Kathi Winter Pushes for People Excellence

As chief human resources officer, Kathi Winter revitalized HR at Nextiva through clarifying company values and implementing new technology

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Named the third healthiest midsize employer by the Phoenix Business Journal, Nextiva has been setting the standard for valuing employees for the past two years. Former Chief Human Resources Officer Kathi Winter has been a trailblazer at ensuring employees feel respected and appreciated, and the award from the Phoenix Business Journal shows her work has paid off.

“Our focus on company health and wellness is a top priority—we intentionally build benefit offerings tailored to employee needs,” says Winter in a Nextiva statement. This focus on employee health is one of many ways that Winter revitalized the human resources field for Nextiva.

Winter began her HR career at Honeywell as the director of the HR department. Winter remained at Honeywell for eleven years before becoming vice president of HR at CIT for two years, and then VP of HR at loanDepot for six. In 2017, Winter earned the title of CHRO at Nextiva, and was given the opportunity to employ the leadership skills she’s acquired. Some of the skills that Winter has used include process improvement, organizational decision-making, and developing people strategy.

Given her nearly twenty-year career, it’s no surprise that Winter brings plenty of experience to the table. Winter’s experience provides her with a distinctive insight on industry trends. Winter believes that companies need to make a dramatic shift in how they approach HR if they are to increase employee retention.

One approach that companies can use is to establish clear, strong, and simple company values. “When an organization is truly committed to operating within its set of ideals,” says Winter in an interview with HR Technologist, “recruitment becomes much more targeted.” According to Winter, when a company hires people who already identify with the company values, the employee is more likely to stay with the company. An organization can then display their focus on people excellence by making their values transparent and clear.

Another way Winter revitalized HR at Nextiva was through her employee and technology initiatives. Winter is implementing a people infrastructure that has a sustainable foundation of culture values, including employee appreciation. On the tech side, Nextiva is applying artificial intelligence and analytics to their business communications platform, NextOS. Winter says that Nextiva will also apply the same analytical tech to HR, and this new system will allow for insight into the specific needs of their employees.

Winter’s expertise has allowed for a unique insight into building a strong culture. “The truth is, it is all the leaders and people inside a company that builds its culture,” states Winter in HR Technologist. “HR leaders can help build cultures that foster customer experience and loyalty by treating their employees with the same dignity and respect as is expected with the customer.” If the employee feels respected and valued, it shows in how they address the customer, and a happy customer is always good for business.

Altogether, Winter’s experience and modern mind-set have allowed for great success not only in Winter’s career, but for Nextiva as well. In her commitment to people excellence and the organization of company values, Winter makes HR look easy. It is her dedication to ensuring employees feel valued, respected, and a part of a team that has allowed for the most success in her field.