HRO Today June 2015 - 43

HR Exclusive
in the market, we needed to
scrutinize and improve processes,
systems, and continue to build
our culture around customer
experience.
During this time, I became very
interested in the people side of
the business, knowing that at
the end of the day, employees
deliver the customer experience
on behalf of the organization.
I started taking graduate courses to understand what
motivates people in the context of customer experience
with the idea that motivated employees deliver a
better experience. This can ultimately lead to greater
profi tability. When my CEO asked me to take over as
CHRO of Global Crossing, I told him I would take on
the challenge, but I would lead HR differently. I had
new insights and ideas that I wanted to implement.
When Level 3 acquired Global Crossing, Level 3 asked
me to become CHRO of the combined entity.
Initially,
I was hesitant because I wanted to go back into the
business side of management. But I realized I wanted to
make sure the former Global Crossing employees had
a leader they knew and trusted as they started down
the path of integration. After three years at Level 3,
I was able to jump back into the business and expand
my responsibilities to now include corporate strategy,
corporate development, communications, and investor
relations.
Describe the market conditions when you joined Level 3
from the Global Crossing merger.
Pang: Level 3 had been in business for more than 15
years and built the world's fi rst global IP network. As part
of an overall strategy, the company acquired a variety of
businesses to diversify, enhance its network, and move
into the enterprise space. After each integration, the
company reviewed and took away best practices and
a few lessons for the next time. It became clear over
time that even though these acquisitions made a lot of
fi nancial sense, the company needed to put additional
focus on its employees and the people side of each
acquisition.
Three and a half years ago, Global Crossing and Level
3 came together. They were roughly the same size in
terms of both revenue and employees. In addition to
having different cultures, Level 3 was primarily a North
America company and Global Crossing had a much
stronger presence outside of North America. There was
great opportunity for the leadership team to merge
the companies in a way that would maximize the
engagement of the employees, who were a huge part in
the overall value in the merger.
I spent two years as the CHRO for Global Crossing
prior to the merger. At that point, I had been with the
company for 17 years and had accountability to the
combined business and all of our employees. I moved to
Colorado to be the CHRO and it has been amazing. With
the leadership team's support, we have been able to
revitalize the way HR approaches the business and create
a more humanized methodology.
In your role, it sounds like you embarked on a cultural
revolution that has affected social responsibility and
ultimately engagement. What was the journey like and
what initiatives worked?
Pang: Instead of creating, announcing, and rolling out
a formal " culture " program, we needed to organically
shift people's behaviors throughout the organization
in a natural, unobtrusive way. Gaps in the business
were examined at length from a cultural and employee
value proposition perspective, and from there, a cultural
roadmap was developed. With the aim of empowering
employees, we initiated a number of initiatives,
including:
* Making It personal. Most of our employees didn't know
our executives; we needed to " humanize " them. We
launched an internal video interview series, Making It
Personal, where executives talked about their interests
and aspects of their life outside of business. Our
employees have commented how these leaders are now
more approachable.
* Recognition platform. We wanted to create an
environment where people across the globe were
thanked and recognized for jobs well done and for
demonstrating our core values.
* Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). Realizing many of our
employees were searching for ways to collaborate with
like-minded individuals, we created Employee Resource
Groups (ERGs), which have been wildly successful. In fact,
15 percent of the workforce is a member of an ERG and
it is 100 percent driven by the employees themselves.
The fi rst ERG formed was the Veterans ERG, our largest
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HRO Today June 2015

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