Q&A: What is the CEO’s role in building a culture of employee growth?

Ankur Patel, Director of Product Marketing, Zenefits
Dec 1, 2022

There’s been a shift among organizations to focus more on their employees, because if employees are thriving, it will in turn help customers. So who is responsible for this culture of employee growth? Ankur Patel, Product Marketing Manager at TriNet Zenefits, joins the show to share how the CEO fits into the puzzle. Additional Resources: […]

There’s been a shift among organizations to focus more on their employees, because if employees are thriving, it will in turn help customers. So who is responsible for this culture of employee growth? Ankur Patel, Product Marketing Manager at TriNet Zenefits, joins the show to share how the CEO fits into the puzzle.

Additional Resources:

Ask a SMB Workplace Question and get featured on POPS! The People Ops podcast.

On this episode, you’ll hear:

  • [00:38] People want to see the company value them
  • [02:05] Where the CEO needs to set expectations
  • [03:58] Think through the milestones


Hey everyone, this is Encore with the Benefits team. I’m on the product and marketing side of the house. Uh, as part of my role, I get to speak with tons of customers and potential customers and HR leaders, pops leaders just throughout the country that are tackling and facing all kinds of challenges throughout their day to day.

So get to learn a lot from experts and. More than grateful and fortunate to be joining you all today to cover what is this CEO’s role in building a culture of employee growth? That’s really critical, especially over the last three, four years, you’ve started to see this greater shift with employee expectations and the realization that employees now provide a ton of value and are cognizant of the value that they bring to organizations.

And one of the most interesting stats I’ve seen recently is the fact that there are two open jobs. For every individual applicant, so the ratio is two to one, which is mind blowing, and what that means is as an applicant or as a candidate or an employee altogether, I have so much more power in what I want to do with my next step.

And organizations are realizing that and the employee expectations are being set where they need to see true value reciprocated from the companies that they’re working for. Beyond just compensation, beyond just salary. Thinking through what are the social impacts, what are the missions that this organization is driving against?

What is the culture itself? How do they take care of me, where I can continue to do my best work? And. Truthfully setting any of those initiatives does in fact start top down. When you think of being a ceo, being the leader of an organization, carving out the strategy, the goals, the OKRs, the, the KPIs for your teams to follow through with year over year.

It really is in your hands to set the expectation that employee growth is something that needs to be prioritized. And you’re starting to see a ton of companies begin to adopt this shift in mindset from customer first to employee first. And it’s, it’s a little provocative even thinking of that, but several of our customers and potential customers that I’ve spoken to recently that are now starting to pivot that it is a slight pivot.

In the sense where historically, over decades, you’ve always heard customer first, customer first mindset. And what folks are now realizing is if I put my employees first and lean into this paradigm shift, my employees are then going to further support my customers. So I’m setting my employees up for success where they can then have this greater downstream effect of setting my customers up for success.

If there’s a happy employee, then they’re able to better. Kind of speak to the day in, day out of anything a customer may be facing. Be able to empathize with those customers a lot better because they themselves are happy and satisfied in their role, in their growth. So there’s definitely, keeping in mind it’s a top down approach to really initiate that as a priority for your upcoming year.

And then thinking through what are the milestones. What does employee growth actually mean to your organization? Is it something like understanding pay equity and aligning salaries to expectations or beyond what market has even set so folks are happy? Is it curating courses and other engaging environments where employees can learn?

Is it creating spaces where employees can share and speak freely about their feedback, their feelings, their personal lives, in addition to the professional setting? Cause as we’ve all learned, the work life balance starts to blend now, especially with a lot of folks working remotely or in hybrid roles.

So to sum up, The CEO really should be the one at least spearheading the concept of employee growth and prioritizing it as an organizational initiative. And then there’s full freedom to delegate into whether it’s a C H R O or somebody in that type of role, to start to think through how does this actually tactically come to fruition and what makes the most sense for my organization.

Thanks so much for listening in and stay tuned for the next Pops podcast.

Previous Episodes

Q&A: Why does cybersecurity matter for today’s HR professionals?

Lourdes Rivera, Senior Director of People, Electric
Dec 15, 2022
Only a decade ago, HR teams had to be careful of leaving sensitive employee information on a copy or fax machine. Technology has changed drastically since then, making cybersecurity a much more real issue. Lourdes Rivera, Senior Director of People at Electric, shares why cybersecurity matters for HR professionals. Additional Resources: Order your copy of...

Build Your People, Build the World

Ryan Patel, Ryan Patel, Global Business Executive
Apr 14, 2021
Can a small business have global influence? On this episode of PIVOT, host Didi D’Errico sits down with global business executive and sought-after expert Ryan Patel to talk about how small businesses can change the world, one employee at a time.

Q&A: How can I easily offer a retirement plan?

Nicolle Willson, Director of Retirement Consulting at Guideline
Apr 26, 2022
The AARP recently found that 48% of Americans age 55 and older have zero retirement funds at all. To combat this massive gap, some states will require employers to provide retirement plans for their employees. If your state requires you to offer a retirement plan this year for the first time, where do you start?...

About The People Ops Podcast

Every week, we share the decisions, struggles, and successes for keeping up with an evolving workforce and a changing workplace. No matter if you’ve been in HR or are just getting started, this combination of transformational stories with actionable ideas, as well as context on hot issues, keeps you up-to-date while answering the questions you didn’t even know you had.

Oh, and you know what they say about all work and no play? We tossed in a little levity to keep it real. Lessons, answers, and humor: everywhere you listen to podcasts.

Best-in-class remote teams will use best-in-class technology.

Zenefits mobile HR platform makes it easier to communicate with staff, onboarding new hires, pay employees, and manage any HR task from any home office.