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Fostering-Positive Culture-and-Employee-Engagement

Fostering Positive Culture and Employee Engagement – with Global HR Executive, Ashley Berg Jensen

By Published On: October 26, 2023

Hosts: Rodney Apple, Chris Gaffney

In This Episode:

In this episode, Ashley Berg Jensen explores the nuances of self-worth and how individuals advocate for themselves based on their self-perception and the perceptions of others. Ashley emphasizes the importance of showcasing and communicating both your current skills and future aspirations. One of the more insightful statements Ashley makes centers around the palpable rise in engagement from employees who feel valued by their leaders. She also shares insights into a manager’s role in recognizing, assessing, and communicating an employee’s worth, drawing from a multitude of sources.  Wrapping up, Ashley offers invaluable career development tips, including sage advice she’d give to her younger self on career progression.

Who is Ashley Berg Jensen?

Ashley is a Global HR Executive who has led transformational change with a focus on people, culture, and growth. She has consistently forged new ground and created new practices throughout her career from co-founding an Organization Development and Change consulting practice at CGI to becoming Coca-Cola Refreshments’ first Chief Diversity Officer, to her most recent role leading HR for The Coca-Cola Company’s most strategic global functions. Ashley strives to cultivate an environment where strategy, delivery excellence and collaboration are coupled with authenticity, empathy and engagement.

[00:01:50] Chris Gaffney: Welcome to another engaging and exciting episode of the Supply Chain Talent and Engagement Series. I’m Chris Gaffney and joined as always by my co host, Rodney Apple. And we are super excited to have a wonderful guest and someone I’m honored to have worked with, Ashley Berg Jensen. Ashley is a passionate HR leader who has witnessed A lot of things, but she’s so passionate about the transformative power of knowing your value and advocating for yourself.

And so we’re going to dig in to that today. And I will say before we dig in, I’m very fortunate to have worked with Ashley through some super big events in our career. It’s approaching 15 years back to the days when Ashley was at Coca Cola Enterprises, we worked on a massive transformation that I think was a big thing for the business, but obviously classically for transformative change, big implication for people.

And Ashley was always a bright light and an advocate and someone I took a lot of support from those days to today. So Ashley. Thank you so much for being here with us today.

[00:03:00] Ashley Jensen: Thank you so much, Chris. And I have to say the moment that I started to work with you, I knew you had it, you have what every change practitioner, HR practitioner dreams of, which is a really aparent and obvious care and passion for people. And I instantly knew it was going to be a pleasure and a treat to work with you. And it exceeded my expectations.

[00:03:25] Chris Gaffney: That’s very kind. And I truly appreciate it. I’ve learned to say, thank you. I am very fortunate to have been guided along the way by wonderful leaders.

And, that’s the passion and that’s actually the inspiration for a lot of what we do here in the podcast. So we’re happy to have you. Share some of that magic with our audience today. So I would like to dive right in and have you step back, give us background on your career journey.

And really in particular, the times you dug in with folks in the world of supply chain to where you are today.

[00:03:59] Ashley Jensen: Sure, absolutely. So I started my career in management consulting, working primarily with telecom and tech clients on large scale change management projects. I then joined Coca Cola’s largest U. S. bottler, Coca Cola Enterprises, to drive organization effectiveness. Which is when I truly came to appreciate the power of supply chain. And coincidentally when I had the privilege of meeting you, Chris, and working with your organization. I then went on to become the Chief Diversity Officer of Coca Cola refreshments.

And I spent many years doing meaningful and fulfilling DE& I work until my most recent chapter where I was the HR leader for many of the Coca Cola companies most strategic global functions. And throughout that time especially in my time at Coca Cola, also in my time in consulting, I’ve had the chance to work with supply chain professionals and really seeing the power of making and delivering these products and just really being in awe of how that drives the business and how you can’t exist without it.

[00:05:03] Chris Gaffney: It really has been a blast to watch you as you rose at Coke. And I think even in that global space, as a supply chain professional, I recall our days at Coke and we used to talk about the happiness factory. And I remember a commercial and you threw a nickel into the machine and then it looked like Willy Wonka inside, but we knew at the plant in the D.

  1. level it didn’t look so much like Willy Wonka and we always appreciated the support of you and your peers on the H. R. side.

[00:05:36] Ashley Jensen: Thank you. Thank you.

[00:05:38] Rodney Apple: Ashley, I know we’re diving into a topic knowing your value and advocating for yourself. And that’s very near and dear to me as someone that’s been in the kind of the recruiting and executive search side of supply chain for many years.

As I coach people on how to, get their next job or, advance their career. So we’d love to hear your perspective on this topic, knowing your value, advocating for yourself. What made you want to bring this topic to light today and how has it played a role in your own career?

[00:06:06] Ashley Jensen: Yeah. Thanks, Rodney. Great question. I would say one of the reasons I’m so passionate about this topic is because I have seen the way that knowing your value and being able to advocate for yourself can really propel people’s careers. And I’ve also seen, maybe even more frequently, the way when you don’t do that, you just sit around waiting and waiting and wondering, why am I not advancing?

And that’s where I have spent a lot of my time coaching. And that’s why I’m so passionate about this because it’s a small tweak that can really bring great returns. And so I would say I’ve been interested in psychology since I was really young. My brother was probably my first test subject.

I’m just kidding. He is mostly recovered. No, he’s doing really well. But he is super successful. But I, kidding aside, I’ve always been fascinated in the power of self confidence. Particularly how people who seem to have self confidence they were able to achieve whatever they wanted even when they were not necessarily a smart or as talented as the rest of us.

It was as if believing in yourself was a superpower. And through everything I’ve seen, it turns out that it is. And I would say that some of my proudest moments in my career have come from helping people build their own self awareness and ultimately their self confidence.

[00:07:28] Chris Gaffney: it’s interesting. I read an article. Actually, somebody sent me something last week, and it was like the flip side of this was living in fear, and that also can be a self fulfilling prophecy, and I think it really is a fine point between being on a positive side and being on the other.

Understanding one’s value seems very fundamental, but it is hard for a lot of people. And I’m curious how you guide people to go on this journey to understand their true worth, and I would say maybe even in what we might think of are challenging roles, like some of our frontline supply chain roles and that type of thing.

[00:08:08] Ashley Jensen: Yeah, it is not easy. Is it? I think sometimes we feel like we are bombarded with feedback, and a lot of times it’s conflicting feedback. And sometimes when we need it the most, we don’t get any feedback, or we don’t get anything constructive that we can do anything with. And if you add to that self doubt, imposter syndrome, and all of the other identity crushers, it’s no wonder that confidence seems to be such a fleeting superpower.

I do believe that knowing your worth comes from knowing yourself, and knowing yourself is made up of two critical parts. Number one, how do you see yourself? And two, how do others see you? And I think that it takes vulnerability and strength and honesty to really discover these things about yourself. Because even if you’re really clear on who you are and how you see yourself, the part about knowing how others see you is changing all the time.

Whether you’re in a front line sales, front line supply chain role, whatever you’re doing people see you differently because they see you through their own lenses and they see different aspects of you. As far as, how I guide people about to make sure they really know themselves simple things like personality inventories.

I am a qualified Myers Briggs facilitator, Hogan, you name it, there’s all kinds of assessments out there, some easier to get than others. But the value of a personality assessment. And many of us get to do those through our work. The value is you get some clarity on your preferences, right? We all like certain things more than others.

Knowing what those are really helps us understand how we operate in different settings in different situations. So through. Introspection, personality, inventories, other things. Really understanding ourselves and what makes us tick, I think is key. And then on the piece about knowing how others see you, the simple answer is feedback.

We all remember big feedback moments, especially the ones that are not great. Unfortunately, those last, 20 times more than the good ones sometimes. But I think that. Seeking feedback regularly, routinely, from a number of people above you, next to you and on your teams is really critical.

And the reason that is so important is because you may think you’re having a certain impact, but you may find out from others that they’re not seeing the same thing that you are. And so it’s really important to regularly understand that. Not so you can change the whole thing, but so that you can make the right kind of tweaks for your audience or your stakeholders or whoever you’re working with.

[00:10:46] Chris Gaffney: I’m going to follow up on that one because this is a topic that’s talked about all the time. And one of the things I think, in many cases, people fear giving you the feedback. In many cases, people close to you like, Oh, I’m going to hurt your feelings or whatever. So there’s all kinds of things that make it difficult.

So once you’re in the business of being open to feedback, what is your take on letting people know? Hey, I’m a work in progress. I’m working on this. I’m committed to hear it and I’m committed to handle it. Construct. I can handle it. Bring it on. What is your thought on that?

[00:11:20] Ashley Jensen: Yeah, I’m glad you said that, Chris, because I, the number of times that I’ve personally been in conversations where, they’re, they just give me some kind of light, fluffy feedback.

And I’m like, that’s it. Everything can’t be great. Not everything is great, and I think that happens to so many people all the time because people are worried about hurting our feelings, and I find that sometimes if you just say, hey, these are the things I’m working on it’s easier for people to respond.

What do you see as my strengths and opportunities? Where are you really seeing me shine? Anything you think I could be doing differently? And sometimes just have at it more than once when they pass it over the first time and say, Nope, nothing else. You can be doing differently. Really? Come on.

I can I’m here for this. This is what I really need. And I think it, it does take coaxing.

[00:12:07] Chris Gaffney: Yeah. One of my favorite authors who’s big on continuous improvement always pushes that one more question. So I think that’s a great point for our audience.

[00:12:16] Rodney Apple: Good stuff, Ashley and Chris. So we’ve talked about self awareness and how to both seek out and provide that feedback. But when it comes to advocating for yourself how do you tie this into that overall process?

[00:12:32] Ashley Jensen: Yeah. Great point. I think advocating for oneself would be so much easier if everyone saw us the way that we see ourselves, right?

If everyone just knew that I was brilliant and strategic and empathetic and inspiring this would be a lot simpler. But I think this is where understanding how others see you comes into play. Let’s take a common example. Let’s say you know that your current manager and his or her peers see you as Let’s say overly tactical and you happen to know that the thing that they see you doing most visibly is in fact a tactical thing that you are responsible for.

Maybe one of the things that you work on is to expose them to other more strategic things that you do. So they have a different lens than the one that they routinely see with you. Or maybe you you acknowledge it directly with them and say, Hey, I understand, this feedback that you’ve given me, I would like to understand more where it’s coming from, how you see this, and maybe what kinds of things you think I could do differently to get more out of this more tactical space and more into the strategic space that I know I can operate in.

[00:13:49] Chris Gaffney: Yeah, I like that. I think. Kanye West had one, a song back in the day is you’re sweeping the floor this week and next week you get to do the fries kind of thing. And, we laugh at that. But I do think that’s part of advocating for yourself. If you’re in a, more junior role or frontline role is to go and say, if I’m doing this well, and you can count on me on our team to do this well, I do want you to know I aspire to do more and bigger and better things.

And I will do this job really well, I’ll commit to feedback and development, but please know that I aspire to do bigger and better things, and can we talk about that? I think That’s how I digest, what you’re saying there. So I don’t know if you want to build on that.

[00:14:29] Ashley Jensen: Yeah, I love that. Because what you’re saying, Chris is so simple and clean and beautiful.

It’s just taking it to the next step of articulating your aspiration. Which I think sometimes we assume, like everybody just knows, we all wanna get promoted, but everybody doesn’t necessarily wanna get promoted and your manager doesn’t know how, where, when, and to what you want to be promoted to.

So it is really important to always be clear about what it is that you want and try to enroll them in helping you get there. Because at the end of the day, that is a good manager’s job, right? You, they understand your aspiration and they’re helping you get there.

[00:15:09] Chris Gaffney: So I can think about this in a small business context or, frankly, if I’m coaching a mentee or somebody like that, but as you’ve worked in these big macro global initiatives, how do you see this moving from a one to one, like an individual who’s got the light bulb, come on and gain the support of their manager to something that works.

In a bigger setting, in a larger organization, it starts to happen. Potentially even have cultural impacts if done well.

[00:15:38] Ashley Jensen: Yeah. That’s one of the reasons I’m so passionate about this. I love doing this on a one on one level, but then when you see that this catches on and it becomes part of the culture, you can see the larger impacts to an organization. If you think if your company does an engagement survey, you can measure and track this over time by seeing how people feel about working in this organization. And, depending on the questions, there’s all kinds of ways to drill down into deeper detail on that.

But at the end of the day, look, there is a direct tie between feeling valued and employee engagement. And when you have a culture that is focused on valuing employees can be their best selves. And when we’re our best selves, we’re energized to do our best work, and our best thinking, our best collaboration, and we give more.

And that’s what drives business. Not to mention, we’re happier in our lives outside of work, and that probably makes us want to stay with that company even longer.

[00:16:40] Rodney Apple: So that’s good stuff. The, so the micro level and the macro level is what we’re talking about one on one versus broader across the organization seeking to create positive change can be very powerful. Ashley, what would you suggest to HR professionals and supply chain leaders, how they can foster an environment where recognizing value and self active advocacy are not only encouraged, but celebrated.

[00:17:03] Ashley Jensen: Yeah, look, while I love doing this personally in an HR business partner role, that’s never going to get the scale that you need to be able to do it. So I really view the HR business partner’s job as making sure that every manager and people leader in the organization has what they need to do to go out and really drive this sense of valuing people and recognizing, and encouraging them to really advocate for themselves.

You know, aside from this being the right thing to do for people’s well being, it’s economically profitable because engaged employees are more productive. So if there’s ever a hard time selling a leader in on this, like it does drive the business in addition to being the right thing to do.

I think the key to valuing employees and celebrating self advocacy for both leaders and HR professionals, and I deliberately say leaders first because that’s really who’s driving the business. HR is enabling it and partnering to do. It really centers on creating a culture of feedback and leaders need to give and seek feedback and employees need to seek and give feedback. And to really take it to the next level leaders should not only be giving good, high quality feedback, they should also be seeking it in all directions, particularly from their direct reports, from their peers, from their managers. And employees should be doing it in the same way all around and not waiting for their manager to initiate this process.

Because as we said before, a lot of managers aren’t good at this. They’re afraid of doing this. If you’re in a situation where you’re not getting feedback from your manager, it’s easy to sit back and complain about your manager, but you have some accountability in this, too, to really drive the process.

And if it’s not just about you, you can also give them feedback to initiate the process.

[00:19:20 Chris Gaffney: Ashley, as I listen to our kind of dialogue here, and I reflect on my time, a couple of words come to mind. Number one is the need in this to be authentic, and I do think that can come a couple of different ways, because in many cases, we need to have an armor or an image that we think is necessary for us to navigate our work world.

So there’s a vulnerability piece to this potentially as well, and that can be in both directions. That can be for the employee putting themselves out there. It can be for the manager saying you really want to know then I’m going to give you the straight scoop. So how do you think about really embracing authenticity in that being important in terms of this overall process of recognizing value, advocating yourself and really making the most out of all this.

[00:20:10] Ashley Jensen: I’m so glad that you mentioned authenticity, Chris, because none of this works without authenticity. It’s impossible to advocate for yourself if you are not being yourself. Furthermore, if you try to be someone you’re not, you will almost never succeed. And I learned this lesson the hard way. We’ve all had our own experience with this, but I once had a manager who told me that I was too much and that I needed to be a smaller version of myself.

And aside from that being incredibly hurtful, it just wasn’t true. And I think it’s important to remember in this, like you said, not all feedback is good feedback and you have to consider the source and their motivation and you also have to consider which parts of it that you want to take.

And so I always say, look, if somebody is giving me feedback, it’s real and it’s valid because it is their perception. But do I agree with it? Not always. But I need to know it because knowing it is power. And so I think that’s the important part of setting yourself up in this vulnerable place, both for asking for feedback and receiving it, as well as giving it, is just understanding the relativity of it, in that you must always consider the source, and then you have the power to choose what you want to take and what you don’t.

And when you do take the feedback, be careful to Not try to change entirely who you are. You are authentically you for a reason. Yes, we can all always improve and grow and work around the edges to frame ourselves, but if you try to change your core like I did in that example You can implode.

And that’s what happened to me personally, because I actually listened to this bad feedback and said, yeah, I guess I’m too much. Let me just throw away all of my instincts and be someone else and be this smaller, quieter person and, keep everything in. It was bad. It was very bad for me, professionally and personally, because all of a sudden people were looking at me and saying, Where are you?

You’re not. You’re not here right now. And there’s a lot of learning in that.

[00:22:25] Chris Gaffney: Yeah, I think about it. And I was probably one of those people less confident than others early in my career. And I probably held my cards a little closer to the vest. And I think I would guide people today is, try harder to dive into this earlier in your career, and I think a couple of points you make are important to me is maybe you start in a safe environment, you should always get feedback from multiple sources, whether they would be people, or advocates for you. May or may not be your direct manager, maybe a mentor, maybe somebody outside of work.

But I think getting into this part of the pool earlier is I think my advice given the perspective that I have, and I don’t know if you want to give a thought on that as well.

[00:23:08] Ashley Jensen: Yeah I think you’re right. It’s a learned skill. So the earlier you build this in to the way you operate, the easier it is, and the easier it is to recognize what you’re getting.

And I think the point that you bring up about having a group of trusted people that you seek feedback from who get to see you operate is really important. There have been times where I’ve gotten feedback that was hard to hear and, really painful. And the person who delivered it was like, hey, don’t take my word for it.

Go out and seek some feedback from your peers and my peers and see what they say. And sometimes you might find out, it’s always that tricky case of, I’m not finding it. No, everybody has said, no, that’s not true. That thing, that guy said, no, I don’t believe that. No one believes that.

And then you’re like is he making it up or is it real? Why won’t anyone tell me? And that’s where you have to really do the probing that we were talking about earlier and find different ways to get at it that maybe aren’t as direct because not everybody can handle such a direct conversation.


 [00:26:26] Rodney Apple:  Ashley, I wanted to shift gears a bit and talk about transformation. We’ve all been involved with supply chain transformations with our time at Coke and supporting what is sometimes multi year journeys, lots of change that needs to take place.

How can leaders embrace this style to encourage their teams to recognize their value and advocate for themselves when they’re going through so much change through these large transformations?

[00:24:40] Ashley Jensen: Yeah. Rodney, I would say that the main thing is through inquiry by asking questions. I think in a time of change, it’s really easy to assume people need information.

Let me just give them information. I’ll give them the answers, but that’s actually, not really what people always need. Yes, we need to understand the vision. We need to understand where we’re going in this transformation. But when it comes to ourselves and learning how to understand our value and how to advocate for ourselves, leaders who are good coaches do a lot more listening than telling. Right, leaders who understand their employees aspirations and do everything they can to help them achieve their aspirations are the best leaders. And a lot of times people don’t have as much challenge at advocating for themselves with their direct manager because they know them. They have a good relationship with them. They know they’re on their team. It’s just all the other guys out there, right? It’s all their peers.

Maybe the their managers manager. That’s where the leader can really help. And this is also where feedback comes in. So I do think that a leader can play a very special and unique role in helping an employee understand the differences between how do I see myself as an employee? How does my boss see myself?

And then how do all of the others that I’m interacting with see me? And I think that a really good leader can help bring awareness to an employee to understand. When all three of those vantage points are the same and when they’re different, why and what to take away from that.

[00:26:11] Chris Gaffney: So we talk about this idea in different settings.

It’s clear that this idea of knowing and understanding your value and advocating for yourself is relevant across your career. Versus a point in time. And frankly, the need for people to continue to grow, to be relevant and business changes, no matter whether you’re in a supply chain function or HR or anywhere else.

How do you guide people and individuals to think about and ensure that they keep recognizing their evolving value as they progress in their careers, accompany changes and industry changes?

[00:26:49] Ashley Jensen: Yeah, it’s funny as we’ve been talking, I’ve been thinking about feedback moments that stand out in my career.

And ironically, they’re the ones where it was delivered terribly. I don’t remember all the glowing times when I heard how great I was. If I think really hard, maybe I can get back to that moment. But the times Stung are the times that, that stand out, which is why I think it’s important. As you say, to continuously do this, to really be working on continuously growing and those painful moments are a part of that growth.

Because we learned something from it. In fact, one of the things that I learned from a lot of those painful moments is the importance of not just taking one person’s feedback. When you get some significant feedback like that, hearing it from a, understanding the perspectives of a lot of people around you really helps give context to why that person may have said what they did.

So back to the question, how can we ensure that we’re, we’re recognizing our evolving value and progressing our own careers? I would say two key ways. Number one, I don’t think we often, we all do this enough, which is how do we track our own impact, right? Sometimes we get so busy that we are not tracking what we’re doing, but how do we track and recognize our own impact?

And How do we check in with others on how we’re being perceived? What I mean about the, we get so busy is, sometimes we’re just so busy checking boxes and completing tasks that we don’t step back to actually inventory all the things we’re doing. And I like to remind people, particularly who are working for me to do this at multiple points in the year.

Maybe once a quarter you step back and say, What have I done? What am I most proud of? And then say, what am I spending the most time on? Because sometimes the things that you’re most proud of, the things that did the most for the organization and for you and the people around you are not the things that you spent the most time on.

And so by doing this exercise regularly, you can go back and say, gosh, maybe I shouldn’t have spent so much time on that one project that was tedious and no one actually cared about, but I had to do. Maybe I can still do it, but in a different way.

[00:29:03] Chris Gaffney: You actually caused me to think about another element of this, Ashley, because I think the introspection and kind of the objectivity around saying, hey, this is tangibly how I deliver value and it equips me to advocate from ourself.

There’s a spectrum of that advocacy. 1. Somebody on one end who doesn’t do it at all, and, lives in, I don’t know, nobody ever sees this person. Is there a too far on the other end of this where you’re grandstanding? And I bring that out to just provoke, like, how do you find that middle ground, particularly as you talked about when you get beyond your immediate circle and you have a need, maybe in a time of change where you’re dealing with different leaders where you’ve got to advocate for yourself.

How do you get it right?

[00:29:45] Ashley Jensen: Yeah, it’s a delicate mix, and I felt my face cringe when you talked about the person that’s all the way on the other extreme right? We all know that person. We hope we’re never them, but we have to check ourselves to make sure that we aren’t. I guess what I would say is I think that, Number one, just being clear on knowing what we’re doing, but the second part of this, and understanding the value, but to avoid that sort of over, overinflation or grandstanding, I think part of that is understanding this other element of how are people perceiving what we’re doing.

Do you think I have the same value that this big project idea does? When you have both of those, both what you know you did and then how you think people are perceiving it, the most important piece from that is how do you tell your story? And how you tell your story must come with humility, right?

No one’s doing any major things alone, right? You’re doing it with other people. And so telling that story of how you’re doing it with others and the role you played in it, is the most important thing. Is really important. And the reason that I’m probably over operating from the place of people who don’t toot their own horn is because as an HR business partner, that’s what I see the most.

You work with the people who are grandstanding in a different way, but the people who you want to speak up is probably the majority of people, right? The people who think I have one on ones with my manager. They know what I’m doing. Maybe, but how much are they actually listening?

Like you’re the only one who knows 100 percent of what you did. And so how you tell that story and how you help other people understand it and be able to synthesize it in a simple way, like your manager. Is really valuable to your manager and to the people around you. So it’s trying to find an authentic way to tell that story of what you’re doing, which is factual and talks about others in addition to the role that you’re playing.

[00:31:40] Rodney Apple: So actually, I’ve got a follow up question. This is I’ve been taking a lot of notes. I definitely have some areas I can improve upon as a leader. But are there any recommended? Frameworks or tools that could really help facilitate this self awareness and advocating for yourself. It is an example, let’s say, there’s an employee that has a lot, has been in a role with high competence and high confidence and has moved into a role where a bit of a development role and it’s low confidence because of low competence.

In the new role and still developing, still trying to figure things out any particular tools or processes or templates or anything like that you would recommend, like we’ve introduced individual development plans. Some of these are like for the individual, but as we’ve noticed across a certain function of our okay, I think we all can improve upon this.

We’re going to make it a macro level. Action item to round out this gap. But that’s just one example. Is there anything that you use to help facilitate and really get that get this to be a sustainable thing that’s ongoing?

[00:32:42] Ashley Jensen: Yes. Great question. Rodney. I would say individual development plans are a great tool and anything that your company is using.

Take advantage of. So I would say that’s first and foremost. Ask what tools your company has. Use those tools. And so if the development plan is something that you’re using or if you’re not, right? Basically, that’s a great way to combine all these things we’ve been talking about, which is what are my aspirations?

Where am I trying to go? What are the steps that I need to do to get there? And then that becomes an enrolling tool for you to use with your manager. Your stakeholders, all the people around you who can help you get there, it can also be an easy way to go into that feedback conversation and say, Hey, I’d really love your input on my development plan.

This is where I’m trying to get. Here’s what I think I need. What am I missing? Can you help me with some of these things? So I love that example. I think that’s a beautiful one. I would say if your company doesn’t have tools that you can Google that right and figure out how to make one. I would also say that, Simple is better.

As far as standardizing feedback some companies have, performance management systems that you get to ask not only your manager for feedback, but direct reports partners, peers, whatever. If your organization doesn’t have that, then I would say maybe you come up with a simple three question survey. And you send it out on some sort of routine basis with a cadence that feels right, or maybe you set up periodic one on ones with a couple of stakeholders whose feedback that you really want to continue tracking, because there’s also a very big difference between written feedback and Verbally given feedback.

So I would say all three of those things, the development plan and then those two different ways to collect feedback. Whether it’s through your performance management system, or you make it up through a survey or one on ones. All of those things together are really valuable tools.

[00:34:40] Rodney Apple: Thank you. Wonderful.

So Ashley, this has been a wonderful advice. Like I said, I’ve taken a lot of notes and look forward to putting some of these things into practice or at least making some improvements upon what we’re doing now. But are there any final thoughts you’d like to share with our audience?

Which is, supply chain leaders. Those are budding leaders coming up through the ranks. And then obviously we’ve got your H. R. And talent professionals. On this topic of recognizing their value and advocating for themselves.

[00:35:10] Ashley Jensen: Yes, we all spend a lot of time and energy at work. And we deserve recognition and reward for that effort.

If you wait patiently for someone to recognize it, you might get lucky or you might get overlooked and feel really slighted. I think it’s important to remember that everyone is busy and no one is 100 percent focused on you. besides you. So if you think of part of your job as a continuous process of learning and growing by seeking feedback regularly and then showcasing your work based on what you’re learning, you will be maximizing your value and making it easier for your manager and for those around you to understand what makes you uniquely valuable.

[00:35:57] Chris Gaffney: I couldn’t say it any better. It, maybe it shouldn’t be like that, but based on our collective experience, that’s the reality. Yeah. Awesome. Ashley, before we let you go, we have a couple questions. We typically ask every guest on all of our sessions. So I’m going to take the first one.

What is some of the best advice you’ve received broadly over the years related to how you advance in careers in general and selfishly for our supply chain audience, anything that you think is unique for that audience as well?

[00:36:29] Ashley Jensen: Absolutely. Number one, and I think this applies particularly to supply chain audiences.

Do what you love. And I say that because once people are dedicated to supply chain, I don’t see them deviate. So I think that is particularly important. Do what you love and be 100 percent authentically you. in whatever you do. Trust your instincts when you’re in doubt, and when you’re not. And do not wait for someone else to advocate for you.

You are naturally and organically the best one to lead that charge and to build a coalition to help you do it. Super.

[00:37:10] Rodney Apple: And for our final question if you were to look back at your younger self, given what you’ve learned to date what would you advise your younger self, Ashley?

[00:37:20] Ashley Jensen: I would tell my younger self that everything is not as important or as dire as you think it is at the time.

And responding to that email or that text immediately or finishing a project so you can check the box is not as important as being there for your loved ones when they need you. And so try to step back and get perspective regularly. I think that when your work and your personal lives are in balance, for example, you’re not giving everything disproportionately to your work,

you have more to give all around in all aspects of your life. I’ll close with a little anecdote it’s funny, my whole life, my dad has been telling me, in his own tongue in cheek way, just to give my best 50%. And he laughs when he says this, because he knows it’s impossible with my personality type.

But I finally understand what he was saying, and my advice to my younger self would actually be… to listen to my dad and maybe adjust it to a more realistic 80%. Just give your best 80%. And then in turn, you will have so much more to give all around because you’re not depleting everything. And that would be probably my biggest reflection takeaway.

[00:38:42] Chris Gaffney: Well, Ashley, I looked forward to reconnecting with you. It’s always a joy, to spend time with folks who have been in the trenches with. I knew this would be a lot of fun. I knew it would reinforce some things that I knew, but I also knew I would grab some things that I needed to jot down on my list as Rodney did.

So this has been a great episode. Super learning and motivation for our audience. So thank you so much for doing this. And I would like, as we close out, if you let people know how they can keep up with you on this overall topic for the broader industry audiences.

[00:39:18] Ashley Jensen: Thank you so much, Chris. You said it beautifully, so I won’t try to restate it, but everything you said, I loved it. Thank you both Rodney and Chris for energizing me and for such a great engaging conversation on this really important topic to all of us. And I would love to connect and to stay connected on these things.

Catch me on LinkedIn and would love to connect and continue the conversation

[00:39:40] Rodney Apple: thank you, Ashley.

[00:39:43] Ashley Jensen: Thank you both.

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