Tyson: Hopefully the person that you're keeping longer is because A, they're a wicked performer and you've dedicated time to their career and seeing them move up. They're not just like that person who's become stagnant and stayed in a job and become resentful of the job stagnant or whatever.

[00:39:35] Alexa: That's interesting. What I'd be curious to know, I wonder if there-- we'll have to see there's data to support any of this but what I'd be curious to know is there's got to be job types where turnover is higher because of the job. For example, if you're a corporate accountant. Being a corporate accountant at E&Y is the same as being a corporate accountant at KPMG. You do the same shit for the same companies just different names. I wonder if the turnover, the tenure there is longer because of that or shorter because of that? Because you're like, "Oh, I'm just shopping culture now. The shit I do during the day doesn't change."

Same thing like pharma. You see an insane amount of turnover in pharma. It's just because they're constantly getting poached by their competitors. It's just a highly competitive environment and the job is the same. Biology doesn't fucking change from company A to company B. Stem cell research is the same. Then I wonder if it changes by creative stuff.

If you've got real creative talent, I always worry about creative talent being like, "I'm bored here, there's not enough for me to do." Those are the people where you're like, as you get bigger as a company or depending on what your product is, it can be real hard to [unintelligible 00:40:44] their appetite if you're not doing a whole lot or if you got very strict brand guidelines or whatever.

I'm just spitballing. I wonder if there's data that supports the type of role and the likelihood of tenure, given all the changes. It's fascinating.

[00:41:00] Tyson: I'm sure there is. Also with people, with the individual.

[00:41:04] Alexa: Drink. [laughs]

[00:41:04] Tyson: You need those worker bees. [laughs] You need those worker bees that are just going to do the job and just get it done and not always be asking for a raise and a promotion.

[00:41:14] Alexa: I don't think we talk about those people enough, truthfully.

[00:41:17] Tyson: Right. They are the backbone of companies.

[00:41:19] Alexa: You need those people.

[00:41:21] Tyson: You need those people that are just going to put their heads down and work and want to log off at 5:00 PM at the end of the night. That's fine. Having too many people that are ambitious.

[00:41:32] Alexa: They're not troublemakers and their expectations are reasonable. It's like, I just want to work nine to five and be able to sign off and go hang out with my family.

[00:41:41] Tyson: Do my job.

[00:41:42] Alexa: Exactly.

[00:41:43] Tyson: Exactly.

[00:41:44] Alexa: God bless you. We need you. Not everyone can be like an A-type overachiever that's getting a fucking pay bump every six months. That's impossible. That is the caricature of a modern millennial, global modern millennial.

[00:41:57] Tyson: I feel like that's my caricature. I'm that asshole that's always like, "Okay, what's next? Okay, what's next? And what's next?"

[00:42:06] Alexa: Tyson is the consummate overachiever. It's why we love her. Jess, what are some of the things you're looking forward to in continuing a digital people-- being the head of a digital organization across the globe? What are you most looking forward to? Then what are you most concerned about?

[00:42:25] Jess: What I'm looking forward to-- Within Doodle, what I'm enjoying is the journey that we're going through. We were already in this space. Doodle has been around for a long time since 2007, started up as a small startup in Switzerland. It's actually having the challenge to all work towards something, towards the goal. What's funny enough is that we were already around and we have tons of competitors out there. What I do enjoy is really the concept and being creative to work our way into the future.

What I love about technology is that we were able to learn also a lot about how the teams work with the product and tech, because we're able to adapt a lot of skills in that sense too on how to work as a team in a more agile way. We adapted agile methodologies on how we work. The whole company basically now works like this and work as a product. We adapted the way as our product. We followed the lead on that.

[00:43:30] Alexa: How many employees are you guys now, Jess? Sorry, I should have asked before.

[00:43:33] Jess: We're 160 globally, I would say, and still growing quite a bit. We're not a huge company but good enough to know everyone's name.

[00:43:44] Tyson: Can you tell us more about your definition of agile. I feel like this is a word that's starting to come up a lot. I'd love to know how you define that.

[00:43:51] Alexa: In the literal technology sense?

[00:43:57] Jess: The way we work is really in a sense that we're working with flexibility and we're trying to understand. For example, you're understanding you're doing research before you get to the end goal. It's not about just setting a goal and getting there. It's about how you get there and how is the journey and having the flexibility as you go along to adapt and change and that is okay. I think it's more the Agile way of working is working in teams like with scrum masters and little teams that's in there. You have your product engineering and all of that.

You have your little delivery manager and these teams work together for their goals and they will basically decide how to get there. This is our way of working but that's also how we have adopted it in People Ops as well. We decided to work in sprints basically.

[00:44:49] Alexa: Nice. That's cool.

[00:44:49] Tyson: I just want to clarify because the way that you're using the word Agile is I think you can go and get a master's in this now. This is like a theory.

[00:44:57] Alexa: Agile technology and Agile framework is a technology system. It is a way that you build teams around building technology. It's around scrum methodology.

[00:45:05] Tyson: It's not just using the word Agile. It's this very specific thing.

[00:45:07] Alexa: No, no, no. It's a very specific methodology around sprint cycles. Yes. It's actually insanely helpful. I love that you're using that on your people team because it's one of the ways that organizations have learned in the last 20 years that has changed the way we work and build technology because it allows people to build really quickly, but not build so far in advance that they can't back up and fix something. It can't pivot-- like you can't be. They call it Agile methodology because when you're working in two-week sprints, you're only building what's right in front of you, but it's part of a larger roadmap the product team is managing, but when you build two weeks at a time, you never get so far ahead

that you're like, "Fuck, we can't take that back. We can't pivot. We're too far down this path. We planned a six-month development cycle. We're not going to undo that."

It's like, "We'll stop doing it in six-month cycles. We're going to do it in two-week sprints so at any point during this roadmap, we can pivot if we have to, we never get so far ahead of our skis we can't take it back." It's one of the reasons technology firms have been able to adopt so quickly and grow so fast. It's one of the things I actually just wrote a chapter on in the book is about how people need to adopt Agile methodology on their people team.

It's like, you've got to be able [snaps fingers] to do things in projects that are quick that you can pivot around and not be like, "Okay, we're going to take eight months and implement a new way of doing things," and you're like, that is an eight-month risk. That's a big risk.

[00:46:32] Jess: Agile HR is actually a course we had taken as a team too and that was new. That was brand new. I think it was right before pandemic, but it was really intense. it was not just learning from what the company's doing. It's like completely different, but so amazing. This is the best learning I've had with my team.

[00:46:47] Alexa: I love that. Super cool. I love that. Awesome. Well, I guess my last question for you, Jess, would be for people that are getting into this space from traditional backgrounds or not, #notHR, what would be your advice to people if they're getting into their first chief people officer role and your look back so far? I realize you're still early in your career, but.

[00:47:16] Jess: Yes, no, absolutely. Speaking from my perspective, the transition, if you're going from not HR, so HR whatever, you're transitioning into People Ops and going into chief people officer role, be expected to really understand people. What we were talking about before is understanding also cultures and how people behave and understanding that and also leading the way on how people should act with each other. I do believe that it's a very, very, very-- I don't have the word. I have a French word in my brain. Sorry, it's--

[00:47:54] Alexa: You can say it in French just only 30% of our audience will know what you're saying.

[00:47:59] Jess: It's a role that brings a lot of value not only to you, to your team, or to--

[00:48:05] Alexa: Je ne sais quoi.

[00:48:06] Jess: Je ne sais quoi. We can say it that way. [laughs] That means I don't even know what it is. It brings a lot and I think that it's the main role that will actually make an impact for the business. It really is all about the people. In the end we are working for the people and you need to empower them to make sure that we get to a stage where they're enjoying where they work.

There's a lot into play. I could go on and on about this, but it's really in the end all about the people, but it's like seeing what you can create and achieve and get to then see the joy that comes out of that. It's just amazing. I'm happy to be a People Ops person and I recommend it for anyone.

[00:48:53] Tyson: It's like understanding what makes people-

[00:48:53] Alexa: Anyone who loves the chaos?

[00:48:56] Tyson: Understanding what makes people tick. I feel like that is-

[00:48:59] Alexa: Exactly, and you have to love when they don't tick the way you want them to because people have a lot of weird sides.

[00:49:04] Tyson: And how to get them to tick the way you want them to.

[00:49:07] Alexa: Yes, exactly. Speaking of ticking the way we want them to, Tyson, I believe it is time for a people problem.


[00:49:24] Tyson: Okay, awesome. This is actually funny this problem because it's probably the opposite of what you deal with day to day, Jess. Listener is asking, the manager is scared to performance manage because everyone from the company lives in the same small town.

[00:49:41] Alexa: Oooh. That's an interesting one.

[00:49:43] Tyson: You could run into the person at the grocery store.

[00:49:47] Alexa: Oh shit, that's a good one. Oh, damn.

[00:49:51] Jess: They're afraid to manage because they're going to bump into this person.

[00:49:56] Tyson: Right. They're afraid to get someone in shit because they don't want to bump into them at the grocery store.

[00:50:01] Jess: Okay. I say, just go for it. Pretend you're having a chat with a friend, and if there's anything you want to change, just talk it out, just be human and just have a casual conversation about something they need to change like you would have with a friend. Having a glass of wine with a friend or just casual chat. Make it casual.

[00:50:21] Alexa: Liquor him up. [laughs] Start with alcohol.

[00:50:25] Jess: Don't overthink it.

[00:50:27] Tyson: Do it over drinks.

[00:50:29] Jess: Start with alcohol, yes, in a small town, maybe. That makes sense to me.

[00:50:32] Alexa: Yes, seriously, but then the whole bar hears, and then that's even worse.

[00:50:37] Tyson: Explain it. It's hard. It is a hard question, because I lived in a not-so-small city, and I have run into people that I've fired before. I've run into them.

[00:50:48] Alexa: We talked about this on our firing episode.

[00:50:50] Tyson: It's awkward. I think my advice to anyone is just in every situation, just treat the person with dignity. If you run into this person again, you want to treat them with dignity. It's a shitty thing to go through, whether you're being performance managed and you're having to give someone some tough feedback, or you're exiting the person. In all those situations, be professional, and courteous to the individual so that if you do run into them, that it's not a bad situation.

[00:51:23] Jess: Oh, no, I just wanted to say, because I actually was having a chat with my team today. In the end, it's how you make people feel, and it's exactly that. In the end, how do you make them feel that if you also see that person, no matter if you've had a bad situation with them anywhere, for any situation, it's how you made them feel.

[00:51:41] Tyson: Absolutely.

[00:51:42] Alexa: The only thing I would add is, this manager probably feels a lot of anxiety about this if it's coming up. First of all, thank you for whoever asked this question because it's a good one. I like the challenging ones. The first thing I would say is, that person needs to do the "What's the worst-case scenario?" exercise. I just listened to, it's a Daniel Pink book on regret. It's called The Science of Regret or something of regret. I don't know. It's a whole book about regret, I highly recommend it. It's an easy listen, it's an easy read.

He talks about how people in social settings almost always overestimate the backlash to sharing something personal or to talking about something. We as humans just always are like, "Oh, I could never apologize to that person, it will be too embarrassing," or "I could never bring up that thing we didn't discuss. It's just too mortifying. They'll never let me live it down."

Actually, 9 times out of 10, you're completely wrong, and the other person is so glad that you brought it up, and it's totally fine and it's not as awkward as you thought. I think in these instances, you have to sit down and say, "Okay, what's the thing I'm scared of?" Let's just fucking put a name on it. "I'm scared of basically having to fire someone that works in my small town who I will see regularly." Let's play that exercise. What's the worst-case scenario? The worst-case scenario is you're going to have to fire this person.

Let's go there and let's paint a little picture of what happens when you bump into that person? What happens when you see that person? Let's play that out. If you fire them on decent terms, let's assume it ends amicably and play out some scenarios. In most cases, they're going to realize that what they've worked themselves up about is actually probably not as that big a deal. Then exactly to your point, the both of you, you have to treat this person with dignity. You cannot burn bridges. You cannot be a raging fucking asshole. You have to treat this with some care and some responsibility.

Also, remember that you need to go into the situation, understanding that the end goal is to worst-case scenario, have to fire them with dignity. Walk yourself back to, if I'm going to have to get to the point where I'm taking this guy to the local bar and buying him a beer and telling him he's going to have to go, how do I get myself to the next conversation that is a way to talk about performance management that gets us-

[00:54:02] Tyson: So you're not surprising them, for example.

[00:54:04] Alexa: You're not surprising them, but you're also setting the tone. What's the way that you would want to let this person go that makes you feel good that you would not be embarrassed to see them at the supermarket if you have to do it. Now walk yourself back to the conversation you need to have this week with this person through performance management. It's probably not as far a conversation as you think it is, and you don't have to performance manage everything in one conversation overnight with a bunch of just hard feedback.

If you're performance managing them, it's like there's an opportunity there to maybe get on the same level and fix it, but you've got to start with, "If I have to fire you, here's the conversation I'm willing to have with you. How do I try to have a conversation with you today that at least sets me up for that?

[00:54:47] Tyson: That's good advice for everyone, not just if you live in a small town too. That's what everybody needs to do.

[00:54:52] Alexa: Exactly. Small-town is just much more sensitive-

[00:54:57] Tyson: The worst that's going to happen is they're going to ignore you at the supermarket, maybe.

[00:55:01] Alexa: Truthfully, all you probably care about in that instance is that, that person does not go talk shit about you at the bar when you're not there at the small town. How would you want to be treated?

[00:55:11] Tyson: I think people overestimate how much other people think about them too.

[00:55:18] Alexa: All the time. Nobody gives a shit about you.

[00:55:18] Tyson: That's like a social anxiety thing. I'll say something, and I'm like, "Oh my God, what if that person's thinking about what I said?" No, they don't care. They're thinking about themselves.

[00:55:28] Alexa: Literally, it's like when I public speak, everybody's like, "Oh, how do you not get nervous?" I'm like, "I know nobody's listening. I know everybody's eating their fingernails and looking at their fucking phone." Most people are not as focused on you as the speaker as you think they are. If they are, it's probably because you're engaging. Yes, exactly.

[00:55:46] Tyson: Right, exactly.

[00:55:47] Alexa: Or they're judging you and being like, "Oh, I like her hair instead of mine," or "She has shitty shoes on." Like shit that just doesn't fucking matter. Get out of your own head, but it's a great question. It highlights the sensitivities you need to have around performance managing someone in general, which is like-- and how the fuck would you want someone to do this for you?

You got to say it in a way they get the message, but you also got to treat them in a way that if you sat down and had to have a beer with them in a year after you fired them, would you be cool? If the answer is yes, then keep moving. It's not your fault they live in your town. It's not like you can't fire them because they live there. That's not how this works. That's a good question. All right, Jess. Where can people get in touch with you if they like what you have to say and they want to reach out?

[00:56:34] Jess: Get me on LinkedIn, Jessie Lajoie, L-A-J-O-I-E. Then you can also write to me at jesse@doodle.com.

[00:56:41] Alexa: jesse@doodle.com, such an OG email address, I love that.

[00:56:46] Tyson: Love that.

[00:56:47] Alexa: Just to be clear, it's a beautiful name. It's just a bitch to spell. I may not speak French. Exactly. All right. Jess Lajoie, thank you so much for being here. It's been an absolute pleasure, and we hope to see you somewhere around the globe soon.

[00:57:01] Jess: Thanks. Definitely, thanks for having me.


[00:57:04] Tyson: Wait a minute, before you leave, take some time to leave us a five-star rating. We'd really love your feedback. Also, if you'd like to see our lovely faces each week as we're recording these episodes, check us out on our new YouTube channel. Thanks.

[00:57:16] Alexa: This episode was executive produced by me, Alexa Baggio, with audio production by Ellie Brigida of Clear Harmonies. Our intro music was also done by the wonderful Ellie Brigida of Clear Harmonies. You can find more information about us and future episodes at peopleproblemspod.com or follow us @peopleproblemspod on all things social. Thanks.

[00:57:27] [END OF AUDIO]

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