LAS VEGAS — Kroger Co. strives to turn members of its workforce into “people champions” by creating an environment that allows associates to excel and advance while being personally fulfilled, the company’s chief people officer and senior vice president Tim Massa explained at the Society for Human Resource Management’s 2023 annual meeting here.
“Kroger is an amazing place for associates to build their careers,” Massa said. “We have team members who come from every walk of life and span five generations. We are committed to supporting our associates as a whole person and built a world-class benefits program that gives them the tools to thrive at work and at home. We know when we center our associates in our decision-making, we have the best framework to create an amazing associate and customer experience.”
Massa said the company’s top people priority is creating an awesome associate experience. Kroger accomplishes this goal by connecting and retaining talent, developing leaders, and advocating for associates and their well-being.
“We think about our associates’ well-being holistically,” said Massa. “We know that our teams thrive when they feel fulfilled emotionally, physically and financially, as well as in their career and in their community. We purposefully address each of these categories when we think about creating a culture where all associates can be their true selves.”
Today, Kroger offers a wide variety of resources, benefits and training that support each associate’s development path, including:
- Up to $21,000 in tuition reimbursement for part-time and full-time associates who pursue continuing education opportunities
- On-demand, role-specific training and development resources on topics including leadership and career advancement
- Connection with health and wellness resources, including a Well-Being Assistant available 24 hours a day, seven days a week
“We have been through a lot in the past three years,” said Massa. “From a worldwide pandemic and ongoing economic uncertainty to a growing social justice movement and the Great Resignation, it’s understandable anyone may feel disconnected or unsure of the best path forward. The Chief People Officer and their entire team need to evolve to meet our associates’ changing needs.”
Massa went on to explain how Chief People Officers must serve multiple functions within a business. They are increasingly expected to counsel senior officers on human capital and culture, recruit talent in a shifting landscape, lead strategic change, anticipate and respond to emerging trends, and serve as a trusted advisor and coach. All while their team creates a future-focused, technology-oriented, operationally capable and financially disciplined human resources function.
“As with any high-functioning business unit, the HR team is challenged to excel in an ever-changing environment,” said Massa. “We find that when we lead with our head – reinventing ourselves to serve all stakeholders – our heart – enriching the human experience – and our hands – leading through innovation – our associates reap the benefits.”
The SHRM 2023 annual meeting brought together HR professionals from various industries to learn together at more than 275 sessions. From new hires to C-Suite leaders, the conference ensures practitioners understand the latest trends to better serve their teams, the organization said.