A Look at the Human Element With Chief People Officer of The Honest Company Janis Hoyt

Janis Hoyt is the Chief People Officer of The Honest Company, which was launched in 2012 with a mission to inspire and empower people to live a happy and healthy life. As Chief People Officer, Janis oversees all people functions, including the HR, Recruiting, and Workplace teams.

Here is what Janis had to say when we asked her about the human element:  

What are three ways to stand out when you start working at a new organization? 

First, come with a can-do attitude. People who are positive and approachable are asked to take on different roles, activities, and events because they have a willingness that you can see. Research shows that positive energy is an attractor, while negative energy is a detractor. Second, have a plan. I recommend having a 90 to 100-day plan that outlines what you hope to get done and how. Additionally, talk with your colleagues and managers to make sure you have a clear understanding around expectations, so you can make an impact. Third, get feedback. Articulate that you want feedback, and be open to receiving it. Feedback is a very valuable tool that can help you grow and develop, both professionally and personally.        

How can you add value to a company as a young professional that goes beyond your job description? 

Leaders appreciate individuals who take initiative, so raise your hand for a stretch role or an opportunity. Be open and excited to take on new opportunities, even if you are learning as you go. Those people that step up and are willing to step outside of their comfort zones are invaluable to an organization. Also, remember to bring your whole self to work every day. You are you, and that in and of itself is valuable. In doing so, remember that it’s important to be comfortable with humility and vulnerability. Admitting that we do not know everything, but are willing to learn and share that knowledge, shows a great amount of courage. Finally, you can add value by being reliable to your team and by being a brand ambassador for the company.  

What are the most important soft skills young professionals should possess? 

Skills relating to emotional intelligence. Know yourself. Who are you? What is your brand? When are you most efficient? How do you self-regulate? Take inventory of your blind spots and triggers. Better understanding yourself will help you to better understand others. You should also be able to see how you can connect the head and the heart. We become so logical and analytical that sometimes we need to take a step back and gut check a decision. Doing so can get us to solutions we did not even think about. Lastly, I encourage you to develop an enterprise-wide mindset. Systems thinking is all about how you can ladder up and see how constituents are connected across the business. Determine how your role relates to others, and figure out how you can become a connector.  

How do you schedule your day to make sure that you make time for both your personal and professional priorities? 

That has probably been one of the hardest things for me because I have always felt like someone who has had to do everything. I raised four kids and it was difficult to balance everything; however, I learned that I need to be very prescriptive about work-life balance. I diligently schedule priorities on my calendar. This works for me, but it might not work for you. You have to go through trial and error to find out what works best for you. While we all thrive under different circumstances and in different routines, I strongly encourage you to start your day by grounding yourself. Take time to reflect on your priorities for the day and find the energy you need to address them. I start off all my mornings with meditation, it really helps me start my day off with a clear mind and fresh perspective.

How can you find companies to work for that align with your values? 

It starts very early on. When you start researching the company that you want to work for you need to look at its values to see if they align with your own. A good way to learn about a company’s values is through social research. From a purpose standpoint, how does the company appear on LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter? The interview process is also a really good way to dig into that. Ask how interviewers make decisions, how their work has shifted, and how corporate values are personified every day.  

What is the best way to build meaningful relationships at work?

This is one of the most important things that you can do at a company because you will need people to lean on. Take the initiative and be the first to reach out to people for meetups. Be curious about what others do and how their work relates to yours—that is an easy way to make a connection with someone. Also, mentorship is so important and meaningful. Find a mentor who you can learn from, and be a mentor to this person as well—this is reverse mentorship. For example, I mentor a Gen Z who graduated from college three years ago, but she also mentors me. We have both gotten so much out of this two way mentoring relationship. 

Janis Hoyt is the Chief People Officer of The Honest Company, which was launched in 2012 with a mission to inspire and empower people to live a happy and healthy life. As Chief People Officer, Hoyt oversees all people functions, including the HR, Recruiting, and Workplace teams. Prior to The Honest Company, Hoyt started her HR career in the healthcare industry at AETNA Inc. where she oversaw employee relations for 11 years. From there, Hoyt joined Clorox Inc. as Director of Human Resources where she developed and led talent strategy. Most recently, Hoyt served as Vice President of Human Resources at Blue Shield of California where she was responsible for driving people strategies for corporate functions. A seasoned HR executive with 20+ years of experience, she is a certified facilitator of both the Myers-Briggs Temperament Instrument and Civil Treatment for Managers. Hoyt holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from University of California Berkeley and a Masters in Human Resources and Organizational Development from University of San Francisco. The Honest Company provides thoughtfully formulated, safe, and effective baby, personal care, and beauty products. Honest products are available via honest.com, in North America at more than 23,000 retail locations, and in Europe at select Douglas retail locations. A leader in the natural baby category and a trailblazer in clean beauty, The Honest Company is committed to ensuring all families have access to basic necessities and the latest health information for safe growth and development–a commitment reflected in its ongoing partnership with organizations like Baby2Baby. Since its inception, the Company has donated over twenty-two million products and volunteered over 18,000 employee hours in the community. Honest has been honored with a wide range of recognitions and awards, including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year–Los Angeles Region, ACG Award for Social Responsibility, PC Magazine’s Seal of Consumer Approval in Tech, six Allure Best of Beauty Awards, as well as the Pioneer in Sustainability Award by the Sustainable Business Council of Los Angeles.

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