An Interview with Jen Vasin of Insight Enterprises

Jen Vasin, now the senior vice president of HR at Insight, joined the company by way of an acquisition in 2008. It didn’t take her long to fall in love with Insight’s culture and emphasis on putting teammates first.

“We often say the only thing that differentiates us in the marketplace is our people and the intelligent technology solutions that we deliver, and people come first in that equation,” Vasin says. “We refer to our employees as teammates because we believe the team mentality reflects our core values of hunger, heart, and harmony.”

At Insight, hunger is about going beyond the status quo to create new opportunities for their clients and their business. Heart means having a positive impact in the lives of the people they serve by always putting clients, partners, teammates, and communities first. Harmony helps bring together many different teammates across the globe.

One more “H” ties all of those core values together: HR.

Beyond establishing Insight’s core values and rallying Insight teammates around them, Vasin believes her HR goals are incredibly important to the company. They fall into four categories.

Becoming an employer of choice. One example of this is the company’s emphasis on diversity and inclusion, starting with recruiting and hiring people who bring different skill sets, leadership styles, and cultural experiences to the mix of technical and customer service talent. It extends to initiatives such as Teammate Resource Groups like Women With Insight. These are affinity groups that promote personal and professional development, driving new ideas into the business, and making a positive impact on local communities, all with the spirit of inclusion in mind.

Developing current and future leaders. Insight invests in the ongoing training and development of leaders. Vasin explains that two of their core leadership commitments focus on inspiring people and demonstrating thought leadership. They’re making a concerted effort to empower teammates through energizing leadership and encouraging them to intentionally challenge the status quo.

Role modeling Insight’s values. Vasin personally spends a lot of time focused on the heart value as it relates to the community and charitable initiatives the company prioritizes. One philanthropic cause that’s a source of personal inspiration to Vasin is the company’s In It Together Foundation, which is their nonprofit to benefit teammates in times of personal crisis. In 2019, she expects it to raise $400,000 for the cause.

Organizing and simplifying. This area is focused on changing how teammates think about HR and their relationship to it, in order to make that relationship more meaningful, collaborative, and trusting.

How does Vasin gauge HR’s success at achieving those goals? One metric Vasin uses is Fortune’s annual “Great Places to Work” list, which includes a trust index.

“Our trust index is drastically increasing year over year, indicating to HR and management that we are on the right track,” she says.

Insight’s internal employee satisfaction survey is another success metric. It, too, has shown consistent improvement year over year.

“We’ve also seen a drop in turnover and correspondingly an uptick in retention rates,” she says. “All of these metrics make it easier to get buy-in for changes that we think will improve the employee experience. Our senior leaders read each teammate comment from the survey and thoughtfully consider how to address issues.”

And about that executive team, Vasin says her job is made easier by the fact that the C-suite enthusiastically supports HR’s vision.

“While intelligent technology drives Insight’s business, our teammates really are the reason for our success,” Vasin explains. “It starts with our CEO, Ken Lamneck, who sincerely espouses the idea that we have to champion people, leadership, and culture above all. That belief extends from our teammates to our purpose to build meaningful connections to help businesses run smarter. Technology provides the means to solve complex problems, but our approach puts people first always. Understanding what a client’s workforce or customer base needs most is the first consideration to providing a simpler, enhanced way ahead that not only delivers real outcomes for businesses but for the people involved with them.”

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