Welcome to our Culture Leader Spotlight series, where we talk to innovative leaders in HR and People about their work in culture, inclusion and employee experience at large.
LaToya Lyn is the former Head of Global HR for LivePerson and now recently transitioned into Compass as a Senior Human Resources Business Partner. During her tenure at LivePerson, LaToya led a culture shift in the organization to better align with serving customers.
We spoke with LaToya about her work in transforming culture at LivePerson, fostering inclusion in the workplace, and measuring success in culture.
What was your role at LivePerson?
I recently decided to leave LivePerson and will be taking on a Senior HR Business Partner role at Compass. Leaving LivePerson was a very difficult decision for me – I was able to do so much in such a short period of time. It’s really a place where you can be anybody.
How would you define culture?
Strategy will never succeed without culture. You can have the best strategy, but if you don’t have culture, nothing will happen. We learned that the hard way at LivePerson. It’s important that all employees know that they’re part of an ecosystem that points directly to the bottom line. It’s important to have a culture that fosters that diversity and inclusion, where everyone’s ideas are included and you come to be your best and learn. Those are the main ingredients to culture.
Can you talk a little bit about your role in the culture transformation at LivePerson?
I was in a mid-level HR role, supporting a couple of departments. Six months later it grew to a whole department globally and I was later asked to lead this culture transformation for about a year. For context, this was a global company of over 1,000 employees worldwide and going through two acquisitions during my time in this transformation. During this time, I had to be client-focused as an HR person along with HR skill-sets. Because of the shift, stock prices doubled and revenue has increased.
What were some other ways you defined success?
We really used success scores from customers to define what the culture is and should be. On a macro level, we looked at how people were feeling about approaching our clients. Another key is aspect is full adoption of our mission and transparency. One thing we did was we looked at revenue per region and found there was a strong correlation of adoption of principles and revenue.
94% of business executives believe that good culture is imperative to business success however 64% of employees believe that companies are actually doing a good job at this. How do you get employees in making this happen?
What I found is that executives have a disconnect with what the actual culture is. This is not on purpose – interactions between executives and employees can be limited. I was able to bring the voice of the people to the board members and executives to have a healthy dialogue about what’s happening to close those gaps. We implemented a change management program, and change agents were able to participate in the conversation.
The biggest thing that I learned is that they (executives) are people too, once you can look at an executive team as humans and level set, you can get the culture right.
What’s one of your biggest challenges in implementing successful workplace culture?
Time. Executives want it now, but there are so many competing priorities. When you work at a fast-growing organization, there’s always going to be a new thing. HR needs to be forward thinking and savvy, as well as agile and adjusting. It’s important to manage up, down and sideways.
What’s your favorite story that captures Live Person’s culture?
In between board meetings, I had to give data on what had happened since launch. I went to 5 countries in 45 days. This really showed me that you never know how what happens at Headquarters affects the rest of the offices. Reporting back what people from different places were thinking was a very interesting experience for me that showcased culture at LivePerson.