“I’m living off this gig.”
From navigating layoffs of over 200 people, after September 11th, to helping managers understand more about themselves – Lisa Perez has seen a lot in human resources over the years. And when the Department of Labor reaches out to better understand your processes and procedures; that’s always a good sign. I had the pleasure of meeting Lisa and her family at SHRM’s 2021 Annual Conference in Las Vegas. There was a consistent line at her booth, every time we walked by. Another Zinga Peep was with me and we decided to grab lunch. After about two bites, there was a break, and Lisa and her sister sat down right beside us. Needless to say, there was immediate alignment.
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Today, I’m joined by a friend of mine. Lisa Perez, Lisa own and operates H B L resources in Miramar, Florida, HBL resources, service, uh, services include, uh, an array of services, HR consulting, training and development, executive coaching, complete manager makeover, definitely interested to get into that HR administration.
And then of course, Lisa, uh, all the speaking that you do, how are you doing? I am doing great. I’m super excited to be here and see you again. After, uh, SHRM 21, SHRM 21 was very interesting. Uh, it was in Las Vegas and is exactly where you and I met, um, uh, a coworker and I were. Enjoying lunch at a table.
And, um, yeah, Lisa, you, and I think it was your sister. If I’m not mistaken, your husband was there. You had family working, uh, at the booth mm-hmm and we just, we really hit it off and had a really, uh, great rapport. And it was really interesting that, um, every time I looked over, um, believe it or not, there were, you know, I think three, 400, uh, vendors there, if I’m not mistaken, but it seems like consistently every single time I walked by, you guys had a line, uh, waiting to engage with you.
I know that your book just launched last year, you got a lot of cool things going on. Yeah. Tell our listeners if you don’t mind, uh, Lisa at the end of that event. Okay. So you’ve been in HR for a very long time. You’ve been a part of the association SHRM for a very long time. You walked away from that.
Tell me, tell me what some of those conversations were like with you and your family. How did you feel leaving there? You know, SHRM 21 was a dream come true. And you’re right. I’ve been in HR now 30 years. Um, and it was really just. Um, one for the record books for me and my firm, my firm launched, uh, 10 years ago will be 11, this August.
And that had always been on my radar, right. To be able to feature my products and services there. Um, and 10, 10 and 11 years ago, I didn’t know that it would morph into what it now is. You know, the complete manager makeover in that whole initiative. And as I was leaving after, you know, day before, even day one, we were all set up and I’m walking out, uh, with my family and you’re right.
You know, this is a, you know, we’re living. This gig and hoping to grow it big. Uh, so everyone was there to help and support, uh, this initiative. I’m walking out, you know, sweating and all of that and looking. All of those big names up there, right? Ad ADT. Is there ADP, is there pay core? All of the big payroll companies work is there, right?
on the down low. Um, so it was really just an, an amazing moment where I, I realized, wow, you know, I’ve arrived. Right. And I’ve got so much more to go, but that I I’d arrive. I’m here with the major players at SHRM 21, right. The national stage, um, being able to launch my book, launch the curriculum of the complete manager makeover.
And, um, it was amazing and the conversations were amazing throughout the entire. Event as we exhibited, right. We were well received. It was a space and a conversation that everyone said, wow, we need that. Wow. We need that. And you know, fast forward now it’s been, you know, quite a few months since then, and we’re now starting to see, uh, the activity of those grassroots efforts.
Right. Really start to bubble up. And so I’m really hoping to make the impact, uh, that I. To with this curriculum. So thanks for asking. It was amazing. That’s amazing. That’s really, really exciting. And so, uh, I picked up a copy of your book and complete manager makeover, and I will tell you there’s some, uh, so I’m not, I’m a big audible person and I’m not a big sit down and turn the page person.
And, yeah. Right. So when I open it, I kind of a skim. And so a couple of things really stood out to me that I want our Los, our listeners to know that, uh, you cover amongst, um, close to 200 pages in your book. Uh, you cover. A lot of really, really great information, a couple of things that really stood out to me that exactly.
If you’re seeing this on the screen, uh, definitely check that out. You can Google it and get it in most places. So definitely check that out. But you have a, uh, a sheet on there, which I really like, cuz it got me thinking which are, uh, I’ve always joked as the marketing guy. Uh, whenever I’m in an HR conversation, it’s like, oh, well I I’ll ask the questions that you’re not allowed to ask.
I’ve I’ve been, I’ve said that for years and it’s so funny cuz you have a, a place in there that almost kind of quizzes your, your reader. What do you believe is truly, uh, a legal question to ask or not, and then, right. And then you draw people back to your website to get the answers, uh, to those questions.
Right? I think that is so awesome. Just so definitely go check that out. one thing that you wrote in, in the book and, and like I said, in my skimming, it was right there in chapter two, but it really hit me head on, which is, uh, your title, uh, cuz it aligns exactly with work XGA, which is interviews are not a one way street.
And so tell us a little bit about a couple of minutes. If you don’t mind Lisa, about why that was chapter two for you. Why was that so important to put in the beginning of the book and, um, just at its basic core, what does that mean to you? Yeah. Thank you so much. You asked some great questions and thank you for getting the book and supporting in that way.
Um, you know, I think I, I put that in there because it’s, it’s a two way street and I think that I’ve always believed that, you know, we. Organizations have to set the stage for what our culture is and do that upfront, uh, employees. Not always had choices in terms of, you know, where they work. If you look at, you know, the baby boomer generation that they were one in, you know, 80 million right.
Somebody was gonna get that job, but it might not be you. Um, but I’ve always had the philosophy that employees should be looking at the culture fit. And we, as organizations should look at the culture fit as well. And if you treat that, that potential employee. Um, by showing up late, not being prepared, answering your phone while the conversation is happening, that gives them a look at the, at the culture of the organization and where, where are they in terms of the priority you hold for them before they’re even there.
Right. And so I think that it’s important. So managers, leaders, people, managers. Really understand that people have choices and now more than ever, we’re starting to see that that makes culture that much more important. And I think that’s one of the reasons why we hit it off. We’ve got this alignment in the human nature and the human capacity and treating people like people and humans that we are.
Right. Um, cuz back in the day it was, leave your problems at the door. I never subscribed to that. I show up. um, as the whole person that I am with my problems, with my challenges. That’s right. And I think employers should, you know, know that, but when it comes from the pre-employment, that’s where you start to see culture so important.
It’s so interesting that you say, um, that’s how we aligned alignment in this office that I’m sitting in right now at works. Inga is, uh, one of the biggest. Keywords that we have, um, using our culture, culture, fit assessment. We show alignment between companies and job seekers, uh, through our, uh, proprietary assessment.
So we’re very, very excited about that. And it’s almost a little bit, uh, tongue and cheek for me, cuz it sounds like it was seated in, but you, you I’m using your words. Uh, we align because we, we see the human, um, Uh, we see the human side of it. And that honestly, at our, uh, kind of debut, if you will, at the SHRM 20, 22 annual conference in new Orleans, uh, that is the largest copy you’re gonna see when you walk up to our booth, uh, is get to the human factor because when you get away from all this stuff at the very end of the day, to your point, while that was a couple of decades, uh, ago, Acceptable to, to, and be told, leave your problems at the door.
When you hear you’re working here, you know, take it, take it home. Now we have to understand. And, and it’s, there’s no other way. It’s, it’s in, in so many of our faces that, that there’s an actual person on the other side of the table there we’re, we’re more than hard skills, right? Absolutely. Lisa and I’ve always prescribed that.
Go ahead. I’m sorry. No, I’ve always prescribed to that. Even when they were saying it, I was like, mm, I don’t think this is the culture for me. I gotta go. exactly. And don’t know, uh, I know that you deal, uh, with an array of businesses in, in your, um, in your world. I, I am interested to get your feedback, but I believe in, in, in my world that there are so many business owners and hiring managers still to this day, still to this day, um, that are still wrapping their head around this thought process that I can.
Um, kick the can, if you will, I can take my time on hiring. I’m not gonna pay out my, um, my, uh, referral bonuses the way I’ve, I’ve always done it. If there’s anything I’ve heard as a consistency, um, through conferences and things, it is this overwhelming loud, common denominator. If you will, that it’s time to.
Make change. It’s time to understand that we can’t do things literally decades and decades as we have been doing them because we’re not in that market anymore. And to your exact point, uh, there aren’t 80 million, 80 million people, um, uh, looking for that one job, it’s probably almost the invert, right? A lot of companies looking for, you know, good people.
Absolutely. You know, the millennial and now gen Z, you know, population is going to be just as large. Um, but they were making different decisions, right? No longer is it, oh, I want this long lengthy career. I wanna pay, you know, put my mark on it and what have you, um, they’ve got choices and, and they. Expect work, life integration.
They expect that remote work that we have all come to see is really possible. And I mean, this isn’t a new concept, right? I was writing teleworking policies, you know, 20 years ago. I know I’m aging myself right now, but that’s the reality. Right? Right. We’ve finally woken up and realized, wow, I can be as productive, even more.
So with this new norm in, in the workforce, right. Um, and while it’s not for every organization or every position, it is, um, achievable. It is attainable and, and organizations need to, to realize that, and this is something that should have been happening a long time ago. You know, I. Continued to become frustrated.
And part of the reason why the CMM we call it for sure. It’s the complete manager make over launched is because I’ve been of seeing the statistics not change. Right? Why do we employees a Tor still they’re the behavior of their manager. Listen. Still have to have the tough conversations. We’ve gotta correct performance.
We’ve gotta improve, um, you know, training and development and, and retention. And uh, sometimes we have to let people go, right. That’s the reality of the business, but I believe it’s how you have those conversations, right? It’s how you add, you know, the, the human element, the empathy, right. That goes a long, long way.
Yeah, absolutely. And in fact, in my, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s important. It’s it’s a month it’s. Yeah, absolutely. And I apologize for interrupting. I know we’re on a little bit of mic here. It’s fine. But, uh, I remember in our first conversation, I’ve seen it in your social, it’s something, uh, as part of your brand, which to that point is talking about dignity, no matter what the conversation is, having dignity, you know, when you’re walking out the.
Absolutely. You have read myself. I’m so glad. Yeah. I, I do believe that. And I’ve, and I’ve lived my HR career in that way. Um, you know, ensuring that, no matter how tough the conversation, the employee walks outta the office with their dignity intact, you know, I have had to. The layoff of over 200 people after nine 11 at the font and blue, right.
One of the hotels here at Miami beach. Um, and that was an enormous undertaking at a very young time in my career, early in my career as well. Um, but I, I knew how I would’ve wanted to be treated on the other side and I ensured that every manager had those conversations. And there’s a great story about that.
Um, you know, if, if, um, It’s just a great story. And I just, uh, I, I believe it in innately in my being and I, um, am passionate about sharing that, you know, we still have to have those conversations. We can’t stop business. That’s exactly, you know, tip toe around everything, but we can still be. Effective and as effective and even more effective with
how we have those conversations. So I have to ask you this question in context of today. Okay. Lisa, in that exact example, um, after nine 11, right. So we know that was a couple of decades ago. Yeah. Um, the question to you is, did you have to look at each of those people in their face. So, you know, that organization had easily 1200 employees and there was no way for me to have 200 conversations in the span of two weeks, all by myself.
So I put a plan together that, uh, allowed our executive team, the senior leaders of the organization to come together. And I literally trained every single one of them. Say, this is what the conversation looks like. Here’s, what’s in the information we’re giving them. Sure. And we gave them, you know, information about other openings that we’re still hiring for.
Cause not, not all industries were effective, right. Travel tourism tanks. Um, and that’s where I was, but we gave them resources like that department of labor links to apply for their unemployment benefits, Cobra information. I mean, you name it. They called it the, the, the. I can’t remember, they had a funny name for it at the end of it all.
But you know, to this day, there are more than a handful of people who remain in touch who were part of that process. Sure. Because we ensured, they walked out with that’s right. Dignity that’s right. Handled it correctly. Right. And in fact, the department of labor reached out and said, Hey, we heard you’ve got this kit.
We’d like it to use with other employers. OK. And that. Still get chills, right? Because that made what I do in human resources impact not just my organization, but my community at large at the time. And I mean, that’s, we forget that there’s the resources part, human resources, the, to help employees and employers find the resources they need to, um, Uh, you know, fill their needs, right.
Fill their needs. It’s interesting. And I, and I asked specifically because, um, um, we have a pretty active slack channel here at our company and, and one of our team members shared today that, um, I, I don’t know the, the in and outs of the company, so I’m not even gonna mention the company, but there was a large automotive, uh, company today that laid off 2,500 people over zoom.
And so while you, I don’t know, the, the inner workings of that, so I won’t speak to it. Um, yeah, it, it does speak to, um, The the difference of, and I’ll, I’ll say this out loud, cause I think this was very, very, uh, visual and, and, and public, if you will. But when Peloton, yeah. When Peloton laid off a lot of people a few months ago, and I will tell you someone that on the other side of that, uh, uh, messaging, they were very quick, they set up websites, they set up every single person that they let go, uh, with opportunities to hire them.
You know, it was very to your point, they got ahead of it and said, you know, while this is not working right now, Us, we wanna make sure that you’re, you know, you’re successful and that you, to your point have dignity walking out the door. Absolutely. Absolutely. So I’ve taken a lot of your time. I’m gonna ask you two very specific questions.
Okay. Yeah. I wanted to add something to that. So, cause you raised point you last year during our, our, our focus of national management training week, third, full week of August, right. Management came on, they were the last. Speaker of that week on Friday. Um, and they talked about the importance of providing these outsourcing opportunities to our employees so that they do feel like they’ve got something next they can do, uh, as a result of the situation they’ve.
Found themselves in so kudos to Peloton in any organization. Sure. Who really cares that much to put that, that process in place. Right. Right. I appreciate that. Um, you’ve been an HR professional, as we’ve said over the last 30 years. Uh, what daily Lisa, when you’re talking to your clients, when you’re attending conferences, when you’re, when you’re receiving, uh, uh, newsletters and, and, and in media conversations like this, what excites you about where HR is today?
Um, HR or the workforce, um, because I, I get excited about a lot of things. I love that in human resources. And I think one of the reasons I love it so much is that it’s always changing. It’s always changing and evolving. I have never been. Stagnant nor caught up in my location in 30 years, uh, because it keeps changing.
And so now we get to navigate, uh, this new workforce, right? This global workforce that was already there, but now has expanded astronomically. Sure. Uh, the fact that now we get to create and figure out what is. Uh, work from home, look like, and who buys this computer and who’s paying for my internet and what happens if I slip and fall and I’m clocked in and I happen to be going to get my coffee.
Right. Right. All of these things, we’re gonna start to see emerge with, you know, litigation, legislation, regulation, and all of that, but also the voice of human resources through organizations like Sherm. Right. And so I’m excited about that opportunity to see, you know, what’s next, um, in terms. The, the industry, the vocation and the field.
And then of course from the workforce perspective, you know, I was on a call two or three days ago with a colleague who was in an accounting firm. Um, and it was just amazing to see, or, you know, when she came off, mute here, the little boy at the back. Mommy, mommy, mommy in rush, you know, her lap and sitting on her lap and guess what she was still getting work done.
Yeah. Right. Yep. And so what opportunities that provides for our workforce to really, for once, you know, I was never a work life balance chick. I was more the integration, even though that term came. So, you know, far. Later, um, that it is possible. And, and we’ve now seen that its possible. So I’m really excited about that for the workforce.
It’s interesting. I’ve I I’ve heard you say in other settings, um, uh, we used to call it telehealth now is remote work.
That’s. You’re getting the luck on remote work. We had that back in the eighties. that’s right. That’s right. Well, look, I’m gonna, uh, wrap up here with one last question. We’re gonna ask all of our guests the same question, because I’m gonna splice all the answers together and let our audience hear, um, uh, all of the different answers because I personally, I don’t believe there is a true defined answer.
So thanks again, right. So much for spending some additional time with me. Uh, Lisa, you’re welcome. How do you define workplace culture?
For me workplace culture, you know, it, it’s the personality of the organization, you know, much to my, you know, example earlier, are you late to, you know, those interviews? Are you not giving someone your full attention, right? That is part of culture. So it’s the personality of the organization that I think, you know, comes to play with.
What are your values? What are your tennis? You’re missing your vision. Does your organization live up to, right? Cause we put everything on the front page of the website and here’s who we are and here’s what we do. But do we really right? Cause there’s always that subculture, right? That’s right. It’s the behaviors, the attitudes, the actions, the, you know, the, the true day to day of the organization that I think.
It encompasses workplace culture, uh, starting with, what are those values? How do you treat people? Um, how do you say you treat people and do you really do it? Do you deliver on what you say? You know what I mean? So to me, culture is that, cause then there’s always that subculture, if you don’t get culture, right.
That’s exactly right. And if you’re listening and you don’t know what the subculture is, you might have a subculture problem. yeah. exactly, exactly. Thanks everyone for listening, please hit the subscribe button, uh, to the podcast. It helps us reach so many people. Thank you so much. Yeah. If you have 45 seconds, I’ve timed it.
That’s about what it takes. Please go on to where you listen to podcast and leave us a comment. It really, really does help us. Um, thanks for listening to the human factor. Uh, if you’re looking for, uh, Lisa Perez, if you’re looking for the complete manager makeover, you wanna grab her book. You want to, uh, hit her up for.
Keynote speaking, or you’re looking in the mirror going, maybe I’m a bad manager and I’m time. It’s time to have a, have a realization. Uh, definitely reach out to Lisa all of her contact information. All of her links are in the show notes below. Uh, again, thank you very much, Lisa. And I will see you soon.
It’s my pleasure. It’s been a pleasure. Hope to see you soon too.
You too. Thank you.