The Great Pivot

Didi D'Errico, Vice President of Communications at Zenefits
Dec 2, 2020

This trailer provides some context on why we think it’s time for a new level of conversation, community—and even a little levity—about making work, work better.

Work has changed. Have you?

POPS! The People Operations Podcast is an original show sharing unconventional ideas for designing work experiences that build better, more resilient small and mid-sized businesses.  On this program, Didi talks to business owners, people leaders and industry pundits to highlight timely, actionable examples that make work, work better.

If you’re tired of the hackneyed view of HR as the rules police and instead want to explore solid examples of the potential—and measurable impact—of People Operations as a different kind of function for your organization, this show is for you. And the People Operations book, coming June 2021, will be too.

Chapter by chapter, episode by episode, you’ll be empowered to think differently about people management going from what it is to what could be with actionable insights as you grow.

Check out this preview to hear from a few of the smart minds —and even one smart mouth—helping us reimagine the world of work, to level the playing field for small businesses.


After you listen:

Consider pre-ordering the People Operations book for more context.

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



Didi: I remember the days when you used to pick up a paper, check on payday and you’d have to get it into the bank by five o’clock. If you wanted that money for that night, now the money shows up automatically. Hmm. And it seems to go back out just the same way at my house. Remember when you had to actually go to the library to find the answers to your questions.

Okay. Maybe you don’t my kids don’t but now all we have to do is ask Google or Hey Alexa. 

And remember when we all worked in the office together less than six feet apart without plexiglass?  That feels just as long ago as going into the office for your paycheck. 

The point is things have changed and they will continue to change as humans do what we do best. We innovate and we look for ways to make things easier.

It might sound lazy, or is it when you leverage the power of technology, you could actually accomplish so much more. If for some reason there’s still a tension between humans and machines, the friction. It’s based on fiction, Alexa, isn’t after my job, the robots aren’t taking over and machines, well, I can have those mundane manual tasks that no human really wants to do.

Anyway. My point is when it comes to work technology, these robots create more opportunity for you for your business and for your employees. Oh, what I failed to mention is my name I’m Didi or D2, to my high school math teacher and to my colleagues at work. And I’m here to share a little secret. The way that work gets done has changed in the way you think about it.

That’s got to change too.

POPS! is the people operations podcast from Zenefits. It’s an original show, sharing pivotal people, moments that are happening as small businesses across the country. Highlighting just how to embrace work in the 21st century. Look, HR has a branding problem and it’s time to embrace change. We believe that if you want a great culture and great people operations, it’s got to be constructed intentionally.

Amy Daleabout: It just won’t happen through a happy accident. So we built a people and culture roadmap to guide the development and implementation of our people programs.

Didi: That’s Amy Daleabout VP of People and Culture at MotorRefi. Sharing how to shift from reactive old school, HR to people, operations. She embraced the framework that many technology companies use the roadmap to set and keep strategic people program expectations.

Natasha Miller: Well March happened and our multi-million dollar business went to zero in one fell swoop. As a result we had to re-imagine our offerings and what we provided for our clients. When the world shifts, you have the opportunity to do something different instead of fighting the changing landscape. It’s an incredible opportunity to rebuild refocus.

Didi: And think about the future. Oh, and Natasha Miller. She’s the CEO of entire productions. She’s sharing how she pivoted during the pandemic to save her business. These two are showcasing how to embrace the changing landscape. By innovating with the function of people programming. It’s no longer HR. Nope. It’s people operations. 

Jay Fulcher: You know, if there’s one thing we’ve learned, especially this year is the need to adapt quickly. We’ve been forced to respond to a whole host of volatile conditions, market economic. And world events, not just in business, but often on personal levels as well. But the winners, the ones that truly thrive are the ones that take fast and meaningful action. They embrace technology rather than fight it. They take advantage of opportunities. They turn adversity into advantage.

Didi: And that is Jay Fulcher, the CEO of Zenefits. He’ll be joining us throughout the season, as we share how businesses are successfully transitioning from HR to people ops. Oh, and he’s writing a book on the topic more to come there.

Kevin Marasco: Work is being reshaped and business processes are being totally transformed. There are tons of benefits to automating the dredgers parts of your job, you know, from sipping pina coladas, beat side with your family to making. More money by doing more valuable work. Embracing automation has significant upside look, robots.They want your job. Let them have it.

Didi: That mic drop moment that was brought to you by my friend, Kevin, Marasco the CMO here at Zenefits. You’ll hear from him throughout the season as they help us break down what we’re learning in each episode, so that you have the perspective to actually make change happen.

So where do we go from here? Well, you know, that tsunami of change from 2020, the small businesses have felt perhaps more than anyone else. We’re going to learn about the upside of leaning into the great pivot. From small business leaders that are leading the change forward. Join us January 20, 21. As we navigate the new world order together.

Rob: Okay. Hold on. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The new world of work in 2020, hasn’t been all pina coladas beach side for your employees. For most of us, it’s been more like house arrest and some days our most valuable work. Is trying to get the organic gluten-free cab vomit out of our keyboard and staying out of the pantry. I’ll make sure we keep it real with an employee’s take on people, operations and share what we really think about your next big idea.

Didi: Oh, and that’s Rob you’ll understand soon enough. Subscribe to wherever you listen to podcasts.


Previous Episodes

Q&A: Can I require my people to get the COVID vaccine?

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Feb 25, 2021
We all want to see the end of COVID. But what role do—or should—companies play in ensuring their people get the vaccine? This episode shares legally-based perspective and exceptions.

Unpacking the Science Behind Motivation

Neel Doshi, Co-founder, Vega Factor, Author of Primed to Perform
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It’s no secret that motivation is the precursor to high performance, so why do organizations still struggle to motivate their employees? For starters, many of us are still figuring out how to manage an organization with most or all of its team working remotely. How do we motivate people we no longer see?

Q&A: What is the state of workplace culture after a year of the pandemic?

Laraine McKinnon, Talent and Culture Strategist at Emtrain
Apr 20, 2021
The pandemic shook up company cultures in 2020 as people adjusted to the “new normal” at work. So where does workplace culture stand a year later?  In this episode of POPS!, Emtrain Talent and Culture Strategist Laraine McKinnon shares findings that small business owners should pay attention to, gleaned from 23 million employee data points. ...

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.

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