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People developing people: Unveiling the secrets of HR leadership in building thriving work cultures

Hamutal Oren-Fox, an esteemed expert and the Chief People Officer at Venn City, shares practical perspectives on thriving work cultures.

Hamutal Oren-Fox's headshot in a circle, centered on top of an orange-to-purple gradient background. Below the headshot is the following text in white: An interview with Hamutal Oren-Fox, Chief People Officer of Venn CityHamutal Oren-Fox's headshot in a circle, centered on top of an orange-to-purple gradient background. Below the headshot is the following text in white: An interview with Hamutal Oren-Fox, Chief People Officer of Venn City

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Insights from Ellen Raim, Founder of People MatterWe focus more on solving than preventing People problems.

Insights from Hamutal Oren-Fox, Chief People Officer of Venn City

Influential people development strategies are crucial for organizations to thrive in today's rapidly evolving business landscape. Jason Lavender, CEO and Co-Founder of Electives, interviewed Hamutal Oren-Fox, an esteemed expert and the Chief People Officer at Venn City, to gain valuable insights. With her wealth of knowledge and experience, Hamutal shared practical perspectives on thriving work cultures, emphasizing:

  • How HR initiatives must be aligned with business objectives.
  • The importance of relationships at all levels.
  • Why HR leaders should embrace their intuition.
  • How empowering employees fosters engagement and personal development.

People teams must be aligned with the business.

Hamutal Oren-Fox encourages people leaders to embrace a more strategic and employee-centric approach, aligning people development initiatives with overarching business objectives.

To create alignment, Hamutal said, you must forge strong relationships with leaders and managers within the organization. By collaborating closely with stakeholders, people professionals can gain valuable insights and ensure their programs and initiatives are well-received and supported. 

Use data, but unlock your potential by embracing intuition and emotional intelligence.

Likewise, HR must be tapped into the employee base to understand company-wide experiences and emotions.

Hamutal highlighted the significance of using data to gain insights into employee satisfaction, engagement and performance. By analyzing and interpreting data, people leaders can identify trends, address challenges and make informed decisions to optimize people development strategies. 

"Data can be really helpful if people actually look at it and say, 'Okay, this is meaningful.'” But, Hamutal cautioned, “If you don't believe the data, then it's not worth collecting it."

In addition to analyzing data, Hamutal believes HR professionals should embrace their intuition and leverage emotional intelligence to make informed decisions. "Your intuition is correct,” she said. “Don't let anyone say differently."

Recent generations are impacting the workplace.

Hamutal emphasized the impact of changing generational expectations, stating, "We experience the change in moving from that [traditional view of the workplace] to the Millennials that brought something very different to the world, asking us to actually try to impact the world through the workplace, asking us to do something good for the world."

Younger generations seek workplaces where they can express their authentic selves and where managers are viewed as tools for personal development. The evolving concept of the workplace, noted Hamutal, has prompted a transformation in the role of people operations, requiring adaptability and responsiveness to the needs of employees.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to people operations.

Hamutal often ponders how to balance the need for flexibility in today's work environment with the importance of creating meaning and fostering connections between people. She acknowledged the challenge of achieving results while inspiring passion in employees, all while searching for ways to recreate the personal bonds that were once formed through daily interactions in the office.

Hamutal says too many people are looking for a “magic button” to make the difference that increases employee engagement and loyalty. “The whole truth behind this,” commented Hamutal, “is that people are very complicated, and there is no one-size fits all.” 

She also noted that people’s needs are changing all the time. “You’re never going to satisfy everyone,” she said, “but that doesn’t mean that you don’t need to understand what people want and decide out of that what you are willing to give.”

Empower employees to foster engagement and personalized development.

Employee involvement is critical to personal growth, according to Hamutal. She points out that the traditional approach of organizations pushing training programs onto employees is insufficient in creating engagement.

"When you find a way to have people take full accountability on their own development and teach you as an organization what they need...they become engaged,” said Hamutal. “Then they become committed." 

Hamutal also acknowledges that each individual's development needs are different. She believes that, when employees can invest something from themselves in the organization, that investment creates engagement. This approach, explained Hamutal, contrasts with the traditional mindset of organizations constantly providing more and more training without considering individual preferences. By giving employees the autonomy to define their learning goals and participate in creating their development plans, organizations can foster a sense of ownership and commitment among employees, ultimately leading to their personal and professional growth.

People leaders need community.

Hamutal also emphasized the importance of people leaders finding a supportive network. She encourages HR leaders to connect with peers who can provide guidance, support and a sounding board for ideas.

Recognizing the potentially lonely nature of people leadership roles, Hamutal advises, "Make sure that you find HR colleagues that you can rely on, trust and consult with in order not to feel alone at times." Building these relationships provides emotional support and facilitates knowledge-sharing and professional growth.

Hear more from Hamutal:

About Hamutal Oren-Fox

Hamutal Oren-Fox, a visionary HR leader, has always been driven by her passion for people and their wellbeing. From a young age, Hamutal dreamed of becoming a therapist, desiring to sit down with individuals, listen to their challenges and guide them toward resolution. This early aspiration laid the foundation for her remarkable journey in the field of HR. With more than 20 years of experience, Hamutal has focused her expertise in people development, thriving in roles that require a deep understanding of the human aspect within organizational contexts. Her career trajectory is marked by transformative experiences, including supporting a company's growth from 1,400 to more than 10,000 employees and establishing the HR function in a startup environment. Hamutal's ability to build and shape HR strategies from scratch reflects her creativity, adaptability and dedication to tailor-made solutions that align with each organization's unique culture and needs. Hamutal’s recent role as Chief People Officer at Venn City allows her to continue her mission of making a meaningful impact on people's lives by addressing the global issue of loneliness. Hamutal's unwavering commitment to both the people-centric mission and the business success of Venn City demonstrates her ability to merge purpose and profitability. Through her remarkable journey and her current role in building the people function from the ground up, Hamutal has become an inspirational figure for HR leaders, embodying the transformative potential of human-centered HR strategies.

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