Figuring out employee personalization on a mass basis – with Jon Couture, EVP, Principal Global Services & CHRO, Principal Financial Group

“Instead of having broad job categories that everybody has to fit into, you tailor a person’s job around their specific skills and capabilities”, says Jon.

“It could be where people work, the work that people do and how much people work. We want to enable as much flexibility as possible.”

Jon shares his career journey from the U.S. Air Force to his first HR job with Siemens before transitioning to financial services, holding positions with HSBC and Wells Fargo before joining Principal Financial Group in 2018.

He highlights Principal’s global footprint and balancing his responsibilities as CHRO for a global business with a headcount of 20,000 alongside his EVP role at Principal Global Services.

Discussing Principal’s north star goal of creating a personalized employee experience, Jon gives specific examples of how they are moving towards a more diverse and inclusive environment.

“If you peel back what it would mean to have a completely personalized employee experience, in order to make that successful, you would have to have a very inclusive mindset. If you have the systems to figure out how to tailor a job experience to an individual’s preferences and capabilities, might that be the ultimate level of equality?”

Jon shares his recommendations to senior executives interviewing for a role at Principal.

“Nothing says more to us than a person in an interview process who’s clearly done their homework. They’ve watched our investor relations. They understand as much as they can about who we are, then can identify exactly the value that they can bring to the organization. It’s basically creating relativity in in a conversation.”

He gives advice to fellow HR leaders and emphasizes the one lesson that his job has taught him along the way.

“You hear something, it may or may not be true. Every single story has a few sides. You can only get to some form of the truth when you get all three sides.”

Connect with Jon Couture on LinkedIn or find out more about Principal Financial Group  

The Insurance Coffee House Podcast is hosted by Nick Hoadley, CEO, Insurance Search, the Executive Search Consultancy for growing Insurance and Insurtech businesses around the globe.

To discuss identifying & attracting the very best talent to your team or being a podcast guest, reach out to Nick via nick.hoadley@insurance-search.com

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