TZL: How has COVID-19 permanently impacted your firm’s policy on telecommuting? KK: CORE has always been an environment of flexibility, but COVID has changed the way in which we work. We implemented a hybrid schedule in our office, carving out Wednesdays and Fridays as hybrid days for those who enjoy the work-from-home option. There’s flexibility around these days, but our purpose for structure is to ensure that we remain a collaborative, team-centric environment with proper communication channels in place so we can be effective in how we get work done. Overall, our telecommuting policy hasn’t changed a lot since COVID; we’ve adapted how we work and can do so effectively. TZL: They say failure is a great teacher. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve had to learn the hard way? KK: Failure is hard! It’s something that happens regularly – in big and small ways – but if you’re a person with a growth mindset, it’s easier to overcome because it can be used as an opportunity to improve. I have a library of lessons learned, but one that first comes to mind is that proactive, frequent communication is fundamental in an ever- changing environment. Communicating the “why” and allowing people to provide input is essential for buy-in and the notion of “rowing in the same direction.” The time it takes to do it is worth it. I’ve failed to spend the time upfront clearly communicating the “why,” and because of that spent much more time on resistance to change. Having empathy by putting yourself in the shoes of others is always helpful! TZL: As an HR manager, you’ve seen firsthand how challenging it is for firms to retain and recruit talent. What are you doing at CORE to attract and keep talent? KK: Staying true to who we are as a company has been paramount in our recruitment and retention efforts. People want to join a firm with meaningful work and purpose, but it’s “Every employee adds to our culture and makes us what we are. Our responsibility as leaders is to make sure there’s an alignment of values to avoid the erosion of our culture.”
equally important that the culture and values align with who they are as an individual. For this reason, it’s critical that we are open and transparent in who we are and how we operate as a team during the interviewing process. Transparency is also very important to retaining talent. We are very much focused on our values – the lens in which we operate as a company – so we know what is expected of us and our peers. We quickly address and resolve issues, and we hold people accountable to expectations. We understand this is not only good for business, but it allows us to retain our high-performing employees who want to come in each day to do good work and be part of an accountable team. “Staying true to who we are as a company has been paramount in our recruitment and retention efforts. People want to join a firm with meaningful work and purpose.” TZL: Diversity and inclusion are lacking. What steps are you taking to address the issue? KK: Intentionality is extremely important. From our recruiting efforts to employee experience, diversity and inclusion are instilled in what we do and how we do it. It’s also part of our strategic plan, holding us accountable to results and progress. We understand it’s not one or the other; a company must focus on both to be successful. We can’t hire a diverse workforce who feel like they don’t belong, so we must facilitate a culture of honoring people’s differences, truly listening to each other, and showing respect across the board. When the mark is missed, it’s important that we take quick action to resolve any issues or problems. In addition, our internal processes – from hiring to promotions, to employee performance evaluations to recognizing and rewarding excellence – have been created to eliminate or severely reduce the chances of unconscious bias, inequity, and discrimination. We are very intentional about inserting equity in all of our policies, processes, and programs and will continue to revisit and revise in our evolution of learning and growing. We know we have much more to do on this topic and we are committed to enhancing and building upon what we have so far.
YEAR FOUNDED: 2014
Winter Park, CO
See STAYING TRUE, page 8
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RUARY 6, 2023, ISSUE 1475
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