Lou Ann Hutchinson
Executive Director of People Culture Operations and Analytics for Grant Thornton, LLP
“Interdepartmental collaboration is vital.
Lou Ann Hutchinson
Lou Ann Hutchison is the Executive Director of People Culture Operations and Analytics for Grant Thornton LLP. She dedicates her time to transforming the design and delivery of the US Firm’s compensation, benefits, and mobility solutions as well as leading the firm’s overall talent analytics needs. She has over 30 years of experience in the public accounting industry.
In her exclusive interview, Lou Ann reveals
● How leaders can better connect with their employees.
● Advice on how leaders can better engage with their employees.
● How to measure and demonstrate success.
Have you ever wondered what kind of work goes on outside of your department? Maybe you think the HR department has some promising skills but are afraid to reach out because, well, it’s not typical. Lou Ann Hutchinson is here to tell you that atypical is not a bad thing. And there’s so much potential to be unlocked in interdepartmental work. Read on to see exactly what she has to say about reaching across departments.
Lou Ann Hutchinson’s 30-year career has to lead her down many paths.
She has been an auditor, an administrator, operations and resources manager, and an HR director.
Currently, Hutchinson is the Executive Director of People Culture Operations and Analytics for Grant Thornton, LLP.
Through all of the career adjustments and promotions, Hutchinson has learned that true leadership takes effort, and a desire to cross departments to get there.
Lou Ann Hutchinson has spent her entire career in the accounting industry. But her role in that industry is ever-changing.
As someone who has worked in several departments within her career, she can attest first hand to the importance of working with other departments to see that the company is growing and that employees are happy.
Often times when you are working within a certain department, you tend to stay there. You interact with the same coworkers every day and usually only form bonds with those around you. And since your job tasks are similar, it would only make sense to go to the workers of your department for questions or concerns.
But, Hutchinson warns on getting too comfortable within your own department. Granted there is nothing wrong with embracing your department and its employees. However, when it comes to creative problem solving, or coming up with innovative ideas for your company, seeking help outside of your department might not be such a bad idea.
Hutchinson encourages it. Seeking help outside your department can allow for different sets of skills, talents, and novel ideas that your team might not have been able to see.
Reaching across the aisle, or, er office, can also be an inspiration to those around you and encourage interdepartmental work company-wide. Score. And while interdepartmental teamwork is the dream, it will not always be smooth sailing.
Embrace the new multicultural workforce of tomorrow.
– Lou Ann Hutchinson
Not everyone may be on board with the interdepartmental cohesion. Afterall there are departments for a reason, right?
This type of thinking is not uncommon, especially in workplaces that tend to stick to their own departments. If inter-departmental co-mingling has never been encouraged or enforced it may seem awkward or strange to try.
Don’t be afraid to shake things up. While there are some who may push back on the idea of working with that department, there are others who are sure to get excited at the thought.
Hutchinson notes that leadership is essential in the efforts. Lead by example, and cross as many departments as you think is necessary for an exciting project.
The office will take notice. Working together across all departments is a great way to promote office unity, and ensure that every employee feels valued and helpful.
It truly is an office win-win. Or win-win-win-win, depending on the number of departments you have, but you get the idea.
Step outside of your comfort zone. Seek help in unconventional places and don’t be afraid to lead the charge on an interdepartmental project. Teamwork is only enhanced when you embrace new and different ideas.