AllVoices Experts: Q&A with Garry Fielding

By Claire Schmidt
February 26, 2020

Welcome to AllVoices Experts, a series discussing emerging trends and technologies shaping the Future of Work. We’re on mission to create safe, happy, and healthy workplaces for all and we’re excited to learn from experts who share our mission.

Today we're sitting down with Garry Fielding. Garry is an Operating Advisor at Francisco Partners Consulting where he helps private equity backed tech companies increase effectiveness through talent development initiatives and operational improvement efforts.  He has over 19 plus years of experience in HR Software and Talent Strategy Consulting.  

Tell us a little bit about yourself & your background.

I have a unique background in that I was trained as a computer scientist but made my way up the corporate ladder spending about half my career in implementation and management consulting while the other half was spent working in varying size corporations including startups managing global HR services, tech and operations.  I now work in the private equity space focusing on helping our portfolio companies create value through executive talent identification and development as well as overall company operational improvement.

Have you noticed any big shifts in company culture in the last few years?

Yes, I definitely have.  I'm seeing companies dealing with a tremendous amount of change in the business environment both locally and around the world.  Leaders are having to navigate their company through rapid large-scale transformation while maintaining a healthy culture to retain and attract top talent.  I think companies are finding that they have to be much more agile to be able to quickly meet the changing demands of their employees and customers.  

Also, the very nature of how work gets done and how employees interact with each other has been shifting.  We are much more connected globally via technology today than ever before. There are more remote and gig workers forcing companies to rethink how they approach building a cohesive culture and brand.  Newer generations are entering the workplace with different expectations for what they want in a work experience. While there is still much more work to be done, there has also been more focus on creating a diverse workplace that is respectful and inclusive in nature.

How do you see workplace safety and/or employee listening changing in the next 5-10 years?

As the diversity in the workplace increases, I believe there will be greater emphasis on creating work environments where employees feel safe, respected and heard.  Employees will expect their experiences inside the workplace to match their modern consumer experiences outside the workplace. With the continued rise of machine learning, mobile and social media, employers will have the tools to quickly anticipate needs or potential workplace issues so they can respond in a way that keeps employees safe.  These tools will be embedded in the life of a company improving employers ability to capture the voice of the employee. Also, employees, especially in the US, will gain more control over how and when their personal data is used and companies will have to adjust accordingly.  

Where do you see technology around company culture heading in 2020?

In the HR technology industry right now, there has been a large investment made in AI and Big Data.  We are already starting to see some of the fruit of those investments with tools that can use real time data in emails, pulse surveys and internal company social sites to provide real time insight on what may be happening in the culture of your company.  I think for 2020, there will be a continued focus on taking this to the next level with moving more into how you anticipate needs and predict outcomes that allow companies to be more proactive about understanding their culture and addressing issues.    

What do you think are the biggest challenges we face today as it comes to growing startups maintaining healthy cultures?

I think startups still struggle with finding talent who have both the technical skills to help them grow their businesses and the people skills to create healthy transparent environments for their employees.  Many times they won't have the dollars to invest in a HR person to help them navigate some of the issues around building a healthy culture so it's often left to the founder or other leaders to create that. But they don't always have the tools or skillets to do so.  

What emerging technology tools are you excited about when it comes to supporting General Counsels, CHROs and CPOs?

Of course, I love what AllVoices is doing in this space by creating a simple and modern way for employees to send anonymous feedback.  I am also excited about how HR technology vendors are starting to think more about how to make better use of all the data we have out there right now.  AI is becoming ubiquitous and I really like how many HR tech vendors are using it to improve the experience of employees in the workplace as well as company productivity.  I also like how software companies are doing more with human centered design which I believe will lead to better products that allow employees to be more productive and better engaged.  I am also excited about the explosion of tools in the wellbeing market that is taking the combination of people science, data, and machine learning to both improve the lives of people and outcomes of companies.  

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