Human Resources Talent Manager - Katie Jones
This article is from the “Cummins: All Access” series, a compilation of unique, reality-based stories featuring Cummins employees. The series is designed to give a behind-the-scenes perspective of Cummins employees as they develop their careers.
With an ongoing effort for high potential candidates, Cummins Talent Management continuously searches for high-potential candidates at different career fairs and campus events across the world. Katie Jones originally emerged as a sharp Human Resources candidate from Purdue University where she earned both her Bachelors of Science in Organizational Leadership & Supervision and Masters of Science in Technology, Business Process Improvement. She joined Cummins as a Human Resources Intern and now is Line Human Resources and Functional Talent Manager for Enterprise IT. It’s a complex role filled with innovative Six Sigma opportunities and high profile initiatives that help the Company evolve each day.
“One of the reasons I feel like my job is innovative is because it is never the same each day. It is both the benefit and the struggle of a rapidly growing Company. Sometimes, things come up that weren’t initially planned, and those are the opportunities that I learn the most from. It’s important to be flexible and adapt to ambiguous situations.”
And now for your All Access Pass:
Today, she starts with a one-on-one meeting with her supervisor to discuss her own career objectives and development. In these bi-weekly meetings, Katie’s supervisor gauges her work-life balance and provides feedback to a critical project she’s working on with key Cummins stakeholders. While no day at Cummins is ever the same, today her first meeting helps jump start her morning.
“You need a support system at work. The leadership team at Cummins is great. They really are our biggest supporters. We can brainstorm ideas and collaborate both about my development and the team I’m working with or projects I’m working on.”
After her meeting, she moves on to morning tasks in her day-to-day role in Human Resources. She’s a supportive business partner to Cummins employees and provides extensive coaching on important processes. Today’s to do list includes guiding several managers on employee issues, such as employee development programs, performance issues, effective hiring practices and identification of key skill sets for recruiting. For Katie, it’s important to here to coach managers on the most important team priorities that can help the Company achieve maximum results.
“One thing is for sure: you’ve got to be flexible in Human Resources. Sometimes things seem like a fire, but not all issues are paramount. You have to prioritize because it helps manage the scope of our global work. Prioritizing not only helps me plan better, but also maintain a work-life balance.”
Mid-morning, Katie joins an IT transformation meeting where she collaborates on the global coordination of employees into a new corporate structure. She presents an analysis on how to move employees into the needed positions where they can succeed as the Company continues to grow. Her team focuses on the logistics happening and the necessary HR systems follow up with as the new implementation process begins to take shape. It’s a large undertaking due to the sheer volume of employees around the world.
“In my job, you have to understand the employment legislation locally, regionally and globally to make sure we operate effectively. The timing of this IT transformation was needed in a matter of weeks to properly impact the company. You want to do it right and quickly, but you’re also analysing the process from beginning to end. Sometimes, you must go slowly in order to move fast; we analyse all of the details before launching any changes.”
Next, Katie joins an HR colleague for lunch to catch up about their families and talk about the employees they support and collaborate on how to best execute upcoming policies. It’s a deep friendship that has evolved over time since partnering with a peer is vital when decisions will impact other people.
“Human Resources often involves multiples shades of grey. I like talking to her because sometimes we combine our best judgment and discretion when determining how best to resolve issues within the boundaries of the policy. It’s fun to catch up on things outside of work, too. You have to have a work life balance and Cummins is great about that. It’s fairly common to have friends here at work that you socialize with after work.”
After lunch, Katie takes on job training, which helps her develop her own career path. She engages in Cummins experiential learning training through online leadership classes provided for employees.
“Our curriculum is hands-on role-playing that provides interactive, real-time feedback to coach managers. I like it because it feels like you’re partnering around the world with other employees who have been through the same issues. You learn from both their success and failures.”
Before she leaves for the day she has an impromptu strategy conversation with a campus recruiting team leader. The recruiting team for this specific university has a campus event scheduled next month and an overview meeting is set for tomorrow with the team. The discussion will focus on which type of hire-to-develop candidates are important based on the IT transformation happening.
“Late in the afternoon, I like to take some time to think about my day tomorrow and make a plan. I make sure I connect with people and make a list of important meetings we’re involved with to stay ahead of the fast pace, especially if schedules change.”
Katie enjoys working at Cummins because of the people, the work and the opportunity.
“There’s so much more in the work here than on the job description. You learn about how we operate, and the leaders want to bring you in to be that partner. The advantage is you’re on the front end so you can shape the direction of the company and initiatives. Not only are we doing this the right way for the employee base and bring them along to be successful, but we focus on how we manage change to keep the company moving in the right direction.”