Balancing Vision and Metrics: Tracey Jenkins’ Playbook for HR Leadership

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Success isn’t solely measured in numbers and metrics; it’s about creating a workplace where your greatest asset, your employees, can truly thrive. Recently, I had the pleasure of discovering a company that not only excelled in achieving impressive metrics but also demonstrated a genuine commitment to caring leadership and listening to their employees.

The first pillar of their success lies in the simple yet powerful act of active listening. This company took the time to engage with their employees, seeking to understand their priorities and concerns. In doing so, they showcased a genuine commitment to valuing diverse perspectives within their organization. As leaders, listening is a potent tool that fosters trust and creates a workplace where every voice is heard.

Secondly, this company prioritized employee well-being by placing it at the forefront of their Employee Value Proposition (EVP). By aligning organizational goals with the needs of their workforce, they demonstrated a clear understanding that success is not achieved at the expense of their employees’ happiness and fulfillment. This deliberate focus on creating a workplace where employees feel valued is a crucial step towards building a thriving and sustainable business.

What truly impressed me was their strategic use of data to confirm the success of their initiatives. It’s not enough to simply implement employee-centric programs; measuring their impact is key. This company achieved an outstanding 77% engagement rate and tripled survey participation by leveraging data to understand the effectiveness of their efforts. This commitment to measurement and analysis is a testament to their dedication to continuous improvement.

The results speak for themselves – an average employee tenure of 7 years, nearly triple the industry standard. This success is not a stroke of luck; it’s a direct outcome of prioritizing employee well-being. This isn’t just a “nice-to-have” element; it’s a fundamental component of building a thriving and enduring business.

I had the privilege of discussing these insights with Tracey Jenkins on my podcast, and the depth of her knowledge on employee engagement, community-building, and fostering genuine connections within an organization was truly enlightening. For HR leaders and executives seeking guidance on replicating this success within their organizations, I highly recommend listening to this episode, or seeking out help.

The success of this company is a shining example of how these principles can not only elevate your metrics but also create a workplace where your employees thrive for years to come.

About this episode

In this engaging episode, Heather interviews Tracey Jenkins, the HR leader for Sodexo Live’s sports and entertainment business in North America. Tracey discusses the impactful strategies that revitalized Sodexo Live’s growth after the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. With a workforce of over 26,000, predominantly casual or part-time, Tracey explores the visionary leadership that fueled the company’s resurgence. The conversation centers on Sodexo Live’s Global Employee Value Proposition (EVP), emphasizing inclusivity, acceptance, and career pathways. Tracey highlights the company’s commitment to diversity and creating exceptional employee experiences, drawing parallels to the memorable moments in venues like ballparks. The episode also delves into the delicate balance between visionary leadership and data-driven strategies, providing valuable insights for leaders navigating transformative growth.

Watch the video below

More about the guest

Tracey Jenkins

Tracey Jenkins is Sodexo Live!’s Senior Vice President, Human Resources. Tracey is a highly skilled, results-oriented global talent leader with more than three decades of experience in the field. She is an expert in cultivating and creating organizations capable of attracting, selecting, retaining, and developing top-tier talent. She has an outstanding track record of managing diverse and multicultural teams, and collaborating as a focused unit in order to help organizations achieve their strategic objectives. With a demonstrated understanding of business priorities, organizational efficiencies and effectiveness, she specializes in executive coaching, change management and human resources management. Tracey hosts semi-annual assessment meetings with both client and SodexoLive! leadership to ensure the effectiveness of updated training programs and to make sure individual goals are met. Tracey always looks to bring forth internal learning opportunities to support career growth by providing the latest and most innovative programs to Sodexo Live! teams.  Tracey is a graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder, she holds a Certificate in Executive Leadership from Cornell University, and she spent four years as VP of Talent Management for Sodexo North America before moving into her current role on the Sodexo Live! team in 2020.

Watch the podcast in video here

The Listening Guide

Create a listening culture that elevates the employee experience with The Listening Guide.

Discover 3 approaches to listening inside an organization and ensure those you lead feel heard.

  • Understand why listening is key to employee engagement
  • Learn how the Cycle of Listening contributes to strong workplace relationships
  • Get a practical framework for creating a bidirectional, responsive, and supportive listening culture

Download it here. 


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About Heather R Younger

Heather R Younger is a highly sought-after speaker, 2x-TEDx speaker, diversity, equity and inclusion strategist, and contributor to leading news outlets. She is also the Founder and CEO of Employee Fanatix, a leading employee engagement and consulting firm.

After over 25,000 employee engagement surveys and years of working with organizations to transform employee engagement, here’s what Heather has seen over and over:

When you know how to listen, employees will tell you exactly what they need to bring their full selves to work.

Book Heather to speak at your event or organization. Visit or for more details.

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Leadership With Heart With Heather R Younger

“Heather’s courage and vulnerability to share her authentic self are truly inspiring. She shares the most cutting-edge leadership strategies on topics like emotional intelligence and employee experience. If you’re looking to sharpen your leadership skills, this podcast is for you.”

Heather is a Workplace Culture Expert


CEO of Employee Fanatix

A leading workplace culture and employee engagement consulting & training firm.

A highly sought-after keynote speaker

Bringing the best insights from over 25,000 employee stories to the stage.

A top company culture strategist

An expert in creating spaces for these vital conversations.

A contributor to leading news outlets

A trusted expert for stories on workplace culture, customer and employee engagement, and employee retention.


The Cycle of Active Listening

Create a listening culture that elevates the workplace experience for everyone.

Through this guide, uncover how to ensure those in your care at work feel heard and valued, resulting in increased loyalty and satisfaction.

  • Understand why listening is the key to improved engagement
  • Learn how the Cycle of Active Listening contributes to strong workplace relationships
  • Get a practical framework for creating a listening culture that is bidirectional, responsive, and supportive

Contact Heather Today!


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