Learning & Development Lounge – Q&A with Jenny Hargett

by Anna Wilcox, WNN Director of Learning & Development

This guest blog is the first in a series created for NCHT by Anna Wilcox, Director of Learning and Development for Wyoming Nonprofit Network. The “Learning and Development Lounge” is a space to get to know individuals from an array of industries central to nonprofit work, all in a casual and fun format. Keep an eye on our website and our newsletter for each installment of the series.

Ok all you nonprofit nerds, I’m excited to introduce my brand-spanking-new, super-rad, totally digital hang spot: the Learning and Development Lounge. The lounge will host a variety of guests, such as upcoming speakers & trainers, subject matter experts, and nonprofit leaders, each sharing all the information.  All of it…and more!

In anticipation of our June 27th HR workshop in Casper, the first visitor to the Lounge is Jenny Hargett, HR Director & Consultant for The Align Team and your workshop trainer, whom I’ve asked all of the important questions.

Anna:    Jenny, welcome! And thank you for joining me in the L&D Lounge. I have a million questions for you, but I’ve narrowed it down to seven-ish…and we will see where it goes. Are you ready?!

Jenny:   YES! 

Anna:    Alright then, go! Why Human Resources?

Jenny:   People make businesses work, and I love supporting people and helping them be successful. Positioning people to succeed also drove my previous career in higher education. We spend a lot of our time at work, and an HR career positions me to make work better for employees while helping organizations achieve their goals.

Anna:    The old saying, “those who can’t do, teach,” does not apply to you because you do both!  Tell us your favorite part of each!  

Jenny:   In training and HR, my greatest joy comes from seeing people grow and succeed! The best leaders know how to draw out their team’s strengths and help employees grow to function more effectively in the workplace.

On the administrative side of HR, I enjoy policy and procedure review. I know, weird! While it’s not the most exciting work, policies and procedures say so much about your organization’s culture and underlying assumptions about people and work. Do you follow your policies and procedures? If not, why? If you believe there’s a better way to function, why not write that into your procedures? If you are consistent in following your policies and procedures, are you getting the results you want?

Anna:    Ok, what is the number one reason someone should attend your HR Workshop?

Jenny:   Having a clear understanding of your obligations is freeing. Without some HR training, leaders can find themselves struggling with mistakes or even being too timid because they’re worried about making mistakes. Basic HR knowledge positions leaders to make decisions confidently and to do the research more efficiently when the answer isn’t clear.

Anna:    What should attendees expect?

Jenny:   Attendees should expect to be involved! Of course, there will be content and demonstrations, but we’ll spend most of our time applying the concepts and reflecting on how to integrate new knowledge into our working lives.

Anna:    There are so many opportunities to pick up and learn new things every day, from peers, formal trainings, even social media (I’m looking at you TikTok). What is the last thing that you learned, professionally and personally?

Jenny:   Professional: I’m studying for my SHRM exam, so I’m learning about the aspects of HR that I haven’t worked with. For example, I have no experience in global HR, because I have always worked for smaller, regionally focused organizations.  

Personal: My oldest child just turned 18 and finished high school, so I’m learning a lot about how to be the parent of a young adult!

Anna:    If you had to describe your training style?

Jenny:   Relevant, interactive, reflective, and application-focused.

Anna:    Free Question…anything else that we NEEED to know about you?

Jenny:   I came to HR after a 15-year career in higher education leadership and student services. My first leadership job was a big challenge; I did some things well, and I made some mistakes. After a couple years of “winging it,” I took my first HR training. Understanding the rules and the reasons for the rules helped me step up my game as a leader. Now, as an HR professional, I care deeply about ensuring that leaders have the right tools to be effective, as soon as possible.

Anna:    OK Speed Round…Cats or Dogs?

Jenny:   Dogs

Anna:    Digital or Vinyl?

Jenny:   Radio and live music

Anna:    Burgers or Dogs (hot dogs!)?

Jenny:   Burgers

Anna:    DC or Marvel?

Jenny:  Um… IDK.

Anna:    Jenny, I can’t thank you enough for hanging with me today. There is nothing better than hearing someone speak so passionately about their work. I think our HR Workshop attendees are definitely going to get their money’s worth.

*Note: The HR Training Workshop on June 27 is sold out. Stay tuned to the WNN and NCTH websites and newsletters for future training opportunities.