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Episode 362: Understanding the Operations With Dona Costa, CPO at Gordon Ramsay North America


As HR professionals, as recruiters, we’re in direct management of the variety of our firm. I really imagine all of us all the time need the perfect individual for the function. My, my problem is to all the time ask, are there no more females which are the absolute best match for the function? Are there no more minority candidates which are the absolute best match for the function?


Welcome to the Workology Podcast, a podcast for the disruptive office chief. Be part of host Jessica Miller-Merrell, founding father of as she sits down and will get to the underside of developments, instruments, and case research for the enterprise chief, HR, and recruiting skilled who’s bored with the established order. Now right here’s Jessica with this episode of Workology.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:00:48.85] Welcome to the Workology Podcast sponsored by Ace The HR Examination and Upskill HR. You’ll be able to study extra about HR certification prep and recertification programs by Workology at Be This podcast you’re listening to is a part of a sequence on the Workology Podcast that’s centered on the roles and duties of the Chief Human Sources Officer or the CHRO. The CHRO is typically referred to as the SVP of HR or the Chief Individuals Officer. That is an government or C-level function that offers with managing human assets in addition to with organizational growth and implementing insurance policies of change which are designed to enhance the general effectivity of the corporate. The CHRO podcast sequence on Workology, which is what I name the sequence, is powered by HR Benchmark Survey. You’ll be able to go to to take our CHRO survey. One of many the explanation why I proceed to do that podcast, this sequence is as a result of not solely is there loads of thriller round that Chief Human Useful resource Officer function, however issues have drastically advanced in a short time. They’ve simply advanced for Chief Human Sources Officers over the past 24 months. So whether or not you’re a present CHRO or an aspiring CHRO, this podcast is for you. This can be a nice alternative so that you can study concerning the kinds of expertise and experiences that you simply want in case you’re selling into or wish to promote right into a CHRO function sooner or later. It’s additionally an effective way to listen to from senior HR leaders about what we’re engaged on and the way we’re partnering and collaborating with our government friends. So at the moment we’re speaking with Dona Costa. She’s the Chief Individuals Officer at Gordon Ramsay North America. Gordon Ramsay North America includes the quickly rising North American restaurant enterprise of acclaimed chef, restaurateur, TV persona and writer Gordon Ramsay. Dona has been in HR management roles for greater than 20 years within the restaurant, hospitality and meals service industries, and started her profession within the restaurant enterprise. In April of 2021, Dona was named one of many prime 100 variety officers by the Nationwide Variety Council. Dona, welcome to the Workology Podcast.

Dona Costa: [00:03:04.81] Thanks for having me.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:03:05.86] Let’s get began. You’ve labored in HR management in quite a lot of industries for greater than 20 years, and also you talked about you began as a dishwasher. And I questioned how did your early expertise within the restaurant trade lead you into HR and recruiting?

Dona Costa: [00:03:22.21] Oh, effectively, primary, listening to the greater than 20 years makes me really feel actually previous, however that’s okay. I did begin as a dishwasher and I, I actually imagine that these experiences early on have made me profitable in my function at the moment. How I acquired right here, it’s simply been by way of relationships with different folks. I imply, it really is being in the appropriate place on the proper time. And I just lately learn a quote the place it spoke about it’s a must to be the appropriate individual in the appropriate place on the proper time. So I actually imagine it’s been simply that. I by no means supposed, one, to enter restaurant administration. I by no means checked out my dad and mom and mentioned, Hey, I wish to be a restaurant supervisor after I develop up. It’s simply one thing that I began doing at a really younger age with the hourly roles as dishwasher and cook dinner, went on to start out serving and internet hosting, after which acquired into administration. And the way in which I acquired into HR and recruiting was, I used to be invited to work a profession truthful the place they have been interviewing administration candidates. The prevailing HR director on the time mentioned, Why don’t you come and work this with me? As a result of it was being hosted subsequent door to the Bennigan’s that I labored at in downtown Austin, and I believed, Oh, that might be an excellent expertise. And I went and listened and realized and acquired to share a few of my real-life experiences with candidates and simply actually fell in love in that second with the recruiting facet of HR. And that become, months later, that very same HR skilled asking me if I’d have an curiosity in going into HR and becoming a member of the HR crew there at Bennigan’s. I imply, it actually was proper place, proper time and being the appropriate individual.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:05:08.95] I really like that. My background story is, is comparable in that manner. It simply, it simply form of match and generally you simply must roll with it. I believe that being prepared to roll with it, even when it’s a nontraditional path into HR, I believe is, is absolutely vital or actually simply anyplace, however particularly in HR. As you concentrate on your development from dishwasher into human assets and now into the Chief Individuals Officer function, what expertise and experiences do you imagine are absolute necessities for a Chief Individuals Officer? Particularly possibly fascinated about people who find themselves simply beginning out within the trade.

Dona Costa: [00:05:51.16] A lot involves thoughts. For me what I really feel is vital it’s understanding the operations. With a view to associate with operations. I believe it’s actually vital that you simply perceive what it’s that the operations crew goes by way of, and that begins from the hourly crew members as much as administration and even now partnering with the SVP of operations or the Chief Working Officer, it’s figuring out what their function entails. I believe, I believe that, for me, is the muse, is knowing operations, talking the language, figuring out what they’re going by way of and figuring out what their challenges are in order that I might be the perfect associate potential. I additionally suppose it requires flexibility and openness. I do know that one factor that I preach to my crew is we will probably be seen as supportive. We will probably be seen as, whereas we now have to maintain all the things in compliance, we’ll be seen as Sure, inform me what you want and the way I can assist you. I believe coming from a, I believe, I believe that servant management is used an terrible lot. However I do suppose it’s like that. It’s it’s a must to have that servant mentality of, I’m right here to serve you, whether or not it’s the hourly crew members within the restaurant or the senior management. And the way can I greatest serve you? What’s it that you simply want? So simply an openness, flexibility, after which understanding operations. I believe these have been the highest issues which were most vital in my function.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:07:21.94] I really like that you simply mentioned operations. I really feel like within the restaurant trade, particularly HR leaders are heavy into just like the enterprise operations, retail additionally, and hospitality. And it’s not one thing in my expertise that loads of HR leaders outdoors of these industries usually have the expertise with reviewing panels and, and being concerned within the day-to-day of the enterprise. I wished to ask you concerning the dimension of the corporate and the crew after which possibly contact on the organizational construction. I’d like to know the place HR sits and who do you report back to.

Dona Costa: [00:07:59.02] Okay, so we’re a reasonably new firm, Gordon Ramsay North America. We simply opened our third firm owned and run location in Boston. So very younger in our development mannequin. We do have licensed companions. Caesars is a large associate to us they usually have a number of areas open and we assist them as effectively. However for company-owned areas, which is the place my crew can be accountable, totally answerable for the HR items. And we’re very small. The house workplace based mostly right here in Dallas, it’s, we run fairly, fairly slim right here as effectively. So far as our construction goes, the folks crew, which is comprised of the employer relations and HR compliance, peace, advantages and payroll, recruiting, after which studying and growth in addition to operation providers falls below, I report on to the CEO. So it’s the construction is CEO, then my function, after which I’ve a crew of 1 vice chairman of operations, providers, and studying and growth, after which she has three administrators below her. After which we now have a director of HR who focuses on the recruiting facet proper now and help with employer relations. And we now have a advantages and payroll supervisor who oversees all of the payroll and profit capabilities for the corporate.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:09:32.20] What number of staff, what’s your worker depend proper now?

Dona Costa: [00:09:35.61] We have been sitting proper at in all probability, for the company-owned areas and the house workplace, I wish to say 600?

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Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:09:46.58] 600 staff after which after we have been having our prep name, you talked about that you simply all have some, some large development plans. So that you’re going to be rising, possibly doubling and even tripling in dimension?

Dona Costa: [00:09:58.55] Sure, completely. We’ve acquired extra areas that may open up on the finish of this 12 months, and we’ll undoubtedly at the least double, probably triple in dimension by the tip of the 12 months.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:10:08.24] Superior. And I really like how the crew is structured, and, and the plans put in place to, to have the ability to deal with that development, to have the ability to assist operations leaders, staff in addition to the, the franchise areas, too. You’ve acquired a number of awards on your work in variety and inclusion from the Variety First Award, which was issued by the Texas Variety Council. And this has occurred twice to most just lately being named, and I really like this, one of many prime 100 variety officers by the Nationwide Variety Council. Are you able to discuss a little bit bit extra about your method to variety?

Dona Costa: [00:10:49.43] Certain. Variety is one thing I imply, variety, fairness, and inclusion are one thing I’ve a powerful ardour for. One thing that certainly one of my prime 5 mentors in life, Rodney Morris, really ignited in me years in the past. He tasked myself and one other director within the firm with discovering issues that we might turn out to be concerned with that might have an effect on variety. At the moment, I wish to say that is the mid-2000, possibly 2004, 2005. Actually, variety was simply one thing that we have been starting to speak about. I imply, variety has all the time been right here, however corporations started to actually discuss it, at the least it felt that manner within the restaurant trade. And I mentioned, okay, what can I get entangled in? And what precisely will this do for us? So me being pretty new within the HR world and actually new to variety, which makes me smile at the moment to consider I used to be, I set out, set about it going, okay, what can I do? And again then that is when there have been nonetheless newspapers, proper? And the Houston Chronicle, full-page advert from the Texas Variety Council. They have been doing an annual occasion. It was, I believe, I believe we made it with them for his or her second or third one. And I believed, effectively, it says variety. What might this be? And I referred to as and mentioned, we’re occupied with being concerned. Inform me about what it’s that you simply do. And we, we acquired set as much as attend this occasion. And it was fairly unimaginable. Colin Powell was a speaker at it.

Dona Costa: [00:12:27.11] And I believed, oh, this, that is actually unimaginable that we get to take part on this. However that started the journey, my private journey, in addition to skilled one studying about variety. I used to be launched to so many different corporations in many alternative industries and we might have month-to-month luncheons and discuss what, what’s variety, what are the challenges in our office, what can we see as greatest practices. And I used to be actually simply listening and studying and it was unimaginable and simply soaking all of it in like a sponge. And I used to be capable of take that again to Rodney. And on the time I used to be with Fired Up Inc., which had Johnny Carinos, which become Carino’s Italian eating places, and we have been capable of turn out to be extra concerned and truly take a few of these greatest practices. And the way did we view variety inside our firm? And it’s not one thing that occurred in a single day. I believe I actually needed to take in all of it and see how might I affect it in my function. On the time I used to be a Director of Recruiting. Properly, even at the moment, I, I converse to recruiting and it’s attention-grabbing each time I’m presently interviewing for a recruiter and the candidates, that’s one of many questions I ask. How do you have an effect on change along with your recruiting in terms of variety? And it’s one thing I take pleasure in talking about. We’re, as HR professionals, as recruiters, we’re in direct management of the variety of our firm. I really imagine all of us all the time need the perfect individual for the function. My, my problem is to all the time ask, are there no more females which are the absolute best match for the function? Are there no more minority candidates which are the absolute best match for the function?

Dona Costa: [00:14:18.14] It’s by no means going to be rent them just because they’re feminine or just because they’re a minority. However it’s all the time going to be the problem that I put on the market of what does our variety appear to be inside our firm. So variety is one thing that was actually launched to me as an initiative within the early 2000, and it’s grown into now what we all know is variety, fairness and inclusion. I imply, the inclusion piece occurred subsequent for me the place it’s how can we create an inclusive atmosphere? Once more, one thing else I really feel captivated with that everybody ought to really feel welcome. It must be, there must be an openness within the atmosphere to incorporate everybody. After which the fairness piece is recognizing that individuals study in a different way. Individuals come from completely different backgrounds. There can’t be a one dimension matches all for assessments. There can’t be a one dimension matches all for the way in which we do our interviews and have a look at the responses that we acquired. That might in all probability be a podcast by itself, however the entire DEI piece is simply one thing that’s enormous. And I believe it begins right here with the Individuals Division as a result of I imagine we now have the flexibility to have the best impact with change in terms of DEI.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:15:39.99] I really like that and it’s so true and I’m so grateful and excited that the individuals are considering extra about variety, fairness, inclusion. And also you’re completely proper. I really like that you simply’re saying like recruiters have the largest affect on that. And it’s not identical to you have been saying, hiring extra folks. It’s about discovering extra folks to return to you which are from numerous backgrounds to be able to have the best-qualified candidate, they usually additionally occur to be a minority candidate.

Dona Costa: [00:16:13.73] Completely. I just lately learn, and that is the place I wish to say geek out a little bit bit, however I learn and I acquired so excited. This subsequent technology developing is our first technology that’s not predominantly white. And so if corporations. Don’t work out a method to have the make-up of their workforce mirror the group they’re actually going to be behind. And once more, I all the time be conscious of how, how that is acknowledged. However after we say not predominantly white, not majority white, it’s not that there’s one thing mistaken with the white male. It’s that we now have completely extra selections now. And so I believe that corporations will discover that creating that numerous workforce, which displays the group, will probably be actually useful with recruiting and retention. And it must be in any respect ranges. It’s not, this has been a problem for the reason that starting. Proper? We are able to have a very numerous hourly workforce and we are able to actually influence the administration and the variety of the administration make-up. After which as you get increased and better, you see much less of that variety. And I’m an enormous supporter of each alternative. When there’s a gap, that’s one other alternative to create some variety, some inclusion. It’s one other alternative to say, does our, does the make-up of our government crew displays what our hourly crew appears like? As a result of folks must see folks like themselves so that they know that they’ve the flexibility to succeed in different positions.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:17:52.95] That’s so true and so vital.

Break: [00:17:55.23] Let’s take a reset. That is Jess Miller-Merrell, and also you have been listening to the Workology Podcast. We’re sponsored by Ace The HR Examination and Upskill HR. You’ll be able to study extra about Workology’s programs at Be We now have all of the issues for you there. In the present day we’re speaking concerning the function of the CHRO with Doan Acosta. She’s the Chief Individuals Officer for Gordon Ramsay North America. Now this sequence known as the CHRO sequence on the Workology Podcast and that’s powered by HR Benchmark Survey. Check out our survey. Be part of within the survey in case you’re a head of HR or a senior HR chief by finishing that survey at

Break: [00:18:36.67] Benchmarking and knowledge is essential to HR leaders. Workology’s HR Benchmark Survey is an always-on survey and simply by taking the survey at, you’re signing as much as get complete quarterly outcomes, white papers, and different analysis from the survey proper to your inbox. It takes 10 minutes or much less to finish. Go to

Listening, Studying, and Being Efficient


Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:19:03.01] So shifting on to our subsequent query. And I, and I don’t, I really feel like we, you and I’ve labored in HR for some time and we now have been on this trade and now in a Chief Individuals Officer Position. This can be a comparatively new function for you. And so I wished to ask, with all this expertise that you’ve got getting into this new function because the CPO, what has been your major space of focus for this 12 months that we’re in now?

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Dona Costa: [00:19:32.61] It’s for this 12 months. It’s additionally for this firm. This can be a, this can be a new function for me. And as excited as I’m to be in it, I understand I’ve a lot to nonetheless study. Whereas I really feel like I’ve had some expertise in all areas that fall below this org, there’s nonetheless a lot to study. How one can associate with the manager crew, the way to talk with the CEO, the way to the way to make the most of my seat on the desk to be efficient. A number of the main focus has been on, for me personally, has been on pay attention, study, be efficient in your function, and how are you going to try this. You’ve acquired to speak successfully with these different leaders on the desk. So it’s been, it’s been a little bit of a studying curve, some development. It’s reaching out to mentors. I’m really interviewing completely different folks for some government teaching for not simply myself however others that it’s studying the way to, one of the best ways I can describe it because it’s an entire new sandbox to play in and I’ve acquired to determine the way to play with these folks which are within the sandbox. And it’s been nice, difficult and nice.

Dona Costa: [00:20:46.80] The main focus for the corporate in my function has been how can we be an employer of alternative? And you’ve got so many alternative areas to have a look at and narrowing these right down to say, what are those the place we are able to have the largest influence? So we’re taking a look at our advantages program. We’re a small firm. How can I compete with a lot bigger corporations with the advantages that we provide and realizing that requires an organization to select up a bigger portion of the premium with a purpose to be aggressive and having the ability to current that to the manager crew and say, right here’s what we are able to do and why we might wish to do it. It’s about taking a look at salaries going throughout the board. How can we make wage a non-issue and the way can we afford that and nonetheless, nonetheless earn a living as a result of we’re in a for-profit enterprise. So actually specializing in the way to be employer of alternative and the way my crew impacts all of these, all of the completely different areas that may make us an employer of alternative. That’s been the first focus of the function. After which simply studying the brand new function and the way to talk.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:21:51.12] Whereas on the identical time planning for double or triple the expansion.

Dona Costa: [00:21:54.66] Completely. And that’s the enjoyable half. I imply, that’s the, we’re all hands-on doers. And that’s going again to the unique query. What’s vital to achieve success on this function to me, it’s you’ve acquired to be hands-on. You’ve acquired to get within the trenches. So we are going to all, it’s all fingers on deck after we open a location. It’s all fingers on deck. If a location wants help or we see that they may use some growth in sure areas. We’re all within the trenches. Nobody’s managing from the workplace right here in Dallas, for certain.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:22:25.41] I wish to return to and dive in a little bit bit deeper once you talked about mentorships. So discuss to me concerning the significance of relationships and mentorships that you’ve got had in your profession after which possibly what you may suggest to HR professionals who’re searching for a mentor.

Dona Costa: [00:22:42.51] Yeah, I, I get emotional after I take into consideration I’m the place I’m at the moment due to the mentors, due to the folks that took the time to develop me. I imply, and since I allowed myself to be open to it. It has been all about relationships. I’m the CEO that’s right here, I’ve adopted to a number of corporations as a result of I imagine in his management and since he takes an curiosity in my skilled development and he takes an curiosity in me personally as effectively. Norman can be somebody that I’d take into account a pal in addition to knowledgeable colleague. With out these relationships, I wouldn’t be the place I’m. And Norman, it’s humorous, I walked into his workplace just a few weeks in the past and mentioned, you’re, you’re a prime three mentor. And he was like, not primary. And I’m like, Properly, you actually compete with Rodney Morris. Rodney Morris is primary mentor in my life, professionally and personally. He’s the rationale I’m who I’m, each as a human being with loads of my views and as knowledgeable, as an HR skilled. He’s somebody, a affected person, form, an excellent listener, open to new concepts. Offers that constructive suggestions in a manner that no defences go up. And that’s how I’d describe Norman as effectively. You’re going to make errors. You’re going to make the identical mistake twice.

Dona Costa: [00:24:15.71] You’re going to make it a 3rd time probably. However so long as you’re studying and also you’re enhancing every time, okay, it’s okay to make errors. I imply, and that’s simply enormous to listen to from a CEO and Rodney, who was my Chief Human Useful resource Officer on the time. I imply, I owe all the things to them being nice mentors and it’s, so I believe it’s them being prepared to spend the time. I believe a mentor as somebody who’s open to spending the time, creating another person, open to spending the time listening to another person, open to observing and seeing the place somebody is at of their profession after which saying what their targets are. And generally it’s their aim is simply to be actually good the place they’re at the moment, it encouraging them and that after which realizing when they are often pushed a little bit and may tackle extra and serving to them, serving to to push them alongside. I believe these make nice mentors and I believe somebody searching for a mentor, I believe you’ve acquired to be daring. Generally it’s a must to ask somebody out to lunch. You need to say, I’m occupied with studying extra about you and your function and would love to purchase you lunch and simply spend the time listening and determining, is that this somebody that would mentor? Is somebody that I really feel is open to being a mentor? Do they appear too busy? I imply, as a result of it’s discovering somebody that may have the time to spend with you.

Dona Costa: [00:25:37.76] And generally it’s a must to go outdoors of the place you’re employed, as a result of possibly when Rodney left. Oh, I, you understand, dream crusher. When he left, Carino’s and I caught up with him once more a few completely different locations all through my profession. However then you definitely’re searching for somebody new. And generally I needed to go outdoors, and the variety council was one place I might go and attain out to even folks outdoors of the trade and simply say, I’d prefer to spend a while with you, I’d prefer to study from you. So I believe it’s a must to be daring and it’s a must to ask for the time in case you’re not getting it from folks with, the place you’re employed. Don’t be afraid to go outdoors. I’ve definitely made connections on LinkedIn. Somebody posts one thing intelligent. I’ll ship them a message behind the scenes and simply say I thanks for, for posting what you submit. And I’d like to study extra about how you bought to the place you’re and create the dialog. And possibly a mentor is, will solely be there for a short while. Generally they’re lifelong, like a Norman or Rodney for me, however look all over the place for them and be open to it, I assume can be my biggest suggestions.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:26:43.84] I agree. They arrive within the, in probably the most uncommon or possibly unconventional locations. It doesn’t must be such as you’re saying, cookie cutter. It’s my boss at the place I work proper now.

Dona Costa: [00:26:54.88] Proper.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:26:56.82] So in your function as Chief Individuals Officer proper now, I discussed a few occasions that the group is rising. So how is your crew supporting the expansion and enlargement, whether or not it’s the restaurant areas that you simply presently have in addition to the franchise areas?

Dona Costa: [00:27:18.24] Mm hmm. So my crew is concerned throughout the board. We’ll begin with recruiting. In order we’re searching for that exterior expertise, we’re asking for referrals. We’re saying, who have you learnt? And simply doing that conventional route. Then additionally, as we do restaurant visits and, and we’re interacting with the hourly crew members, we’re studying who has an curiosity in rising. For some folks, this can be a stepping stone. They’re going to be a server, they’re going to be a dishwasher, they’re going to be a cook dinner for a restricted time. After which they transfer on, proper? For some folks, they’re searching for somebody to take an curiosity in them. I simply did an atmosphere verify in certainly one of our, we name it an atmosphere verify. You go in and converse to as many crew members as you possibly can. You get suggestions on how issues are going and also you study an terrible lot. I imply, I spend morning to nighttime simply listening, asking some questions that may get them to speak. And I realized, you understand, my final two visits to 2 completely different areas, I’ve realized which of them have an curiosity in going to administration, one we just lately realized of, and he or she’s receiving a suggestion this week. So my crew is concerned by doing the preliminary recruiting the standard manner, listening to current crew members, taking an curiosity within the hourly crew. After we’re within the eating places, doing a go to, seeing who’re our future stars, we’re even taking a look at how we are able to develop them into coaching roles after we go to open new eating places, who can we pull from which, which eating places to help with opening the brand new ones? Who has an curiosity in doing that journey?

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Dona Costa: [00:28:48.81] I imply, it’s creating every kind of alternatives for our current crew as we develop and open new eating places. It’s, individuals are going to have the ability to journey they usually wouldn’t have been ready to try this on their very own previously. And so it’s very thrilling once you consider it that manner. Additionally, with our studying and growth crew, they’re creating completely different coaching fashions to develop and develop these hourly crew members. In addition they exit and assist. We now have one individual from our studying and growth crew now that has been helping in certainly one of our license areas with getting them open. And we acquired a name on might we now have her return out and assist certainly one of our different licensed companions as a result of some latest turnover. So we’re continually on the market concerned within the operations serving to not simply company-owned properties however the licensed properties as a result of their success is our success. And as we develop, we are able to pull folks from our licensed companions. We might have folks in our, in our company-owned areas that wish to go and assist licensed companions develop and be part of their administration groups or their hourly coaching groups. So it’s limitless, actually.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:30:03.13] Thanks for sharing. I used to be notably occupied with, on the prep name after we have been speaking about this, about trainers going to the licensed areas and serving to, supporting or coaching new folks there or bringing their folks with them again in, forwards and backwards. So simply since you’re, it’s these staff aren’t staff doesn’t imply that their success isn’t your success. They do characterize the group as a licensee or as a franchise firm.

Dona Costa: [00:30:35.88] Completely. Sure.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:30:38.01] So my final query for you is, what would you want HR leaders to learn about possibly, what? One thing that we haven’t talked about.

Dona Costa: [00:30:45.30] We’ve coated a lot that I, that I really like about my function. And I believe, I believe generally so I’ve this factor, my license plate really says HR is enjoyable. And I believe that’s one thing that we are able to generally overlook. And I acquired that license plate, I wish to say about 5 years in the past, I walked into one other firm that I labored for, and it was my first time assembly with the GM, so it was a, it was a GM assembly that they’d host month-to-month. And I used to be becoming a member of them as their VP of HR. And I walked as much as the entrance and it was form of after figuring out that HR was seen because the compliance police. And so I walked to the entrance and I mentioned, HR is enjoyable, proper? And also you simply heard this audible, like, groan. Like, I’m like, Oh, no, no, no. HR is enjoyable as a result of we’re all about folks. And my function is to guard the model. Completely. However the way in which I shield the model is by defending our crew members. And the way in which I shield our crew members is being proactive with what can I do to assist you? And it simply that that began the connection with operations after which them figuring out HR might be enjoyable. It may be enjoyable as a result of we’re coaching and we’re educating. Are there exhausting occasions and exhausting moments? Completely. Are there the not-so-fun direct conversations or the place it’s a must to go in and terminate somebody for a coverage? Certain. However don’t overlook, HR can be enjoyable.

Dona Costa: [00:32:14.78] And I believe generally as professionals we get so slowed down in technique and the place possibly new coverage or insurance policies aren’t being adopted. And it might probably, it may be overwhelming. On the finish of the day, we now have to recollect, we’re in a very enjoyable trade. I imply, for me, eating places is a lot enjoyable and we’re in a terrific function of the place we are able to create that atmosphere to maintain it enjoyable, hold it gentle. Sure, we nonetheless have insurance policies to observe, however it might probably nonetheless be simply large enjoyable. And it’s folks. I imply, we’re affecting lives day by day, offering alternatives. We’re affecting lives day by day the place, I imply, right here in eating places, we are saying it’s lunch and dinner. It’s not life and loss of life. It’s, it’s don’t overlook that we’re coping with human beings and it may be a lot enjoyable.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:33:04.34] I believe that HR is simply form of, we see HR on the information after which the media, tv exhibits, issues like that the place they actually misunderstand what we do and who we’re. However on the finish of the day, we’re folks too, and we prefer to have enjoyable. It’s simply human nature. So HR might be that manner if we select for it to be enjoyable.

Dona Costa: [00:33:30.65] I agree.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:33:31.43] Properly, Dona, thanks a lot for taking the time to talk with me. I do know I’ll hyperlink to your LinkedIn profile in the event that they wish to join with you there, however you mentioned you’re hiring a recruiter. Possibly we’ll put up your profession web site too. So if any person is like, Oh, that is, Dona sounds superior, Gordon Ramsay North America feels like an excellent place. In the event that they wish to apply for an open function, effectively, I’d love for them to go over to your profession web site as effectively.

Dona Costa: [00:33:57.35] That may be nice.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:33:58.46] Yeah. Once more, thanks a lot for, on your time. Any, any parting ideas?

Dona Costa: [00:34:04.79] Yeah. I actually respect the chance to be in your podcast with you. I’ve admired you for a few years within the work that you simply do, so it’s been nice to attach with you.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:34:14.48] I like it too. Thanks a lot. I, it’s been a blast and I look ahead to persevering with the dialog.

Closing: [00:34:21.29] The CHRO podcast sequence right here on Workology is powered by HR Benchmark Survey. I’d love so that you can take our survey at We’re sharing outcomes with you that will help you higher perceive how the HR group and the HR division is evolving and the way we proceed to develop and assist our companies.

Closing: [00:34:42.32] I really like interviews like this with Dona. Actually, I might do that CHRO sequence perpetually as a result of each CHRO that I discuss to has a special story, has new experiences, and I really like to listen to how these connect with the technique and operations of the general enterprise. And we’ve seen that in Dona’s expertise and with the Gordon Ramsay North American Firm. The CHRO really doesn’t simply lead HR throughout the firm. The corporate actually relies on this management function to set the requirements and benchmarks for all the things from tradition to worker engagement and extra. And also you’re going to have to try this doubling and even tripling inside 12 to 24 months. I respect Dona taking the time to share with us her personal experiences at the moment, and thanks for becoming a member of us at the moment on the Workology Podcast. I respect you taking outing of your busy day.

Closing: [00:35:34.04] This podcast is sponsored by Upskill HR and Ace The HR Examination. These are certification and recertification programs that Workology presents and you’ll study extra about it at Be This podcast is for the disruptive office chief who’s bored with the established order. My identify is Jess Miller-Merrell. Till subsequent time you possibly can go to to take heed to all our earlier Workology Podcast episodes.

Join with Dona Costa.



– Dona Costa on LinkedIn

– Careers at Gordon Ramsay North America

– CHRO Job Description

– Episode 299: The Position of the CHRO within the Restaurant Business

– Episode 359: Being the Complement to Communication With John Reeves Whitaker, CHRO at NPH

– Episode 361: CHRO Collection – What Abilities and Expertise Do You Imagine Are Absolute Necessities for a CHRO Position?

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