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The New Consumer of Work

A Conversation with Libby Sartain, recorded at TLNT Transform

Kurt Ballard, ACT BridgeLibby Sartain

Dear CHRO. Are you still treating your employees like... employees?

After listening to this interview with Libby Sartain (former CHRO at Southwest Airlines and Yahoo!), recorded at TLNT Transform, you might want to reconsider.

According to Sartain, "business competes for talent today in a free global marketplace in which traditional definitions of job and employee are increasingly outmoded. As a direct result, HR leaders must also change traditional ways of working in order to maintain their central role in the organization of the future."

While many influences are bringing about this change, perhaps the most important is the way in which the worker now approaches and engages with work. Workers today use the sensibilities of consumers to search for overall work experiences that not only provide a sense of connection and fulfillment, but also a part of their personal brands.

Libby's presentation at TLNT Transform had an essential message for all HR leaders: You can guide your organization through this competitive marketplace by treating your worker pool more like consumers and less like employees. "Think of each phase in the worker life cycle as a branded experience and design your HR programming to deliver this experience. Workers will become more engaged and your organization will be prepared for the impending brain drain likely to occur when the economy turns around and disengaged workers head for more meaningful work."

Libby Sartain Biography:

After a distinguished 30 year career in human resources Libby Sartain is now an active business advisor and Board Member. As CHRO of both Yahoo! Inc. and Southwest Airlines, Sartain led significant business transformation initiatives as a member of executive leadership teams and guided global human resources efforts focusing on attracting, retaining, and developing employees. Her focus has been growth companies where she developed employment brand strategies that helped grow the workforce exponentially while establishing company reputation as a leading employer of choice. Both Yahoo and Southwest were listed on the Fortune 100 Best Companies To Work For in America and the Fortune 500 during her tenure.

Sartain serves on the Boards of Directors of ManpowerGroup (NYSE: MAN) and Peet's Coffee & Tea, Inc., (Nasdaq: PEET). She advises several start-ups and Fortune 500 organizations on HR, Employer Branding and Talent Management. Sartain served as chairman of the board of the Society for Human Resource Management in 2001 and was named fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources in 1998. Human Resources Executive named her as one of the 25 most powerful women in HR in 2005.

She holds an MBA from the University of North Texas and a BBA from Southern Methodist University.

Sartain co-authored: HR from the Heart: Inspiring Stories and Strategies for Building the People Side of Great Business, AMACOM and Brand from the Inside: Eight Essentials to Connect Your Employees to Your Business, Jossey-Bass, and Brand for Talent: Eight Essentials to Make Your Talent as Famous as Your Brand, Jossey-Bass. She recently contributed to and co-edited The Chief HR Officer: Defining the New Role of Human Resource Leaders. She is a frequent speaker and is often quoted as a thought leader in human resources in the business Media.

Peter Clayton

About Peter Clayton

Peter Clayton, Producer/Host, is an award-winning producer/director of radio, television, documentary, video, interactive and Web-based media who has created breakthrough media for a wide array of Fortune 100 clients.


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