Exploring the lesser-known side of Human Resources through the lens of philosophy, we sit down with Ashley Thorson from Shazam. A unique blend of ethics, human behavior understanding, and business acumen, Ashley talks about her journey from an accounting major to an HR representative armed with philosophical insights. She highlights how a deep understanding of human behavior can create a comfortable workplace environment and why it's vital for HR professionals to be approachable.
Switching gears, we dive into Ashley's perspective on self-care and gratitude, both vital elements in fostering positive team dynamics and handling challenging conversations. Ashley shares her light-bulb moments from her professional journey, revealing what makes an excellent employee experience. A deep-dive into the human side of HR, this episode is a treasure trove of insights, shining a new light on how philosophy can enrich our understanding of the workplace.
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This is the Rebel HR podcast, the podcast about all things innovation in the people space. I'm Kyle Rode. Let's start the show.Speaker 1:
All right, Rebel HR community. We are joined with an awesome guest. Ashley Thorson is here. This is going to be a really fun conversation. Ashley, welcome to the podcast.Speaker 3:
Thank you, it's great to be here.Speaker 1:
Well, we are excited to have you. It's like a little bit of coaxing to get you in the hot seat but I really appreciate you being open to it. So I had the opportunity to meet Ashley last year, actually in a philosophy class, which I was saying you know what a perfect class to be taking if you're going to go into human resources, which is philosophy. So tell us a little bit about what you're doing now after graduation.Speaker 3:
Yeah, so I graduated from the University of Northern Iowa, go cats and I human resources and philosophy double major, and I majored in ethics, and now I am working at Shazam in Des Moines as a human resource representative and, yeah, that's kind of where I'm at now.Speaker 1:
Awesome. So welcome to the welcome to the career. Is it what you expected when you were studying to go into human resources?Speaker 3:
Not quite, but in a good way.Speaker 1:
Okay, okay.Speaker 3:
You know there's more unexpected things, but they're exciting. You know, like things that I didn't, you know, necessarily think that would entail the profession would entail, until I got into it. So it was good.Speaker 1:
Yeah, you know I've always kind of joke, but it's half joking, but like HR is like the catch, all it's like so you have this job description right that you think you're going to do, and then you have all this random stuff that happens and people are like, well, give it to HR, because I don't know who should. Yeah, because it has something to do with people, kind of right. So so tell me, you know, as you have gotten into your role and you know, obviously you have a passion for understanding. You know how people think and human behavior and you know kind of the philosophy behind that. What are some like insights or aha moments as you have shifted into the world of work from the world of your collegiate study?Speaker 3:
That's a good question, I think so. With my philosophy background, I love just seeing how people tick and just kind of how they work their personality wise. So a lot of the personality tests type things that we do, I think they're super interesting. We do the predictive index.Speaker 2:
We always have a session for new managers, like once a quarter ish, and it's. It's just really fun. You just get to learn about how people work, how they work with each other Absolutely.Speaker 1:
And yeah, pi, that takes me back. Yeah, we used to do that, so. But in all of those you know kind of those assessments and the work to understand what makes people tick and what what impacts human behavior, I think I think is is really fascinating. So you obviously you took a lot of time kind of studying some of the work of the you know the great philosophers, and you warned me don't ask me who my favorite philosophers. I won't have one. I won't ask that. Well, there is no great philosophy about that.Speaker 3:
That is a philosophical question, right?Speaker 1:
Like well, there nobody knows anything. Yeah, Anyways the but. But I am interested why that was was of interest to you and, ultimately, why you focused on going into HR having that as one of your interests.Speaker 3:
Yeah, so I started well. I learned about philosophy through ethics classes. Actually, I did a religion and ethics class in college and it was taught by a philosophy professor and we did a lot of writing in that class and I just I love writing too. So and he approached me and said, hey, I think you should look at majoring in philosophy. And I was like at the time I was majoring in accounting and that was not good.Speaker 1:
The old accounting to HR pivot. Yeah, a tale is the oldest time.Speaker 3:
Classic. So yeah, about the time that I switched my major to HR, I switched it to philosophy as well. So I just thought they go together in ways that people don't always think about, like it's just the intricacies behind people and like the critical thinking aspects of it. So I find that really interesting.Speaker 1:
So absolutely, and I think what's what's fascinating about that in general? First of all, I agree, a lot of my job is trying to understand human behavior and why people do things and trying to, you know, make sure that that we're creating, you know, great places to work and, and, but ultimately it comes down to the question of what do people actually want and why, and, and I think that that's, you know. It's just a fascinating background. So, as you've been, you know, in the world of work here here recently and getting to know your organization I don't know your job what do you feel is one of the key roles as an HR representative that you need to make sure that you fulfill to make a great employee experience at your organization?Speaker 3:
I think one thing that's super important for that is just being a positive Person and having like a positive demeanor towards everybody. Because you know, hr can be kind of scary for people in the workplace. So just kind of reassuring that like you are there for them and you're a Kind person and do things in a kind way, I think it's super important and it's gonna drop people in.Speaker 1:
Absolutely. You know, and I think it's one of those areas that we don't talk about enough. But you know, just, HR has some dark side to it. Right, there's some stuff. It's just not fun, right. It's scary for people, it's hard for people. It is like going into the principal's office sometimes and or you're getting a traffic. Stop you know and and. But having that level of approachability and kindness is so critical and and you know it's I think many listeners have probably agree with this it's easy to lose that as well if you've been in the profession for a long time. So a good reminder to all of us to keep that to the forefront. And, you know, focus on the humanity, yeah, at that point.Speaker 2:
So thank you.Speaker 1:
So I, you know I'm curious as you, as you think about Human resources and you think about your career and you're obviously in a job where you get to see a lot of different aspects of Human resources. Where do you see your career path going? What's what excites you are interested to as you continue to build your career?Speaker 3:
a lot of things. But I feel like the goal would be to kind of move up in to more of like a manager type role in human resources. So Ultimately, you know, maybe BP of human resources big goal, Just move up that ladder. I just you can do it oh.Speaker 1:
Yeah, and I think you know what's what's interesting about your background and your interest is, you know, if you continue to stay curious and focused on what makes people tick what, why do behaviors exist, why do certain things Happen at an organization, and then, ultimately, how can you, how can you change and innovate to make make it a better place to work? You know, that's essentially, that's that entire job. Yeah, so yeah so Probably on the right path. So so what? What's one piece of advice that you would give to somebody who is maybe new into the profession or is Maybe looking for some inspiration in the field of human resources? What would you tell me?Speaker 3:
Yeah, well, you kind of talked about it a little bit, but just staying curious, I think, and just being a sponge, that was one of the things that I was told as an intern actually wishes him and just to soak up as much knowledge and information as you can and ask questions constantly and, just to you know, build up Whatever it is that, all of the skills and abilities, things like that. So, yeah, I love that.Speaker 1:
Yes, I love that. That's. That's actually like kind of the theme today from all of our podcast guests, so it's really interesting. So so last question I have for you, so that the name of this conference that we're at is called the great reset. So what does that mean to you? I?Speaker 3:
think you, that's a good question. With the thought of reset, it makes me think of employees that experience burnout, things like that, because that can be a common theme in the workplace. I'm just trying to eliminate that, I think, just reminding ourselves that we need to and employees need to reset, make sure that we're taking care of ourselves first before we can help the company.Speaker 1:
Absolutely. I love that perspective. I think put your oxygen mask on first. That's good. All right, we will leave it there. Thank you so much for joining us.Speaker 2:
Thank you for having me Great job, I told you this was going to be easy. All right, that does it for the Rebel HR podcast. Big thank you to our guests. Follow us on Facebook at rebelhrpodcast, twitter at rebelhrguy, or see our website at rebelhumanresourcescom. The views and opinions expressed by Rebel HR podcast are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any of the organizations that we represent. No animals were harmed during the filming of this podcast.