Bringing the Humanity back into HR

We chat to Claude Silver on how she brings the humanity back into HR as the Chief Heart Officer at Vayner Media.

In her almost 5 years of working at Vayner Media as their Chief Heart Officer, Claude Silver (Publicis London, Garageband.com) has assisted in growing the VaynerX parent company from 389 to 650+ employees while retaining their family-first culture.

“I think culture really needs to stem from the top, and then it is all the people who create and are responsible for cultivating this culture on a daily basis.”

GaryVee’s remit to Claude was this: touch every single human being, and then fuse the agency with empathy. From there, she had to figure out how to keep people motivated and wanting to be there, making sure that they feel connected to each other, as well as emotionally & physically safe at the workplace.

“My one and only really big job is to meet every single human being here.”

Claude created “Culture Champions” in the various offices; people who are collaborative, who ‘get’ the company’s culture, those who always choose to be the least in the situation. In other words, people who are trustworthy, who do not micro-manage & who are great at making people feel welcome and slotting them into the culture.

“The ‘We Not I’ attitude is essential.”

The leaders at VaynerX take a servant-leader position and relate to their staff in a very freeing, open-ended way: people are encouraged to run a side-hustle, take more ownership at work & keep being curious.

“We are in the business of ‘Yes’, and who doesn’t want to be in the company of ‘Yes’?”

Claude believes HR has received a bad rap & needs a rebranding, seeing as the main focus or role of HR for a number of years was compliance. HR needs to become more creative & curious about human nature and behaviour. Why? A sincere desire to understand people will make HR professionals better at shaping & cultivating a culture, as well as growing & developing people.

“We need to bring the humanity back into HR.”

Enjoy! Hit play ▶️ above to watch the interview video.
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Timestamp notes:

2.07 — On retaining and growing a “family-first” culture at VaynerX.

7.25 — How Claude became the Chief Heart Officer.

10.15 — Claude on HR.

11.30 — What makes VaynerX’s culture so special?

16.02 — Claude’s day-to-day.

16.34 — Recent favourite reading material? You are a badass by Jen Sincero, Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown, Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl.

17.10 — Favourite productivity tool? Slack & IM, banking apps, phone apps, Spotify, Instagram — anything that gives her info at a click.

17.35 — Biggest challenge with managing people these days? Getting people to listen!

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